December 8th- Happy birthday mum.

Snow-capped mountains
Memories frozen in time
Sun melts through the pain.

I wrote the Haiku on Friday- mum’s birthday and what surprised me most is that this is the first year that I haven’t spent the day in tears, in fact I didn’t cry at all. I am not sure if this is some miraculous part of healing or because we are now at least home. All the other years I had to cope with both the feelings of loss and the separation by distance.

The snowy theme continued throughout the weekend and we set off on Saturday to visit Hays Garden Centre and in search of snow for Emily. We killed a few ghosts in Hays, it was a place I visited with mum one summer. We then drove up through Ambleside and snaked off to go up Kirkstone Pass to the third highest Pub in England, the highest inhabited building in Cumbria. As we drove past the chocolate box houses, with the gentle snowflakes falling, Mull of Kintyre was playing on the radio, and I was transported instantly back to Christmas past, as a youngster at Christmas celebrations with mum and dad and their friends and drunken antics and singing and I could hear mum’s laughter echoing through my head. The memory was so strong and this was when the tears were shed. The sense of both happiness and loss was overwhelming.

©Alison Jean Hankinson

Mum passed away 9 years ago in 2008, today was her birthday. XXX

This is my offering for d’Verse haibun.

The Visit

He hung his cloak upon the hook

And snook into her room

He gave a welcome smile and then

His love lit up the room.

 

The visitor sat beside her as she slept

He smoothed her pain away

He gently mopped her fevered brow

And for her soul did pray.

 

The sunset glowing in the west

The day drew to a close

He took her tortured soul in hand

And exchanged it for a rose.

 

As morning sun lit up the room

Her family finally gathered

Her soul had passed across by now

Shared memories were all that mattered.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

This is for d’Verse poetics.

P1060248

Days of loss.

Some days there are no happy ever afters

No pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

Inside the cloud- no silver linings

 

Some days the tears we weep fill the reservoirs of our soul

The magnitude of our pain and suffering is beyond remedy

Inside our heart is bereft and broken beyond repair.

 

Some days suffering sadness and shades of sorrow are all there is

And we must carve a new understanding of the world we know

Find a new way to find a glimmer of hope.

 

© Alison Jean Hankinson

I have decided to link this up to d’verse for open link night. I wrote it at a very key low point last year just as I discovered I had once again become ill with a flare of Ulcerative Colitis, the first since 2012. Last week I think I hit an even lower point in my life, the disease refusing to go into remission and being forced to give in and go back on to high dose steroids. I am climbing back out of the hole. I have managed to keep working, and that in itself is an achievement and we take our crumbs where we can find them.

I wrote this early November when despair was at times overwhelming. I still believe in happy ever after- it is in my nature.

Much love. XXX

 

Shades of 50.

It is done, my fiftieth birthday year finally gone

Kicked the ass out of that, had a bit of fun

Moved house and home,

And now it is done.

Heartaches and happiness all in one.

What a year, glad to move on to 51.

 

© Alison Jean Hankinson

this is a bit cheesy but all I could muster for this week’s Quadrille at d’Verse. I celebrated my fiftieth birthday in hospital and it has been a roller-coaster of a year and I think some of the biggest dips were in the last week, so I was a bit quiet….So tomorrow I start a new day, and a new year… and I will be 51.

I miss my Ellen though and would love to have her home with me. XXXX

Killing me softly with her song…memories of mum.

Sunshine over Shap

Last embers of summer smoulder

Leaves linger lazily

Brittle against the breeze.

 

Once upon an autumn sunrise

We hung our lives out on the washing line

Pegged our pain and memories side by side

Peeled back the layers revealed the years of anguish

Aired the past and put it out to dry.

 

The gentle winds of autumn swept away the tears we shed

We both knew who we were and we collected all our worth

And meaning in one basket of crumpled washing.

We folded and sorted it and stuffed it back in the drawers

So no-one else could see.

 

Brittle against the breeze

Leaves linger lazily.

Last embers of summer smoulder

Sunshine over Shap.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

This is my contribution to Open Link Night at d’Verse.

 

 

Mary Queen of Scots, hypothetical questions to Darnley on the murder of David Rizzio.

I crept silently to the stairwell

Lest my footsteps be heard by the strangers outside

And I wondered who was with you on that murderous night?

 

My lover and husband whom I had trusted

Child and heir to the throne growing steadily in my belly

And yet I wondered if this would be enough to still your tongue?

 

Your jealously simmered and boiled

Bubbling over into bloodletting at my feet

And I wondered did you love him, or did you love me?

 

© Alison Jean Hankinson.

Questions for d’Verse.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia. from an etching 1791 Mary, Queen of Scots witnessing the murder of David Rizzio.

Atonement

The rain washes away the sorrow

It cleanses the impurity of the years before

and soothes the shallow breathing of the old man.

 

Pitter, patter, pitter, patter on the old tin roof

Melodies of days long gone when forsooth

I was a younger man, of stronger mettle.

 

The rain washes away the sin and surrender

Purifies the pungent putrid memories of this life before

Soothes the sallow sagging skeleton that sits beside the bed.

 

Drip, drop, drip, drop, drip, drop on the old tin shed

Reminds me of all the things I still have left unsaid

To those who loved me beyond the bounds of duty and sanity.

 

The rain washes away the pain and the punishment

Washes away the abusive torture and the brutal beatings.

Rain brings reparation for a wretched soul in search of absolution.

 

Pitter, patter, drip, drop, pitter, patter, payday

As my sins have been forgiven I forgive them their sinful way

Forgive my wartime crimes Lord. Take my soul today.

 

© Alison Jean Hankinson

 

raindrops-1404209_1920

 

The theme tonight at d’Verse was rain, and it was supposed to be a positive contribution. I spent many years in NZ and rain is often seen as symbolic, it is cleansing or purifying, so in the image (from pixabay) the rain and rainbow would be seen as celebratory. I think atonement is positive but perhaps not quite what would have been expected.

 

Memories of a beautiful woman.

She was our Fairytale princess

Miles of ivory silk taffeta trimmed with lace

10,000 pearls and mother of pearl sequins

Giving a touch of grace.

Amidst the majesty of a royal wedding,

 

A beautiful woman

With a compassionate heart

Touching untouchables was her special art

At a time when HIV heartbreak

Brought devastating deaths in its wake.

 

The Indian summer of her life

Holidaying in Greece a rose still in bloom

Later in Paris a life taken too soon

In the Alma tunnel broken dreams

Smashed senselessly into smithereens.

 

We still have our memories and we still shed our tears

For your loss is immeasurable even after all these years

We have watched your sons grow into fine young men

They have carried your love forward time and again.

Rest in Peace and God bless,

You were a beautiful woman, our fairy tale princess.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

On 31st August it will be twenty years since Princess Diana passed away, my mum passed away 11 years later on the same day, we both loved Princess Diana.

One of my first blog posts was about her. This is the link:

Portrait of a Princess- Our Diana- The People’s Princess.

The image was in the public domain and able to be reproduced it came from:

058792: Visit by Diana Princess of Wales 1992
Diana Princess of Wales visiting Interconnection Systems (Plessey) in South Shields 1992. South Shields/Visits/Princess Diana Collection. Newcastle Libraries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love you to Timbuktu and back…

My mind has gone to Timbuktu

I’d like to meet it there

It may be buried amongst some books

In a scholarly “libraire”.

 

I used to know the names of towns

And fun places by the sea

But now I can’t remember where

Or what I have eaten for my tea.

 

I think it is still a novelty

To see you sitting here with me

Your face is strangely familiar

Your love and kindness plain to see.

 

You take my hand with tenderness and press it firm against your face

Somewhere my memory stirs anew and I remember your embrace.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

According to the WHO globally there are about 47 million people who have dementia, with about 9.9 million new cases each year.

This is going to be my contribution to open link night for d’Verse. With love.