For a tiny while I was extinct.
Kaput, derailed, unhinged and pakaru.
Afraid that the slightest breeze might sink me.
I lost all grace, all meaning, all love of life.
The empty skin where my laughter used to rise
Fluttered lifeless in the wind.
© Alison Jean Hankinson
this is for d’verse quadrille. the word this week was extinct.
The image is my own, it is a Westerley Pentland near Glasson Dock earlier this year, it seems abandoned. At the time I was struggling with my own dereliction. It broke my heart seeing it like this, as my Dad had one just the same and we spent many happy times aboard, Dad’s Pentland was called Tolivar.
I shiver in the shadows of your unvoiced fears
My fingers icily tracing the outline of your unspoken anxieties like lace
As my whispers leave their memory on your wizened face.
You give me life,
I am the invisible force that keeps you on the straight and narrow
When others clamour and chide and try to pull you towards a doom and gloom and sorrow
That would drown us all.
In silence I stumble forward
And see the smile appear like sunshine after storms
As the dreams and yearnings of those earlier years come flooding back
And rekindle faith and hope and love.
Some may see me as the invisible worm
The memory keeper and in a moment I can change the mood and alter the meaning
Of all of your past and how you perceive your future.
© Alison Jean Hankinson
This is for Tuesday’s poetics at d’verse. With love.
It has been a time of renewal, a time of shifts and loss and mourning, a time of giving and holding others, a time of allowing self to be swept aside. My father in law passed away on Dec 1st, one short week earlier we had finally moved house, the nights were long and cold, I packed and unpacked, we haemorraghed money- my husband was a selfless soul endlessly on the road caring for his father and mother, answering endless telephone calls- moments lost, tablets forgotten, repeated conversations, fragments of life recurring then receding, we collected groceries, cooked meals, later we watched as he listlessly slept and shouted and screamed in some other life, some other world crying through pain for help and searching for security and struggling for each long laboured breath until he was gone.
Each day I have gone to work, in my new job, loving the company of my new colleagues, welcoming the benign banter of everyday life, desperate for a smidging of something that resembled a slower pace, a calmer moment, welcoming the newfound calm of our homely little house, genuinely craving the solitude that I know will energise and bring renewal. The moments where the sky in all its splendour is the most treasured and important thing, when the cold chill biting at my fingers and toes reminds me of the joy of life, longing for the frozen earth to yield to spirited snowdrops and there to be enough space for me to savour the solitude that I love so much.
January brings snow
and frozen slivers of ice
Witch Hazel shivers.
© Alison Jean Hankinson.
This is for D’verse. Love to all and Happy New Year.
At d’Verse this Monday we were discussing translation and poetry.
My daughter Ellen’s favourite poem as a young teen was the translated version of Past One O Clock by Vladimir Mayakovsky and it has also become one of my favourites. Mayakovsky was a playwright as well as a poet, he often satirised aspects of “the state” and found himself in conflict with the authorities. He reportedly took his own life in 1930 aged 36 although there had always been some doubt cast over the timing and nature of his demise. Both he and Lilya Brik had affairs but even after the relationship ended they remained close.
I have no idea if it is a good translation but feel that it is most beautiful. Having lived in NZ I realise that often it is not possible to create perfect translations, so for example some phrases in Maori are more than just translatable words, a poem is a Taonga, which literally means a treasure or something that is highly valued, but the word Taonga is a much more accurate description it carries a sense of the sacrosanct.
Anyway I have to let you read the poem to understand its poignant beauty. It was left as part of his suicide note.
©Alison Jean Hankinson.
Past One O clock
Past one o’clock. You must have gone to bed.
The Milky Way streams silver through the night.
I’m in no hurry; with lightning telegrams
I have no cause to wake or trouble you.
And, as they say, the incident is closed.
Love’s boat has smashed against the daily grind.
Now you and I are quits. Why bother then
To balance mutual sorrows, pains, and hurts.
Behold what quiet settles on the world.
Night wraps the sky in tribute from the stars.
In hours like these, one rises to address
The ages, history, and all creation.
With love to you all. XXXX
As the day casts its long shadow homeward
I recognise that so much of it has to do with the light.
They say it is always darkest before the dawn and perhaps that dawn is the realisation that the fear, shame and guilt linger longest in the hours of darkness
and they dance and pirouette amongst the silhouettes and shadows to a tune that beguiles and steals the light.
We light candles, we whisper of hope and future happiness and draw circles in vain to cast aside the demons.
We crave love and long to belong to another so that we have a hand to hold in the darkness a kindred spirit to guide us through the pain and suffering and lamentable servitude to solitude.
Night yields to day and despair drifts away and the endless ebb and flow brings us slowly to the shores of our halcyon dreams.
© Alison Jean Hankinson
This is my contribution for World Mental Health Day. I think loneliness is a huge issue for so many people young and old alike and I think the hours of darkness are able to bring/conjure up their own unique set of torments.
For those who struggle to sleep it seems a long night.
For my girls.
Submitting this for open link night at d’Verse.
No-one has a perfect life
The pictures tell a lie,
Beneath the sham of smouldering eyes
Bitter-sweet tears of reality hide.
The fairytale lives of our sociable friends
Might make our own story seem quite shabby
But beneath the pretence of glitter and glamour there lies
Some friends who aren’t always happy.
So if you see me smile at you
It sends to you good cheer
I know deep down your life may be as complex as mine
So it conveys love and compassion sincere.
©Alison Jean Hankinson
Social media can fill a gap, strengthening some links and friendships but it can also set unrealistic expectations about what life should be like and somehow cloud our judgement of what imperfections we should learn to cherish.
I thought this picture summed it up perfectly.
Shout out to all those young people out there on World Mental health Day October 10th who exist in a world that is beyond anything we could have imagined when we were your age.