Spring lingers long….

It feels as though it is winter that has lingered. I look around me daily and wonder at the daffodils just peeping through and everything seems to be a month behind where it was this time last year. The order is the same, but the flowering has been delayed, the rosy red tulips are only just nodding their heads toward the sun and yet April is past midway and almost done.

Then just a sprinkling of sunshine and an early evening stroll and we have stolen moments of pleasure to treasure as the daylight lingers and the smell of spring scintillates the soul.

Pebbles underfoot

Ripples of lingering spring

Sunsets in the west.

 

© Alsion Jean Hankinson

This is for d’Verse haibun monday.

 

 

The Perfect Storm…reflections on the storm of 1953.

It was England’s worst natural disaster of the twentieth century. A combination of a winter windstorm and high spring tides brought disaster and flooding to Scotland, England, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Between January 31 and February 1st a storm tide in the North Sea raised the water level by as much as 5.6metres above sea level in parts of the East coast. There was catastrophic flooding on a massive scale and huge loss of life.

In the Netherlands there were approx 1836 deaths, In England in the east coast counties of Lincolnshire, Suffolk, Essex 307 lives were lost, a further 19 in Scotland and 28 people lost their lives in the Flanders region of Belgium. A further 230 people lost their lives at sea, on small craft, fishing vessels and with the sinking of the MV Princess Victoria. Many of those on shore were drowned in their beds as they slept. Thousands of people were made homeless.

The entire crew of 13 from the fishing trawler the Michael Griffith from Fleetwood were lost to the storm along with two crew from the Islay rescue lifeboat. They had set sail on the Thursday from Fleetwood under skipper Charles Singleton with the youngest crewmember being the deckhand George Palin. The boat vanished south of Barra Head in the early hours of Saturday morning following a stark radio message in morse- “Full of water – no steam – helpless”. Eleven women were widowed and 20 children were left fatherless.

The car ferry MV Princess Victoria, travelling from Stranraer to Larne was also lost of Saturday 31st January. Just 90 minutes after she left Stranraer a wave burst through the stern doors and despite all efforts the car decks were flooded. There were 44 survivors but 133 others perished. Not a single woman or child survived the disaster. They had all been put together in one lifeboat and it was lifted by a wave and smashed against the hull of the ship and they were all lost to the water. Portpatrick, Donaghadee and Cloughy lifeboats all made attempts to locate and help rescue those aboard. The Donaghadee lifeboat, the Sir Samuel Kelly joined the frantic search for survivors after the ship went down finally at approx 13.58 with her Captain still bravely at the helm. Its crew eventually plucked 33 men to safety. Bravery medals were awarded to many for their valiant rescue efforts that day.

This still remains one of the most little-known tragedies of the twentieth century. Thank you dad for telling me about it.

© Alison Jean Hankinson

399px-A_tribute_to_the_Lifeboatmen_of_Portpatrick_-_geograph.org.uk_-_26385

The featured image is from Wikimedia and is in the public domain- By Wrecksite (www.wrecksite.eu) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

the other image is the memorial at Portpatrick again in wikimedia- andy [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Guardian, the storm in pictures

Seaside Summer Blues…

Buckets spades and sandcastles

Donkeys on the beach

Paddling at the water’s edge

Family in easy reach.

 

Seashells on the shoreline

Waves lapping at our feet

Coconut oil and sunburn

Ice cream 99’s for a treat.

 

Arcade penny slot machines

Grab machines galore

Potted shrimps and cockles in a tub

Mum goes back for more.

 

Holidays at the seaside

Family fun days out

Car breaks down on the way back home

That’s what summer was all about.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

 

 

 

Shall we sit on the park bench at sundown…?

Shall we sit a while,

Watching the sun go down over yonder?

Shall we share our bravest thoughts and dreams

Express in silent contemplation

Our sense of wonder?

 

Shall we watch the night unfold

Hold hands and watch the day grow old,

Pause a while, dream a little, share a smile

Knowing that the stars meanwhile

will always serve as a reminder

 

Of the love we shared?

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

This is for d’Verse  where Bjorn has challenged us to write a poem of only questions…my first effort was very questionable….this is my second….

Changing Seasons…

Winsome wind

Lifting leaves

From autumn trees.

 

Gusty squalls

Across the reach

Hearty waves crash on a windswept beach.

 

Stormy days unease

September’s short reprise

Before relentless chill of winter.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

As summer gives way to Autumn and we near the Fall equinox this seems to be the right poem for d’Verse open link night. Soon be out in those wellies crunching the fallen leaves…

 

 

 

 

And the band played on…

 

English summers wouldn’t be the same

If families didn’t enjoy fun in the sun

Carnival queens and burger vans

Seaside singalongs and festival fun.

 

We went to the Morecambe Carnival

With bagpipes and drums on hand

The parade moved stately down the prom

To the sound of the big brass band.

 

Seagulls on standby to have a feast

Candyfloss and greasy chips on the ground

The Bay belting out across the stage

And fairground rides spinning teenagers around

 

Toploader took to the stage

Boogie-Storm boogied on down

Sandcastle competitions throughout the day

Magical show-stopping firework display at sundown.

 

English summers wouldn’t be the same

If families didn’t enjoy fun in the sun

Carnival queens and burger vans

Seaside singalongs and festival fun.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

So tonight it is Magic over at dVerse

My magic in this is a bit like Puff the magic dragon…

“Oh I do like to be beside the seaside…”

Yes I know I always have seagulls and chips…perhaps it is my signature…