Big Sister.

Shared stories of woe,

broken hearts, stubbed toe, family first

Bond beyond breaking.

It is national poetry month, and this is dedicated to my own sister but also to a dear friend who had to say goodbye to her sister today.

©Alison Jean Hankinson.

A woman’s lot…..

We have come a long way, so much has been achieved, so much has changed and yet so much remains the same.

Globally according to the UN during their lifetime 35 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, or sexual violence by a non-partner. 

It isn’t much better in the UK-the figure in the UK is 29%

Globally every day 137 women are killed by a member of their family.

At least 200 million women and girls, aged 15–49 years, have undergone female genital mutilation.

15 million adolescent girls worldwide, aged 15–19 years, have experienced forced sex. 

This week I despaired as I read about the continuing plight of the Uyghur women detained and suffering in the camps in Xinjiang. It breaks my heart that we are no further forward and that we live in a world where rape is still used as a weapon of war and an instrument of torture.

I feel that I have been so fortunate to have had the opportunities that I have had and that I have had education, economic independence and the opportunity to be an advocate for others, but I also feel inadequate in that there still seems to be so much that we are unable to change or influence.

Dominic Raab gave a statement to the commons on January 12th about the issue of what is happening to the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. He stated we had a moral duty to respond. He noted that living conditions within the camps violate basic human rights and that there were also reports of the forced sterilisation of women.

The full speech given by Dominic Raab.

Facts and figures: Ending violence against women | What we do
Facts and figures: Ending violence against women | What we do (2021). Available at: https://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures (Accessed: 6 February 2021).

Image from Wikimedia, Creative commons. Uyghur woman from Kizilsu Merkezi, Kizilsu Kirghiz Autonomous Prefecture of Xinjiang, China.license:https://www.flickr.com/photos/alior/, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

© Alison Jean Hankinson

Kintsugi

It has been a very long time, sometimes this is just how it is. We lose our voice. We open our mouth wide and nothing comes out. We have to be patient, let it heal. Pick up the pieces let them mend and grow and rejuvenate. Grow into a new person, a new being created from whatever grand or harrowing experience that was thrust our way. There will be a lot of this.

When we were in NZ I bought a set of jars, they all matched, one for tea, one for coffee, they had funny animals on and I thought the girls would like them. They came from Farmers, the department store so they were coveted and saved for, and I was joyful to have them. One day the sugar pot fell to the ground and smashed. Dave out it back together with superglue and life continued as if nothing had happened.

Last year the lid broke from the Tea jar, so now it holds utensils, it was beyond repair and I am still scouring second-hand shops to find a replacement lid meanwhile it holds wooden spoons perfectly. Then it happened again and the sugar pot broke again. I thought perhaps it was time to give up and throw it away and start again. I thought about buying a whole new set from Barton Grange they have the Wensleydale ones that are so unbelievably beautiful and cute. But it was lockdown, and so Dave got out the superglue and mended it again. And do you know it doesn’t matter at all. It is still my sugar bowl, it is just that it has a few extra cracks to it. I still have the same joy when I see it and I still remember the joy I felt when I brought them home and I had the full set.

In Japan imperfection and broken-ness is embraced and Kintsugi is a revered art. I think this is something I am learning to embrace too. The broken-ness doesn’t have to be detrimental, or pushed aside, or hidden away, it is simply part of the vessel’s journey. From the broken-ness comes a new vessel, with a new beauty arising from it’s life experience and it’s journey.

Namaste.

 

sugar pot

©Alison Jean Hankinson

Whisper lass.

She was tip-toe soft,

kind words and whisper slippers

mid-winter moccasins.

treading cautiously through a world of steel toe-capped hobnailed boots.

 

Soft-shoe shuffling quietly amidst the stomping and the striding

Reminiscent of dreamlike dawdle at dusk.

She was tip-toe soft, compassion and comfort

Her steps could caress the conscience of even the sturdiest stiff leather loafer.

 

She was tiptoe soft

Lambswool laughter

words of wisdom suede-like

midwinter moccasins.

 

© Alison Jean Hankinson

 

So tonight at d’Verse Bjorn challenged us to write with metaphor in mind. I also wanted to use sounds, and I am not sure if I have mastered this or not, but I gave it a go.

On the temple steps at Nan Tien.

Once upon a heartbeat

Your small hand held on to mine

Once upon a full moon

When the midnight stars did shine.

Once upon a heartbeat

My child I gave to you,

Everything my heart held dearly

My dreams and wishes too.

Once upon a heartbeat

You walked with head held high

You were brave enough to stand up tall

Your wings were strong enough to fly.

Once upon a heartbeat

I watched you stride away

Grown up, confident and brave

To make it your own way.

© Alison Jean Hankinson

This is my Ellen. We left NZ in 2017 and had a week together in NSW before going our separate ways. We carried on to the UK and Ellen went back to Whangarei. We loved this visit to Nan Tien. It is so hard being so far away and I miss her so much and I am so in awe of her bravery. Love her always. Xxx

for d’Verse.

For Ellen.

Banishing Demons.

He slayed the dragon, the sun shone he wiped the blood from the sword and went on his way.

For her that wasn’t the end of the story though.

She cooked him fried eggs for breakfast, ironed his shirts, darned his socks, plumped his pillows and waited for the debt to be done.

Paid in full – but it never was. She began to wish she had eloped with the dragon or that at the very least the dragon’s breath had scared away her knight in shining armour.

She began to wish she had reclaimed the night without her knight.

She began to wonder what dragon children would have looked like.

Perhaps she already knew-with their curly locks and their churlish charm and the devil may care attitude they had clearly inherited from their father not to mention their charming eyes of blue.

And all he had had to do – was slay the dragon.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

I am submitting this for d’verse Open link night.

The link below will take you to a lovely dragon, created by the very talented Soju Shots-Evan Heasman fromWhangarei.

Facing your demons

Sounds of silence

Footfalls through the frost

Whispers on the wind,

Stillness in the stars,

Grubby chubby little hands

Seeking out shells on the shoreline.

Moments of magic in motherhood.

Memories fall like raindrops from the skies

Teardrops in my eyes

as I cherish every second of your lives.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

Love you always wherever you may be-Mumma.

 

I think I have been silent for quite a while and now it is time to break the silence. I realise that so much of what I am and what I have done with my life and what I have become is linked to becoming a mother.

For me there was never any doubt that it was a fundamental part of what I held as important-not excelling in a sport or becoming a great leader or even the top of my career but giving and nurturing as best I could new members of the human race. I didn’t always do the job well, but I mostly did my best with the time and resources that I had at my disposal at the time.

I was always clear in my own mind that each would become their own person and make their own way in life and that in some respects all that I was doing was giving them some tools for their life basket and a safe place to grow. So it was a sprinkling of knowledge, a touch of high spiritedness, add in resilience backbone and compassion for others. I always wanted them to fly the nest and soar in the winds in their own little worlds build their own castles in the air and thrive and survive and have soul.

They have moved into their own lives now, almost effortlessly without a backwards glance and yet I know that they will always be connected. I don’t think the umbilical cord is ever truly broken and just as I will always carry my own mother in my heart even though she is long since gone I think they too will always carry a part of me in their hearts and so the story goes, the ebb and flow, mother to child.

Time passes.

Withered

Her hand frail against the withered fronds as she rearranged the flowers

For time had sold them short.

 

Joyful

Her youthful stance and gaze, as glorious bride in the gaily painted photo-frame

Captured in the stillness of time framed by the care-home mantle-piece.

 

Anguish

Forgetting fettered fragile moments of family-time,

Lost forever in the timelessness of a fretful mind.

 

Peacefulness

Her pain receding as the hands of time hold her soul

Serene against the backdrop of a moonlit sky.

 

© Alison Jean Hankinson

This for poetics at d’verse. We were asked to explore something we couldn’t touch. It is coming up for the 10th anniversary of my mum passing away and she never got to be old so she never experienced losing her memories.

Missing in action.

Still silent seamless sorrow as the shadows of the day recede

My loss and longing washes over me

And it feels like my heart might bleed.

To carry both of you with me across the seas of need

I long to have your hands to hold

And from this endless ache be freed.

Love sets us free to chase our dreams

Make no mistaking there

But the hollow place inside of me, still wishes you were here.

© Alison Jean Hankinson

For Mental Health Awareness Week 2018.

For my girls. Whom I love, every day and more. For my Ellen across the seas. Some days leave a gaping chasm of loss. Hold your children tight when they are small if you are going to give them wings to fly. XXXXX

I am sharing this for open link night on d’Verse and of course the hand holding is part of the theme. For my beautiful girls. XXXX

Fan the flames of love

We are Phoenix we rise above

we fly high against the backdrop

Of a twilight sky

And leave you dead and cold.

Let your sallow soul grow old amongst the bones of those who told

The shallow lie you heard amongst my teardrops.

 

Crystal clear

No malice here

I grace the air with wings of gold.

My heart unfolds with truth and beauty, pure love and loyalty

I am Phoenix.

I rise above.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson.

Image creative commons free to use from pixabay.