The Ghost of Christmas Past.

The ghost of Christmas past

Came knocking at my door,

He took me to the time

When my little girls were four.


We knelt before the Christmas tree

Presents crudely wrapped but there,

A plate by the fireside

With Santa’s festive fayre.


We walked into their bedroom

As quietly as you can,

My two small girls were sleeping there

In Ramsey, Isle of Man.


In the muted light they seemed peaceful

Asleep and safe and warm

In a home filled with love and family

To keep them safe from harm.


The stockings on the bedposts

Were filled with treats and toys

Hung there by their Daddy

To bring them hope and joy.


Christmas was extra special

In that one particular year

As Daddy had come home safely

From military conflict fuelled by fear.


I thanked the kindly ghost

For reminding me that night

That despite the hours of darkness

Christmas is about recognising the light.


May your Christmas time be peaceful

Filled with memories that shine,

To keep your heart warm through the cold

And lonely times.


©Alison Jean Hankinson.






Shades of Dad.


Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

Christmas Carols ringing in my ears.

The fug of the snug

Stench of sweat and old men.

Scent of Old Spice wafts across the bar

And the unmistakable

Aroma of clan pipe tobacco

Lingers in the air.


©Alison Jean Hankinson

This is for d’Verse quadrille.

The photo is actually of my Dad’s dad, (My Grandad).

Lady, Green and Red.

Lady loved the plants’ light green
With flowers brightly red.
Her face angelically serene
Had leaves to shade her head.

She sat upon the mantelpiece

Amidst the Christmas cheer

Overshadowed by the nativity

And the radiant poinsettia.


This was to add to Frank’s (Frank Hubeny) poem, he wrote the first stanza and the second I wrote. Linked to Jilly’s Casting Bricks August Challenge as the second part of a cooperative poem.


Alison Jean Hankinson

Footprints in the snow.

footprints_in_the_snow_in_minnesotaChristmas lights glitter and glow as the festive season is in full flow

An unexpected and unwelcome visitor steals through the shadows

Puts prime of life on ice and she is gone too soon.

Shattered souls weep amidst the shards of broken glass.


Alison Jean Hankinson

image: By Gina Paulucci (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Benevolence. All that is good

It is the time of year where we put aside differences

Share olive branches and give forgiveness

As we recognise that human spirit is often all we have left to celebrate

In a world which sometimes seems to breed hate.

Bjorn asked us to reflect on a complex year where many have been stretched and shattered, and the pieces of peace seem broken beyond repair and then there is the despair as the void fills with the thoughts and prophecies of the great hereafter.

The paradox- we don’t know what we don’t know and yet this might just be as good as it gets.

I learned late in life that my time is the one thing that I can give that can be of use and beneficial. It is something that is extremely precious and therefore I try to choose to use it wisely, and be it for netball coaching or having tea and conversation with good friends it can and does truly make a difference. It isn’t about the quantity or the number of moments but about their meaningfulness.

When we give our time with love to another to focus on their story and their need we truly honour their spirit. It is irrelevant if their journey has been more complex or blessed or held more tragedy or good fortune. What is relevant is the state of their suffering or well-being at that one moment in time and what you did to honour it.

In my life I am blessed I have family and friends to share my journey, food in my cupboard and enough to nourish anyone who needed to knock on my door and ask for sustenance. I have the ability to work for a living, have made the most of my opportunities to be educated and empowered and hope that I have the wisdom to know that if this moment is the point in my life where “this is as good as it gets,” that I savoured it for what it was and accepted the joys and sadness for the experiences that they were.

If you ever get an opportunity to help heal the soul of another take it with both hands and know that somewhere there is someone who would do the same for you. With love at Christmas-time.

d’VerseOpen link night#186

Christmas Voices again..


Dec 11 The Grandma

Tinsel on the tree

Smells just like christmas cheer

love this time of year


Dec 12th The Store Manager

Deck the halls with boughs of holly

Come inside and spend your lolly

Make my profits soar.


A continuation with the voices…not sure I can sustain it to 25…I might have to resort to elves and Rudolph…



Christmas Voices continued

alison H 103

This is a continuation from Christmas Voices that I began for d’Verse last week


Dec 6 and 7. The rector and his wife

In the beginning

Was the word and the word was

Pray for us sinners…..


We gave all we had

There was nothing left to give

God took it all


Dec 8th. The Teacher

Christingle service

Carol singing in the snow

Childrens faces glow


Dec 9th and 10th The homeless man and the girl from the store.

There was no room at the hostel

His predicament was momentarily magnified

by the similarities of their story on this cold winter night.


She offered him her last note

Crisp and clean in the crystal clear light of the moon

He received the yuletide offering with gladness for she had given with love.


Alison Jean Hankinson


Christmas Voices


I think this is a bit of trial and error…I wanted to create some kind of advent calendar in “writings”…. so this I will add to, and I am going to say the inspiration was from Gemma, my visits to Rimu Park from d’verse  openlinknight-185. It asked for a poem, but I hope that I can do 24 that will all become one if that makes sense.

Rimu Park is the retirement home and as I visit I often learn new things about both the residents and my own outlook on life. I love Christmas dearly and I think I want to demonstrate through the full piece that it means different things to different people at different points in their lives. Whilst it can be a time of family and of love and sharing it can also be a time of loneliness and grief not just for people loved and lost but also for Christmas’ past.

December 1st. The Optimist

Christmas lights twinkle

Full of festive hopefulness

Heartaches falter fast


December 2nd. The Sage

Shadows and sorrows

Embers echo-Christmas past

Silent separation


December 3rd. The Giver

Secret Santa gifts

Friendly fun festivities

Given from my heart


December 4th. The Abandoned

You left without saying goodbye

My spirit was broken

Mistletoe mocks


December 5th. The Charlatan

Love was lacklustre

Was the food mixer the gift

To bring severance


Dec 6 and 7. The rector and his wife

In the beginning

Was the word and the word was

Pray for us sinners


We gave all we had

There was nothing left to give

God took it all


Dec 8th. The Teacher

Christingle service

Carol singing in the snow

Childrens faces glow



Alison Jean Hankinson


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