The day we fell….

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,

We remember them each and everyone, every year, it is our duty

We solemnly speak their names, we treasure their memories in our hallowed halls

We honour their fate on memorials and museum walls.

 

Kick back, flashlight, night flare

We are back there

I do solemnly swear to bring honour and bear witness

To my country but he is missing in action.

tap tap….clack clack…. frack frack

I scour the wall of missing people.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

 

First line taken from For the Fallen- by Laurence Binyon. Last line taken from “Leaving time” Jodi Picoult. For Bridging the Gap at d’Verse.

 

Five minutes later…

It was a monstrous mistake

The earth mover mounted the middle barriers and mowed down the Nissan Micra

Five minutes later and all would have ended well.

Instead her bloodied hands on the steering wheel, airbags inflated windscreen broken

Laughter lost amidst the debris of a terrible double tragedy.

 

Can I buy you a drink you look like you need one

She laughed nervously as he set the glass in front of her,

His needs left her glassy eyed and lost at sea

Five minutes later and it would have been someone else at the bar, someone else he would have warmed his hands on

Her soul would have been free.

 

© Alison Jean Hankinson

 

 

 

 

 

Manchester-moments and musings on the Lancashire cotton mills and the cotton famine. 1862.

These red bricks, these tall chimneys,

Coloured by their blood, shaped by the hands of their children

Carried on their rugged shoulders and working class calves.

We don’t look up enough, we don’t marvel at what they gave us.

These edifices echo with their pain and suffering

Voices of our forefathers, sinewed souls of our ancestors

They built their empires in cotton and coal so that we could enjoy

The fruits of their labours and be forever known as the workshop of the world.

 

Salford, Stalybridge, Manchester, Blackburn, Wigan-working that weft

Darwen, Accrington, Chorley, Preston, winding that bobbin up.

And the roll call falters, unemployment, hunger, desperation, and impoverishment

They stood together arm in arm, hand in hand, through protest and starvation,

To demonstrate their love and pride for another brother in another place.

We should stand tall for we stand on the shoulders of giants

They gave us humility, compassion, work ethic and pride.

True northern spirit and true northern soul.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

Featured image from the public domain labelled for reuse. Horrockses Cotton Mill Preston.

Other images are my own.

This journey into the cotton famine was a soulful journey and I am very proud of the stance taken by the Lancashire millworkers and the sacrifices they made. We were encouraged to look at soul for poetics at d’Verse. 

I have edited this and made some changes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Witches brew, Lancaster Castle

 

Castle cauldron boiling

Old Chattox caterwauling

Deep in dungeon desperate days

Witches wasting away.

 

John Law was cursed and died

Whilst on the open road

His crime to scorn Alison Device

And her familiar spirit dog.

 

Chattox turned the milk sour

Confessed to killing Robert Nutter

All ten witches tried at the assize

In the court at the castle of Lancaster

 

Witches sabbat

Malkin tower

Death by hanging

We remember forever.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

This was for d’Verse we were asked to use verbs and a landscape that spoke to us. Today I was at Lancaster castle meeting up with a friend who is visiting from NZ. This castle is an important part of Lancaster’s landscape and has existed in some shape and form for more than 1000 years. It is the home of the assizes and courts and is part of the Royal Duchy of Lancaster. One of the most famous trials was that of the Pendle witches in 1612, where 10 were found guilty and hanged. The stone was part of a series commissioned on the 400th anniversary to commemorate the witches story. There is a tercet on each stone and they are located around the city.

At the trial the evidence of Jennet Device who was only 9 years old, is believed to have set the precedent for using children as witnesses in witch trials and this was to have an impact as far afield as Salem.