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.

In these moments where we live and breathe.

It has been a complex year and all I know is that many of you out there will have faced your own tough challenges, some that have been overcome with grit and determination and others that have almost broken you with the weight and depth of their difficulty.

There were days this year where I genuinely thought that there would be no resolution, that the interminable darkness and despair would swallow me whole, that my worthiness had been buried never to resurface under some massive cumbersome rock that could not be shifted.

I learned that it is important to feel wanted and needed and worthy and that for me these things come from the work that I do and the relationships I build with the people around me.

I learned that I need to feel connected and secure and that for me comes from having a home and a place to be in the world.

I learned that heartache and heartbreak are cruel masters that spare no-one and that all around me there are people whose stories would make my own look like a walk in the park, that we all need kindness and compassion. That a smile and a hug are the simplest gifts that can give someone a brighter moment in their darkened day.

I learned that many of us fear death, and that at the end it is not dignity that matters but the holding of the hand, the soothing of the brow, and just knowing that someone sits beside you.

It is this moment that matters, not the money, or the glamour, or the furnishings, the shadow of our former life or the lure of future success, but this very moment.

It is the simplest action of human understanding that matters, listening carefully to those around us, sharing their journey holding their hand as well as hoping they will hold ours, not the politics, the rhetoric, the arrogance of selfishness but the humility that is born from suffering, enduring and surviving.

I learned that it is important to be kind and compassionate to oneself and that every moment is a taonga to be treasured.

Namaste as the year draws to a close.

May there be moments of peace in our life.

© Alison Jean Hankinson

Give with a glad heart…

I watched a film this weekend that has left an indelible imprint on my mind. I wept in places as I watched and the story made my heart and soul bleed, partly because of the kindness demonstrated by the one character for the other but also partly for the complete lack of humanity and kindness shown by others in the same instance. The film was called I Daniel Blake.

I cried because of the injustice, I cried because I had felt those things this year too, I cried for the mother’s love of her children and for how she had gone without to ensure her children were well. I cried for the kindness of the old man for helping the family despite his own hardship and loss. I cried mostly for a society that seems to have forgotten how important kindness is. I cried because in my desperate hours of need I have been given kindess. I cried because even in my own desperate hours of need, my needs will have been far less significant than the needs of many others who probably also needed kindness.

Give with a glad heart.

Expect nothing in return

Kindness warms, ice melts.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

This is for d’Verse Haibun monday. The birds are just because….I feed the birds…all birds…big ones, little ones, brown ones, white ones….The seagull on the roof has a gammy leg…he still survives…

 

Let’s be clear on why we’re here.

IMG_2089

To love unconditionally

To pass the tests

Of time

To be humble

To walk in awe

Of nature

 

To be kind to others

To share our wealth

Whatever that may be-

Humour, love, strength, patience

Words of wisdom

To listen carefully.

 

To be brave

To walk forward into battle

With a steadfast heart

And rising mettle

Knowing that win or lose

We wagered.

 

 

To be wise

Keep calm and peaceful

In the storms that rage inside

And know that tomorrow the skies will clear

And beyond the misty gloom

The rainbows will reappear.

 

Kia Kaha- to be strong

To guard our children fiercely

And cry real tears of sorrow

For all the mothers who have lost their children

And know that every day is long

For someone.

 

Alison Jean Hankinson

For d’Verse poetics, again written this weekend- I was clearly in need of some chicken soup for the soul. I would hope that this is an optimistic poem and a reminder that we are humble and to be cognisant of the battles we are all fighting underneath the surface.

With love.

 

 

 

 

 

Kindness

Fever 104

Death knocking at the door

And she gave the gift of kindness.

Caressed my burning brow

Spoke with soft and soothing tones

Let me know I was not alone.

 

Alison Jean Hankinson

January 2011 and I was extremely ill and with fever, there was this wonderful nurse who throughout the Saturday night as doctors came and went, cared for me, she put wet flannels on my head, and came every 10 minutes to let me know I was not alone, it was the middle of the night and all my family were gone and her kindness will always stay with me. It was at that point in my life that I think I really understood that the kindness of a friend or stranger is always one of the most bountiful and unexpected gifts.

The photo is from St Ann’s Square in Manchester today, I was struck again by this word. It will always have more power than hatred. A tribute to the nurse that cared for me and the people of Manchester.IMG_2244

 

The challenge tonight as d’Verse was to write about a gift.

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

 

http://dversepoets.com/?tag=dverse-open-link-night

Recipe for a meaningful life

Be humble

Recognise that whilst we walk similar paths we all stumble

Be kind

Recognise that in moments of despair it is the hand that we hold

that makes us blind

To the pain.

Be giving

Recognise that it is our contribution to living

That ultimately counts.

Be brave

Have courage to stand tall and speak truths

and lift up the spirit and soul

of  young and old

Leave silent footprints

That others may follow

In their own time and at their own pace

Be mindful

Recognise and respect each moment for what it is

It is your live to be lived

Make it meaningful and worthwhile.

 

This is for d’verse  Poetics recipes

http://wp.me/p1GTyJ-3Ba

Alison Jean Hankinson