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.

Perhaps we are grieving…

Some days it is harder to find the buoyancy, it is if we have all been stopped dead in our tracks. I wonder if it is because we are grieving, we are all grieving and in truth most of us know that at this point in time it is impossible to identify exactly what we are grieving for, but we all know that whatever is gained something has been lost.

Solitude and isolation, they are two very different experiences. I am adept at solitude, and to be honest on the whole I find it pleasurable, I can occupy myself with so many endless tasks and activities that are meaningful when I am alone and it doesn’t detract from the experience-but isolation isn’t solitude.

Isolation is more than being alone. Isolation is being removed. Being removed from society. Being removed from the social activities that are normally just the mundane mecahnics of modern life. The bus journey from the park and ride. It is a shared moment or activity with others, people who actually have no connection or meaning to your own life other than to share that 5 minute rattle and ride before another dreary day at the office.

We took so much for granted and now we find we are grieving for the mediocrity of our lives, the cup of coffee at the train station cafe, alone but yet with others, all equally alone. Such solitude was bliss, people watching, relishing the froth and hum of the social lives being played out and paraded alongside ours.

The gossip, the whisper, the other lives passing us by that reminded us that we were not one but part of a whole. All those other people. Now we are insular, we walk by on the other side of the road, we try not to raise our head or speak. We avoid the smell of another’s cologne or the hesitant brush of a human hand across our shoulder.

We grieve for our loss. We long to be in a crowded room, aroma of roasting coffee, sweet sound of idle chatter, music playing in the background, a smile across the room as eyes meet and for a fleeting moment share the understanding of what lies between them. We grieve for real human connection.

©Alison Jean Hankinson

The Last Winter recedes…

We walked to heal our hearts and minds. The wind cut through like glass but the sunset set the ripples alight on the water. It was spring and a time of birth and regeneration. New life blossoming all around. But we walked with heavy eyes.

We walk often, it gives us chance to talk, or not as the moment requires. We walk to fill our souls with the soothing spectacle of the distant mountains and listen to the gentle lap-lap and let it wash over us. We are losing a loved one who is between the autumn and winter of his life and the knowledge that he is slipping away is becoming more than a whisper on the wind.

Spring blossoms slowly

Sunset cuts through the anguish

Life melts like glacier.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

This is for d’Verse.

Man in the doorway…

Deadbeat

Bereft- bile rising on a tide of crimson tears

Soul surrendered.

 

Forget the humdrum faces of the faithful

Languish in the liminality of loss that lengthens the hours of every day since.

Bury your head. Bury your heart.

 

That which hath gone and cannot be gathered

For the past is passed, and whilst not to be forgotten cannot pulse again with life

Dust beckons.

 

Hooded, labelled, lost on the fringe

Of a world that ceased to care, no compassion.

Deadbeat.

 

© Alison Jean Hankinson

This isn’t my usual style and it is a poem for the man in the doorway many months ago, perhaps it is his back-story. It is for Napowrimo day 13.

This is for open link night with d’Verse.

A mother on raising sons.

My first was stillborn,

My cries carried across the fields on the cusp of a winter storm

The snow lay thick on the ground,

I lay like a mewling ewe and cradled her in my arms

Before the long walk home.

 

There were others, each swelling of my belly a signal of his pervasive masculinity.

Three brothers followed by a changeling child and so we were cast aside forced to live as outcasts

I moved boulders and stones and tilled the soil, back-breaking into the dead of night

A bairn on my back and another one snug as a bug deep inside.

He couldn’t feel my pain.

 

One by one they all moved on, they wearied at our laborious life

They found themselves new families and took themselves a wife

And I was left behind, old hag with sagging breasts

No milk to nursefeed bairns on winter nights

No place for my wearied bones to rest.

 

© Alison Jean Hankinson

This is for imaginary garden with real toads where we were invited to write in the voice of another.

Love you to Timbuktu and back…

My mind has gone to Timbuktu

I’d like to meet it there

It may be buried amongst some books

In a scholarly “libraire”.

 

I used to know the names of towns

And fun places by the sea

But now I can’t remember where

Or what I have eaten for my tea.

 

I think it is still a novelty

To see you sitting here with me

Your face is strangely familiar

Your love and kindness plain to see.

 

You take my hand with tenderness and press it firm against your face

Somewhere my memory stirs anew and I remember your embrace.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

According to the WHO globally there are about 47 million people who have dementia, with about 9.9 million new cases each year.

This is going to be my contribution to open link night for d’Verse. With love.

Towards Troubled Waters.

 

When I was loved by you I knew who I was

When I was loved by you the sun shone daily

And I could feel the warmth on my face

And there was a seductive security in your firm embrace.

 

When I was loved by you I could rest a while

When I was loved by you I could close my eyes

And hear your gentle breath through my restless slumber

In my turbid life you were my shelter and human anchor.

 

Now I am lost at sea, tossed and torn on turbulent tides

And you have left me for the love of another

Eyes wide open and sleep eludes me now.

 

Whose pillow will support my weary head

As I sail away from the safe shelter of your love

I stow the anchor slowly as the windlass grinds to a halt.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson.

This was written for d’Verse where Bjorn challenged us to write an Italian sonnet. I have no idea if this lives up to what I understood of the form but I did give it a go. The image was from Wikimedia and labeled for reuse.

carl_bille_-_et_skib_pc3a5_et_stormfuldt_hav

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you going away with no word of farewell?

 

Mother

Died suddenly

Bereft beyond belief

I mourn her untimely passing

Tears shed

 

Still night

Stars beguile me with their beauty

My heartfelt loss immense

Grief engulfs me

Silence.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

This is for d’Verse poetics. It is a reverse cinquain? My song choice was Tom Paxton. “The last thing on my mind”.

Tom Paxton

It’s a lesson too late for the learning
Made of sand, made of sand

It will soon be the anniversary, she passed away in 2008, suddenly without saying goodbye, she was 64, and I was on the other side of the world and didn’t even get home for the funeral. We all feel it still. She was my mum.

 

Beyond the shadows.

Maternal misgivings

Miscarriage numbs

Shades of silence separate us

Sorrow prevails

Suspended in shadows

 

Marriage meltdown

In grief defeated.

Barren and bewildered

Love lies

Dormant in the dust.

 

Test-tube babies

Twin harbingers of joy

Anchored in re-kindled love

Sunshine streams through

The clouds

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

This is for d’Verse where we were asked to use the word “shade”.