Simple things

It was a simple gesture

………………….  As the sun rose the seedling grew

Nosed its way nonchalantly through the weeds.

…………….  Caressed by early summer sun,

Nourished by November rains.

 

With all its might it pushed through the merriment

Of opportunistic pumpkins and weary watermelons

And reached high for the sky,

……….  One leaf at a time,

stretching                sighing               saluting the sun.

 

It was a simple gesture

…………. It spoke of unfaltering love.

………………………… The sunflower smiled

…………   And reminded me that life is enriched

By the simple things.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson.

This is for d’Verse meeting at the bar, where we were asked to consider silence. This sunflower was in my garden in NZ, planted as a seed by my husband to cheer me up in  Spring/summer 2014 when I was unable to tend the garden following major surgery. I could see it from the bedroom window.

And the band played on…

 

English summers wouldn’t be the same

If families didn’t enjoy fun in the sun

Carnival queens and burger vans

Seaside singalongs and festival fun.

 

We went to the Morecambe Carnival

With bagpipes and drums on hand

The parade moved stately down the prom

To the sound of the big brass band.

 

Seagulls on standby to have a feast

Candyfloss and greasy chips on the ground

The Bay belting out across the stage

And fairground rides spinning teenagers around

 

Toploader took to the stage

Boogie-Storm boogied on down

Sandcastle competitions throughout the day

Magical show-stopping firework display at sundown.

 

English summers wouldn’t be the same

If families didn’t enjoy fun in the sun

Carnival queens and burger vans

Seaside singalongs and festival fun.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

So tonight it is Magic over at dVerse

My magic in this is a bit like Puff the magic dragon…

“Oh I do like to be beside the seaside…”

Yes I know I always have seagulls and chips…perhaps it is my signature…

 

 

 

 

Solway Firth Haibun

We drove north today to visit my dad, it is the start of the main school holiday and the traffic was less problematic than I had expected and we spent a glorious few hours up on the Solway Firth throwing sticks in the water for the dog and enjoying a lazy amble at High tide. The marsh was thronging with walkers fervently following in the footsteps of their forefathers along the route of Hadrian’s wall which separated Scotland from England in Roman times. It keeps this part of the Solway alive and buzzing in the summer months. The church where I got married is open to the public and there is a small kitchen and some supplies and an honesty box for weary travellers who stop by on their journey.

By late afternoon when we began our journey home the sun was beating down and it was much hotter and I longed for air-conditioning in my little Kia Rio. Along the motorway the traffic snaked its way south and even at the top of Shap it was quite clearly the height of summer, there was a constant train of caravans travelling northward to Scotland as we meandered our way down through Tebay. Blink and it will be gone and already in Whangarei NZ the magnolias are in bloom as they head towards spring. Time and tide stop for no man.

Wild roses blossom

Heat haze on the horizon

Swifts fly south to Spain.

©Alison Jean Hankinson

This is for Haibun monday at d’Verse. Where we were given the following directions:

Today is Free For All – meaning, you can choose your subject for the haibun. However there are still some rules: The haibun must be one to three tight paragraphs (2) Ended with a haiku (containing kigo and kireji words – season and cutting words) (3) Must be true (4) Must have actually happened to you.

Seaside sandcastles

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Isn’t summertime just grand

Children playing by the sea-shore

Building seaside castles in the sand

 

Poolside picnics we demand

Sand in sandwiches we deplore

Isn’t summertime just grand

 

Sun cream to give a safe tan

And stop our shoulders getting sore

Building seaside castles in the sand.

 

Sea breeze blows across the land

We can hear the ocean roar

Isn’t summertime just grand

 

Music mellow from the brass band

Across the pier soothing sounds soar

Building seaside castles in the sand

 

Collecting seashells and seaweed by hand

Decorating the creations we adore

Isn’t summertime just grand

Building seaside castles in the sand

 

Alison Jean Hankinson

For d’verse– an attempt at a villanelle…..

 

 

 

 

Is Urban Walking a Sport?

So this is my sport and I have had to invent it for me. For many reasons like lack of coordination and skill and other critical factors like health and well-being.  I have had to develop my own sport where I can compete against myself. I call it urban walking. I do it with dedicated regularity, attempt an element of speed and finesse and probably walk many kilometres over the course of the average week. The general aim is for about 45 minutes to an hour about 5 times a week and I try to find circular routes and make sure they have a measure of incline and a rewarding and bountiful view. I think it must be a common sport because when I am on the promenade I find many others doing the same thing but usually in sportier attire than I.

It is a rewarding sport, the view and vistas change with the weather and the seasons and pathway travelled. I have my favourite haunts and my own little challenges along the way, do we need windswept today or are we more content to smell the flowers. Often my husband joins me in my urban wanderings and then it is more competitive, he has a slightly longer stride than I and he is always on a mission to push and exert and add a little extra challenge, sometimes it is I that lead the challenge following a day of solo exploration and I will encourage us to take a new path to add to our familiar routes. Our favourites always take in the seashore where we feel exhilarated and catch our breath as the wind blows cold and howls around our ears, we ride through our daydreams on the wings of gliding seagulls.

 

Rocks awash with waves

On the shoreline seagulls soar

Sweeping summer storm,

 

Alison Jean Hankinson.

This is for d’Verse…haibun Monday… we were asked to share on Sport so it might be a long shot but can I count urban walking as a sport?

Childhood remembered

Childhood memory haibun for d’Verse- Haibun monday #28

Joanne and Alyson Abel had a goat. It lived on a messy piece of land adjoining their house which was probably actually their garden. Our garden was similar- a messy piece of land over a footbridge and formed part of a field. It never got mowed it wasn’t that kind of grass. I caught endless fish in a bucket using old stockings and coathangers and always put them back.

I lived and played outdoors in the summer and I don’t remember the rain, I borrowed other people’s distant sheds and turned them into “ganghuts” or dens in Doubledeckers style. I would track the rivers back to streams and back to source and wash stones in the summer sun. I ate gooseberries from the bushes near the Goyt (not it’s real name) which was a dammed swimming hole behind the school which all the children were forbidden to use- but we all did and no-one died, floating in inner tubes late into the day until we heard the din of the mothers cooking dinner and shouting for their off-spring.

Summer glow in heart

Friendships echo through the blue

Childhood re-kindled.

 

 

 

Images

Water School from the fields

Isle of Man Mill. Courtesy of Wikimedia- Photo by Robert Wade 2011. (My mum worked there as a seamstress)

Isle of Man Mill