thoughts on the coming new year


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I believe
is always
teaching us
miraculous things
about ourselves

in our path
for more growth

The Year of 2016
will always be
My Year of Loss

and learning

letting go
myself to grieve
for all
I had been
and all
that had been
taken away

the pain of loss
while accepting
loss and grieving
as an integral
part of life

to resist
to fight
to push
against it

to attempt
to escape
it all

the pain

I don’t know
what this
next year
will bring

I don’t make
for the new year

I mostly
just hope
I end each year
having learned
the joy in just
being me


This new year
is different

I can already
feel it’s difference
just coming
over the horizon

on this
last day
My Year of Loss
I find myself
for more courage
more grace
under pressure

And the gift
of healing

for myself

for everyone


Briançon, Hautes-Alpes, France

Briançon, Hautes-Alpes, France ~ photography by me, Robin Dalton September 2004

Things That Will Happen After You’ve Left Your Abuser

I never I thought I would ever need to read something like this. I was wrong. It helps. I hope it helps you.

The Ochre Muse

You’ll tell yourself that the pain will stop when the scars have healed because you’ll think that abuse ends with the relationship. You’ll be wrong. Months after you’ve had the stitches to your psyche pulled out, your abuser will still be blaming you for every wrong others have committed against her since you left.

You’ll change your number.

“True friends won’t believe the smear campaign,” they’ll tell you, but then you’ll realise that you don’t live in a pop psychology book. Friends will drop away, believing the lies not because they seem true, but because you’re still spun out on emotional anarchy while she remains as stable as a nucleus in the middle of its own chaos.

(Continued below)


She will still have her health. She will still have her quality of life. She will still have her income. You will have none of those things, and your fury over…

View original post 352 more words


This is so relevant to my life right now. Just in case it is to your’s also, I didn’t want you to miss it. The Ochre Muse has done such a wonderful job with this post. She is a wonderful writer. You’ll like her other posts too.

The Ochre Muse

In my favourite film, a planet called Melancholia is about to collide with earth. Like depression, it arrives silently, almost exquisitely. At first, the only indication that a strike is imminent is the thinning of the atmosphere. Melancholia steals the earth’s air, and fighting against the shortage is what makes it feel intolerable.

“This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper.” T.S. Elliot

Depression doesn’t arrive with a bang, but a whimper, one millimetre at a time. You only notice its presence has become catastrophic when it’s about to collide with and obliterate your reality. One moment, you’re eating one less meal daily. The next, everything tastes like charcoal. One minute, colours are only a shade dimmer. The next, the entire world is bathed in chalk. Depression coats everything in thick grey dust.

View original post 296 more words

The Sound of Church Bells In the Distance


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I live in England
So I live near

All kinds
of churches
Old Anglo Saxon

Methodist churches
which they call Chapel
over here

Newer C of E churches
and even one
Catholic Church

The Catholic Churches
are all newer builds
because Henry VIII
and the dissolution
of the monasteries
and churches

My local Catholic
church looks like a
seventies Methodist
church, a place
where my Girl Scout
troop would meet
It always seems a bit sad
To this American Ex-pat

My favourite church
is St James the Less
It’s an old
Anglo Saxon church
and a short walk
from my front door
Sometimes Dixie, the dog,
and I walk up there
and wander
around the hush
of an old
English church yard

I have developed
the habit of sitting
in my dark garden
as my roses die off
but even in the dark
I can feel
my lavender
reach out to me

In the afternoon
Two bumblebees
Work assiduously
At pollinating
her flowers
It makes me
smile to know
at least two bees
are still left,
still return
to my garden

But at night
it’s just me
and her, my lavender
and my goldfish
at the bottom
of my too large
fish pond sleeping

And pots of red
and purple
and I even have
one red miniature
rose in a pot
from last year
before I tried
to make Georgia
my home
but failed
like so many
other dreams
I couldn’t make
come true

The miniature rose
surprised me
I can never keep
those alive

They usually
become the food
of the ever prevalent
green fly

If I time it right
and manage
to be out here
at midnight
I can hear
church bells ring

It’s a lonely sound
even if it
makes me feel
a bit less lonely

I never know which
Church is ringing them
But I like to believe
It’s my old
Anglo Saxon church
Because she’s
my favourite,
the stuff of dreams

I like their constancy
One day I hope I will
be thought by someone
as constant
but that is not this day

Still I drink their sound in
and think about the magic
of osmosis
and my lavender
and my fading roses
and my sleeping fish
and my red geraniums

If the moonlight is right
they are still bright red
even in the night

I like to think the church bells
and all the parts
of my dark garden
are parts of me

And that one day
their magic will whisper
sweet, secret incantations
into the night air
and the moonlight
will be just right
and I will be made
whole again

So now
every time I hear
my church bells
ring in the distance
at midnight,
the witching hour,
I think of them
as a promise or
a dream that just
might come true



Anglo Saxon Church, West Sussex, England


The Girl Bound by the Sea


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She was always easy to locate. Her movements were too regular. It put her in danger.

Coffee from the tiny coffee shop on the corner every morning, a block from the sea where she spent hours staring into the waves. She always had a camera with her but she had stopped taking photographs several weeks ago. She just held it in her cold hands while she stared at nothing but the huge expanse of water in front of her.

The sea was wild today and the wind cold and brutal but she stood still as a statue except for her hair. Curls as wild as the sea were whipped around her head by the wind. At times the wind would slow, like it was taking a deep breath before another onslaught, and her hair would fall slowly back onto her shoulders, as if by magic.

Some days she wore a long dress and her skirts would get entangled in her legs, revealing short black boots with tiny laces. On those days he wondered if she was even real, or merely a forgotten shade from another era.

Sometimes her lips moved, spoke words without sound, magical incantations, he imagined, but they never smiled, not even when a friendly passerby murmured a good morning. She would stop to study their face, trying to gauge whether they were a threat or not, sometimes return their good morning in a voice so low, it could barely be heard but mostly she just nodded her head politely and looked away.

He heard her voice once when she didn’t know he was there behind her. She was reciting an unfamiliar poem to a Raven who stood nearby watching her. He was surprised by the soft melodic sound, almost like birdsong, he thought. The memory still haunted him.

He tried to talk to her once, just casual inane chatter, too inane for someone like him with a reputation as a heartless charmer and a reprobate with a gift for words. She watched his face while he spoke. Her eyes were huge but the light had gone out of them a long time ago. He thought she must have been beautiful once. When he stopped talking, she turned, clutching her camera tightly to her chest and walked away with sure, even steps. He didn’t try to talk to her again.

He watched her though, everyday. On his more fanciful days he thought she was the kind of woman he could love, would want to protect from the evils of the world except he was sure the evils of the world had already visited her and took her heart with them when they left.

When he was honest with himself, he knew he was merely another one of those evils. When he was honest with himself he knew if he had half a chance he would capture this sad little bird and keep her for himself, bound to his need just as surely as she was bound to this sea, just as he had done with all his women.

However, he had turned them lose when he became bored and he knew he had left them broken, seeking something they didn’t have a name for, ghosts of their former selves.

He didn’t want that for this one. If she had any heart left to break, he didn’t want to be the one to break it.

But he wanted her. Oh, God, how he wanted her.

She would be easy to abduct.

Unfortunately something about her awakened his conscience. He could abduct her, would abduct her, but only once he was sure he could love her forever, keep her forever, and make her love him, at least a little.

But that time was not now.

So he watched his little bird from the shadows, slowly losing his heart to her and that wild sea which kept her bound and enthralled and heartbroken.


This is About Trees

I have been thinking
About the last
twelve months of my life

I could write about
the trauma
or the night of the assault
or that other night
of the almost assault
or the disappointment
or even the ever present
or the recurring
states of transition
or the pain

Or the hopes
and dreams
and fantasies
and failures
and losses

But really
It’s the Trees

They have been
my constant
throughout my journey

And they have been
my best friends

So this is about Trees

Trees of England
Trees of Georgia
Even the trees
of New Orleans
And especially
The Black Hills
of the Dakotas
that taught me
And that sometimes
even the mighty fall

And now I am
by the the tall pines
of British Columbia

I can feel them
watching over me,
on this,
the last leg
of my too long journey

And even though
I have been
by events
out of my control
they share
their strength with me
whisper to me
in the cold night air
make me believe
that I just might
make it
on my strength

I am not strong
But I am
by the strong
and just maybe
that is enough


The Trees of British Columbia


I have lost my voice

Oh, I can write about my feelings

But the gift
Of conversation
Seems to have deserted me

I find myself sinking
Into silence
And liking it there

There was a time
When he said
He liked that about us

He liked that we could sit
On the sofa next to each other
In complete silence
For long periods of time
And find comfort in it

And some nights
After long days
His head would fall back
And he would fall asleep
And I found comfort
In that also

But those days are gone
It’s just me now
Looking for comfort
In my own silence

Letting Love Find You


Love catches you by surprise
And sometimes
It grows into something
Brighter and larger
Than the sun

Glory in that
Remember that

Rears its fearsome head

And even though
That love will probably
Never die

Just sometimes

It has to be set aside

But those memories
Those nights of kisses
You thought could never
Possibly end


Never stop
Letting love
Catch you by surprise


Nothing Will Ever Be Okay

When I was a very little girl
Nine, ten, maybe
My mother
Would come home from work
Kick her stilettos off
I think they made her feel taller
Made her feel stronger
Like the cruelty of the world
Had not already defeated her

She would collapse on our
Hard hand me down sofa
And cry for hours
I would wrap my tiny little arms
Tightly around her neck
And hold on to the storm
That was my mother
That broken woman who nurtured me
Into the woman I am now

I would whisper,
“Shhh. It’s going to be okay.”
And she would hold on tight
To the little girl that believed
In a God that would make
Everything okay

Now I’m an old woman
Who refuses to wear stilettos
Who knows she’s not tall
Or strong
Who knows God very rarely
Makes everything okay

It’s morning now
And I have not slept
In England the blackbirds would be singing

I can hear a song in my head
The Verve
“Now the drugs don’t work
They just make it worse”


The klonopin bottle beckons
And I want to take enough to sleep
Through tomorrow
And the next today too

And forget
That nothing will ever
Be okay again

On the Season of Lent


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Forty days and forty nights.
As I battle my own demons
I wonder,
not for the first time,
how He did it,
how he managed
to crawl out of the desert
with his soul and heart intact.

I’ve lost track of the days.
I don’t where we are
in this dark Lenten season.
I can’t remember
when Easter comes.
Rebirth seems too far away,
or maybe it won’t even happen.
The days are too dark
and the nights too sleepless.

Someone I love is battling demons
I can’t even imagine
while my Dark Night of the Soul
seems endless.

I pray to a God
I could swear
has stopped listening
and when I can’t pray anymore,
I find my lips mouthing
His prayer unconsciously…

Our Father
Who art in Heaven

Deliver me
Deliver us all

4 March 2016, Athens, Georgia


Anglo Saxon church of St James the Less, Lancing, West Sussex, England by me