The Ghost of Christmas Present…

Image by kalhh from Pixabay

The Ghost of Christmas Present

We really wanted Christmas to be special this year but could not possibly have foreseen what 2021 had in store for all of us.

For the first time ever, it feels right somehow that the year is slowly dying, slipping away unnoticed among all the chaos and misery.

We are feeling much the same way as the ghost of Christmas hovers in the doorway like an unwelcome guest, unsure, as we all are as to what will happen next.

2022 is just days away, a brand-new year.

A year we are beginning to think will be the same as the last.

This is normally the time when we start looking forward to a new year, convinced it will be the one to remember. Truth is, we are dreading it. Among so many other things, this year has shown us just how vulnerable we really are.

At the beginning of 2021, we were determined not to allow despair or depression in the door, and for a while, we managed to maintain a cheerful front. We carried on writing/blogging as usual but gradually over the months, we seem to have become so old, dare I say fragile?

This is how a total loss of control must feel.

I woke up this morning with the overwhelming desire to send all the misery, worry and complacency packing along with this dreadful year.

To rekindle the spark that will make us all feel alive again.

At first, we will probably have to ‘fake it until we make it’, push the envelope like crazy until life feels better.

We wish all of our friends and followers a wonderful New Year, a year full of promise and possibilities, and we will shortly be sending out the first of our 2022 newsletters, looking forward and planning a much better year…

The Sunday Whirl ~ Wordle 525 ~ #Poetry

The sky blushed a ring of scarlet light
Dusk had spread its mantle, the air damp
Fright night below, trick or treat
Played as in the past
A black velvet bat perched on the church roof
As the clock chimed midnight
The floor inside the nave red with blood
The local priest lay spread out
A ghoulish version of the bat above
Who, among the faithful disliked the sermon?
Who felt his sins exposed?
Who worried that Father John
Was about to break the confessional vow?
Who among the meek and mild
Had so much to hide?
Let the trial by whispers, the pointing fingers

© Anita Dawes 2021

An Unforgettable Book…


Simple’s life is a painful nightmare.
He is one huge bear of a man, but with the heart and mind of an innocent child. He suffers terrible abuse from his vicious and uncaring backwoods family.
Together with his half-sister Leanne, they are hunted like wild animals and suffer the terror of nearly being burned alive as they try to escape.
Will they ever discover the joy of freedom?

Excerpt from Simple…

Walking towards Gran, I could feel the blood draining from my body, trying to find some place to hide.  It felt as if it had all gathered in my feet, making each step I took the hardest thing I had ever done.

Gran got up from her rocker and I watched it continue to move, as if she had left some part of herself sitting in it.  She walked inside the cabin and waited for me. She had never done more than cuff me across the back of the head, but I figured I had to be in for more than that this time.  I was trying to think of the worst she could do.

It was cool inside the cabin.  Gran was sitting at the big wooden table grandpa had made.  She might as well have been the town judge, sitting behind the high bench.  She didn’t move or look at me as I sat opposite, waiting for judgement.  I knew better than speak first.  I couldn’t have, even if I wanted to, my mouth had dried up.  Gran finally spoke, her voice hard, as if she had eaten gravel.  ‘You’ve done a bad thing, Leanne. Taken our trust and pissed it in the wind.  Jimmy says he should be the one to punish you, says you had no right taking Simple anywhere near the Spiers. Reckon I should turn you over to him, save my words for someone who can hear them.’

I said, ‘I can hear real good,’ with more grit in my voice than I intended.

Gran fixed me with one of those looks that made me wish I could turn to stone. ‘Seems to me, young lady,  if your ears still work, then your brain’s gone soft like Simple’s. Fancy interfering in business that aint yours. You know right enough, he needs telling more times than the sun wakes us and then some. You want him took off for takin’ town young’uns?’

‘Course not, Gran.’  My voice came out as a whisper.

‘Simple was hurt real bad.  I couldn’t just leave him…’

Amazon Review

This is a story about some very tough and mean people somewhere in the backwoods and mountains of America. It is told from the perspective of a young girl whose mission in life is to protect her big, but simple-minded brother from harm. The story is compelling, frightening and sometimes brutal in the manner of the film Deliverance, but it is also a heart-warming story of loyalty, love and deep affection. It was not what I was expecting, but I’m glad I read it. It has an unforgettable quality about it and the characters are complex but convincing. It really is a great story and unputdownable.

The Sunday Whirl ~ Wordle 506 ~ #Poetry

People, follow the sign
back through history
Listen to the still voice
leading you through the drought
Keep note of the symbol
you have seen along the way
The week ahead will slide away
Too fast the end comes
Your rights have been assaulted
By an onslaught of other opinions
Let it be, don’t pour oil on fire…

© Anita Dawes 2021

The Listener

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

I answered a phone call.
I stood hearing words I should not.
The voice spoke with a mouthful of gravel,
Scraping against my eardrums
It’s done, they’re both dead.
I felt as if I had been dropped into a vat of starch.
My body stiffened; my hand glued to the receiver.
I now know the location of the buried bodies,
Not far from where I stand.
Whoever it was on the other end, hung up.
I was left listening to the buzzing sound of angry bees.
Words cannot describe the fear running through my veins…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Free Fall… #Poetry

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Too hot to sleep in bed, I drag my duvet to the garden

It feels cool beneath the stars

I watch, as shadows dance across the face of the moon

What or who they are I cannot tell

until they begin to free fall, growing larger,

the nearer to Earth they come

I stood with my duvet around my shoulders

Too fearful to move any further

I could see the dark forms of human shapes

Slowly gliding now, it seems with a purpose.

Knowing across the road stood the rooftops of my neighbours

As many shadows disappeared, while others floated on

I know two of my neighbours are about to give birth

Are they new souls, waiting for their first breath?

If so, what of the others that came along

Surely not simply for the ride?

I could watch for changes in the neighbours I speak to

Ultimately what could I do?

Tell them I watched shadows fall into their houses?

They would have me locked up.

I know I was awake and not dreaming, where could they go?

Two days later, Mr Thompson died.

Reminding myself he was old, my mind asked the question

Did I see the shadow of death, plus companions?

searching for souls to take, others to inhabit?

Now, whenever I see the two newest tiny neighbours

I remember the night

I watched dancing shadows cross the moon…

©anitadawes 2020