My heart racing


Vibrating my eardrum

Will I make it through? 




What happened?

What caused it?

Should I inhale? Leave?!

Deep breathes

Calming thoughts


Breathing slows 

Thoughts increase

Fight, fight, fight

Fight thoughts. Fight him. Fight it. 

Lying down but body still erect

Emotions skip

To another body until it’s over 


© 2016 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.

My Plan Not My Purpose

The apartment is gravely positioned down a stretch of road littered with trash on both sides. On any given night it would not be safe to walk alone. Weeds overgrown with a wilderness that mimics the very people that lived there. The apartment buildings exhibit an exhausted appearance of a woman once pretty but now worn and ugly from the men that have run through and in her.

The stairwell that leads to an upstairs apartment is dark, damp, and dingy.

My plan not my purpose led me up the stairs to one of the darkest seasons of my life. At no specific time, the smell of burnt plastic would fill the air. I soon learned this was the smell of crack cocaine.

My plan to be independent led me to sleep on an old mattress laid on the scuffed wooden floor of an apartment void of life. No furniture. No family portraits. No groceries to fix and sit around the table. Some days no water. Other days no electricity.

All by choice not by force.

My plan.

Not my purpose.

Was taken me to nowhere.

To be continued…

© 2016 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.

Mist of the Rubble

Standing up in the mist of the rubble has proven difficult for most. Many of us have taken up refuge in the middle of the rough edges and broken pieces of friendships, marriages, communities, dreams, and success. We have been trapped in what seems like the bottom of a building collapsed by the instability of this ground that we now rest on.

Even though at one point we stood high and strong looking to the clouds and a universe of iridescent stars that represented all the things we dreamed of as kids; we sit with flickering thoughts of how do we stand up in the mist of the rubble that has become our life. The weight is too heavy to tackle on your own. As you only make up one piece of this heap of brokenness that surrounds you.

Looking close enough you can see the many intricate patterns that compromise each stone of your life. Color, texture, speckles, elevation, shape, mass…these are the differences that once held us upright. These are the people, the issues, the circumstances that if rebuilt at just the right angle will allow us to stand strong once again on top of a “building” once demolished by ignorance and inflexibility.

© 2016 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.

Living in the Wrong Paradise (part 3)

Today July 8th, I craved peace but peace did not come. My truth was filled with visions, feelings, and hopes that were as dark as the night on a back country road in the deepest woods of Georgia. This darkness that reminded me of the late night nightmares that haunted my spirit and soul could not be identified.

Was it the turmoil that spilled over into the streets of our nation?

Or was it the aches, pains, and weariness that is running through my bones?

My truth was spilling over the edge of time running into my crystal blue water. I sit still craving the one thing that this world does not understand.

Today, I am still living in the wrong paradise.

© 2016 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.

Can I Come Up…

Can I come up to the place that keeps you sane?

Where the wind blows all your cares away.

Where the freedom pushes you to soar in the universe of opportunities.

Where the clouds impersonate your long lost imaginary friends.

Where the beautiful blue sky takes you into a day dream filled with miracles that energizes all your senses.

Where the squirrels frolic freely without a sense of death.

Where the birds gaze down on the Earth walkers with sympathy.

Where my eyes and heart can see all the possibilities.

Where the world looks smaller than our problems.

-Climbing to the Treetop

© 2016 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.