Cold winds, brooding sombre sky
Morning Coffee outside
White plum blossoms drift like snow flakes
As I take my small instrument and play
Moody weather music…..
And I held within its spell, listen
As the wind tells me
Stories of the day.

MA ©️ 16th September, 2014


“You’re mine, mo duinne,” he said softly, pressing himself into my depths.
“Mine, alone, now and forever.
Mine, whether ye will it or no.”
I pulled against his grip and sucked in my breath with a faint “ah” as he pressed even deeper.
“Aye, I mean to use ye hard, my Sassenach,” he whispered.
“I want to own you, to possess you, body and soul.”
I struggled slightly and he pressed me down, hammering me, a solid, inexorable pounding that reached my womb with each stroke.
“I mean to make ye call me “”Master””, Sassenach”
His soft voice was a threat of revenge for the agonies of the last minutes.
“I mean to make you mine.”

The Reckoning
Page 444
Diana Gabaldon

Anyone reading this excerpt without knowing the whole story, without having read my other writings, could understandably be appalled….for it is so easy to misinterpret what Diana is offering us, in the above. For what has gone before (in the Book version of the Reckoning), to bring Jamie and Claire to this passionate scene. For my response to those two simple words, “You’re mine.” “YOU’RE MINE.”

I wonder how many other women crave to be claimed in such a way.
Claire is Jamie’s equal in all ways, except strength…..there is so much power in those words. He has already vowed he will protect her with his body, so she knows when she is with him, she is safe. But she will never be as physically strong as Jamie….why would she wish to be?

Something happened to us all, men and women during the “sexual revolution,” so much of it good and necessary…..but so….much…..lost.
Roles reversed, Men became unsure of their roles within marriage, within the family…..and many woman began to emulate men, losing their vital femininity along the way.
Many men were completely emasculated by the sexual politics of the time.
From my observations, we haven’t recovered from those years, yet.
For a man to say “You’re mine”, could be interpreted as a form of intimidation and abuse in our society.

Yet Claire owns Jamie, equally.

When she playfully says “Yes, Master” he understands her love for him, her need, desire to be possessed completely, and moments later, he whispers to her, “It seems I canna possess your soul, without losing my own.”

Those words have a very strong effect on me….I long to have a man who is strong enough, confident enough of himself to say, “You’re mine.” Otherwise what are we, after all…..anybody’s?
To be claimed by someone you love and desire, in this deep visceral way, has tremendous attraction to me.


So much lost in the battle for equality….and we will NEVER be equal, because men are by nature, the stronger sex. And when Claire is kidnapped and brutally beaten and raped, Jamie’s words, “KILL THEM ALL.” (my final photo), is his way of showing she is now safe….the slow journey to healing and recovery begins from these words, and leading her around the clearing, showing her, “See, they are ALL dead.”

We need honourable, courteous Gentlemen in our lives, but let’s not kill off the necessary savage that lies at the heart of many men. Soldiers, Hunters, Warriors…..we need that true original part of all men to live again, to own us as we own them, but to give us their protection.

Those blessed words, “You’re mine” pierce me to my core, with longing.
“Where are the men of old, did they all fade away as women tore their bras off and burned them. Things had to change, but the pendulum swung too much the other way.”

The Warrior/Hero is what all strong women crave.

Say those words to me.
“you’re mine,” and so it will be.


Here is the power and magic of this Story….two equals, who acknowledge both their strengths and their weaknesses…..and support each other.

MargaretArlen ©️.
Summer, Central Victoria, Australia 2019

Photo belongs to STARZ

The Frasers

He stands behind her
Guarding her back
There’s both softness
Strength and a steadfastness
In his beautiful face
In the way he faces the world
Whatever is coming
He’ll be ready, he always has been
Hasn’t he….

And she, she has that same strength
In her femininity
Her beautiful face hides her ruthless courage
Sharp as a blade when needed
For both healing and protection
He for her
And she for him
Mirrors of each other’s iron will
And whether in the bedroom
Or the battlefield
Soulmates still
In flesh, in blood, in bone.

Nothing can part these lovers
Not even death
They are invincible, as one
Guarding each other’s back
Bringing each other home.

MA©️ The Frasers
On #Fraser Friday


He was rain soaked
Blood smeared
And wounded
When we dismounted…..
The chill air came down
Engulfing me
For we had been riding
Through long nights and days
I had already become used to the ways
Of him
His voice, his smell
The heat of him….
And lowered my eyes
That he might not see
My wanting him.

For despite the strangeness
Of this time and place
I could hardly bear to feel the space
That now separated me from him…..

He was rain soaked
Blood smeared
And wounded…..
And I could barely wait
To lay my healing hands on him
To walk through that grim Castle door
And feel once more
The heat of him.

MargaretArlen ©️
For Jamie and Claire




Everybody loved him
Claire, the heart and soul of him
Knew him for who he was
Needed to be

A bloody man
A warrior born and bred
But at home, at rest
He was kindness itself
Husband, Father, Chieftain
Provider, Protector

But to the children
Who he sat upon his knee
He was simply “Granda”
As he told them stories
Wiped away their tears
As they vied for his attention
As they plaited his hair

As he lifted one upon his shoulders
Held the smallest girl’s hand
“Oh aye”, he said
To each of them
Crowding all around him
Handing each a sweet
Teaching them to swim
To hunt
To fish

Then looking up
He sees Claire watching
From her Surgery window
Lovelight in her eyes
Her secret smile
Feels himself quicken
Still burns for her
A sudden need…..
Returns the smile….with interest

“Oh aye”, he says again
“Now off wi’ ye and play
Yer Grannie needs me”
They turn, running, tumbling, squabbling
But he hears nothing
But her soft, steady breathing
As she reaches up
Removes the spectacles from his tousled auburn head
Takes him by the hand
And leads him to their bed.


MargaretArlen ©️

Summer, Central Victoria, Australia 2019



The Fox’s Lair, Je Suis Prest, and Prestonpans

Let me say this, first and foremost…..over the entire five seasons of Outlander, we have seen many changes in both Claire and James Fraser, but Sam Heughan’s embodiment of Jamie, in these three episodes in particular, left me weak, wet and wanting.
I was responding in a purely visceral way to a force of such powerful masculinity, the film critic in me was shoved brutally aside, along with the straggling farmers, cotters, misfits and miscreants. There was enough active grey matter still ticking over, paying attention to the story, but particularly during the field training and then the preparations and battle at Prestonpans, I was eager to lay down my body for the cause.
His proud stance, looking back over his shoulder as he lays down the law to his Uncle Dougal…..My Artist’s eye traces the curve of muscled back, and buttock, the easy swing of kilt, that commanders voice, deep down in his belly….he watches, struts, bellows commands……the morning light shines upon his hair, flaming red windblown curls around his shoulders. The Gaelic war chant, as they march, turn, march and turn again….as Murtagh roars, as Jamie whispers words as soft as silk, coaxing the men to laughter, then turns it all around, putting the fear of god , death and James Fraser, into them. He is the epitome of every breathing woman’s dream…..fiercely beautiful, a living monument to nature’s gift….testosterone.

“There’s only two things they do with it”, Claire says to Brianna later in the story, “and one of them is to try to kill each other”, ….”and the other?” We gazed at each other with perfect understanding, “I’ll take care of your father, but Roger is up to you.”

And so amid the the eerie whining of the pipes, beat of drum and clash of metal, bodies formed in regimental blocks, marching….the deep baritone song of war, the thrust and lunge….there he stands, watching over them, correcting, commanding, challenging….terrifying his men to keep them safe…..reducing me, the observer, to my most primal female need….

I ache to be the one he reaches out for
At the closing of a long hard day
To give what needs giving when the blood lust is upon him
Open myself entirely to his need
Wrap arms and legs around, and rock him
Till the voice of war recedes, until he spills his seed
And lies, emptied of all the madness and ferocity
A man child letting go, safely held, who knows
In the hours while he sleeps, I will watch over him
Watch the grim lines slowly fade from face and brow
The corners of his mouth, relaxed, at peace
Long lashed eyes, closed…..too tired to dream of war
There’s nothing more he needs, as he lies heavily upon me
The Warrior man child held, I keep him safe, for these few hours
Until the battle pipes once more, summon him to fight
As the dawning sun creeps over hill and moor, to morning’s light.

Winter, Central Victoria, Australia 2020
(Claire’s words to Brianna, regarding testosterone, by Diana Gabaldon)

A Malcom

Two as one, now
After all the long lonely years
The heartache and sorrow
Their love renewed
In their marriage bed
And come tomorrow
Whatever fate throws in their way
They will stay together …..
For they are bound
By vows that held through time
And space
They are one, now
Held in grace.


The First Moment


I remember the first time I saw him, as though it was moments ago…..of all the people surrounding him in that work place, he stood out…..not only did he tower over the young boys who brought him to assist me… was so much more than that.

He had a presence about him, an energy, and an undeniable sexuality that made me instantly wary, because he was beautiful, not only In himself but his voice, the swift gracefulness of his movements, and his humour…..a man who laughed easily, who knew he was attractive to women. Silver blonde hair, loose upon his shoulders, lean, verging on thin, I found his presence disconcerting. He was at once, aloof and yet had an easy familiarity about him. We discussed the product I wanted, we discussed other possibilities….the way he spoke, moved, laughed, both encouraged and dismissed more familiarity. I left, unable to find what I needed, but my mind stayed back there in that small moment of intimacy…..

After that, I found myself looking for him, fighting the feeling, pushing it down, and failing utterly. In a matter of moments he had got right under my skin.

And as happens, there were coincidences where his car pulled up beside mine, as I arrived to do shopping…..Always holding back, I would smile, or return his greeting, my heart beating heavy in my chest, breath quickening.

He obviously had another job, as he worked in that place for a few brief hours, several days a week; so I tried to avoid him, or attempted to. But he was there, a seed sown in the deep recesses of my mind, and I found he was very aware of me, sensed my unspoken attraction to him, liked it, liked to feel my eyes on him. 

So, I turned away.

IN A HEARTBEAT…..a message from him…..

“I have a few free days, I’d like to see you….want to see you. Meet me by the lake, late afternoon. Will you come?”

“Yes”, simple as that.

She will go, and with palms outstretched, take what is offered.

Let this be clear, perfect, understanding….this, is what there is.


Driving down the road, her inner dialogue begins, and seeing it, hearing it clearly, speaks firmly.

“I will NOT compare myself with her….a young girl who looks as though

 she has just changed out of school uniform. I am absolutely NOT going there, or I will turn the car, head straight back home and shut the door on him, on all of it.”

But the door stands open and she will go, let herself accept what is.

Arriving, leaving her car parked by the tiny cabin, she walks towards the lake….. its still surface shimmering.

Sits down absorbing the peace.

Dragonflies hover in the late afternoon sun. A fish leaps then disappears leaving circles expanding. Masses of tiny birds swoop and dive over a stand of rushes, their voices a high excited peeping as they hunt clouds of insects, hatching. 

And then his hand is on her shoulder, a sudden heavy warmth….he must have walked in from the road, she heard no car.

He turns her to him, and quietly against her mouth, “Sorry, I am sorry,” kisses her, softly, then an arm around her shoulders, they sit in silence….adjusting themselves once more, one to the other, their breathing easing, slowing, as the light begins to fade, as shadows from the blue green trees throw patterns on the lake. Light and shade upon the water.

She wakes, deep in the night, still held in his arms.  Moonlight streams through the open door, a holy benediction. Reaches up, touching his face, the graceful sweep of eyelids, his thick closed lashes lending him a childlike innocence, bathed in light and shadow. Breathes deep the strong male smell of him, mixed with the sharp tang of their sex. He comes quickly awake , so close he can see the gold green colours of her iris, the pupils hugely dilated, and pulling her to him falls and falls deep into their colours as he enters her again, as she takes him deep, her hands cupping his buttocks, as they rock each other, slowly, still gazing one into the other, mouths tasting this shared blessing, rocking to a rhythm entirely their own…..bringing each other home until once more they fall asleep.

Morning comes, bright clear and icy cold.  Clothing themselves quickly, they go out to gather kindling, arms of chopped firewood, neatly stacked and sheltered from the weather.  Soft rain begins to fall, wetting their hair, their shoulders as they hurry inside, drop the wood by the stove, turn smiling, wiping droplets off each other’s faces.  An unspoken agreement to speak only of themselves, each other.  If he wishes to tell her about the girl, she will let him, but for now, cocooned in this early morning joyfulness, there is no one in the room but them.

And sitting at the table with thick brown toast, marmalade, fruit and good strong coffee, they speak of simple things, sharing good plain food and conversation, constantly touching.  She feels her pulse slow once more, as they  reach that point of peacefulness.  And the rain quickens, falls heavy on the small tin roofed cabin, a drumming heartbeat as he stands up, pulls her to him……”come back to bed”, he says.

The flames glow in the wood fire stove, and rekindled once more in them.

A thousand years of pain, of loneliness, of living, fall away…..she is once more a child, a girl, a young woman…..rebirthed in this narrow bed, her hands cradling  his head , gazing into infinity.



THIS IMAGE, THIS MOMENT in First Wife has stayed with me from the first viewing, and with each revisit, I am left with the same strong emotions.

AT ONE STAGE, further along in the story, Bree asks Claire what Jamie is….Laird, Chieftain, Warrior, Soldier…..does he know what he is? And her mother, busily pounding herbs for a tincture, says “Oh yes, your father knows. He is a Man…..and that is no small thing.”

This scene was written for Television….it isn’t in VOYAGER, and it’s one of those perfect additions that compliment Diana’s Story….in fact adds to it, in such a beautiful way.

HERE IS A MAN torn apart by conflict, with his second wife Laoghaire, and the love of his life, his heart and soul, Claire, his newly returned to him, First Wife.

We all know what has gone before these photos….the shock, anger, both blaming the other, rage, passion, betrayal and above all else, fear….fear and misunderstanding.
Jamie is SO afraid of losing Claire again, and yet, when wee Joanie cries out “Da”, “Ma”, her face contorted with anguish, Jamie walks away from Claire, and we see him here…..putting his fear aside, to tend to wee Joanie.

“Who’s that woman?” she asks of him, and he stands there, answering her.
“She’s my wife, my first wife Claire…. I thought she was dead, but by the grace of god, she returned to me.”
And wee Joanie, brilliantly portrayed by Layla Burns, lifts up her face to him, asking.
“Wha’ about Ma?” Those words, the sorrow on her face, pierced my heart.
And Jamie tells her, gently, patiently “Your mother and I didna have a bond, that keeps two people together.” And she says to him “And you do with this woman?”
“Aye”, he says, “I do.”

THIS IS WHAT MAKES A MAN…..this ability to put aside every raging emotion that burns in his gut, his terrible fear that his soul mate will leave him, and comfort this small child.
This child he read stories to, took fishing, embraced with love, as his own even though she was not his kin. And as he tells her to go find Marsali, he drops down onto the stairs,sitting for a moment, catching his breath. The little girl walks a few steps, then turning, flings herself into his arms, and he enfolds her against his big body, once more, comforting her.

AND THEN, ONLY THEN, does he return upstairs to Claire.

AN ACTOR HAS TO DIG DEEP, and this is to me what Sam Heughan is.
Yes, he’s acting, but drawing from the deepest core of who he is, this rare, lovely, big hearted human. It is my belief that you cannot Act with this level of emotional integrity unless it’s a natural part of who you are.

A MAN !!!

MargaretArlen ©️
Spring. Central Victoria Australia 2019

Photos belong to STARZ