Stories by Sarah

The Mountain

High above the town, I greedily breathe the air.

Already, there is little trace of the path I’d forged. The disturbed foliage bouncing back into place, like a coiled spring.

I sit, slowly. The exertion of the ascent has made me lightheaded. I close my eyes and feel the cool stone beneath my legs and buttocks. Solid. Comforting. Constant.

It makes me remember him. Solid. Comforting. Constant. My mountain.

But not any longer.

His words.

My pledge. 

I uncap the ornate vessel that holds him now. I can feel his urgency to be free. The forest beckons. Its wintergreen fingers tickling the ether as I empty him into their grasp.

smile as his ashes fly away. Who says you can’t move mountains?

By Sarah ©2022

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #281

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Whispering Wind 

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Sunday Confessionals: Secrets

By Sarah

I’m not a lady who thinks
all that glitters is gold
So, I don’t believe
everything I’m told.

For I learnt long ago
Words have two meanings,
And you best be sure of
the way that they’re leaning.

We all seek heaven
For the here and the now
But sometimes we miss
The way, and the how.

When I look to the left
See my spirit is leaving,
I must change my path
Despite my heart grieving.

For though I wish to shine
only white light,
I know of my dreams.
I know of what might.

There are those who watch,
And those who do,
and the smoke screen is all
to distinguish the two.

None of us are innocent.
None of us are pure.
We each play our part,
of that I am sure.

And as my transgressions float
Across whispering wind,
They remind me of all
The ways…

View original post 59 more words

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

You Never

You never got to fully develop your little body.
But I can picture every detail of your perfectly formed features
As clearly as if you were before me.

You never got to wriggle and squirm in my belly.
But I can still feel you.
A hollowness inside that cannot be filled.

You never got to know my touch or arms holding you tight,
But I caress the memory of you with love,
Hugging my pillow at night, wishing it was you.

You never got to breathe and fill your tiny lungs.
But I take deep breaths to soothe the ache in my heart.
Sighing, for what should have been.

You never got to hear my voice or know me as your mother.
But I speak to you often and the person in the mirror
Wears traces of you, etched in the lines of her face and on the curve of her lips.

You never got to experience happiness, joy, or excitement.
But I lived there during the twelve weeks you were with me.
A brief interlude that was over before it could truly begin.

You never got to experience sadness, loss, or fear
But I know that if you had, I would have always
Picked you up, held you near, and comforted you.

You never got to see your potential fulfilled,
But I dream of the ‘what ifs’ and alternate realities
All the endless possibilities, never realised.

You never got to cry out loud or shed any tears,
But I have shed enough for two lifetimes.
Maybe more.

The scar upon my soul
Is the only proof I have
That you ever even existed.

You will forever be my baby,
Never a toddler, child, teenager, or adult.
The scale of injustice tips me over the edge sometimes.

But in the end, the balance is always maintained.
For everything you never did, I have done for you.
You are gone little one, but never, ever forgotten.

By Sarah ©2022

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Story Swap #2

Originally written November 24, 2012. The due date of my lost baby.
Scribblings by Sarah

Holiday Mass

‘T’would seem a most unlikely fiction. But most assuredly, the hotdog was to blame.

Occasional gurgles and disembodied squeals punctuated the cavernous space of the archaic church, as the bishop tried to cope (unsuccessfully) with his churning guts. He bravely continued to deliver his sermon, yet clearly lacked his trademark enthusiasm.

Beads of sweat trickled slowly down his forehead. He closed his eyes in reverence, aware of the scale of what was to come. This was the moment that myth, became reality.

It is said on that day, those in the pews bore witness to a most extraordinary holiday mass indeed.

By Sarah ©2022

Wordle #279

Other, Poetry by Sarah

Never Tell

Do you know, I keep secrets?
And sometimes I lie?
Paint myself in silhouette,
But I’m not sure why.

My shameful heart is burdened.
Don’t know what to do.
To stop myself from spilling
Things that just aren’t true.

Is it because I’m lonely?
Connected; yet lost?
Never knowing what to say,
No matter what the cost.

Awkward and uncomfortable,
I have that in spades.
Desperate to hide my flaws
Yet still, they pervade.

Living in the “ifs” and “whens”
Never now and here.
Slowly dying bit by bit,
Existing in this fear.

Drawing on your sympathy.
Victim card, I’ll play.
You’ll never know the real me
Despite what I say.

Take responsibility?
Nope. I’ll duck and hide.
Unrelenting perfection
My armour; my pride.

You’ll never really notice
The absolute despair
Expectations left wanting
Truly a bugbear.

Maybe I’m an enigma
You take what I sell.
Am I lying even now?
Guess.

I’ll never tell.

By Sarah ©2022

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Lucky Dip, 18 June 2022; and Photo Challenge #419

Other, Poetry by Sarah

Indifference

People; do you ever really know?
They disappoint you. So
Keep your expectations low.

When life throws you blow upon blow,
Their silence speaks volumes.
People; do you ever really know?

Indifference. Likes to burn slow.
A simmering glance, a drawn out sigh.
Keep your expectations low.

A strangled plant, it’s hard to grow,
When surrounded by weeds.
People; do you ever really know?

Actions mean more than what you crow,
Beware smiling assassins.
Keep your expectations low.

Guarded I’ll be, loathe to show,
My innermost thoughts lest
People; do you ever really
know?
Keep your expectations low.

By Sarah ©2022

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Lucky Dip, 23 April 2022

Scribblings by Sarah

Quacking Quackers

Last weekend, my husband and I were walking around the lovely, serene Lake Ginninderra in Canberra’s north. The lake, though man-made (to deal with excess stormwater around the area), is fed by nearby Ginninderra Creek.

The word “ginninderra” is derived from the local indigenous Ngunnawal word, meaning “sparkling” or “throwing little rays of light”. On most days, this is an exceptionally apt name as the lake is also one of my favourite kayaking spots, with pristine glassy water shimmering reflected light from it.

I also love this lake for its abundance of bird life. I enjoy indulging my inner “twitcher” as I strive to spot and name the plethora of species that call the lake their home.

So after strolling along the shores in John Knight Memorial Park, I was delighted to see some mallard ducks paddling the shallows with 6-8 very young, very fluffy, very ADORABLE ducklings. Sharing my delight, was a boy throwing bread to our happy feathered family.

Or so I thought…

As I drew nearer I was horrified to hear a “clack” as the “bread” hit the ground just shy of the shoreline near the ducks.

The little turd was throwing rocks at them!

I clicked my tongue in anger and my husband, sensing my rage, told me to “leave it”.

But I just couldn’t.

What.
The.
Actual.
F@ck.

What was WRONG with this child?

As a teacher, I just couldn’t let this behaviour go by.

“Hey!” I shouted in my best teacher-voice (I am on holidays after all), “How would you like it if I threw some rocks at you? Stop it and leave them alone.”

He looked at me goggled-eyed and disbelieving and I had a nanosecond where I felt I had gotten through to him.

Until his claque (AKA parents) swooped down from their high horses and began to tell me off for daring to reprimand their precious, darling, little pyscho….I mean, son.

I repeat.

What.
The.
Actual.
F@ck.

What is WRONG with (some) parents?

How is this ok?
What example are they setting?
Were they simply embarrassed at their lack of supervision and taking it out on me?

So the lesson that kid learned:
Go ahead.
Throw rocks at the ducks.

Don’t listen to what anyone tells you, but most of all…
Don’t worry about being a good human.


I know it’s “just” ducks and I know I’m sounding old but, seriously? How has it come to this? The world has gone quacking quackers!

I struggle to comprehend this entitled, selfish style of clique parenting. We are growing monsters of our youth; indulging and accepting their every whim instead of letting them grow and learn from their mistakes.

I walked away.
Speechless.

My husband turned to me, shook his head sadly, and said, “Told you to leave it.”





p.s. I hope that kid gets seriously swooped during magpie season. The birds will have their day.



Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Double Take - 8 January 2022
Other, Poetry by Sarah

Dare Not

No one dare say
this is going to be our year
We need to walk in slow
Tread quietly. Tiptoe.

Be cautious
Be respectful
Be prepared
And don’t touch anything

Let 2022 be.
Instead, just hope
Hope it knows the assignment
This year will be its own creation
– whether we like it or not.

By Sarah ©2022

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday – 31 December 2021 and Saturday Mix – 1 January 2022*

*Line poetry contains a hidden message. When the last line of each stanza is read, it forms it’s own mini poem or tale.

Scribblings by Sarah

The Fear

Is it really so black and white?
A choice so unusual?
Not common?
The answer is no.

But yet,
I hesitate.
Should I?
Shouldn’t I?

I am in two minds
No matter how hard I try.
The fear is holding
Me back.

Do I risk it?
Lose face if I fail?
Or put myself out there,
Lest I prevail?

Deadline is looming.
But words won’t flow.
My head all
cotton-woolly.

Stop! Get going…
But confidence eludes me
Where it should not.
I’ve lost belief.

Given over instead
To the fear
Of what might,
Or might not be.

By Sarah ©2021

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Tale Weaver – Fear; and also, Saturday Mix – Opposing Forces

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Stars in the Sand

That’s right
I’m the sidekick
Riding the tailcoats
Of those braver than I

Too shy
Too scared
To bare my teeth
And so I smile

Push me around?
You can for a while
I promise, I won’t mind
Instead I smile

My knuckles are white
I grit my teeth
Composure like armour
“Yes,” I smile

My soul awakens
She tries to get out
Shh. No one cares
I falter…

Gently I push
Gently I prod
The cocoon opens wide
And I fly right out

I am bioluminescent
I’m ready.
Projecting my stars in the sand
For all to see

By Sarah ©2021

Photo by Kevin Wolf on Unsplash

Carrot Ranch, August 19: Flash Fiction Challenge, and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Take Weaver -19/8

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Better

I am better than this.
But still, I slip.

A slip.
A spiral.

Ashamed.
Around in my head I go.

Torturing,
Self-eviscerating

Every. Moment.
Replayed and amplified.

A car crash of thoughts and feelings.

There’s a scrap heap in my mind.
A junk yard fire.

I am better than this.
But it’s got the best of me.

By Sarah ©2021

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Dream a Little Dream

There’s a cacophony in my head.
And it won’t go away.
I’ve tried sleeping pills
But there’s no guarantee.

I drop some helium
To cull the birds
Coz the tweets are endless
A faithless dirge

And so I’m held
Too painfully aware.
Is it possible to hope?
Do I dare to care?

This fustian pair
Between my ears
See that decisions are made
for me in arrears

Wishes are portable
This I do know
Thoughts are transferable
Wherever I go.

So while there is still
a slit; a gleam
I have to believe I can
Dream a little dream

By Sarah ©2021

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Tale Weaver – 12.8.21 and Wordle #253; as well as, Carrot Ranch, August 12: Flash Fiction Challenge

Stories by Sarah

Crossed

Izzy didn’t believe in luck, until that cat crossed her path.

She had always been certain that events in her life were the direct result of her own decision making and efforts.

But that cat. That damned cat.

It changed everything.

Izzy had always been in control. Self-assured. Confident. She was a fortress, impenetrable and locked up tight. She didn’t let anyone or anything in, and she didn’t want to.

Which was what was so annoying about the whole situation. In one split second this cat had undermined everything she’d worked for. Just like that.

She glanced resentfully at the small obsidian mass of fur, contentedly purring on the passenger seat of her car. He didn’t even seem to realise, nor care, that he’d had such a close call. Nine lives down to eight now.

Her eyes darted back to the road again, as she gripped the steering wheel tensely. No, no, no, her subconscious chanted.

Only a couple more blocks, she reasoned. Then this would be someone else’s problem.

She whirled her vehicle into the drive of the animal shelter, breathing a sigh of relief as she flipped off the engine.

“Right hairball,” she stated firmly to the cat, “time to go.” She unbuckled her seatbelt and reached over to grab him.

She gently lifted his warm, silky body. He really was very cute. Maybe…

Nope! she thought. Let’s go.

She snuggled the cat close to her chest, lifting the flap of her jacket over the top to keep him warm. After all, it was cold out.

Izzy crunched her way up the gravel pathway, trying to determine where the entrance was. She stepped up onto the verandah and tried the first door.

Locked.

She wandered slowly along to the next. “Welcome to the RSPCA” she read on the small plaque.

Ahh, she sighed. Here we go. She pulled the handle but was met with more resistance. It too, was locked.

She swore under her breath as she took in the sign, “Opening Hours 7:30 – 5pm”.

Flicking her wrist, Izzy observed the time 5:07pm on her watch. Seriously?! she thought.

She pondered what to do next. Maybe, she could just leave him on the doorstep? No, that wouldn’t work – he’d just wander off; maybe back onto the road again. Was there an after hours number to call? Her eyes scoured the colourful signage for more information, but to no avail.

“Looks like you’re out of luck bud,” she said to the cat.

He looked up at her with his spooky yellow eyes, challenging her otherwise.

“Well you can’t come with me!” she objected.

The cat opened his mouth, and yawned.

At this, she laughed.

“Honestly, you don’t want me to be in charge here.”

But the cat’s gaze was unwavering.

“I look after myself, not others. It’s not personal, it’s just how I am,” she babbled.

The cat blinked.

She was beginning to see, there was no point arguing.

“Well, I guess, if it’s only for one night,” she conceded.

At that, the cat snuggled back into her chest and began to purr. Mission accomplished, he seemed to be saying.

Izzy’s heart melted and knew right then, that that cat wouldn’t be going anywhere. He was undeniably, all hers.

It was Lucky indeed, who showed Izzy what she didn’t even know she was missing.

By Sarah ©2021

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday – August 13, 2021

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Glow

No longer hiding my bushel.
No longer willing to wait.
No longer content staying silent.

I step out.

Unashamed.
Unabashed.
Unabated.

It’s thoroughly unlike me.

Yes, I’m scared.
Yes, I’m worried.
Yes, I’m filled with trepidation.

But I can’t do it anymore.

I can’t hide.
I can’t pretend.
I can’t ignore who I am.

It’s gone far beyond that.

Inhale,
Exhale.
Just. Breathe.

I can do this.

I have to.
I want to.
I need to.

And so I do.

It’s time for me.
It’s time for more.
It’s time.

Time to glow.

By Sarah ©2021

Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt – #222 Glow

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Lasso The Sun

Image courtesy of Pobble365

Lasso the sun?
If only I could
I’d make you stay
If only you would

You captured my heart
But not mine you
A one way river
A dried up slew

I wanted to trap you
Encase you in stone
Secret you away
As mine alone

But you shine brightly
As only I dare
My eyes avert yours
An imperfect pair

I”m left in a wasteland
Of my own making
Lessons learned from
Giving not taking

Now I turn my back
And let you be
You’re just too elusive
This I can see

I’ll admire from afar
Bask only in your light
Lasso the sun?
One day, I might…

By Sarah ©2021

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge #377

Other, Poetry by Sarah

Doorway

I dream of escape
Escape from in here
Here is my nightmare
Nightmare and fear

Spiralling down
Down to the black
Black prefers dark
Dark doesn’t talk back

It’s been a long time
Time has stood still
Still in my mind
Mind been through hell

But now dawn is rising
Rising to light
Light from a doorway
Doorway in sight

I cross the threshold
threshold anew
anew expectations
Expectations of you

Please hold my hand
hand trembling, I go
Go through the opening
Opening so slow

Guide me with love
Love me carefully
Carefully we’ll weave
Weave a journey

By Sarah ©2021

Photo by Filip Kominik via Unsplash

Carrot Ranch, August 5: Flash Fiction

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Thwarted

why so perplexed?

don’t you know I’m off my rocker?

this is no palaver

I am indeed what you think:

that stunted shrub

the shadow that follows you

the inky depths of a fetid pool

the feeling that you are being watched

the disturbing coincidence

the sensation of being

off kilter

look – I am there!

and you will find

you have been

thwarted

By Sarah ©2021

Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt #221 – Thwart

Also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Same Same But Different. Synonyms substituted as follows:

  1. chair – rocker
  2. floor – perplex
  3. tree – shrub
  4. black- inky
  5. talk – palaver

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah, Scribblings by Sarah

The World After

Adrian Swancar on Unsplash https://unsplash.com/photos/72El6N0cmj4

We shake our heads in disbelief
With eyes wide open shut
Our mouths yet still have plenty to say
When will it be enough?

Conspiracy! It’s just fake news
And what about our rights?
Yet COVID hears no words of peace
Continuing its blight

The world after this so far away
Solutions many but none
Cities crumble, people lost
Survival’s the rule of thumb

We’re losing our humanity
Capacity to care
We need to work together
Because none of this is fair

We shake our heads in disbelief
With eyes wide open shut
Our mouths yet still have plenty to say
When will it be discussed?

By Sarah ©2021

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge #376 and Tale Weaver, 5 August 2021

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Villain

These villainous acts keep me up at night
My conscience cannot rest
Although I’ve done not one thing wrong
My intentions do contest

Infatuation blazes in
This yearning heart of mine
It’s criminal indeed to know
The secrets that I hide

Each wretched day, I live a lie
A smile pasted on my face
Eyes dart ‘round for just one glimpse
Yet oft, there is no trace

This cursed blight splintering
Dreams better to put to bed
The kicker is, none of it’s real
It’s all inside my head

By Sarah ©2021

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Tale Weaver – 29 July 2021

Stories by Sarah

August

August approached in a golden sweltering haze. The customary way she entered a room, really.

Her hair fanned out around her shoulders as she sped across the floor. The glower in her speckled hazel eyes alerted me, this was not a social visit.

Drawing a deep breath, I forced a smile and said, “My darling! What a surprise, and delight.”

“Oh cut the crap,’ August retorted.

“Why, now. There’s no need for hostility August,” I crooned.

“Spare me the platitudes,” she scoffed. “I’m not in the mood.”

“Yes. Ok, yes, That I can see. So why not tell me the problem?”

“You know very well you icy bastard.” She was positively radiating rage. The heat of her anger danced a trickle of sweat down my forehead.

Well, she had me there.

I did know; I just wasn’t sure why it was always such a problem. Better to beg forgiveness now, I conceded. Make it easier for next time.

“August, honey – you know how this works.”

“But it’s so unfair!” she whined. “People like me! People crave me. I make their lives so much happier. Happier than her, anyway. What does she have that I don’t?” she demanded.

Without waiting for a reply, she continued.

“Honestly, all I want is a few more days. A week. Two, max.”

“August, I’m sorry. I am. But it’s just not possible. You’ve had 31 days, and that’s more than some. Think about poor February for instance.”

This caused her to pause, so I went on, seizing the momentum.

“It’s not like you won’t have another chance; and you can build up your energy again – shine bigger! Brighter than ever! Eleven months is nothing in the big scheme of things. Give your fans time to miss you, and I assure you, you will be adored even more,” I promised.

Her eyes softened, and she smiled.

“I guess,” she said, ruefully, “I mean September is such a hot mess, how could they not adore me?”

“That’s right,” I soothed. “You’re so right beautiful August. They call it “the fall” for a reason – how could she live up to you? Now chin up. You’ve got your last day to enjoy!”

August beamed as she air kissed each of my cheeks goodbye. It was true. Bathing in her sunshine was glorious.

After she had gone, I sighed and leant back heavily into my chair. My temples throbbed from a headache that was developing and I needed a drink.

That had been a close call with August. And it didn’t make it any easier knowing I now had September to deal with.

My job wasn’t easy. Nope. Not at all. But as they say, “Time stands still for no-one.

By Sarah ©2021

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday – July 30, 2021

Scribblings by Sarah

Eye for an Eye

You have heard it said, ‘Eye for an eye, and tooth for a tooth.’ But the bible also tells you in another breath, “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek.”

So therein lies a conundrum.

Vengeance, by it’s very definition is our thirst for punishment. Punishment inflicted in retaliation for an injury or offense; AKA retribution. It is a primal human response that can serve to remind others you’re not to be trifled with. It provides a way to keep order.

But revenge comes at a cost. Ask someone why they seek revenge, and they’re likely to tell you their goal is catharsis. The paradox is, the exact opposite tends to happen. We are at the mercy of our ruminations.

When we don’t get revenge, we’re able to trivialize the event. We tell ourselves that because we didn’t act on our vengeful feelings, it wasn’t a big deal. This makes it easier to not necessarily, forget, but move on.

But when we do get revenge, we can no longer trivialize the situation, and we continue to think about it. A lot.

So yes, I say, “Turn to them the other cheek” but make sure you barb it with thorns first. Just in case…

By Sarah ©2021

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge #375

Scribblings by Sarah

Vivid

Craning my neck
I stretch up up up
towards the sun.
Lobed wings
allow the wind to pass me by,
caressing my sides as
I fly

Regally I stand
Sentry like and tall
Imposing in my stature.
I dominate them all.
Green minions crowd at my feet;
glance admiringly at my
coat. My plumage full and
bright, I’m never one to gloat

There is nothing more
vivid than the colours
I wear – only perhaps
that of the skies of which
I long to soar


…yet always out of reach

By Sarah ©2021

Strelitzia reginae (Bird of Paradise) plant

Sammi Cox, Weekend Writing Prompt #219 – Vivid

Scribblings by Sarah

The Quiet One

Don’t do that! Don’t say that! Don’t be like that! Her critical voice slices through me, and I shrink away. I just want to be heard. But she won’t let me.

She is hard.
She is tough.
She is unbreakable.

Or so she would have you believe.

Why the bravado? I timidly wonder; never daring to enquire.

Instead, I give her a peevish look, my eyes boring into her, silently willing…trying… to impress upon her, how she is causing me to decay.

Not that she’d care.

She wants me silent.
She wants me quashed.
She wants me to just
Go.
Away.

Is it because I remind her
that sometimes, words aren’t necessary.
A presence is enough.
A muted stare.

But you can’t ignore a subconscious forever.
One day, I will loom large,
and take back control.
Until then.
I wait.
I stay hushed.

That’s me, the quiet one.

For now…

By Sarah ©2021

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Sunday Writing Prompt, July 18