Pantoum, Poetry by Sarah


This was my favourite weekend prompt by Sammi Scribbles this year. It was a highly relevant and timely post for me at that point and helped me express some of the feelings I was going through…

Prompt: Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt #35 – End Of Year Challenge

By Sarah

Ruminating; circles running in my head.
I try so hard to push these thoughts away.
They pull me back; fill me with dread.
It seems sometimes they’re here to stay.

I try so hard to push these thoughts away.
As they twist and curl around my brain.
It seems sometimes they’re here to stay.
Intent on driving me insane.

As they twist and curl around my brain.
They pull me back; fill me with dread.
Intent on driving me insane.
Ruminating; circles running in my head.

By Sarah ©2107

Author’s note: I selected the Pantoum form for my poetry because I felt it gave my thoughts the ‘running on a loop’ feel that the challenge required. I hope you enjoy it. As some of you may have gathered from my recent posts, I am struggling again with my anxiety, so this prompt helped me express certain aspects of the…

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Challenges by Sarah, Mindlovemisery's Menagerie - Saturday Mix

Saturday Mix – Same Same But Different, 30 December 2017

A New Year’s Same Same But Different…

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

Welcome to the Saturday Mix, 30 December 2017!

This week we are diving into the depths of our thesaurus and exploring the world of synonyms.

Same Same But Different
Your ‘Same Same But Different’ task is to take the five challenge words and NOT use them in your writing. That’s right, you need to dig out your thesaurus and find a synonym for each word instead.

With only one day left of 2017, we are soon to see in 2018. Therefore, your words this week have a New Year’s Eve ‘festive’ feel to them. They are:

  1. party
  2. new
  3. goodbye
  4. resolution
  5. hope

Your writing form is either poetry or prose.

Synonym Searching
Synonyms are words that are similar, or have a related meaning, to another word. They can be lifesavers when you want to avoid repeating the same word or if your word might not be the most appropriate. You can…

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Challenges by Sarah, Hawaii Five-O

Hawaii Five-O

This summer break, I am heading back to Hawaii for a holiday. Only six more sleeps and I will be setting off on a twelve day adventure to Maui and Oahu, with a dear friend!

During this time, I anticipate I will have limited wifi availability, as well as time, to participate in my regular challenges and will not be posting as often.

So, I am setting myself a mini writing challenge for each day while I am away: “To write 50 words about the day’s activities and upload my favourite photo, capturing this”.

I look forward to sharing my holiday with you in the coming weeks…stay tuned.

Haibun, Poetry by Sarah

Make It Count

some years disappoint
throwing blow after blow, but
an end is in sight

Resilience is a curious thing, never failing to deliver the message: “In life, there are ups and downs”. With the good comes the bad, for otherwise, how could we tell the difference? As 2017 draws to a close, I am filled with relief. It has been a lesson in bouncing back and never giving up. Next year I pledge 2704 positive hours. That’s 365 days times by 7.5hrs out of the 24, I am given each day. Enough time to make it count.

optimism wins
roll the dice, hope for the best
a new year awaits

Photo by Aldric Rivat

Prompt: Bikurgirl, 100 Word Wednesday, Week 51; and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, December 27th, 2017 – New Year

Photos by Sarah, Tuesday Photo Challenge


For Frank’s photo challenge this week, he has asked us to use something ‘quotidian’ that could also represent a change from old to new. I have chosen these photos of common reeds by a lake I often walk.

As a plant, not only does the reed regenerate itself from old to new in a continuous cycle, but it bends with the breeze and is flexible to the conditions around it.

After enduring a taxing 2017, I have been much like a reed – bending and folding myself as I tackled the troubles head on…but never breaking (although I came really close a couple of times!)

Let’s hope 2018 is a little easier. Happy New Year folks…may the reeds be still for a while!

Prompt: Dutch Goes The Photo, Tuesday Photo Challenge, Week 89 – Quotidian

Scribblings by Sarah

Unrelenting Silence

After 7 Years, the Festering Roots of their relationship were Ineffable.Their marriage was A Fairytale with a Very Bad End indeed. As they entered the Cracked Facade of The Scarlet Temple, the couple had An Unavoidable Encounter.

“I’m sick of being your Shadow Puppet!” exclaimed the wife. “I can’t wait to be free of you”.

Your I is an Illusion,” retorted the husband.

And with hearts no longer tied to the other, they went their separate ways. Famished: Into An Unrelenting Silence.

By Sarah ©️2017Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Sunday Writing Prompt #234 – It’s All In The Title. Task: Choose one or more of the titles below and fashion a poem or story around it

Challenges by Sarah, Mindlovemisery's Menagerie - Saturday Mix

Saturday Mix – Double Take, 23 December 2017

Christmas Double Take

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

Welcome to the Saturday Mix, 23 December 2017!

This week we are seeing double with ‘Double Take’.

The ‘Double Take’ challenge focuses on the use of homophones* to build your writing piece. You have two sets of homophones and you are challenged to use all of them in your response – which can be poetry or prose.

Since ’tis the season, this week’s Double Take has a ‘Christmassy twist’ to it! Our homophone sets are:

presence -the state of being present


holy -with religious significance
holey -perforated, with holes
wholly -fully, completely

You may be thinking to yourself, How can I use homophones in my writing?
Luckily, Kat at Literary Devices, has some examples for you.

Example of Homophones in Literature
This poem is filled homophones (marked in bold). They create a humorous effect in the poem through having…

View original post 180 more words

Pantoum, Poetry by Sarah

Festive Times

Time to decorate the old fir tree
Bring the ornaments out of their box
Who gets to place the star? Hope it’s me!
We hang our Christmas socks.

Bring the ornaments out of their box
Decorate the house festively
We hang our Christmas socks
It’s nearly time for roast turkey

Decorate the house festively
Dressed in finery and frocks
It’s nearly time for roast turkey
Drinking egg nog on the rocks

Dressed in finery and frocks
Time to decorate the old fir tree
Drinking egg nog on the rocks
Who gets to place the star? Hope it’s me!

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix, Lucky Dip – 16 December 2017. Task – Write a pantoum about the Christmas/holiday season, and also, Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt, #33 – Time. Poetry Challenge – Write a poem of no more than 20 lines where the first line:
• starts with the word “Time”
• is repeated at least twice

Scribblings by Sarah

Walking Away

What a slippery time has been had this year.
A shock really, that I haven’t been broken.
Always taking care to screen my face and
lock my tongue, so it doesn’t run away.

I have leashed a chain around my thoughts
as I realise the shards of discontent.
Instead of hitting out, I hit the grass with my shoes.
A walk can always cure what ails you…

By Sarah ©2017

Image credit Pixabay

Prompt: Sunday Whirl, Wordle 330. Words: broken, time, slippery, shock, screen, chain, shard, grass, runner, tongue, lock, shoe

Challenges by Sarah, Mindlovemisery's Menagerie - Saturday Mix

Saturday Mix – Lucky Dip, 16 December 2017

Pantoum-ing it up this week…

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

Welcome to the Saturday Mix, 16 December 2017!

This week I have reached into my mystery bag and pulled out a Pantoum! Your challenge, is to write a Pantoum poem about the Christmas / holiday season.

You may be thinking to yourself, What on earth is Pantoum?

Luckily, Forward Poetryhas an explanation…
Apantoumis a type of poem with a verse form consisting of three or more stanzas. It has a set pattern within the poem of repetitive lines.

The pattern in each stanza is where the second and fourth line of each verse is repeated as the first and third of the next. The pattern changes though for the last stanza to the first and third line are the second and fourth of the stanza above (penultimate). The last line is a repeat of the first starting line of the poem and the third line of…

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Poetry by Sarah, Tanka

Jingle Bells

Twenty seventeen
will soon herald a new year.
Past, present, future,
family gathering near.
Jingle bells mark festive cheer.

By Sarah ©2017

Image credit Pixabay

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt – retrospective; and also, Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge, #62 – bells and past

Haiku / Senryu, Poetry by Sarah


Steampunk themed party.
Need to find something to wear!
Victorian flair.

By Sarah ©2017

Image credit Pixabay

Prompt: Ronovan Writes, Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt, Challenge #179 – flare (flair) and steam

Author’s Note: Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. Steampunk worlds are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American “Wild West”, in a future during which steam power has maintained mainstream usage.

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah


One last assault,
as we run towards the finish line.
I can’t afford to fall.


As I sail to the ground,
my knees nudging the earth,
I realise I am their puppet.

It’s too deep-seated –
and I have no case for change.
So I find myself a bar instead…

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Sunday Whirl, Wordle 329, Words: run, bar, deep, nudge, last, assault, case, afford, seat, puppet, fall, sail

Stories by Sarah

The Anniversary

It was The Anniversary of the Zombie Apocalypse Take 2, and aside from Missing An Eye, it hadn’t been the House Of Bones they’d been expecting. It was beyond Insatiable Doubt really, that The Old Sawmill had remained virtually untouched. Whispers in the Wall advised them, that All That Lies Broken was The Jagged Piece outside the door. As they finally ventured out into the remains of the world, cheers surrounded them. The Sound of Pride of those who’d survived.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Sunday Writing Prompt, #232 – It’s All In The Title. Task: Choose one or more of the titles below and fashion a poem or story around it – The Old Sawmill, Insatiable Doubt, The Missing Eye, House of Bones, Zombie Apocalypse Take 2, The Jagged Piece, All That Lies Broken, Whispers in the Wall, The Sound of Pride.
The Anniversary

Other, Poetry by Sarah


Reality versus
Expectation. My
Face peers back at me and I
Long for an eraser to rub out the
Eternity of lines
Cut into my skin.
This is me now
I realise, and though
Objectionable ageing may be,
No one can escape time.

By Sarah ©2017

Image credit pxhere

Prompt: Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt, #32 – Reflection, Poetry Challenge – Write an acrostic poem, where the first letter of the first word of each line spells out “reflection” as it is read from top to bottom.

Stories by Sarah

Death by Roses

Death by Roses, she thought, Death by Roses. What kind of a name for a perfume was that anyway?!

She reigned in her thoughts and tried to focus on the array before her. It didn’t help that the rows upon rows of delicate little bottles stood behind locked glass doors. She strained to see the names and brands, but ‘Death by Roses’ continued to elude her.

Exasperated, she finally decided to ask someone. If she didn’t get the right one, Heaven help her! What would be a minor catastrophe for most, would become a major catastrophe for her sister. Drama queen! she raged internally, while externally, she smiled, and asked the overly quiffed, but pleasant enough looking sales assistant, for, well…assistance.

“It’s right over here,” the girl indicated, with a sweep of her carefully painted fingernails.

Following her, the girl reached for a key attached to a stretchy chain on her pants.

“We have to keep these cabinets locked,” she stated apologetically, “you know, for the, um, shoplifters.” She lowered her voice as she uttered the last word, unnecessarily, as surely, the shoplifters wouldn’t care.

She picked up a small, blush coloured bottle. It was elaborately shaped into a rose; quite exquisite really. However, in contrast to the pretty pale glass was a black, thorned stem that wrapped around the bottle, culminating in a large thorn that formed the cap. How had she missed it? she wondered. It was altogether, a grotesque juxtaposition of a bottle. And aptly named. The black stem appeared to be choking the rose.

“It’s one of our most popular fragrances,” the sales assistance continued, “would you like to try it?”

“Er, no, thanks. It’s a gift.”

The girl beamed, “Oh wonderful! A present! Shall I have it gift wrapped for you then?”

“Yes please,” she replied, feeling grateful that she didn’t have to attend to that tedious task as well. Her sister would appreciate the professional touch, rather than her own clumsy fingers struggling with sticky tape and awkwardly presenting the perfume in a misshapen, mess of wrapping paper.

Finally making an exit from the crowded shopping mall, she breathed a sigh of relief that the last of her Christmas shopping was done.

Until, she realised she couldn’t remember which entrance she had parked her car. Dammit! she cursed. Why hadn’t she been paying attention?

She began trawling through her memory; trying to recall landmarks, colours, shops, anything that would help her. She walked and walked, row after row. She was positive it was in this area. Maybe it had been stolen, she thought, dreading the idea.

Frustrated, and not knowing what else to do, she went to the concierge desk to ask for help.

“Have you checked the other levels?” the young man suggested, “this happens quite a bit, you know.”

Of course! Stupid!

“No. I’ll do that now, thank you,” she replied sheepishly.

At this rate, she would miss her family’s Christmas Eve celebrations altogether! Starting to panic a little, she trekked to the floor above, and searched the car park once more. Still, no car.

However, on the third level, there it was. She sighed. Her trusty, red sedan, was patiently waiting, right where she had left it.

Tossing her packages in the back, she opened the door and jumped in. She hastily put the key in the ignition, threw the car into reverse and hurried out of the car park. She winced as her tyres screeched on the glossy grey concrete.

“You’re late!” her sister pointed out as she opened the door.

“Nice to see you too, sis,” she retorted sarcastically. “Sorry, it’s been a day. You know?”

“Yes, I know,” her sister conceded, “Christmas Eve is always crazy. I don’t know why you leave these things to the last minute!”

Because I work two jobs and only get one day off a fortnight, she thought, through gritted teeth. Deciding to ignore the admonishment, she laughed nervously, said nothing and walked through the door, to join the rest of her family.

The minute she saw her mother, father, grandparents and brother, she immediately relaxed. They rushed to greet her and as they hugged and kissed, she thought, what a prickly rose her sister was. Indeed, it was a fitting choice for her perfume.

They had waited for her, and hadn’t eaten yet, so the family convened to the table, said grace and commenced their Christmas Eve traditions. They ate roast turkey, complete with all the trimmings, drank lots of wine and all pretended they couldn’t possibly fit in dessert, before giving into protestations from the host. They talked and talked and caught up on all that was news in each other’s lives. They reminisced and spoke of friends and family no longer here. They spoke of good times and of bad, but also how they’d banded together to get through. This is what Christmas is about, she thought happily.

Next, they moved to the lounge room for the family Kris Kringle. As they started to give and receive gifts, butterflies began to dance in her stomach. She hoped her sister would be pleased. She held her breath as her sister grasped the small package in her hands.

“What beautiful wrapping!” she exclaimed. “Did you do this yourself?”

“Yes,” she found herself lying. She hated how her sister knew that she hadn’t.

“Ooooooh! Death by Roses!!!” she squealed excitedly. “How did you know?”

Rolling her eyes, she gave her mother a look, and smiled, “Just a hunch. Glad you like it.”

Her sister quickly extracted the thorn covered bottle and uncapped the lid. She squirted and sprayed liberally, her wrists and neck, before rushing around the room and spraying everyone else.

“Isn’t this scent divine? Just to die for!” she gushed.

Feeling pleased her sister loved her gift, she didn’t notice at first. It was subtle. A rushing of red to her face, and quickening of her pulse. She thought it may be the wine.

But then the coughing started, and the tightening of her throat. Just like when she was younger. Her eyes began to swell and bug in her face. Her lips began to tingle, and welts appeared on her skin.

She heard her mother scream, and then someone else say, “I thought she’d grown out of her anaphylaxis!”

Just before the world went black, she had one last fleeting thought…

Death by Roses, she thought, Death by Roses.

By Sarah ©2017

Image credit Pixabay

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt – awkwardelaborateblushgrasp; and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday – December 8th, 2017 and Saturday Mix, Opposing Forces – 9 December 2017

Challenges by Sarah, Mindlovemisery's Menagerie - Saturday Mix

Saturday Mix – Opposing Forces, 9 December 2017

Opposite attract 😛

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

Welcome to the Saturday Mix, 9 December 2017!

This week we are dipping our toes into the pool of OPPOSITES. Our challenge is all about “opposing forces” and the use of antithesis in our writing. You will need to use the two opposing words in your response – which can be poetry or prose.

Our words this week are:

– exit and entrance

– major and minor

You may be asking yourself, How can I use antithetical statements in my writing?

Luckily, Kat from Literary Devices has some examples for you.
Common Antithesis Examples
Some famous antithetical statements have become part of our everyday speech and are frequently used in arguments and discussions. Below is the list of some antithetical statements:

You are easy on the eyes, but hard on the heart.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.
Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing.

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Stories by Sarah


She chained the door; loosely, though enough to keep others away.

Her heart was blue for now; heavy, hurt and seeking solace – like an animal licking its wounds; but invariably, that would change.

One day the chains would be smashed and the doors would open again, her heart bursting forth; ready for love once more.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Only 100 Words, Three Line Tales – Week 97