Haibun, Poetry by Sarah

Reunited

I lifted my legs; one at a time. They fell to the ground like lead. How much longer could I go on? I had been looking for him for days! Lost and alone in the bush, he was my beacon. My tongue felt like sandpaper and my mouth was so dry, my lips stuck together. If I didn’t find him soon; I was a goner. And then I heard it. “Here boy!” he called. I raced to his side, exhausted but relieved, to be reunited at last.

Exhaustion takes hold
but before it can claim you,
I’ll carry you home.

 

By Sarah ©2018

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Image credit Savs via Unsplash

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, February 28th, 2018 – Reunited; and also, Bikurgurl, 100 Word Wednesday – Week 60

Photos by Sarah, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Into The Frying Pan

Frying Pan Lake is one of the world’s largest hot pools. It is located within the hills of Echo Crater in the Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley, New Zealand. Its acidic water maintains a temperature of about 50–60 °C (122–140 °F).

Prompt: Dutch Goes The Photo, Tuesday Photo Challenge, Week 98 – Hills

Haiku / Senryu, Poetry by Sarah

Fooled

Sweet disposition.
So trusting. This tart was fooled,
as he sucked her dry.

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Ronovan Writes, Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt, Challenge #190 – Tart and Sweet; and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge #203

Stories by Sarah

Viscosity

Honey-tinted sunshine filtered through branches. The forest was thick with the crescendo of bird-song. If gravity hadn’t been holding me down, I could’ve floated away to the blue skies above.

It was a perfect day for a walk.

I continued along the boardwalk snaking its way through the dense woodland. It was an advertisement for safe passage, as ferns and scrub scratched at its edges.

My eyes were drawn to leaf litter peppering the path and it was then, that I saw blood. My senses immediately became electrified and the peace around me shattered.

The red droplets smattered here and there, dotting their way along the planks. Every instinct was telling me “Run!” but curiosity urged me on. I justified to myself that if someone was injured, maybe I could help.

I rounded a corner and there, I saw a pool of crimson so thick, it was impossible to believe anything living could’ve gone on.

Teeth bared, the beast was upon me so quickly, I slipped in viscous liquid, becoming one with he who’d fallen before me.

My breath rattled in my chest, as I exhaled my last, and I thought, It had been a perfect day for a walk.

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt – forestBranch; and also, The Sunday Whirl – Wordle 340; and also, Sunday Photo Fiction – February 25th, 2018

Scribblings by Sarah

Heartbeat

Simply put, at the base of all matters, is the heart.

We can analyse agendas; our differences; but the bones of our own personal narratives can be revealed as a desire for one thing.

Love.

Erstwhile the heart beats. Its mission; to sustain life. Yet somehow, it undergoes transmutation to become something else; something more; altogether.

A catalyst for our emotions.

Of connection.

Of hope.

Of longing.

And of belonging.

In this we holdfast, unrelenting in our pursuit love.

And of hate? It is not the antithesis of love, merely the absence of it. We must be tireless in monitoring our metronome of life, as taught to us by the tub-thump of our mother’s heartbeat, our first-known sound.

Mother Nature knows no slumber. The sound of her beating heart is ever present, in all things. Even we, in our bleakest times, listen for it. Until no longer that sound beats within us.

Is death the ultimate culmination of love?

Or is it to be so alive, that we can love what death touches?

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Same Same But Different, 24 February 2018, Task: Use synonyms for the following words – table (agenda), sleep (slumber), take (narrative), foot (base), black (bleak). Synonyms used in my prose are shown in parentheses; and also, Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt #43 – Heartbeat, Prose Challenge: In less than 175 words, write a story that uses the sound of a beating heart for dramatic effect.

Challenges by Sarah, Mindlovemisery's Menagerie - Saturday Mix

Saturday Mix – Same Same But Different, 24 February 2018

This week’s challenge

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

Welcome to the Saturday Mix, 24 February 2018!

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.

Your words this week are:

  1. table
  2. sleep
  3. take
  4. foot
  5. black

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 search for synonyms online at: http://www.thesaurus.com/

You may be asking yourself, What are some examples of synonyms?
Luckily, the nice folks at YourDictionary have some…

View original post 136 more words

Stories by Sarah

Yellow

I glanced down at my bright, new yellow converse and smiled.

“An unnecessary indulgence,” he’d said, “Absurd and childish!”

Like him! I decided, humming the tune of These Boots Are Made For Walkin’, and left him behind, balancing and skipping my way along a matching balustrade.

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Only 100 Words, Three Line Tales – Week 108; and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Music Challenge #23 – “These Boots Were Made For Walking”

Stories by Sarah

Magical Christmas Unicorn

I inspected its creamy white head, and caramel-coloured body. What an amazing creature.

“Where can I get one?” I asked my sister.

She whispered the answer, adding, “There aren’t many left, so you’d better be quick.”

I didn’t hesitate, following her to its habitat.

The man beamed, “Ah, a wise choice madam! Inspired by the magical pillars of our universe: Unicorns, Christmas and Ice-cream; Bridge Road Brewers presents its limited edition, vanilla ice-cream ale, the Magical Christmas Unicorn. Please enjoy this beverage of fun.”

Handing over my money, rolling my eyes, I thought, Come on! It’s just a beer!

By Sarah ©2018

Author’s Note:The Magical Christmas Unicorn is in fact, a real beer, as described in the story. It was limited edition and available from Bridge Road Brewers, over the Christmas period. Despite my ambivalence in the flash, it truly was delicious and certainly worthy of such wax lyrical!

Prompt: Carrot Ranch, Flash Fiction Challenge – February 22, 201&. Task: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a unicorn. It can be realistic or fantastical. Go where the prompt leads.

Photos by Sarah, Thursday Doors

Doors Of Carlton – Part II

This week I continue sharing my “doors of Carlton” photos. As mentioned last week, I was recently out and about on the streets of Carlton, an older, inner suburb of Melbourne, Victoria. Hopefully you enjoy today’s offerings, and are looking forward to more in the next couple of weeks.

Prompt: Norm 2.0, Thursday Doors – February 22, 2018

Photos by Sarah, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Shape

On my recent trip to Hawaii, I stumbled (literally) upon this unusual tree and its root system at the Nuʻuanu Pali Lookout on Oahu. I was captivated by its unusual shape and thought it was a good fit for Frank’s Challenge today – shape.

Prompt: Dutch Goes The Photo, Tuesday Photo Challenge, Week 97 – Shape

Stories by Sarah

The Asylum

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Image credit © Sascha Darlington

I should never have followed my urge to explore the abandoned asylum, but my hunger to venture into the spirit-world was boundless. I’d done this kind of thing before. Many times. No problem.

Mesh fencing, chains and “No Trespassing” signs plastered everywhere, should’ve served as a warning, but I didn’t want to miss out. This place was reputed to be a powerhouse of hauntings, on account of the madness and misery of the hundreds of people who’d died here.

The wind howled around the main administration building as I entered. I consulted the map I’d drawn, heading to the notorious “Bullpit”. A ward that had once housed the most violent male patients.

I hadn’t been in there long when I heard a sound. A scraping along the bare, tiled floors. My hair stood on end, senses on high alert. Excitedly, I grabbed my EMF meter and night vision goggles, and heard a shout from one of the rooms.

That is all the memory I have, of how I died. Now I too, am trapped here. Another crazy spirit, existing in parallel with the real world, where the sands of time move so slowly.

I should never have followed that urge.

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt – parallelwarning; Sunday Photo Fiction, February 18th 2018; and also, The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 339

Stories by Sarah

The Dollhouse

“I don’t care what you do with it, I just want it gone,” Alex said, pointing at the dollhouse.  

It was an ugly thing, by all accounts. The Victorian style was usually so decorative. But this was grotesque – asymmetrical wraparound porches, gingerbread trim, gabled roofs, and lairy colours.

“What’s wrong with it?” I asked suspiciously, “Apart from the obvious,” I added, gesturing to the fascade.

“Nothing,” Alex said. “It was left to me by my Aunt Clara. Silly old coot. What do I want with a dollhouse? Even the executor was laughing. Seriously, a grown man and a dollhouse!”

“She must’ve wanted you to have it for some reason,” I pressed, “I mean, I can take it. Lacey will love it. But are you sure?”

“Take it,” he insisted, “Aunt Clara really lost it. When she promised me her house, I never dreamt this was what she meant! Silly old coot,” he repeated.

So I took it.

Lacey, as I anticipated, squealed with delight. She threw open the doors and starting playing immediately. I was pleased she liked it.

Lacey hadn’t been playing long when she called out. I hoped she hadn’t tired of it already!

I entered her bedroom, and noticed her arm down one of the chimneys.

“Lace…” I began.

“Something’s in here,” she said, pulling out a piece of paper.

I read the contents, revealing what it was. I smiled, holding the deed to Clara’s mansion. “Looks like Alex is going to have that house after all.”

By Sarah ©2018

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Image credit Pinterest

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday – February 16th, 2018; and also, Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt, #42 – Revelation. Prose Challenge – In words or less, write a story about the uncovering of a secret.

Scribblings by Sarah

Rube Goldberg Machines

Today’s Daily Post Prompt “rube”, immediately got me thinking about the one and only, cartoonist and inventor, Rube Goldberg and those fantastic Rube Goldberg Machines.

A Rube Goldberg Machine is a deliberately complex contraption, in which a series of simple devices perform simple tasks to link together and produce a domino effect (e.g activating one device triggers, the next device which activates the next etc. in a sequence).

I first remember watching them in action on Sesame Street, in various formats.

Whether it was learning the alphabet in that crazy, apartment filled with nonsense…

…or being fascinated, watching that little red ball unearth a delight at the end of its travels…

…or giggle as Kermit’s attempt miserably fails!

In later years, I enjoyed a Rube Goldberg Machine in the form of the board game, “Mousetrap!”

Of course we never did actually play the game properly. We just loved the chain reaction part and did it over and over again.

As an adult, my favourite Rube Goldberg Machine, is by one of my favourite bands, OK GO. (On a side note, if you haven’t checked out their songs or film clips before, you MUST!) The film clip for their song This Too Shall Pass, is AMAZING and I often use it as a brain break with my class. I never tire of it…

If you google “ultimate Rube Goldberg machine”, several noteworthy ones are showcased, including this one that lights up a Christmas tree

One that produces music

And this one that seems to be the most elaborate advertisement for a photography company, or someone who can’t work out how to do a selfie (lol!)

Cheers to the man who started it all! Thanks Rube!

Prompt: Daily Post, Daily Prompt – Rube

Stories by Sarah

On Ice

She awoke with a start, drawing a sharp breath and blinking her eyes. Retinas searched for light; searched for form, in the darkness.

Where am I? she thought, confused. How did I get here?

A sense of panic welled within her. Trying to sit up, the panic deepened when she couldn’t move her arms or legs, or anything neck down.

Racking her brain, she checked her last memory. At the club. Drinking. Then black…‘til now. Twisting her head, she felt flat, slimy, coldness beneath her cheek. The door opened, and she realised with horror, she was on ice…

By Sarah ©2018

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Image credit Tiger Ice Co

Prompt: Carrot Ranch, Flash Fiction Challenge – February 15, 2018. Task: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story on ice. It can be an event on ice, a game on ice or a drink on ice. Go where the prompt leads you.

Photos by Sarah, Thursday Doors

Doors of Carlton – Part I

Out and about on the streets of Carlton, an older, inner suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, there is a veritable smorgasbord of beautiful doors. I ventured down Drummond St mainly and a couple of alleyways. Over the next few weeks, I will showcase some of the wonderful doors I discovered.

Prompt: Norm 2.0, Thursday Doors – February 15, 2018

Photos by Sarah, Tuesday Photo Challenge

Craft Beer In My Life

If you spend any length of time with my husband and me (or our Facebook profiles), it soon becomes apparent we have a definite “thing” for craft beer in our lives.

We recently featured on the front page of our local newspaper after attending ‘Ales On The Ovens’, a local craft beer festival.

Here are some of my favourites craft beer moments…

Prompt: Dutch Goes The Photo, Tuesday Photo Challenge, Week 96 – In My Life

Haiku / Senryu, Poetry by Sarah

Fated Heart

Letting the case slip,
he followed his fated heart.
Hoping ‘t’would be quick.

By Sarah ©2018

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Image credit Kyle Thompson

Prompt: Ronovan Writes, Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt, Challenge #188 – Quick and Slip; and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge #201

Uncategorized

Sunshine Blogger Award

I am thrilled to have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Elsie Hagley (aka Kiwinana). Elsie lives in one of my favourite countries, New Zealand. She hosts a weekly poetry challenge and loves gardening and all things nature. You can find out more about her here.

Thank you, Elsie. I truly appreciate the nomination and you have made the sun shine for me today.

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers by other bloggers who are positive and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

Sunshine Blogger Award Rules
• Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
• Answer the questions sent by the person who nominated you.
• Nominate new blogs to receive the award and write them new questions.
• List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.

Elsie’s Questions For Me:

1. What inspires you to write?

Anything and everything! I am a curious and observant person and feel that I have a vast smorgasbord of inspiration from my everyday life and travels. I often use prompts and challenges to help focus my thoughts and creativity. Otherwise, I have trouble reining in my imagination and don’t know where to begin.

2. How many times a week do you post a blog?

Ideally, I would love to write everyday. But, since I am a teacher and have many other demands on my time, I write 3-4 times a week and if I can’t write, participate in photo challenges instead.

3. How would you describe your blogging style?

Eclectic! I never know what I’m going to come up with, and often, my posts almost write themselves – “stream of consciousness” style. I love writing short stories (and always have), but recently, I have also enjoyed experimenting with a range of new poetry types. In fact, Elsie introduced me to the Tanka and it is a form I really love writing.

4. Have you ever thought about quitting blogging?

I have quit before, with my old blog, Person In The Mirror. It ran its natural course and I no longer needed the cathartic purpose it served dealing with a range of personal issues. I can’t imagine quitting By Sarah – it gives me so much in return and though I may take breaks here and there, it has become an integral part of my life.

5. Where do you want to be five years from now?

Hmmm, tough question! Aside from still being happy, healthy and madly in love with my wonderful man and dogs, probably still here in Wangaratta, north east Victoria! It’s an amazing part of the world. In terms of my career, I am hoping to be in a principal class role, somewhere in the area.

I plan on teaching for maybe another 10 years and then dream of escaping to a sleepy beachside town with my hubby, where we will relax and work “lifestyle” jobs…perhaps at a cellar door, or local cafe. So saving lots of money over the next five years will be key to achieving our long term goal.

My Nominations:
There is never any obligation with my nominations. If you can’t participate for any reason, please accept this as a gesture of my appreciation.

I don’t nominate specific blogs, as many are award free or have limited time to participate. If you want to spread the sunshine, consider yourself nominated and join in the fun. I’d love to hear your responses to my questions below

1. I’ve always viewed people as colours (I’m a weirdo, I know!) So…if you were a colour, what would you be and why?
2. What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?
3. Everyone has a favourite/least favourite post. Name yours and why.
4. Who are some bloggers you look up to or admire?
5. What is your favourite quote/saying and why?

Please share a link to your “SUNSHINE AWARD” post in the reply section below so that other people can visit your site and check out your answers. Also, please visit Elsie’s blog “Ramblings Of A Writer“. You won’t be disappointed!

Stories by Sarah

The Room

The door hung askew in its frame. Hazy yellow light, like a saint’s halo, leered at me from around the cracks, suggesting that someone, or something, was already in my room. I shuddered and continued tentatively down the hallway.

Feeling uneasy, I chastised myself for my situation. If I wasn’t so poverty stricken after my divorce, I could have afforded my own place, and not be forced to reside in this creepy, old, share home.

I reached out to turn the handle, when cold gusts surrounded me. Strange, I thought, looking around for the source of air. I folded my arms around my body, vigorously rubbing my skin.

Then I heard it. A shallow, rasping voice in my ear, unmistakable in its malice and intent.

Leave!

Shocked and confused I turned to see who had voiced the command, but there was no one there. Thinking I must be going crazy, I shook my head, opened the door and stepped inside.

A rope lay coiled like a snake at my feet; a noose tied at its end.

Again I heard the voice say, “Leave” as the rope began to move.

I turned and ran, knowing nothing on this holy earth would ever make me return…

By Sarah ©2018

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Image credit J.  Hardy Carroll

Prompt: The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 338; and also, Sunday Photo Fiction – February 11th 2018

Other, Poetry by Sarah

Rain Dance

Droplets dance across the glass,
the rain has finally come.
Heat of day’s begun to pass,
droplets dance across the glass
down onto the thirsty grass.
Upon my roof it drums.
Droplets dance across the glass,
the rain has finally come.

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt, #41 – Weather, Poetry Challenge – Write a poem of any length that is inspired by the photo prompt, where the first and last lines are the same.

Stories by Sarah

Greener Pastures

* Please note: The fireweed I have used for the purpose of this challenge is the Australian variety. It is highly invasive and toxic as outlined here.

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Image credit B Trounce

She was my fireweed*. Able to grow in any soil, in all aspects. Persistent if not controlled, and rapidly taking over neglected pastures. She competed strongly with those around her, and was extremely toxic.

I could feel her tendrils taking hold. Coiling themselves around my brain; trying to find an ‘in’ to feed her tap root. But I was not the only one and it was time for us to take control.

It turns out a dense cover can help reduce fireweed. So we took a stand together, covering the bare, exposed patches of ourselves, to become greener pastures.

By Sarah ©2018

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt – rapidtoxic; and also, Carrot Ranch, Flash Fiction Challenge, February 8, 2018. Task: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes fireweed. You can use it as the plant, a flower, a metaphor or as the name of someone or something. Go where the prompt leads. Burn bright when you write.