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, 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

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

Scribblings by Sarah

Tessellated

I just kinda knew we would be together. This shy, kind boy; and me, the loudmouth neurotic.

Funnily enough, we fit together perfectly – a tessellation of sorts. Over the years, our tiles have slipped and moved against each other; at other times, apart. But we have committed to closing those gaps.

After all that’s marriage, isn’t it?

By Sarah ©2021

Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt #218 – Tessellate

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah, Scribblings by Sarah

Monster of Every Story

I am the monster of every story.
That’s right.
I am.

A catacomb mind.
A labyrinth.
I have.

With ghoulish glee.
A spectre.
I see.

Hateful stares
Catch you unawares
I smile.

Threatening vows
Suspicions roused
I laugh.

The pleasure’s mine
Twisting your twine.
I unravel.

Oh yes,
I am the monster of every story.

That is, every story
That’s mine.

By Sarah ©2021

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday – 2 Jul 2021

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah, Scribblings by Sarah

Solitudinarian

I am a solitudinarian.
I don’t need anyone.
I don’t need anything.
Away with you.
Be gone.

I am a solitudinarian.
Hear me when I say,
“I am perfectly fine.
I like things just the way they are.”
I do.

I am a solitudinarian.
I answer my own questions.
I interpret my replies.
What is the sound of one hand clapping?
It is I.

I am a solitudinarian.
Yet emptiness is taking over.
Is this all there is?
I admit.
I’m lonely.

I am a solitudinarian.
But I need you.

By Sarah ©2021

Weekend Writing Prompt #208 – Solitudinarian

Scribblings by Sarah

Reasons for Admission

My reasons for admission?
Shall I tell you?
Do you really need to know?

For years I’ve stayed tight-lipped.
But my ego has become a prosthesis,
that no longer fits;
that I no longer wish to wear.

I have become an inconstant texture –
The clang of discord, congesting my brain.
I’ve tried to think in reverse.
Gunshot wounds, fighting the fire.

Too much seduction and disappointment,
have led to these dissolute habits.
This yummy life, a pipe dream.
No longer solvent.

Is it self abuse?
To listen to this incessant gurgling.
Or am I required, like the olive tree,
To be patient for the fruit.

So reasons for admission?
You decide

By Sarah ©2021

Prompts: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Sunday Writing Prompt and Wordle #238

Scribblings by Sarah

Fizz, Crack, Bang

There is a fizz as I flip the switch, and the luminescence of the fluorescent bulbs hurts my struggling eyes, and sleep sodden brain.

“It’s too early for this,” I think, longing for the comfort of my bed.

I drape myself into a nearby chair and wonder how this has all come about so soon. I offer up a desperate prayer, pleading for another few days – just to get myself sorted.

But the part-nervous-part-excitement lump in my stomach tells me, it’s time.

The intermittent chatter filters through the air, and the crack and bang of lockers signal they’re all here.

I clear my throat and a thousand eyes look my way.

I am in the zone.

I am a teacher…and the holidays are over.

By Sarah ©️2020

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #167

Scribblings by Sarah

Calm Before The Storm

It’s eerily quiet here today.

The smoke haze that has been choking Canberra for the last five weeks, has continued to thicken and wrap its fingers around my suburb. The New Year’s Eve fires have seen to that.

The visibility is poor. The worst it has been. Now I can’t even see past the edge of my street.

The air quality index is 25 times that of “hazardous level”.

But, putting up with this, is better than the alternative – the origin of the smoke.

The devastation is unfathomable. Towns I holidayed in as a teen –

are simply gone.

Thousands of people are displaced, homeless, desperate and despairing. My eyes are glued to the constant updates coming from the TV.

Their images like an apocalyptic hell.

My heart cannot bear it.

I feel so helpless. And so I just wait.

Watch.

Listen.

Be alert.

Act if I need to.

My bag is packed. I have supplies.

Tomorrow is meant to be the worst day yet.

All I can do is pray.

My eternal thanks and gratitude go to the emergency services and volunteers who are doing their best, in this unfair battle.

True heroes.

Communities are rallying to send supplies to those in need.

Us Aussies look out for each other.

I really hope that this is not just the calm before the storm.

We need RAIN…

not more thunder and lightning.

Stay safe everyone on the east coast of NSW and VIC.

Scribblings by Sarah

Embers

Australia is burning; buildings have fallen and forests are decimated.

Our new year has heralded misery, heartbreak and devastation.

As the embers of the fires cool, the embers of Australian’s hearts and spirits unite – we will survive and rebuild.

By Sarah ©️2020

Author’s note: You can find out more about the bushfire crisis or how to donate to our fire fighters and those in need here.

Three Line Tales, Week 205

Scribblings by Sarah

Zodiac

Have mercy, dear Zodiac.
Read my stars. It’s no surprise.

Your forecast has me walking in cement.
What trials are in my booth?

I’ve heard this song before.
It’s time to shut the gate.

My heart soft with hope.
I don’t look back.

By Sarah ©2019

The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 404, and also, Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt, #106 – Zodiac

Scribblings by Sarah

Anathema

The rain was becoming an anathema to the animals of the jungle.

Especially since so their habitat was being destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations.

Huddling under the only shelter he could find, the orangutan thought “At least it isn’t literally raining cats and dogs. “Then we’d really be in trouble!”

By Sarah ©2019

Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt #99 – Anathema; and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Mad About Metaphor, 30 March 2019

A-Z Challenge, Scribblings by Sarah

A-Z Challenge Theme Reveal, 2019

Last year was the first time I participated in the A-Z Challenge (although my visit to the site today informs me that this challenge is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year!)

I thoroughly enjoyed the A-Z Challenge in 2018, as I blogged my way almost daily, through all 26 letters of my theme, “Anxiety“.

I have had many trials and changes over the last 6 months, and it is my hope that by joining in the challenge again this year, I can reinstate the blogging routine that has taken a hit in recent times.

And so….after much deliberation and finally deciding to join, I am “revealing” my theme as a taster of what’s to come.

As many of you know, I am an educator and love what I do. I also have a passion for writing and am a firm believer in writing what you know. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to combine the two and my theme in 2019 will be:

  • A-Z of Teaching

I anticipate this theme will illustrate the highs (and lows) of my profession, but more importantly hope that it will bring readers an understanding of the day to day life of teaching – warts and all. As such, I’m not sure how to classify this…whether to put it under entertainment, memoirs or education. It possibly fits all three but rest assured, none of it will be fiction!

Stay tuned for my first post on April 1!

~ Sarah

Scribblings by Sarah

Three Spirits

The djembe is West Africa’s best known instrument. This goblet-shaped drum is traditionally carved from a single piece of African hardwood and topped with animal skin. Its name is derived from “Dje” (gather) and “be” (everyone).

It is said, each drum contains three spirits – that of the tree, the animal whose skin is played, and the carver who chiseled and shaped the wood.

The djembe is a vessel for these spirits to come through. The sound is past, present and future; that which is not in us until it comes into consciousness through our hands and into the world.

By Sarah ©2019

My beautiful Ghanan 13” djembe

My beautiful Ghanan 13” djembe

The inside of my djembe chiseled out by hand

Carrot Ranch, March 14: Flash Fiction Challenge. Prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a chisel. Use chisel as a noun or a verb. Think about what might be chiseled, who is chiseling. Be the chisel. Go where the prompt leads!

Scribblings by Sarah

Suddenly In Love

It was The First Day Mr. and Mrs. Deadtree had met The Girl with the Cast Iron Smile.

They were to be Invisible Roommates in the The Otherside of Nothing which was an altogether Hollow Entreaty. For these were Dark Days: a Biography of Self-Professed Cynics.

Until, A Distant Hum began and Light was Interrupted. Mysteriously, they now found themselves to be, Suddenly in Love.

By Sarah ©2019

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Sunday Writing Prompt – It’s All In The Title

Scribblings by Sarah

Outcast and Other Words

The anthology “Outcast and Other Words” is a compilation of one of my favourite challenges run by Sammi Cox. A collection of submissions for the weekend writing prompts from 2018 have been carefully collated by Sammi, in this wonderful online book. Please check it out at:
Outcast and Other Words

A special shout out and huge thanks to Sammi for all her hard work putting this book together.

Scribblings by Sarah

Cotton Candy Words

My heart shatters into shards of glass.

I steel myself against your charm.

Your cotton candy words

are no substitute

for devotion.

‘Bye.

I’m done.

Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt, #95 – Devotion and Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Mad About Metaphor, 2 March 2019

Scribblings by Sarah

A Ghost Story

I am a primary school teacher and in 2005, had a haunted classroom. I was teaching on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria in a high growth school. I volunteered to go into a ‘portable’ (temporary mod style building) double classroom as we had run out of building space. I was excited to be team teaching with a colleague however from the get-go, the classroom had a “not-quite-right” feel to it.

We had unexplained electrical issues where we could smell a hot electrical burning smell, however, upon numerous visits from the electrician, there was found to be no problems. 

At times, we could not open the doors – the locks jammed up. However when a locksmith changed to new locks, this problem continued.

One morning, my colleague and I entered the classroom to find the dress ups strewn from one end of the classroom to the other. No one else had keys aside from us and the cleaners – who were as surprised as we were by the mess. I hated being alone in that room and always felt like I was being watched.

In the middle of a lesson all of us present, kids included, were overwhelmed by the scent of lilies (which I later found out to be the flowers of the dead). One of the children even asked, ‘Where’s that perfume coming from?’ and as quick as it engulfed us, the smell was gone again. 

Possibly unrelated, but my two class pet goldfish both died overnight, even though they had been fine the day before.

Although we felt foolish, both myself and the other teacher spoke to our principal about these incidents and she dismissed them.  Until one night, she came into the classroom to speak to me and kept looking over her shoulder. She asked, ‘Did you hear that?’ and when I said, ‘No’, looked very scared and left soon after. 

I didn’t think too much more of this until I visited a psychic at a show as a bit of fun. We hadn’t gotten very far into the reading when the psychic stated, ‘I’m sorry, but I can’t deal with anything else until we talk about your work situation. You are being haunted by a troubled spirit.’

I was gobsmacked as I hadn’t mentioned a thing about the classroom. The lady told me that the classroom had come from a storage yard where many homeless people used the buildings for shelter. She explained that a young girl had committed suicide in my classroom. She gave me a cleansing spell and asked me to burn a black candle and white sage to move her spirit on. 

Again, I felt foolish however, I did what was suggested. From that point on, we had no further issues.

I have recounted this story many times and still get chills when I describe what happened. I know that room was haunted but feel glad I was able to help whatever it was, move on.

By Sarah ©2019

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Sunday Writing Prompt – Campfire Ghost Stories

Scribblings by Sarah

Wool-Gathering

When the

s
t
r
u
g
g
l
e

to be
self-aware,
turns out
to be

nothing

more than
wool-gathering,
you realise
that this journey
must first
be commenced
by giving to
others.

For it is through

s e r v i c e

that true character
SHINES.

By Sarah ©2019

Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt #92 – Wool-gathering

Scribblings by Sarah

F – urrowed

“Well I think it’s funny!”

Mum furrowed her brow, disagreeing. “You make me sound like a bad parent.”

“It’s not your fault your daughter’s speech delay replaces tr- with f-“. Mischievously, I turned to my sister, “Hey Katie, say “truck”…

By Sarah ©2019

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday – January 28th, 2019

Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt #90 – Furrowed

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

A Little Greenery

Photo by Filip Gielda

I gaze absently at the raindrops trickling slowly down the window pane. Not really seeing them, but looking beyond. The unfamiliar street scape is making me anxious.

I moved back to the city just last week and each time, it startles me to see buildings instead of wide open spaces. I even added a little greenery on the window sills in a feeble attempt to abate my need for the bush.

A wave of homesickness washes over me, and I once again question, ‘Have I done the right thing?’

I guess only time will tell. That, and a little faith…

By Sarah ©2019

100 Word Wednesday – Week 104

Scribblings by Sarah

Foundations

2018 was a very challenging year for me and a casualty, has been my writing. I have been largely absent on WordPress, for the last six months, as I found myself unable to garner any energy or inspiration to write. I struggled to juggle work demands, and manage significant emotional and psychological stressors that accompanied these, in an ultimately, untenable situation. Thankfully, I have landed a new dream job, have moved interstate with my husband, and have begun building new foundations for our life together. This new year, means new beginnings…

Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt #88 – Foundations

Scribblings by Sarah

Counterbalance

Our relationship was simple, and yet complicated.

There were times of smooth sailing and, equally, times of turbulence. We were each other’s counterbalance, filling in the holes of our selves to mask our imperfections. It was a tenuous set of scales though, easily tipped and spilling over into the world around us.

Others were amused by our apparent inability to live with each other, and our absolute refusal to live without each other. We were words without vowels – nonsensical; just a string of consonants, with no meaning behind them.

Oh, how precious to have someone like that, who can challenge us and yet accept us, as we are. What a tragedy not be aware of this, until they are gone.

I wonder where she is now.

And I hope she is well.

By Sarah ©2018

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Opposing Forces, 10 November 2018

Scribblings by Sarah

Castle

I surveyed the kingdom around me, taking it all in. My eyes and heart, fill with gratitude. This empire had not come easily to me. It had been hard-earnt; fought for. Each day.

Finally, I see his familiar form grow larger, as he approaches. The guard dogs bark excitedly, as my prince returns to me. I offer my lips to him and welcome him with a kiss, to celebrate his homecoming. I press him to me, my body molding to his. My soul sings with relief. I am whole again.

This life is bliss, in my home. My humble castle.

By Sarah ©2018

Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt, #80 – Castle

Scribblings by Sarah

‘Til Death Do Us Part

The funeral went by in a waltz of shiny cars, black suits, and choreographed tears.  

She dipped her hat, concealing her face, and heaving her chest, imitating sobs. Glancing furtively around her, she slipped away from the graveside and chuckled to herself. No one had noticed she was not in the coffin.

She stole one last look at her husband, and realised, she was finally free of him…

Til death do us part, she thought ironically, and walked away.

By Sarah ©2018

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday: November 9th, 2018

Scribblings by Sarah

Coiled

I am coiled tightly,
As I wait for the next wave.
You charge,
I bite.
You inspect the site.
Hit back with electrical force,

As I sink into despair.
You stick the needle in.
Trying to mask it with salty charm.
Your falsity resonates through us all.
You certainly pick your moments.
People without class.

By Sarah ©2018

The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 374