Poetry by Sarah, Haibun

The Black


Image credit Laura Makabesku

The darkness had finally shown itself. Though she’d tried to keep it at bay, it had edged its way out. It had been a fluttering of feathers; tickling at her conscience. Then, an unfurling of wings, covering her hope. She tried to hold it close, clutching it to her breast. Tried to absorb it back into her soul, where all things secret lay. But it was too late; she was exposed for all to see and she was terrified. Rolling up her shadow and searching for light, she could find nothing, but the black. 


fallen from the light
the raven calls me again
shadows descending 


By Sarah ©2017


Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge #177; Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge #47 – light and shadow

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Keyhole

I fell for his grin;
It was a touch naive.
At the time I believed
it was a fata organa.

I was malleable.
He saw his opportunity.
Imbibing me with lust,
like a local dog.

The trammels of hindsight,
A keyhole.

By Sarah ©2017

* fata organa – noun. a flash of real emotion glimpsed in someone sitting across the room, idly locked in the middle of some group conversation, their eyes glinting with vulnerability or quiet anticipation or cosmic boredom

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #169
Words used: hindsight, trammel, keyhole, malleable, opportunity, imbibe, fell, grin, local, naive, touch, fate organa

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

The Girl Who Was Made Of Glass

Recitations of love fell on deaf ears,
She couldn’t risk the words shattering her perfect world.
She had constructed for herself, a fragile universe,
Where everything was made of glass.

She liked the way the light shimmered,
Reflected and bounced off the surface.
Here, she could control the pace; the energy.
Keeping everything safe, including her heart.

Until one day, drawn in by the glittering landscape,
A tiny bird flew into a window, breaking its wing.
She carefully nursed it until finally,
It could repay her kindness with its song.

The girl realised how lonely she had been
and decided to leave her glass kingdom.
As she opened the door to the world beyond
She broke into a million pieces.

Finally free from her glass coffin.

By Sarah ©2017


Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, It’s All In The Title – August 20, 2017; Daily Post Daily Prompt, recite 

Other, Poetry by Sarah

Daffodils

Inspired by Mick E. Talbot who introduced me to Elfje…

Bulbs
Sprout green
Their fingers reaching
Towards the golden sunlight
Blooming.

By Sarah ©2017


Image credits By Sarah ©2017

Author’s Note: These bulbs were in the ground when we moved into our house in 2011. Every year, I try to dig them up (I’m not a fan of daffodils) and the following year, they continue to pop up again. It’s become a bit of a household joke about the daffs’ resilience and persistence. At least I got a poem out of them this time…

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday’s Mix, 19 August 2017 – garden

Stories by Sarah

Shafted

After the accident, unease grew like a mold in the corners of his mind.
Or perhaps it was more like moss – the spongy type that covered the sides of the shaft where he lay. He was an idiot. 

The number one bushie’s* rule when heading out for a bush walk: let someone know where you are going. And he hadn’t done it! He was an experienced bushwalker and knew better. Damn, he’d hiked some of the toughest treks in Australia on his own – the Stirling Ranges Ridge Walk, Tasmanian Overland Trail, Mt Bogong; just to name a few. Even though he preferred solitary hikes, he was always prepared, always cautious and always checked in with someone once he’d arrived. Except this time. He pictured his pack sitting at the top of the hole, and cursed.

He’d thought today’s hike would be easy and had been looking forward to the chance to explore the old gold mining area. The Lake Sambell-Lake Kerferd Walking Trail followed a path from Lake Sambell, Beechworth to Lake Kerferd (the town’s water supply). He had walked along Spring and Hurdle Creeks, and had been having fun looking into the many disused mine shafts along the trail. 

The mine shafts had been covered with wire mesh, and he had been unable to see much into them, past one or two metres. Just as he was longing for more, he’d seen the sign “Uncovered mine shafts – stay on the designated path” and like a fool, he’d been captivated by the thrill of perhaps, getting into one. He hadn’t had to walk too far off the trail either before he discovered a beauty. The mouth of the shaft was wide and rocky and he was positive he would be able to climb down; especially if he secured himself with some rope. Taking off his pack, he had no sooner unzipped the bag to pull out the length he had with him, when the sides of the shaft gave way and he had bounced and tumbled, all the way to the bottom.

He wriggled, trying to make himself comfortable and whimpered as his left leg screamed with pain. He was sure it was broken, especially with the unnatural angle at which it stretched out before him. He looked up, trying to work out how far down he’d fallen. It was far enough that the broad daylight above, seemed no more than a torch beam. 

He was lucky to be alive really. Or was he? he thought, bleakly. No one knew he was here. No one would have expected him to disobey the signs and wander off. He knew from the history of the area that there were thousands of disused mines. Even if they did know he’d been walking this trail, they may never find him. 

His unease, gave way to panic. With his leg useless, he couldn’t even try and climb out. He had no food, no water, no phone. All that – lay above him; in his pack. If by some chance, other hikers saw his bag, they may not be so foolhardy as to leave the trail and investigate further. They would pass him by. 

How long can I survive down here? he wondered, as a wave of hopelessness washed over him. 

He screamed desperately for help, but his cries were muted by the earth and damp surrounding him. He may as well have been screaming in a vacuum. His hands clenched at the gritty soil beneath them and he threw a clump at the wall in frustration. As the eerie silence of the shaft, closed in around him, the gravity of his predicament settled upon him. He squeezed his eyes shut, lay back and waited.

Waited for rescue and waited for death. 

Whichever came first.

By Sarah ©2017



* bushie – Australian slang. someone who lives in the bush; person who lives in rural Australia;




Image credits By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday – August 18th 2017; Daily Post Daily Prompt, solitary 

Haibun, Poetry by Sarah

Everlasting Love

mechanics of time
wound the clocks of good fortune
the summer we met

Though many years have passed, I remember as if it were yesterday; the way you sat shyly, shrinking into the corner at the restaurant. It was a mutual friend’s birthday celebration, yet this was the first time we had crossed paths. I sidled up to you, sensing your discomfort, and tried to put you at ease. Conversation was surprisingly effortless and soon the evening had whittled away. The pink hues of sunrise letting us know it was time to part. We exchanged numbers and eight years later, it is still the best decision I ever made. The shy young man, now, my self-assured husband.

vows long since exchanged
our precious hearts now complete
everlasting love




Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, August 16th 2017 – everlasting love

Task: The challenge for this week is to create a haibun themed “everlasting love” and of course there are a few rules … your haibun can have about 500 words (including the haiku) and your haiku has to follow the classical rules as there are e.g. the use of a seasonword and the 5-7-5 syllables count.

Haibun, Poetry by Sarah

Amaltheia


Image credit Ooberxandxdavie6

The warm honey glow of the late afternoon sun, was a contrast to the prickling cool of the mountain air on her skin. She climbed to her vantage point, high above the valleys. The ‘T-tree’ had been formed one night when Zeus’ lightning bolt had cleaved it in two – destroying the wine-red leaves of Autumn. The remaining limbs had sagged and sighed their defeat, for it was Winter now and the cornucopia were full for the cold months ahead. It was from here she loved to watch over the world below. The mountain goats were drawn here also and she liked to imagine it was because they were summoned by her power; taking their place beside her in the stars.

nourishing earth’s child
Amaltheia; Capricorn;
goat goddess endures.


By Sarah ©2017

Author’s note: In Greek mythology, Amaltheia is the she-goat Goddess who nourished Zeus as an infant. In later years, Zeus broke off one of Her horns, which then became the cornucopia, providing sustenance for all earth’s creatures. Amaltheia’s themes are success, humor, reason, devotion and providence. Her symbols are goat, cornucopia and stars.  For Her diligence and service, Amaltheia was transformed into the constellation Capricorn, where She remains.

Source: Journeying to the Goddess


Image credit Journeying to the Goddess

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge #176; Daily Post Daily Prompt, prickle; Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, #46 – honey and wine


 

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Second Chance

I couldn’t feign love any longer.
Your malformed heart
Had started to infect mine.

Nothing remained
Except the labyrinthine void
Between us.

It was time I left before
The dead-reckoning of our course 
Smashed us both upon the rocks.

I had been a girl with grit back then
– to get out when I did.
Even if my gait had been slow;
Unnatural; a clumsy waltz. 

As I relearned the steps,
I looked around with caution.
Until where once I was torn,
I had been stitched up whole again.

I press my hand to your chest
And feel your heart beating.
I promise you it forever
Be embedded in mine.

By Sarah ©2017

*Labyrinthine – adjective. complicated, torturous, resembling a labyrinth

^ Dead-reckoning – noun. In navigation, dead reckoning is the process of calculating one’s current position by using a previously determined position, or fix, and advancing that position based upon known or estimated speeds over elapsed time and course.

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday’s Mix – 12 August 2017, flashback ; Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #168
Words used: feign, gait, dead-reckoning, torn, press, left, labyrinthine, look, embed(ded), malformed, gritty (grit), (un)natural

Stories by Sarah

No Zen


Image credit Dioga Costta

We met at a local coffee shop. The smell of brewing coffee wafted over to the booth where we sat.

It was my first Tinder date and I was nervous as hell. I gripped my coffee mug with white-knuckled fervour, and looked over at my date.

His profile had disclosed his name was ‘Zen’, he was 35 and played piano; a classical specialist. I had thought to myself before I swiped right, that he obviously befitted his namesake. He was good looking, but almost a little too good looking. One of those guys so well manicured, you suspect they may take longer to get ready than you. At least he matched his profile picture. THAT was a bonus.

I thought of my own profile and cringed inwardly at the zany profile picture and lame attempt at humour. My name is Zahara. Like the desert but with a Z….oh well, he had chosen me too.

“So…” he began awkwardly. The silence was becoming uncomfortable. “Nice day out there.”

Oh gees, I thought, the weather? Seriously!? The cards were folding on this relationship already. My zen Zen’s shiny gold paint tarnishing just a little.

“Yeah, looks like Winter may finally be on it’s way out. So Zen, where do you play?” I asked, trying to steer towards a more meaningful topic of conversation.

He looked at me blankly. “Play?”

“Yes. The piano?”

It was only a micro expression, but I saw the light in his eyes flicker a little and register something, as if recalling a lie. 

“Oh yes, the piano, right! I wasn’t sure if you meant footy. I play here and there, you know how it is.”

Hmmm, nice elusive answer! I noted to myself.

“Anywhere I’d know?” I probed.

“Probably not,” he replied, shutting that line of questioning down. 

I tried again, not willing to surrender just yet. “What do you do for fun?” I enquired. “Do you have any hobbies?”

With that, his face lit up. I looked into his eyes, which were shining bright. Jackpot. I congratulated myself.

“Oh yeessss,” he drawled seductively, “I have very fun hobbies.”

Surprised by the change in his demeanour, I laughed nervously. “Really?” 

“Maybe I should show you?” he murmured suggestively.

I didn’t like his tone, and my face flushed with heat. “Ah. Um. How about you just tell me first.”

“Oh that’s no fun. Want to get out of here?” he asked.

Thinking he meant for a walk, I heard myself agreeing. He paid for the coffee and as we left, he slung his arm around my shoulders. We walked a block or so, when he turned me around, pushed me up against a building and began kissing me. His hand moved to my breast.

Shocked, I pulled my mouth away from his, ripped his grubby hand off me and said, “Hey. I’m not okay with that.”

“What did you think was going to happen?” he said matter-of-factly.

“Not. THAT!” I hissed.

“Come on,” he cajoled. “Why waste time with conversation and coffee when you and I both know this is about sex. A bit of fun.”

He leaned in again but I put my hand on his chest and pushed him away. “I’m not having ‘fun’ and especially not with you.”

His eyes darkened and in that moment, his face looked like a demon. He clearly wasn’t used to hearing ‘no’.

“Well, you’re not really my type anyway, sweetheart. I prefer my woman a little…thinner. A little…prettier. A little…more than anything you’re offering.” he sneered.

His words were cruel and played on every insecurity I had. It was as if he had a window into my mind, poking around my secret shame. Humiliated, my face burned as I pushed him away. Making my escape from him, I couldn’t believe I’d been played, assaulted and insulted, all in the space of half an hour. The dating dream had failed. There was no zen. All I had found was a beast woven to a soul.

No more Tinder for me. Next time I’d leave things to fate.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Writing Prompt #215 – Stories By 5, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Music Prompt #10, Imagine Dragons – Demons
The five :
Topic – a humiliating rejection
Names – Zen and Zahara
Instrument – piano
Scent – brewing coffee
Verb – surrender

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah, Scribblings by Sarah

The Flatmate

She was a girl with many layers.
Accustomed to finery.
Reactive when things didn’t go her way.
(She always blamed her hormones).

Any hidden gains; a figment of your imagination.
For connecting with her true self,
Always ended in a gnossienne.
Don’t mistake her imitation for flattery.

She prefers to indulge her naughty side,
And leave you feeling impuissant.
It was a relief when she finally moved out.
Even if she did take half my stuff…

By Sarah ©2017

* gnossienne (noun.) – a moment of awareness that someone you’ve known for years still has a private and mysterious inner life, and somewhere in the hallways of their personality is a door locked from the inside.
^ puissant (adjective.) – powerful, mighty, potent. Antonym – impussiant (unable to take effective action; powerless)

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #167
Words used: layers, finery, reactive, gnossienne, figment, hormones, hidden, gain, imitation, naughty, feeling, (im)puissant

Haiku, Poetry by Sarah

Minstrel Heart


Image credit Christian Schloe


words pouring; flowing;

exploring chaos of life

with her minstrel heart


By Sarah ©2017


Author’s Note: I felt bad for cropping her out, so she gets a post of her own (and the challenge has elicited two responses out of me today!)

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Special Collage – 6 August 2017; The Syllabub Sea, Haiga Heaven, Challenge 33 – minstrel

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

The Sparrow and The Fox


Image credits Window – Andrey Bobir; Fruit Center – Kevin Sloan


One day, a hungry fox stole some fruit from the tree where sparrow lived. Although the tree was laden with fruit, and she had plenty to spare, the greedy sparrow saw him and gave chase, determined to get it back. She believed the tree and all that was on it, belonged to her.

She flew high above, watching and following, as he ran and ran. Soon the fox grew tired and began to slow. When he stopped to enjoy his prize, the sparrow seized the opportunity and swooped down. 

Just as the fox was about to bite into the juicy papaya, the sparrow tore off a strip from the fruit and spat it onto the ground. The fox looked at the spoiled food, dismayed.

“Why did you do that?” he asked the sparrow.

“Because that fruit is mine, and I’ll do with it what I like,” she replied haughtily.

The fox shrugged his shoulders and went to take another bite. But just as before, the sparrow darted in and tore off more flesh from the fruit, spitting it out onto the dirt.

Undeterred, the fox kept trying to eat. But each time, the sparrow stole his mouthful from under him, preferring to see it rot on the ground, than have another eat it.

Soon, the papaya was gone and the fox remained hungry.

Satisfied, the selfish sparrow flew away. The fox followed her with his gaze, making sure she was fully out of sight before, looking down and smiling.

The spiteful bird was so intent on taking back her fruit, that she had overlooked the most important part. 

She had left the seeds.

And now, the fox could grow his own tree…

By Sarah ©2017

Author’s Note: This story is a little “left-field” and very different to my usual style. I really struggled to incorporate all elements of the prompt, so cropped the lady out of the collage. I took the quote as inspiration for the “layers” in my short story. The piece turned into a type of fable or tale that might be told for story therapy! There is obviously the literal tale, but underneath that, there is metaphor. It could be a tale of someone trying to break someone’s spirit but failing, as long as they have hope. Or a tale of someone who has the world, trying to keep others powerless. What is your interpretation? I’d love to hear it…

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Special Collage – 6 August 2017

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Walkies

The alarm sounds. I open one eye, slap the snooze button and try to pretend it didn’t happen. 

But it’s too late. 

My brain is awake, and more importantly, so are the dogs.

They know what that sound means.

They know their human is rising to meet their needs.

I throw back the quilt cover and my husband moans his complaints, for I’ve let a little cold air into the sanctuary. I mumble apologies but they’re half-hearted really. I’m always hopeful my wonderful partner will come with me. One foot, then the other hits the carpeted floor and I stand; stretching and ironing out the creases of sleep. 

The dogs join me in this ritual. I hear their multi-footed dismount from the bed to the floor. They elongate one rear leg then the other before pulling back onto their haunches. Eyes wide open; expectant and watching my every move.

I dress myself in active wear, wrap a scarf around my neck and plonk a beanie on my head.

This is not what they are waiting for.

As I walk over to my dresser and pull out a pair of socks, their tails start wagging.

Once one sock is on, they move a little closer to where I am.

But when I reach for the runners, they start to turn excited circles; dancing a doggie duet around each other.

They know it is time.

I ask them, just to be sure, “Is it time?”

They start yipping with anticipation.

“Are you sure it’s time?” I tease.

The yipping becomes louder. 

“Is it time for walkies?” I exclaim.

They jump up and down, yelping, “Yes, yes, yes!”

I clip the leads around their neck and off we head into the cold, pre-dawn morning. The icy air blasts my face and wakes me up.

I love this time of day.

Every day.

By Sarah ©2017



Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday’s Mix – 5 August 2017, routine; Daily Post Daily Prompt, partner

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

A Little Diner Affair

Dinah worked whatever paid rent, 
careers were reserved for the ‘burbs
She didn’t always like the jobs,
Especially ones working kerbs.

She hoped one day she’d make it,
She believed it in her mind.
But no matter how hard she tried,
People didn’t accept her kind.

Like stubbing a toe when already broke,
Life kept kicking her hard.
Her spirit stayed strong, never wavering,
Biding time to play her card.

For all those years, she squirrelled away,
A little here and there.
It wasn’t much, but Dinah bought
A little diner affair.

And when those folks who’d snubbed her,
Wanted coffee at her door,
She turned them away and Dinah said,
“Not bad huh? For a whore!”

For Dinah’s diner catered only,
for a very special few,
who battle life doing what they must,
just to make it through.

She took whatever they could pay,
And sometimes that was nought.
It mattered not, for she knew so well,
The struggles that they fought.

It wasn’t about the money.
It wasn’t about the glory.
She just believed everyone deserved,
A chance to change their story.

By Sarah ©2017


Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday – August 4th 2017

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Skin Deep

Lying was her new truth.
And she was drowning in it.

The weight of it all.
Made it difficult to breathe sometimes.

She felt her loyalty was just a tattoo
Skin deep, like a quote about love.

But she was helpless to change things.
She was stuck in this generation.

By Sarah ©2017


Image credit ©Phoebe Rudomino 

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Sunday Writing Prompt, July 30 – surfacing

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Deep In The Willowwacks

Deep in the willowwacks*,
the hooded people encircle
eccentric stones.

Entangled in the foolish.
Fulfilling figments of need and
jumping like myrmidons^.

The blade glints
as it slices the flesh
of the chocolate haired girl.

And in the morning
only whispers remain.

By Sarah ©2017


* Willowwacks – A wooded or uninhabited area
^ Myrmidon – a person who executes without question or scruple a master’s commands. 

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #166
Words used: willowwacks, foolish, circle, hooded, figments, eccentric, need, entangled, myrmidon, chocolate, glint, jump

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Whispering Wind 

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

For I learnt long ago
Words can 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
And my spirit is leaving,
I can 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 between the two.

None of us are innocent.
None of us are pure.
We each play our part,
of that you can be sure.

And as my transgressions float
Across the whispering wind,
They remind me of all
The ways I have sinned.

I’m not the same person
I was ten years ago,
yet my deeds still follow me
wherever I may go.

When the piper comes for me
with shadows, taller than my soul,
I promise I will tell my secrets,
Yes; I will tell them all.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Music Prompt #10, response to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

The Haircut

Feeling nervous, I sidled into the room. Apart from one other patron, it was vacant. I tried to read the posters on the wall to pass the time, but found I couldn’t.

A smell permeated the area around me. To my horror, I realised it was eminating from me! Attempting to salvage my dignity, I sagged my shoulders, retreated to the corner and conceded the visit was necessary after all.

“Well don’t you have the prettiest Celadon eyes!” the young girl exclaimed as she grabbed me and guided me into the smaller room adjoining the waiting area.

Before I could reply, she commenced clipping with a startling trenchancy^; casting away my locks as though they were no more than offal.

I’d worked hard to grow my hair that long! I thought to myself sulkily.

In surprisingly short time, she was done and I looked at myself in the mirror. My coat was like spun gold; silky and shiny. I turned this way and that, admiring my new do.

As my owner entered the room to collect me, I stood up to greet her, completely unabashed*. 

By Sarah ©2017

Author’s note: This is my mum’s dog Ollie. He has unusual pale green eyes and a gorgeous golden coat, as well as a neat party trick of being able to ‘stand up’ and rest on his bottom! I have often wondered what he thinks as he gets dragged off for grooming once every three weeks, and this was my take on it using the wordle to help me.

* abash (verb) to destroy the self-confidence, poise, or self-possession of; disconcert; make ashamed or embarrassed
^ trenchancy (adjective) incisive or keen, as language or a person; caustic; cutting; vigorous; effective; energetic

Prompt: Minelovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #165
Words used: shine, clip, abash, read, salvage, Celadon, permeate, sag, nervous, vacant, offal, trenchancy 

Poetry by Sarah, Tanka

Though I Roam Wild


Image credit http://reylia.deviantart.com/

though I may roam wild
through the deserts of despair
rain shall drive my calm 

creating joyful music
strangled by the whitest hope

By Sarah ©2017



Prompst: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge – #174, AND, Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, wild & calm