Haiku, Scribblings by Sarah

In My Dreams

Sometimes when I write, I’m not sure where it comes from. I see a photo / read a word / analyse a prompt and suddenly; there it is. The idea arrives like a beam of light into my brain, sent from goodness-knows-where, and the writing just flows…usually! 

When I first started blogging, I used to overthink things. I tried too hard to anticipate my reader’s response and worried about making. Every. Piece. Amazing. It was exhausting. 

Now I’ve let it go, I find writing easier and the quality of my work has improved – I hope you agree! I am also more motivated to write, which has in turn, increased my quantity too! 

In fact, I’ve become so obsessed with writing, I cannot wait to arrive home from work, catch up on my favourite blogs via my WordPress Reader and start attacking whatever challenge in the universe has taken my fancy/ies today! I am even dreaming in Haiku and just to prove it, here’s one I wrote in my dreams last night…


nothing’s more divine

than hanging with friends of mine

and making char wine


Now, I have no idea what ‘char wine’ is – I looked it up on Google and apparently barrel char levels are a thing (how much barrels are charred on the inside before fermenting bourbon whisky)…so I guess my friends and I were making homemade whisky (never mind that in my dream we were also dressed as pirates and this Haiku was written on a flag)

At the very least, I’m impressed:

  1. that the Haiku makes sense
  2. it follows the correct 5/7/5 structure
  3. I managed to make it rhyme

Imagine what I could do when I’m conscious…

😜😝😜


This week’s photo is by Axcy @ Deviantart.
You can find details of Nekneeraj’s weekly challenge here: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/19271780/posts/1500603771

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge #170

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Sweet Tooth

 

It was a mundane existence really – keeping everything so neat and tidy all the damn time. There was not even a speck of dust on the vents for heaven’s sake. And for what? I needed to grow a spine and just refuse to adhere to such fastidious rules. There were better ways to spend my time!

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I spied it. A cheeky candy wrapper poking out from under the bed.

How on earth did that get there? I pondered.

I nudged the bed aside to retrieve the offending candy wrapper and that’s when I saw the partial fingerprint. 

Tentatively, I picked it up and walked backwards, toward the edge of my cell.

Triumphantly I held aloft the prize, knowing there was only one person in D block with half a finger. Staring brazenly at the inmate opposite me, I said with a smile, “Looks like I’m not the only person in here lacking la gaudiere*, hey Stubs? Now I promise I won’t tell. But it will cost you the rest of that packet”…

By Sarah ©2017



Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #160. Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem.

Words used: mundane, neat, vent, spine, wrapper, la gaudiere, nudge (nudged), partial, tentative, backwards, oppose (opposite), smile

* La gaudiere (noun.) glint of goodness inside people, which you can only find by sloshing them back and forth in your mind until everything dark and gray and common falls away, leaving behind a constellation at the bottom of the pan—a rare element trapped in exposed bedrock, washed there by a storm somewhere upstream.

Scribblings by Sarah

Seventeen

“When I was seventeen, I drank some very good beer,
I drank some very good beer, I purchased with a fake ID.
My name was Brian McGee, I stayed up listenin’ to Queen
When I was seventeen.” 
Homer Simpson

I recently attended GABS, which for those who don’t know about it, is all about BEER – hundreds of craft brewers coming together to showcase their latest and greatest (and sometimes mad) achievements in beer.

In honour of beer connoisseurs everywhere, I’m recommending my favourite Top 17 Australian Craft Beers.

  1. Bridge Road Brewers Pale Ale
  2. Pirate Life Double IPA
  3. Pirate Life IPA
  4. Mountain Goat Pale Ale
  5. Bentspoke Barley Griffin
  6. Bentspoke Crankshaft
  7. Two Birds Brewing Taco Beer
  8. Stone and Wood Pacific Ale
  9. Pirate Life Throwback Pale Ale
  10. Pact Mt Tennant Pale Ale
  11. Bridge Road Brewers Bling IPA
  12. Fat Yak Pale Ale
  13. Yowie Lager
  14. James Squire ‘The Chancer’ Golden Ale
  15. Rabbit and Spaghetti ‘The Fox’ Lager
  16. Two Birds Brewing Summer Ale
  17. Tooheys…JKA! No one really drinks that crap! Not in Victoria anyway…

Happy sampling!


Image credit Pixabay

Prompt: MLMM Saturday’s Mix, 17 June 2017, Theme: seventeen (17), Word count: 170

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah, Scribblings by Sarah

The Muse


One bite of your neck, was more than I deserved; my muse.

You were so open, with words so smooth; my muse.

You eased the tension from my body, like it were a playhouse; my muse.

Even Neptune himself, could not have been treated any more a king; my muse.

Your semaphorism* a constant tease, a hook, a drug; my muse.

A paradoxical stalemate of wanting, but never having you; my muse.

But in reality, you are a thief; my muse.

I have been stolen, and am lost in you.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Wordle #159
Words: 

1. Bite
2. Smooth
3. Open
4. Deserve
5. Paradox
6. Semaphorism (n.)) a conversational hint that you have something personal to say on the subject but don’t go any further—an emphatic nod, a half-told anecdote, an enigmatic ‘I know the feeling’—which you place into conversations like those little flags that warn diggers of something buried underground: maybe a cable that secretly powers your house, maybe a fiberoptic link to some foreign country.)
7. Tension
8. Playhouse
9. Neptune
10. Stalemate
11. Muse
12. Thieves
Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

All Tied Up

Being tied to a chair was about as unpleasant as he imagined.

One minute he’d been out enjoying the sunshine, feeling the wind ruffle through the grass around him.

Next, he’d been snatched away, driven for miles and then forced into a cold, cold room…and a room filled with strangers nonetheless! And he hadn’t liked the look of them either – not one bit! They were an odd assortment. Tall, short, thin, chunky, groomed, scruffy…and all different colours too.

He had been wondering what on earth was going on when suddenly, the door to the room had opened and a friendly looking, round-faced woman entered. 

Surely she’s not my captor? he’d thought to himself. She seems too nice, too ‘homey’.

He had no sooner completed the thought than she’d grabbed him. Hard. 

Her chubby fingers had dug into his skin and without a word, she’d thrown him against a couple of the strangers.

She’d grabbed some rope, bound them together and tied them to the chair, plonking them unceremoniously next to others who were bound just like them.

Yep, he thought again, Being tied to a chair was about as unpleasant as he imagined. 

Now, just get on with the damn wedding will you?


Image courtesy of Pixabay

 By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday 09.06.17

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Walking The Line

She walked the ridgeline, as though walking a tightrope. There was a sheer drop on either side of the thin, rocky trail, and she felt truly terrified. The ice and snow made each step precarious and the dark chasm on either side of her was dizzying. She tried not to look down; placing one foot after the other, ever-so carefully.

The wind didn’t help matters. It whipped fiercely around her, flapping her long black skirt and rocking her balance. With one hand she tied back her hair, as the long black strands lashed her face and obscured her view of the rocky corridor. She kept her other hand outstretched, gripping an invisible rail to steady herself.

There had to be easier way to reach the tower, she thought to herself. She longed for refuge within its strong, solid walls. It’s warm light – a beacon; seemed to be drawing closer at an agonisingly slow rate.

Suddenly a gust of wind knocked her sideways and she slipped. Hanging by her finger tips to a rocky shelf, the chasm yawned below her like a hungry mouth, eager to swallow her in one gulp.

Mustering all her strength, she pulled herself onto the shelf, shivering and breathing hard. That was a close call. Once she’d steadied her nerves, she stood again and continued picking her way along the trail. She hugged herself closer to the ground, lowering her centre of gravity. She was not willing to risk falling again.

Fatigue and hunger were starting to assault her. She trained her thoughts to the task at hand and recalled the words of her hiking buddy, Helen.

She conjured Helen’s smiling face, quipping her favourite words of encouragement, “All you have to do is focus your energy on picking up your foot. It falls down all by itself!”

The memory made her smile and strengthened her resolve. Pick up left foot. Pick up right foot, she commanded herself. It was pure mind over matter. Helen believed she was going to make it, she believed in herself that she was going to make it…and she would!

She reminded herself that the road to recovery was long and hard, and weaves a lonely, rocky path.

And sometimes you’re only one step from falling into that black hole again.
By Sarah ©2017


Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge – 6 June

Pantoum, Poetry by Sarah

In The Shadows

All for a ‘please’ and a smile,
I come out of the background.
Ignoring tendencies, awestruck. 
I am parallel with mal de coucou.

I come out of the background.
Nerves cause me to spill Golem’s Truth.
I am parallel with mal de coucou,
Quelling my strong desires

Nerves cause me to spill Golem’s Truth.
Using smoke and mirrors,
Quelling my strong desires,
I retreat back to the shadows.

Using smoke and mirrors,
Ignoring tendencies, awestruck.
I retreat back to the shadows,
All for a ‘please’ and a smile.

By Sarah ©2017

* Mal de coucou (n.) – a phenomenon in which you have an active social life but very few close friends—people who you can trust, who you can be yourself with, who can help flush out the weird psychological toxins that tend to accumulate over time—which is a form of acute social malnutrition in which even if you devour an entire buffet of chitchat, you’ll still feel pangs of hunger.

^ Golem’s Truth – A secret that must be kept on pain of death.

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #158

Words: please, background, awestruck, tend, mal de coucou, smoke, nerve, spill, Golem’s Truth, strong, desire, parallel 

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

The Wait

As I drained the glass, my breath echoed inside the small space like Darth Vader. I had dribbled some liquid down my chin so I wiped my mouth using a napkin from the dispenser on the counter. COME ON, COME ON! I said to myself. 

I checked my cellphone again. Still no reply. 

Feeling antsy I flicked the lighter, watching the flame pop up and down, up and down, like a jack-in-the-box. The bartender shot me an irritated look. I stopped. 

I considered reading the book in my bag, but knew I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the storyline anyway.

I got up from my stool, and began pacing around the pub. The bartender sighed loudly. Clearly this annoyed him more than the lighter, as his body tensed with anger. 

I needed to stay out of trouble, so I quickly sat down again, throwing him an apologetic smile.

I was about to go out of my mind, when my cellphone bleeped.

Finally! I thought relieved, as I read the text from my mate John. 

“TOILET’S FREE. ALL YOURS”

By Sarah ©2017


Image courtesy of Pixabay

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Story Elements June 4, Words: Glass, Darth Vader, napkin, cellphone, lighter, book, anger, trouble, mind

Daily Post Daily Prompt, Word: relieved

Photos by Sarah, Scribblings by Sarah

The River Gang

Brassy sunlight streams through the trees. The trail is bracing and I can see my breath stretching in front of me, as if leading the way.

I bask in the sounds of nature and listen to the early morning bird song as I walk. Magpies mainly. They are warbling and gargling their happy tunes. It lifts my heart.

I round a bend in the track and I catch myself thinking how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful part of Australia. Rural enough to have a bush walk on my doorstep any day I please, but country town enough to not want for anything.

I cross the swing bridge and stare into the almost perfect mirror image reflected by the still waters of the Ovens River. The calm, glass-like water soothing my busy mind.

About a kilometre into the walk, is the rail bridge. Every time I do this walk it is always striking – a juxtaposition of steel and technology against the backdrop of green gum trees. Pylons plunging their fingers into the muddy water below. Its red metal skin screaming, “Look at me”. And I do. Every time. It draws my eye and distracts me from the nature I’ve come to see.

Today, for the first time, I notice some graffiti. Someone has spray painted RIVER GANG along the side of one of the girders. I feel curious about who they might be. Who is the ‘river gang’ ? What’s their purpose? Why did they feel it necessary to declare their presence in this otherwise, tranquil, isolated place? 

As I draw closer, I see more graffiti, scribbling and scrawling, demanding a reaction. I could feel sad. I could become enraged about this blemish on our trail. However, I find it ironic that despite their attempted destruction, I can still find the beauty.

By Sarah ©2017


Images courtesy of By Sarah ©

Prompt: Daily Post Daily Prompt, Word: brassy
Prompt 2: Mind Love Misery’s Menagerie, Saturday’s Mix 3rd June 2017

Stories by Sarah

Track Record

Pacing from end to end of the platform, keeping warm while I waited. I shook my hands, trying to get the blood flowing. It was another crisp morning. With despair, I felt the first few drops of rain, and stood underneath the scaffold of a nearby hedge, seeking shelter. I really hope that damn train is on time today, I thought. Our line was notorious for delays and cancellations.

I noted the other passengers, all three of them, were eagerly checking their watches and straining for signs of an approaching diesel engine too. 

Across the still air, dampened by the wet ground, we heard it. Not a toot, more of a blare. Sounding impatient and eager to get here. Within minutes, we saw the headlights and felt the suction of the wind being drawn toward to the approaching XPT.

4:47am. 2 minutes late, but very good, considering the track record.

I wrenched open the carriage door for Car D. Looking at my ticket, I checked my seat number for the third time. D10. Nope, hadn’t changed since last I looked. Ambling along the narrow aisle I strained to see the seat numbers. The carriage was in full darkness and the lumps of passenger silhouettes, told me everyone was sleeping.

From the other end of the carriage I saw a small beam of light. It was a woman in a NSW Rail uniform, waddling down to assist me.

“What number are you love?” she asked.

I showed her my ticket and she shone the torch towards the correct location.

“Thanks,” I replied, gratefully, however once I got there, I became aware there was a problem. Lying across my seat, and hers, was a young lady, fast asleep. The train began to move, leaving the station. Light from the town street lights flickered on her briefly, illuminating her. She was small and willowy, her clothes shabby and torn. I noticed she appeared thoroughly beaten down by her short time on this earth. Or maybe she was stuck in a mimeomia.

“Um, excuse me, that’s my seat,” I said gently, not wanting to scare her.

No response.

“Hello, miss?” I tried again.

Nothing.

Suddenly, from behind me I heard the NSW Rail woman’s voice bark loud and authoritatively, “Sit up now please!”

The girl jumped up, sleepily pulled herself upright into her chair and mumbled an apology.

Embarrassed, I took my seat.  The train rocked and swayed, dancing with the tracks as we sped our way to Melbourne. I pulled out a nectarine from my backpack and proceeded to wolf it down. A meagre breakfast substitute until the buffet car opened at 6am.

In the seclusion of my mind, I wondered what else the day ahead would bring.

By Sarah ©2017


Image courtesy of Pixabay



* Mimeomia (n.) the frustration of knowing how easily you fit into a stereotype, even if you never intended to, even if it’s unfair, even if everyone else feels the same way—each of us trick-or-treating for money and respect and attention, wearing a safe and predictable costume because we’re tired of answering the question, “What are you supposed to be?”
Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #157
Words used: blood, scaffold, despair, seek(ing), nectarine, wolf, woman, willowy, aware, beaten

Stories by Sarah

The Silver Violin

It had been months since she had even picked it up. Though the music still coursed through her, the rhythm was sadder, the beat, slower than it had once been. She didn’t want to give up, but she didn’t know if she could move forward.

She ran her fingers over her throat. Feeling the clench in her jaw and her rapid breathing. She tried to calm herself.

Focusing her thoughts, she decided to get ready. She looked at herself in the mirror. Who are you? she wondered, as she took in the pallid colour of her skin. Her eyes, usually bright, were dull and flat. And her hair! She could not recall the last time she’d washed it. It hung in greasy ropes around her thin face.

You’ve got to get it together, she scolded herself. It’s been three months since you lost the baby.

She pinched her cheeks trying to draw some colour. Her husband would worry the minute he took one look at her.

Not bothering with makeup, she decided to dress instead. She picked up her favourite frock.

Usually the pattern, so vibrant and colourful, would make her feel a million dollars. Today it seemed as appropriate as wearing a clown costume to a funeral. The dress, which used to hug and flatter her curvy figure, now hung loosely from her frame.

She sighed. She couldn’t muster the energy to change so instead, turned the mirror around.

“Honey, you ready?” her husband’s anxious voice asked.

“Be there in a sec,” she replied absently.

A few seconds later, he opened the door.

“How you doing today?” he asked gently.

“Ok. The same really,” she answered.

He glanced over to wear it lay. His gaze an unasked question.

He watched her carefully, as he went over to the dresser and picked it up. He rubbed his fingers over it, and gently felt it’s cool metal frame. He turned the key and the tinkling music streamed out.

“It really was an exquisite gift,” he stated.

“Well it’s useless now,” she retorted bitterly.

It had been intended as a christening gift for their child. A tiny, delicate, sterling silver model of a violin that played music when wound.

“Aha! Maybe not,” he replied mischeveiously.

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a beautiful long silver chain. Watching her, gauging her reaction like a cornered bird, he threaded it through the strings of the silver violin. He walked over to where she stood and looped it around her neck.

“Now you can keep her with you always,” he said, a tear slipping down his cheek. “Never to be forgotten.”

He wound the key again and as the tune that soothed her soul tinkled out, she sang along softly, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…” 

and smiled.

By Sarah ©2017


Image courtesy of Pixabay

Prompt: MLMM Writing Prompt #209, “It’s All in the Title”, and, Daily Post Daily Prompt, Word: loop

Pantoum, Poetry by Sarah

Toilet Humour

Lost in my thoughts
As I stumbled along
Didn’t see I was off course
Didn’t know I was wrong

As I stumbled along
As drunk as could be
Didn’t know I was wrong
I just needed to pee

As drunk as could be
I pushed open the MENS door
I just needed to pee
A man! Accidentally, I saw!

I pushed open the MENS door
Didn’t see I was off course
A man! Accidentally, I saw!
Lost in my thoughts.

By Sarah ©2017


Image courtesy of Tuomas_Lehtinen at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Prompt: MLMM Saturday’s Mix 27/5/17, Theme: spying, unintentional witness


Stories by Sarah

Taken away

The Stenham house was an ancient locked thing and nothing returned there except for crows. Their angst driven ‘caw, caw’ echoed against the stone walls. A reverberation in blue melody.

She dared to peer out from behind the heavily draped windows. She couldn’t be sure, but she thought she’d seen them again. Darting around the periphery of her property. Watching the fence line closely, she finally saw them. Fleeting, but most certainly there.

She was scared. What did they want? Why wouldn’t they leave her alone? Leave her family alone? Lucille became more and more agitated, as she considered her fears. She watched from the window for what seemed like hours. It wasn’t the first time they’d tried to get in. To destroy her happy home. A home she had built from the ground up with her husband Walter. A home she had raised three children in. A home she had kept as pristine and proud as the first day she’d opened its doors.

Suddenly from behind her, she heard a voice, “Lucille? It’s me.”

She turned, furious. How had they gotten in? How DARE they?

She launched herself at the intruder, prepared to fight. Arms flailing and abuse spewing forth from her mouth, she was stunned to discover there was nobody there.

Confused and shaken, she retreated to the lounge room. Pouring herself a scotch, she perched herself in the arm chair opposite her husband.

“I don’t know Walter,” she began, “between the strangers in the yard and ghosts in the house, I just don’t know if I can stay here anymore.”

Walter smiled and winked reassuringly. “My daring wife, I am quite sure it’s all in your head. Don’t be scared. I will always be here to protect you.”

Somewhat comforted, she returned his smiled and listened instead for the sounds of her children. Straining, her brow furrowed, she heard nothing at first. But soon, a symphony of animated high pitched chatter, laughter, the squeaking and squealing of toy cars and thumping footsteps up and down the hallway, lulled her anxious heart.

“LUCILLE!”

This time, the voice was more urgent.

She whipped her head around, again seeing no one.

“What do you want?” she demanded. “Why won’t you leave me alone?”

Distressed, she began rocking. It was all too much. The voices, the strangers, the ghosts. What was happening to her?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“I’m afraid your grandmother’s dementia has become quite advanced,” the doctor explained kindly. “It’s likely she doesn’t recognise you or your family any longer. In fact, she may have retreated to the past, to a time when she was happy”.

“I don’t understand,” I protested. “She knew me yesterday.”

“That’s the strange thing about the mind”, the doctor continued, “we just have to keep sailing with it, wherever the person takes us. Even if it takes us out of that picture.”


By Sarah ©2017


Image credit: Tuomas_Lehtinen at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Prompt: MLMM First Line Friday

Haibun, Haiku, Poetry by Sarah

Animal Parade 

Take me to the clouds
Beyond the reach of this land
Spirit me away.

When I first opened my eyes, I saw glittering stars. A black abyss surrounding the diamonds in my mind. But as my cloudy eyes began to focus, I realised I was lying on the grass; a witness to the drifting white cumulus in a pale winter sky. As a young girl, I would often lie this way. Constructing a parade of elephants, dragons, birds and other creatures, slowly morphing from one to the next.  I tried to smile at the memory, but it hurt too much. That last hit had been hard; rattling my teeth and wobbling my brain. I had to leave him.

Take me to the clouds
Beyond the reach of his hands
My spirit now free.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompts: 

MLMM Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, May 24th 2017, Word: clouds

Daily Post Daily Prompt, Word: create (used synonym ‘constructing’)

Author’s note: This is my first attempt at Haibun (it’s a day of firsts today!). Thanks to Margaret Chula for her Guidelines for Writing Haibun in English. My haibun today follows the Haiku/Prose/Haiku structure and was inspired by Australia’s ongoing battle with violence against women/ family violence. I myself have been a victim and as a teacher, witness daily, the trauma of children living with family violence. We must do better.