Stories by Sarah

The Mountain

High above the town, I greedily breathe the air.

Already, there is little trace of the path I’d forged. The disturbed foliage bouncing back into place, like a coiled spring.

I sit, slowly. The exertion of the ascent has made me lightheaded. I close my eyes and feel the cool stone beneath my legs and buttocks. Solid. Comforting. Constant.

It makes me remember him. Solid. Comforting. Constant. My mountain.

But not any longer.

His words.

My pledge. 

I uncap the ornate vessel that holds him now. I can feel his urgency to be free. The forest beckons. Its wintergreen fingers tickling the ether as I empty him into their grasp.

smile as his ashes fly away. Who says you can’t move mountains?

By Sarah ©2022

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #281

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Whispering Wind 

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Sunday Confessionals: Secrets

By Sarah

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

For I learnt long ago
Words 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
See my spirit is leaving,
I must 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 the two.

None of us are innocent.
None of us are pure.
We each play our part,
of that I am sure.

And as my transgressions float
Across whispering wind,
They remind me of all
The ways…

View original post 59 more words

Scribblings by Sarah

Holiday Mass

‘T’would seem a most unlikely fiction. But most assuredly, the hotdog was to blame.

Occasional gurgles and disembodied squeals punctuated the cavernous space of the archaic church, as the bishop tried to cope (unsuccessfully) with his churning guts. He bravely continued to deliver his sermon, yet clearly lacked his trademark enthusiasm.

Beads of sweat trickled slowly down his forehead. He closed his eyes in reverence, aware of the scale of what was to come. This was the moment that myth, became reality.

It is said on that day, those in the pews bore witness to a most extraordinary holiday mass indeed.

By Sarah ©2022

Wordle #279

Other, Poetry by Sarah

Never Tell

Do you know, I keep secrets?
And sometimes I lie?
Paint myself in silhouette,
But I’m not sure why.

My shameful heart is burdened.
Don’t know what to do.
To stop myself from spilling
Things that just aren’t true.

Is it because I’m lonely?
Connected; yet lost?
Never knowing what to say,
No matter what the cost.

Awkward and uncomfortable,
I have that in spades.
Desperate to hide my flaws
Yet still, they pervade.

Living in the “ifs” and “whens”
Never now and here.
Slowly dying bit by bit,
Existing in this fear.

Drawing on your sympathy.
Victim card, I’ll play.
You’ll never know the real me
Despite what I say.

Take responsibility?
Nope. I’ll duck and hide.
Unrelenting perfection
My armour; my pride.

You’ll never really notice
The absolute despair
Expectations left wanting
Truly a bugbear.

Maybe I’m an enigma
You take what I sell.
Am I lying even now?
Guess.

I’ll never tell.

By Sarah ©2022

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Lucky Dip, 18 June 2022; and Photo Challenge #419

Other, Poetry by Sarah

Indifference

People; do you ever really know?
They disappoint you. So
Keep your expectations low.

When life throws you blow upon blow,
Their silence speaks volumes.
People; do you ever really know?

Indifference. Likes to burn slow.
A simmering glance, a drawn out sigh.
Keep your expectations low.

A strangled plant, it’s hard to grow,
When surrounded by weeds.
People; do you ever really know?

Actions mean more than what you crow,
Beware smiling assassins.
Keep your expectations low.

Guarded I’ll be, loathe to show,
My innermost thoughts lest
People; do you ever really
know?
Keep your expectations low.

By Sarah ©2022

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Lucky Dip, 23 April 2022

Other, Poetry by Sarah

Dare Not

No one dare say
this is going to be our year
We need to walk in slow
Tread quietly. Tiptoe.

Be cautious
Be respectful
Be prepared
And don’t touch anything

Let 2022 be.
Instead, just hope
Hope it knows the assignment
This year will be its own creation
– whether we like it or not.

By Sarah ©2022

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday – 31 December 2021 and Saturday Mix – 1 January 2022*

*Line poetry contains a hidden message. When the last line of each stanza is read, it forms it’s own mini poem or tale.

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

Stars in the Sand

That’s right
I’m the sidekick
Riding the tailcoats
Of those braver than I

Too shy
Too scared
To bare my teeth
And so I smile

Push me around?
You can for a while
I promise, I won’t mind
Instead I smile

My knuckles are white
I grit my teeth
Composure like armour
“Yes,” I smile

My soul awakens
She tries to get out
Shh. No one cares
I falter…

Gently I push
Gently I prod
The cocoon opens wide
And I fly right out

I am bioluminescent
I’m ready.
Projecting my stars in the sand
For all to see

By Sarah ©2021

Photo by Kevin Wolf on Unsplash

Carrot Ranch, August 19: Flash Fiction Challenge, and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Take Weaver -19/8

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Dream a Little Dream

There’s a cacophony in my head.
And it won’t go away.
I’ve tried sleeping pills
But there’s no guarantee.

I drop some helium
To cull the birds
Coz the tweets are endless
A faithless dirge

And so I’m held
Too painfully aware.
Is it possible to hope?
Do I dare to care?

This fustian pair
Between my ears
See that decisions are made
for me in arrears

Wishes are portable
This I do know
Thoughts are transferable
Wherever I go.

So while there is still
a slit; a gleam
I have to believe I can
Dream a little dream

By Sarah ©2021

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Tale Weaver – 12.8.21 and Wordle #253; as well as, Carrot Ranch, August 12: Flash Fiction Challenge

Stories by Sarah

Crossed

Izzy didn’t believe in luck, until that cat crossed her path.

She had always been certain that events in her life were the direct result of her own decision making and efforts.

But that cat. That damned cat.

It changed everything.

Izzy had always been in control. Self-assured. Confident. She was a fortress, impenetrable and locked up tight. She didn’t let anyone or anything in, and she didn’t want to.

Which was what was so annoying about the whole situation. In one split second this cat had undermined everything she’d worked for. Just like that.

She glanced resentfully at the small obsidian mass of fur, contentedly purring on the passenger seat of her car. He didn’t even seem to realise, nor care, that he’d had such a close call. Nine lives down to eight now.

Her eyes darted back to the road again, as she gripped the steering wheel tensely. No, no, no, her subconscious chanted.

Only a couple more blocks, she reasoned. Then this would be someone else’s problem.

She whirled her vehicle into the drive of the animal shelter, breathing a sigh of relief as she flipped off the engine.

“Right hairball,” she stated firmly to the cat, “time to go.” She unbuckled her seatbelt and reached over to grab him.

She gently lifted his warm, silky body. He really was very cute. Maybe…

Nope! she thought. Let’s go.

She snuggled the cat close to her chest, lifting the flap of her jacket over the top to keep him warm. After all, it was cold out.

Izzy crunched her way up the gravel pathway, trying to determine where the entrance was. She stepped up onto the verandah and tried the first door.

Locked.

She wandered slowly along to the next. “Welcome to the RSPCA” she read on the small plaque.

Ahh, she sighed. Here we go. She pulled the handle but was met with more resistance. It too, was locked.

She swore under her breath as she took in the sign, “Opening Hours 7:30 – 5pm”.

Flicking her wrist, Izzy observed the time 5:07pm on her watch. Seriously?! she thought.

She pondered what to do next. Maybe, she could just leave him on the doorstep? No, that wouldn’t work – he’d just wander off; maybe back onto the road again. Was there an after hours number to call? Her eyes scoured the colourful signage for more information, but to no avail.

“Looks like you’re out of luck bud,” she said to the cat.

He looked up at her with his spooky yellow eyes, challenging her otherwise.

“Well you can’t come with me!” she objected.

The cat opened his mouth, and yawned.

At this, she laughed.

“Honestly, you don’t want me to be in charge here.”

But the cat’s gaze was unwavering.

“I look after myself, not others. It’s not personal, it’s just how I am,” she babbled.

The cat blinked.

She was beginning to see, there was no point arguing.

“Well, I guess, if it’s only for one night,” she conceded.

At that, the cat snuggled back into her chest and began to purr. Mission accomplished, he seemed to be saying.

Izzy’s heart melted and knew right then, that that cat wouldn’t be going anywhere. He was undeniably, all hers.

It was Lucky indeed, who showed Izzy what she didn’t even know she was missing.

By Sarah ©2021

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday – August 13, 2021

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Lasso The Sun

Image courtesy of Pobble365

Lasso the sun?
If only I could
I’d make you stay
If only you would

You captured my heart
But not mine you
A one way river
A dried up slew

I wanted to trap you
Encase you in stone
Secret you away
As mine alone

But you shine brightly
As only I dare
My eyes avert yours
An imperfect pair

I”m left in a wasteland
Of my own making
Lessons learned from
Giving not taking

Now I turn my back
And let you be
You’re just too elusive
This I can see

I’ll admire from afar
Bask only in your light
Lasso the sun?
One day, I might…

By Sarah ©2021

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge #377

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

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Villain

These villainous acts keep me up at night
My conscience cannot rest
Although I’ve done not one thing wrong
My intentions do contest

Infatuation blazes in
This yearning heart of mine
It’s criminal indeed to know
The secrets that I hide

Each wretched day, I live a lie
A smile pasted on my face
Eyes dart ‘round for just one glimpse
Yet oft, there is no trace

This cursed blight splintering
Dreams better to put to bed
The kicker is, none of it’s real
It’s all inside my head

By Sarah ©2021

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Tale Weaver – 29 July 2021

Stories by Sarah

August

August approached in a golden sweltering haze. The customary way she entered a room, really.

Her hair fanned out around her shoulders as she sped across the floor. The glower in her speckled hazel eyes alerted me, this was not a social visit.

Drawing a deep breath, I forced a smile and said, “My darling! What a surprise, and delight.”

“Oh cut the crap,’ August retorted.

“Why, now. There’s no need for hostility August,” I crooned.

“Spare me the platitudes,” she scoffed. “I’m not in the mood.”

“Yes. Ok, yes, That I can see. So why not tell me the problem?”

“You know very well you icy bastard.” She was positively radiating rage. The heat of her anger danced a trickle of sweat down my forehead.

Well, she had me there.

I did know; I just wasn’t sure why it was always such a problem. Better to beg forgiveness now, I conceded. Make it easier for next time.

“August, honey – you know how this works.”

“But it’s so unfair!” she whined. “People like me! People crave me. I make their lives so much happier. Happier than her, anyway. What does she have that I don’t?” she demanded.

Without waiting for a reply, she continued.

“Honestly, all I want is a few more days. A week. Two, max.”

“August, I’m sorry. I am. But it’s just not possible. You’ve had 31 days, and that’s more than some. Think about poor February for instance.”

This caused her to pause, so I went on, seizing the momentum.

“It’s not like you won’t have another chance; and you can build up your energy again – shine bigger! Brighter than ever! Eleven months is nothing in the big scheme of things. Give your fans time to miss you, and I assure you, you will be adored even more,” I promised.

Her eyes softened, and she smiled.

“I guess,” she said, ruefully, “I mean September is such a hot mess, how could they not adore me?”

“That’s right,” I soothed. “You’re so right beautiful August. They call it “the fall” for a reason – how could she live up to you? Now chin up. You’ve got your last day to enjoy!”

August beamed as she air kissed each of my cheeks goodbye. It was true. Bathing in her sunshine was glorious.

After she had gone, I sighed and leant back heavily into my chair. My temples throbbed from a headache that was developing and I needed a drink.

That had been a close call with August. And it didn’t make it any easier knowing I now had September to deal with.

My job wasn’t easy. Nope. Not at all. But as they say, “Time stands still for no-one.

By Sarah ©2021

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday – July 30, 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

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

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

Challenges by Sarah, Mindlovemisery's Menagerie - Saturday Mix, Poetry by Sarah

Clotted

We find ourselves in a spot
Whether we admit it or not

This pandemic has exposed the rot
Of our capitalist melting pot

Trying to gallop before we trot
Our economies a twisted knot

Hoping upon a vaccine’s our lot
Until then…stuck like a clot

By Sara©2020

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Rhyme Time, 22 August 2020

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Prior

The situation is dire
We are walking a wire
Between life and a fire

May our efforts not tire
‘Though stuck in the mire
Community spirit soars higher

COVID-19 a qualifier
to be a lesson in the quire
The world changed from its prior

By Sarah ©️2020

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Rhyme Time, 4 April 2020

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Tarot

I laid out the cards
in a familiar spread
Holding my breath
To see what they said.

Worn at the edges
From overuse
Am I reading them properly?
What can I deduce?

If I’m being honest
About what I see.
The message I hope for
Is not meant to be.

Relationships that break,
Seldom mend
I must face facts.
We have to end.

This hope must die between
midnight and noon.
Get on with my life,
Leave the mess I’ve strewn.

I won’t sit back now,
I will not wait.
Trust in the Tarot but
Pave your own fate.

By Sarah ©️2020

Tarot

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Opposing Forces, 15 February 2020; and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Sunday Writing Prompt “Tarot Reading”

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

Free Verse

Muted

I feel tears welling up
Cold and deep inside
With pride that’s battered
I turn to run and hide

A stab of loneliness
Just can’t be shaken
It’s sharp and it’s painful
My heartache has awakened

In silent screams
My soul fruitlessly yells
But my lips are tightly sealed
And I’ll never ever tell

How much you hurt me
Never once suspecting
That I was not alone in
The hearts you were collecting

The race is on
But the winner loses all
A fleeting moment, your belle
Your affection my shawl

Waking up each morning
Smelling your deceit
Finding that you’re gone now
Is all so bittersweet

And now that it’s over
In my dreams you dwell
Haunting muted memories
That I long to quell

By Sarah ©️2020

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Music Challenge – The Race Is On; and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Rhyme Time, 8 February 2020

Other, Poetry by Sarah

An Ugly Truth

An ugly truth it seems to be,
My harshest critic is but me.
Through cruelest lens I always see,
A captive’s plea. A captive’s plea.

“You’re fat, you’re foolish and you’re dumb,
Don’t dare to dream – they’ll never come.”
Her waspish voice begins to drum,
A constant hum. A constant hum.

Thoughts spiral quickly, filled with mirth.
Giving them air, just spreads their girth,
’til soon I feel of little worth –
An endless dearth, an endless dearth.

Pessimism grows; soon takes hold,
Wraps me in arms of bitter cold.
I am fearful – can’t break this mold.
Happiness sold. Happiness sold.

An ugly truth it seems to be,
My harshest critic is but me.
Through cruelest lens I always see.
Please set me free. Please set me free.

By Sarah ©2019

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Lucky Dip, 5 October 2019 and also; Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Sunday Writing Prompt “Ugly Words”

Monotetra structure:
Line 1: 8 syllables; A1
Line 2: 8 syllables; A2
Line 3: 8 syllables; A3
Line 4: 4 syllables, repeated; A4, A4