Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah, Scribblings by Sarah

Fall

One last assault,
as we run towards the finish line.
I can’t afford to fall.

But
I
do.

As I sail to the ground,
my knees nudging the earth,
I realise I am their puppet.

It’s too deep-seated –
and I have no case for change.
So I find myself a bar instead…

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Sunday Whirl, Wordle 329, Words: run, bar, deep, nudge, last, assault, case, afford, seat, puppet, fall, sail

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Scribblings by Sarah

The Incident

The incident took place after a moment of forgettery in June. The external mesh had a hell of a job, holding back the flinging masses. I asked my friend if I may lend a tool to ease the effect of neglect. With a pop of the shears, the demagogue had been decapitated.

By Sarah ©2017

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Image credit Laughing With Angels

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #181, Words: incident, lend, forgettery (n. a faculty or facility for forgetting; faulty memory), external, mesh, demagogue (n. a person, especially an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people), hell, fling, effect, June, decapitate, pop

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah, Scribblings by Sarah

No Party

I put on a song,
hoping the sound of music
will provide a temporary
e      s       c      a      p      e;
respite from this tedious task.
My mind pushes and pulls against itself.
Who voted on this existence anyway?
Not I.
Was it someone…
Thirsty for pain?
Wishing to drive us crazy?
Seeing if they can steal our weekends?
It’s no party, trust me.
Thankgoodness reports are finished.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Sunday Whirl, Wordle 328, Words: song, escapes, thank, sound, pushes, if, exist, voted, thirsty, drive, wishes, party

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah, Scribblings by Sarah

Reformation

We are caught up
in your uncanny tendencies.
Yet our vertebra demand
greater toughness from within.

We are stranded in this warren
with the muzzle of your barrel,
in our oscitant mouths.
Endeavouring for syncretism is fruitless.

We cry for reform – before we collapse.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #180. Words: collapse, reform, oscitant (adj. yawning, as with drowsiness; gaping. drowsy or inattentive, dull, lazy, negligent, malaise), strand, syncretism (n. the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion), warren, barrel, catch, tough, tendency, uncanny, vertebra

Other, Poetry by Sarah

Twister

It seemed a simple puzzle
– twist; stand still; and wish,
ambler nor no other would nuzzle.
It seemed a simple puzzle.
A sneaky trim, a stolen tousle.
Stream toward the prize…oh no, we’ve all gone squish!
It seemed a simple puzzle
– twist, stand still and wish.

By Sarah ©2017

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Image credit Wikimedia under the Creative Commons Licence

Prompt: Sunday Whirl, Wordle 327. Words: puzzle, stream, twist, ring, wish, amble, prize, still, simple, stolen, stand, trim

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah, Scribblings by Sarah

Malaise

Aghast.
They are such pigs.

I cannot stow
my soliloquy,
no longer cordate.

I prayed this was just a
                                           transition.
Alas, it’s
                    M

                           A

                    L

                          A

                                 I

                       S

                            E

I find myself in limbo.

Do I bend?
Sacrifice accountability
– to myself and others;
Just to tick a box?

No.

I can’t tear ligaments
off my mental state any longer.

After all,
They are but pigs;
I choose integrity.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #179
Words: pig, stow, limbo, malaise, tick, cordate (adj. heart-shaped), mental, soliloquize (v. talk to oneself), aghast, accountability, transition, ligament

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Relish

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Image credit by Eugene Lim via Unsplash

A strap; a sting.
Chop. Chop.
My sword kisses the air.
I merge my shimmy
with a monkey move.
Fly me to the moon!
I will relish this win.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Sunday Whirl, Wordle #326
Words: monkeys, chop, strap, sting, relish, moon, fly, kiss, merge, shimmy, crime, sword

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Sliding Scale

I wiggled and jiggled in
The small change room.
I cringe at my reflection.
Broad hips, narrow shoulders.
My body clearly taunting me.
‘Twould be funny.
If it weren’t so serious.
Feeling fury and disbelief,
I test the fabric’s strength.

I win the mission but not the war
As I free the garment from my body,
I hear the resounding RRRRIIIIIPPPP!
I gather up the pieces.
Sighing.
Lesson learnt.
Sometimes in life, we get away with it.
And sometimes we have to pay.
It’s a sliding scale.

(Lucky, this time it was dirt cheap.)

By Sarah ©2017

Author’s Note: Upon first reading, it would seem this poem is about a mishap at a clothing store. Which is one interpretation should you choose to take it 😊. The metaphorical intent behind this free verse is to show the lengths we can go to in life to change, bend and mold ourselves to an ‘ideal’. Eventually it wears and tears and tests our strength. Some of use choosing to cast off the oppressive ‘second self’. Sometimes that price is high and we are left picking up pieces, other times, we can move on. Life’s sliding scale; a balancing act and struggle, but the self in some form, will always endure.

Prompts: Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt, #28 – Life
Poetry Challenge – Write a poem in 20 lines or less about life; the ups and downs, the important things, what it means to live a good life.; and also,

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix, Opposing Forces – 11 November 2017. Words: broad and narrow, funny and serious; and also,

The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 325. Words: clear, taunting, body, fury, test, war, mission, lesson, slide, dirt, pay, disbelief.

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Rented Smiles

It’s a sly decline.
Renting smiles,
whilst secretly dropping 
my blossoms.

Trying to deny 
the bellow inside
like a child,
locked in a closet.

What fate am I weaving?

By Sarah ©2017

Image credit Patricia Lara via Unsplash

Prompt: The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 324
Words: bellow, weave, smile, deny, child, fate, closet, blossom, sly, rent, drop, decline

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Knock On Wood

I emerged from the artificial cocoon of the Sunshine Plaza in Maroochydore and straight away, noticed the sun was gone and it had started to drizzle. Also, I had no umbrella.

Now I know, getting stuck in the middle of a downpour is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I had two reasons for deciding to walk out into that rain. One, I needed the exercise, and climbing up the hill to my accommodation would do the trick; and two, I just needed to FEEL something again. I’d been numb ever since the break up and stumbling through every day as though my life was no more than a dream. That was the reason I’d chosen to holiday here on my own. I wanted to discover my ‘spark’ again.

Despite the overcast skies, the late March day was warm. As I began the 2km trek to the hostel, the rain tumbled from the low grey clouds. Each drop that fell on my skin was cool, silky and invigorating; igniting my senses and tickling my pores. I tilted my head back, closed my eyes and allowed the spray to sprinkle over my face. I felt like a kid again.

Smiling, for the first time in months, I subconsciously picked up my pace and started a half stroll-half skipping move, and began to hum. I knew I probably looked like a crazy, drowned rat, but I felt alive! A bud of hope began to swell in my chest – maybe everything would be ok after all.

I stepped over a puddle, lifted my head, and wiped my sticky hair out of my eyes. I heard footsteps pounding the pavement and they were moving my way. Another person who liked singing and walking in the rain! I said to myself gleefully. My lips started to form a greeting when the words froze on my tongue. My face fell and my stomach plummeted through the cold cracks of the pavement.

It couldn’t be! I thought, as an all too familiar figure ran towards me.

But it was. Of course it was.

He had always been fanatical about keeping trim, and a little rain had never stopped him before. I wondered what the chances were, that out of all the holiday destinations in Australia, out of the twelve months of the year, out of the thirty-one days in the month, out of the 24 hours in the day, and out of the 60 minutes leading up this exact moment, that we would cross paths? Surely one in a mill…or even less!

He strode past me as though I were nothing. His face as scornful as a king mocking his lowliest servant.

They say love is blind and I wish that were true. For then, I would never have known it was he who swiped my blossoming hope and crushed it in the dirt.

I knock on wood I will never see him again.


By Sarah ©2017

Image credit reza shayestehpour via Unsplash

Prompt: The Sunday Whirl, Wordle #322
Words: knock, know, middle, hill, king, trim, blind, mill, two, drizzle, sticky, dream

Scribblings by Sarah

Jumping Ship

Author’s note: A more cynical take on the prompt words for my second contribution for the Wordle this week… 😉

Overwhelmed by a world teeming with pretense, I am challenged to keep up with so many ‘individuals’. In this dearth of light, I take the easiest possible route to jump ship.  Ambivalence is my drug, and I take it in bulk. Shock; horror.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 322
Words: route, dearth, light, possible, bulk, individual, pretense, drug, jump, challenge, shock, teeming

Scribblings by Sarah

Drug Of Choice

As I trudge the well-worn route, there is a dearth of light as we briefly pass under the bulk of a huge granite boulder. It has been a challenging hike so far; the constant incline gradually wearing me down. 

I focus on regulating my breathing and carefully place my feet on the footholds of the individual rocks. With a shock, I realise we have reached the summit. 

I jump up onto the 360o viewing platform and let the stress melt away. There is no noise except for the eerie sound of the wind sliding between granite and trees, and the occasional raven cawing. I close my eyes and breathe. My senses are teeming with the bracing mountain air and smell of the bush. I love it up here. I’m on ‘top of the world’. 

As the vast expanse of the Australian Alps stretch out before me, I realise I cannot keep up the pretense with my husband anymore. I turn to him; smile and say, “It is entirely possible, that bushwalking has become my drug too.”

By Sarah ©2017



Author’s note: The Horn, at Mount Buffalo, has sweeping 360 degree views of the Australian Alps and plateaus. It is an exhilarating sensation to swivel and view the magnificent Mount Buffalo National Park spread out before you.

Prompt: The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 321
Words: route, dearth, light, possible, bulk, individual, pretense, drug, jump, challenge, shock, teeming

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Lift 

Caught in the struggle.
I hold no power in this web.
Creating a swirling storm,
My mind has become a mystery;
Keeping me on the fringe of sanity.
I’m starting to list.
My star is fading.
       Oh, to take 
                 charge on this
                                lonely road.

When will it lift?
Please lift.  (Sigh)

By Sarah ©2017


Prompt: The Sunday Whirl, Wordle #320
Words: struggle, power, fringe, mystery, list, star, swirl, road, storm, sigh, lift, charge

Free Verse, Month Of Mini Writing Challenges 2017, Poetry by Sarah

Crossroads

I cannot rest when the moon is full,
its wintery presence keeps me wakeful.

Playful shadows dance across the wall,
Illuminated by pale ghostly light on this,
All Hallows’ eve.

Despite locked door, I quake in my bed,
Shivering, hoping, I’ve remembered the chain.

Is it real or faux fear that chases me this night?
I brace myself for the unknown darkness.

Drawing deep within the covers, I create a pen around myself, 
A distant bell dings, worming into my sanctuary, calling my name.

My conscience rebels because at the bottom of all this,
is just a crossroads between madness and truth.

By Sarah ©2017


Prompt: The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 318;


Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday – September 29th 2017; and also, Sammi Cox, A Month Of Mini Writing Challenges, Day 30 – final challenge!
Task: Write a spooky poem in 13 lines for Halloween.

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah, Scribblings by Sarah

My Anxious Brain

My anxious brain plagues me.
Sucking joy from life.
No words of logic can pacify
When it goes off tap and
Swings into panic mode.

There it goes –
The ‘tub-thump’ of my heart.
A spray of adrenalin.
My stomach drops to my knees.
The abject, soul-plummeting terror
Of ruminating thoughts consume me.

I am paralysed with fear.

Oh yes.

Anxiety is a spry being;
Just waiting for opportunity
To take hold once more.

But oh, I wish it would forget.
I wish that it had no memory,
In my being.
I wish to be free from its grasp.

Imagine what that would be like…

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: The Sunday Whirl, Wordle #317, Words: forget, tap, sucks, swings, spray, plague, imagine, tub, word, no, thump, spry

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah

Funnel My Love

Offer me your shelter
When I finally wake.
Show me the path
That I oft should take.

When I need a push
Spin me ’round and ’round,
But watch for the surge 
Lest I go to ground.

Sweep me in your arms
Let me feel your power.
I don’t need a map
When things turn sour.

I’ll forge ahead like
Waves at a beach.
A lesson for me
You just can’t teach.

Funnel my love,
So the dose is small.
For I’ll hold your heart
In suffocating thrall.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: The Sunday Whirl, Wordle #316

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Bent Spoke

The place had an awesome vibe – hop plants peppered the corners; customers balanced on shiny keg stools; glossy wooden countertops supported the many pots and pints being consumed; and the large stainless steel features, including the fermentation vats, were impressive. It was certainly no dive, and I was happy my sister had suggested coming to Bent Spoke Brewery.

I hadn’t been out in Canberra for many years and the city’s sleepy bumpkin atmosphere of the ’90s had disappeared, replaced now, by a funky, vibrant scene. The ‘Brew Pub’ was located in Braddon, just around the corner from where I’d gone to high school. To say the least, the neighbourhood had changed a bit!

“What would you recommend?” I asked my sister, Claudia.

“They’re all pretty good,” she replied, “why not start with a tasting paddle and try a few first, before you buy a pot? It’s really cool, the paddles are made from parts of old bikes!”

I agreed with her recommendation, and went up the bar. It was quirkily decorated with bicycle paraphernalia and I hazarded a guess that the owners may be bicycle enthusiasts. I ordered a ‘Barley Griffin‘ for Claudia and six samples for myself. I cheekily had a sip of her beer before balancing the load, and walking back to our table. 

We sat and drank and chatted for a while. I was thoroughly enjoying my paddle of tasters, all of which were very high quality beers, but one alone, really stood out for me. The Crankshaft

Now, I am a huge IPA (India Pale Ale) fan at the best of times, but this was truly special. It had a floral nose, with hints of citrus and pine; it was medium bodied with a punch of hops and had a solid malt finish. It also had an alcohol content of 6.9%! Talk about cranking all right! 

“I think I’ll get a pot of this one,” I informed my sister, indicating the Crankshaft on the beer menu, with my finger.

“Yeah that one is really amazing, I’ll have one of those too please!” she declared.

I winked at her and sauntered up to the bar, confident in my choice. I returned with two pots of Crankshaft and let the molten amber liquid, tickle my tastebuds and warm my belly. We made mutual noises of appreciation and before we knew it, our glasses were drained and it was Claudia’s shout.

Well, let’s be honest here…you know how this ends – we’re Australian after all! ‘A couple of beers‘ spiralled into three, then four, then, who knows how many! The conversation became choppy and slurred. Memories, in parts, became a little misty. 

But one moment remained clear in my mind. I’d taken a brief spell to use the public conveniences. Unfortunately, these were located externally and only accessible by first, navigating a labyrinth of identical doors and bricked corridors. Getting there was not the issue, so much as finding my way back!

After a trial and error approach at opening several doors (one to a cleaner’s closet, one leading out to an alleyway, and one opening into another restaurant altogether) I saw the bicycle wheel I’d been looking for.

Aha! Success! I thought to myself triumphantly, and headed over to the door.

Now, I’m not exactly sure if I pushed, when I should have pulled; or pulled when I should have pushed; but instead of opening the door, I smacked face first into it! Pain shot through the cartilage of my nose and the wheel made a loud ‘clang’ as metal rattled against metal. The noise resounded around the alcove, until I reached out and steadied the wheel with my hand, at which point I felt warm, red drops falling onto my skin. I realised I had acquired a bloody nose, compliments of the spokes! Holding my hand up, to stop it from gushing, I raced back to the table where my bewildered sister was waiting and wondering:
a) why I’d been gone so long, and
b) how on earth I’d managed to get a blood nose!

Fishing out tissues from her handbag, she handed me a wad, and asked what happened. In a muffled, nasally voice I explained, and she, began to laugh.

“I think you need another beer!” she said, and headed for the bar.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: The Sunday Whirl, Wordle #315

Scribblings by Sarah

After The Party

It was a late night; a party of epic proportions and I should have had the sense to stop drinking before I couldn’t see straight! Stepping out into the street, a forcefully strong gust of wind blew stray papers my way. I put my hands up to protect my face, and hesitated, making sure the cab out the front was in fact, the one I’d called. 

As I got into the car, my head began to hammer, hinting at the hangover to come. The ride home was thankfully fast at this pre-dawn hour, with little traffic, and little conversation from the driver. My husband had left the light on for me, however, it wasn’t needed, as the rays of a new day peeked over the horizon. I fumbled with my keys and opened the door. It creaked noisily in its frame heralding my arrival to my sleeping spouse. 

I dumped my handbag, stripped off my makeup and clothes and jumped in the shower. The rivers of warm water eased my now pounding head and I made a mental list for the day ahead:

1. Water
2. Aspirin
3. Sleep

Thank goodness for Sundays!

By Sarah ©2017




Prompt: The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 314

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah, Scribblings by Sarah

Statues


It’s a sad fact – there seems no rights left.
Evil lies; march against stability.
Orange flames burn, torching lives.
As the hood is pulled back on ourselves,
We can be statues no more.

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Sunday Whirl, Wordle 313



Wordle and image credit Brenda Warren

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