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

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

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

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

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 

Haibun, Poetry by Sarah

Demise

A vague sadness passed over me, as the choice presented itself again. I swilled the amber liquid in my glass, and wished, in an offhand way, that it was nepenthe; the sweet medicine of the soul. But my sallow skin, and the reappearance of terrible pangs, reminded me otherwise. Nonetheless, I savoured this, my fourth glass of the bitter, Neolithic drug. I had climbed too far, too soon and now it was either abdicate or perish…and I had chosen for my spectacular finale, both.

never to admit
defeat; choosing refuge in
eternal silence
 


By Sarah ©2017 



*nepenthe (noun) – A drug or drink, or the plant yielding it, mentioned by ancient writers as having the power to bring forgetfulness of sorrow or trouble. anything inducing a pleasurable sensation of forgetfulness, especially of sorrow or trouble

^abdicate(verb) – to renounce or relinquish a throne, right, power, claim, responsibility, or the like, especially in a formal manner 

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #164; Daily Post Daily Prompt, Word: savour
Words used: climb, vague, sadness, perish, pangs, nepenthe, neolithic, four, offhand, reappear, sallow, abdicate 

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Nascent Itch

I was halfway up the Mt Maunganui trail, when I felt the nascent* itch. The bird song distracted me for a short while, however, I soon felt it again. That scratchy, crawling feeling running up and down the back of my neck. I guided my fingers over the left hand side of my neck, feeling small bumps with my fingertips. Just mosquito bites, I chided myself.

But in my mind and my gut, there was no illusion. I knew what these were! I’d had them before in Tasmania, September 2008. Bed bugs.

By the time I had explored the summit and made my way back down the mountain, bites had flared up everywhere. Aside from the ones on my neck, there were now bites on my jawline, pinkie and ring fingers, wrists and forearms. This was the clincher. I had to take action. No more denial.

A quick visit to the pharmacy confirmed my self-diagnosis. The alarmed expression on the pharmacist’s face, warranted that I took her recommendations seriously. Armed with a cassette of antihistamines and a tube of hydrocortisone cream, it was time to deal with the hostel.

I returned to the accommodation, and approached the lovely Bohemian girl working reception. I discreetly explained the situation, revealed the evidence on my skin and we promptly marched up to my room to investigate and find the culprits.

The girl was extremely apologetic and I could see she felt terrible. And I understood it was not her fault. In fact, around 70% of people who have been bitten by bed bugs have no reaction – hence the reason they can spread so easily and remain undetected! It isn’t until a hyper-sensitive such as myself gets bitten, that staff become aware there is an issue and eradication measures can be taken. Bed bugs can also survive without feeding for 30 days. They really are wily little critters. For all my patience and understanding though, I wanted to topple these bastards and ensure they killed every last one of them!

After inspecting the bed sheets, valance, pillows, mattress etc, without success, I was beginning to doubt myself; concerned I was mistaken. However, as she pulled the bed away from the wall, the multitude of bugs that were present, made our skin crawl.

Feeling far from insouciant with the agreed upon room upgrade, we proceeded to check my new bed for the night as well. It was clean but I must confess I slept with the lights on anyway and woke every few hours to check over my skin.

Needless to say, I have been left feeling quite traumatised by the experience. Dealing with the aftermath of pustules, welts and ever present itching and pain, I will certainly be more careful where I lay my head in future! 

P.S You can check out some gross photos of the bites here

By Sarah ©2017

*Nascence (adjective) – beginning to exist, developing
^Insouciant (noun) – free from worry, concern, anxiety

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #163
Words used: bird, cassette, trail, Bohemian, warrant, nascence, chide, illusory, everywhere, topple, clinch, insouciant

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Moral Compass


I positioned my ear plugs, pulled down my eye mask and sighed contentedly as I snuggled into my pillow. What a great day! I had thoroughly enjoyed the day trip to Waiheke Island, sampling fine food and wine, but now I was tired and sure looking forward to some sleep.  

I began regulating my breathing and coercing my mind into quiet. And that’s when I heard it. The asomatous* sound coming through the foam.

Ignore it, I told myself, go to sleep!

But I couldn’t. I ripped out the earplugs and tuned in. The sound permeated the paper thin walls. At first, it was just a dull hum of voices, indistinguishable and unintelligible. However, like a crescendo, soon the volume and ferver of their dialogue had reached far above the acceptable levels for 11:30pm.  I could now make out an accent…German. There was music, glasses clinking, and food packaging rustling. Maybe there was a serious cabal^ taking place in the room next door?

The rituals that had preceded my efforts at sleep, were now completely redundant. I could barely stand to lie there listening to each item of foreign conversation. The booming, errant laughter was grating my last nerve and as 12am, 12:30am, and 1am rolled past, there was no respite from their noise. 

When I could stand it no longer, driven by fremdschämen#,  I jumped out of bed and pounded on the door. 

“Hey!” I said, using my best teacher voice, “Can you please keep it down!? I’ve been trying to sleep for three hours now. It’s 1:30am and that’s enough!”

The absolute authority in my voice must have been crystal clear, as a meek, “Yes, sure. Sorry.” came as the reply.

Somewhat placated, I returned to bed. The opaque light glowed around the edges of the doorframe and I began the descent into merciful sleep.

Until 2:30am. When it started again.

I groaned into my pillow, thumping the bedcovers in frustration.

What the hell was wrong with these people? I fumed. I replaced my ear plugs and turned on my iPod. But I could still hear them, even through the two filters. 

Finally at 3:45am, all fell silent and blissful sleep arrived. Not for long however, as I had an early bus to catch.

Now some might call it a blip on my moral compass, but when my alarm went off at 5am I made sure as hell, I created as much noise as possible whilst getting ready. 

By Sarah ©2017



* asomatous (adjective) – having no material body

^cabal (noun)- a small group of secret plotters, as against a government or person in authority. the plots and schemes of such a group; intrigue. a clique, as in artistic, literary, or theatrical circles

# fremdschämen (verb) To feel ashamed about something someone else has done

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #162
Words used: absolute, precede, blip, cabal, paper, asomatous, hum, stand, above, item, opaque, fremdschämen

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

 Just Desserts 

I stared at the single gladiola adorning the table of the restaurant. The wilted petals belied their brightly coloured hues. I felt sympathy, as I had a sense I looked somewhat the same. My makeup, applied 10 hours ago, still held its colour but had that smudged, worn look. As did my clothing. I noticed with a grimace, I had a small red stain on my shirt. How long had that been there? Boy, what a day! I needed this. I told myself.

I sat up in my chair, straightening my posture, so as to attract the attention of the slovenly wait staff, who seem more interested in socialising than serving. No doubt sharing some galimatias^ they would gossip about at the end of their shift.

I shook my hand in the air, waving and trying to meet the tall, willowy one’s eye. With visible sufferance, she finally wandered over.

“Are you ready to order?” she asked, with all the radiance of a spent light globe.

Ignoring her attitude, I placed my order, “Yes please I’ll just have dessert – the chocolate brownie, lemon meringue pie and the Italian donuts. Oh, and a coffee too. Thanks.”

Her eyes widened. She seemed on the verge of saying something, however immured* her thoughts, instead turning to take the order to the kitchen.

I watched the chef through the cut-out in the wall. I did like these open-style, industrial-type kitchens. You could see what was happening and make sure no untoward hygiene practices were taking place. I looked on with satisfaction, as he took the knife and cut a huge wedge of the pie. The peaks of meringue were like waves atop the glorious yellow tart. He placed it on a plate and commenced piping double whipped cream around its base. It was like a mountain from heaven.

Next was the chocolate brownie. He pulled it straight out of the oven and mesmerised, I observed him slide the slightly oozing chocolate block onto a separate plate. He gripped a traditional ice cream scoop and dished up three lashings of vanilla bean ice cream on the side. I was starting to drool.

Out of the deep fryer, I watched him whisk out three tiny, doughy balls. He rolled them in cinnamon, drizzled caramel sauce and nuts over the top, garnishing the donuts with a single strawberry.

He dinged on the bell and the waitress returned, balancing the three small dishes on her arms. She sat them down in front of me.

The saliva in my mouth was viscous and ready to receive.

I could not wait for the cloudburst of euphoria that would accompany each bite, wiping the misery of today into the hereafter.

Then I realised.

I’d forgotten my insulin.

 

By Sarah ©2017



* immure (verb.) to enclose within walls. to shut in; seclude or confine. to imprison. to build into or entomb in a wall.

^Galimatias (noun.) A secret that must be kept on pain of death.

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #161. Daily Post Daily Prompt, traditional. Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem. The words can appear in an alternate form.

Words used: insulin, posture, shake, suffer, cloudburst, immure*, hereafter, slovenly, radiate, gladiola, restaurant, galimatias^

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.

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

Frazzled

Every strand of my hair felt frazzled. My vertebra, compacting and crunching, under the weight of my world; ready to collapse. Catching a glimpse of my oscitant* mouth in the window’s reflection, I decided reform was in order. Syncretism** must prevail (The rabbit warren of my mind has an uncanny propensity for optimism).

As I reached for the handle and opened the door, I stared down the barrel of the gun.

Lunch was over and my class began trickling back in.

I won’t lie. It would be tough. But I had this.

After all, they were only five years old…

(and I have a tendency to exaggerate)

By Sarah ©2017

Prompt Source: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #156
Words used: tough, strand, vertebra, collapse, catch (ing), oscitant, reform, syncretism, warren, uncanny, barrel, tendency

Image by foto76 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
* Oscitant (adj.) yawning, as with drowsiness; gaping. drowsy or inattentive. dull, lazy, or negligent.

** Syncretism (n.) the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion.

Free Verse, Poetry by Sarah, Scribblings by Sarah

Pâro

Pile upon pile of shit.

It just keeps coming.

I must not be as smart as I need to be.

Unable to shed myself of the mish mash

The wedge between me and the others.

Scrawny in my sense of self,

The primitive me seeks to live vicariously.

You may be wont to disagree

But I think the Pâro*

Has got the better of me.

By Sarah 2017©

* Pâro ((n.) the feeling that no matter what you do is always somehow wrong—that any attempt to make your way comfortably through the world will only end up crossing some invisible taboo—as if there’s some obvious way forward that everybody else can see but you, each of them leaning back in their chair and calling out helpfully, colder, colder, colder.)

Wordle Challenge #154

Words used: pile, smart, pâro, vicarious, mash, disagree, shed, primitive, wedge, scrawny