Poetry

Soft And Wild

“Don’t love our softer parts without
embracing our inner wolves.
Take us as we are or not at all.”

We didn’t learn our ferocity out of desire. We were built to challenge even the most powerful of men. We didn’t learn to love with a fierce devotion. Because anything less isn’t enough. We learned to become wild long before it was ever necessary. So don’t make the mistake of loving our softer parts without also embracing the wolves within us. Take us as we are or not at all.

The bottom line is this: Don’t mess with women who run with wolves. We have teeth and we know how to use them.

© Sarah Doughty

After all, we’ve been doing it
since the beginning of mankind.

Prompt: Women Who Run With Wolves
hosted by the amazing Christine
at Brave And Reckless.

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Poetry

The Greatest Lesson

“And I learned to dream
with my eyes open.
I learned what it meant
to love you.”

After what felt like an eternity in some hellish nightmare, I emerged into the morning with fresh eyes and tortured memories. As my teachers filled my head with stories, introducing me to a bright green world of escape, I learned to dream with my eyes open. And then I poured out everything that littered my mind and heart. Anything that screamed as it moved through my veins. But what I learned to listen to the most were the whispers that came from the shadows. The ones that hoped for a better future.

When love found me in that neverending dreamland, I knew it by many names. A guide, a star-crossed lover, a utopia, a dystopia, an immortal soul, and a mortal one. I read epic tales of adventures, great loves, and great losses. I read about life.

But the greatest thing I ever learned was what true love really means. From one soul to another, a bond that could melt icebergs, or cool the high seas. One that would withstand both space and time. It was not bound by gender or a question of right or wrong. It was — and is — true. The way one should love another.

You see, I learned
what it meant to love you.

© Sarah Doughty

And every path
led me
straight to you.

Prompt: Men Explain Things To Me
hosted by the amazing Christine
at Brave And Reckless.

Poetry

Challenge The System

“Women continue to do what we
always do across history —
challenge the system.”

Would it really be so bad to consider a woman equal to a man? Would it be so terrible to think a woman’s intelligence shouldn’t be overlooked? Perhaps, if given a true chance to prove ourselves, rather than relying on any bias, women might hold more power. Perhaps it’s all wishful thinking. After all, the ones with power are less likely to share it. But that’s okay, maybe one day a utopia will fall upon us and we’ll all become feminists. But until then, women will continue to do what we have always done across history — challenge the system to change.

© Sarah Doughty

After all, we’ve been doing this
for a long time.
We can keep going
as long as it takes.

Prompt: We Should All Be Feminists
hosted by the amazing Christine
at Brave And Reckless.

Poetry

Shadow And Whisper

“And it’s only a matter of time
before I am nothing more
than shadow and whisper too.”

This prison of mine has become my home. The sunlight creeps in and all I can do is watch the shadows dance across the flor. Look at the yellow print on the walls and wonder what might be hidden there. There’s this nagging inside at me. If only I could focus hard enough, I might be able to see those figures I notice moving in the corner of my eye. Or maybe, if I wait long enough, those barely discernable whispers will become louder. Clearer. Maybe. Just maybe. I won’t be so alone. But I won’t hold my breath. This room smells of death. And I know it’s only a matter of time before I am nothing more than shadow and whisper too.

© Sarah Doughty

Maybe then,
I won’t be so alone.

Prompt: The Yellow Wallpaper
hosted by the amazing Christine
at Brave And Reckless.

Poetry, Updates

Thunderstorms at Night

It’s such an honor to be a part of Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen. Thank you for letting me share my dark with you.

Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen

“Like a drum from above,

it was the thunder of my heart

that kept me alive and alert.”

It was the thunder that kept me awake. Synapses firing, like lightning in the night, illuminating the fog of dark gray, cotton-candy clouds. Thoughts springing to life before disappearing in an instant, only to fire yet again with another string of words flash behind my eyes and whisper to me. Those are my demons, my monsters, my battle cries. Those are the rumblings, the crackles in my ears. That is the constant reminder that I’m still alive. These thoughts, they keep me sharp. They keep me alert. I stay alive. And that thunder that rolls by. That’s the sound of my heart, refusing to submit.

© 2019 Sarah Doughty

Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring EulogiesThe Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and her acclaimed novels and…

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Poetry

Poisoned Soil

“There were lots of things I didn’t
understand through my childhood eyes.
Despite everything, my mother still tried.”

There were lots of things I didn’t understand through my childhood eyes. I didn’t see the seeds of stress my mother carried on her shoulders. I didn’t see the way she struggled to make ends meet on a single parent salary. I failed to see how much energy was spent trying to make sure I had a normal childhood, despite not knowing that my innocence was long since lost. Like wilted petals falling from the husks of dead flowers floating away on the breeze. Despite everything, she still tried.

And now, she knows the truth. How she failed to do the one thing any normal parent would do — protect her child from harm. How she failed to notice all the signs. Even after everything she sacrificed, she still feels the guilt of not saving me. How heartbreaking it must be, to find out all that effort was too little, too late. I can see through the mirage at the destruction that was caused at my expense.

In the desolation of that poisoned soil, I understand what was missed. And in search of my mother’s garden, I’ve learned that sometimes, we can’t protect those we hold most dear. We do the best we can.

© Sarah Doughty

Sometimes, it’s just not enough.
The point is that
we try our best.

Prompt: In Search Of Our Mother’s Gardens
hosted by the amazing Christine
at Brave And Reckless.

Poetry

Labels Of Choice

  1. “Surviving is more important than any label.
    Never apologize for staying alive.”

When it comes to living my life, I have learned that it’s okay to lean on the people you love and trust the most. It’s not easy — now or when this mess began, but without that help, I don’t know what would have become of me. When I was a child, my classmates liked to make fun of me because I looked like a boy. But to me, the boys in my family weren’t the ones being assaulted every night. And in some ways, I wished I could become one. But those wishes were lost to the wind and I learned how to live as best as I could. Perhaps that makes me a bad feminist, to lean on others, rather than taking care of myself. I’m okay with that. Surviving, to me, is far more important than any label.

© Sarah Doughty

Never apologize for doing
what you need to do
to survive.

Prompt: Bad Feminist
hosted by the amazing Christine
at Brave And Reckless.

Poetry

Foolish Little Girl

“How foolish of me.
To think those beautiful dreams
would never come true.”

How foolish of me. To think of my luck compared to some of the people I wanted to call friends. To think I loved in a house and not an apartment or a trailer. How foolish of me. To think that having my own room was somehow a good thing. Because maybe, if I shared that room with my sibling, maybe they would have stopped it all from ever happening. Or, selfishly, I wouldn’t be the only one enduring that hell. How foolish of me. To think about all those what ifs, those unknowns, and those dreams I knew would never come true.

© Sarah Doughty

But I was just a little girl.
Who could blame me
for refusing to let him
break me completely?

Prompt: A Room Of One’s Own
hosted by the amazing Christine
at Brave And Reckless.

Poetry

Fighting Wars

“Equality is a war that will never end.
But women were built to fight.”

Faith. One of those man-made inventions to strip the world of any female force. Belief. Well, that’s something completely different. When God was a woman, she was equal to her male counterparts. She had power of her own. She was never meant to bear any shame for existing. She was never meant to kneel at the feet of man. She was never at fault for being anything more than herself.

And yet, centuries later, belief changed into something else. Those old gods are now no more than myth. Old stories told in front of a crackling hearth are in stark contrast to what exists today. Women have been forced to claw their way out from beneath the foot of man, and in some ways, we still have not managed to gain full equality. We still live in shame. We still bear the blame on temptation. We still fight for equality. I fear, it will be a war that will never end. But we were built for fighting.

© Sarah Doughty

We won’t stop fighting.
Because gods never would.

Prompt: When God Was A Woman
hosted by the amazing Christine
at Brave And Reckless.

Poetry

Plumage

“To them, I am no more than a vessel.
A means to an end.
But they will never break me.”

These wings of mine bear no feathers that allow me to take flight. They’ve been clipped, grounding me and stripping me of everything I was. Strong. Independent. Survivor. Just a few of the colors painting me as a person. Now, all that’s left of me is red. It blazes behind my eyes, reflects back at me in the puddle of rainwater at my feet. It follows me wherever I go. With every footstep. In every shadow. And around every corner. For I am no more than a vessel. I am a means to an end. But they don’t see me in that light. In me, they see hope. I was reduced to this, and I allowed it to define me. I let it become my new identity. But it was them that failed to see the plumage beneath. Because I am so much more. I am a woman, too. I am owned, suppressed, and oppressed. I am a victim.

© Sarah Doughty

But they will never
break me.

Prompt: Handmaid’s Tale
hosted by the amazing Christine
at Brave And Reckless.