Fairy-tales do not exist

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Fairy tales do not exist
and cupids arrow will always miss.
The evil queen will always win
and every girl is filled with sin.

There’s no golden fleece to protect us all
no fairy godmother to stop your fall.
The birds don’t clean and cats don’t talk
and there’s no such thing as the perfect walk.

There’s no bread crumbs to find your way
and no fire breathing dragon for you to slay.
Hearts are real and cannibalism does exist
and there’s no such thing as the perfect kiss.

The emerald city and the world of oz are just a dream
and yes, people really are that mean.
Parlour tricks and a clever tongue
and no the spell won’t break with the morning sun.

Fairy tales do not exist
but I think I might
just take that risk.

Karen Hayward ©2015. Image downloaded via google

Fly free…

Be silent, be still,
pause, rest and
rise like the
with fire
beneath those
toes, and strength
in those eyes,
tip toe if you
must, whisper
if needs be
but shine, baby,
shine like the
brightest star
in the dark skies
for you were born
to sparkle…

Karen Hayward © 2018
Image found via wordpress library

I wield Excalibur at twilight spirits.


A deep throb, thumping
within my temples.
Beating. Beating. Beating.
Then the rain, thrashing,
lashing, crashing.

I am reminded of
promises made and
promises broken.
Sat alone in pitch
black shadows

Edging ever closer
White illuminated skies
haunting rolls, deep angry
growls howling screams
plunged into darkness.

I have become my
own saviour, I wield
Excalibur at twilight
spirits, creeping
shadows and thunder.

Silence disturbed
only by cars dispersing
the puddles. There is hope.
Storms pass and skies clear
After all. Suspicion becomes me.

Sleep, the world’s answer
to all problems, eyes
fearful, wild, the lone wolf
or delicate deer, sleep is a
wish not made by my fear.

Rain humming static lullaby
melodic symphony, celestial
skies alit, the deep roar felt
within, scattering to my core.
Pitch black.
Reality for sure.

Karen Hayward (c) 2017

Image found on Pinterest

Let go of control, let courage be beating of your heart.


In the dark hours
when twilight has
left yet still the skies
are dark, I wonder,
how can it be,
that you do not see.
The stars, they whisper
to me…
courage comes in
many forms,
strength to weather
yet another storm.
Yet to stand naked
beneath blue skies
and hand to love your
fear…and to promise
still to stay near
takes bravery, such
strength that few
souls possess.
And no longer do
I ponder,
how it can be,
that you do not see.

Karen Hayward ©2016 (image and words)

Scarecrow why do you guard my heart so? 


Why do you guard 

my heart so? 

For now I am 

made of tin,

Look…tap, tap, tap

A ringa tin tin. 


Why do you guard 

my heart so? 

The lion wants to know. 

For if I can 

find heart,

He can find 



Why do you guard

My heart so? 

Why do you 

abandoned me? 

For chemicals 

that interact,

based upon no

single fact? 


why do you 

abandoned me?

The lion is 

not free,

He’s a slave 

To you not me, 


Why do you 

abandon me?

Never will I 

abandon you,

But I’m made 

of tin and turning blue. 


Never will I 

abandon you. 

Tis a fool that loves 

tis true. 

But scarecrow 

never will I 

abandon you. 
Oh Tinman, 

What am I to do?  

I am afraid,

tis true. 

Oh Tinman, 

What am I to do,

I cannot let 


Hurt my precious you,

Oh Tinman,

What am I to do? 

Guard not my beating 


It was his from 

the start, 

Let us work 


together we’ll go far. 


guard not my beating 


This battle is 

all but lost,

I can calculate 

the cost, 


but hardly I can 

see you now, 

without that 

Freezing frost. 


This battle 

I have lost. 
Karen Hayward ©2016

School echoes on the last of the summers breeze.

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My dearest child the days have come

and passed and summers end is upon us.

School lingers, the mornings darken

as I fold away your uniform

let me tell you of my thoughts…

You are the calm between the beats of my

heart, the pride that swells every time I see

your smiling face.

Do not forget this.

Do not ever forget this.

This world can appear topsy turvy,

 your soul is oh so sensitive but know this,

you are the product of me,

inside of you,

inside of me,

is a ferocious lioness,

let her be your strength.

And when the lights shine too bright

and the noise screams

too loud, and when everything

is too hard, remember this,

You are my proudest accomplishment,

my heart skips a beat at every breath you take,

butterflies swarm through me every time

you calm your raging heart

and let that whisper out into the universe.

You are all that you are meant to be.

You are perfect, you see.

Karen Hayward ©2016


Can I be a member of Dauntless, Mum?


I’ve been filling out the dreaded occupational therapy forms and came across the question what are my daughters strengths and the first thing that came to mind was courage, this reminded me that I had this still lurking in my draft box. My daughter has a neurological condition called gravitational insecurities, to explain it simply her inner ear picks up a wobbly environment, she has an excessive fear of movement. She’s scared to walk down the stairs, or up them. She’s scared of the swing, the slide, the climbing frame the round about…the park. She’s scared if the wind blows. This list is endless, life scares her.


My daughter asked me, do I think she could ever be a *dauntless. We had just watched Tris jump from a moving train. I am instantly reminded of the slow walk toward the train station a couple of years ago when she broke down in tears begging me too tell her how she would get off the train, I don’t know where she had got the idea from, but, she was under the impression that trains didn’t actually stop to let people off. So when she asked did I think she could be a member of dauntless I wrapped my arms around her and whispered in her ear, yes, I believed she already was a member of dauntless. You see some people look at her and they only see her fears. I look at her and I see her courage. Each day she wakes up and faces a world that fills her with dread and fear. Each day she faces the stairs. Each day she goes into a world full of noise and movement and she does it with a smile, a skip and a giggle. And each time the world knocks her down, she gets back up. She has more courage in her blood then most adults I know. To me she is the very definition of dauntless. 

I often find myself asking what the hell is courage? Are the brave only the ones that climb mountains, swim with sharks and jump from planes? Because to me all three of these situations have everything to do with their minds processing their environment in a certain way and very little to do with courage. For me the brave person is the one that looks their fears straight in the eyes and then walks on through. Someone might be able to climb a mountain but they may not be able to tell another that they love them. Courage takes many, many forms not just the physical prowess of controlling the way our mind interprets its environment. The courageous speak up when others are too scared to,  they walk into a world each day that they know will leave them battered and perhaps scarred, they do it anyway.

In life we are constantly faced with choices that create that feeling of fear inside of us and when this happens our bodies react the way it knows it needs to. Given the flight or fight option many of us choose the flight option. We choose not to communicate, we choose to let our fears stop us from expressing ourselves, we let the fear dictate our choices. Our bodies know exactly how to be courageous but our mind whispers that the risk is too high.

A brave person that is ready to face all that life gives them; from the dizzy heights of a mountain top, or the top step of a spiral staircase or the whispered admission of love, these people gather more memories, learn more lessons, connect deeper with their God than that person that opts only to climb the mountain that causes them little or no fear.


Karen Hayward ©2016



The faction dedicated to courage, bravery, toughness, and fearlessness. It was formed by those who blamed fear and cowardice as a cause of the problems society faced. It tries to fight cowardice by giving the advantage of preparation and the ability to act when facing a fear to its members.

All those years ago.


When they ask me about those years, I always think of you.The quiet little mouse in the geography class. Thick brown hair and a wedge of a fringe. Dark hair covered your arms and legs, white virginal socks pulled up beneath the knee just skimming the royal blue skirt. I think of you. I think of you squashed into the corner by the wall, somehow hiding from view, I wonder how long you were there, and how many of us knew. I didn’t know your name, I didn’t have a clue, but then I rarely ever was there for Geography until that day. He warned you, at the end of the lesson, do you recall? He warned you that I was trouble, to stay away! He was right of course, although how would he have known? He actually wrote across my school report, ‘Who is Karen?’ so how would he even know that I was trouble. We were different, me and you. I had long curly hair right the way down to my bum, dyed black, I wore black eye shadow and black lipstick. My skirt was rolled over until it barely skimmed the cheeks of my bum I wore black tights and wedged shoes, or biker boots. We were different me and you. I sat over by the window, I can still remember the blue sky and the small white clouds that filled it. I don’t recall what it was that he said. Why we all turned to look. I don’t recall the reason why we were all looking over into that corner at you. You looked so bloody scared, so fucking frightened. I didn’t understand. I can’t pretend that I did. All I saw were the bandages and in a heartbeat I knew that something so terrible had happened and that such a thing to occur you must have been hurting in ways that even I could not understand. I wasn’t thinking. I didn’t understand. We were fourteen. Nothing bad happens to fourteen year olds, certainly not good girls like you, me, yeah, totally, but good pure, innocent girls like you, no. I didn’t understand, I didn’t need to understand, I didn’t think. I sometimes think that this is the moment when my soul first appeared. This is the moment when it screamed out to me that I was not all that I appeared to be. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t me that pulled out that chair next to you and slammed myself into it. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t me that turned toward the class and told every one to go fuck themselves. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t me that sat with my back to you guarding you from sight. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t me that turned to the teacher and called him a mother fucking cunt (it was however me that did a weeks detention and an extra month on report for that!). C. to this day I don’t know what happened. I never understood what those bandages meant, I never understood and yet I knew they were something and I didn’t need to know anything else. We became friends that very day. We were so very different.

I see you from time to time. We always stop and chat. You’re looking well and you make me proud. Your path I know now was so very different to mine. Your head muddled with voices, telling you to do things.  You look so very well. I realised today as you sat sipping tea, you changed me. All those years ago in that stupid classroom, you changed me. You showed me a glimpse of a side of me that I never knew existed. I protected you all those years ago because I knew in that instant that you needed it, you showed me that I was capable of standing out in the world alone, of standing up and having an opinion or a thought that was different from the crowd and you taught me, that was not only okay, but it was tremendous. So when they ask me about all those years ago, I think of you and your courage and your strength and your friendship ♥.

Poetry prompt.

I came across this prompt earlier today here and although I haven’t used it as a way of exploring my writing, it did inspire me.  Sometimes the scariest risks we take in life are the ones that take us to where we are mean’t to be.

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
― T.S. Eliot

The chains are falling from my cell.

No longer am I what you long to see.

The bars are lifting as I yell.

You never dream’t I would break free.

I need to know how far.

I need to feel alive.

I need to rid my soul of this scar,

so my spirit can up and thrive.

I cannot reach the sky

or the stars or the moon.

But my seed can fly,

and this flower will bloom.

I’ll walk to the ends,

through the dead of the night.

Take all life sends,

Just to reach that light.

Karen Hayward (copyright) 2015.