delphinium dreams

delphiniums droop,
blue-winged bloomings,
not a hint of flight
but the feathered teasings
of billowy breezes,
that laughing,
passed them by
at night they dream,
I think,
of unstemmed delight –
dipping slipping drinking
in the troughs of
silver streaking tails
of untrowable stars
whispering
at last
we are higher
than the spires
to which the sun
and earth confined us

but by dawn
they lie,
impossible curls
of fallen sky,
upon the earth
to which they are
forever tied
while breezes ever
laughing, pass them by

© Sarah Whiteley

I am night-heavy,
day-laden,
and tired
wishing for
the hesitant as petals
sometimes rain
from falling
somehow skies
in their blushing
die while I
ever I
remain I ponder
how once
all the maybe universe
resided in your hand
and how once
your hand pulsing
breathed in mine
divine

© Sarah Whiteley

mermaid hair

you have mermaid hair,
as he pours my coffee
and the scent of salt and sea
surprises earthy café
as if just now
I recall the slide
into the quiet cool beneath
the languid lying
amidst the silver flashes
of fishes, the surge and sway
of sea and kelp and calm
the forgotten fins
and hidden dens
in the deepest corners
of deep blue bays
I feel the float
and drift
and the measure
of time in the tides
just as surely
as if I’d never
slipped to shore

© Sarah Whiteley

poetry in her walk

she has poetry in her walk
not of bright stars
nor of translucent dawn
but of deep earth
from which all things grow
and to which all things go
when they cease to be
this brown-hipped mother
not bowed by man,
not bowed by change
knows when to bend
all the same
carries her inherited wisdom
as her great-greats carried
their songs through
fields afire with the sounds
of cicadas in summer
and bullfrogs in spring
carries it upon broad
momma-can-I-lay-my-head shoulders
with pride in the midst of
other men’s shame
she sways with the words
of the long-remembered hymns
that carried them home
walks with the richness
of ramshackle rhythms
from ramshackle huts
the frayed burlap of lullabies
her momma’s momma’s momma’s
dust-coated throat crooned
at the end of the day
she is not fine
in the way of china
but in the way the scent
of the magnolia rises
and hangs in the garden at dusk
there is poetry in her walk
and in her gait the echoes
of deep continuous earth

© Sarah Whiteley

elsewhere

this space
which you have never inhabited
holds you all the same
contains all the silent disquiet
of your absence
and the un-echoing never
of where you do not stand
the unwary word remains
and carries your voice just as if
just as if
I dwell within that shade of you
here where elsewhere is these walls,
these windows, this white room
elsewhere, where you
abidingly reside

© Sarah Whiteley

the mysticism of longing

we are longing
manifest
this potential
of empty
by its own nature
is full of the possibility
of everything
and so being,
the longing (we)
is (are) the fulfillment
of love
and the turning of time
the soul letting go
of we,
manifest longing

© Sarah Whiteley

consumed

I drink you in kisses
as long as the shadows
the spired pines relinquish
to earth at day’s descent
and still am unquenched –
as unmannered and uncontained
as the scattered scramble
of brambles over the things
they do not but yearn
to call their own –
how is it I consume
and am consumed?

© Sarah Whiteley