the maps are out

hot coffee, and the maps are out –
the rise out of Box Canyon
an uneven line of red

a map may tally an ascent,
mark the twists in a trail,
lend certain assurances

what it cannot show is emergence
from a stone-heavy world
into the mercy of pines –

into the stalwart grace
of a waiting mountain,
where the rushing creeks sing
and the winds hum along

© Sarah Whiteley

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escape

on days when I cannot be here –
in the sense that my vigor
for living rebels –

I can instead be tucked
among the clutches of brush
on the high plateau

can instead snaps bits
of silvery desert sage,
crush it, inhaling –

we are both of us escaped
and wilder here

© Sarah Whiteley

the creek

I lived once alongside the creek
with its green tumblings and blue pools,

where younger hands than these knew
the language of the ridges in the bark
of the oak that created a bridge of itself –

a path to the tall grasses fanning the sky
on the other side, where the small adventures
of frog-finding and sugar maple climbing waited,

to the tucked-away nests of the kildeer,
who darted in with shrill admonishments
to distract curious eyes from their cache

even then the creek was a confidante,
swallowing cares without complaint –
rolling them into eddies,
tumbling them over rocks,

until with time they inclined
more toward the size and shine of sand,
the gift of a much more manageable grit

© Sarah Whiteley

commencing countdown

waves 2a

In just a little more than 40 days, I’ll be driving south on the 307 on my way from Cancun to Tulum. This trip has been in the works for several months now, but it didn’t really hit me until the day before yesterday that I’ll soon be standing with my toes in the sand on that beyond gorgeous stretch of beach.

I’ll be going solo again, and that’s ok. I’ve been feeling the urge to flee and regroup for a while now and traveling alone gives me the opportunity to not only do that but also to write, play with the camera, gaze at the stars, and reflect a bit on the major changes I’ve tackled this year (admittedly, some of those changes have tackled me instead). Of course, the amazing shrimp tostadas and fresh guacamole won’t exactly hurt.

I’ve learned my lesson from the last time I put myself through a full day of travel (I get beyond grumpy). That first morning in Tulum, I will be walking the labyrinth at sunrise as a way to center myself, cast off the unnecessary baggage, and squash the grump in me. (Methinks I need one of these at home!)

PS labyrinth

No Direction But Home – Book Release!

If you’ve been with me for any length of time, you’ll know that one of the main reasons I began this blog was to rediscover my creative side – something I felt I had lost along the way. It’s been a journey. And as with any journey, sometimes you end up in a rather unexpected place. It’s all just part of the adventure, my friends.

Here’s where my journey has led me… the publication of my very first chapbook, No Direction But Home via ALL CAPS PUBLISHING.

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I am two parts terrified, and two parts proud – but entirely ready for the adventure. No Direction But Home can be purchased here (or by clicking the picture above).

Want a signed copy? Use the Paypal button I’ve set up below – eventually I will add a page to the blog with access to this option as well. (Be sure to indicate who you would like it inscribed to!)

Also, go and check out ALL CAPS PUBLISHING – there are some fabulous authors ready for you to read and more on the way!

Thank you! thank you! thank you! to all of you for the support you’ve shown me over the past 4 1/2 years. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t in part for your kindness.

And a special thank you to Marian, who thought I was worthy.

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