A little poem and what I have been up to…

somewhere between heart and home,
the iron in blood sees itself
also in stone, in earth beneath feet

we are as bound to landscape
as are tendons to muscle
as tied to hearth as we are to wander

© Sarah Whiteley

Things have been quiet on the blog-front, I know. I sailed right on past the 9-year anniversary of this blog without taking time out to acknowledge it. But I have been feverishly working on piecing together a full-length manuscript for submission. November saw me buckling down with the goal of writing 60 new drafts of poems (yes, 60!). I didn’t quite make it, but made it as far as 50, which is a huge achievement for me.

I’ll be spending the next couple of months honing these poems, polishing them, probably hating parts of them, and loving them all to pieces. But now that the big push is done with for the moment, I’m hoping to revisit posting to the blog a bit more. It’s always been a great tool to keep me writing!

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Sweet William

yesterday, I carried a sprig of Sweet William
three miles to a favorite poet’s grave
simply because you do not have one

and there, the trees were a free-for-all
of birds – oh, gorgeous, noisome riot!

some other Spring mourner before me had left
a tiny, silver “s” of a snake – something you
(poet, brother) both would have appreciated

each year, I am less clever, more gray –
but only this newspaper clipping of you ages

© Sarah Whiteley

the uprooting

dahlia-white-cr-pi-img_5248

I imagine the mint went first,
followed closely by the flares
of the nasturtiums, and the phlox

the day of the uprooting

the delphiniums would have been
crushed, curls of pearl and sky,
into the soil that fed the roses

when the garden was pulled

yet strange that the winter sage
was left alone beside the rue
beneath the emptied trellis

© Sarah Whiteley

Yesterday marked 7 years since I first started ebbtide. 7 years since I made the conscious decision to begin writing again in an attempt to reclaim the creative side of myself that I felt was being pushed aside or squashed by the everyday. 7 years of readers, of sharing, of emerging friendships which could not have happened without this blog.

And so thank you to all of you who have passed through this little corner of the world, whether you’ve left a mark or not. Thank you for the support and the kindness and the critiques over the years. This place has been my succor and my salvation in many ways. And I am beyond appreciative for the positive changes that have come about as a result. So thank you.

mileposts

6:57 AM and light’s early overture
has warmed the cherry petals just enough
that the faintest scent of sweet emerges

maybe it’s more than just scribbling poets
who note these moments and mark the time,
mentally ticking off the mileposts to restoration

but this morning’s note is more than that –
today’s surfacing defines a full ten years,
and the cherry trees have bloomed to remind me

when my bus crosses John Street, I lose it –
cry quietly against the window at sunlight
pushing obdurately through the newest leaves

but by tiny degrees, I still find comfort
in the indomitable certainty that gently-scented,
spring will always return where you cannot

© Sarah Whiteley

A little sad today – marking the 10-year anniversary of losing my little brother. Don’t think I made a complete fool of myself on the bus – at least I hope not. I do find the cherry trees comforting. The bloom does go on.

On a side note, I do not recommend beginning spring by simultaneously breaking your toe and ripping the toenail off. Can we say ouch?! Yes,… yes we can. With a few other choice four-letter words thrown in for good measure!

Celebrating!

Five years ago today, one tiny little poem marked the beginning of ebbtide. Five years! Am I celebrating? Hell yes!

I am so grateful for the countless ways in which this little space on the internet has helped me – as an emotional outlet, a sounding board, a source of writerly camaraderie, and a place to celebrate beauty. There has been a (much-needed) sort of inner awakening in my life since I began this writing journey, and so many people have touched me through this medium that I can only hope I’ve been able to do a little of the same for others. So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for five wonderful years!

Peace,
Sarah

I’m Three!

Well, the blog is at any rate… three!

When I consider the reasons I began this blog (read the About page if you haven’t already) and compare it to where I am today, I can’t even begin to express how thoroughly pleased I am. This blog began as a tool – an outlet – to help me to rediscover the person I wanted to be (and still was waaaay deep down inside). I think at this point I’ve moved beyond that viewpoint and shifted from blog as “tool” to blog as “creative expression.” And that’s a milestone I’m ready to celebrate. I am at peace and content with myself. It sounds strange to say, but that’s a sense I honestly never thought I’d have a handle on. Yet here it is. And here I am.

I owe much to those who have passed through Ebbtide and left their mark in some form or other. The benefits of the validation and support received (whether from one-time readers or long-time subscribers) have been incalculable. I have been blessed to find several richly expressive, wonderful people via Ebbtide and am happy to count them now among my “writerly” friends. From the warmest part of my heart, thank you.

Val, Marian, Charles, Laz, and Guy – you have been my most avid readers/commenters of late and yours have been the writings I am most drawn to and feel the most enriched by. So a special thank you to you!

Now here it is… changes…

I’ve been mulling this idea over for some time now. Sarah, you write fiction. Why in the world don’t you post it? There have been times in recent months I’ve been sorely tempted to do just that. But then I back away from that idea. Nah! I write and share my poetry,… it’s just what I do.

Part of it is habit. Part of it is my being unsure of the reception my fiction would receive on a blog that has been based on poetry for three years. Yet another part of it is that my “fiction voice” is so very different from my “poetry voice” that… well… I don’t know. But it’s all starting to sound like a big bunch of silly excuses to me. Amazing how good we can be at coming up with excuses to not do something that might test the boundaries of our comfort zones.

So I’ve decided – fictions will be forthcoming. Perhaps not right away. And perhaps in some sort of serialized format. But interspersed between my regular poetry postings will be a few somethings of a different nature. I hope you won’t mind…

And now I’m off to have pumpkin pie for breakfast. Because I can…

Peace,
Sarah

Rites of Passage

Today marks an anniversary for me – one more than just about “blogging” – one much more meaningful. Today marks 2 years of not just wanting to reclaim myself, but of doing something about it.

Finding the courage to rediscover parts of who I used to be, and who I used to mourn no longer being, was a big step for me. And going back to writing was definitely a part of that.

Life isn’t perfect. In fact, far from it at the moment. And while there’s worry and anxiety on a daily basis these past few weeks, I have something more than I used to. In embracing myself, I’ve found such moments of absolute peace and clarity that even though I’m struggling with some big things right now, I’m happy. Part of me thinks I ought to be locked up just for saying that, but those moments of peace are a large part of what helps me to manage the day-to-day struggles right now. And I’m grateful.

Point is – today is more than an anniversary of this blog. It’s an anniversary of my SELF. And of embracing all that it entails. And loving every second of this journey of rediscovery – even the painful, messy bits (of which there are plenty).

So blessings to all who have come and gone through these pages, whether you’ve left your mark or not. You were all a part of the process. And I thank you.

Now as a treat, my cohort in crime, my traveling companion, my ever faithful confidante – my sweet, sweet girl, Freyja.