an early snow this year
icy and hard, it woke me –
hissing and insistent
through the crack in the sill
the dogs both dig deeper
into my side, settle once more,
and sigh – little heart-furnaces
© Sarah Whiteley
The weather this year has been hard on the dogs and little Angus especially is feeling his age lately. But it’s amazing what comfort a dog can bring into a life – and I am blessed to have both of them for as long as I may.
My newest chapbook Wandering Wonderful is now available for pre-order from Finishing Line Press. Pre-orders through March 22nd will have an opportunity to win a canvas print of the cover art. Click for details!
In celebration of the publication of Wandering Wonderful, I’ve decided to offer a chance to win a 20″ x 30″ canvas print of the cover art shown above (sans title, etc.) to one lucky person.
How to enter? Simply pre-order a copy of the book by March 22nd via Finishing Line Press.
If you prefer to mail order, you can send a check or money order to: Finishing Line Press, PO Box 1626, Georgetown, KY 40325. The cost of the book is $14.99 + $2.99 for shipping. (Note that mail orders take longer to process than online orders.)
If you would like an autographed copy of the book, I can accept payments via PayPal (see my Available Books page). Include a message that you are pre-ordering Wandering Wonderful for inscription. The book will then be shipped to me for signing, and forwarded on to you at no additional shipping cost.
Finishing Line Press provides me with periodic sales updates and names will be drawn after the last sales update of the pre-order period end date. If you have already pre-ordered a copy of the book, never fear! Your name will also be entered into the drawing.
Thank you to everyone for your continued support. It’s because of wonderful readers and fellow writers like you that this blog has been in action for over 10 years.
With much love and respect,
How introverted poet/artists protest…
after a poem by Ono no Komachi
too soon the bloom
has slipped from the stem –
a light lost over the deepening
sill of evening
and back and forth,
the beads are slipped slowly
down the thread while I
wait with the rain
that absence hangs around,
a lone note held –
b-flat drifting long after
the tables have emptied
a blind man would have known
to find a way away from you
but fire makes us stupid
and before this space was vacant
it. was. on. fire.
things are so much clearer
when seen in d minor –
it’s a particular diminished
shade of the blues
but the show’s over even if
the smoke still lingers
and there’s no flyer even
to remember it by
but darlin’, there’s no
forgetting that heat
… when we’re not watching…
snippets from the past few days
the snowdrops have been stepped on by some unwary foot – they are closer now to mud than to sky – but the crocus persists and the daffodils are showing their greening tips
I had to side-step several puddles of blood on the sidewalk outside the office one morning while the police tried to tape them off – a man stabbed apparently kept right on walking – I felt like I could relate
I wake most mornings at 2 AM with my heart thrumming like a sparrow trapped in a 50 gallon drum – and it is the strangest sensation to feel empty except for the beating of frantic wings – on lucky days, that goes away
Knock-Knock has learned a new vocalization that somewhat approximates a soft bark, not unlike what Freyja sounds like when she calls the crows – I am intrigued and pleased by this
Coyote has been extra amorous with his mate, and in another few months, I will hopefully have a new blue-eyed fledgling or two that he will let me photograph
I briefly met someone at the office whom I strongly suspect is a very shy, closeted smart-ass – this makes me want to invite him to coffee so that we can enjoy the comfort of being smart-asses in like company
three gin & tonics and eight pieces of sushi with raucous friends is better than hours of therapy; a peaceful hour spent painting is just as good
I was the kid who was forever bringing home strays or baby birds. Some I’d thrust upon neighbors (apparently I was hard to resist), some would hang around, and some unfortunately wouldn’t make it. I stopped doing this when I hit about 12 years old. But then in high school, my friend called me with 4 baby rabbits. From what I understand, her mother’s boyfriend had set traps and the mother rabbit had been caught in one. And now here were her orphaned babies who were clearly too young to fend for themselves.
I took on the care of Hoover (named for the vacuum cleaner, not the president). He was small enough that he required warmed kitten formula from a medicine dropper every few hours. I remember cradling him in my palm with his oversized feet sticking up, feeding him until his belly was round and his eyes drooped. It was the last few weeks of school and I carted him around everywhere in a little shoebox and when feeding time came, the teachers let me use the microwave in the teacher’s lounge to warm his formula.
Eventually he got big enough to start eating leafy things on his own. I’d take him out into the backyard and let him wander beneath the safety of a laundry basket. There was a nice little patch of clover near the garage where I’d set us up for an hour or two every day. A couple of times, the laundry basket was removed but he always hung around and let me take him back inside. Until one day he decided he knew where he belonged and darted into the neighbor’s garden.
I didn’t try to go after him. I knew it was time to let him be what he was meant to be. We saw him quite often over the summer, munching away in the gardens – clearly thriving.
I thought a lot about Hoover while I was painting this. Lately I’ve been feeling a bit like a stray myself. But then I think that sometimes all we need is for someone to show us the clover. And that will happen when we’re ready to come out from under the laundry basket.
I’ve been pushing around paint for the past couple of days. If that sounds semi-aggressive to you, you’d be right. I’ve pulled out the cheap brushes and the cheap studio canvas and I’ve been just relishing the chaos. “Inner Chaos, meet Outer Chaos. I’m sure you’ll get along just fine.”
Most people looking at what I was doing right now would probably say “but Sarah, that’s just a big blue mess.” And I’d say “yes, that’s exactly what that is.” But it’s a satisfying mess. And better out than in.
Some broken things, in the right light, still shine. And in a perfect wind, the fragmentary might fly. But mostly we forget this and gather too closely the sharp edges to our chest – seeking solace in those pieces that are left.