just hum

November blows in
bearing a hundred
different songs
about her wind,

leaving one ditty
to rattle and drum
upon the limbs
of the locust

you know this one,
I tell myself,
if you’ve forgotten
the words, just hum

© Sarah Whiteley

November is upon us, and I’m not quite sure what happened to September and October. But then I suppose a crazy schedule will do that to a person and before you know it, days and whole weeks slip away without a leaving any impression at all other than a chaotic blur.

Things have calmed down a bit for me finally and I am determined to get back to the habit (and pleasure) of writing. For the month of November, I am tasking myself with drafting at least one poem a day. Many of these won’t be posted – they’ll be put aside to be tweaked later with the intention of compiling them into a new manuscript. But it feels good to set my mind to a creative task. One that will leave an impression and will keep the days from slipping by without remark.

And one of these days, I’ll post an update about the crows. They’re gathering their numbers for the winter roost, so I will at least try first to capture a quick video of them tagging along for an autumn walk with the dogs (which always turns heads in the neighborhood).

Happy November to all!

placid with the mountains

I cannot be the abstract
the city asks of me

I cannot maintain the grind
of teeth, of grime –

the hot seconds stuffed
into dull hours

when I do not go out,
the ghost of going out

rises within and whispers
of how the November woods

still smell of autumn –
of how the sleeping lake waits,

placid with the mountains
etched upon her face

© Sarah Whiteley

November chickadees

chickadee 20141101_123635

November chill
rusts the dogwood,
scatters the locust seeds
down the sodden street

the maple this year
shows an unusual
reluctance for red

but today gray was made
a near beautiful thing –
a frame for the darker
darts of the chickadees

in the yellow goodbye
of the chestnut tree

© Sarah Whiteley

autumn’s end

the bees have succumbed to drowsiness
and the honeysuckle’s dropped,
replaced by the final asters
bowing low in blue reverence of sky

the river birches arch their yellow-graced
necks over the pond where drifts
of silver fish begin their quiet
descent to barely being

maples wait in flashing ranks,
upturned and expectant of lowering skies –
their red fingers signalling retreat
into stasis, when cooling saps no longer rise

and for now, we too forget our own restlessness –
stretching long in the last of the golden light –
hearts faint-pricked by the leaves’ moments
of letting go, watching the sun pull the light away

© Sarah Whiteley

Spending time with family in Wisconsin (and reminding myself once more why I live in a milder climate). Will catch up on reading when I return. Peace!