early autumn walk

now the jasmine’s done,
the Russian sage stands
taller, though leggy
in the September sun
and I begin to look
for purple bursts of
asters on my walks

here and there,
the anemones still bloom,
though half-droop as if
weary of the effort
to shine beside their
hardier counterparts

soon the crows will
gather in the beech tree
in raucous reunion –
a return to their winter
roost-mates and safety
in dark numbers

and I find comfort
in the crunch of leaves
the fires dripped
by trees for me to
ponder through, always
the words blooming
and roosting raucously
in my wandering head

© Sarah Whiteley

The first (and the absolute worst) of the work deadlines is past and I’ve somehow again managed to muddle through it. Tired, ruffled, feeling very behind on writing and reading, but alive all the same – and that is enough for now to be thankful for. Looking forward to a weekend of relaxing and catching up on the dusting before things pick up for the second work deadline. And I’ve got LOTS of reading to catch up on!

escaping spiders

one by one the moths
find their way into the building,
lose themselves in high corners
and dingy stairwells

cupping my hands I
usher what few I can off
the fire escape, blowing them
to whatever dusty fate is theirs

but more often find stilled
wings, unmoving corpses along
the baseboards beneath
the hallway lights

I think they know there’s
no moon here, but flock
to false incandescence for scant
safety in a poor substitute

but how else
does one escape the spiders?

© Sarah Whiteley

the dangers of stargazing

this morning,
before morning really,
before the light had begun
to line the eastern sky,
I walked – feet testing
the crispness of those
first fallen leaves
(someone must, after all,
be the first to fall)
while Orion hung
so impossibly bright,
so brilliant even from beneath
the glare of the streetlight,
that I had to (truly had to)
walk along with head tilted back
ridiculously celestially absorbed
in that darned belt
everyone’s always pointing out
why? I was just wondering,
does no one point out the bow
so perfectly poised
that any arrow loosed
would pierce the heaving flesh
of the great bull before him?

when I wandered face-first
into the very earthy wonder
of a spider web
take heed, my friend –
there are dangers even
in stargazing

© Sarah Whiteley

I absolutely did do this rather recently and after I’d pulled the spider web off my face, couldn’t help but laugh at myself and wonder if this was the Universe’s ever-so-subtle way of reminding me to find ways to be more grounded.

brighter

it isn’t so much
that the days
are tiring
as it is the light
is struggling
to stay
as earth is urged
to darker arms
and the calm
of slow hibernation
how wondrous it is
that light should find
a fragile respite
in fiery leaves
as if the trees too
would stoke it brighter
for just those few
more days

© Sarah Whiteley

Perhaps a bit early for this, but I’m in an autumn sort of mood lately. The light is shifting and I’m already feeling a shortening in the days.

Normally this time of year, I would announce that Ebbtide is on hold until I’ve made it to the far side of the tax deadlines that hit us at the office in September and October. This year I’ve decided to wait and see. And if I am able to find the time and space to write – to find a quiet moment in which to lose myself a little in beauty – then all the better for me.

remembering in October

mine is not a life without sky
but like a pebble pocketed
and half forgotten
my fingers will brush
the cool smoothness of you
and be startled into sadness
for the space of a long heartbeat
or a breath lightly held
before moving on beneath
the sighing lull of yellowing trees
mine is not a life without sky
though there are times
I can feel the edges of it
following along beside
wearing your scent,
carrying your sound,
and casting our words
to the leaves at my feet

© Sarah Whiteley

autumn hush

round the hushful green
greener even
for the dying drifts
of leaves’ last hurrah
crows gather and glide
trailing darker days behind
the crisp skim of feet
over tiny yellow moments
the birches tick off
spates of time that fall
with the rusted petals
of the last late roses
brittle with the day’s demise
moon’s crescent smiles
ablaze with her secret
for her stars breathe brighter
when winter’s lull descends

© Sarah Whiteley

…with a nod to Mr. Lew and his smiling moon…