the goodbye-ness of autumn

the goodbye-ness of autumn –
that long departure
of soft greens
into drifting golds –
flits sneakily
into the tips of trees
with its quiet reddening
before the freeze

earlier purpling skies
bring the sudden cacophonies
of starling troops
which garrison
in the horse chestnut,
starry and black
in the branches
of a yellow sun

morning walks
become gentler
meditations on dodging
fat spiders hanging
in their webs
which drape the air
between power pole
and pine

and among you walk
a gentle few who pause
with palms against
the bark

to discover if
they might sense
the exact solemn moment
the sap stills

© Sarah Whiteley

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bookmarked

dearest, I have not forgotten
where I’ve left off
here, I’ve dog-eared the page
to mark it
and just in case
have laid that small red
feather of an unknown bird
found while reading
beneath our final morning
every now and then
I’ll place my fingertips
along the spine,
ruffle the pages,
glance at our names
scribed just inside,
the pages waiting
for you to catch us up
and find as I have
that between the lines
love does reside
with a grace like rain
and the peace of drowsy trees
whose branches lace
the winter moon

© Sarah Whiteley

an array of days

we all of us
have a small array
of days
(how small, how)
some much more so
than others
and were we/I able
(un-blinded by-the-by)
to see them stretch
before/behind
we would be numbed
(benumbed) to find
nothing
stretching for ever
(never, but nevermind)
once we awake
(we still sleepers)
from our sleeping days
we can but
intoxicate ourselves
with every blessed breath
(still breathing, still unstill)
each day, that small array,
a sharp stab
of/into joy
(a stark contrast)
to the blurred edges
of the days before
when we knew/know
nothing more
of forever than
the myth forever
(how small, how)
the array
of our/my days

© Sarah Whiteley