how to survive

survival lies in pocketing
what small moments I can,
so that later they might be
pulled out and palmed,
turned over by questing finger,
examined by much-deprived eyes

here are the snowdrops
bedecking the mossy rocks,
and this one’s the blazing splay
of last Tuesday’s sunrise
dripping down the mountainside,

and here are those few
stolen strains of Bach
sounding the robins
to their sleep at the end
of a work-worn day

© Sarah Whiteley

Just a quick note to say I am still alive. Buried beneath the weight of thousands and thousands of pages of tax returns, but yes – still here. I really do think I survive this time of year by seeking out whatever small moments of peace that I can; by taking the time to say “look! here is something beautiful that I can carry with me in my mind.” And coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

color study – sky

let this be be the color of the sky –

shades of rain and chicory
and cloud shadow slants
on broken-stalked plain
weathered white porch eaves
where the speckle-winged moths
flit on evening’s brim
with the last long curls
of the iris slowly fading
from its porcelain vase

© Sarah Whiteley

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.

delphinium dreams

delphiniums droop,
blue-winged bloomings,
not a hint of flight
but the feathered teasings
of billowy breezes,
that laughing,
passed them by
at night they dream,
I think,
of unstemmed delight –
dipping slipping drinking
in the troughs of
silver streaking tails
of untrowable stars
whispering
at last
we are higher
than the spires
to which the sun
and earth confined us

but by dawn
they lie,
impossible curls
of fallen sky,
upon the earth
to which they are
forever tied
while breezes ever
laughing, pass them by

© Sarah Whiteley

the beauty of impermanence

they do not stay
but rather stray
as petals from the palm
soft and sweet
while gathered
softer and sweeter even
when gone
but oh! such joy
when unkempt kisses
rain delphinium blues
in impossible pieces
of drifting sky
let my skin
sing the wind
in rushing strains
and my lips
sound the echoes
of tall grasses gleaming
over stretching plains
how my core
riots to the call
of trees whose leaves
turn in eddies
of green exhilaration
before the songs
of birds depart
in bright-feathered drifts
along the trails
of those far-roaming
ever-ranging
petalled things

© Sarah Whiteley

Montana Moon

I count myself blessed in that I’ve been privileged to see some truly breath-taking things over the years. This past August while driving through Montana, I got a very early start out of Forsyth. I was the only one on the road and the morning was slow in coming over the horizon. A large pink moon sitting low over the bluffs followed me as I drove. Here and there, the Yellowstone River would make an appearance, shining silvery pink and golden beneath it all. Sometimes the sense of beauty just falls outside the realm of words. But we are gifted with images to carry along with us. Places and moments we can turn to and breathe a sigh of remembrance – perhaps holding on to a small bit of that feeling of immense awe. This is my sigh of remembrance…

    Montana Moon

© Sarah Whiteley