finch talk

the finches had much
to say today –
about the dampness
of the day,
the amount of seed
remaining on the sill,
the early dark and
the lateness of light

winter prattlings,
cold weather natterings –
so different from
the ardent liltings
they will trade
between the buds
in the spring,
but enjoyable
to ears all the same

© Sarah Whiteley

My apologies for my absence lately. Some large projects have been keeping me rather busy which means that finding time and mental space to write has been difficult to say the least. Unfortunately, reading the blogs I subscribe to has also fallen by the wayside recently. Of course, not having internet at home since before the holidays has complicated the issue. However, that particular problem should (fingers crossed) be rectified this weekend and I will hopefully be able to start catching up on my reading and my writing soon.

My best friend and I have a hiking motto, birthed during our first adventure together through three miles of calf deep mud and down a hundred foot cliff (one of us with only one working hand at the time). That motto is “straight through the middle!” Meaning that sometimes the only way to get to where you are going is to keep moving forward. In news of the major life adventure variety, I am making arrangements to leave Seattle after many, many years and relocate to Colorado in March. The Universe has basically been yelling at me for a while now that It Is Time! So with much nervousness (and much exhilaration), I’m holding myself to that motto.

I will miss my quirky crows, my beloved Cascade Mountains, all those rainy hikes, porch beers with neighbors, and of course my best friend. But there is also so much that I am looking forward to: new hikes, new neighbors, new adventures, and finding new inspiration all around. So if I start writing about changes and leavings and whole families of dust bunnies found while cleaning out closets, you all will know why.

With much love and gratitude,
Sarah

buttercup

knowing you already have
the company of stones,
and wanting a remembrance
less weighty,
I brought to you
the single beam
of a wild buttercup
plucked from among
its golden brothers,
drifting even now
unfettered in the field

where nearby children
may be heard shrieking
in play with each other
and with the barking dog
under the watchful eyes
of a woman content
that they will be tired
after this brilliant-skied
afternoon frolic

and even nearer,
the cedar the artists
come to paint holds
the newest fledglings close
until early one morning
and quite unexpectedly,
it will dawn on them
that they are the sky-born
and their falling
will become instead
their glorious flying

and down the street,
the runners run
past the park where
I imagine you stopped
to watch the swallows
plummet at dusk,
enthralled by just what
hollow bones can do –
and wandered back home
to with relish write
of growing wings

© Sarah Whiteley

the winter wait – excerpt from Wandering Wonderful

for everyone but the birds,
winter is about waiting

they must wonder why it is
we’ve seemingly stalled

piled on days of cold and rain
have made us slow and passive

and we miss seeing that
what is gray is also glistening

© Sarah Whiteley

Wandering Wonderful is available for pre-order from Finishing Line Press. For information on mail ordering (vs online ordering), details are provided under my Available Books page.

last evening in May

the last evening in May
and the dogs are still,
stretched beside the window

as still as the trees
whose wind momentarily
has no urge to prove itself

the light nearly gone,
still there is a lone
hummingbird in the plum

and two house finches
gazing outwards, sitting
squat in the window box

I smell rain tonight,
and the spice remaining
from tonight’s dinner

on the dogs’ last walk
this last evening in May,
we’ll see the Sound

and on the far side will be
mountains, which I know remain
snowy behind their clouds

© Sarah Whiteley

I go out

I go out, and come back –
to the low voices of everyday
concrete saying stay,
voices that are each time fainter

I go out, and come back –
in sun, in mist, in rain –
and each time the tether
is less, and closer to temporary

each time the river’s shout
grows louder and I am more
cedar and stone, more
singing creek and warbler

I go out, and I am more
simply by being less

© Sarah Whiteley