turned earth

I had determined
(after the last)
to no longer offer up
the root of myself

let it beat
(I thought)
for nothing other than
to mark the time
passing beneath my skin

but then hands
(so mercilessly capable)
dug in and I am as earth
freshly turned and raw

and the root
(remembering yearning)
has caught the rain of you
and strains again
toward sun

© Sarah Whiteley

I know when it is I am burning

I know when it is
I am burning –

when the sparrow
in my throat
bursts free from
the fretful gravity
of kisses nearly pressed
but not

and when gazes
glance away
from what has not
yet been but is almost
said and left to hang

I know when it is
I am burning –

when on the verge
of crumbling into dust
I find myself at precipices
and am far too fragile
to bear your touch
without incineration

but if at night
I may find my boldness –
and peace in being
still beside you –
then I pray time
will consume the day
and love bend
light away

© Sarah Whiteley


I have never been one
for taking the right sorts of chances
too wrapped up in what the world thinks
what the neighbors would say
I forever seem to be
making wrong turns down one-way streets
stepping back when everyone else
leans out over the edge to see
you’d think, wouldn’t you,
that my fears would keep me safe
an acceptable distance between my heart
and the inevitable hurt
but the world has a way
of beating down the cowards
just as much as it does the brave
in mindless predatory equality
so just this once
I’ll make the choice to stand with the brave
hand the world my parachute
and step over the edge

© Sarah Whiteley