storm at Rachel Lake


every branch
was made big with wind

while we
sat diminished

hunkered down
with steaming cups,

muddied boots,
cold-red cheeks,

together beneath
that orange tarp

with every gust

we stayed,
shivered, laughing

while others
fled the storm –

a splendid day,
my splendid friend

© Sarah Whiteley

writing home


the small-birds have finally
found the window feeder
and the dogs are enthralled
with their sudden proximity

we are well, though feeling
the spring in our bones –
that gentle eruption debuts
a new brand of restlessness

the boards of the porch have been
too damp for comfortable reading,
and coffee for now is confined
beneath the mossy awning

but sweet and peppery
the season’s trees tease
the beginnings of green –
one promise kept, at least,
among so many hundreds dropped

these are days of small news,
buds of flowery hearsay – not much
here to report except the hummingbirds
are damp-winged and bright
among the new leaves of the maple

© Sarah Whiteley

squelchy Monday

today I would trade my squelchy shoes
and sodden self for warm dogs
and ticking radiators, steaming mugs
of freshly brewed, nearly obscenely
creamed coffee – there’s even, I think,
a donut on the kitchen counter
with my name on it saying stay in!

but instead it’s frizzled hair,
unending responsibilities, and rain
that managed to drip everywhere

© Sarah Whiteley

Squelchy Mondays are the worst.

Giveaway! Giveaway! Giveaway!


Here we are, at the barest edge of the fall season (at least in this hemisphere) and what could be better when the weather turns than sitting next to an open window with a nice hot cup of coffee, wrapped up in a something soft and cozy, reading a book of poetry? Bliss!

I’m here to help you make at least part of that picture happen… that’s right, readers! I am giving away a FREE copy of my chapbook No Direction But Home to one lucky commenter!

Here’s the deal:
* leave a plain old boring comment on this post (one comment = one entry to win)
* OR leave a comment in the form of a rhyming couplet on this post (one rhyming couplet = TWO entries to win)
* comments will remain open until Wednesday, August 28th at 8PM PST
* the winning entry will be drawn from a box (I don’t own a hat – too much hair!)
* the winner will be notified via email! no worries if you don’t have a wordpress account – you will be prompted to enter an email address when you enter a comment (no one will see your email except me and I solemnly swear it will not be shared or used for nefarious purposes)
* out of the country? that’s ok too! if you happen to be one of my British, Australian, or other overseas readers, don’t let that keep you from entering
* sorry, but the mug and the lovely handknit alpaca scarf are NOT a part of the giveaway (you wouldn’t want the scarf anyway – it sheds like the dickens); I WILL however throw in a fabulous bookmark from ALL CAPS PUBLISHING
* GOOD LUCK! and do be sure to check out the other great authors over at ALL CAPS PUBLISHING

Just to clarify: a “Like” does not constitute a valid entry – you must leave a comment to enter

the morning commute

this morning the rain had let up
just long enough during the night
that I was able to make my way down the walk
without worrying how deep the next puddle
too wide to leap would be
half a block ahead of me walked a man
whose dark jacket folded him into the gloom
but I could smell the heavenly clove
of his cigarette and inhaling deeply
thought it’s a damn good thing I keep mine
in the drawer at home safe from fingers
itching to light just one, which would turn
into possibly three, a missed bus and a wrong
perhaps deliberate turn down the wrong street
for a long pause in a certain small cafe
where the purple walls would hide me
from the workaday and I could settle to the task
of drinking a few too many cups of coffee
and everyone else can turn the world without me
but the man headed left down the alley
and my cloves were tucked in the drawer
six blocks back and there I was
with a for once on-time bus thinking
I may as well get on

© Sarah Whiteley

Things will be on the quiet side here for a while. Not a hiatus, really, but just working on a very exciting project. I’ll be keeping up with reading new posts, but the writing might be a bit on the thin side over here. But trust me – it’ll be worth it.



the leaves have dropped
burnt out finally after
the last conflagration
and the fog drifts in
most mornings now
a shroud for ashen skies
hangs about sometimes
until noon even
days like this call
for extra cups of coffee
with an extra spoon of sugar –
something hot and sweet
to cup chilled hands about
a talisman against graying days
and the sooner dark
thoughts of you
were once my August
in the icy weeks to come
now I have the warmly
snoring bodies of dogs
and extra doses
of coffee the color
of 5 AM in December

© Sarah Whiteley

mermaid hair

you have mermaid hair,
as he pours my coffee
and the scent of salt and sea
surprises earthy café
as if just now
I recall the slide
into the quiet cool beneath
the languid lying
amidst the silver flashes
of fishes, the surge and sway
of sea and kelp and calm
the forgotten fins
and hidden dens
in the deepest corners
of deep blue bays
I feel the float
and drift
and the measure
of time in the tides
just as surely
as if I’d never
slipped to shore

© Sarah Whiteley