I have not named what it is I am grieving…

I have not named
what it is I am grieving –
letting go becomes
unfeasible in such a state

perhaps it is simply
for a space which carries
both the gravity
and lightness of leaving

a place where inhaling
and exhaling
become something other
than separate acts –

disparate sides
of the same smooth stone,
palmed for the easy comfort
of its rounded weight

© Sarah Whiteley

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early snow – excerpt from Wandering Wonderful

an early snow this year

icy and hard, it woke me –
hissing and insistent
through the crack in the sill

the dogs both dig deeper
into my side, settle once more,
and sigh – little heart-furnaces

© Sarah Whiteley

The weather this year has been hard on the dogs and little Angus especially is feeling his age lately. But it’s amazing what comfort a dog can bring into a life – and I am blessed to have both of them for as long as I may.

My newest chapbook Wandering Wonderful is now available for pre-order from Finishing Line Press. Pre-orders through March 22nd will have an opportunity to win a canvas print of the cover art. Click for details!

wildness is a necessity

when, as now, the city leans too close –
all cloying constructs, relentless cement

send to me a comfort of simple pine,
send to me an endurance of wind-bent cedar,

give to me the remoteness of ridgelines
and a full solace of placid tarns

what Muir meant made blazingly clear
with each leaden municipal minute

wildness is a necessity

© Sarah Whiteley

writing home

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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

do not disregard the stars

in standing with our small funerals
the susurrus of our losses
soughing about our feet
do not disregard the stars
nor the soft shine of upturned leaf
they are as much an affirmation
of the loves that travel with us
as are the scars that are left
when we set them free
let there be some comfort
that the passing constellations
shine as brightly when they die
as they did when we only imagined
them to be alive

– for Ludwig, who left us to join his friend this morning –

© Sarah Whiteley

sweeping up

so many of the places
where we were are gone
as if an unseen hand
were sweeping up
after us after closing
after the late shadows
have pushed the last shreds
of day into quiet evening
even then there were crickets
and smells of coffee shops
and wisteria that dripped its
scent like soft voices
calling after us after we passed
newspapers and shared quips
and lazy meandering walks
counting mosses and lilacs
and cats slinking from porch steps
our last spot – the one
we most called ours –
will be gone within the year
and chairs, tables, cups,
and flowered cloths will be pulled
from our little corner
where none but our comfort breathed
walking by in late afternoon,
the hollow sound of an empty cup
as it hits the table
echoes in blooms within
birthing sudden ripplings
in what so often now lies still
so that the pinch makes me pause
we may not recover,
but we do walk on

© Sarah Whiteley