the departed

bedroom-1082262_640

your departure has the weight of ash

no longer carrying your fate,
I return to my old shape

days hold their same complexities
but night has become startlingly simple –

rucked sheets, wooden bed-frame –
there’s no need to believe in anything else

how is it that you ever fit
inside these walls? inside this time?

I was never a promise –
my hands, my breasts, my breathing –

are sovereign and whole

© Sarah Whiteley

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what the day contains

brown drifts of coffee grounds,
and the tappings of the black-capped chickadee
finding rhythm with the tick-ticking
of spring rain on new-green locust leaves
the passing hours mold the morning
into the firmer lines of day,
tracing the flights of fugitive birds –
red hawk, wren, house finch, crow,
ubiquitous dust-winged sparrow
shadows lazily skate and shift,
thumbing plants and spines of books,
shelves graced with inconsequential treasures –
of feather, stone, and sloping shell
the peonies on the window,
barely beyond their prime,
settle into fading brilliance
with unabashed aplomb
and if it might seem I forget you
amidst this gentle roster –
you’re the one, though absent,
who gives the hours their reason
and this simple room, its light

© Sarah Whiteley

tallying the day’s efforts – a writing exercise

woke earlier than wanted
later than I ought

could not remember
my dreams

walked the dogs
and watched the juncos

tried to write
nothing would take

sipped bad coffee
and wished for better

had no food for the chickadee
sitting on my window sill

cried for the loss
of a neighbor’s dog

listened to trees
and urged them on

grew too shy
to join in the conversation

blushed too brightly
when someone was kind

smoked too many cigarettes
and got a bit tipsy

waited for someone
who did not come

would not have been
brave enough anyway

fell asleep
tallying the day

probably won’t remember
my dreams

© Sarah Whiteley

Have decided to use this idea as a sort of writing exercise for myself. Might post a few here and there, but really it’s intended to get the internal dialogue happening – to see if I can transition into the beginnings of a poem somewhere. I have to say, it was kind of fun and yes, even a little bit fruitful.

revolutions

I could not come to you unbroken –
just as day breaks herself brightly
upon the crests of dark rises
and every day the earth turns
to give her credence
and then turns again away
while she spills into oblivion –
but like her I gather
in soundless profundity
the offered hours in piles
against the rise of tides,
the turning earth,
to gird this fragile machinery
to which we are bound –
I could not come to you unbroken
yet I surrender the pieces
which suit best the beat of you
and wait once more for morning

© Sarah Whiteley