a remedy for wistful

I could watch (have watched)
that pine for hours
and the purple sand cherry –
currently slowly balding

seeing the yellowing
of the locust leaves
always makes me feel
just a little bit wistful

leaves that in a few weeks
will blow away to wherever,
leaving me here with
an unending view of rain

of streetlights and drainpipes
and that black shadow pine –
sometimes with crow,
but oftentimes no

hot tea, a splash of whiskey,
open window, open book –
a secret home remedy
for wistful

© Sarah Whiteley

I swear I’m really not feeling this melancholy – I love the fall. I think this is in part due to lack of sleep! Two nights in a row with almost none – perhaps hot tea with whiskey is a remedy for that as well?

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Monday morning, 6 AM

the geese came early
this morning, and loudly

already it was too gray a day
for the sun to make an appearance

the dogs, fractious still from being
pulled out into the dark and rain

growled up at the windows long after
the clattery troupe had passed

and moments later the rain
let loose and I with my umbrella

crept out the back door
into another day

© Sarah Whiteley

early autumn walk

now the jasmine’s done,
the Russian sage stands
taller, though leggy
in the September sun
and I begin to look
for purple bursts of
asters on my walks

here and there,
the anemones still bloom,
though half-droop as if
weary of the effort
to shine beside their
hardier counterparts

soon the crows will
gather in the beech tree
in raucous reunion –
a return to their winter
roost-mates and safety
in dark numbers

and I find comfort
in the crunch of leaves
the fires dripped
by trees for me to
ponder through, always
the words blooming
and roosting raucously
in my wandering head

© Sarah Whiteley

The first (and the absolute worst) of the work deadlines is past and I’ve somehow again managed to muddle through it. Tired, ruffled, feeling very behind on writing and reading, but alive all the same – and that is enough for now to be thankful for. Looking forward to a weekend of relaxing and catching up on the dusting before things pick up for the second work deadline. And I’ve got LOTS of reading to catch up on!

escaping spiders

one by one the moths
find their way into the building,
lose themselves in high corners
and dingy stairwells

cupping my hands I
usher what few I can off
the fire escape, blowing them
to whatever dusty fate is theirs

but more often find stilled
wings, unmoving corpses along
the baseboards beneath
the hallway lights

I think they know there’s
no moon here, but flock
to false incandescence for scant
safety in a poor substitute

but how else
does one escape the spiders?

© Sarah Whiteley

Giveaway! Giveaway! Giveaway!

CONTEST AND COMMENTS NOW CLOSED!

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

talismans

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

brighter

it isn’t so much
that the days
are tiring
as it is the light
is struggling
to stay
as earth is urged
to darker arms
and the calm
of slow hibernation
how wondrous it is
that light should find
a fragile respite
in fiery leaves
as if the trees too
would stoke it brighter
for just those few
more days

© Sarah Whiteley

Perhaps a bit early for this, but I’m in an autumn sort of mood lately. The light is shifting and I’m already feeling a shortening in the days.

Normally this time of year, I would announce that Ebbtide is on hold until I’ve made it to the far side of the tax deadlines that hit us at the office in September and October. This year I’ve decided to wait and see. And if I am able to find the time and space to write – to find a quiet moment in which to lose myself a little in beauty – then all the better for me.