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.

a few dried blooms

I have reconciled myself to much lately
perhaps too much so
and now the hydrangeas
have lost their azure
bleached to bone-papered petals
kissed too closely by the sun
come fall I would have picked
bloom by bloom the dusky blues
and purples from their globes
as they dried for a bit of color
to scatter across the table
but today the possibility
vanished into dry disappointment
if I could just instead pluck
a few small pieces from the sky
of that certain blue with the gold-tinged
hue of days’ slow slide into early autumn
I would not so mind the loss
of a few dried blooms

© Sarah Whiteley

eventuality

winter is the eventuality
of all these leaves
writhing through the sky
past my window
the winds know this
and yesterday they ceased
their cautious whisperings
to dance and seethe
gleeful in the cold and damp
of fading October fires
the maples down the block
still blush fiercely
that the birch
have so willingly tossed
their yellow offerings
to the ground
in abject surrender
to the eventuality
of winter

© Sarah Whiteley