early morning hike

I wake well before dawn
so that I might walk
with the mist and the fog,
each of us finding
our own path up the peak

yet loving the damp bark
of the lofty cypress
in precisely the same way –
like light suddenly unbound,
eagerly embracing all
it can and cannot name

those who would say
a mountain does not breathe
have never placed their feet
where feet have not yet been –
have never found the river
that flows into the mountain
and does not come out again

© Sarah Whiteley

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!

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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