I go out

I go out, and come back –
to the low voices of everyday
concrete saying stay,
voices that are each time fainter

I go out, and come back –
in sun, in mist, in rain –
and each time the tether
is less, and closer to temporary

each time the river’s shout
grows louder and I am more
cedar and stone, more
singing creek and warbler

I go out, and I am more
simply by being less

© Sarah Whiteley

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light resides

light resides
in the quiet crook
of your elbow
were I to unbend it
or raise my head
from where my hair
loves the smooth
turns of you
it would surely escape
fly out the open window
pulling along behind
the rest of me
flushed as birds
from fields at dusk

© Sarah Whiteley

delphinium dreams

delphiniums droop,
blue-winged bloomings,
not a hint of flight
but the feathered teasings
of billowy breezes,
that laughing,
passed them by
at night they dream,
I think,
of unstemmed delight –
dipping slipping drinking
in the troughs of
silver streaking tails
of untrowable stars
whispering
at last
we are higher
than the spires
to which the sun
and earth confined us

but by dawn
they lie,
impossible curls
of fallen sky,
upon the earth
to which they are
forever tied
while breezes ever
laughing, pass them by

© Sarah Whiteley

I would I could

I would
I could stay
in those days
of skinned knees,
firefly-lit trees,
and the cool stretch
of evenings
the moon tipped all
her sweetness into
and in the far fields
chase the years
yet to come
up the grass-wrapped rise
where the stars
that held my eyes
touch and hold still
that spray of youth
when green, green
spread unending
and the honeysuckle hung
beneath the sour apple tree,
bare feet dangling
down below the boughs
without a care
for things like thistles,
or neighbors, or propriety
dear me,
I would
I could stay
in those days
where we played
evenings along the creek
so cold it crushed
the breath from our
fledgling frames,
thin as new foals
but spry as goats,
we plucked berries
as fresh as you can get
and as wild as the orphans
our mother called us
then grass was meant
for rolling down
and words like winter
and worry
were still
so very far away
I would
I could stay

© Sarah Whiteley

at peace

it’s been a year, my dear,
since I shut the garden gate behind
and shooed the wounded dreams away
to trail mournful after happenstance
and the ungraceful slant of those days

no more than small disturbances now
they rustle upon the edges of my feathers
and along the bending tips of my grass
there are no buzzings of bees here
but life, in cat-soft callings ’round the corner,
beckons of fingers held in absentia
and sings of the raveled strings
the intangible things that keep me tethered here
and bound to breathing

mistake not my thanks for fidelity
for I am adroitly adrift
and drift on I shall as vagabond leaves
those flutterings of a different sort
left me out of sorts and circling then
with all its brass-caged “ifs”
I leave their scattered clamorings behind the gate
I rise, I glide, I shifting sift
like last light’s slow-measured lilting
through branches that waver quavery
in the dreamy greens of settling dusk

a year, dear, and I am softer than the silence
unfolding from the star-tilted skies
and sweeter even than the honeysuckle sliver
of the moon that follows me home
and nests in the corner of my window

© Sarah Whiteley

And wham it came upon me – that urge to write. I think for now the lull has passed.