expungence

this is not the first page,
nor have I reached the last

on days such as this,
what I most want to do

is fling them all upwards
for complete expungence
into the winds,

which in February burgeon
and whirl, thieving breath
and birds and leaves

and so why not these?

© Sarah Whiteley

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

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