paint

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I can’t scrape away
the last of my paint

just can’t

though I’ve been
peeling myself away
from these walls
seven years now

new walls, yes,
can wear my color

it’s yours I’ll miss

© Sarah Whiteley

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storm at Rachel Lake

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every branch
was made big with wind

while we
sat diminished

hunkered down
with steaming cups,

muddied boots,
cold-red cheeks,

together beneath
that orange tarp

cracking
with every gust

we stayed,
shivered, laughing

while others
fled the storm –

a splendid day,
my splendid friend

© Sarah Whiteley

3.4.2015

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I am learning finally how to be vulnerable, how to ask for help, and how to lean on friends and trust that they’ll stand steady beneath the weight. I’m coming to this lesson rather late in life, but this is a good step forward. But I’ve reached a point where I find I need to “lie low to the wall” for a while, as O’Donohue suggests in his poem. So I’m stepping away from new posts and writing in general for a while. I really couldn’t say for how long – at least until a few things have shifted a bit and the load is a little bit lighter.

I’ll still be reading and commenting on posts now and again. But ebbtide itself will be quiet for the time being.

Be wonderful and be well!

2.18.2015

there’s nothing quite so fine
as drinking prison wine

sitting on upturned milk crates
with an aging Boxer dog

and the best red-headed smartass
I’ve ever had the pleasure

of not completely falling for –
not like all those others

some lovers leave and others
you just can’t shake,

but none of that matters –
there’s comfort in the heft

of a good friend’s laughter
and forgetting in a bottle of rye

for those times when time
doesn’t go quite fast enough

and you can’t leave that burden behind

2.12.2015

snippets from the past few days

the snowdrops have been stepped on by some unwary foot – they are closer now to mud than to sky – but the crocus persists and the daffodils are showing their greening tips

I had to side-step several puddles of blood on the sidewalk outside the office one morning while the police tried to tape them off – a man stabbed apparently kept right on walking – I felt like I could relate

I wake most mornings at 2 AM with my heart thrumming like a sparrow trapped in a 50 gallon drum – and it is the strangest sensation to feel empty except for the beating of frantic wings – on lucky days, that goes away

Knock-Knock has learned a new vocalization that somewhat approximates a soft bark, not unlike what Freyja sounds like when she calls the crows – I am intrigued and pleased by this

Coyote has been extra amorous with his mate, and in another few months, I will hopefully have a new blue-eyed fledgling or two that he will let me photograph

I briefly met someone at the office whom I strongly suspect is a very shy, closeted smart-ass – this makes me want to invite him to coffee so that we can enjoy the comfort of being smart-asses in like company

three gin & tonics and eight pieces of sushi with raucous friends is better than hours of therapy; a peaceful hour spent painting is just as good

2.9.2015

I was the kid who was forever bringing home strays or baby birds. Some I’d thrust upon neighbors (apparently I was hard to resist), some would hang around, and some unfortunately wouldn’t make it. I stopped doing this when I hit about 12 years old. But then in high school, my friend called me with 4 baby rabbits. From what I understand, her mother’s boyfriend had set traps and the mother rabbit had been caught in one. And now here were her orphaned babies who were clearly too young to fend for themselves.

I took on the care of Hoover (named for the vacuum cleaner, not the president). He was small enough that he required warmed kitten formula from a medicine dropper every few hours. I remember cradling him in my palm with his oversized feet sticking up, feeding him until his belly was round and his eyes drooped. It was the last few weeks of school and I carted him around everywhere in a little shoebox and when feeding time came, the teachers let me use the microwave in the teacher’s lounge to warm his formula.

Eventually he got big enough to start eating leafy things on his own. I’d take him out into the backyard and let him wander beneath the safety of a laundry basket. There was a nice little patch of clover near the garage where I’d set us up for an hour or two every day. A couple of times, the laundry basket was removed but he always hung around and let me take him back inside. Until one day he decided he knew where he belonged and darted into the neighbor’s garden.

I didn’t try to go after him. I knew it was time to let him be what he was meant to be. We saw him quite often over the summer, munching away in the gardens – clearly thriving.

I thought a lot about Hoover while I was painting this. Lately I’ve been feeling a bit like a stray myself. But then I think that sometimes all we need is for someone to show us the clover. And that will happen when we’re ready to come out from under the laundry basket.

Fat Rabbit