we could both go golden

if my last day would perish
so beautifully as this,

I would not mind at all

we could both go golden then,
full of road and sky moments

me following this light,
lighter and no longer envious

of “as the crow flies”

© Sarah Whiteley

Photo taken east of Snoqualmie Pass overlooking Cle Elum Lake

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[the poet hikes with unbound hair and finds her peace at last]

I’m certain this will eventually bloom into an actual poem, but for now I’m just letting the line sit with me for a bit. And savoring the joy of Saturday’s hike over creek and stone, through snow-dusted woods.

placid with the mountains

I cannot be the abstract
the city asks of me

I cannot maintain the grind
of teeth, of grime –

the hot seconds stuffed
into dull hours

when I do not go out,
the ghost of going out

rises within and whispers
of how the November woods

still smell of autumn –
of how the sleeping lake waits,

placid with the mountains
etched upon her face

© Sarah Whiteley

last evening in May

the last evening in May
and the dogs are still,
stretched beside the window

as still as the trees
whose wind momentarily
has no urge to prove itself

the light nearly gone,
still there is a lone
hummingbird in the plum

and two house finches
gazing outwards, sitting
squat in the window box

I smell rain tonight,
and the spice remaining
from tonight’s dinner

on the dogs’ last walk
this last evening in May,
we’ll see the Sound

and on the far side will be
mountains, which I know remain
snowy behind their clouds

© Sarah Whiteley

that the mountain is

I am not much at peace these days

nothing sleeps, not even
the stone of the mountain,

though I find I can slow my heart
the nearer I am to its sky-graced peak

to be alone here is to be still
from the rigors of survival

and for a while, it is enough
that I am I, that the mountain is,

and that we can be awake
in this place together

© Sarah Whiteley

Today I hiked 6 miles through the woods to find some small, momentary peace. The snow (and at times sleet) made it all the more peaceful and I spent several minutes just breathing it all in above the valley. It was just me, the birds, all the forms that water takes, and one lone coyote who left his tracks across the trail. It could not have been more perfect.

finding nowhere

nowhere seems a good place to go –

the sort of place where you could dip your feet
in the creek and finally come up for air

where the silver underbellies of leaves
roll upwards to welcome the rain

where the first creature I might see
might be a solitary raven

and no one but he would even attempt
to talk to solitary me

nowhere’s as good a place as any

to look for the things that don’t ever
intend to be detected,

which is all right since nowhere’s only ever
in the looking and never in the found

© Sarah Whiteley