*

the wind and I walked,
and let the sun sleep in
just a few minutes more,
– just this once –

so that we might hear
our stray-dog thoughts
before the interrupting
layers of birdsong

© Sarah Whiteley

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fresh as new nothing

high above the canyon, the bumblebee wears its band of orange as it slips into the lips of the lupine

I have clamored up the steep creek, braving the slickness of rocks and roots for this spoon of solitude

up here, I am as anonymous to the wind as fierce-clinging heather – alone with ballads of bees and fresh as new nothing

© Sarah Whiteley

I’m slowly adjusting to my return to “civilization” after an adventure in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Mostly I am trying to hold onto that feeling of space and freedom for a while longer, but more posts about my experiences are sure to follow in the coming weeks. And for the first time, I journaled my experience with the help of a little weather-proof notebook my brother and his wife brought me on their last visit. Very handy!

preparing for a hike

poacher’s knot,
lark’s head, and bight –

until I find
which ropes to break,

I will tie them
to my own purpose
instead

© Sarah Whiteley

I have been spending some time getting my gear ready for a solo trek into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness later next week. Last night, I spent an hour outside just before dusk, getting my new tie-outs ready for the tarp and finding great satisfaction in tying my knots. Maybe it’s just me, but I think there’s a certain grace in knots – in altering the shape of rope (or in my case, AmSteel) to suit a purpose.

Once hung, my tarp will be shelter and comfort, will allay the winds from the ridge and keep me dry. A bit of fabric, a length of rope, and I can be at peace in the wild for a time. If only everything could be so simple.

uncertainty

I am in that space between
staying and leaving,
everything between seasons –

as if without demarcation,
Summer must linger
uncertainly at the door

wondering whether she has
found the right place,
or if the threshold

is somewhere further
down the road

© Sarah Whiteley

A big congratulations to the Wandering Wonderful giveaway winners! Christine, Garrett, and Charles have each been selected to receive a copy of my newest poetry chapbook. I’ve sent off individual emails this morning and copies of the book should be in the mail shortly.

Wandering Wonderful – A Hike and a Giveaway

On Saturday, I ventured out to the dry side of the Cascades for a little hike and exploration. By “little,” I mean 1,250 feet of elevation gain within a single mile. So I guess by “hike,” I really mean climb.

I brought along a copy of Wandering Wonderful, thinking it would be a great photo op for this little giveaway post I’ve been planning – imagine me holding my little book in front of the beautiful vista I’d just earned by scrambling up rocks along the ridge line. But the wind had other ideas – the gusts were so strong up there that I couldn’t hang onto both the book (without it flapping like mad) and the camera. Hence the ground shot. Which is infinitely less interesting than the actual canyon I’d just hiked out of, pictured below.

Still, the hike was breathtaking, heart-pumping, and everything I could have wished it to be. And I am back feeling refreshed and ready to give away a few books.

Normally, I would post a giveaway on Goodreads, but they’ve begun to charge (a rather large amount, in my opinion) to list giveaways. So instead, I’ll post it here and share on Twitter.

Now to the nitty-gritty. I will be giving away three signed copies of Wandering Wonderful. If you would like to enter, all you need to do is comment on this post. I’m not restricting it to U.S. entries only, so if you’re across one pond or the other, don’t hesitate to enter. I will leave comments open on this post until Sunday, June 23rd. After which, I will randomly select three winners.

Best of luck!
Sarah

they’ve set traps for the rats…

they’ve set traps for the rats –
one would think who cares?
except that I’ve seen the mother
coax her young in clambering
up the long patience of her tail
to reach the seed in the feeder
long after the evening’s last birds
have flown to their repose

down the street, they’ve shot the coyote,
and are calling it mercy
one might say so what?
except that she tracked the rats
and carried them back with her
into the deep green bulwark
at the densest edge of the park
where her soft-nosed pups wait

they’ve placed a sign around the corner
and one might think it benign –
until the hard hats descend
with their chainsaws and chippers,
to fell and to sunder the cedar
whose rings will mark an age
that far surpasses this city
and glibly name it progress

© Sarah Whiteley