the raccoons

that silver morning at Shi Shi,
the chill we rose to a mere shade
of the deeper cold to come

we’d had visitors in the night,
our tents encircled by prints –
two sets surveying our strangeness

then breaking away to wander
to the edge of the sea,
twining in close loops together

we followed with our coffee
trailing steam from our mugs –
careful not to efface the evidence

© Sarah Whiteley

wild, and hush, and joy

“I walk, all day, across the heaven-verging field.” – Mary Oliver

at times, I have brought you along for company –
you and the pale trillium in that sheltered pleasure
found beneath hemlock and cedar, under second-growth pine

at times, I walked convinced I might hear you clearly
were the cascades not so Spring-ly loud,
or the whiskey jacks such engaging distraction

this morning, you have become the river
and I am grateful for the wetness of January,
for the gleaming mud that slows me down,

and for all these wild and gentle scents unfettered,
here where words like wild, and hush, and joy abound

© Sarah Whiteley