certainty from a garden

tonight, there is more color
rising in the leaves
of the vine maple
than there was
just this morning

of this I am certain

just as I am certain
that when I brush the tops
of the tomato plants,
they will smell
like tomato plants

certain also that
the white cabbage butterfly
will choose to light upon
the curls of kale
over the wild mustard greens

and that when the chickadees
fly deeper into
the darkening branches
of the cottonwood,
this day will end

of this I am certain

© Sarah Whiteley

finch talk

the finches had much
to say today –
about the dampness
of the day,
the amount of seed
remaining on the sill,
the early dark and
the lateness of light

winter prattlings,
cold weather natterings –
so different from
the ardent liltings
they will trade
between the buds
in the spring,
but enjoyable
to ears all the same

© Sarah Whiteley

My apologies for my absence lately. Some large projects have been keeping me rather busy which means that finding time and mental space to write has been difficult to say the least. Unfortunately, reading the blogs I subscribe to has also fallen by the wayside recently. Of course, not having internet at home since before the holidays has complicated the issue. However, that particular problem should (fingers crossed) be rectified this weekend and I will hopefully be able to start catching up on my reading and my writing soon.

My best friend and I have a hiking motto, birthed during our first adventure together through three miles of calf deep mud and down a hundred foot cliff (one of us with only one working hand at the time). That motto is “straight through the middle!” Meaning that sometimes the only way to get to where you are going is to keep moving forward. In news of the major life adventure variety, I am making arrangements to leave Seattle after many, many years and relocate to Colorado in March. The Universe has basically been yelling at me for a while now that It Is Time! So with much nervousness (and much exhilaration), I’m holding myself to that motto.

I will miss my quirky crows, my beloved Cascade Mountains, all those rainy hikes, porch beers with neighbors, and of course my best friend. But there is also so much that I am looking forward to: new hikes, new neighbors, new adventures, and finding new inspiration all around. So if I start writing about changes and leavings and whole families of dust bunnies found while cleaning out closets, you all will know why.

With much love and gratitude,
Sarah

just hum

November blows in
bearing a hundred
different songs
about her wind,

leaving one ditty
to rattle and drum
upon the limbs
of the locust

you know this one,
I tell myself,
if you’ve forgotten
the words, just hum

© Sarah Whiteley

November is upon us, and I’m not quite sure what happened to September and October. But then I suppose a crazy schedule will do that to a person and before you know it, days and whole weeks slip away without a leaving any impression at all other than a chaotic blur.

Things have calmed down a bit for me finally and I am determined to get back to the habit (and pleasure) of writing. For the month of November, I am tasking myself with drafting at least one poem a day. Many of these won’t be posted – they’ll be put aside to be tweaked later with the intention of compiling them into a new manuscript. But it feels good to set my mind to a creative task. One that will leave an impression and will keep the days from slipping by without remark.

And one of these days, I’ll post an update about the crows. They’re gathering their numbers for the winter roost, so I will at least try first to capture a quick video of them tagging along for an autumn walk with the dogs (which always turns heads in the neighborhood).

Happy November to all!

procrastination

sometimes the light is perfect
in the way it drapes itself
across the day – as it is now,
this morning in late October

and you find that you must pause
in getting up to go in
to a waiting chorus of chores
though the front step is cold
and has grown harder than remembered

you try to delay the mundane –
the rinsing out of the favorite mug,
the sweeping up of the dust
that returns so doggedly to old corners,

and you wait for the light to shift
into something more ordinary,
more suitable for the junk drawer
calling out for a straightening –
to be set somehow aright

© Sarah Whiteley

I cast my faith on daffodils…

I cast my faith on daffodils –
on the steadfastness of green
and promises of gold

I can believe in the movements
of worms, shaking up earth
beyond visible proof

I accept the testimony of buds
before their exhalations –
modest currency of Spring

I can discern a mystery in dirt
and a truth rests in my spine –
that some bright morning
the burgeoning will arrive

© Sarah Whiteley

My newest chapbook Wandering Wonderful is now available for pre-order from Finishing Line Press.

if I could freshen the day…

if I could freshen the day
like flowers kept
in the ironstone pitcher –

trim away the wilt,
snip the calloused ends,
gather up the fallen curls
of color from the floor

if I could invite the breeze
to brighten the gray
garland of winter hours –

I might better stand the sting
of lingering February
and find the light
amidst the hardened snow

© Sarah Whiteley

My newest chapbook Wandering Wonderful is now available for pre-order from Finishing Line Press.