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.

heartwood

our days of heavy snow
have shattered the plum trees –
snapped their branches until
they stand now in the night
silent as broken men

the rain now exposes them,
these splits in branch
and dangling bough –
only Spring will ascertain
whether the heartwood sustains

© Sarah Whiteley

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

a night walk in new snow

on some nights, like this one –
out in the snow near to midnight –
the size of living can be altered

for a short time, I can be small –
a warm-furred mouse trailing punctuation
across the unmarked drifts

© Sarah Whiteley

I took the most enchanting walk through the falling snow late last night. The streets were quiet and not a car moving in sight. Every tree was wrapped in white, and the night felt huge and soft. Sometimes it’s nice to find these reminders that I don’t need to leave the confines of the city to find peace and contentment in nature.

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

old snow

the old snow settles in,
becomes crotchety
stubborn in its insistence
on retaining territories

but the new is coming –
eight inches forecast
to whisper its cloak
over the dogged old

for now, I step gently –
cautious of sheen
and crunch, only at intervals
glancing up at the stars

© Sarah Whiteley

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

winter sunset on Puget Sound

restless, and not quite,
I walked out across the ice
in search of the last
of the evening’s light

found it draped upon the trees
all long and golden –
so sweet and splendid
the shadows followed it,

chasing it down the hill
until I, still standing,
lost sight of them slipping
into the clear, cold Sound

© Sarah Whiteley

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

a birthday poem

in the blue light
of an icy February dawn,
everything is crisp
everything has edges
that crumble and crunch

and the wide mouth
of the wind shows its teeth
as it comes surging
around the corner
of my 43rd year

once every year
we meet in some manner,
this time it is with
cold-bitten fingers,
head down against the wind

though here and there
a few power lines
may be leaning low,
you may be certain
we will meet this way again

© Sarah Whiteley

Snow on Sunday night and two inches of ice on the roads in my neighborhood. Tomorrow I turn 43 and I can’t remember the last time I had snow on my birthday. It’s not such a common thing in Seattle, and so usually I have to go in search of it up into the mountains and foothills if I want some of the white stuff. This year, I can just step outside my door.

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

the restitution for winter

the restitution for winter is this –

the modest wink of a wood violet,
a bit of bright among
the passing season’s debris

© Sarah Whiteley

I suspect that this is a snippet I will eventually expand upon. But for now, I think a nice little reminder that there is hope amidst the cold is fitting. Keep safe out there!

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

the winter wait – excerpt from Wandering Wonderful

for everyone but the birds,
winter is about waiting

they must wonder why it is
we’ve seemingly stalled

piled on days of cold and rain
have made us slow and passive

and we miss seeing that
what is gray is also glistening

© Sarah Whiteley

Wandering Wonderful is available for pre-order from Finishing Line Press. For information on mail ordering (vs online ordering), details are provided under my Available Books page.

the heat’s gone out

for the sixth time since November,
the heat’s gone out – the radiator sits silent

there is no weight of heavy snows here
to bear down upon roofs or wool-shod shoulders,

yet the dark leans in against the windows,
its own weight overwhelming the small hours

for once, Time in its grand arc is on our side –
as are the dogs exuding contentment,

as is the glass of whiskey on the pale marble
table by the deep-seated chair

either the radiator will rattle tomorrow,
or it will remain cool in dormancy –

but in the morning, I will seek the green tips
of emerging hyacinth – gift and promise both

© Sarah Whiteley

luminosity

lately, I have not been so adept
at creating my own

but have become better at least
in the search for it

in hunting out the straggling streams
ushering along the broken light of winter –

streamfronts and lakesides,
and damp on long-dropped leaves,

and everywhere the subtle, persistent gleam
of cedar beneath the rain –

these have become my candle
against the winter’s dark –

there is peace in found luminosity,
and joy in unveiled light

© Sarah Whiteley