akin to grace

I stop in the cold where the elk have rubbed
their considerable selves against the trees –
signatures in russet worn by the river birch

there is a tangible rising when standing beside
evidence of what is wilder than us –
a furtive blessing, a lift akin to grace

I would spend my life on this – on branch,
on root, on hoof prints sliced into the snow

I would stop and stand with my solitude –
with my own snowy indentations –
and be simply crowded with light

© Sarah Whiteley

My newest chapbook Wandering Wonderful is now available for pre-order from Finishing Line Press. Pre-orders through March 22nd will have an opportunity to win a canvas print of the cover art. Click for details!

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early snow – excerpt from Wandering Wonderful

an early snow this year

icy and hard, it woke me –
hissing and insistent
through the crack in the sill

the dogs both dig deeper
into my side, settle once more,
and sigh – little heart-furnaces

© Sarah Whiteley

The weather this year has been hard on the dogs and little Angus especially is feeling his age lately. But it’s amazing what comfort a dog can bring into a life – and I am blessed to have both of them for as long as I may.

My newest chapbook Wandering Wonderful is now available for pre-order from Finishing Line Press. Pre-orders through March 22nd will have an opportunity to win a canvas print of the cover art. Click for details!

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.

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.