reading Milosz on the porch in March

it must be March –

this morning
the quince blooms
and two crows
sit on the porch rail
trading gentle preenings
between them,
beside me,
while I am sipping
rapidly cooling coffee
and reading
my tattered Milosz,
thinking about how even black
might just be luminous
when embodied by feathers
and emboldened thus
by the merest blink
of gathering Spring

© Sarah Whiteley

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the house finches

the house finches have
changed their song again –
to one of fierce joy,
of emphatic nest-lust

it seems almost too soon
for such passion,
with snow still gathered,
blue in the shadows
of the north-facing stones

then again, some songs exist
simply to remind us
it may never be too soon,
yet sometimes it is
quite plainly too late

© Sarah Whiteley

April windstorm

the winds that rushed in yesterday
to strip branches of their blooms
flipped trash can lids, sent them
spinning down the street,

cast crows into chaotic aeronautics
and sent all songbirds deep
into their shrubbed shelters

but today, they come out singing
blithely tumbling between trees,
the sidewalks surprised by pink –
awash in piles of petals

© Sarah Whiteley

Sweet William

yesterday, I carried a sprig of Sweet William
three miles to a favorite poet’s grave
simply because you do not have one

and there, the trees were a free-for-all
of birds – oh, gorgeous, noisome riot!

some other Spring mourner before me had left
a tiny, silver “s” of a snake – something you
(poet, brother) both would have appreciated

each year, I am less clever, more gray –
but only this newspaper clipping of you ages

© Sarah Whiteley

there are wiser things

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take from them what you can –

there are wiser things than those
that carry discernible voices –

down the street near the park,
five cherries are marked with orange

distorted by time and poor nourishment
(it’s no surprise they’ve failed to thrive)

and within this Spring’s feeble pink,
parting unfurled and scattered

come July, the city and their saws
will pare them down to stumps

before then, the crows and I
will grace them with a last goodbye

not with pious pity,
but with a graceful thanks

for their green rendering
of unknowable sky

© Sarah Whiteley

writing home

apple-blossoms_1670

the small-birds have finally
found the window feeder
and the dogs are enthralled
with their sudden proximity

we are well, though feeling
the spring in our bones –
that gentle eruption debuts
a new brand of restlessness

the boards of the porch have been
too damp for comfortable reading,
and coffee for now is confined
beneath the mossy awning

but sweet and peppery
the season’s trees tease
the beginnings of green –
one promise kept, at least,
among so many hundreds dropped

these are days of small news,
buds of flowery hearsay – not much
here to report except the hummingbirds
are damp-winged and bright
among the new leaves of the maple

© Sarah Whiteley