how could I be lonely?

alone, how could I be lonely?
in January, the mountain sleeps
but also will wake to shake
loose its winter mantle

it is easier out here
to cease to believe in edges,
to deny the demarcations
that offer others comfort

it is easier to acknowledge
strength in this stillness,
and the abundance found
in the affirmation of alone

alone, how could I be lonely?
I walk, I walk, I walk through
messages dropped in the snow
by the watchful, wintry trees

© Sarah Whiteley

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that the mountain is

I am not much at peace these days

nothing sleeps, not even
the stone of the mountain,

though I find I can slow my heart
the nearer I am to its sky-graced peak

to be alone here is to be still
from the rigors of survival

and for a while, it is enough
that I am I, that the mountain is,

and that we can be awake
in this place together

© Sarah Whiteley

Today I hiked 6 miles through the woods to find some small, momentary peace. The snow (and at times sleet) made it all the more peaceful and I spent several minutes just breathing it all in above the valley. It was just me, the birds, all the forms that water takes, and one lone coyote who left his tracks across the trail. It could not have been more perfect.

gone to blue

should they ask,

I have gone to blue,
I have gone to green stillnesses,
to the bright-lipped lake
where the reeds still recall

that the wanting is often
greater than ever the having,
and that some days the rift
is only the start
of a different-directioned journey

so should they ask,

I have gone back,
back to the tranquilities,
back to the waters as they were,
and as they may someday be

tell them I have gone to blue

© Sarah Whiteley

I know when it is I am burning

I know when it is
I am burning –

when the sparrow
in my throat
bursts free from
the fretful gravity
of kisses nearly pressed
but not

and when gazes
glance away
from what has not
yet been but is almost
said and left to hang
between

I know when it is
I am burning –

when on the verge
of crumbling into dust
I find myself at precipices
and am far too fragile
to bear your touch
without incineration

but if at night
I may find my boldness –
and peace in being
still beside you –
then I pray time
will consume the day
and love bend
light away

© Sarah Whiteley

wisteria

the unfinished fence
stands
several feet yet
from the wall

as if it too
paused to gaze
at the wisteria

© Sarah Whiteley

I am utterly in love with the spring this year. I am blessed with beautiful walks, wonderful four-legged (and two-winged) companions, and the good sense to cherish the quiet moments that are given to me.

Stayed tuned for some very exciting news later this week!

there is something that has been lost

there is something
that has been lost
the elms tell it
when the wind is high
and twisting through
the yellow leaves with
the restless uncertainty
of long-parted lovers
and mid-arabesque a cloud
of starlings senses an absence
so suddenly they are startled
into unaccustomed silence
while daily now the birch
weep their griefs into piles
for the dark-eyed juncos
to skitter through
casting about the damp
as if to descry what it is
we have somehow missed
there is something
that has been lost
and every bright leaf
bends to remind us what
we would know it
if only we stopped
long enough to listen
if we could only
still ourselves
enough to hear
as it slips by

© Sarah Whiteley