placid with the mountains

I cannot be the abstract
the city asks of me

I cannot maintain the grind
of teeth, of grime –

the hot seconds stuffed
into dull hours

when I do not go out,
the ghost of going out

rises within and whispers
of how the November woods

still smell of autumn –
of how the sleeping lake waits,

placid with the mountains
etched upon her face

© Sarah Whiteley

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escape

on days when I cannot be here –
in the sense that my vigor
for living rebels –

I can instead be tucked
among the clutches of brush
on the high plateau

can instead snaps bits
of silvery desert sage,
crush it, inhaling –

we are both of us escaped
and wilder here

© Sarah Whiteley

at the end of the day

mint tea in the mug with the gingko leaves
with an extra squeeze of honey –
you know, from the bear-shaped bottle
I could never resist in spite of
(or because of) its silliness

somehow the steam against the chin
erases the sort of day it has been –
one of uncertainties and niggling headaches,
disorientation contending with
those first hopeful expectations

and I am tired of the way worry
pokes at my ribs with sharp-ended fingers,
but mint tea and a warm light
against the night outside my window
soothes and smoothes the edges

so that I can fold it away
because afterall, come tomorrow
today will be yesterday’s news –
best forgotten

© Sarah Whiteley

all that glitters

goldfish

I’m finding art to be my much needed “de-stress” meditation recently. For a few hours every other day or so, I’ve been losing myself in line and color.

It’s been a blessing to not be thinking about anything other than what’s happening beneath my pen or paints. And I’ve discovered that the more I do this, the greater my patience grows and I actually take my time with each piece. And I’ve been enjoying challenging myself to paint things I’ve never painted before. Like this goldfish, which will be a gift for a wonderful person who loves goldfish and whose birthday is coming up soon.

For a while, I think, the poetry will be on the sparse side while I enjoy the paints and ink. Be well!

*

listening to the day’s
wakening heartbeat,
the unseen thrush
trilling in the still-dark
before the January dawn,
I can almost sense you
turn in your sleep –
and this is my survival:
even in the act of leaving
I am always coming home

© Sarah Whiteley

In one more short month, I’ll be heading (again) into lengthy workdays and ungodly hours. Somehow the thought of it is even more difficult this time around knowing there’s a warm and wonderful soul waiting for me at home. And yet… there’s a warm and wonderful soul waiting for me at home! How lucky am I?

I might sleep better…

if I could unravel the day
at the end of it,
let it hang out the window
and weave itself into the wind

let the crows take what they may
and drag the bits away –
to line nests and tumble down
the sidewalk at dusk,

a curious thread of red
for wandering-hearted walkers
and transient orange cats
to watch and wonder at

© Sarah Whiteley

Check back later this week for a giveaway! I’ll be posting details on how to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of my little poetry chapbook, No Direction But Home.