things I cannot tell you

I cannot tell you, for example,
that I am resting against the ache
of not seeing you rise in the morning
to sip your coffee at the window

or that the prospect of you
is the hidden sun in my throat
that glows, that pulls roots, and yes,
I would joyfully plant myself beside you

and also, I cannot tell you
that you are my favorite kind of ‘yes,’
my affirmation that the mountain
will not fall from beneath me

and that the whole of my skin
sleeps until you are near enough
to wake it – that all of me resides
inside almost, maybe, not quite

© Sarah Whiteley

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advice to the weary

when air grows heavy and tired
from too long falling,

day’s last birds will dive down
and in rising, shake it out before them

something, at least, is vibrant
is the message beaten out by wings

when you are lost, find stone that will
hold sun with radiant stubbornness

and if you lose your voice,
seek out wide swathes of grass –

for it’s grass that sings when
all other songs have gone

© Sarah Whiteley

autumn’s end

the bees have succumbed to drowsiness
and the honeysuckle’s dropped,
replaced by the final asters
bowing low in blue reverence of sky

the river birches arch their yellow-graced
necks over the pond where drifts
of silver fish begin their quiet
descent to barely being

maples wait in flashing ranks,
upturned and expectant of lowering skies –
their red fingers signalling retreat
into stasis, when cooling saps no longer rise

and for now, we too forget our own restlessness –
stretching long in the last of the golden light –
hearts faint-pricked by the leaves’ moments
of letting go, watching the sun pull the light away

© Sarah Whiteley

Spending time with family in Wisconsin (and reminding myself once more why I live in a milder climate). Will catch up on reading when I return. Peace!

turned earth

I had determined
(after the last)
to no longer offer up
the root of myself

let it beat
(I thought)
for nothing other than
to mark the time
passing beneath my skin

but then hands
(so mercilessly capable)
dug in and I am as earth
freshly turned and raw

and the root
(remembering yearning)
has caught the rain of you
and strains again
toward sun

© Sarah Whiteley