let light come slowly

light is sparse this morning
so let it come slowly,

a sifting upwards
of gold, diffuse
through wind-bent trees

let morning be hesitant –
with time, nothing
will be left out in darkness

© 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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porchlight

it was as if all of every summer’s heat
had sunk into the worn boards of the porch

twenty years ago and I would do more
than simply sit beside you and tell tales

but here and twenty years backwards, I’ll admit
to seeing the lapsed possibility of home in you –

how the porchlight cradles your laughter
and not so much the door I can’t rush out of

without thinking if I’d only known you then
we would have been that much more

even in leaving, you’re all and everything
though everything arrives too late

even my feet, in finding their way away,
feel the impossible promise of you

© Sarah Whiteley

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

have you seen how hope…

have you seen how hope
gathers at the edge of pain?

how like first light, it graces
the thin lip of the ridge
before sweeping wholesale
down the slope?

how sometimes it is slow
to gather, and even slower
to rise up over the noise
of our daily just-eking-by?

love, too, is like this –
it should spill over like time
that can’t be bound by hours,
it should shake your petals

© Sarah Whiteley

what has been lost

smoke
love remaining half-asked,
with an exile’s hunger,
what have you lost?
smoke never stops moving,
alters nothing, and
leaves irretrievably

when exactly does time
distill us down to fire?
down to accumulated passion?
at what point have we traded
the marked directions
of known constellations
for the possible light
of far, unseen stars?

I carry with me every touch,
each quiet sigh released
beside you, and have lost
precisely nothing

© Sarah Whiteley

what the day contains

brown drifts of coffee grounds,
and the tappings of the black-capped chickadee
finding rhythm with the tick-ticking
of spring rain on new-green locust leaves
the passing hours mold the morning
into the firmer lines of day,
tracing the flights of fugitive birds –
red hawk, wren, house finch, crow,
ubiquitous dust-winged sparrow
shadows lazily skate and shift,
thumbing plants and spines of books,
shelves graced with inconsequential treasures –
of feather, stone, and sloping shell
the peonies on the window,
barely beyond their prime,
settle into fading brilliance
with unabashed aplomb
and if it might seem I forget you
amidst this gentle roster –
you’re the one, though absent,
who gives the hours their reason
and this simple room, its light

© Sarah Whiteley