first snow

so cold, not-quite-rain
hisses through the husks
of the locust pods

later, this ice will gentle
into hushful snow –
which absolves all,
forgives everything

and for a blessed hour,
every branch will
outshine the moon

© Sarah Whiteley

observation

December’s iron door has opened
and the trees seem more deeply rooted,
tucked further into stillness

winter may heave its bitter winds,
yet the trees depict the difference
between moving and being moved

© Sarah Whiteley

just hum

November blows in
bearing a hundred
different songs
about her wind,

leaving one ditty
to rattle and drum
upon the limbs
of the locust

you know this one,
I tell myself,
if you’ve forgotten
the words, just hum

© Sarah Whiteley

November is upon us, and I’m not quite sure what happened to September and October. But then I suppose a crazy schedule will do that to a person and before you know it, days and whole weeks slip away without a leaving any impression at all other than a chaotic blur.

Things have calmed down a bit for me finally and I am determined to get back to the habit (and pleasure) of writing. For the month of November, I am tasking myself with drafting at least one poem a day. Many of these won’t be posted – they’ll be put aside to be tweaked later with the intention of compiling them into a new manuscript. But it feels good to set my mind to a creative task. One that will leave an impression and will keep the days from slipping by without remark.

And one of these days, I’ll post an update about the crows. They’re gathering their numbers for the winter roost, so I will at least try first to capture a quick video of them tagging along for an autumn walk with the dogs (which always turns heads in the neighborhood).

Happy November to all!

the maps are out

hot coffee, and the maps are out –
the rise out of Box Canyon
an uneven line of red

a map may tally an ascent,
mark the twists in a trail,
lend certain assurances

what it cannot show is emergence
from a stone-heavy world
into the mercy of pines –

into the stalwart grace
of a waiting mountain,
where the rushing creeks sing
and the winds hum along

© Sarah Whiteley

today’s reading

more in line with
the leanings of trees
and with the deeper
philosophies of mud,

the day’s reading
comes from the heron
fishing the edge
of the morning sea

© 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!

heartwood

our days of heavy snow
have shattered the plum trees –
snapped their branches until
they stand now in the night
silent as broken men

the rain now exposes them,
these splits in branch
and dangling bough –
only Spring will ascertain
whether the heartwood sustains

© Sarah Whiteley

My newest chapbook Wandering Wonderful is now available for pre-order from Finishing Line Press.