hiking near the Pacific Crest Trail

thirty-two water crossings
and just shy of ten miles

later, I might discover
a jealousy of this stone

but for now I am here and
its perspective is mine –

yes, it is possible to be
both cold and cradled

for exhilaration to rise
from old bones and leaf mold

I am more I, more in
while I am without

it is life that kisses me
through creek-wet feet

© Sarah Whiteley

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boating at night

the boat of course is metaphor
though it is, undeniably, night

and fingers do trail over the side,
but also over stern and bow

it is also true that we do move as water –
that hair cascades and skin ripples

but that again is metaphor,
for which I am unapologetic

and I cannot be at all contrite
for not minding stirring up depths

or were we to drown together
beneath the moon’s regard

in fact, my heart, that may be all
that is certain and indisputable

© Sarah Whiteley

taking stock

what matters is this –

that there are cranes strolling in the shallows –
a silhouetted grace against the sky’s dying bloom

that the waters of the sound cradle the brilliance
that pinkens the hills and wash the dusklight onto shore

that chilled feet are soaked in sandy shoes
and blue jeans are wet up to the knees

that cold hands find each other in the dark
and that beauty remains long after the day has gone

© Sarah Whiteley

A rough couple of days punctuated by the absolute perfection of a stroll along the Puget Sound at dusk on Saturday evening. I am so very lucky to have special friends who know just how to help me put things in perspective.

I felt a river rise within…

I felt a river rise within
perched upon the bridge’s edge
poised upon the moment
and there you stood
while drops of me
slid and dripped
beneath the pre-green
of a sky considering twilight
one breath whole
and the next breath broken
as the chaotic coursings
of wet on your window
you left me on that brink
to plead alone with never
and a rush of rain
descendent

© Sarah Whiteley

I have been having trouble sleeping for weeks,… months actually. This isn’t a reflection of my outward life (I don’t believe it is anyway) as I’m relatively content. But I’ve experienced cycles of insomnia before, and they just seem to come and go without any indication of why. This time I’ve started taking a sleep aid (don’t worry – it’s natural) and while it is beginning to work, one of the side effects is vivid dreams. And oh are they vivid! You might be thinking “well that’s pretty cool!” and it would be except for one little thing. The dreams are achingly, unbearably sad. They aren’t nightmares or anything like that – no dinosaurs chasing me around trying to eat me for dinner. But they are disturbing in their own way. A writerly friend (Hi, Martin!) suggested that I maybe begin to write them down. And here I am just a few moments later and this just poured out as if it had been waiting for me to give it words. So in an effort to purge some of these things and hopefully find a more peaceful rest, I’ll be writing some dream-themed pieces here and there for a time. So if the tone seems a little off from my usual style, this is why.

a fragrant moon
    
floats
          a thousand petals
     more
          ghosts of flowers

shine
     pale lotus skiff
          drifts
     past silver laden
          shore
    
greening reeds
      wait
in wake bow
      low

the fishes kiss
     folds
           of moon’s watery
     train

© Sarah Whiteley