The Dictionary Fairy

at night while I lie sleeping
tucked quietly in bed
his tiny feet come creeping
as quiet as the dead

he’s a wingéd little being
smaller than a mouse
he sneaks with no one seeing
through the darkened house

his little wings are dusty
like the books he holds
his breath’s a little musty
and reeks of damp and mold

the Dictionary Fairy
creeps across my bed
and whispers rather scary
things into my head

your vocabulary’s awful,
he hisses in my ear
they ought to be unlawful,
those words that you revere

you sound just like a nitwit
when you say “aiight”
nothing but a dimwit
when you say “that’s tight”

“wicked” means bad morals
and isn’t something “cool”
you’re an insult to the laurels
of your most esteeméd school

what’s become of decent grammar?
have we seen its sad demise?
crushed beneath the hammer
of listening to “yous guys”

then the Dictionary Fairy
opening up his tome,
reads words like “ablutionary”
and “heterochromosome”

all night the wee fiend chatters
foul words into my ears
as if it really matters
if high school takes eight years

© Sarah Whiteley

A re-post from 2011. Attempting to get myself into the mood to write another humorous piece – I have such fun with them once I get into it!


if I could fold wings for words
of red-petaled poppies
and affix them gently with a pin
I would launch a fleet of these
to flit and twit as sparrows
and settle in your trees
and whispering arrange themselves
so that waking you will see
poppy-winged my heart
spell out the love
that sleeps in me

© Sarah Whiteley


dearest, I have not forgotten
where I’ve left off
here, I’ve dog-eared the page
to mark it
and just in case
have laid that small red
feather of an unknown bird
found while reading
beneath our final morning
every now and then
I’ll place my fingertips
along the spine,
ruffle the pages,
glance at our names
scribed just inside,
the pages waiting
for you to catch us up
and find as I have
that between the lines
love does reside
with a grace like rain
and the peace of drowsy trees
whose branches lace
the winter moon

© Sarah Whiteley


what is it we cannot waken words to say?
where is the fathoming in syllables
that slip too lightly from undone tongues?
is silence then so much lighter
that we may fly the lines
drawn between our two skies
meet beneath the gaze of crows
and under the widening eye of the moon
embrace with a vehemence
no verb would ever convey?
if it is so, then shush, my love,
and enjoy of hush of sentences asleep
steeping deep in dreams unspoken
but take this “I” as dumb token
of implicit affection

© Sarah Whiteley


these are the intangible lines
I never could write
the frail dance of words
never choreographed
except in deep-seated night
where words do not recognize
the boundaries of pen and paper
these are the rhymes unuttered
from feeble lips to fearful ears
the silent syllables
content to remain unsaid
for the heart beats them
repeats them
an inner anthem of grief,
of joy, of trial, of love,
of peace
these are the intangible lines
I never did write

© Sarah Whiteley