quick update

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My nailbeds are a lovely blueish purple right now. The building has steam radiators which are controlled from the boiler room with a timer, the timing of which is still apparently being worked out. The dogs are curled up in the bed and Angus has taken to sleeping in a ball with his tail over his nose – very fox-like – in order to keep warm.

I’m about to pull on socks and shoes and my coat before I head down the hill to the library and return Denise Levertov’s collected works. I haven’t finished it, but it’s due soon and I’ve added it to my Amazon wishlist in case some lovely family member needs an idea for a birthday present next year.

I discovered recently that she actually transplated herself to Seattle at some point in her life and is buried in the cemetery where I often take long, peaceful walks. A couple weeks ago, I made it a mission to find her headstone and managed it quite quickly as it has a very distinctive sculpture on top of it. She’s not far at all from Princess Angeline’s (Chief Seattle’s daughter) resting place and she’s very close indeed to my favorite tree in the cemetery – a massive copper beech with the most wonderful purple-y russet leaves.

I’ve begun to do some temp office work while I figure out what I want to do and where I want to go. The uncertainty is a bit stressful as there are other forces at play which will determine what happens in the next 6 months. But change is stressful and I knew that would be the case. We’ll make it through.

The crows have missed their daily treats – I usually leave before they’re awake and get home after dark. On Friday, Coyote happened to spy me while I was waiting for my morning bus. He rushed over, stood at my feet, and scolded me for my absence. Unfortunately I didn’t have anything in my pockets to offer him, so he went away disappointed. But not before attracting the attention of the other people waiting on the arrival of a bus. Yeah – crazy crow lady reputation justified.

I’ve been squeezing in time to write and do my little watercolor sketches, though I prefer daylight for the latter so I’m afraid painting will be a weekend endeavor for now.

Off to the library! And then home to a hot, hot shower to thaw feet and fingers.

Be well!

tufted titmouse

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at the end of the day

mint tea in the mug with the gingko leaves
with an extra squeeze of honey –
you know, from the bear-shaped bottle
I could never resist in spite of
(or because of) its silliness

somehow the steam against the chin
erases the sort of day it has been –
one of uncertainties and niggling headaches,
disorientation contending with
those first hopeful expectations

and I am tired of the way worry
pokes at my ribs with sharp-ended fingers,
but mint tea and a warm light
against the night outside my window
soothes and smoothes the edges

so that I can fold it away
because afterall, come tomorrow
today will be yesterday’s news –
best forgotten

© Sarah Whiteley

squelchy Monday

today I would trade my squelchy shoes
and sodden self for warm dogs
and ticking radiators, steaming mugs
of freshly brewed, nearly obscenely
creamed coffee – there’s even, I think,
a donut on the kitchen counter
with my name on it saying stay in!

but instead it’s frizzled hair,
unending responsibilities, and rain
that managed to drip everywhere

© Sarah Whiteley

Squelchy Mondays are the worst.

I might sleep better…

if I could unravel the day
at the end of it,
let it hang out the window
and weave itself into the wind

let the crows take what they may
and drag the bits away –
to line nests and tumble down
the sidewalk at dusk,

a curious thread of red
for wandering-hearted walkers
and transient orange cats
to watch and wonder at

© Sarah Whiteley

Check back later this week for a giveaway! I’ll be posting details on how to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of my little poetry chapbook, No Direction But Home.

*

I have stumbled
upon the occasion
of your lips
and wander wondrously
betwixt – bewitched

© Sarah Whiteley

Just a quick note to say I’m still writing. But I’ve also been keeping myself busy with composing a new piece of music – I know! the first in quite some time! So if posts are tapering off, that’s why.

Also, I am quickly heading into the fall busy season at work (like being sucked into a black hole) but I am determined to keep up some form of creative pursuit in spite of the brutal days. Normally I would say “see you on the other side” in another couple of weeks, but I think I’ll just let what happens happen – and if I can squeeze out a few pieces of poetry in the melee, then so be it.

And stay tuned later this month for a little giveaway! Who doesn’t like free stuff?!

spring

the dogwood holds out its buds
in tight-fingered spring,
weeks after the juncos began to sing
and the robins to trill their territories

even the cherry trees twisted with age
have thrust their changing into the air,
as though they feel the need to prove
they can still and burst themselves
pink with the effort

all this for clutches of crows’ eggs
and creamy crowned daffodils
nodding delight in spite
of a fresh invasion of snails

© Sarah Whiteley

It is done. I officially finished with the deadline madness at about half past eight tonight. There will be plenty of clean-up to handle, but the hard part is over and done. I can’t say I handled myself with complete grace in the last few hours and I’m a little ruffled in spirit right now, but I think a good solid weekend and returning to a normal workflow will set things right.

Anyway, I am so happy to be back and in a place where I can start writing more regularly and visiting all those lovely writerly corners of the web that I’ve missed during the past several weeks. (You know who you are!)

how to survive

survival lies in pocketing
what small moments I can,
so that later they might be
pulled out and palmed,
turned over by questing finger,
examined by much-deprived eyes

here are the snowdrops
bedecking the mossy rocks,
and this one’s the blazing splay
of last Tuesday’s sunrise
dripping down the mountainside,

and here are those few
stolen strains of Bach
sounding the robins
to their sleep at the end
of a work-worn day

© Sarah Whiteley

Just a quick note to say I am still alive. Buried beneath the weight of thousands and thousands of pages of tax returns, but yes – still here. I really do think I survive this time of year by seeking out whatever small moments of peace that I can; by taking the time to say “look! here is something beautiful that I can carry with me in my mind.” And coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.