crow funeral

this morning, I am the attendee
of another crow funeral

the fourth such curated cacophony
close followed by hushful reverence

yet this is only something eventual
finally becoming true

while elsewhere, the crickets
rasp hymns to the rain

© Sarah Whiteley

Anyone who has followed this poetry blog for any length of time knows that I have been accepted by a very special family of crows. For the past 9 years, they have been clownish companions who visit me on the porch, caw through my window to get my attention, introduce their young to me, and tag along on walks with the dogs. I have had to warn any dog sitters coming in that the crows recognize my dogs and will want to walk with them even when I’m not there. I have been entertained, enchanted, and delighted by them – even when they steal my lighter and drop chicken bones on my head (I think that’s a gift?).

This morning the family lost one of this year’s young – hit by a car while I was on my way to work. This is the fourth crow funeral I have witnessed, but the first I have seen from start to finish. While I would have much preferred to have a different start to my Friday, it at the very least serves as a reminder that animals are as capable of close connection and of mourning as we are.

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a July night on the porch

all night, the rats scatter
from the ivy under the porch –
warm-furred realizations of words
like skitter, like dart

all but the one, who watches
from the narrow tract of light
between parked cars, as I wipe
the dampness from my beer
and speak again of leaving

© Sarah Whiteley

fresh as new nothing

high above the canyon, the bumblebee wears its band of orange as it slips into the lips of the lupine

I have clamored up the steep creek, braving the slickness of rocks and roots for this spoon of solitude

up here, I am as anonymous to the wind as fierce-clinging heather – alone with ballads of bees and fresh as new nothing

© Sarah Whiteley

I’m slowly adjusting to my return to “civilization” after an adventure in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Mostly I am trying to hold onto that feeling of space and freedom for a while longer, but more posts about my experiences are sure to follow in the coming weeks. And for the first time, I journaled my experience with the help of a little weather-proof notebook my brother and his wife brought me on their last visit. Very handy!

uncertainty

I am in that space between
staying and leaving,
everything between seasons –

as if without demarcation,
Summer must linger
uncertainly at the door

wondering whether she has
found the right place,
or if the threshold

is somewhere further
down the road

© Sarah Whiteley

A big congratulations to the Wandering Wonderful giveaway winners! Christine, Garrett, and Charles have each been selected to receive a copy of my newest poetry chapbook. I’ve sent off individual emails this morning and copies of the book should be in the mail shortly.

no prayer refused

it was simpler then,
as children, to have a creek
rolling through the back yard

more tangible than airy gods
to carry all our worries
– no prayer refused –

© Sarah Whiteley

Diving back into writing after my recent busy work schedule is proving to be a little more challenging than I expected. So I am dabbling here and there on a few small pieces and giving my brain a chance to unwind from all the chaos. So if things have been quiet on the blog-front, this is why. The pre-sales period for Wandering Wonderful just happened to coincide with some big work deadlines, which made keeping up with both a massive effort. But now that both are over, I’m looking forward to some restorative ventures out into nature and putting pen to paper once more.

On a side note, I did hear from the publisher while proofing my galleys that they are a little behind schedule on printing. I do not know yet what this means for Wandering Wonderful, but I think it likely that the drop date may be a little later than the initially anticipated May 17th. I will post an update once I have more information.

Giveaway Winner Announcement!

Friday marked the end of the pre-sales period and I received the final sales update from the publisher just this morning. Everyone who purchased a copy by the pre-order period end date had their name plugged into an Excel worksheet and a number attributed to their name. Using Excel’s super fun RANDOMBETWEEN function, one name was selected as the recipient of the book’s cover art printed to a 20″ x 30″ canvas.

I am very pleased to announce that the winner is none other than Betty Hayes Albright! Betty is a wonderful poet who blogs over at Seasonings. If you’re not familiar with her work, I highly recommend popping over to her blog. Congratulations, Betty! Your art print will be on its way to you sometime this week.

A very sincere thank you to everyone who has supported me over the past 10 years of writing this poetry blog.

With much love and gratitude,
Sarah