Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I don’t know how you do it
Achieve such warmth
Such chilliness
In one sentiment
Divide me into hope
And despair
With one casual greeting
Make me soar
And crash down
In one breath
I left my heart
For your safekeeping
But it’s come back home
Weary and forlorn
We unpack it’s little bags
And carefully sort and fold
The lessons learned

Sara Mathews     December 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015

I rose up high
Til I was just beneath
The gray and fragile dome
And there I perched
Without a branch
Or cloud
Just me
Peacefully below
The peeling paint
And plaster ceiling
Flake of snow
And then I floated down
Amidst the shattering
Of sky
How quietly we fell
How silent was the tolling
Of the bell

Sara Mathews     December 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Look at the stars
At dawn you said
I stepped out gingerly
Into the crystal grass
My bare feet tingling
With the heat of frosty cold
And stood beneath the
Twinkling canopy
A luminescent morning shell of
Oyster grey
The grandest jewels
Of the night
Still glittering on
Long after all the other
Party guests had gone
You said to look for Jupiter
And Sirius
Orion and the moon
I found them all still orbiting
The ball
His majesty and court
Were dancing one last waltz
I couldn’t name them all
To call out gratitude
But finally
That one elusive star
I’d searched the sky
For every childhood night
I found to be a morning star
And there it was
The second to the right
And though it beckoned me
With fairy dust to
Fly away
I stayed below
With chilly toes and gazed
With grounded wonder
At the breaking
Silver dawn
And watched the sun pour in
With liquid gold to
Sweep the moon and stars
Off dancing feet
And cast her aura wide and down
On frosted lawn
I raised my arms up to absorb
Her goddess glow
And flew in place
With heart and spirit soaring
In the pure and honest
Morning grace  

Sara Mathews     December 2015                                                                                                                            

Monday, December 21, 2015

The sky is grey on deeper grey
And cloud on deeper cloud
And something dark is brewing
In this marbled evening shroud
And all the swifts have blown away
To safer lands than me
As I hold fort beneath the limbs
Of thrashing maple tree
And as the storm grows wilder
Dropping crocodile rain
I’m cleansed of all anxiety
Like poultice drawing pain

Sara Mathews     December 2015

Saturday, December 19, 2015

And so they tumbled out
Like drowning words
Bursting to the surface
Needing Air
Neither of us ready
Or wanting to own them
They hung there between us
These little bits of darkness
Like shards of broken glass

But a passing sun
Caught their colors
And made them shimmer
A sigh of wind
Made them tremble
And chime
In beautiful sorrow
We smiled at this broken music
And walked away
Leaving that fragile melody

Sara Mathews      December 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015

My, you’ve grown
I saw you weeks ago
You crept along the threshold
Just outside
And slanted light
Beneath the stable door
Made your tiptoed shadow grow
To more formidable
Than what you were
And I stopped a moment
In my work
A bit alarmed
And thought you were a rat
But then you scampered out
To grab a bit of feed
And showed yourself
For what you really were
A tiny soul
And I marveled at your bravery
As back and forth you went
Between mouse hole
And barn floor
And I thought
Poor thing
You won’t last long
With two great hunters
On the prowl
You’re too petite in size
Too confident
Too debonair
And I scolded you in
Your foolhardiness
To show yourself midday
And then went on about my chores
And watched your frantic escapades and
Mourned for your demise
But here you are again today
Your belly showing signs of victory
Outwitted felines stymied by your
Acrobatic prowess  
And as I’m quite impressed
With your ability
To thrive against the odds
And present company
I leave a gift beside your door
To reward your courage and agility
A red and white striped peppermint
For you to carry home and share
Amongst your family
With best wishes to you all and
Merry Christmas
Little mouse!

Sara Mathews     December 2015

Friday, December 11, 2015

False hope
Like one last stubborn stitch
On rended heart
To clutch a sad soliloquy
And never quite believes
The wrenching storm that
Swept our fate
To separate shores
And bade
What’s mine is mine
Your island
No victory to claim

Sara Mathews     December 2015

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Photo by Ingrid Mathews
"I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone."
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

And as the gentle breezes rocked the branches
Like a cradle
The leaves whispered secrets in the dark
They didn’t know I was wide awake
They didn’t know I could hear
And I heard wonderful truths
Like silver transparencies of spirits
They eased in and out of my consciousness
Like the ebb and flow of a moonlit tide
Too fragile to hold
Or carry with me til morning
But the night voices still brush across my mind
Airy as a butterfly's wing
Or the kiss of an eyelash
And the sun rises strong to find me renewed
With a different kind a faith
The knowledge of belonging
And a heart newly born and beating
To the universal pulse of all living things
The leaves look innocent in the soft light of morning
As if they had not played a role at all
As though their lips were sealed when the sun rolled over the mountain
But I know what I have come away with
And we are together in the conspiracy of quiet
There is an interlude of complete peace
When even the birds
Who tuned up with the first gossamer thread of dawn
Take a few moments to pause in prayer
The breezes cease
The trees go still
And the world bows it’s head
Folds it’s hands
And offers
Here we are

Sara Mathews     December 2015

How dismal is the morning
In your absence
It’s not the same
No spark
No flame
Just smoky mist
And sputtering rain
And sodden leaf
Pressed sadly to the pane

Sara Mathews     December 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I had a dream of rain
That washed the paint away
And woke to find it so
As droplets hung from
Stripping color
Crimson and magenta
Slipping from the point of every leaf
As hints of gold and russet
Dripped to sepia
And sepia dripped to sketch of
Pen and ink
And lingering flowers faded
Like a lifeblood slowly
Drained away from cheek
The rouges pooled and seeped
Into the soil from
Whence their palette was begun
And white complexion
And stared into the sun

Sara Mathews     December 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

If I could capture any night
It would be this
We stepped out
Into black
Without a star
Or moon to light our way
But just our little flash
To make the path
While just behind
A gaping darkness
Swallowed up the glow
And tread as close as shadow
At our heels
As faithful friend and I
Made our trek into the cavernous eve
The only sound
A spirit wind in ruffling leaves
And syncopated beat upon the ground
Of acorns raining down
To strike an emptiness at our feet
And I thought about the little chick
And how perhaps a hat would be
A wise accessory
But we continued on
Beneath the falling skies
As ebony drew us in with velvet cloak
Around our forms
And led us further down the quiet
Country road where no-one else
Had ventured out
And we reveled in the dark
And solitary world
As though the night was just for us
And when at last we turned
We caught the moonrise
Brimming up behind
The mountain line
And stood enrapt
To watch his full ascent
Brush trees and clouds
Apart to clear the climb
Up to his throne
Though peasants that we were
The dog and I felt sanctified
Bathed in moonlight
Held by dark
And entertained with acorn drum
We whispered thanks unto the night
And slowly ambled home

Sara Mathews     December 2015

Last eve we wandered
Eye to eye
Me and milky marbled sky
Grey as slate
And white as light
We watched the day
Become the night
And thought as one
The sky
And I

We strolled along
In perfect pace
As he kept time with mine
We talked our talk
And shared the day
And everything was white
And grey

I asked
If he would see me home
And he agreed amenably
We watched the evening’s
Parting throes
In grey and white

Sara Mathews     December 2105

Thursday, December 3, 2015

You roll like rapids on the night
A freight train bearing down
With dark and ominous anarchy
You bring the curtain down
A dragon’s fireless smoky breath
Blows out the sun with ease
And trees are leveled ruthlessly
And bared of all their leaves
As lightening strikes it’s molten brand
To thunderous refrain
I stand here stalwart in my step
Washed to the bone with rain

Sara Mathews     November 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Let me go home...

I remember the place you speak of
It was just beyond the pasture line
Where one could slip into the trees
And disappear
Into another world
Like stepping through a jade leaf gate
And leaving farm behind
The curtained foliage conspired
In your escape
And fell around each step
To hide you in your wake
As winding pathway pulled you further in
To forest sanctuary

I didn’t linger there
The way you did
But sought my own retreat
Of sunny ledge
While you were drawn to shaded gallery
A darkened theater
Where slanted sun
Projecting through the leaves
Was just enough to light the way
To this idyllic woods salon
It’s here you tarried many
Noons to beat the heat that summer
Where beech trees gathered
To commune
Around an old spring well
A granite centerpiece
In mossy emerald finery
That beckoned one
To dip the cold refreshment
Of it’s hold

And if you sat quite silently
The dainty deer
Would prick their ears
And step out
Through the underbrush
Of their midday
To share the sweet oasis

It was our father’s favorite haunt
And morning prayer
We’d see him headed there
Each early unshod step
Left footprints in the dew
Of chilly ritual
With old tin pail beside the spring
He’d pour a frigid baptism
A gasping cold renewal

You shared this chapel in the trees
And worshipped here
In separate ways

I know the place you speak of
It’s just beyond the pasture line
And in your heart
Where beech grove
Ever keeps
A shady spot

Sara Mathews     November 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

The mists
My favorite place to hide
The silver skin
I revel in
And breathe the beads
Of glistening air
And let the dewdrops
Jewel my hair
They take me in
And drop the veil
And I’m alone
Within the day
You may pass by
I won’t be there
We’re thick as thieves
The mist and I

Sara Mathews     November 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015

It is an outlaw day
The winds are high
On charging steed
With whips and spurs
They tumble weeds
And skitter leaves
Into a fearful frenzied

And bandit shots ring
From the wood
And brigand bullets
Into an emptiness
Where once a doe-eyed
Settler stood
To rob the forest of it’s

And I can only hope
The sheriff’s nigh
And with a posse wind
Will chase these rustlers
And ride them
Out of town
Into another county

Sara Mathews     November 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Sometimes there are no words
They fail and fall too short
Of what unfolds before my eyes
And I was at a loss in heralding
This morning’s sunrise
In pastel
Shades more brilliant
Than their name
But just a glimpse was I allowed
A glint of gold leaf edge
Of cloud
A hint of whispered masterpiece
Beyond my realm
And sky as thick as heavy cream
Was shrouding all but one small
Beam that wouldn’t be contained
And as it slowly dawned
Upon my morning mind I knew
That I was seeing through
And being granted just a little gleam
Of  heaven

Sara Mathews     November 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

The morning has a filtered lens
To soften harsh November grey
A blurring of the sharper edge
A misting of the brooding day
Like satin robe
In truffle hue
The day slips over dormant bed
And lingers there in pearls of dew
To jewel every drooping head
Of Aster
Rose and Goldenrod
That worshipped summer til the end

Sara Mathews     November 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Photo by Ingrid Mathews

Blue sky
We are friends
We know things

Like how the wind can grieve 

How branches etch 
A sketch unseen

How birds traverse
To somewhere else

How sun grows bold
Like Mayan gold

How rain begins
With just a tear and 

How the weeping world
Can clear

We know the earth
The treetop
And the cloud

And every thought between

Sara Mathews    November 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I see your silhouettes
Stretch out
Ahead of me by city block
As shadows stroll
And night winds talk
And make me strain to hear
If this is really you
Or glimpses of a future
Where I’m not there
To follow you
And sidewalks roll
Me toward a distance
That cannot be crossed
What have I lost
But days
The sweetness
Cannot be regained
And lullabies
Of soft caressing breezes
Brush my cheek
Where one tear lies

Sara Mathews     November 2015

Saturday, November 14, 2015

I like to look uphill
A set of steps that climbs the
Neighbor’s bank
Brings back to mind
My other view that
My farmhouse
In the back
Where apples grew
And gentle hill rose up
To ultimately meet with sky
Where old and teetering
Granite wall strolled by
Where flags of white would
And disappear
And rows of wild turkeys
Tracked and doubled back
And tallest pines were towers
To the rook
And beeches shook
Like castanets upon the breeze
That blew an airy song across my hill
And hawks soared high
Surveying with a glittering eye
Where in the spring the wild violets splashed
An errant path and
Blued the grass
And cottage roses rung
A wreath around the boulders
Much too heavy to have joined the wall
But gracefully
Cascaded down in waterfall of stone
As summer droned with
Lassoing lazy
Hazy afternoons
And evening sparked with fireflies
Encircling the glowing dark
In constellations on the hill
Until the morning bloomed
In nets of finest lace
Where spiders caught the tiny stars of dew
And every fall
The oak trees spread their giant
Parasols of gold
And squirrels raced up and down the bark
With fat cheeks filled
To beat the cold
And when the winter lay like eiderdown
The dainty deer steps danced
And looped around
And foxes like a copper streak
Ran quick across the snow
With someplace warm to go
And north wind crooned
In soulful sighs
And long goodbyes
Beneath the chilly moon

I miss it all
I like to think it misses me
The owl who cast his old man shadow
On the hill
And cooed his vespers solemnly

I hear him still…

Sara Mathews     November 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015

Day begins
Day begun
Arid rain
And sunless sun
Shadows hung
On shade-less trees
Unfurling on the windless breeze
Cloudless mist
Of things undone
And loveless notes
Of songs unsung
Silent words
And wordless pleas
Like whitecap wave
On storm-less seas

Sara Mathews    November 2015

Thursday, November 12, 2015

It’s not a summer sky
The blue is bluer
In October
It swallows me in
Jewel sea
And clouds are not a summer cloud
Their bergs are brighter
And sculptured in the purest
Snowy white
And flame of maple
Scarlett bough
And oaken gold
Spin round
And dizzy me with flair
My breath is not a summer breath
But truer
And me
In all my elements

Sara Mathews     November 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What winds have brought you
Cold and swift
To gather all the remnant leaves
That clung for one last lilt of breeze
To twist and turn and catch the light
In amber gold
And fiery coal
Like trumpet’s blare
You blast the trees
And bare the last
Of branch and bough
And off you go with spinning leaves
Like conquered memories in tow

Sara Mathews     November 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

I wonder who named you
It doesn’t seem fitting
It doesn’t do you justice
It leaves out
Your calm demeanor
You hop with dignity
And serene disposition
You’re not all hyper like a frog
Or slippery
It fails to describe
Your companionable ways
We sit together on the step
To watch the darkness settle in
And ponder life
I wonder at your name
You wonder
Why I talk to Toads…
But you seem to like my company
And our evening reverie

Sara Mathews     November 2015
Photo by Ingrid Mathews

You wrote it in the sand
The winter shoreline held our gaze
As hours slipped into the sea
There wasn’t  more
That one could need
A simple seat
A warm embrace
The ocean wave to meditate
And rocks that strolled into the surf
Made you say
This is where I’m meant to be today
And islands floated near and
Ebbed away in different shapes of
Where our future lay
A lighthouse wakened on our watch
As gulls wheeled by
And tide was drawn to our content
And sidled up to be with us
Affirming our departing scripture 
In the sand

~We are enough~

Sara Mathews     November 2015

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A mermaid cries upon the glass
Like raindrops on the sea
She holds her head in desperate hands
And mirrors back to me
A saddest tale
In mist and fog
On rocky ledge of day
She sits within the frame of thought
And weeps the world away

Sara Mathews    November 2015

Thursday, November 5, 2015

I almost didn’t walk
The night was damp and raw
That pressing dark that
Holds you to your house
Like stepping in would be a chance
At first I was Pinocchio
And swallowed in the whale
But then the slightest gleam of wet
And silvery way emerged beneath my
Feet and I was drawn into the soft
Vignette of streetlamp meeting rain
I was alone in name alone
And night became my aura like a frame
And painted me in watery tones into
A swirled Van Gogh
Or shimmering Monet

Sara Mathews       November 2015

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Ah, to be left to my own devices
What luxury is this
As dust lays languid
And dishes pile
In unwashed bliss
The doorbell rings
To no avail
The laundry loves it’s heap
And I am squirreled within my den
My thoughts unkempt
Are mine to keep

Sara Mathews    November 2015

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Three deer slipped through
The dust of dusk
To greet me
As I was coming home
The wild turkeys were all there
To meet me
Where road rose up to row of stone
And pasture swooped and dipped
To have me follow
Across the hill and overland
As country lane went on forever
And bent my way and took my hand
And I was happiest to trod it
To feel the lightness in it’s step
A partner in my quest for solace
A path to wander from regret
And stars were brighter
In reflection
A million shining stories told
As sky of midnight blue and silver
Danced into midnight black
And gold
And now the night is mine forever
In all it’s creatures and it’s calm
And I can walk for miles
And memories
And hold them softly in my arms

Sara Mathews     October 2015

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The geese are on the red eye flight
A sailor’s warning call
No time to waste
Falls through the dark
Make haste
Make haste they call
The frost is on the morning
And is sharpening the blade
And leaves are falling fast
Like tears
To weep with autumn rain
And rivers of the aftermath
Are flowing down the street
As I go wading carelessly
Through currents drifting by
The reds and yellows break to brown
And summer’s fade is fleet
But sadness is a boon tonight
As is the farewell cry
And nothing is a sweeter sound
Than leaves that rush
Beneath my feet
And geese that trail across the moon
In echoes
Down the midnight sky

Sara Mathews     October  2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I walk beside on
Well worn path
And follow every bend
Of stream
A quiet brook that strolls
And wends
It’s summer way
Through shady glen
And dappled gallery
And like the hush
Of famous halls
The soft museum voices
Of her water
Whisper of your memories
Rolling gently over riverbed
She curates you through centuries
Carrying echoes of your
Footfall in her tales
I step in reverence on this path
Of silent moccasin
And farmer’s homespun
And we walk along together
On the ancient fallen needles
Of the past
We tread our way in
Perfect solitude
As she threads our steps
And I listen to your stories
From the river

Sara Mathews    October 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015

The curtains float on
Breaths of day
Oak leaves sway
September sun
October rain
The sweets of summer
Softly wane
Purple aster
Wild grape
A golden flower
Echoes sun
And jewels of frost
The depth and truth
Of colors won
A honk from travelers
On high
Who bid farewell
To winter folk
Be warm
Be well
They stitch a vee
Of noisy song
To southern sky
We shield our eyes
And follow them
With rooted feet
And hearts that fly
The curtains float
On breaths of day
Oak leaves sway
And let go
With a wistful sigh

Sara Mathews    October 2015

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A scarlet pose you struck
Upon the vine
That dried and withered
To a skeleton
Without a hint of green
But somehow you endured the touch of frost
That old refrain
‘Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’
Leapt to mind
As you held on and glowed beneath the waning
Autumn sun
And stopped me in my walk
To capture your persistence in a frame of
Photograph and thought
And left me with a hope that lingers still
Survival is dependent on the will

Sara Mathews     October 2015

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Photo by Ingrid Mathews

I swam a last goodbye
To summer
In October
And as I waded in
I saw
The lake belonged to me
No other soul
Had ventured in to share
The cold
A row of clear September nights
I didn’t saunter in
But made the plunge at once
As now or never
A momentary second thought
Engulfed me with the chill
But when I dove down deep
I found a bit of summer heat
Had made an ardent stand
Against the siege
And dug my toes into the sand
To find more summer still
And feeling reassured
I set out for the middle of the lake
And from this vantage point
I saw again
I was the only one to venture in
And I wondered why the others left
Too soon it seemed to me
But then
Not even call of loon was there
To keep me company
Or break my solitude
As quiet echoed over empty lake
And cottages around the rim
Resigned and sighed and settled back
To hibernate within the pine
I wondered if the fishes thought me strange
Or whispered to each other
That I was out of season
In this calendar
Where blueberries foretold the end
In scarlet flame along the shore
A burnished frame around the edge
Of languid days
And birches flashed in gold leaf coins
To signal summer spent
And now only the maples wait
But soon enough will
Acquiesce and follow suit
And red and coral flags
Will wave a last farewell
And that will be my cue
To make a fall surrender too

Sara Mathews      October 2015                                                                                                        

Monday, October 5, 2015

                                                              Photo by Ingrid Mathews

We talked of nighthawks
You asked if I remembered them on
Summer nights
We walked the darkened streets where
City lights were not enough
To make us feel secure
The gloom was swirling with the shadows
Of discomfiture
And it was late
I had my little dog to see me home
But you set out alone
The final stretch
As I had more to cross  on my return
And hurried where I felt the chill
Of unfamiliar at my back
My neck felt prickly at times
With pins and needles of the
Neighborhood unknown
But as our home grew near
We settled in to being with the night
And all the shadows disappeared
Except a sudden
Silent flight
That swept across our path
I thought I felt the whisper of a wing
So close this thing
A stealthy pass
Of one who owns the dark
No fear or trepidation did I have
No bark from little dog
Protecting me
Just awe
To be with such distinguished company
And feeling quite escorted
Slowed our steps
And drifted happily
Our thoughts unwound in
Summer nighthawk reverie

Sara Mathews     October 2015

Friday, October 2, 2015

A bird of darkness
Has come to rest
Within my chest
He perches on my heart
Pinching me with talons sharp
And conquering
With one black feathered flag
I saw him sailing in 
And circling for
I tried to wave him off
I made all sorts of flapping
Crazy like a scarecrow
To chase this dour fellow
From my day
But he is resolute
And clings to me
For morbid company
And rudely

Sara Mathews     September 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


If I could choose the perfect way
To spend a life
It would be this
A witness to
The rise and fall of sun
To paint with word or brush
Or camera lens
Each one
As simple snowflake never has a twin
I’d capture every wave
Of violet tide
And pool of grapefruit pink
And pen and ink
The gulf of vermillion
And spectacles
Of prism sky
I would behold
Embellished with a storyline in gold
And other colors without name
And each nuance of early light
And evening flame
Would be a chapter in my book
And none would read the same
And I would be official raconteur
And herald
Lest one amazing masterpiece
Slip by
Or subtlety forgot
If I could choose the perfect life
To be my lot

Sara Mathews     September 2015

Thursday, September 24, 2015

I looked for you in Autumn
The morning was a layered gray
With higher clouds that held
And hovered solemnly in place
And lower 
More impatient clouds that sailed
And raced 
Toward furthest edges of the day 
While sun as bold as all July
Broke through at every interval he could 
And kept me lingering there
With hope 
He would prevail
And I withstood the fits of rain
And bite of cold on summer skin
To feel the sun burst forth  
And briefly warm the earth 
And me again
I looked for you in every element
And in a conscious way 
I said a poem aloud
To tree and sky 
To lazy and ambitious cloud
To you if you would hear
And as I spoke the end
A sudden spirit ruffled through the grasses
At my feet
And breath of wind swept past
To spin the air 
With gold acknowledgement
From listening trees
And ray of sun broke through 
To gild and spotlight the embrace
Of showering leaves
And you were there
And I was filled with joy at finding you
In every leaf that lilted gently down
And one that was especially you
I caught to
And I saved the gold to press
Within the page
Within the heart
Within the chest

Sara Mathews     September 2015

Friday, September 11, 2015

Take me to the ledges
When I’m gone
It’s where you’ll find my
Childhood soul
She waits for me
Among the towering pine
And hemlock bowed
She perches on the granite shelf
An outcrop bursting forth
From ancient soil
That will not be confined
But reaches for the warming
Sun to feel alive
Adorned with softest lichen moss
No color can describe
It’s here she lies
Beneath the opening of sky
She traipses barefoot
On the leafy floor
Of many falls
And up and down the
Rows of stony
Walls of broken years
Keeping nothing out
And no one in
But ever mark a border
On this woodland Eden
She leans against an
Elder beech and
Listens to the song
Of rattling leaves
That’s strummed with
Summer breeze
She scampers with the chipmunks
And whistles with the jays
And frolics in the
Dappled light
That filters
Through the trees
She is a forest sprite
That lives among the
Matchstick moss
Of old abandoned fairy stumps
She skinny dips
In laughing brooks
And falls into the sun
To dry upon
The Ledges
When she’s done
So take me back here
When I’m gone
She waits for me
She waits for me

Sara Mathews  -  September 2015

Sunday, September 6, 2015

"The whippoorwill is coming to shout
And hush and cluck and flutter about:

   I hear him begin far enough away

   Full many a time to say his say

Before he arrives to say it out."

Robert Frost

I remember the summer nights of the whippoorwill.  The hottest, most airless nights, when the world outside seemed to be holding it’s breath, so little movement in the humid, tropical heaviness.  No stir or spin to the leaves outside my window, just a thickness that made me feel as though a breath was an arduous pull through a long straw.  

Sleep never came easy on these nights.  In an old farmhouse, air conditioning meant opening the cellar door for the coolness of it’s depths, and hopefully nothing else unwanted, like snakes or large cellar spiders.  I would toss and reposition myself to the coolest part of the sheets and yearn for that elusive spin of the mind that signals the prelude to sweet slumber.

And just when that little glimpse of mind wandering would tease with hope, a faraway song would travel from the edge of the world and wind it’s way into my consciousness.  A pretty song when heard once or twice, but over and over the notes would be sung until it felt like a brainwashing, and even when it ceased for a moment, my mind, traitorously, would fill in the pattern until it started up again. 

Slowly it would travel ever near, from woods to meadow to just beneath my window.  What drew these souls to serenade our farmhouse on those sleepless nights?  Why sit beneath my window sill and carry on so close and loud that they may as well have been under my pillow.  

Such a haunting, frustrating song… and all I could do was pray for intermission.   

But now, how I mourn the loss of the whippoorwill.  It has become an elusive memory and nostalgic echo of my childhood summers.  It is a strange thing to miss the torment of that incessant chorus but the long, hot summer nights seem strangely incomplete now and the silent spaces at two am remind me of their absence.  It is a sound of summer that has disappeared, though the remnants of the refrain ring beautiful in my mind.  

Listen… you said into the phone
What’s this sound?
As you opened and closed the screen door
Reaching wide
Like muscles stretching
Squeaking in a voice that’s rusted 
Snapping shut
The waking up
Of a door unused
Three seasons long

What’s more summery 
Than that, you asked
And I answered with a poem

And what’s more summery than…

A June bug knocking
Over and again
With all his vim 
Against the screen door
Trying to buzz in

And whizzing wing of dragonfly
In spirals of afternoon July

And crickets
Filling August cracks
With music of a lower sun
Farewell in your hello, I hear
Portending Autumn ever near

And where’s the quintessential bird
My childhood summer friend
The whippoorwill that travelled late
To call at two am
And sit beneath the summer moon
And croon of summer’s end

And what’s the sound of fleeting days
The flocks of swifts are counting down
A crystal chime of glasses raised 
To orchestras
Of summer sound

Sara Mathews -  September 2015

Friday, September 4, 2015



             my thoughts swirl
                 upward with the swifts
                      to dart and spin 
                         and hover
                            like flocks of
                                broken heartbeats 
                                       with the pulse of night 
                                          but you 
                                             are revelers on high
                                               and sailors of the gloaming 
                                                  in muted flight
                                                  you etch in poem
                                                 with reckless
                                              winged filigree
                                            your essays drifting
                                        down to me
                                    in syllables of hope
                              and boundaries fall
                         and burdens fly
                    and I unravel
               to escape with you 
          in swifts of smoke

Sara Mathews - September 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I’m swimming with the
Summer loon
And side by side we glide
And dive down into colder depths
Where April hides
And even March is tucked away
Here in the bottom's breadth
Of spring fed waters
We linger there
In blackness cool
And reminisce
In chilliness
And then we slowly 
Make the climb
Through layered days
Of Mays and Junes
We float up gently 
Through July
And break the surface of
The August haze
And here we bob and tread
Quite companionably
Until September reaches down
And pulls my feathered friend
Into October skies

Sara Mathews - September 2015