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