Poetry Friday: Sara Berkeley

It’s Poetry Friday hosted by Tara Smith at A Teaching Life.


I am living in the transition time between summer living and school beginning. My pace has become less leisurely. The must dos have become more adamant about themselves. And because of this, I’ve tried to revel in the extras that will disappear soon. The time after breakfast that allows for the conversation to find a natural ending. The late into the night reading that has no fear of an early morning.

I have a list of things to do, yet I’m not rushing. Today, I am going to find that last bit of summer. Knowing it feeds me. Nourishes me to approach each school year with purpose and passion.

This morning I read Georgia Heard’s collection, The Women in this Poem, and found Sara Berkeley. I’ve been gathering courage you could say over the summer months. Now I’m close to ready, with arms full of “fresh on the morning” hope, for the school year.

The Courage Gatherer

by Sara Berkeley

With the sun too close
a loose wind catches me off guard,
dreams flock to my skirts
and cling there like a litter
I’d steal sleep to feed.
Asked exactly how I feel
I answer from the fields and summer lanes
where I have come
gathering courage.
A wing shadow strobes the lane
from time to time the future sinks
with the black doubt of people leaving me —
but hope comes out in her lovely shimmer,
her hair behind, untied,
fresh on the morning, never fully woken,
never still,
I follow with my arms full
of the songs she leaves,
all of the same brave tune.


9 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Sara Berkeley

  1. I’ve read Georgia’s book & remember this, so filled with pleasure of the moment, just as you write you are doing, Julieanne, “I follow with my arms full
    of the songs she leaves,” It applies well to this time before school, doesn’t it?

  2. Unhurried mornings might be my favorite part of summer. I’m also feeling a little anxious about all that’s left on my to-do list, but I have a “lovely shimmer” of hope that it will all get done. Thank you for sharing this lovely poem!

  3. I’m right there with you, Sister, feeling the tug of school, but not full enough of summer to quite let go yet. Best wishes for a great year!

  4. So much of this post resonates with me. I am all into maximising that holiday feeling. That slower, warmer pace of life. (Those books read late into the night… er… morning!) The poem is a perfect closure – of hope.

  5. Breathtaking. This poem gave me an idea. On the office door of my library I post photos of me and my kids. I’m going to attach a poem to each this year. This poem is going to be one of them. Thank you!

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