If you ever lose heart and the earth seems as distant as stars fading into the noise of your busy mind, know this. That a tiny island exists in the blue hands of the ocean. That a tree grows upright into the salted clouds. That two eagles love each other enough to spend their lives greeting the morning sun together. That two eaglets stand in their nest, gazing at the heavens. Looking down to the forever ground. They eat and sleep and flap their wings. And one day in July, one by one, they will jump into the air. They will know the difference between existing and what is beyond. They will hold onto nothing. The hurricane will come, courage catching their pinions on fire, as they mount the wind, climbing ladders into realms of the invisible.

--T.L. Stokes

Thursday, December 30, 2010

from the book Being and Vibration
by Joseph Rael
page 82

How the Medicine Wheel Works

Imagine the medicine wheel as a big circle, and in the
middle of the circle is a stone which represents the heart.
The inner periphery of that circle is made up of the
unclarities that at this moment in time are there. The way
the medicine wheel-or the circle of light-works is that in
each given moment there is a flash from the center of the heart.
It wants to know something that it doesn't know yet. This flash
of light goes from the center to the inner walls of the circle.
And in that moment of contact, it pushes the limits of wisdom
outward and then swallows the new wisdom and returns it back
into the heart center.

The center of the medicine wheel is the top of the
mountain, and the mountain top is another metaphor for
the heart. Vision questers go to the top of the mountain
because walking the top of the mountain is synonymous
with walking in the center of the cosmic medicine wheel.
When a vision questor sits in the center of his circle
on the mountain top and sends out thought, that which comes
back to him from the periphery of that circle is the
energizing vibration that keeps the vibration of life.
In other words, the very nature of life is such that when the
unclarities of the self which have been sent out in thought
or deed return eventually back to the center of the circle
of life, they enliven the existence of life at the center
of the circle of light.

When the center of the medicine wheel sends an impulse,
or a flash of light out to the periphery, it does so
because it wants to know what it needs to be doing.
That flash continues to go out and spread until it can
no longer go and then it pulls from that dark void back
to itself the survival power that it needs to go on to
the next moment. All wisdom is stored at the periphery
and beyond it. The unclarities that are in existence in
the inner periphery are the ones that echo back meaning
to the center of the Circle. That meaning is what gives
life to the next moment, since each moment is a flash
of light.

It is important to understand that an attribute of this
light that comes from the heart of the medicine wheel is
abundance. If abundance calls abundance, there is going
to be more abundance. So when this flash goes out, it brings
everything from all around the circle back to itself. Because
it sends out abundance, it gets back abundance.

Another way of saying it would be to imagine a black
empty space. In the middle of that darkness there is this
flash of light like a tiny star that becomes larger and larger
as it begins to light up a space which only moments before
was blackness. As it lights up the darkness, this light,
which is the light of the heart, realizes that it is really
wisdom that is coming into conscious thought. But it
doesn't realize it until the light goes out as far as it can
and then hits the banks, similar to when you drop a pebble in
the water and concentric rings form, moving outward toward
the shore. These rings that go out are like this light
that goes out. Finally, it reaches the bank. It can't go any
farther because it has run out of steam. In coming back,
it carries life sustaining energy because when this flash of
light originates, it is asking for one thing, abundance of life.
That abundance is made up not only of an idea or
combination of ideas for that moment, for that heart
center, but also, the abundance includes the power to carry
through those ideas. That is how the circle of light
functions. The circle of light has been with us, is always
with us in each moment.

(and a few paragraphs later, as I was reading
in the quiet, cold morning)

(page 89)

So, through us, life becomes aware, because life wants
to experience itself through us, through our awareness.
Life experiences beauty through the way. The way means
being inside the purity of lifting, beyond time awareness,
so that what we see and work is the beauty around us. Life
is the ever-flowing presence here of ancient thoughts. Life
wants to hang out with us and play and enjoy this sense of
being lifted as we lift ourselves beyond ourselves, reaching
for the greater.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Annie In Seattle - My Blog Pick of the Week

Check out: Annie In Seattle, a unique blog
with a photo a day for a year.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Sarvey Wildlife

Photo shoot at the Sarvey Wildlife Center in Arlington.
See more photos at: Floodwaterphotography.zenfolio.com.

Happy Holidays! My gift to my father, younger daughter,
her friend, and M. was breakfast at Patty's Eggnest in
Bothell and a $50 gift donation to Sarvey which included
an hour tour inside and outside their facility. M.
provided transportation and Annah, the puppy came
along for the ride!

Treat the people you love to an experience. Make
a difference in the world. Care deeply.
Love strong.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

after thunder lightening and rain

After the thunder, lightning and rain
the sky split open. Her skin, under
her gray long coat was the color of ice,
so blue it almost hurts the eyes. Cool
moist blue, the skin of the sky.

As my heart danced with my eyes
someone illuminated the village
in warm yellows. The fir had on wet
earrings. The wisteria curled down to
mounds winter leaves, pile upon pile
of dead voices, neat-looking
in their wild arrangement.

A darting brown gold and orange coat,
small and tight-fitting on a lady bird
by the roots of the crooked tree. Chased
away by her mate, she disappeared
and in her place the boy in feathers
wearing a ruby scarf around his neck.

He lay by the roots and was silent
while I stole his image. He was soft
and full of pride but egoless.
They have flown into the yellow light
and the belly of the sky

and now all the branches are still,
breathing in unison,
even the stones which were silent
stir in their own time.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Falling into the Next Season

Does it feel as though time is speeding up?
So many people I come across say, "What happened
to summer?" "Where does the time go?" "Now can it
be November already?"

I'm going to think about that. Perhaps take a few
photos that tell a story about what we think time is,
and maybe shed light on what it is, really. Is it real?

Hope your November is full of blessing, family and
friends around you.

T.L. Stokes

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Questions for the Rain

Friday, October 8, 2010

Corporate Blogs - What does an alpaca shearer and a fishing tackle store have in common?

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Moon Dog Hour

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Buffalo Fields

See more photos: http://floodwaterphotography.zenfolio.com/

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

c2010 TLStokes/Flood Water Photography (all rights reserved)
Email for permission or prints: Floodwaterphotography@gmail.com

Magic of Yellowstone

Two airplane rides and a week with my father as a guide
through Yellowstone. Welcome to the magic of Yellowstone.

ps: thank you Dad

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

the day is like a book

Two strips of brown earth
in raised beds capture the sun
like soup for baby green heads
and lettuce,
fence posts,
ants in the grass,

where I dig a hole
for the new tomato plant.

She opened a few yellow bright
eyes to look around this morning.
Stretching those crooked arms
and gazing sideways.

I walked barefoot along the cement path.
The birds line up in all the trees
to enliven the leaves, notes
falling down with the green.

So many colors of green.

Ebony and Kona wait for their walk,
I hear them shuffling and tapping
their feet. A mouse makes a small
clicking noise in the nightie drawer.

The day is like a book. I set it down,
I pick it up. Turning one page, the
yellow sun has drained into gray-white

The dogs are quiet. The mouse is gone.

for the farm in all her glory

Friday, June 11, 2010

Beauty of a Small Town

Monday, June 7, 2010

New Name Announcement

The Baxter Barn just announced the new name
for their baby miniature donkey. Last Saturday
at the donkey baby shower they had a contest
for naming the baby girl. Out of twenty two
suggested names the winning name was selected
just moments ago. A local person who attended
the event at Baxter Barn is the winner and the
new name is....

Baxter Barn's Daisey

so fitting as she was born last month
and will be affectionately known as

"Daisey May".

Congratulations! Cory and Missy Huskinson will
be contacting the winner so they can collect
their prize. The winner's name will be posted
after they are notified.

The Staff
Flood Water Photography

The Baxter Barn

At the historic Baxter Barn in Fall City, Washington, owner Cory Huskinson and his wife Missy hosted a miniature donkey baby shower Saturday, June 5th. The party was a huge success with children enjoying sunshine, cake and hot dogs, bird house painting, seed planting, pin-the-tail-on-the-(paper)donkey, petting and hugging the new baby. Even name the new donkey contest. In the above photo Cory has a tender moment with the baby. Learn more about this unique award winning green working farm by going to their website: http://baxterbarn.org/

Photos by Flood Water Photography.

c2010 T.L. Stokes (all rights reserved)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Flood Water Photography - Our Vision

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historical and documentary work. Photography that changes people.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Saturation" The Post Office Poems - Literary Project

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Sorrow is the heart, a beast,
a sparrow turned away
from you,

from the face,
of the sun
still warming

the empty cage
in the room of my ribs.
And the river

which ran so freely,
now knows its name,

oh sorrow,

oh dear heart,
dear beast,
dear sun.

Let me never forget,
your warmth,
your face,
your river.

We are an empty cage
here in the room of ribs.

I can't bear to see your face
right now, sun, oh sun.
How I loved you.

And from here
who knows what strange steps
we will take. My anchor pulled,
off I drift

in a boat
warm with sorrow
sparrow face,
a river
unable to carry you.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nanny and the Mouse

There's a mouse in the car she said,
gasping, giggling and beginning to cry.
I listened to the phone message smiling.
Under the tire in the trunk a mouse
put together a cozy arrangement
of fuzz, thread, hay and other
fine collectibles. Mice droppings
were left like tiny footprints
across the rear seat. Now when
Louise is driving to the big house
where she looks after the twins
and runs the household, she
thinks she feels the mouse
run over her leg. She wiggles
in alarm trying to keep her
hands on the wheel.

Today she came back to the farm
to check the dogs. Guess what?
she asks, her voice rising like
bells and wind. I found a mouse!
Dead! In the driveway at the house,
dead and flat. What does this mean?

We talk about what it could mean
and nothing means anything. It could
be her mouse but she never parks
in the driveway at work. I hid it
from the girls, she says. I wonder
how she picked it up, where she
thought to place it. What its
tiny flat body looked like dangling
from her fingers.

I wonder what the omen means. And wait,
to see what happens next.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Mannequins


Monday, March 22, 2010

The Big Climb

The 2010 Big Climb of the Columbia Tower in Seattle. Over 6,000 participants with proceeds going to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. These photos follow participant Kelsey Stokes on her first climb. She has inspired many by her training and dedication in preparation for this event. Go to the LLS link for more information on how you can help this noble cause. See you in 2011!


Friday, March 12, 2010

For Magnolia

Every blossom like lips,
like snow,
faint blushed,
has a unique

Like love,
murmured over
and over,

like pain,
to be so beautiful
for oh,
so short a time
as this,

my favorite,
my joy,

I bow to you,
in yellow licks
in beams,
in torrents,
in ice thrown savagely,

you grin,
you open,
you drip your beauty,
you widen your mouth,
and lose your tongue.

If I so in love with you,
should pick up each lost part,
tenderly, offer them
to the sky--

and clouds come over me,
and clouds,
come over me,

I wither with you.
I will hold you
until you becoming my thought
turn once more

and invisible.

for the tree in the front yard

Smallest Lips

You are the smallest lips,
tight, holding onto a word.

I love you. Do you know
what that means?

I will have affection
like a bowl overflowing
in my chest,
my belly,
my throat will clutch

at what you might be saying.
I will watch you
with tenderness.

Even when you learn the world's
languages, and throw your arms
out wide,

even when your tongue
lies damp and forgotten,

I will remember you.

What Does She Watch

What does she watch
open as she is, as a hand,
as eyes?

What place does she imagine.
What lover does she wait for.

What feeling is her rapture
close enough to describe.

What gentle word
would I whisper in her ear
and she, being dainty,

and lost
in this dreaming,

might turn
her eyes to me.

Tree of Light

Magnolia is a woman in the rain,
drops on eye lashes, slight blush
on her rounded cheeks. She flirts
just by being beautiful. You can't
hear her but she is everywhere.

Sunday, March 7, 2010



I asked him if he remembered himself as a child,
if there was anything luminous left in his eyes,
if he could see any joy, and he could not.

So befuddled, we let our hands open,
not knowing what it was
to let him go.

Into the field of horses
we watched him wander
picking the one to him
most beautiful.

I saw him mount
and nudge her on.
Cantering, he ripped
the rags he'd worn for years

in sadness,
too dark for some
though lived for music,

and suddenly lighter,
he and the horse
as fog climbed higher.

The ponds of clouds
seared by the face
halved themselves
like wounds

and grace became a wonderful sky
for the boy, the horse
still as if light

for Mark Linkous of

Saturday, March 6, 2010

for the love of bones

Henry and Alice, he said, and the words
caught my attention. I leaned into the phone
a little deeper. Take photos, he said.
Go to places of the dead, mortuaries,
tell them you're working on a story.
Be honest. Put them together with your
Henry and Alice poems. Pictures of anything
close to lifeless. I'm connected with issues
of people approaching the end of their life,
you're connected with this as well, and with
the dead on the other side. Yes. I agreed this
was a fabulous idea. I could see the photos
in the book already.

note: Henry and Alice are characters in a poem
I wrote about two cadavers we worked on in school.
I took their essence and created personalities,
filling the holes not knowing them left, and
gave them voices and things to do when we shut
the door to the lab at night.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Hill

Down the black path
curved hill of jagged tree
arms and shoulders
above the restless creek
we flew in white armor
crying privately.
In wool shadows
surprisingly bright
was a woman,
white hood,
swede cape long
to her feet.
Deep the eyes
that capture sadness.
Something shattered
by the gaze.
No words
Wanting her to last
one more moment
I forgot to ask
a question.
Knowing my human heart
she understood--
and rose up,
swept my afterthoughts
into one, great, wide
marriage of air
and longing.

for the eagle

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I want the poem for Wardie to be sweet,
infused with warm seaweed salt smell
of the north Sound. On the face,
oh how it feels on your face.

With hands of wind
stirring up the water.

With a boat and a motor,
and a fishing pole.
With bait, his pipe.

I want to be a child in the log house,
at the knee, listening to old stories
of ferry captains,
of fishing. Feel family
gather around for a summer meal,
small talk, generous hugs,
days and love that seem

I want the poem for Wardie
to have Rose in his arms.
I'll leave it at that,

just an old proud man
with his sweetheart
in his arms.

for Wardie

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

see-through fingertips

She has eyes on the tips of her fingers.
Long light streams like angel hair pasta,
invisible and glowing
snake outward to the closest entity.

Hooking up,
a low sound enters the air.
No one can hear it.
The ears go mute.
Everyone's hair
begins to float upward.
You can taste
static electricity,
it is something else.

A field of poppies
moves into the distance.
No one here dies.
The dead wake up
and pay attention.

The living
are transformed.

She turns her eyes
from her fingers
like flashlights.
Into your body she goes.

It is how
you find your name.

We are all light,
all of us,

--some can see it,
and some cannot.


a place for silence

from Inviting Silence
by Gunilla Norris

When we make a place for silence, we make room
for ourselves. This is simple. And it is radical.


By making room for silence, we resist
the forces of the world which tell us to live
an advertised life of surface appearances,
instead of a discovered life--a life lived in contact
with our senses,our feelings,
our deepest thoughts and values.


..silence seems to deepen. A room devoted to silence
honors and invites the unknown, the untamed,
the wild, the shy, the unfathomable
--that which rarely has a chance to surface
within us. It is a visible,
external symbol of an internal reality:
an actual room
signifying space within ourselves
set aside for silence.

Monday, February 15, 2010

the soul

from Shamanic Spirit
by Kenneth Meadows

The Soul is a body of light.
It is an inner light...

Light is a form of energy
and your Soul is your body of

...your Soul..exists
in approximately the same
spatial location as your body,
and interpenetrates it,

it exists in another plane...
the Dimension of the Soul.

...your Soul,
like your mind,
is a non-physical aspect
of your total Self..

..not that your soul
is an extension of your physical being,
..your physical body
is an emanation of your Soul.

...the Soul is as real
as the physical body.
More 'real' in fact, because
it has greater

You are a Spirit.

Not a body with a Spirit,
but the very opposite..
a Spirit
with a physical body.
A Spirit with a mind.
A Spirit with a Soul.

A composite being comprising
body, mind, Soul and Spirit..

...The Soul
may be regarded as the 'Light'
of the individual,

whereas the Spirit
is the 'Life'--the essential being.
The Spirit is the original being
before the manifestation
of form.

...So the Real You is spiritual,
with physical and mental outlets.
That which is spiritual cannot be seen,
but its presence can be felt

and it is aware
of its own existence.

You, then, are a Spirit--

aware of your own existence,
of your own individual identity,
of your own unique being-ness
here on the Earth.

A spirit with a physical body
through which it can experience
the consequences
of its own choices
and actions..

Life on Earth is thus a journey

made by the Spirit
through the 'slower' vibrations
of physical reality..

...in order to express itself

through physical world experiences
and so shape and fashion
its own future-
its own destiny.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

the list of today


1. I heard a gang of rogue waves washed groups of people
tumbling them from the surfing competition, from the sea wall,
from their breath.

2. M. gave me roses, peppermint and almost lickable.

3. M. held me while we danced on our knees.

4. I wore 3-D glasses on top of my glasses and tried not to laugh
and shake them off.

5. M. loved me.

6. I loved M.

7. He sits shuffling the paper open to a new page. I write, laptop
warming knees, sitting in the big green chair.

8. Last night at Aireal's party, a boy passed out in the big green chair.

9. We stayed up till 2:30 am, standing in a group playing guitars, I held
the microphone. Bo sang with his heart. My eyes teared a little thinking
of the funeral he went to yesterday.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Twitter Poems


Gray cloud spills a black suit onto pavement in slow hiccups, erases
cedar's fluid sweet heads with only thumbs, mirrors and lights.


Henry and Alice, cadavers, spend Valentine's Day cutting lace doilies and red construction paper, fingerbones clacking happily in scissors.


I'm telling you,seven hawks gazed in meditation, the hunter's silence,
down into fields or the ditches, good omens swift we sped past

flashlight mind collection


c2010 TLStokes (all rights reserved)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

after Keats

Aloft and silent,
they must be stars with crystal heads
turning in stillness
above our burning
and our love,

no words or utterance
can show this feeling,
how tender the sparse life

whose words, young
and hardly tried
do still live among us.

I too love the young man,
though tragically lost
amid his own heart's theft

willingly given,
a woman washed by grief
reminds my own treasured losses

and here we sit holding ourselves
in the words of a passionate
spirit, young and not knowing

his fame. Old treatments and cold
sped him off from our world
yet not so far

nor unlit,
to be forgotten.

c2010 T.L. Stokes

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tree of Birds

Tree of Birds
by T.L. Stokes

From vast paths unlit and mysterious
I am pulled back to the water planet,
back to slim light reaching under the window,
back to the sound of a thousand broken songs--
black wings crowded into one old alder
on the edges of the field.

My eyes are sleepy. White curtain drawn
away from the window, crouched and curious,
I watch the birds. Hundreds of wings carpet
the upper stretch of old black arms.
The crow family tries to scare them off,
they all sing louder. A busy roar. A squirrel
travels along dark highways, I can't even hear
him. The alpacas, soft and elegant, stare.

I lie on a pillow at the window, snapping photos
upside down. Loud birds in their monstrous flock
sing and chatter for a long while. Then a handful,
scatter away from the tree's head. Like pepper into
empty space. Then another handful. Over and over
they shake themselves away. I have a picture, of
the last one, what is his name--

what door did he close
when they had all flown away?

for Heather
because she sees magic

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Twitter and George


George Wintston is following me on Twitter. That's right. So I'm following him.

And what am I doing today you might be asking. Well, stay tuned. Remember, anything is possible. Take time to imagine, that's how children create the rest of their lives.

T.L. Stokes

Monday, January 25, 2010


From: Full Body Presence
by Suzanne Scurlock-Durana

Today’s Image:


”Trusting that there is an unlimited source of nourishing,
life-giving energy in the Universe allows you to recognize
that you are loved, and supported throughout your life, and
allows you to live from trust rather than from fear.”

“Trust is like the aquifer—the huge water pool under the earth—that feeds all of the subsurface wells. In business and in life, these wells are often called innovation, complementary teams,collaboration, empowerment…these wells themselves feed the rivers and streams of human interaction, business commerce and deal making.”

“The capacity to be open to discovery is an imporatant first step in any healing, growing, or manifesting process.”

“Our innate cellular intelligence informs us constantly, like an inner compass of deep knowing.”

“So the key is to train yourself to remember that this unconditional source of energy does exist, and to pause and connect with it in whatever way you can in each moment. Then the possibilities and options become clear and more accessible, and you are able to stop the cycle of negative thinking. You are able to begin to trust."