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

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I flip through the pages of photographs,
each detail, enlarging some, peering closer.
Trying to find a person, a puzzle of limbs,
lost in that great moment. I find no one.

Another day goes by, the silver drift
of spirits rise like weightless clouds
of life, spent and flying away from us.

They found an old man clinging to his rooftop
as the house floated away and plucked him
off. It was the first good news I heard

A long boat comes to land filled with toddlers
and one teacher.

More people will be found. Alive, yes alive.
Each one you will count and write about
my heart says.

There will be enough time to gather
what is left of the dead. The coats, dresses,
the torn shirts. We will have time to give
them ceremony and prayers. For now,

we begin the search. We will not stop
until the last hope is slowly and
meticulously uncovered.

for Japan

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