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

Friday, May 6, 2011

Alexandra and the Ancients

Who am I an empty room
of abalone caverns,
collecting thoughts like birds.

Empty handed,
waiting breathless
for the poem
to arrive.

Who am I iridescent, flying light,
reflected shapes, black depths,
finned and wrapped in fluid armor,

spellbound instinct
telling me to crash
between ocean
and the river?

Dark wanderer, sustainer
of a forest, torn into succulent bits
I become feathers,
a sea monster child,
all things,
watch me.

Who am I in the heights
of praying arms and sky,
downy-crowned, round belly,
open mouthed?

Child of the king and queen
of heaven,
promise of a grandmother.

Small teakettle,
fuzzy puddle,
eagle's daughter.

Who am I braided gray
salt water scented
woman of notes and thinking

pondering the deep, the red
and silver messengers,
and giants singing us to sleep?

Curious teacher,
passion-fed observer of detail,
our wind-clothed
learned mother.

Who am I young, innocent learner,
the reader, one who comes
behind to carry on your flame?

Child of fire and vision,
dressed inconspicuous
and plain.

Who am I secret ones,
the hidden feathers,
racing swimmers,
soaring brilliant sun-catchers,

babies not yet born.

Who am I sleeping womb,
attentive mother, cradle
of sweet damp land.

Strong elemental magnet,
patient globe,
watery blue.

Who am I thirst-relieving cup
once overflowing, now trickles,
sand and tear.

Forgotten riverbed,
empty nest of ancients,
footprint of fingerling.

Who am I spider words creeping
across the page.

Sad linger,
dreamer of what was
and is.
Long wander.

Who am I namer of eaglets,
farmer, man who guards
the ancients.

Patient season,
counter of fish
and fledged.

Who am I distant writer.

Rain catcher,

Who am I voice over the trees
reminding you of yourself,
and the pieces we thought lost
or broken,

are here
and simply

intricately connected.

in honor of the work
of Alexandra Morton,

and the eaglet
who shares the same name.

c2011 T.L.Stokes (all rights reserved)

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