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

Monday, May 9, 2011

eagles and the ghosts

On the high woven palace
royalty sleeps. Sun
fiddles and opens the sky.

Alexandra rises on her small legs
leaning on the breast
of her mother.

David tucks his wings
into a feathery broom.

Warmth from the burning heart
of their nest wells up
like water.

Below and around in the voicelessness,
in the lower spectrum
growing still
we gather,

ghosts on limbs and cloud formations,
chatting about the weather,
the next low tide,

if what the fisherman caught
is a rat fish or greenling.

If crow will catch another midshipmen
for the eagle to steal.

Who's coming for mother's day.

In boxes far inland and across whale fields
more ghosts gather. Some sit, some sleep.
Watchers and guardians learning the songs
of hunger, of love,

of warning.

Something falls down. As one, they all turn
toward the crying.

They huddle and use the skills
they learned from raptors: when cold, cover,
when hungry, feed as soon as you can.

When tired, surround and rock to sleep.
Patient they wait, ghosts
know these things.

Be still. There are no right words
so they are quiet. They hand out gifts
of their experience that don't look like

But you feel it. It begins to come to you
like something remembered. The pause,
the place where you can stop

and rest in the night after the day
of all that is happening. And rest before
night comes again.

Balanced, on the axis, we dangle together
mingling, bumping into each other,
loving the ocean of our existence.

Vunerable yet wise.
Learning that even if the light is out,
and the room feels empty,

even if the one who lies so still upon
the floor, leaking life,

seems gone,

what you loved
and felt of the physical being
of their life,

is still within your arms,
against your chest,
warm in the invisible light
of the spirit world.

To the room with the orange couch
bring the bird of your heart.
Take the drink of our friendship,
serve us your tears.

Even the eagles are here on our shoulders
and nothing is too heavy

that this love
cannot carry.

for Gallatin

c2011 T.L.Stokes (all rights reserved)

1 comment:

  1. Your words bring me peace and serenity. Thank you for writing this for me.
    Hugs, Gallatin