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

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Salmon Song

Salmon Song

We look through layers
of old arms. The dripping green
and flat flowers, fiber of sleep,
petals of collected ultraviolet.

Some call it forest.

To us it has no name.
We feel it, borrowing the chipped
and snapped off offering,
its broken separating piles of names,
heart in pieces, spark of seed.

All through these colors
flows the chant of salmon.
And beyond this, their messages
of river-bended light,
and ocean's mouth
reciting the blood call.

Ancient offspring.
Just as I begin to tell you
my perch's history, all of it

The tree begins to stretch upward,
like an old man unraveling his bones
and holding his flesh high overhead
he becomes something like sky
barked over and burning.
His blood is a river,
black and fragrant.

He turns slowly to our
glowing eyes.

Come sit a while with me,
he says. And learn.
Cast your eyes like eagles.
Watch how everything
constantly changes.

There is no word for this.
Stop. Shhhh. Listen.

So still is the light of all things.
So quiet yet thunderous living.

Here comes the wet and glorious
voice of storm. Tuck under this wide
curved wall and we will watch together.
The woods come down,
the river is a sky.

Sleep if you must.
My breast continues
the drum beat you
have always known.

Filling you, the forest,
the wet black river of

salmon song within you.

for Ostrich

c2011 T.L.Stokes (all rights reserved)

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