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, July 7, 2011

Water Egg-Blue Planet

On the water egg-blue planet
is an island of trees
and black rocks
with a million eyes
deep-set holding
stories in their
empty light.

Each day the sky cracks
an eyelid, and a creamy milk
like a flower's skin,
or a blush
slowly fills the dark bowl
of night,

until the physical world
becomes itself again.

I want only one word
or two, a poem slight in build
and agile. A single thought
like a creek in summer.

So I cover the waters rushing
from my heart.

Last year in the summer,
on the 14th day of July,
an eaglet stopped breathing.

I know your breath stopped too,
for an instant. We all did.
From that moment on,

after the floods came,
something grew like a new forest.
We had never seen before.

Some would call this legacy.
A man climbs the spire of a cathedral
shaking in his brave boots. Pulls
the eaglet's body into the backpack,
waves at the camera,

to the world
so we could breathe again,
and the chopper flew her
to loving hands
who found the cause
and calmed us,

Many hands. Much love.
Phoenix meanwhile churning
away invisible, to her next life.

And after, came courting
and sticks to the bowl
of great branches.

Mom laying bright circles of white light,
two for good measure. Dad busting out
with pride. Hatching. Growing.

And now here we are in the land
of celebration. The breeze and the ocean
gently clapping. Silly to think
this would ever be easy,

or a simple poem. Letting it all go
I sit with you my family in the wood,
the thousand eyes, on every limb
and shore.

Listen to our memory. To the gifts
piling up in front of us. The flutter.
The lift off. The next life,

and one who left us for greater things.

in deep gratitude
for Phoenix, and how you continue
to inspire us all.

July 14, 2010 Phoenix, an eaglet close to fledge
became ill and died on the Hornby nest #10. Worldwide,
observers where shocked and grief-stricken. Due to the
amazing efforts immediately afterward and ongoing,
Phoenix has continued to share her legacy and inspire
thousands and thousands of people and benefit other
eagles through donations to wildlife rehabilitation
facilities and ongoing research.


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