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

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cliff Dwelling

The woman and man
who live here
rise with the eagles
and the sun.

It is the only way to follow cycles
of the day in perfect unity.

Connected with the light
as it adorns each piece
of earth with form.

Drawing forth our memory
of who we are
from the forgetting of
the dreamtime.

Pearl Rock has a necklace
connecting her to the sea.

Abalone clouds are ships
with all destinations
to one place--the mountain,

who gathers them onto
her white shoulders.
Her arms stretch to either side
including us all.

Here on the cliff we sit.
Whale rocks
float in the high tide below
without moving.

All the stones
came here for a reason.

I listen to them
and the king fisher
calls in the distance.

Mother of all arbutus
holds the squirrel's treasure,
her body now a sculpture,
gray and black.

Next to her grows the eucalyptus,
in ever-widening arcs
flowers short and tall flame.

Their colors are the drink
of air and bees.

Nuthatches circle my head
as the sun lowers
toward the ring of mountains
and finally
into the sea who sails away.

for Madrona and Wolf
with gratitude.

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