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, August 10, 2011

The Singing Shell

The sun lays its head on my shoulder,
I drive down the freeway. The sky
was not pink as you remember it,
nor the fire of it a bloody orange or red,
and the smoking drifts did not curl like twine.
Boats did not rise nor sails catch the heaven.
It was not anything you could imagine
nor anything named.

Without definition sky opens her book
and tells you a thing about your life.
Tenderness you miss. Where the eagles
will be when you can't see them. Where
you are, what kind of a mystery, and it's gone.
The vibration does not tremble the ear,
you can not imagine this; something remembered
from before you were alive. A drawing
on the Sail Maker's table. That spacious feeling
just before you sleep.

The sun glances away, and when you turn your face
the shadow wraps you up. Have you seen the opal moon
gleaming and wide, suspended voyager, cold light?
A childhood promise, a new shoe. The sailor's dream.
Container of all poems and romantic thought, wish-bearer,
your singing shell. There it is in the thick round sky,
a black sea surrounding its beautiful loneliness.

for longing

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