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, December 18, 2013

Mandela's Mouse

Mandela's Mouse

I believe you will slip away from us
when no one is looking,
hungry world, unfinished children,
one night like any other.
No fist rants the door,
no flash of light
no bars left on windows;
unnoticed, the idea of time
removes itself
like a mouse,
after finishing the last speck
of the last crumb of bread,
without turning
or needing a thing
tiny feet
hurry away.

We never know
where your eyes will open next.

Once slipped
from antiqued pages
the note falls,
yet the book of your body
does not miss the words
of your life.

Nelson before you go
tell me a story.
Please don't say a word.
Let me sit in the chair by the bed
the room filling with lightning bugs, moths,
an old eagle.

The rattler’s tail shivers
and drums in the distance.

You let go of us
as your breath seems to be something we need
more than you do.

You stand with the sheet around your shadow
burned by a soft light
as with all good ghosts

gone while the getting is good.

by T.L. Stokes

c2013 T.L. Stokes (all rights reserved)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Environmentally Critical Land - Seattle Department of Planning & Development

Invitation to Beauty and a Warning

A tree stands on the edge of a gentle park-like parcel
of land, across the street a swamp full of brush, water
and trees (one of those special places wildlife loves)
points outward toward Union Bay.

When we arrive, I stand on a sidewalk catching my
first glimpse of a well-established eagle nest in a tall tree.
Within minutes a bald eagle flies in from the waterfront
and lands nearby, immediately opening its wings to dry.
It moves to another tree as if to find a little more sunlight
behind the gray overcast sky. Soon it flies to the nest tree
perching near the very top, again opening its wings,
as if in prayer.

About half of the nest has recently fallen part way down the tree.
A local resident said there have been no big wind storms lately.

This time of year as eagles return to their nests, they will begin
bringing courtship gifts of large and small sticks and together rebuild
and strengthen the nest to be ready for egg-laying the coming year.

This parcel of beautiful land is in the review stages for a full
subdivision into 82 parcels, platting of new streets, and adding
126,500 cubic yards for grading. This is the sign posted at the
entrance where there is a new gate and fencing.

Seattle Department of Planning and Development is conducting
an environmental review.The comment period ended 12/15/13
but may be extended to 12/29/13.This is considered an
environmentally critical area. You can contact Seattle
Dept of Planning and Development at (206) 684-8467
or email PRC@Seattle.gov.

As we looked over the sweep of grassy fields, small ponds and
trees, there was an abundance of smaller birds in trees and bushes.
The bald eagle flew from the nest tree out over the swamp toward
Union Bay. More stories to come!