Monday, May 9, 2011

the eagles and the ghosts

the eagles and the ghosts

On the high woven palace
royalty sleeps. Sun
fiddles and opens the sky.

Alexandra rises on her small legs
leaning on the breast
of her mother.

David tucks his wings
under the feather-broom.

Warmth from the burning heart
of their nest wells up
like water.

Below and around in the voicelessness
in the lower spectrum
growing stillness
they gather,

ghosts on limbs and cloud formations,
chatting about the weather,
the next low tide,

if what the fisherman caught
is a rat fish or greenling.

If crow will catch another midshipmen
for the eagle to steal.

Who's coming for mother's day.

In boxes far inland and across moving carpets
of whale fields they gather.

More and more ghosts. All varied
size and colors, some sleep while others
stand on their toes.

Guardians and watchers
learning the songs of hunger,
of love, of warning.

Something falls down. As one, they all turn
toward the crying.

They huddle and use the skills
they learned from raptors: when cold, cover,
when hungry, feed as soon as you can.

When tired, surround and rock to sleep.
Patient they wait, ghosts
know these things.

"Be still." they say. Healing
comes with time which isn't really here,
only the space between two things

you may think are disconnected.

There is a pause, a place where you can rest,
before the next beat moves toward you
like waves.

There is the night to rest after the day
of all that is happening. And rest before
night comes again. It is breath.

Balanced, on the axis, they dangle within
their globe of energy,

mingling, bumping
into each other,

loving the ocean of their existence.

Learning that even if the light is out,
and the room feels empty,

even if the one who lies so still upon
the floor, leaking life,

seems gone,

what you loved
and felt of their physical being

is still in your arms,
against your chest,

warm in the invisible light
of the spirit world.

Closer than your ears
or eyes.

Within the bird of your heart,
one with the surge
and flow.

Look, just out the window,
in the corner of your eye.
Did you see him, did you feel him?

Wait here with us. The room is full,
the couch has room for more.

Take the warm drink
of our friendship. Serve us your tears.

Even the eagles
are here on our shoulders. Nothing
is too heavy

that this love
cannot carry.

c2011 T.L.Stokes (all rights reserved)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spirit of the Teacher

Spirit of the Teacher

In the glorious day of the eagle
while the watchers danced and prayed
I asked the teacher:

Do you remember
when we talked about grief,
Norfolk happened the next day

and then we talked about balance
and the white egg cracked so its voice
could come to us,

and then we talked about Hope,
and honesty and patience,
and you taught us another thing
about the position of life

and possibility of death,
and you held onto us,
teaching in silence and words
typed into the white spaciousness
of the universe.

And you waited with us
as we played Native chants
and Enya
and prayed.

Then in the silence of the great mystery
a little life was spilled
into our eyes.

Alexandra Morton--new abundant vision
of all people--hatchling,
and now AJL you honor us
and vigilant more than most,
you count the small things
noting that all miracles

can be held and charted and
marveled over.

Above all, that these finer things
from a spirit who must love us
more than we will ever understand,
are gifts

to be shared. Teacher
in the treetops. Pointing a finger
into the darkness

for the watchers
in the woods.

for AJL

c2011 T.L.Stokes (all rights reserved)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

star on your head cloud in the eye

I open my lungs to this day
and my eyes meet yours. Can you
see the small cloud floating
like a song before the sun
of my left eye, silent,
soft, collecting colors
and edges of the world?

Another, smaller lies in the water
of the right eye, hardly named.

I try to get to know them
like neighbors, but honestly,
who knows their hunger?

All that I know, all that I want
is to open these twin suns
to what is before them. I carry
the black box of mirrors,
holding it up to the light.

Come with me, let some of your
light fall over the dark squares
of our book we clothespin to dry.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Whatever Happened to Columbus

Columbus, looking ragged by now,
sits on the rock bench at the edge
of the yard. It's Monday morning
and the sky is full of the sea.

Every tree, the sharp-leaf maple,
twisted pine, the vine in the side yard
curling and dreaming her green hair,
listen to his breathing.

It was a rough night and rain
seeped into his shadow, and
the cool October sun
tries hard from a distance
of stars to dry him out.

I want to take him coffee,
bold and sugared. Will he smile
or continue to chew on the twig
at the corner of his mouth.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Ancient Craft of the Shearer

First Cut Shearing

Sunday, August 15, 2010


The sun makes a larger name
for itself, leaks and bursts
it's burning voice toward our wet
home. Blue and usually able
to cool itself. Perhaps we look
too much like treasure.

We stay inside with all the fans spinning
jazz, windows closed, coveting
the last cool notes from
the meteor night.

I wonder about Moscow, burning steadily,
700 souls dropping daily in the haze.
Sun spreads orange wings.

We will travel to the water today,
pray with our hands and legs.
practice the fish's dance.
Fly with ghosts.

Not one moment will pass us by
without a grateful utterance.
We look to the sky under us,
see the end and beginning
of all things,

cool our cells,

hold the hand
of all people.

how movement affects all things

The world just ended yesterday.
Sea's waves folded back onto themselves,
the boat's wake forgot
where it came from.
Slowly, salted green sky
of no roots is held aloft
in the bowl of all things.
Your mother, my sky.
I wish I could tell you something
wise. Spirit welcomes us home.
Whale song, mysterious
and lovely, just keeps going
away from itself.