Eagle Echo

far above circles eagled eyes
wings lap air, seeking truth. any truth

upon a field of reddening snow
spired spears of fir stand vigil to the now dead
fallen they lay, remorseless in their rest

wind listens to their whispered secrets and repeats
although there are none remaining whom to tell

blackened clouds descend, beating silence with cacophony and ca-caws
ravenous beaks pluck at whatever of this story lingers

circling aloft, somewhere between hell and heaven
eagle watches this story, writ in men, disappear into gulps

where has the melody it once chased gone, when it was sparrow
and morning rose up to greet it in glorious birth of song

now all descends out of light and into shadows
robin-egg azure has molted into a flock of carmine shades

as one battleground fades away below
above the horizon the oldest battle rolls into reveal

telling of when Crow, hungry to return to youth, ate all of time
and Eagle, enraged that all glory in battle was beyond recall
fought as only siblings could for eons beyond count

till both dying, fell to cover all the heavens in their blackness
only their mortal wounds now let in the All Mother’s light

more eons past till her light seeped out and found root once again
in moon and sun, and birds descended upon waiting boughs

and saw the world once again, albeit diminished deeply
all former glory gone, all song muted
and all but the simplest melodies remained

there is no more sound below to hear
no hearts to beat out a rhythm except for a fools’ march now ended

eagle turns now away from below’s fugue
just as it had when it was once a human boy

when instead of toiling toward manhood, war, and glory
choose differently, and instead perched on oak as child sparrow

singing one note upon another note. a simple tune forgotten,
one so much different than the below silence which now echoes

Sparrow Story

I first published the below on my personal Facebook page back on December 24, 2016.  I wrote it on the way from Wenatchee to our home while Marit drove.

It is, I imagine, the start of a story, as it were. In my respites I have in my mind a recurring theme of light and sound seen through a hazy summer day.  A hollowed home, more transparent than real.  I can see through the house’s very walls to a gorge and forest slumbering.  There is no one in my world at the moment other than myself.  There is no loneliness, just recognition that it merely me and the sound of sparrows outside.

I know it is of my childhood, but I also know it is something entirely different, too.  Two worlds.  One of this stuff, this reality all solid and firm.  And another where permanence is rare and uncommon, and where a young child’s thoughts can shape the landscape as subtly as rain falling on mountains, or as cataclysmically the very mountains erupting.

In the cryless void, clear and indifferent, I hear his voice’s echoes
Somewhere in recesses lost to childhood

Under bountied boughs and dappling foliage lay gilt gleaming
A boon of treasured stories and things hidden
Folded between dogged ear pages made of earth and sky

Innocence slumbering awakes and faces softly upward
Billowed clouds brush stroked over robin egg blues

Dipping and diving and darting and dodging tree limbs and shadows
Once boy now sparrow, flies ladenless of all his someday future selfs

He flutters up till resting on old man oak’s extended finger
Looking outward onto a land ladled from nursery rhymed sutras

What song shall he sing as accompaniment to a grand melody
But to which is he one solitary note