Visiting Eagles

Eagle from Tiger’s Book, “Walk in Beauty”

Prologue

The wings of speckled rust
soft under hand
the neck sinewy safe,
we soared above the clouds,
I could not look down
the air so cold
against my skin,
hard to breathe
air felt thin
vertigo swirled,
I blinked
myopia gone,
I could see the ground
between the clouds
and mice in meadows
scurrying between
blades of grass.

Act 1

Silky trunk five stories high,
Eucalyptus Citriodora,
cyclone danger
could crush the house
but so majestic,
trajectory calculated,
decision made,
Citriodora stays…

Act 11

Haliaeetus leucogaster,
eagle of the sea
came flying in
with two unsteady chicks,
tail feathers not quite grown.
They circled thrice
and landed in our gum tree
shortly after dawn.
I felt her mind brush mine
as she looked at me
I felt her thoughts
ask me to watch her chicks
and keep harm away.

I was afraid
the chicks would fall
from such a dizzy height
she reassured me
they would not.
I went inside
told my little ones
of our honoured guests.
They came and looked
then went to school
with lots to tell.

Our hens stayed
in the hen-house
all that day,
our cats gingerly crept
through the bushes
looking for lizards.

And I just sat and sat
under the Mango tree.
The chicks looked at me
and I looked back at them,
I tried thinking loudly
to let them know I was on guard
then thoughts washed away,
they knew and I knew,
they snuggled together
and dozed for a while.

Every now and again
they would stretch
out their wings and their feet
showing me the soft down
in their vulnerable wing-pits.

I lay down on the earth
to rest my neck
getting fatigued
from being cricked back,
first I lay supine
then prone with my chin
on my hands,
occasionally I would stretch
watching the chicks
atop a five story tree.

Each time I felt worried
that a chick would fall
reassurance gently
brushed my mind.

Act III

My children came home from school
and sat with me under the tree
watching, just watching,
we whispered of love
and the greatness of eagles
and stupidity of man,
of obscene fashions stealing furs,
of hats adorned
with Osprey feathers.

We watched over the chicks
marveling at our luck.
Together we saw
the mother soar
circling back
cackling now
that all is well.

Epilogue

When the eagles left,
we found a little feather of down.

This poem was inspired by my memory of a dream and a subsequent  actual eagle visit when I was living in North Queensland. To see photos of the eagle please visit: http://rainforest-australia.com/White-bellied_Sea-Eagle.htm. The memories were  triggered by a conversation with Tiger Windwalker in which he urged me to write about my encounters with eagles. He most generously let me use his drawing of an eagle from his book “Walk in Beauty”




Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Visiting Eagles

  1. I think we share a lot of things, Marousia.

    I was a painter of birds of prey for years back in the 90’s and an apprentice falconer. Sea Eagles are my all time favorite….so beautiful!

    I have a painting on my blog…under the last posting…of a Sea Eagle….

    Blessings, Marousia, this is very, very resonant.

    Lady Nyo

  2. this was extremely beautiful – loved the mango tree and esp. these lines..
    My children came home from school
    and sat with me under the tree
    watching, just watching,
    we whispered of love
    and the greatness of eagles
    and stupidity of man..

    really enjoyed the read marousia

  3. Hello Marsha

    First thing in my mind when reading your tweet and this poem was: oh, i have to reread it in a quiet moment to give the impression the right space. So I chose to settle myself in the Hotel California – such a lovely place.
    And a small part of the lyrics:

    Last thing I remember, I was
    Running for the door
    I had to find the passage back
    To the place I was before

    Your sketches of this extraordinary experience and dream, where reality and fiction are married, is of a great beauty. It tells us why we have to preserve nature given to us. It tells us what to learn and how to behave. Your poetic picture has a place in my album. Your eagles have come home.!

Please leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s