Friday, July 17, 2015

Eldorado Kite

The great bird lifts from my hand
drawn to the sun
on Your breath.
I tug on the string,
trying to drag it down,
forgetting what You taught me:
the falcon longs for the wrist of the King.

This strange wind is too strong for me.
I am rising with the bird
above all that is fenced in,
urgent to cut the cord.
My tame self panics.
It wants to hide among limits and shadows
where air does not move like this,
in animate waves of intent.

Something falls like a worn-out coat
and Your breath blows me as a sail
across oceans of sky
to my home in Your heart
where falcon and falconer are one.

Poems do not require explanations, but I want to tell the story of this one, which is a story of growing a vision for someone in need of a vision.
    I was staying with a generous man who was near death. I had sought various ways to offer help and return his hospitality. I had found a quartzite rock shaped exactly and naturally like the head of a bear and brought it to him as a possible agent of healing.
    But Death was getting ready to take him. He knew that in his body, in his dreams and in the behavior of the ravens that were always around his adobe house in the Southwest.
    I walked the neighborhood, grieving and searching for something to offer that might help him prepare for the Big journey. I saw a hawk overhead, a good sign for me. Coming closer, I saw it was a hawk-shaped kite, so well made you could easily mistake the semblance for the real thing. The kite soared aloft. It had escaped the hand or the pole that had held it.
    What a beautiful metaphor for a soul rising from the body, lifting towards the heavens.
    I wrote the poem for my friend and read it to him at his bedside. He was especially moved by the words about a "strange wind" and air moving differently, and had me read them again. Then, with his failing voice, he read the poem back to me.
    I like to picture him rising, at death, like a falcon that has slipped the leash, to return to the wrist of the Great Falconer above. 

"Eldorado Kite" is in my collection, Here, Everything is Dreaming: Poems and Stories. Published by Excelsior Editions.


Gemini Spirit said...

What a touching post. As I read this, I could see this beautiful soul soaring high above. Free and Happy. Thank you for sharing. <3

Ruby White

Patricia said...

Love this moving story Robert. Wonderful: the worn-out coat falls, "Your breath blows me as a sail across oceans of sky" ... to my home where falcon and falconer are one. This reminds me to continue to actively listen up and search for what will lighten my mother on her painful long journey home.