Yesterday, Sunday — at the soft
breaking of greydawn,
merging out over the bay,
the waters shuffling the mottled stormlight,
there was a great wind (coming southwest), blistering
over the grasses, stones and trees below,
on Decatur Island, where I live — sometimes.

And it was grey and cold. And dark, in the morning.
I went out to wander in the shifting wind.
And there high in the branches before me,
were four eagles: two adults, two immatures,
each — with their feathers curling in
the raging wind and cold — rain coming: like splinters.

And eagles look at you, head on. Or sideways.
And they looked at me, all of them, in the wildstorm
and then gazed back, out over the water and the waves.
That was enough of me, there was soaring to do:
and off they took, each into the air.

Perhaps it was a lesson, as they studied eachother.

One great bird would go up, ripped off the tree, shooting straight up
in the roaring greywind; islands off there, lost in the mist
coming in. And it would soar away — as the others looked on.

And it was gone. Then another, shot straight on the bow of the
stormwind carrying it away, a bolt of black and white – up.
And in the wind, you could hear, like the ruffling of the sails, drawn taut
in the gusting: feathers, crackling — snapping like canvas.

And each was dirty with the saltspray and the wet, white headed — or
mottled in their youth, black winged. And crows came by, to shout
out their displeasure: get off this tree!

And then, in the searing rain and windwhip, the sun
exploded out of the blue, and there, water dripping off their
wings and greatbeaks, they all lifted off, a chorus of grand wings
and hanging talons — flying off, the vermillion barked madronas.

And, for a moment, I felt the water from their wings on my face, like
slung from a sailsheet, as they took off: spattering me. They,
spirits on wing — away, over the rippling of the deep green sea.

Tim Girvin