To free the sun

The eagle soars into turquoise and indigo

catching gold on white tipped feathers

in cadence of wind and stillnesses

singing and swooping with currents and storms

alone, the far-seer, sky dancer.

sun fire dips down to serpentine underworld

and eagle descends on rose and mauve and amber light

to an eyrie for night’s long dream

head curved under wings

eagle encircled in sleep

reflecting early kinship

with those scaled and coiled beings

who swallow the sun in their tangled trap

while the lost world waits in darkness and dream;

and in dreamworlds gods and goddesses

beat the pulse of prayer

dancing near smaller fires

drumming toward greater light

creating song from cries of loss

fanning the glowing ember of the heart

praising color:

green of growth, gold of maize

soft rich browns of deer and earth

rainbow prisms of mist and sun

and riotous spring anemonies

tangerine and sienna of autumn’s burnt lemon death

after summer’s blue heat

and the white quiet in the center

of winter’s stillness

and as hope begins to flicker

in the endless dark tunnel of night

eagle dreams stir

and in sleep awaken shadow-winged predator spirits

who dive for us all

into alien elements

fathomless seas of cobalt and black

dive through the surface

along watery crescents of moon’s mirrored image

downward liquid spiral journey

and now is the need for eagle’s sharp vision:

glimpse of turbulence below

dark shapes massing and twisting

in volcanic force the sun is caught

by serpents jealous and frenzied in battle

surrounding the light;

beak and talons curve

wings pull against the tidal vortex

moving with but not surrendering

to that power

and they strike

for an endless moment hearts stop in their sleep

drums do not beat

as feathers, coils, silver fangs and claws

embrace in the death of our dreams;

and in that moment the sun is freed

and begins to float luminous

toward that thin membrane where sea and sky meet

leaving an image of frozen fury far below

and finally, bursting through

with the fragile sound of silence and color

dawn is borne up on wings of light

life stirs

light stirs us all

and an eagle soars toward the sun

on the sighs of our awakening

Poem by Josie Tamarin

Published in “The Way Of The Shaman” by Michael Harner


  1. It’s so much easier when you bite each other.

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