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The Eagle's Gift

(after a drumming class with B. Brunton and S. Geske)


I could tell he was an old man by looking at this skin.
It was dried, brown, cracked and full of lines, he looked not like my kin.
And on his buckskin shirt an eagle soared, wide wings, graceful and proud,
A feather growing in his long thin hair, his name was Thundercloud.

As I sat down, he didn't turn, but spoke when I was still.
His aged voice sent shivers down my spin, and filled me with a chill.
An eagle told him I'd be coming soon and he know I was the one.
And now that I was finally here, he was glad that I had come.

I heard him tell me ‘bout my life, the things he could not know.
‘Bout my dreams, fears, loves and boyhood life; my tears began to flow.
He said an eagle flew him by his hair, up to the midnight sun,
To smoke the pipe, and be aware, to hear the ancient one.

The dancers then called Thundercloud and helped him to his feet.
His fragile frame seemed to come alive as he heard the drummers beat.
He shrugged off all his earthly aches while feet pounded prairie sod.
His voice, once weak, now echoed strong, I listened and I was awed. As he sang

"I am the Eagle, I am the Sky, I am the Water, I am the Eye,
I am the Being we all see through, I am the Eagle that's flying in you."

The dancers helped him to his place as drumbeats slowly died.
His frail old frame and aches returned, but his body still held pride.
His eyes snapped fire like nighttime cinders, as he finally looked at me.
He said he'd danced the eagle one last time and now he'll go home free.

The feathers that he offered me, he said would be my inner guide.
They'd flythrough fish net water dreams and take me on a ride.
They'd take me deep into a world, one that I did not know.
He said I should dance and sing this song; ‘cause an Eagle told him so. Then he said

"There comes a time in living when we all must stop and die.
There comes a time in dying that we all will learn to fly.
The sky is holy, so's the earth, a mother to us all.
Can you hear the Eagle's voice my song, I can hear our mothers call." Now I sing

I am the Eagle, I an the Sky, I am the Water, I am the Eye,
I am the Being we all see through, I am the Eagle that's flying in you."

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