I never saw a bald headed eagle until I was 35.
Tiny took me out to the high hills of western Mass.,
and we watched them ride the currents in his secret, sacred place.
Tiny. Owner of The Blue Plate.
A bar for blue collars, ex-hippies and musicians.
A place for beer and burgers, poetry and smokes.
Tiny, wielding his poundage with grace,
serving up fries and Dos XX with a smile.
Making everyone feel right.
Tiny. Once a body guard for the Dalai Lama.
He told me his life of sobriety began
when he – in his car – dangled from tree tops.
Didn’t know how he got there.
Never said how he made it down.
He learned to focus on his breath, chant the name of the beloved.
Tiny, dancing each step as a big wise bear,
his heart dripping sweet honey of love.
I moved a thousand miles away, but I heard that heart expired.
I see you now most everyday.
Near Mud Lake a mile to the south,
hunkered high in barren branches,
soaring above the curve of Crow River to the north,
swooping down for bright red flesh of road kill,
window shopping for fish on a frozen Howard Lake.
I see you and each time I worship,
overcome by your fierce grace.
Here’s to Tiny. Never taking you for granted.