When the Cranes Come


(Cranes calling my name)



I remember the day he was born


Nothing but winter gray…


That night a pearl


white moon blossom


rose full and round


And the deer lay down


in the shadow of a towering tree…



He was taken from me.



I wondered then


About Peace,


If it would ever come


If pain would lift to the sky.



A lifetime later


my heaped up heart leaps


when the cranes


rise up from the river


singing songs so full of love


and joyful community


that haunting cries


and soul flight


heal what’s broken.




Pueblo people say that humans were once Cranes who lived in the clouds… they came to earth and danced for joy in the rain… Cranes watched over Ceremony, also acting as Guardians for the People easing transitions from life to death and beyond….


To this day Crane dances are part of Indigenous rituals…


The lives/migrations of Cranes speak to the powers of Love on a level that humans can barely comprehend…


Yesterday I found a Zuni prayer that speaks to the powers of these birds, revered throughout the world; Cranes move us towards that Love.


I offer this prayer to a deeply troubled world on Valentines day this year….


“When our Earth Mother

is replete with living waters,

When spring comes

The source of our flesh –

All the different kinds of corn

We shall lay to rest in the ground.


With their Earth Mother’s

Living waters,

They will be made into

New Beings…


That our Earth Mother

May wear a fourfold green robe

Full of moss

Full of flowers

Full of pollen,


That the land may be thus

(S/he has made you)

I have made you into living beings.



I no sooner finish these words when I hear a joyful cacophony outside my adobe (which mutes most sound) and run to open the door… The cranes are crying out with such exuberance that I am forced once again to witness how writing about a non – human species with deep feeling brings them in. We are bound by a love that literally passes all understanding. I know, that they know I love them…And this, is enough.