I dreamt I saw an eagle fall,
And when he landed, heard him call,
“Weep not for me, for I’m a flyer,
My dreaming calls me ever higher.”
I laid him down on grass so soft,
This brave young seeker from aloft.
Looking upwards to the the sky,
I held him gently, asking, “Why?”
I thought it safer, close to ground?
Than soaring high, where clouds abound,
Might not the lightning strike your wings?
I wonder why you do these things?
He slowly turned to me and said,
“You’ve never walked on ground untread?"
For this my friend, has been my task,
And now I’ll answer what you ask.
When first I flew some years ago,
My father took me up to show
A place where eagles never lifted,
A place where clouds had never drifted.
And as we flew, my feathers grasping
Air so thin my breath was rasping,
I stared above, with humbled feeling,
And gazed with awe on heaven’s ceiling.
Is this as high as we’re to go?
We mortal creatures from below.
Just then he called me, as we parted,
“It’s higher now, than when I started.”
And then I knew as not before,
The highest place that eagles soar.
And star-surrounded, I did say
A prayer for those who showed the way.
I know not why my wings have failed,
And thinking downward as I sailed,
In all the years that I’ve been flying,
The best of all was in the trying.
So leave me here among the clover,
For in the quest my part is over.
Fear not, my friend, for dreams endure,
For eagles coming, of this I’m sure.
by Patrick J. Phillips
I Dream Of Eagles
(Written in honor of STS-51 & the shuttle Challenger)