written for a friend’s fiftieth birthday, twelve years ago:

Down, down below leaf and blade
blade and twig and water, stone
stone and mantle in the dark
dark so dark light turns alone
light that turns the strength of suns
though your body be the light
stuff from stars, the quickening slowed
word and love make light and fire
son and daughter of earth and stone
blade and twig, water and star
and air, the breathe, the wind, the word
stuff of stars shine through your skin
your hair the sun, the stars your bone
moon your daughter pulling water
life of fire, blood of stone.

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