These master bristlecones snake their roots
cleaving the gneiss; when they die,
fire and ice, wind and sand sculpt their bodies
into hawks and dragons to observe the sky
tumbling through the centuries.

May the thunderbolts seized in the burls
of these ageless ones implant the ever-charging
spark to curl and blossom up your spine—
my friend, among friends,
     among mountains.


                                             Tahosa Valley, Colorado