for her 21st birthday

As the quiet colour in the copper beech
brings more to light than extrovert green grass
or yellow wildflowers flocking over a meadow,
so Nature finds her quiet words in your speech;
and in your shade of life her light lets pass
reflection as accurate as a shadow.

And as the free play in the well-ordered boughs
asserts more boldly than a wild breaking-out
the deep responses in those cadences,
grace-notes, caught in a plan that the sky knows –
so Nature’s free, raiding your pictures’ art:
branch hangs in leaf its several silences.

Yes, in the copper tree a violin plays,
and a song fills the dark and wooden Earth
as though a birthday song. There is no reason
for the light patterns that compose the days,
the violin tunes, the grace of mind, the birth
of life in colour – just a coming-to-season

of all that’s fortunate in the well-flung leaves,
rich and dark and light in harmony.
In your free unity Nature believes…

Maia and Kelda were twin sisters I had known since early childhood. Soon after this Maia encountered a dark time, to which I made some sort of response in a few poems.

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