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For Robert Graves, died 7th December 1985


If our women's prayers

Can help him cross that difficult threshold

Let us give him our prayer


If our women's strength

Will support him, stumbling, down the dark corridors

Let us give him our strength


If he has forgotten the music

Or can hear only a faint echo coming from no place he can find

Let us sing him the music


Who opened doors for us, cleared the threshold,

Lit the corridors, sounded Her music,

Swept the strings of Her lyre for us,


Who cleared shit and bramble for Her,

Who shouted for Her in the darkness,

Who swam in the reeds and currents and found lost pearls and gave them to us.


May he carry our voices as offerings

And may She, may She, smiling,

Ponder, and hearing, turn;

And, light as a feather,

Flick open the gate.


© Asphodel P. Long(Wood and Water 17, Spring 1986)

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