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Petit 25

Even dying, your snakelike trunk coils, encircling the earth, while in your lonely heights force-ten gales howl. Your power is supernatural – only the Change-Maker keeps you upright. If a vast hall should collapse and need new rafters, the ten thousand oxen yoked to drag you would turn and marvel at their mountainous load. No carpenter could improve you since you already stun the world though you have not yet reached your full girth. Nothing could stop them felling you but who could wield the axe? While phoenixes roost in your aromatic leaves your bitter heart is riddled with termites. Abandoned peoples, however neglected you feel, don’t despair – the greatest timber is always last to be used.

Machapuchere (Fishtail Mountain)

Waking in the Remember Lodge, I throw a glacier-cloak over my nightie, shock myself awake

to find Fishtail silhouetted against the night. Machapuchere the unclimbable, ally of shamans

who hang spirit-traps over the rope bridge to protect their children’s school from hail and avalanche,

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