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Dust to dust they intone

Out of clay they say

From earth you came,

and to earth you will return they admonish.

They remind us we are human

and subject to death yet insist on their eternals.

Demons and angels, paradise or purgatory,

merely human with a finite number of days.

But we have exploded as novas.

Burned through countless galaxies,

danced on the edge of asteroids, rode on the tail of comets

Until in a dizzy frenzy of passion, we fell through the viscous ozone

passed cooling clouds to settle on the ocean floor.

It was there that we grew arms and tongue,

all the while remembering our origins.

Calcium, magnesium, iron…

We are the stuff that stars are made of.

It’s a scientific fact, a cosmic truth.

We hold grades of the divine inside ourselves and we always have.


We are stardust.

Devorah Major
San Francisco Poet Laureate

I Am San Francisco Exhbition c. 2016 Jarrel Phillips