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Posts Tagged ‘breath’




In this deep sea of grief,
it is hard to trust
my own buoyancy—
great waves break on me,
take my breath away,
I’m submerged by loss,
yet with so little effort
I rise. Just by being alive,
I rise. So I splutter.
So I’m graceless.
So I cannot see the shore.
But my friend reminds me,
there’s no way
that I can do this wrong.
So I let myself be carried
by currents unknown,
and each time I breathe—
I feel myself rise.
With so little effort,
I rise.

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I wish you the peace of sleep,
your breath a canoe
that carries you
toward the next moment
without any need
for you to touch the oars.
How easily you arrive.

Oh, to trust the world like that—
trust you will be carried,
not just in sleep,
but in waking dreams,
trust no matter how high the waves,
the skiff of grace
has a seat for you.
And oh, to let go of the oars—
there is no steering
toward what comes next.

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One Distant



across the world
sleep holds you—
wide awake
I listen for the sound
of your breath

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Identity Check




When they asked
for my identity card
I looked in my purse
and found someone else’s.
And someone else’s.
And someone else’s.
But not mine.
But it’s me, I said.
I turned to my friends
so they could vouch for me,
but their word was not enough
to prove I was myself.
When I woke,
I leaned deeper
into my being, my breath
giving me what no card,
no word could do.
Even the flesh is a trick.
Oh, how the morning shines.

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Pneumonia

 

            —for A

 

 

And if I could, I would breathe for you.

I would inhale and exhale and hold

your breath for you. For you I would

sigh and rant, I would hack and pant,

I would be your lungs if I could. I would

ease this ache, I would carry this pain,

I would take away fear, I would be

the wind, the wild mesa wind,

the late April wind that blows change

into all we thought we knew

and rearranges the meaning of here.

No one could ever speak for you.

But I would breathe for you, friend.

Please, breathe, please keep breathing.

I need you to breathe for you, breathe

for me, please, friend. I wish I could

breathe for you, breathe for you.

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Longing to Help

 

 

The world enters

us as breath. We

return to it itself

as breath.

            —Joseph Hutchison, “Comfort Food: Breath”

 

 

And so today, on a day

when I feel quite sure

I can’t give you anything,

not anything that really matters,

I give you my breath.

It’s more conceptual

than actual, perhaps,

though scientists say

that the molecules we breathe

have been redistributed

in our atmosphere

for a century or two.

I decide to breathe as if.

As if with each breath,

I connect to you. As if

with each breath, we

become just a little

more each other

one molecule at a time.

 

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Someday I’ll prefer to sit, to sit

and breathe and think or not think

and sit. But now, now when

the high mountains sing with snow

and the snowcat has groomed

a path through the nowhere of spruce

and the sky is a winnowing blue

that makes me unknow my name,

yes, now is the moment to slip deeper

into the self of myself

and snap skis on my feet

and let the day slap a smile on my face

that I could not possibly unsmile,

because for now, there is

this burn in the lungs, this wind

in the face, this spilling of laughter,

this joy in stride and push and glide,

this thrill in losing the breath.

 

 

 

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The sound of your breath is the quietest of songs.

—Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

 

 

Maybe on that day

when we think, I forgot

to sing, that’s when we

realize that all day long

we harmonized with the world

in the quietest of songs—

joined in without any effort,

no striving at all,

and maybe that is the day

when we stop trying

to be heard and start

to notice the song

inside every other song,

the song inside every other being,

how perfectly in tune we are,

how easily we join—no conductor,

no notes, no beat, just one perfect

air. Maybe that’s the day we hear

the metronome of our own

steady heart and say to it,

I will trust you, feel the truth

of the song as it slips

from our lips, then

rushes in to fill us again.

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One Entering

in the breath, a back door,

in the door, a lock, in the lock

a catch, in the catch, your name

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       after an idea planted by Gabrielle Louise

 

 

 

it never works

this trying to exhale and inhale

at the same time

 

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