Breathe In

Like squeezing oxygen from water
He breathes in life’s subtleties
painfully; ever-arching, the
gray whales breach their existence,
magnificent and daunting,
beautiful in their brutishness–
more powerful than eons
of erosion slicing deftly, but slowly
into the canyons or our lives.

Wade deeply into icy waters
and as the cold sneaks beneath your skin
your organs slow but don’t stop,
turn then, and look back onto the welcome shore
from where ebbing waters slid so peacefully
along, luring like the Lorelei of old
you to enter with only your skin to save you.
Then think again about your
misery today. and tell me,
is it really always going to be this way?

Speak, then breathe, then write away
your angst, release your befuddled bellowing
Into earth’s atmosphere
compose a poem of great calamity as great as
wars and famines or silly things
like Sendak verse or Lennon tunes–
and see what comes from that.
Perhaps another breath of air;
another chance to feel despair
or better yet, a little peace that makes the night
light up.

If nothing else, just simply breathe
so that when the breath no longer comes
there’s no regret for living life
in ways that make you wish anew–
for one more breath,
one more chance
to breathe in ocean scents
and morning dew.
If you can breathe for that,
I will breathe for you.

Breathing in at sunset near Mendocino
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