To Breathe

(inspired by Tim Winton’s novel, Breath)

From the moment of birth,

that millisecond

between foetal and born,

we breathe


Inhale, exhale,

day, night, day,

till the last sigh


This steady, instinctive rhythm,

like our heartbeat,

it defines life,

in air in and air out


Excitement measured in its rush,

lethargy in its slowness,

entropy ensured for life


We can train it,

enhance its capacity,

stretch beyond the ordinary


We can stifle it

in self-destructive acts

and demean its significance


We hold our breath

against the sharp edges

of anticipation and trepidation


Or submerge

into the blueness

until bubbles escape

and rise again

to the surface


There are moments,

seconds in a life,

when your breath is taken away,


you ponder beauty, fear, the glorious


We can lie sleepless

and match our breath

to whom lies near,

calm ourselves

with the duet rhythm

and unite in rest



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