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,

breathless,

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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