New poem: breath is the true measure

breath is the true measure

forget the heart
is the true measure.

the heart ceaselessly beats its pomegranate drum
inside the cage

breath is ever inside and out
a lilting exchange
transforming from the universal
to the personal and back again
rise and fall

breath is all –

polarity, binary, duality, dichotomy.

invisible and visible everywhere:
in the dancing approach and roiling withdrawal of a wave
in the susurration of papery flying things
in the heaving of the chest

wind god’s own breath
making merry with the air

tempo, meter, cadence, couplet.

such a quiet punctuation of moments
instrument of time
in defiance of infinity

how is breath measured?
in breath, out breath –
what is one breath?
and what is one breath made of?

breathe in/breathe out//waking/slumber//day/night//dark/light

each breath a birth
each breath a death

the start the end being again



somewhere tallied is the total
of breaths taken
your true age
when this ride in the body is over
the taken breaths will
be returned.

total breaths taken
a grand number for many,
though some fail to draw even one.
forgive him – he’s only a million breaths old.

a prefect swinging anchor for every moment
filament for voice
source for song, for prayer, for poetry.


try not to breathe.
birth scream to death rattle
in one circuit.

the fleshy bellows play the song outside of language
the meaning ever known :

everything is eternal but the body.


~ by 15wattLasVegas on February 6, 2014.

3 Responses to “New poem: breath is the true measure”

  1. I really liked this! Well written, I look forward to future posts!

  2. Jonathan, I really love this one – very intense and beautiful… oh!! I breath hard after this one… (…sight and then a big smile…)
    For more to come…

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