Poem: What You Breathe

What You Breathe

The papers have been shuffled off the desk,
placed in folders and drawers, or thrown away.
There is brown space now, empty space
for something new. Clutter always grows anew.

But not for now. For now you are what you are
at your core. A simple thing. A simple mind. A simple life.

Battles for breakfast.
A few themes, the same ones over and over again,
bubble up. Monotonous for some, comforting to you,
the onion peeled back. Years of peeling,
Who would have thought it would take so long
to uncover most of your demons, give them names
and teach them how to dance?

Battles for breakfast, then you leave them behind.
Your mind empty again, able to see blessings and bad
for what they are. Things to savor. To push through,
To celebrate your ability to see and make it work
for you and others, to peel back other onions without tears.

You sit at your keyboard. There are poems to write.
Never mind the simplicity of it all. The limit of themes
or causes. You have no need to save the world any longer.
You are content to love. At times, even yourself.
To listen. To become a shape shifter, speaking five languages
if not fluently, at least with gusto.

Others can have the complexity.
Let them pretend they are wizards,
complete with magic elixirs
and the secrets of centuries in their spell book.

Not you. You know in the end
it is all about what you breathe in,
and what you breathe out.

About this poem.

Truth is, the whole poem is in the last three lines. But I so enjoyed writing the rest of it I could not part with it.

The five languages refers to the book “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. A book I think should be required reading of everyone in the human race.

The picture is of my desk at home.


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