such that the moment

The truth is 
such that the moment 
we turn our 
backs on it 
it ceases to be the truth
that we thought it was.

The truth is 
such that the moment
we take our 
next breath it 
changes and it changes the 
breath that we just took.

Shadorma November, Day 6 (seven days late....)
(...or does that make it six?...)

Between Beginnings

This very moment, as you take in a breath 
to speak the next line or just to whisper it 
or just to sigh a little, a girl is letting out all 
of the breath in her lungs for the very last 
time as the building around her collapses.

A man who is really just a boy is
holding his breath without realizing it 
because he cannot grasp the fear that 
he feels as he starts to pull the trigger.

He has no words for what he feels
and she has no time to make words.

And me? I am still 
breathing in.

(I wish, on this day, to remind myself that what was for us an extreme punctuation to 
our otherwise and comparatively serene lives is in fact a fact of life--yearly, monthly, 
weekly, daily--the substance of the narrative--for so many people in so many places.)

(This is, in a sense, a follow-up to this post, many years on)

This poem first appeared on my friend Jeremy Nathan Marks' project,
Poetry of the Resistance.

Tympanum, a cinquain sonnet

Sharp sounds 
impact only 
the thin skin of this drum, 
this timpanum, and then bounce like 

music of this 
cave, plucking the threads of 
this skein.  They will have no other 

In this chamber, their soft timbres,
their reverberations 
and distortions  
are breath.


the breath comes in 
through the nose,
a wave, washing,
takes the mind with it,
rolls in and
lifts the head like helium

and the head is let go
for the breath

goes through the chest,
follows the spine,
expanding as it goes,
past the pumping of the heart

and the heart is let go
for the breath

goes, pulled down by the 
the belly, the body’s center of
gravity, grows 
very warm
very slowly
near, below 
the stomach
‘midst the twists and
turns of now minded, 
mindful and embered guts
and the mind goes with it

the mind is let go
for the breath

goes and grows the whole
abdomen, front, back, top, sides and
yes, down 
to the colon

the whole is let go
for the breath

grows, roots
into the earth 

the earth is let go
for the breath


My response to Panda's Prompt: (all those other prompts were SO last year....yes, 
I waited just so I could say that  ;-))
"The challenge is to write a poem about a journey through the human body as metaphor.
You must mention at least the bum or colon, stomach, chest, heart and head – and other 
bits if you like.  It can’t just be a description of the bits, but otherwise, make free!"