BREATHY FLUTE


The body is a flute.
Sans breath tis aught but a tube with holes.
With breath it has a voice,
a timbre,
a cadence,
an arc,
a persona.

Only when breath flows do we live,
and yet breath is not of us.
It is of the world:
it passes thru and goes on.

Breath is the river and the tide,
the current and the orbit,
a motion more stable than stillness.

As long as the breath flows thru it,
an animal is alive, a complex system.
When the last breath goes out,
the animal dissolves back into elements.
While it lives, the animal knows the sweet and the bitter,
the sour, the salty, the pungent, the meaty.
When it dies, it is food for others,
that they may taste life.

Breath will show you wonders:
One day, a bright, shiny frog.
Another time, a cloud, holy in its bath of light.
Here, the words of a stranger passing.
There, a skeleton’s shadow.