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The Boat

Breath is the sail

lifting limbs upward

outward, onward.


Deep, deliberate breath rushes

into spaces where life has been forgotten.

And lungs, shoulders, heart feel

the light of day once again.


Gravity’s pull gone as ribs and pelvis gone

their separate ways.

Stretching like an upturned smile, the body

celebrates newfound freedom.


The earthy feel of pubis and inner thigh

pressed to the floor—

not only grounding but

soothing, sensual

pleasing and private.


Breathing, extending

as far, as high, and as long

as the body is willing to go.

We stay…we sail…the body and me.


One more deep breath held within

the cage of bones, then

the wind dies down and the boat

settles on the shore.

Unwound muscles spread…

a glorious puddle on the floor.


In the midst of letting go,

release begins.

Up from caverns deep and heavy,

somewhere inside the gut, the root,

squeezing always upward,

the primal press

swiftly passing belly, heart

pushing through open throat.

Unconstrained, it rushes

out from slacked mouth--

part growl, part moan,

part war cry.


I know this sound.

It is the world.

It is my mind.

The grinding agony of life as is,

of a world in ignorance of the love

that is held within these bones,

muscles, heart, belly.


Realization comes…

I am not immune,

I am also this world.

Every moment not awake

Is spent sleepwalking.


Thought comes….

I know better.

Humanity knows better--

For God’s sake, a baby knows better!


I am that baby now, resting

on my mother the earth--

breast to breast, belly to belly,

face to one side.

I am temporarily sated with

the scent of release.


A bit acrid

But sweet, nonetheless.


2003


Qi Gong especially for the energy of this poem:








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