Monday, May 22, 2006


I’m working on breathing
Breath has the power
To power my words
Give life to my thoughts
Transform awkward impulse to song

Singing teacher says
“Fill the belly. Support your notes. Breathe strong. Breathe control.”
But I can’t tell,
Will I ever find enough air
To express the breadth of
Whatever this is
Ballooning to bursting

Or will I suffocate
Before I can expel the truth?
And upon collapsing
Reveal an emptiness that will
Rob all oxygen from the atmosphere
Deprive those I love the best
Of the breath they need
To sustain their own songs?

I’m floundering
It should be wet here
Instead, I’m drowning in my car
Windows cranked tight
I saturate myself with sound
Race from one idea to another
Windows closed tight
But music leaks
Leaves a trail behind me

The music that fills my chest with something good for now
Numbs me to the knowledge
That most of these thoughts are harmful
Toxic if inhaled and held for too long
Music that leaks
Despite windows closed tight
Leaks like sweet marinade
Follow me
Follow me

Singing teacher says
“When you have learned the breathing
The song is the same
Going out
Coming in
It’s one fluid exchange”

It should be wet here
I’m driving in a snow globe without a bubble
My ears are full so I can’t tell
Are you there?
Bring me air
Resuscitate me
We will drive and drive and drive
Like breath
We disappear.

mompoet - breathing


Lazy Daisy said...

Love the images and the flow of words but I got lost in the middle when you say "it should be wet in here" does that refer to breathing being one fluid exchange?

I got lost when the thoughts turned toxic? I love the snow globe image
with the bubble (totally brilliant and great word picture!)

I thought it was really uplifting till the middle and the end. What did I miss?

If this is like trying to explain Monet to a blind person please know I respect your ability to illustrate your emotions with word pictures. (even if I don't catch the transition!) Daisy

mompoet said...

This is good feedback Daisy. Thank you for the careful read. I've been trying to express the confusion of this middle part of life through some of my poems. I didn't mean it to be uplifting, so knowing that it felt happy to start is good for me to know. The experience of trying to breathe through the making-sense-of-what-is is very confusing, but I don't want my poem to be that way. I'll give your comments careful thought and see what I can do to convey it better.

Your kind of feedback is rare and valuable. The honest response of a reader is what a poet needs to hear. Thank you again.

Carol said...

I never can get the singing/breathing thing right. I have no volume, I am ashamed to admit. I too have words to say but not the right technique to get it heard.
I liked the ending of this poem. I felt like I was being asked to join in. Not sure if that is what you meant, but it sounded like the time to jump in.
Glad to read another of your poems, Kiddo.

mompoet said...

Thanks Carol, Yes please! join in! My favourite place to sing is church. I choose a pew near the choir so I can hear those good voices. It spurs me on to lift my voice up rich and full and strong with theirs. When I practise my poems I try to use the same breath control so I can make my poetry sing. Out in the world of everyday life, there are times that I feel I must speak (or sing) but I just can't. I guess the poem is about that, and about hoping for someone, or something or some aspect of myself that will make it possible.

Jo Anne Ryeburn said...

Sue, this is a very strong poem, and I like it a lot. Not that I understand everything - the reference to wetness puzzlews me. But I get a feel for how you create and are sometimes frustrated about not being able to.