breath listening

Poem: Form, Formlessness

My one small life is formed
from more than a hundred million breaths.
In, out

I am still breathing.
Even as I count the only breath
is now.

This heart that is
my only heart pulses
without a break thousands of times a day
whether I am grateful or not.

Thank you heart.
Thank you breath.

Songbirds ecstatic,
clouds swirl like feathers.
Multiplying cell by cell
I dissolve.

Gratitude is nothing,
a breath nothing you can keep.
Neither a heartbeat.
Neither this moment, formless

more powerful than all
our lives. In one
fleeting sigh a simple feeling
washes through me.
Hello Love,
I recognize your face.

By Janet Aalfs

Janet Aalfs is the poet laureate of Northampton, MA (2003-2005) and the director/ head instructor of Valley Women’s Martial Arts, Inc. She pays attention to her breath in everything she does.

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