The Wild Breath

Today, the earth began exhaling.
All Winter, it held its breath,
Kept its fragrance to itself,
Held itself so tight, I could feel its ribs ache.
But, today, the earth began to smell again.

What had been locked in its chest
Began to push back out at the world today.
Soon, primroses and garlic will follow that
Path of life’s breath into sunlight;
Now, it is simply the shifting, vital moment
Between the inhaling and
Exhaling of the Earth.

The fingers of Winter loosened today;
That tight hand will become Summer’s palm
Where all of Life dances:
Myself and you and us and them
And all tomorrow’s children.

                Somewhere, in the centre of the Earth,
                A spark leaps to the hibernating heart
                And beneath the blackened leaves of Winter,
                That great, essential drum resounds.

Today, the earth began to smell again.
The sap turned around; life turned towards life.
The body of this great, wild woman,
This land that grows through my feet,
Shifted in her sleep and sighed.
She whispered something unmistakable.
Everybody heard.
The trees and rocks and the wild birds and me:
All Winter we were waiting
And, today, the earth began exhaling.

11 thoughts on “The Wild Breath

  1. Thank you for your comments, friends!

    Winter still has some tricks up its sleeve and doesn’t like to surrender too easily to Spring, but the change is there in the trees and the ground: it makes it easier to weather whatever the rest of February has to offer…

    Wherever you are in the world, I hope that amazing lifeforce is singing to you.

    T

  2. Tom, So, so beautiful. “The body of this great, wild woman”. What a beautiful way to describe our great Mother Earth. These words wake me up inside, way deep inside where my wild woman knows this great wild woman. Thank you.

  3. I love this very much. I feel this stanza:
    The fingers of Winter loosened today;
    That tight hand will become Summer’s palm
    Where all of Life dances:
    Myself and you and us and them
    And all tomorrow’s children.

    In my body, winter make me tighten, and I have to counteract by dancing now.

    I love so much the sensuality you have brought to the seasons with this poem. Lovely.

  4. Tom,
    I can feel the pulse of the Earth with your beautiful poem. Her breath on my skin, I am magically suspended in the “vital moment
    Between the inhaling and Exhaling of the Earth.”
    The Great Mother breathes through you. Thank you dear Poet of our beloved Earth.

  5. Ah…

    All your beautiful, kind words touch my heart and encourage me to write more poetry of reverence to the Earth. My practice of deepening my connection with this fathomless wonder of Nature is strengthened by your support.

    And all your sites to visit too…

    Riches galore.

    Thank you

  6. Absolutely love this poem, your depiction of the Wild Woman and the way you have the other than human persons, the rocks, the elements, hearing, responding, attuned to the breath of the awakening earth. Very inspiring and easy on the eye and the heart :)

    1. Thank you, Claire. Out in the woods, all these beings are singing – I don’t experience them as some folk do, as spirits, but I feel their company around me, working on me all the time. This particular strand of my work, I hope, is a hymn to this amazing lifeforce that flows through us and Nature.

      Your own nature writing is beautiful. Thank you for stopping by.

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