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Breathing Room
Breathing Room

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"No Escape"
from BREATHING ROOM

No, not yet, move nothing until
           you have filled yourself with
                       intention, or

your act will freeze, immutable, and
      your thought will have aborted
             into misshapen stumbling.

We stammer in the effort to speak, lurch
           out of a passion to walk, slump
              in lieu of sitting;yet,

Within, awareness may reach toward
      an attainable state in which
             we seek to direct our selves

as a rider guides the most accomplished of
      horses, crupper gathering, hooves
             pattering, neck yearning toward

heaven, the supple trunk conveying
      itself over the earth without
             anticipation or effort.

This is the ascent into the self,
      encountering possibility just as it
             flowers into the actual.

We attain fulfilment only if we carry
      the breath of the world
             without surrender
             or escape.


Photo (c) Martin Cornel. Excerpted from Breathing Room by Peter Davison. Copyrightę 2000 by Peter Davison. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this poem may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.