from breath to word

the intake of breath
in sadness
in shock

the slow quiet exhalation
in wonder

following trails of thoughts
feeling your way in the dark
seeking a way to explain

sometimes thoughts present themselves
sometimes you search
putting your hand into a bag of black velvet
or a pool of dark water
the shadow space between rocks
the invisible space between words

and you can feel the brain searching for connections
and trusting and waiting
for the words to come

inviting yourself into the unknown
reaching forward to find the first word
is the bravest thing
a key turning
a door opening
onto an unknown room

stepping through a door you don’t recognise
stepping into a room you didn’t know was yours
a room without walls
of infinite size
you see everything from the horizon to distant galaxies
sunset to exploding star
a room as small as a ear of a bird
you hear the whisper of mice
and the songs of bees
the breath of a leaf

you hold your hands out
waiting for the words to settle
treasures, fears,
longings, regrets
precious, tender
and you carry them back through the door
leaving it open

they arrange themselves on the table
not all want to stay
some call their kin to join them

and you help them rest on the paper
in a thread of ink

and when the ink is dry
you know they’ve decided to stay


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