Birthday Poem

Every year for the last five years, I’ve written a poem to celebrate my birthday. I just can’t think of any better way to express my gratitude for life than writing a poem. My birthday isn’t until Thursday, but Thursday’s poem happened today. It’s a pantoum. Strange, because I don’t tend toward rhyme of form. It just happened that way. A culmination of some loose threads that came together and formed this poem I think. A thought, an image, and a conversation with a friend about the difference between song and poetry.

Be born in breath

There are at least one hundred ways to be born,
not including the first–birth.
Each day begins at break of morn.
And, inevitable, death shadows this earth.

Not including the first–birth,
be born in breath, free-flowing.
Yes, inevitable, death shadows this earth.
But, shadows are born from the light of life loving.

Be born in breath, free-flowing.
Light draws the seed-sprout from its earthy grave, a peony.
But shadows are born from the light of life loving,
just as light pours your shadow, holding my shadow, before me.

Wake with dreams on your tongue. Eat fruit for breakfast.
Each day begins at break of morn.
Peel, slice, let the juice drip to your elbow. Regarding light, don’t fast.
There are at least one hundred ways to be born.

 

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