Breathing

How to be a Poet 
(to remind myself)

i

Make a place to sit down. 
Sit down. Be quiet. 
You must depend upon 
affection, reading, knowledge, 
skill—more of each 
than you have—inspiration 
work, growing older, patience, 
for patience joins time 
to eternity… 

ii

Breathe with unconditional breath 
the unconditioned air. 
Shun electric wire. 
Communicate slowly. Live 
a three-dimensional life; 
stay away from screens. 
Stay away from anything 
that obscures the place it is in. 
There are no unsacred places; 
there are only sacred places 
and desecrated places. 

iii

Accept what comes from silence. 
Make the best you can of it. 
Of the little words that come 
out of the silence, like prayers 
prayed back to the one who prays, 
make a poem that does not disturb 
the silence from which it came.” 

Wendell Berry

It’s time to practice returning to the breath.