I breathe, therefore I am


I am

breathing in,

breathing out,

like all the other

living creatures

sharing this planet

and this air.

But more,

that air has been

shared by all the creatures

who ever lived,

been refreshed by

all the plants

that ever grew,

since the beginning

of Earth time.

Each new breath

combines all the

old breaths of creatures,

and people, long gone.

Each breath is a kind

of immortality,

existing long after

each of us has

taken our last breath,

passed on to each of

us taking our

first breath

Life time

Approaching 74

and every ache,

every niggle, every

unexplained twitch

in the night,

presages doom and

a twinkle in an

undertaker’s eye.

Half way through 73

and sour memories

bubble up like methane

in Lake Baikal, erupt

randomly like black

mud in Rotorua, old

regrets seem once

again possible triumphs,

old grievances can

once again cut the psyche

like a knife.

Getting close to

my seventy third Xmas

and counting again

all the gifts I have

been given over

this amazingly long

time. Love, and

friendship, and

life itself.

Valediction

I have never

had, in a long life

of creating ideas,

and things, a serious

review of any of it. No

serious consideration

of what was attempted,

what were the problems,

what was achieved.

But then you don’t get that

for your life itself

I suppose,

Stayin’ alive

Strange, I guess,

how reluctant humans

are to accept that the

world managed quite

well without them before

they were born, and will

manage just as well

after they die.

Strange too, I suppose,

that in a world where

all organisms die, after

one day for a Mayfly, or

five thousand years for

a Bristlecone Pine,

humans are so resistant

to accepting their own

death as a natural part

of life on Earth.

It is as well that the dead

cannot feel disappointment

for if they could there

would by now have been

billions of disappointed

corpses.