Breath (Poem by Luci Shaw)

Breath

When, in the cavern darkness, Jesus

opened his small, bleating mouth (even before

his eyes widened to the supple world his

lungs had sighed into being), did he intuit

how hungrily the lungs gasp?  Did he begin, then,

to love the way air sighs as it brushes in and out

through the portals of tissue to sustain

the tiny heart’s iambic beating?  And how,

fueled by air, the dazzling blood tramps

the crossroads of the brain like donkey tracks,

corpuscles skittering to the earlobes and toenails?

 

Bottle of the breath of God, speaking in stories,

shouting across wild, obedient water, his voice

was stoppered only by inquisition, unfaith

and anguish.  Did he know that he would,

in the end, leak all his blood, heave a final

groan and throw his breath,

oxygen for the world, back to its Source

before the next dark cave?

 

(From: Accompanied by Angels:  Poems of the Incarnation by Luci Shaw)

 

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How does one paint the breath of God? It is such a mysterious and interesting concept to think about and visualize, much less paint, but I suspect Makoto Fujimara has something in his collection that fits; what stunning, beautiful art he creates. Here is a piece of Fujimara’s I found as I was searching, called “Every beauty suffers” that I liked and seemed to fit the thoughts of first breath, dying breath, oxygen, the cavern/cave references in the poem, suffering, and redemption and beauty in the midst of the suffering.

every-beauty-suffers-by-makota-fujimara
Every beauty suffers by Makoto Fujimara

 

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