The Same Air Poem

BY ON May 31, 2012

Hands holding up globe

This poem was written by Al Zolynas:

The same air
that moves
through me and you
through the waving branches
of the bronchial tree
through veins
through the heart
the same air
that fills balloons
that carries voices
full of lies and truths
and half-truths
that holds up the wings of butterflies
humming birds eagles hang gliders 747s
the same air
that sits like a dull relative
on humid lakes
in Minnesota in summer
the same air
trapped in vintage champagne
in old bicycle tires lost tennis balls
the air inside a vial in a sarcophagus
in a tomb in a pyramid
buried beneath the sand
the same air
inside your freezer
wrapping its cold arms
around your t.v. dinners
the same air that supports you
that supports me
the same air that moves through us
that we move through
the same air frogs croak with
cattle bellow with
monks meditate with and on
the same air we moan with
in pleasure or in pain
the breath I’m taking now
will be in China in two weeks
my lungs have passed an atom
of oxygen that passed through the lungs
of Socrates or Plato
or Lao-tsu or Buddha
or Walt Disney or Ronald Reagan
or a starving child in Somalia
or certainly you
you right here right now
yes certainly you
the same air
the very same air

Al Zolynas’ books include The New Physics, Wesleyan University Press, 1979; Under Ideal Conditions, Laterthanever Press, 1994 (San Diego Book Award, Best Poetry, 1994); and The Same Air, Intercultural Studies Forum, 1997. Seven of his poems were recently featured in the movie Fighting Words (Indican Pictures, Los Angeles, 2007). A long-time Zen practitioner, he teaches at Alliant International University, San Diego, California, and lives with his wife in Escondido, California.

Thank you, Al!

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