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Breathing Beyond Darkness 

Bruce enjoys nature recreation albeit retired from the State (CA) as a supervising naturalist. His daily river jaunts and infrequent production of environmental theater revitalize him. 

First breath

River churns, Ivy shoots down 
the familiar twisting cascade
in hot pursuit, a wet jet
gaining, gaining, snap 
as she whooshes into the eddy 
circling round and back
tail swishing water across my ankles 
and my crouched smile
barking "Again!"
I crank my arm, she quivers
the toy floats in high arc as she lunges 
and plunges into the foamy current
steady, driven, exuberant into the wildness 
a timeless magic of the morning
I breathe calmly and savor the energy. 

Second breath 

Delta breeze kickin' in by riverside farm
rhythmic Americana drifts and
pulses dreamy like the Grateful Dead
some good dawg jammin' 
as picnickers spill out in clans 
around the arbored amphitheater 
laughter amid the grassy pastel 
so relaxing I don't feel the heat 
profuse sunflowers fan the edges
surrounding a Woodstock anniversary vibe
a tango of patchouli and pot waft
across this caravanserai of millennials 
I gaze out and wonder from high perch 
the apricot sunset glows 
and my breath ripens with sweetness. 

















Third breath 

Jumbleberry pie melts in my mouth 
like dimming bursts of fireworks 
heavenly rich vanilla ice cream drips joy 
a conclave of robust heirloom tomatoes
streaked saffron, pineapple blaze,
shiny crimson—all brim with full smiles 
soothing sensation of summers harvest
a celebration of the ebb and flow,
of perspective 
to enjoy subtleties 
and smile on the inside, really smile 
life can be fleeting in its twists 
let sunshine obscure shadows of cancer 
return to the garden, breathe deeply.  



















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