by Dan Brook

conscious of breathing
deeply in and slowly out
each cycle
both a beginning Big Bang
and an eventual Black Hole
each cycle
timelessly repeated
by us and others
breathing in
the sweep of ancient history
breathing out
the tug of future possibilities
exchanging energy and vapor and hope
with whales and willow trees
with dinosaurs and dandelions
with our ancestors and descendants
the rhythmic ebb and flow of worldly waters
the cyclical orbits of each one of us
around all others
through the many miracles
of co-evolutionary development
the terrestrial dance of flora and fauna
breathing each other
into continued existence
our cells
and the many cells of many others
temporarily inhabiting us
each one of those
microscopic bits of us
temporarily housing
the galactic scatter of stars
and the remnants of primordial slime
as the vast oceans
the dust, debris, and detritus
as well as the raw and basic ingredients
of life’s vaster cosmic journey
on this small, remote, inconsequential, fragile
albeit spectacularly beautiful bluish planet
where only the concept of infinity
is infinite
and where the only meaning of life
is the meaning we create in life
with each conscious breath
deeply in and slowly out

Dan Brook teaches in the Department of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences at San Jose State University in California, from where he organizes the Hands on Thailand program. His most recent book of poetry is Sweet Nothings. Nancy Andrews is an artist living outside of Philadelphia. Self taught in photography, she has been perfecting her images for over 15 years. Her subjects include abstracts, images inspired by nature, and observations of the world around her. Along with photography, she spends her days teaching art to little ones, playing ukulele and romping with her two little pups.