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Life Without Breathing

Updated on December 8, 2011

Cocooned in steel, commuting insular
Boxed cars moving chains of people
Herd mentalities viewing the posteriors
Of the objects preventing arrival
Instead of the angels enclosed therein

Arriving multiple wires connect
Cerebral cortex with devices
Catheterized thoughts
Spinning wheels of industry
Robbed the traction of meaning

Framing the captive day
Back in the box transport
Feet in predetermined place
Hands mandated on
Chain gang homeward bound

Home looms in immediacy
A zombie comes to dinner
Staring blankly across the table
Unable to hear the family
Providing them with an example

Drained of life
By the empty hours
Opiate Internet or TV
Perhaps alcohol or other
Drowning sensation

Sleeping too tired for else
Back to back in a marriage
Spirits sigh with relief
Thought factory shut down
Only to wake to another day



What do they say on TV when a character is injured, lying on the floor? Do they say, “Is he breathing?” Well, Are you breathing?

Feel breath entering your lungs, your chest and stomach expanding and the rush of energy to your brain. Feel the sigh of the spirit’s relief as tension is exhaled.

Noticing the breath, you notice you are alive

Notice you are alive.


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    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      7 years ago from United States

      Thanks Goego!

    • goego profile image


      7 years ago from Loserland

      Traffic is a real bummer... but this ones a hubber hummer

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      7 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Nellieanna! If one can be conscious of it and it is not otherwise impaired, the pleasure of the breath is one life companion that remains with us throughout. We come packed with convenient ways with which to enjoy the physical existence. Thanks again!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      Tom, sadly it describes too well too much that passes for life nowadays.

      I'm glad that breathing deeply is a pleasure I enjoy fully. Perhaps it's a reward of getting to this age, but I think it's a knack I learned much earlier. Perhaps that's a reason for getting to this age in great shape! :-)

      Thanks for the reminder.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      7 years ago from United States

      Christopher, thank you so much for commenting. Great advice about breathing, or anything else one takes for granted. Try doing with out it! A sure way to learn appreciation.

      Thanks for your congratulations as well. I feel very lucky to have one. I am very interested in the craft of poetry, and very happy when someone notices some craft in my work.


    • Christopher Price profile image

      Christopher Price 

      7 years ago from Vermont, USA

      BTW, I read your interview in the latest email from Hubpages, and I completely concur, poets should read their poetry aloud and format accordingly.

      Poems that are a struggle for the reader to follow substitute premeditated ambiguities for profound insights. The voice of the poet, the tone and timber, should sound in the reader's ear and touch the heart.

      I consistently turn to your poems, where the craft compliments the concepts.

      Congratulations on your contest win.


    • Christopher Price profile image

      Christopher Price 

      7 years ago from Vermont, USA

      Ah, the parade of somnambulant lemmings shuffles past...a cautionary tale, deliciously descriptive.

      But, I contend, if you really want to appreciate life try NOT breathing! You'll really appreciate the next couple of lungs-full of air, and life itself.


    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      7 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      WOW.. THE DESPERATION IN THIS POEM. living day to day. Like we all do.. Love the poem.. Wonderful writing..

      I voted up and beautiful.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      7 years ago from United States

      Excellent, TK. Excellent.

      Thank YOU, Ruby :)

      Thoreau is one of my heroes. Thanks, JK!

    • juneaukid profile image

      Richard Francis Fleck 

      7 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Your poem captures Thoreau's words beautifully: "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I'm breathless! Such a humdrum existence. Happy to enjoy life. Thank you. Smiling...

    • TKs view profile image

      TKs view 

      7 years ago from The Middle Path

      Great perception Tom. Well illustrated.

      I see the timing of this hub to be exceptional, as the western culture lurches and stumbles towards an awakening of self.

      Our parents generation was told that life was work, the job you do and then, towards the end of your life, you can retire and do what you've been putting off. The industrial revolution gave us the means to buy just about whatever we wanted. But in the process, sapped from our awareness, that the individual is more valuable than the corporation they work for.

      Now, society snaps out of the purchased delirium, deep in debt and struggling to breathe.

      There is more than this.

      We are more than this.

      I'd write more, but it's time for me to go to work.


      Yes, I remember.


      The awakening continues.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      7 years ago from United States

      Yay, you're still breathing! Keep up the good work :)

    • romari profile image

      Rose Maria Rica D. Fuentes 

      7 years ago from Heaven

      Thanks for your hub!

      oh I'm still breathing..

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      7 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Seafarer Mama. A thing as simple as breathing can inspire gratitude for life. Thanks again.

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen A Szklany 

      7 years ago from New England

      Lots of different thoughts here about how some things are done without much thought....and then one moment of not paying attention can be traumatic. Wow. Very effective poem.


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