We never think about the glories of breath, oxygen cascading down our throats to the lungs

breathe-mist-breathe-black and white

All That Is Glorious Around Us
is not, for me, these grand vistas, sublime peaks, mist-filled
overlooks, towering clouds, but doing errands on a day
of driving rain, staying dry inside the silver skin of the car,
160,000 miles, still running just fine. Or later,
sitting in a café warmed by the steam
from white chicken chili, two cups of dark coffee,
watching the red and gold leaves race down the street,
confetti from autumn’s bright parade. And I think
of how my mother struggles to breathe, how few good days
she has now, how we never think about the glories
of breath, oxygen cascading down our throats to the lungs,
simple as the journey of water over a rock. It is the nature
of stone / to be satisfied / writes Mary Oliver, It is the nature
of water / to want to be somewhere else, rushing down
a rocky tor or high escarpment, the panoramic landscape
boundless behind it. But everything glorious is around
us already: black and blue graffiti shining in the rain’s
bright glaze, the small rainbows of oil on the pavement,
where the last car to park has left its mark on the glistening
street, this radiant world.

– Barbara Crooker, “All That Is Glorious Around Us” from Radiance



  1. colorinourveins says:

    love this

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this so much – it almost left me breathless (and I’m not being sarcastic or punny)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. WMS. I glory in the specificity of description, which is what makes this prose sing. The white chicken chili, the black coffee. And Who hasn’t seen the pavement wet with rain, whorls of oil creating miniature kaliedoscopes of color? Love this, DK…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such wonderful imagery!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Our breath, what a gift. One septillion functions every moment. Beauty all around us. May I always notice.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. it is lovely –

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Original Clyde Aidoo and commented:
    Take this with you to the weekend. #Poetry #BarbaraCrooker

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have been trying to channel this very thought or mindset all week, while working through both a difficult situation and a disappointment simultaneously – and also acutely aware of lives that are slipping away bit by bit, day by day, or suddenly extinguished. It’s akin to constantly waking up, when drowsy or drifting. It’s shocking each time; but necessary. Everything is glorious around us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And…and your story is still going.

      If you’re reading this, if there’s air in your lungs on this November day, then there is still hope for you. Your story is still going. And maybe some things are true for all of us. Perhaps we all relate to pain. Perhaps we all relate to fear and loss and questions. And perhaps we all deserve to be honest, all deserve whatever help we need. Our stories are all so many things: Heavy and light. Beautiful and difficult. Hopeful and uncertain. But our stories aren’t finished yet. There is still time, for things to heal and change and grow. There is still time to be surprised. We are still going, you and I. We are stories still going.

      — Jamie Tworkowski

      Liked by 1 person

      • David, I read this upon waking up today, and it started my day perfectly and with a smile and a certain kind of reassurance. I read it a few times more during the day, wanting to return to the feeling it provided. How you know this is indeed exactly what I needed -now, today, probably cannot be explained. So, I say thank you for this gift. I saved as a screen shot so I can revisit easily and often. And yes, we are stories still going.

        I wonder what comes next?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Smiling. Pleased that this had touched/moved you. I’ve read repeatedly that I should stop wondering what comes next, but immersing myself in Now. I’m still working on this.

          Liked by 1 person

        • “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.
          Delicious Ambiguity.”

          – Gilda Radner

          Liked by 1 person

          • Dave – I read this yesterday – in the midst of an on-the-go losing my mind kind of day and both smiled and sank into it deeply. Savoring – completely savoring – this perfectly stated “Delicious Ambiguity”. I said it out loud a few times. It’s perfect and it’s now with me. Thank you Gilda. Thank you David.

            Liked by 2 people

          • So glad. Heart warming. And just so you know, I repeated “Delicious Ambiguity” several times. It has soul reaching impact for me…


  9. simply beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A fine poem. Thank you.


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