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21st century poetry

breathless
 
in this time   when even
breathing is a danger
breathless 
 
from running hard just to be
at the back of the pack
breathless
 
from the hundreds of years
bearing down on your chest
breathless 
 
breathe   less
take up less space do not be
so obvious   so demanding
 
breathe   less
stand quietly in the shadows
do not ask for your share

breathe   less
try not to draw attention to yourself
as you go about your business
 
but if you are waiting
for things to change
 
do not hold your breath 
instead   draw it all in
 
and blow this house down

Nick Allen

 

Nick Allen’s latest book, between two rivers, is a collaboration with the York-based artist Myles Linley (Maytree Press, 2019).

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