Breathing, I twist my body

into awkward positions.

I balance on one leg

 Grizzly playing with her toes - Photo Copyright Tom Murphy /

Grizzly playing with her toes - Photo Copyright Tom Murphy /

with the other leg in half lotus

and bow forward

touching the ground,


I stand on my head, breathing.


I pose the dancer. Pretending elegance


as balance measures my attention to breath.


I run. I ride. I climb to the top of mountains

to see mountains as far as I can see, 

myself as I am, witness to something.


Along the way passing whitebark pine, most dying

or already dead, I consider what their exodus means

for mama grizzly who has learned to depend on pine nuts.


I think about her babes.


With a pause, I catch my breath. 

Again and again. I begin again.




note: 'Practice' is an excerpt from one of the first Extinction Witness BlogSpot posts, winter 2012.

*'Practice' continues posting poems written as part of the 2014 - 2015 monthly revolving witness at Extinction Witness while I'm editing a six-year collection.

Grizzly photo ©Tom Murphy, shared with artist's permission.

New daily poems resume once the collection goes to the publisher.