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Poem: Unsterile Environment

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There is one thing in this world that we all share – no matter which corner of the globe we inhabit – writes Californian writer and editor Patricia Wellingham-Jones in this week’s Poet’s Corner contribution.

Unsterile Environment

Around the globe the wind swirls
in soft gusts and monsoons carrying particles
of the quick and the dead
to our lungs, into our cells,
making us all, as long as we live –
and thereafter – part of each other.
We all breathe – no exceptions – recycled air:
nomad’s sweat swept on a desert wind, bull elks
panting in the clash of rut, the last squawk
of a chicken caught in owl talons, a sick
old man’s groan. And star jasmine wafting
on a summer night, pine branches broken under snow,
a packed-diapered baby’s howl of rage.
I smile at the new mother
who wraps her infant against the warm breeze,
double-boils his bottles of water,
wards off big family kisses,
as if the baby weren’t already
inhaling the second-hand breath of the world.

Patricia Wellingham-Jones lives in rural northern California. She is a former psychology researcher and nurse, and a writer and editor on those professions. She has been widely published in poetry and non-fiction, including 10 chapbooks of poetry. Patricia edits a poetry column for the online “Palo Cedro East Valley Times” and her poetry and interviews can also be found in various places on the internet.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems up to 30 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to A poetry book will be awarded to each contributor.




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