photo by Skip Hunt; posted by Tess Kincaid for Magpie Tales 76


air rushes in, fills
empty spaces
life flows

heaving oxygen
windmills spin
fingers pulse

parched prairie
or empty sac
yearning for breath

600 million breaths times 6.9 billion
can’t control the air-machines
of flesh or steel

A person who lives until the age of 70 will have taken at least 600 million breaths in his or her lifetime. (source:
Approximately 20 million people in the U.S. suffer from asthma, 9 million of these are children. (source:
6.9 billion is the world’s current approximate population.


Linking with Magpie Tales 76

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10 Responses to involuntary

  1. Very thoughtful & enlightening take on the prompt…Brilliant,this!:)

  2. Helen says:

    Loved your poem … I turn 70 in a few weeks, the statistic took my breath away (pardon the pun.)

  3. Nanka says:

    Nice poem and I held my breath reading the statics!! Very educative and loved the term air-machines!! 🙂

  4. tess kincaid says:

    I really like “parched prairie”. I feel parched, come August.

  5. Jim Swindle says:


Thank you for your comments, much appreciated!!

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