Archives‎ > ‎Issue Five‎ > ‎

Cathy Bryant

Twelve Breaths

Breathe in. Breathe out.
And extend your awareness -

(breathe in - breathe out)

to the air touching your nostrils
and flowing over your lips

(breathe in - breathe out)

to a warm room of many
benign attempts and openings

(breathe in - breathe out)

to a puddled, rain-spattered street
and the shushing of reassuring buses

(breathe in - breathe out)

further to the voices, the hands
counting money, laughing or afraid

(breathe in - breathe out)

to the clash of weapon on bone,
muffled only by tears

(breathe in - breathe out)

to silver swift-flashing shoals
and inert lumps of lifeless weed

(breathe in - breathe out)

to hooves drumming on plains
and grasslands whispering their truths

(breathe in - breathe out)

to the cries of eagles over the mountain
where an ant crawls purposefully

(breathe in - breathe out)

to the dance of planets and fizz of comets
and great straight wastes of wonderful nothing

(breathe in - breathe out)

and back to your nose
and the slight smile of your open mouth

Breathe in. Breathe out.


Civil servant, life model and nanny are just some of the jobs Cathy Bryant did before becoming a writer. Now her poems and stories have been published all over the world in magazines and anthologies. In 2009 Cathy was runner-up in the Woman & Home fiction prize, in 2010 she won the Marple Humourous Poetry Prize, in 2011 she was runner-up in several writing contests, and in 2012 she won the Swanezine Poetry Competition. Cathy co-edits 'Best of Manchester Poets' and her collection, 'Contains Strong Language and Scenes of a Sexual Nature', came out in 2010. She lives in Manchester, UK.