“Breathe on These Slain, That They May Live”


“Wind from the Sea” – Edward Gordon


Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath;

prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath,

Thus says the Lord GOD:

Come from the four winds, O breath,

and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”

                                                                                                       Ezekiel 37:9


Once I had a teacher.

This truth he taught to me:

There are within each person,

four different ways to be—


The Hunter cares for ‘your space.’

The Warrior fights for ‘mine.’

The Headman orders ‘our space.’

The Clown can’t see the line.


He suggested all too clearly

that Head’s my inclination.

But the other three, he said to me,

await your invitation.


And this surprise enlivens

our each and every breath:

Four winds blow the stronger

because there is a fifth.


The fifth breathes at my center—

a Priest at the heart of me—

a holy hand, a calm command:

Blow, winds — strong and free.


My teacher was a Hunter

with heart and hands outreaching.

I hope I do him honor

by mentioning his teaching.




Author: Phoebe Dishman

Phoebe H. Dishman was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. An essayist and poet, she teaches adult Sunday school, compiles a monthly prayer calendar, edits the Big Thicket Association quarterly bulletin, and keeps a keen eye and ear open for birds.

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