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The Breath of All Life, a paraliturgical Nishmat Kol Ḥai for Shabbat morning by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

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Breath of our bodies
and harmattan of our ambitions

hurricane of our angers
and chinook of our forgiveness

tempest of our childbirths
and cold front of our silences

articulated gasp of pain
and muffled sigh of pleasure

inbreath of my housecat
and outbreath of every tree

gust that reshapes coastlines
and tempest of our hearts

wind of the physical world
and the realms of emanation beyond

Breath of All Life, the breath
of all life blesses Your name.

If every mouth joined right now
in breathing Your praises

if every present thing on earth
stopped so we could laud You

if we all shared the roaring voice
of lion and elephant and walrus,

the heightened senses
of the mystic and the hunting owl

if we could fly like the Concorde
looping your smoky name across the sky

if we could discard differences: human,
animal, fire, stone, seed, snow

even that cry of togetherness
would not be enough to thank You.

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