The Prayer

All my life,

I’ve been praying,

Something I have not allowed

Myself to see

Until now.

For the caterpillar,

So that it could become

That most magnificent creature

Capable of flight.

For the sun-scorched grasses,

So that it may

Return to that holiest of green.

With the riot of flowers

Peppering lawns and fields

With reminders

Of what is possible

When we notice,

And even when we don’t.

With the cycles themselves,

The snow sitting heavily

On hidden ice,

The worms coming through

The pavement in spring.

The crickets,

Giving us our late summer hymn,

The fading leaves of fall.

I’ve been praying

With the trees,

Who were born into psalm,

And are unwavering

In their prayer for us,

That we, too,

Can find our way

To withstand the hurt,

Brush past our denial,

And breathe the good air

That is left

So that we may give back

The promise of tomorrow.

I have been praying,

Small as a scampering squirrel

Running between the shrubs

Dividing households

With no sense of borders,

Knitting together a world.

I have been lovingly

In the throes of creation

Praying one word, one stich

At a time,

As possibilities arise.

I have let the sun

And moonlight bathe me,

Oceans take me,

And every submersion

Into what sustains me

Has been a prayer of gratitude

And belonging, and love.

And faith.

For we are here,

Imbued with great power,

And prayer has always had

The answers.

  • Tammy Stone Takahashi

Remember Love

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Do you remember
The ten thousand thoughts
You had in a day
Between the hours of waking,
And the laying down
Of your tired self to sleep

Or do you remember
The time you stood on sand
As the ocean waves
Lapped to shore
And tickled your ankles,
And all was right with the world?

In your memory,
The not quite blue
And not quite green of dawn,
The blazing red sun turned to dusk,
The first star of the night
(star light, star bright)

A touch so deep
That skin becomes the map
Of the universe,
And there is no end
To the impulse to immerse yourself
Every contour and curve

A moment shared
Where, without words,
The longings of lifetimes
Come pounding to the surface,
Where they are held
With ancient and visceral love.

We fear that fear
Is all we have and remember.
But, really remember
The love and awe that slipped though
The cracks of thought, to find you:
This is who you really are.

– Tammy Stone Takahashi

The Meeting (A Poem)

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I reach out for you.

It has not always

Been my instinct,

But here I am, reaching,

Because my body

Has started singing

And it knows

Better than I do,

That sounds are made

So that they can be heard,

That music arises

So that people can dance,

That a body trembling

Is a body in need

Of being held.

My body is moving,

And it will continue to move,

Wandering now,

Maybe groping wildly

In search of new directions

Without thought of ground,

But it will know,

Before I do,

When it has found

What it has been seeking:

The one, in the two.

The me, in the you.

  • Tammy Stone Takahashi

The Visitor

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The Visitor

I wasn’t going to stay long,
I realized,
So instead of unpacking my bags,
I removed all the things
We don’t use when we are here
Just for awhile,
Things that came to me
Via love,
In their own place and time,
Things that have found their way
To me,
And which I can love
Inside of me at will, forever,
Because forever has nothing to do
With this kind of duration,
Of my time here.
I took all of those things,
And put them in a box
Destined for a place where
Goods that are needed
Go to those who need them.
I felt so much lighter,
But not yet light enough.
Knowing I wasn’t going to stay
Longer than awhile,
I wondered,
How much can I excavate
From my own heart,
How many emotions
Have outlasted their welcome?
How many thoughts are tired
Of circulating through me?
How many patterns
Desire their liberation
From the cage of my unwillingness
To understand I can be free?
I wondered about the life spent,
So far, collecting a history
I could no longer recognize
Myself in, and vowed,
Knowing my stay is short,
To give away all that I could,
Of myself, until all that remains
Is what I have been seeking,
Here and there, and always.

– Tammy Stone Takahashi

 

A Poem and Sun Salutation for Summer Solstice

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On this summer solstice, the longest day of the year, saluting the sun (in the basement, not to awaken the beautiful sleeping ones, the sun peering in) and a poem: ☀️

To the sun,
Dear glowing orb
Gliding through the horizon,
Peeking over fabled mountaintops
Before rising seamlessly
According to your principles,
Never straying,
So that the rise is a triumph,
Every time,
And in your vast expanse,
We know we, too,
Are invited,
To rise,
To bring hand to heart,
Arch chest to sky,
Lift our gaze
Between our brows,
Where sun and moon meet,
And beyond,
To the one great source
Of light.
To the sun,
For giving us our days
With your brazen warmth,
And for your twilight descent,
Which gives us our
Seasons in a day,
And the darkness
You fortify us to face
Before each new dawn.

– Tammy Stone Takahashi

 

Sun Salutations

NEW BOOK AND FUNDRAISER!!

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What a time this has been… In the very early days of the pandemic, I felt a strong pull to put together a book of poems themed around peace and hope. I envisioned sprinkling doses of these more magical aspects of the human experience as far and wide as I could. Things were bleak. We were scared, lonely, confused, and clarity did not seem forthcoming. I started looking over my streams and streams of poems, and there it was, so plain to see (though the path from first epiphany to final editing/layout is a veerrrrrryyy long and winding one!): my poems, which always help me learn about what is in my heart, show me I’ve been preoccupied with our warring inner selves, the state of our disconnected world, and with the human longings for peace, for ages!

It felt like the time to distill from all the poems a selection that would be both relatable and, hopefully, a solace. It took time; something wasn’t quite gelling. I hemmed and hawed. I rewrote, edited, had my amazing mother read it for typos. Then I rewrote some more.

Then the world fell apart again, with the murder of George Floyd. Confusion, sadness, despair, again. Also, a new resolve. The time for this book feels like NOW. Everything started falling into place. I have packaged the book as a PDF – not only the quickest way to do it and get it into people’s hands, but also in an eco-friendly way. I tried my best to format it so that it is easy on the eyes (and hopefully on the heart). I might make hard copies eventually, but I’m hoping to get the book out there to anyone who might be interested and in need of a caring package of love and connection.

I’m offering the book on a donation basis, and half of the proceeds will go to a beautiful foundation called The Loveland Foundation. (www.thelovelandfoundation.org) From their page: The Loveland Foundation is committed to showing up for communities of color in unique and powerful ways, with a particular focus on Black women and girls. Our resources and initiatives are collaborative and they prioritize opportunity, access, validation, and healing. We are becoming the ones we’ve been waiting for.

I can receive PayPal and e-Transfer at tammystone4444@gmail.com. Just send me your e-mail and I will send you the book. Please share and spread the word, if you can. Suggested donation is $20, and anything you have to offer would be so greatly appreciated. If you would like the book but are unable to make a donation, please contact me and I’ll happily share it with you.

It is my great hope that we will all overcome this time of crisis together. I am so grateful for your support, for this foundation, and also for my art. Love and peace to all.

 

Cosmology of a Dream

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Cosmology of a Dream

And we woke,
to find we were still dreaming,
and it took time
but now we knew

How vast the empire
populated by warring thoughts
defending against tides of change,
resisting truth to the death

But truth, like light
does not disappear
or surrender
the way we, so tired, can

And when we let truth
slip in to plant its seeds
the dream itself will start to smile
the sweet smile of the free.

Tammy Stone Takahashi

 

Everything/Nothing

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Today, I aspire to be nothing,

and no-one.

I am keenly aware

that none of the ways

I adorn myself bring me any closer

to who I am.

The slow, sweet glide

into the darkness

that, as I wait, fills

with the most splendid

of night’s visitations:

stars, moon, nature’s songs,

which still feel real, and true,

and I feel I am coming closer.

I undress; let my hair down,

I strip myself of words,

of the thoughts that form them.

This is the aspiration:

to rest in the stillness of being,

maybe find unrest at first,

a tremendous discomfort:

I am not who I thought I was.

The whole world, too, changes

as I see myself this way,

as a different self, then no-self.

And as I sit with this new

light of non-being,

I find I am still inhabiting this body,

a most sublime cosmic dust

and I get to dance with the sights,

sounds and textures of this space

we have been given

to play out our own evolution,

and I know that there is nothing

more sacred, or more important

than to tear myself away

from any of the comfortable notions

and face being nothing at all,

feeling with everything in me

how much closer

to the infinite nothing is, than I am.

 

– Tammy Stone Takahashi

 

 

Our Precious Earth

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There is a circle we are on,
all of us, through time,
on our own day,
with this sun and moon,
and in our own wayward,
or surefooted way,
it is a thread connecting us,
even as it is overgrown
by layer after layer
of the things
we thought to have made,
grids and tunnels,
elevated passageways,
sky-reaching edifices,
as we are always looking
away from where we are.
Let’s bring the gaze closer,
the distant view
is making is distant
from each other and ourselves,
our bellies never full enough,
we are floating away.
Maybe we can begin to dig,
slowly then fervently,
get at and below and through all this,
back to the weeds
that need our attending too,
because we want to see
the flowers grow.
We want the awe
that will take us back
to our awareness of the circle,
and our joined place on it,
and know that we are once again
veering toward a destination
this not a destination,
but our way through, and up,
and up some more,
the voyage of our transcendence,
which starts here,
with a flower growing
in our precious earth.
 
– Tammy Stone Takahashi

 

Earthing

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To make art

of our hands and heart,

resting, finally, where needed

To make love

with the sacred ground

of our unfolding

To make breath

as the earth breathes

her heaves and sighs

To make space

for the seeds of potential

to find their way to light

To make peace

with the past and future

in the terror and splendour of now

To make a home

between life and death

our very place of freedom

 

– Tammy Stone Takahashi