If I Could, Our Precious World

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If I could love all the trees
newly planted, in their infancy,
until they grew tall and strong,
faster than we could
ever have imagined, I would,
not because I want to
play with time
or the natural order of things,
but because
I see a world starved
of breath and connection,
and an entire system
of our mothers and protectors
severed at the roots,
withered and isolated,
and I don’t know what else to do.
If I could bring water
to where it runs dry, I would.
I would carry it from where
it has spilled over
and caused so much wreckage,
and bring it to where
there is so much thirst and famine.
I would ask the wind
to take kindly to us,
and grace us with secret wisdom
hidden in sweet, warm breezes
until we know how to handle
with equanimity and stillness,
all that the great gales carry.
I would inject the sun and sky
with the life force
of all the love that still exists,
and ask it, every morning,
to heal what is broken,
and remind us of gratitude.
If I could, I would paint, or sew,
or write our happy world
into existence, and it would appear,
and we would shake our heads
and marvel at how long
we chose to live in such suffering.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Beautiful, Tree

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What is the story
you have to tell,
what are the moments
of your life
carved onto your skin
and bone?
Tall you stand,
a totem,
a witness to our age,
how much of us
do you mirror,
as you try to give
all of yourself
to a world
that has forgotten you?
The tears, the stains,
the marks of time,
the sinewy curves,
the shades
impossible to be
replicated. Your beauty.
Your beauty,
The shape of loss,
the presence of life
folding in, growing tall.
What of myself
Am I trying to find in you?
How much do you
have to do alone, now,
because you’ve been
severed at the root
from so many of your
brothers and sisters?
I see a topography,
an archeology,
an entire world
as I look at you,
but maybe I don’t need
to reach so far.
Maybe I just need
to close my eyes,
and wrap my arms around you,
or sit, my back
to your long body,
and feel this moment
that is sun and rain,
that is dawn and midnight,
our stake in this world,
that is always
both here and forever.

– Tammy Takahashi

How Mysterious the World!

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How mysterious the world is!
I cannot take my eyes
off the sun and the universe
that feed our world, its beings,
and our common dreams.
I try to look through
what I can see before me,
but the eyes, of course,
do not take us there.
So I try to go first where
my senses can take me,
because these are the gifts
we have been given,
and gifts by nature grow.
There it is, a cosmos
at the bottom of a teacup
on an artist-adorned wall,
hidden in the shadows
made by startling sunlight
streaming in through the temple’s
raw, wood-framed windows,
in the space of a gap-toothed smile.
A few brushstrokes evoke
the dance of enlightenment,
a pure joy of being,
two colours combine to suggest
the realm of infinite possibility.
Why do we rest where we are?
Dive into the unrest
for just long enough to grasp
that the world is shaking up
so that the pieces can resettle,
as they always will,
to forge a new direction
for the wild and untamed
and brilliant seekers among us.
 
– Tammy Takahashi
 

Your Voice is My Favorite Sound

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Your voice is my favorite sound.
In the silence, I find my searing pain
before it dissolves and all that remains
is the sweetest kind of love.
In the forest, our great earth’s quiet
is accompanied by beauty
that is almost too much to bear,
revealed in part through choral hymn:
the rustling leaves, the faintest bustle
of insects in their homes under rocks.
I am tired. I sit with my back
against a great grandfather tree
and can feel all his brothers and sisters
rush in together to replenish me
and the sound can almost be missed,
but it contains every wisdom
and the secrets belong to all of us.
It could be hours or days
that it takes for me to return to myself,
and connect to my heartbeat
that is part of the lullaby of the woods.
Then, when I am ready, I emerge,
and you are new through my softened eyes,
and you have never changed at all.
We clamor and desire and aspire,
and your voice is my favorite sound.

– Tammy Takahashi

What We Need is a Song of Peace

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What we need
is a song of peace
that begins
in the deepest recesses
of the heart
and does end until
every single heart
has heard the call
and come forward,
until the rhythm
of one is impossible
without the rhythm
of all the rest,
until there is tolerance
for dissonance
and a growing love
for the sounds
of highest unity.
It is a song
that goes back
farther than any of us
can remember,
and it does not end,
and we can bring
our voice to it any time.
The heart can expand
to take in the sounds,
the beats, the feeling
and the healing
in one instant
that has the flavor
of all eternity.
This is the song
that we are,
the song that we share.
With the biggest
kind of love.

– Tammy Takahashi

I Want for my Words …

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I want to write

With absolute clarity.

I want each word

To be a raven

Cutting a stark

And perfect cosmology

In a cloudless sky

As it comes and goes

For reasons it always knows,

Not a movement to waste.

I want the words

To do the impossible

And show you

Directly and infinitely,

Who I am

Who is writing them,

Along with every version

Of me I’ve come to know

In the strange and intimate

Act of remembering.

Finally, I would like

For the words

To have the fortitude

Of a vessel that

Can bear the weight

Of the thousand

Ways we need to travel

In order to heal

The world, so that we,

With our words

And without them, too,

Can once again play

In a sacred lightness of being.

 

– Tammy Takahashi