A Poem for Notre Dame

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In every great plumed tree
lies the coming, naked winter,
each beam of starlight
tells of a past no more.
The stately art of an era
bears out our name, rounds out
the body of our experience,
the effigies stand time still
while leaving us desperate
to climb into the world
where memories come to life.
When a great building dies
it pours madly into the world,
scattered in all the directions,
remnants of a collective dream,
of a the sacred space where
the history of emotion lived,
with all the hushed whispers
and reverential quietude,
the rapture of encountering,
face-to-face, the ripened fruit
of our grandest human hopes
and greatest earned potential.
Every single thing that exists
contains the code of its demise
and we do not know know when,
or how, or by what means
this destruction born of creation
comes to journey’s end,
only that we can bear witness
to all this life in its passing.
 
– Tammy Takahashi
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Your Smiling Gaze

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Take your gaze far,
There is always so much to see.
And maybe you don’t take your mind
on a journey to the past,
where epics and legends gone by
want to sweep you off your feet
until you fall, like Alice did, down
to where nothing will fit the same.
Maybe you don’t surrender your mind
to the distant future, which,
like all the galaxies in the cosmos,
form the most entrancing worlds,
maybe the scariest ones too,
that, no matter how much you want to,
you cannot bring your fingers to touch.
Maybe, as you cast your gaze to glory,
bringing that contented smile to your face,
you are finding yourself in the position of things,
feeling your heart beat the tune of your life,
the thrum echoing the earth’s great pulse,
and maybe you come into this great force,
with a moment of recognition: I am here,
I am fully awake to this moment. I am. I am.
 
– tt

The Glimmer is You

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We know that the dark helps us
to see light, and we know this is
a scientific fact and this is also
a figurative way of thinking.
What’s evil casts a light on the good,
What scares us teaches us about
what gives us comfort, hope, joy.
Have you ever noticed that
objects in silhouette, as dark
as dark can be (because of the light),
never look quite as dark as the blackness
of a tunnel, or of a deep, starless night
(or a day lost to despair)?
A thing at its darkest, surrounded
and inflected by the great and powerful sun,
retains the brightness that
has given it life, does not invite
the void, never-ending, never-sweet.
We fall into darkness (the way
we fall in love); a silhouette is
sculpted in relief, its contours
made of light; there is no falling,
only emergence. The silhouettes
of autumn, the most moving of all:
not hesitant, but lingering,
The glimmer is the dying of a day
still living,
The glimmer is soft and yearning,
The glimmer is you.

-TT

Finding Joy

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Joy was there in the early morning,

Hoping we wouldn’t pass her by

In a world that always offers so much

To weary souls and striving minds

Living off the landscapes of our old stories,

Joy, that other most primal of emotions,

Waiting with a fierceness of strength,

Like the trees and mountains that

Fuse with our ancestral lines in evolution,

Yet with a love-laced gentility and grace,

Because she has weathered our histories,

She knows what we think we have needed

And what we can, when we try, come to know,

And she is there, on the other side of knowledge,

Her edges glinting in the new day’s sun,

Her borders diffusing at day’s fiery end,

And her capacity for play is infinite,

And her sparkle and reach will never wane,

And we can find her everywhere,

Everywhere.

 

– TS

Life is Me

 

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We are not here to hide
behind the veil of our fears,
glimpsing out into the world
as though it is not always
running wildly within us,
as though we are not
part of the bright evolution

We are not here to be
more faint, muted or faded
than the world we balk from
as though we need to be smaller,
or for our actions be less brave
than the the bold expressions
that stir our souls everyday

We are here to sing like the opera
that glitters under our skin,
to dance to the rhythmic cadences
that spring from Earth’s core,
to sculpt our bodies like gold and
feel it rise through us like fire:
This life is ours to claim!

– TS