For the Women

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FOR THE WOMEN
 
Looking up, I see a canopy
of tropical trees, merged seamlessly
under a lazy late afternoon sun,
swaying loosely in the breeze
or hushed to a still silence,
being all of what they are.
I also see a quilt, woven tenderly
by hundreds of hard-working hands
over maybe thousands of years.
I see women in sweaty backrooms
or on rickety bamboo porches
under a relentless midday sun,
creating colour, texture and pattern
one infinitesimal layer at a time,
building inconceivable beauty
out of madness spun by oppression,
and it is beauty on the smallest scale,
but of the grandest design.
These towering achievements
will never scrape the sky,
but they will transport you
through all the skies and worlds.
I see the art slavery can create,
and wonder what would happen
under the conditions of freedom.
I see the future I hope for,
and the women are emancipated,
and the power is tremendous,
and the earth trembles again
in the most delicious anticipation,
and we rule without ruling,
in the space where sun and moon meet.
And the rich tapestries are portals
taking us back to the ancient source
so that we may thrive forward.
And we all become weavers of the free,
and we all the layers of the magisterial tree.
 
– Tammy Takahashi
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The Art We Are

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There is nothing at all
in the brilliance of an artwork
that captivates you the moment
you rest your tired eyes on it,
not a single hue or design,
or configuration so harmonic
that you are sure you can hear
its song vibrating under your skin,
there is no wonder
contained in the sacred moment
when self meets art
and no awe
in the human capacity
to imagine a better world
and better selves in it,
there is none of this magic
that we move through,
stumble upon, are ready to meet
that we do not already
possess inside of us.
We are not only the art we make,
but the art we knew to find,
the art we let in when weary,
the art that want to lift us higher,
the art we draw to us,
the art we co-create
by letting it live through us.
There is no manner in which
we can say we are not creative,
our very bodies an intricate tapestry
of blood, stardust and bone,
our emotions an expressive dance
of all the world’s forces pivoting
around the sun, moon and earth
that always know to protect and hold
the art of our evolution.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

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

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