Past Now Love

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There is no part of our land
that has been left untouched
by the ravages of our violence
and the blessing of our prayers,
existing together, all at once;
it can be the work of a lifetime
to sit with everything we know.
There is no life without history,
and no body without memory.
To walk is to walk with ghosts,
to breathe is breathe the story
we’ve brought to waking dreams.
Fear drives dark excavations,
Wonder brings back the light.
What’s dissolved, what remains,
what brought tears, our hope,
the fluid emblems of our lives.
May we find the love within us
to seek all those sacred spaces
marked with all of experience;
the silken threads and wisps
singing to us our past laments
as we find in them everything
we need to remember about us,
and our will to make it better.
 
– Tammy Takahashi
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To Fly, To Land

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Where do we rest? And land?
Do we soften into our surrounds
The way a few pieces of wood,
Lovingly brought to size
And placed in the new garden
to make a walking path,
Which at first tremble and shake
Under our own hesitant steps,
Soon meld into the ground,
Become stitched to the fabric
Of both Earth and time,
So that we, too, may walk
With the strident ease
Of an eagle soaring in the sky?
Do we land with the determination
Of a moth arriving at the light,
Of a fly buzzing at the table,
Where there is a grain of sugar
To sustain and entertain it?
Do we, like the butterfly,
Flit, and fly, almost as though
Stopping to rest and feed
Is an afterthought in a life
Defined by agility, grace,
And an absence of the burdens
Laid upon us by our gravity?
But to see, to witness
The path of the butterfly
As she dances, floats, sways,
And finally chooses
Her sacred place of landing,
To approach as quietly as possible,
So as not to disturb a moment
So rare it must be filled
With the deepest significance,
To take in the velvet intricacies,
The colours richer than gems,
Is to know: no landing is forever,
And might only be a moment,
But how incredibly sweet it is.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

The Hand Reaches the World

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From an infinite well
I draw.
I draw,
first weeping. The
sorrows, boundless,
leaking from every corner
of my existence
into rivers and oceans
that carry the blood and carnage
of historical time
along a bed teeming darkness.
The sorrow returns
on self-same waters
but this time, they don’t
seep back in through my pores,
but stand before me,
and I look,
and I see.
Our journeys have diverged,
the sorrow now a story
I can read, take apart,
disengage from, though
it still breaks my heart
as long as there is
suffering.
From my place of heartbreak,
that place of pulsing life and living,
with all its triumphs too, and joys,
I draw from an infinite well.
I draw,
now bowing, smiling in tears,
knowing suffering belongs
to none of us alone,
that our stories commingle
and we don’t have to do
a single thing to enter
the place, One Heart,
that belongs to us all,
at once.

– tammy takahashi

 

 

 

Seeking Truth

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We say we need rest,
but refuse to slow down.
We say we want peace,
but refuse to stop blaming.
We say we want happiness,
but refuse to seek its causes.
We say love is the answer,
but refuse to believe in love.
We say we want connection,
but refuse to reach out.
We say we reject violence,
but refuse the way to harmony.
We say we care for the earth,
but refuse to listen to her cry.
We say that all lives matter,
but refuse to respect life.
But something else is true:
We mean what we say.
We want for things to be good,
and to know what good is.
This is our foundation;
This is our imperfect beauty;
This is our sacred humanity.
May we honour the truth
in what we say and believe,
and seek their realization.

– tammy takahashi

We are the living.

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We are all the living
we are all the dying.
We are in this one world,
each of us a universe
bound to the next
in humility and servitude
if we choose.
We must choose.
There is no default
set to make things right
if we do not forge
a path of kindness.
There is observing, repenting,
learning, starting again,
but there no starting over.
We are the living,
we are the dying.
We witness and document,
make art and make love,
because there are a million ways
we are human,
but one way in which
we need to share,
to be understood,
to be met with the compassion
that chokes us
when the world
is strangled by so much suffering.
Let us grace the living
with every possibility for life;
it is the work of our life to live,
and make each breath
a windstorm blowing in the direction
of restoring dignity for all.
 
– tammy takahashi

March for our Lives: A Poem

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What are we holding onto,
so tightly?
When we have our guns
and won’t let go,
what are we afraid to lose
that hasn’t already
been annihilated?
We are scared to death.
We are scared of death.
We are letting the living die,
we are not honouring the dead
when our actions are not
on the side of the living.
Let us march, all of us,
wherever we are,
however we can.
This march, for our lives,
is a plea, a cry, a rally
to the makers of change,
but let us not stand divided.
Let us remember our lives,
our unity, the one life
that threads through us all.
Let us honour every living being,
here and departed and not yet come,
with every single last
shred of hope within us.
Let us build on this honour
so that it grows to fill the world
with respect and reverence for all,
and for ever possibility.

– tammy takahashi

To You, I Bow.

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To you, I bow.
To the child within,
Bright, pure, ready and seeking,
Whom we are holding tight
And caring for every day,
With you, and when you cannot.
To your radiance, I bow.
 
To all, I bow,
Eyes closed, heart open,
The sounds stretch for miles.
I flutter my eyelids open,
Connect what I see with what I am,
Reach out from deep within.
To all the great wonders, I bow.
 
To us, I bow,
our shared humanity.
To where our stories converge,
And where they do not,
To our capacity to listen,
With full heart and presence.
To the awesome power in this, I bow.
 
-tt