Our Beating Heart

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Passing through,
deep-down reckonings with
our place in a world
made perfect with
our humble imperfections.
The sun, which does not dim
in our darkest days,
the sky, never once lowering
as we dive into our every shadow,
the view, always changing,
the light speckling magic
where we least expect it
before it continues its dance
across the spaces
we inhabit,
between us,
passing through,
moving toward what stills us
past change,
past commotion,
in our truest space:
our beating heart.
 
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One Golden Evening

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And as sun goes down tonight,
I do not think of all those things
that will lay in surrender, to rest,
or wonder where they’ll go, if,
like the dazzling golden jewel
lowering into the silken waters,
they will seem to lower themselves
with great gentility, straight through
to the other side of the world,
where they will find their ground
of great comfort, dignity, grace.
I do not think of the black night
that is waiting behind the veil
of this grand spectacle of in-between,
or the moon that will ascend
to illumine the deepening cracks
between each of our aging bones,
each with her thousand stories
imbued with the powerful promise
to witness, create, destroy.
Instead, I divest myself of these,
I stand naked between sun and moon,
between here and where it all goes,
flooded with the play of now and then
on this body, sanding here, now,
shivering with winsome delight
because suddenly, nothing remains
but one golden evening that
knows every star, every flower,
every flight and every fall,
and it is all me, and it us all us
reflected here, making it whole.
 
– tammy takahashi

For a Short Time

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For a few days,
the cherry blossom trees
come alive in bloom,
decorating the world like snow,
as if in joyous collaboration
with the winter just passed,
as if to remind us of the continuity
embedded in all this change.
For a few days,
the senses are heightened,
the sky has opened
to give space for all that grows,
and the moon grows large and quiet,
illuminating the beauty
that wants to be seen,
touched, most of all, felt.
For a few days,
the gates to our perception fly open,
maybe slowly, if we are afraid,
and we can start with one blossom,
her fragile pink petals
delicately announcing herself,
giving everything she has
before falling to soft sweet earth.

– tammy takahashi

Don’t Say My Name

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Don’t say my name,
see what else falls away,
which words drop off
the tongue in light
of this new consideration?
 
I think of the moon,
and the image changes,
the word alone
conjuring faraway
tapestries of night,
 
also forbidding, in their
very distance from
here. Why not place
faith, instead, in their
colourful inevitability,
 
should we do the work,
here and now, of filling
ourselves with the kind
of light that fills the
contours of tomorrow?
 
Why not remove the
name, the idea, as the
serpent sheds her skin,
the very sheath that
gave her a body, her
 
movement, knowing there
is more to come, knowing
that the movement itself,
which is life and love,
will take us there?
 
– TT

We, the Flower

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A flower,
with no effort at all,
all day, and nothing else,
doing the work of
growing and rising,
coming into being,
listening to the very heart
of what moves us
to know when to open
her petals
and receive
golden sun,
when to curl inward
to take rest,
to enter a period
of receptivity and
healing.
This is the contemplation
of a flower,
her mechanism of hope,
her bearing witness
in rhythm and cycles,
her lesson,
each day,
in motion and stasis,
in sun and moon,
in the small deaths we make
in order to rise and
to live.
 
– TT

The Fragile Day of Being

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The stillness of the clouds
On this silver, dewy morning
Betray the truth I try to grasp,
That I won’t always be here,
We won’t always have the chance
To do what has been calling, persistent,
Pulling at our tender,
Yearning unstill hearts.
I fix my eyes on the clouds’ loose edges,
Willing them to change,
to blur into today’s new sky,
Or break away into new formations,
Remembering childhood mornings on the grass
When we’d look up at the tufts of white
And imagine a new, festive cosmos
Of our own making and desires.
This was when
We were going to grow old together,
When there was no thought of not forever.
My body has not turned on me yet,
My mind still arrows in all the directions,
My heart pulses wild with aches and hope.
Life presents itself through and in me
With a vitality I have everything
To be thankful for, and try to honour
With my whole being.
Yet you are not here,
And my understanding will
One day grow dim,
As I continue to dwell in fear
Of everything that will slip away,
Like the fishing boat vanishing downstream,
And the cloud, that, as I look anew,
Might never have existed at all.
 
– TS

The Art of Meditation

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breathe in –
breathing becomes laboured
snagging and catching before the end
 
breathe out –
the breath becomes a cry
caught on a gasp of surprise
 
sit tall –
the spine aches from holding
stories thousands of years old
 
be soft –
i feel not softness but threadbare fragility in
bone and skin that threaten collapse
 
i am falling –
but in the falling, an acute awareness
of what i’ve neglected so long
 
i am restless –
i have within me infinite little pieces
that have been struggling to be heard
 
i am suffering –
i have awakened to brilliant depths
of what it means to be alive and trying
 
i am human –
i will ache and burn as i sit with each one of us
feeling a unity in all our pain but also our triumphs
 
i am learning –
every moment, every breath in, breath out
is a change, a movement, a new leaf born. – TS