The Storyteller

Tammy T. Stone

Tammy T. Stone

I’ve long been fascinated with the role and myth of The Storyteller…

As a storyteller myself, I am always looking for the perfect words, the perfect formulations, in hopes of capturing the imagination and tugging at all the warmest places in the heart. Like all pursuits, there is really no final destination, but rather, constant, diligent and impassioned work, and the awareness that there is really no ultimate and perfect story to be told: there are, instead, the many stories that can and do tell, in infinite variations, along the way in this beautiful journey of life and communion.

With this poem, I simply want to express what it is I am trying to do as a storyteller, as I imagine the recipient on the other end, as we both reach out in search of connection.

THE STORYTELLER

I would like to tell you

a story

on a cool, rainy night

as you sit inside,

on your love-worn sofa,

covered in warm blankets

drinking hot, aromatic tea

from your favourite mug.

To tell you it’s going to

be okay.

Maybe there’s an old painting

on a wood-panelled wall

that has seeped into

the curves and contours

of your body

by now,

whispering its familiar

hushed tales

in rich, blurred colours

suffused with

fiery light.

This is your night.

You are safe,

you are protected

this is for you,

to fall into

and snuggle up against.

Your dreams get reclaimed

here,

your future still waiting

in embrace.

This is for all

your old heartaches,

late-night cries

and the visions of

sought-after ever-afters

you never quite

shook out.

Above all, this is so you

can melt like cinnamon

into worlds

you’ve conjured before,

and will recognize

here again,

coming back for you

after all these years,

on the back of

softest wings.

———

This poem was published on Women’s Spiritual Poetry!

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Poem (to be a tree)

Tammy T. Stone

Tammy T. Stone

 

 

TO B A TREE

When meditation won’t come

when the breath is undone

and your mind is on fire

and your heart is so tired,

come and let’s see.

Let’s try being a tree.

Maybe the tree’s in the yard outside

or in our heads, or a park nearby,

or peering over rocks on a sandy shore,

craggly and wise forevermore.

Maybe there’s a treehouse for sleepover nights,

for spilling deep secrets in the dimmest of lights.

Maybe, right now, our hearts are screaming

weighing us down in all their hurting.

Let’s turn into a tree that carries on,

brimming with peace like the newest dawn,

not at all haunted by who she might be,

which is how we should be,

if we want to be free.

Let’s watch the roots from the center unfold,

longer and stronger with each story told,

as they breathe Earth’s offerings in order to grow,

thriving and sparkling on the ground below.

Have you ever nestled into those giant roots’ arms,

become transfixed by their greatest charms,

have you wondered what happens when they finally meet

for subterranean hellos, what news they greet,

as their connections deepen around the world

their flowing tendrils gently unfurled?

Now let’s rest in evening’s dark,

and sit against the great tree’s bark.

Feel the strength. Feel the love.

Feel the air swoon high above.

Feel how she has nowhere to be,

how there’s no anxiety in the tree.

Feel the girth from years of life,

of being witness to so much strife,

how she rejoices at our victories and cries at our woes,

and knows that it comes, and knows that it goes.

Feel the coolness against your back,

the ridges marked by time, not lack.

Now let’s bring our hand to touch,

look how quietly she’s grown so much,

how she never hesitates or has any doubt,

how she breathes, pure grace, within and without.

We can wrap our arms around the tree,

tune in to the immovable power of she,

feel our hearts pattering and sure

soothed under the weight of all that we were.

Feel the tree’s heartbeat against our own,

feel the kindness the tree has shown

to so many of us needing to calm our fears,

maybe for thousands upon thousands of years.

Let’s turn an eye to the branches of trees,

curved into their sacred geometries,

arching in a final, undulating dance

as they move toward their skyward chance.

Maybe leaves have fallen and winter’s come.

Maybe spring has returned as Earth’s great sum,

alive with green ripeness, soft and course,

ready to receive from the celestial source.

Up there, so high, there is no fear.

The ground holds space; the ground is near.

The breath of life hums through the tree,

which demands nothing, and is full, and is free.

This is how calm can be regained,

how a balm for mad minds can be reclaimed,

as we drop to our knees and bow,

in the presence of a holy now,

so we can come to rest with ease and glee

at having become a glorious tree.