Heed the Call

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The direction is not always clear,
obscured as it can remain from us,
as long as we march ahead, thick as fire,
on the same path that brought us here.
Here, with confusions, mumblings why,
various shades of unease, their shadows.
How much do we end up leaving behind
in our seething convictions of where
we must go? How much of the unseen
remains just outside the realm of our
possibilities? Let us fight for our choices,
Dare to expand the view, heeding the call
of the inner voice that tells us, there is
a symphony of voices needing to be heard,
for our very lives, for my need to hear you,
for you to hear me. To honour both. To
cherish all. To find our mothers and fathers,
brothers and sisters, in every single thing
that breathes, as they step into the seen,
and we find each other, and we take
the steps that feed our very creation.
 
– Tammy Takahashi
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Healing Our World

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There are so many ways
to be, to say, to act, to feel,
There are so many avenues
on the path from here to there,
So many roads that have led us
to this converged, crystal moment
that we know in our bones is full
of tremendous suffering and sorrow.
The anger has erupted, is spilling over;
we are not attending to the pain inside.
We are fighting every last instinct
to come forward with our deep dark stories
and nobody is listening, really hearing us.
We are not seeing; we are not being seen.
Our stories, which need air to heal
are fighting for every last breath.
We are trying to claw our way out,
But find ourselves stuck where we started,
and we know – it can’t go on like this.
It can’t go on. We can’t. And we won’t.
So we are here, but we are not here.
The principles that can carry us forward
will never desert us, but we’ve forgotten
how to reach for them, and to learn
how to be what we already are,
when we attend to the softest self
that lies underneath volcanic explosions
and swims in an ocean of time,
before and after history, outside of all this.
Let us not forget our history,
Let us honour each and every one,
But let us also not forget
the love, compassion, respect, heart
that allow for herstory’s continuance.
That bring us to our only and true nature
that ebbs, flows, screams, soothes,
but always comes back to this,
a warrior’s kind and gentle persistence.

– Tammy Takahashi

For All the Victims of Sexual Assault, With Love.

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People’s hearts are ripping open.
Mine is too. The clawing tear.
There is no painless way to arrive
at the truth, at emancipation.
To wrest the long-buried secrets
From festering in the darkest caves,
To lay bare the grisly stories
And understand the vicious stronghold
Of the oppressor in locking them down,
For so long, in their greed, and fear.
There is no winner where power lives.
There is no winner where power lives.
Past the bloody fields of power’s rule,
I see children. Wounded, bright, pure.
They are us. What we want to be.
What we have never learned
To retain as we grow older.
I see us feeling before thinking.
I see us accepting before drawing lines
in the sand of you and I, he and she.
I see us looking around at the wreckage,
unsure how this all came to be.
I see us crying, understanding
from a deep place of ancient sadness.
I see looking at each other and
bowing at the alter of what is sacred
in every last person among us, and,
without speaking, vowing. Never again.
No subjugation. No lies. No cover-ups.
No thirst for more than we need.
No false needs. No avoiding the pain inside.
I see us embracing our pain together.
I see us knowing this pain is all of ours.
I see us reaching for joy beyond pain,
and knowing this joy has no limits,
and is destined for each one of us.
I see peace. I see love. I see peace.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

I May Never …

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It may never be enough,
what I am able to tell myself
about the beauty and purity
in this world.
I may never come to know
the ancient and eternal wisdom
of a sacred tree
in trust of the ground that holds it
and the sky that receives
its every last fluttering wing.
I may never know the grace
of a sun that sets
without fear it won’t rise again,
of a river that has never doubted
its path or destination.
But I will stay.
I will sit among the splendor,
and watch its holy manner,
and I will rest in awe,
of what my heart
may one day understand.

– Tammy Takahashi

For a Hard Day

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When it’s too haunting
and the memories spill over,
threatening to dismantle
the fragile, beautiful edifice
of your everyday life
and hard won victories,
When the emotions assault,
and you honour each of them
even as they dance and clash
and squirm in all directions,
and they don’t know where to go
and you don’t know how to guide them,
Take it all into your space, and retreat.
You don’t have to go far,
or to bury yourself
in the layers underneath,
above or beyond where you are.
You don’t need to escape.
It is all here, right here,
in one sublime sunset,
in the rippling sea speaking of forever
that glistens in each wave
lapping against the shore.
Find a tree, kneel down, graze roots
that commingle with the entire planet,
taking all that life force through trunk
and up to the highest branches,
carrying messages of the sky
back down to earth,
for every single one of us.
Listen for those secrets
with utmost silence, your prayer,
and as you reach down
to touch stones and smell soil,
notice how it is, in every sense,
there for you, a perfect full presence.
All of it, all of it, for every part of you,
no judgement, only love. Only love.

– 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

 

 

 

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