The Hand Reaches the World

DSCF9659

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

 

 

 

Advertisements

We are the living.

DSCF0484

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

On Grief

DSCF9924

The hint of absence.
I can feel
that I carry grief in me
that is far older
than I’ll ever be.
I know that this
is one of so many things
that unites me to you,
us to each other.
Let us take extra care.
We are visible.
We are invisible.
We do not always know
what we wear,
what visits, haunts,
confuses, wrecks us.
What is harbored,
what needs to emerge,
what needs to be held
so tenderly.
With all our love.

– tt

How About Kindness?

DSCF1384

 

How about, instead of asking
where I come from,
you ask me where I want to go,
and instead of offering your name,
you find self in a warm embrace?
How about a smile instead of a rebuttal,
an ear for listening instead of shouting?
How about looking at a rainbow,
and marveling at how few you’ve seen,
and are likely yet to see in this life,
and mark the day as a miracle?
How about making wondering,
wandering, too, your true vocation,
becoming a master in the art of awe?
How about looking around
and seeing it all for the first time,
inventing new shapes in the clouds
before they, too, disappear,
and how about inviting this change,
and finding beauty in what can’t be held?
How about finding a new perspective
instead of delighting in the already known;
how about finding and honoring
both the teacher and student in you?
How about taking your shoes off
and grounding in the earth,
and feeling this support through life?
How about talking to trees,
Finding songs in a breeze,
How about being still and
catching it all and remembering:
There is so much love where I am,
and I am here, and I am free.

For Las Vegas (a poem)

DSCF9882

A life defined by loss,
whose very parameters
involve a known closing,
does not make it feel
any softer, or less shocking,
does not make death
smooth and silky on the skin;
the knowledge that
we are here, on this plane,
for such a short duration
comes as a surprise,
every time, and the sadness in this,
in the dawning of a realization
of our own mortality,
it’s a sorrow of deep wells
and hard, splashing tears,
because we are never ready.
Here, maybe, we can begin:
how will we choose to be
on this short journey
between moons, from
one to the next, how will
we will fill the days between
sun’s gracious ascent and her
regal return to the other side
of the world?
Will we allow ourselves
to be horrified to the core
when the sanctity of life
is violated?
Will we do everything we can
to storm against the unruly,
the unjust, and the terribly
violent, and work for truth
of our equality, for our equal
right to live freely, out of harm’s
way? Is there anything else?

– TT

Let Me …

DSCF1691

If I can’t ease your suffering,
Let me listen to you speak,
 
If I can’t remove your pain,
Let me hold it, gently, with you,
 
If I can’t walk your path,
Let me walk alongside you,
 
If I can’t inhabit your body,
Let me cast my love on it,
 
If I can’t efface your self-judgment,
Let me be your gentle touch
 
If I can’t forage for your treasures,
Let me share my own with you,
 
If I can’t get you out of the dark,
Let me be your reservoir of light,
 
And,
 
If I find myself in your shoes,
If I need the same kindness as you,
 
Let me remember to find you,
Let me allow you in, too.
 
– TT

I Stand with the Dreamers (for DACA)

DSCF0484

I Stand with the Dreamers

I am with the Dreamers
I awaken each day to the miracle
Of a sun that still,
In the face of all this, rises,
Grows strong and golden
And blasts us with a rush of warmth
Reminding us of time’s cycles,
Of renewal, and how brief it all is.
I want to use the time wisely,
To create the love and acceptance
And justice I want all around me.
I look at the sun; it is impossible,
Regarding its striking power,
To think of Earth, or any part of it,
As mine, as belonging to me.
In this way, I, like you, might be
Utterly, completely, blessedly free,
And am appalled at how quickly
It can all fall apart.

I am a Dreamer, like you.
I do not live where I was born,
I was not born in my parents’ countries,
And their parents come from
Another place still.
Is this not, going back far enough,
The state of things for us all?
I weep for the nature of circumstances
That took my ancestors from me
Before I could know their legacy,
That today grant me movement
And wrest from others
The right to their dreams.
For what holds us here, fragile and unsure,
But the dreams we carry with us,
That bear witness to our fear and pain,
That promise of a bright tomorrow
That will keep on expanding
With every dream that dares to fill it?

We are all Dreamers
In our pursuit of the pure and true,
In our wish to know that
Our pain can be lessened,
That our hopes,
Lively, imaginative and necessary,
Live and that they matter.
I stand with the Dreamers,
In a world that can only survive
And thrive
On the breath of every last one
Of its beautiful dreams.