There is No Time

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We move through time
The hours and minutes
A life force from below
mounting through our feet
like a slow-burning fire,
The days our discoveries
of Sun, Moon, Starlight;
The weeks the stories
Streaking through the sky
Giving us our memories,
Creating a past of ghosts;
The years our wisdom
Won from movements
Enshrined in our remains,
Sloping down hair of grey,
Embedded in our lined faces;
And there is no place
For everything we know,
And when the fire
Is reduced to embers
And finally to ash,
There is no time that stops,
Just life to be discovered
By those who come next,
And they will find
All of our gathered secrets
In the butterflies
Hovering over spring flowers,
In the fireflies
Making dances in the night,
In the birds
Connecting all the mountains
They will never climb
And that would otherwise
Never find their flight.
 
– Tammy Takahashi
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The Garden of Your Heart

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What is in the garden of your heart?
Is it growing wildly,
according to its nature,
free of the burdens of symmetry,
conformity to the structure of design?
Is it heeding its own rules and principles,
abiding by its own laws of harmony,
does it sing with great abandon
the songs from its forebears
that are embedded in its bones,
or when those do not do the work of healing,
a tune of its own making?
Does it feel joy and sorrow
in equal measure, and celebrate both
as grand pillars of the human experience?
Does it come to stand in great stillness
so as to invite in the whispers
of what lies beyond our precious humanity?
Have you done all you can to ensure
that the garden of your heart
has what it needs to keep growing,
and do you trust it to be all that it is,
to thrive and stand in the light
even when the darkness, as it does, comes?
How do you take care of your heart’s garden,
knowing that the storms and seasons,
like your own caged treasure,
stay true to their own dispositions,
and destroy as they create?
Will you learn you see destruction
as the seed of all creation,
and creation as an infinity of possibility,
depending on what you want your garden to be?
Is your vision gentle, loving and kind,
and is it directed at the beauty of you?
 
– Tammy Takahashi

I Bow to You

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I gather false strength
and stand upright,
me versus the world.
I throw my shoulders back,
throw my gaze long,
discerning and proud,
as though surveying
something that belongs to me,
and not to you,
or to you, and not to me,
and this is where desire dwells,
and a terrible need grows,
and I am in my perch,
and you are in yours,
and no proximity
can bring us together.
 
I bend down,
close my eyes, and bow,
and immediately,
the separation has disappeared.
We are not yet one,
this might be the work
of a lifetime.
But we are so much closer,
I feel so much closer here,
where I can smell
the earth below, that tethers us
to the same source,
where I can kiss your feet
in acknowledgement
of my devotion to you,
who have so much to teach me.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

I Want For Us

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I want to bring myself to you

The way the dipping sun

Melds into the horizon,

The way the great rocks

Sink into our precious earth,

The way a river seamlessly

Becomes her ocean and sea.

I want to know no inhibition,

But stand naked before you,

All that I am and have been

Written in a beautiful language

That has never yet been seen,

But which you, you can read.

I want you to take the totality of me,

And leave nothing at all behind,

And offer me the same of you.

I want for us both to devour

What is succulent in our grasp

And for us to love every part

We fear the most, trembling,

Now unsure, because these, too,

Are part of our invitation to love.

I want for us to walk our fears

Up the great and holy mountain,

On a trail we are carving ourselves

With our worn and journeyed feet,

And stand where no flag has been,

And fill our lungs with sweet air,

And shout as loud as we can

Not for salvation, not for each other,

But because we are standing

With our mothers, our fathers,

All of our ancestors, who live

Here, in this mountain we’ve found,

So we could be closer to the sky,

Without ever leaving our time

To be alive, to become less afraid,

To live in each moment of love.

The Hollows

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In the hollows

Of the mountain range,

Of your sloping back,

Where we want to rest

And the hints are gentle,

Of the magnitude

In our midst, everywhere,

Finally, the delight

In recognizing

The negative spaces

That cast life’s glories

Its turbulent stories

Into the glow of relief,

So that we are,

Again, ready,

Knowing now, again,

Why we are here,

This pause our moment

Seized, to bring back

All the parts of ourselves

We have left behind,

The trails of our

Sacred flight,

To breathe in, out,

Grab hold of the heart

Our compass,

And set out again,

And again,

Until the shadows

No longer scare us,

And the horizon

Is our doorway home.

Servant of Life

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I reached the park

Next to the temple,

Accompanied by each

Of my terrible fears.

The sun was not oblivious,

Touched me with modest strength

Without ever intruding.

I sat on a moss-filled bench,

Took off my shoes and socks,

Rested my feet on the dried,

Browned leaves of winter’s end.

Then I crossed my legs,

Straightened my back to meditate,

And instantly, I started to cry.

I heaved, I wailed,

My sadness painted

Every hill and pathway

At the foot of the temple.

When my sobs weakened,

Weary, I lifted my head

From its home in my thin,

Cold hands, my heart heavy,

Until, and I don’t know how,

The clattering in my mind stilled,

As though I had made

The whole thing up,

All the restless years of my life,

And in front of me,

Bathed in complete silence,

The things before me appeared

As if for the first time,

And the tree was a tree,

The rolling hills, hills,

A gentle, chilled breeze

Was not the leaves chattering,

Heads bent together in glee,

Was just wind in the tree,

And the quiet revealed to me

In stark relief the theatre of noise

I had mistaken for

The heart of my existence.

I sat in wonder.

I laughed in my heart.

I am here for no other reason,

I realized, than just to be,

In service of what

Has always been here,

And cannot disappear,

And I have to move,

Finally, as I long to,

In the flow of the one

Constant, the one truth

Of this motion unceasing,

This perpetual gift

Of our lives in this life,

From the place that doesn’t die.

 

– Tammy Takahashi