I Overheard a Conversation Today

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I overheard a conversation today.
It was between one bird and another
Saying the sky has changed.
It was between both birds
And the topmost leaf of a tree
Asking if the tree was lonely.
It was between this one leaf
And all the other leaves of the tree,
Wondering why they were still safe
Amid the wreckage, knowing
As they do, there is no separation.
It was between one forest
And all the other forests of the world,
A collection of missed connections
And feverish work in overdrive,
So that we may go on breathing,
All of them imbued with knowing,
The way we know
When our most cherished ties
Have been severed,
By the cave-size hole in our hearts,
Growing to consume the world.
It was between the dismembered roots
Of the forest and the rocks above,
Those silent sounding boards
For millennia of secrets,
Those records of our living and dying.
It was between me and you.
Trying to know what to do.
Reaching out our hands
As though together we could
Wrap ourselves around the world
And love it whole again.
– Tammy Takahashi
Please share! Let’s make a difference! Let’s save our planet! Any inquiries: tammystoneshare@gmail.com.

If I Could, Our Precious World

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If I could love all the trees
newly planted, in their infancy,
until they grew tall and strong,
faster than we could
ever have imagined, I would,
not because I want to
play with time
or the natural order of things,
but because
I see a world starved
of breath and connection,
and an entire system
of our mothers and protectors
severed at the roots,
withered and isolated,
and I don’t know what else to do.
If I could bring water
to where it runs dry, I would.
I would carry it from where
it has spilled over
and caused so much wreckage,
and bring it to where
there is so much thirst and famine.
I would ask the wind
to take kindly to us,
and grace us with secret wisdom
hidden in sweet, warm breezes
until we know how to handle
with equanimity and stillness,
all that the great gales carry.
I would inject the sun and sky
with the life force
of all the love that still exists,
and ask it, every morning,
to heal what is broken,
and remind us of gratitude.
If I could, I would paint, or sew,
or write our happy world
into existence, and it would appear,
and we would shake our heads
and marvel at how long
we chose to live in such suffering.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Your Voice is My Favorite Sound

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Your voice is my favorite sound.
In the silence, I find my searing pain
before it dissolves and all that remains
is the sweetest kind of love.
In the forest, our great earth’s quiet
is accompanied by beauty
that is almost too much to bear,
revealed in part through choral hymn:
the rustling leaves, the faintest bustle
of insects in their homes under rocks.
I am tired. I sit with my back
against a great grandfather tree
and can feel all his brothers and sisters
rush in together to replenish me
and the sound can almost be missed,
but it contains every wisdom
and the secrets belong to all of us.
It could be hours or days
that it takes for me to return to myself,
and connect to my heartbeat
that is part of the lullaby of the woods.
Then, when I am ready, I emerge,
and you are new through my softened eyes,
and you have never changed at all.
We clamor and desire and aspire,
and your voice is my favorite sound.

– Tammy Takahashi

To Reach the Sky

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Sometimes we feel leaden
That we will never soar,
The sky feels so far away,
The ground pulls us under.
What we forget, sometimes,
Is that we don’t have to
travel so far to get there,
To lighten the vessel
We carry ourselves in,
That all we have to do,
If we want to reach the sky,
Is to sit and rest in stillness,
Watch life effortlessly be,
Let thoughts pass like clouds,
Play a smile on happy lips,
And bring the sky right to us.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Open eyes, Open heart

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There is always more
we can strip away,
we have accumulated
so much. For so long.
We’ve buried ourselves
in the things that remove
from us the way of
right seeing, the seen.
We have inherited
and then we’ve created
stories that adorn,
tantalize, haunt us,
give us the false impression
that this is who we are,
that bare their claws
like tentacles around
our well-meaning hearts
just as they catch a
glimpse of a free world,
and an unencumbered way
of being at one with it.
We know that the way
back to this, our world
is the way into ourselves,
but we don’t know
where to rest our gaze
among a dizzying array
of options, and directions.
Hearts beating fast, we rest.
Close our eyes. Breathe.
Allow what haunts to haunt.
Enter the fear like warriors.
Quiet the stories ricocheting
in our bodies’ chambers,
as if to honor their passing.
Open our eyes. Begin.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Day and Night

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It looks like emergence,
a movement from dark to light,
from a midnight moon’s lush wiles
to the redemptive break of day,
and you are sitting on soft sand,
not having slept at all,
and the salt brought in
by each sonorous, soothing wave
has cleansed you so that
you are no longer haunted,
and the sun has appeared,
a revelation each time,
to penetrate you with promise,
glee, anticipation for this life.
And so it is – life after death
every single morning,
an emergence, but not a line.
For we live in cycles,
and the darkness will come again,
to be, always, followed by light.
Do not run screaming
against the doors of night,
or fear the end of day.
The lessons of each are harrowing,
but the cycles are also moving,
round and round, in the direction
of our greatest making.

GO SLOW

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GO SLOW

I rush for where
the thistles and moss
will absorb the sounds
of my racing mind
and where the thudding
of my heart
can run alongside
those of the others
escaping their enemies,
running toward survival,
until we are one organism,
moving madly, at first,
and then, as though
in spontaneous awareness
of an internal need,
we pause, and slow,
and it’s the greatest
silence we have ever known,
sonorous and pure,
and we can hear
the ladybug flap her wings,
though she decides to stay,
and the grass is heaving
its gratitude for the earth
sustaining it from below.
The birds slice through sky
to nestle in the treetops,
their every movement
conducing a forest symphony
for our delighted ears.
Our own heartbeats
are making sweet music,
calm, rhythmic now,
because we, too, have stayed,
one for the other,
under the watchful moon
and the playful sun.

– Tammy Takahashi