The Sunflower

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I would like to bring
my soft-hearted eye
to the great sunflower,
that lion and lioness,
each one of which
forms a cosmos,
its ring of life inside
harboring infinite pathways
outward from
source we seek,
its bright yellow invitation
to come closer,
to travel beyond
the velveteen mane
of petals,
to land on the sacred
cushion within,
but just as I am readying
to fly,
my soft-hearted eye
finds another,
and now there are two,
and I don’t know
which way to go,
and if I close my eyes,
I fear annihilation
before destination,
dissolution before union,
fear itself before love.
Then, a voice of power
speaks from within:
this is your journey,
and you can always re-frame.
And so I try: not to isolate,
or close off my view,
but to widen it all,
until it is One.

My Body My Land My Home

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I’ve crossed many lands,
and there are many more
my heart will guide me to
 
I will watch suns ascend
beyond great mountains,
feel the first blast of warmth,
gentle, hit my upturned face
and I’ll want to run toward
thousands more just like it
 
And the chanting I can hear
in the distance only affirms,
as I keep yearning, the
gem-like quality of this road
I have been taking
 
I will listen to the sounds
of a bustling new day still
tinged with the sweet sleep
of a community at peace,
 
I will long to be among them,
sweeping dusty roads,
performing ablutions, calling
out to neighbors, laughing,
putting the kettle to boil.
 
I will look for myself in it all,
the minarets in silhouette,
the sacred river going by,
the wizened face of a sage,
 
And I will know before I want to,
that the only land that can
sustain my earnest desire for
awakening is the land whose
borders mark the space
 
I take up in this world,
my body my land my home,
and I will finally
rest here too.
 
– TS

I Stay

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heartland
world goes to dusk
verdant landscape blushes
as sun paints the world
one last streak of fire
for this time
 
i stay
as she makes
her serpentine descent
i mourn the world
that will soon be
shrouded in dark
 
i resist
the temptation
to leap toward the horizon
and follow the sun to
all those places
on the other side
 
instead
hands to heart
i fix my gaze on the tree
i slow down my breath
that pulses with twilight fear
and i stay – TS

We All Want Home

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It’s possible to spend a
lifetime looking for home
 
After many humble beginnings
Many false if hopeful starts
 
After bowing in thanks and
reverence for finding ourselves here,
 
For being given the chance to
know the awe of our humanity,
 
Thankful, too, for the realization
that home is a space we seek
 
Having found it in juicy parts,
the fiery sun descending over waters,
 
The bird’s first chirp as it arches
its tiny neck for mother, for food,
 
The cicadas heralding their arrival
for a cycle in comforting song,
 
The startling clarity of a cool,
clear river rushing downstream.
 
Between solid ground and the
expansion of sky, we are here,
 
Where for a startling moment,
inside matches out and our breath
 
Is the air of a thousand ways
to soothe and balm the world.
 
We will travel through many
places that will not be home,
 
Where we squeeze and constrict
and try and anguish and scream
 
In confusion for why home is not
our birthright, now, at the ready,
 
And then we will breathe, and breathe
again, and find that the pursuit of home
 
Is why we are here, and that there will
be nothing sweeter than arriving. -TS
 

Let’s Journey Together

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We’re heading there now
the sky, a blue sheen,
or maybe the rain gods
are giving us a day of grey
 
We’re speeding there,
so fast we are learning
we never really had a say
in the great unfolding at all
 
We’re turning corners,
and the wind on our skin
is a delirious awakening
as we glide around the bend
 
We are remembering our way,
we are finding our protection,
we are digging deep for hope,
we are making it together. – TS

A Little Piece of Me

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her brow
beaded with
sweat,
tendrils of hair
clinging to her skin,
afraid to
look ahead,
her eyes fix
on the trail
of thistles, dried
pebbles and moss,
and she trips
anyway,
her mind
buzzing with
the crickets
and cawing
with the birds
confused about
coming or going,
which brings
her to the sea
and to her place
on the shore,
trembling on
loose sand
caged, somehow,
beneath all that
vast sky,
never certain
which of the
world’s horizons
to claim. – TS