A Poem for Notre Dame

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In every great plumed tree
lies the coming, naked winter,
each beam of starlight
tells of a past no more.
The stately art of an era
bears out our name, rounds out
the body of our experience,
the effigies stand time still
while leaving us desperate
to climb into the world
where memories come to life.
When a great building dies
it pours madly into the world,
scattered in all the directions,
remnants of a collective dream,
of a the sacred space where
the history of emotion lived,
with all the hushed whispers
and reverential quietude,
the rapture of encountering,
face-to-face, the ripened fruit
of our grandest human hopes
and greatest earned potential.
Every single thing that exists
contains the code of its demise
and we do not know know when,
or how, or by what means
this destruction born of creation
comes to journey’s end,
only that we can bear witness
to all this life in its passing.
 
– Tammy Takahashi
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Remembering and Forgetting

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The art of remembering, and forgetting … like all binaries, it has to be all about balance. We don’t want to remember so much that our entire world becomes a recreation of a past that doesn’t exist anymore, so that we become incapable of living in the present moment. But we don’t want to forget so much that we lose the context for our being, the heart and bones of our ancestry that fills our vessel with so much of what makes us who we are. We don’t want to cling to what has caused us pain and give this too much potency, nor to an overwhelming nostalgia for a time we will never have back and that never quite existed. But we don’t have or want to condemn ourselves to being completely unmoored, either. We can allow ourselves to be rooted in the nurturing ground that gave rise to us without being indebted to every detail of our history. We can work toward finding freedom within the form or shell that is the life we came in to. We can work toward honouring the past and finding it it the many valuable and necessary lessons for a more hopeful future while working our hearts out to cultivate, forge, pioneer, and create the unimaginable gift of an open life for ourselves.

Here in You: A Poem

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It is always a
coming home,
a remembering,
the air whip thin
and sparkling
a sundance of
unfiltered joy
the crackling
under the feet
of a whole
cycle of life
preparing for
its journey
down, out,
through,
standing still
no matter
where you are
to find yourself
at the epicenter
of the language
of birdsong,
and you don’t
want to
decipher it
because
you realize
you already
understand.
You know you
are here
in you.
 
– TS

The Beauty of Loss

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A memory is not
a hole
or an empty space
creating fissures
in the wind,
anymore than a flower
is its missing petals
that discovered
their time to say
goodbye.
Why is it we look
and regard the world
from a place of
such wholeness,
only to complicate
what is absent,
or no more?
It is the full vitality
of what is
that allows even
for our experience
of loss.
We are always
what is. – TS

New Poem Published!

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Hello!

Thank you so much for being here and for reading my poems (and viewing my photos) – it means so much to me!

It snowed last night here in Japan. Where I live, we hardly get any snow, maybe a few flurries that don’t stick to the ground. Today, a playground of white! A walk in the fluffiness last night opened my heart wide open. I’m Canadian – I grew up digging ice rink in the backyard between two ancient crab apple trees. I love snow!

An even better day to wake up and receive news that I’ve had a poem published in First Literary Review  -East. It’s not about snow, but it is about home, memory and time.

I hope you enjoy it! You can find it among really great poems second-to-last here.

Have a great day/night!