One Golden Evening

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And as sun goes down tonight,
I do not think of all those things
that will lay in surrender, to rest,
or wonder where they’ll go, if,
like the dazzling golden jewel
lowering into the silken waters,
they will seem to lower themselves
with great gentility, straight through
to the other side of the world,
where they will find their ground
of great comfort, dignity, grace.
I do not think of the black night
that is waiting behind the veil
of this grand spectacle of in-between,
or the moon that will ascend
to illumine the deepening cracks
between each of our aging bones,
each with her thousand stories
imbued with the powerful promise
to witness, create, destroy.
Instead, I divest myself of these,
I stand naked between sun and moon,
between here and where it all goes,
flooded with the play of now and then
on this body, sanding here, now,
shivering with winsome delight
because suddenly, nothing remains
but one golden evening that
knows every star, every flower,
every flight and every fall,
and it is all me, and it us all us
reflected here, making it whole.
 
– tammy takahashi
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What will your freedom be?

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and if today were the last,
or the last before that?
what would your freedom be?
its textures, scents, taste?
how would it envelop you,
and would you leap into it?
what would the expression
of your love be, how wide?
of all the remaining steps,
the in and out of breath,
how many are dedicated
to all the small devotions
that, like a trail in the woods,
will always be our guide
to places of greatest purity?
How many sacred moments
do we feel the pulse of life
dancing like magic in us,
so we know, really know,
how gloriously we are here?

– tammy takahashi

We are the living.

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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

March for our Lives: A Poem

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What are we holding onto,
so tightly?
When we have our guns
and won’t let go,
what are we afraid to lose
that hasn’t already
been annihilated?
We are scared to death.
We are scared of death.
We are letting the living die,
we are not honouring the dead
when our actions are not
on the side of the living.
Let us march, all of us,
wherever we are,
however we can.
This march, for our lives,
is a plea, a cry, a rally
to the makers of change,
but let us not stand divided.
Let us remember our lives,
our unity, the one life
that threads through us all.
Let us honour every living being,
here and departed and not yet come,
with every single last
shred of hope within us.
Let us build on this honour
so that it grows to fill the world
with respect and reverence for all,
and for ever possibility.

– tammy takahashi

Finding Heart

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Maybe I’ve been looking
at the wrong things,
and for too long,
and in places not meant
for our communion.
Maybe there’s not
so far to go, to do things
like watch every flower grow,
the seasons come and go.
Maybe this is where
we find the time we fear
is running away from us,
while we’ve been fleeing, madly,
in every direction from here.
I want to watch every creature
take their first breath this world,
see the fledgling growth,
the wide-eyed wonder,
the absorption of everything
we will choose to give it.
I want to sit outside
and watch wind become rain,
and sun become life.
I want to feel with my fingers
how trees age with grace
and how the earth
harbors seed and root,
which provide so much.
I want to witness
the life cycle of a cicada,
and contemplate eternity
flowing in the breath of their
short-lived song,
and marvel at perspective.
I want to be so still
that I can hear
every heartbeat at once,
loving and doubting,
in honour and in strife,
from beginningless
to never-ending time,
giving everything,
needing only this.

Your Smiling Gaze

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Take your gaze far,
There is always so much to see.
And maybe you don’t take your mind
on a journey to the past,
where epics and legends gone by
want to sweep you off your feet
until you fall, like Alice did, down
to where nothing will fit the same.
Maybe you don’t surrender your mind
to the distant future, which,
like all the galaxies in the cosmos,
form the most entrancing worlds,
maybe the scariest ones too,
that, no matter how much you want to,
you cannot bring your fingers to touch.
Maybe, as you cast your gaze to glory,
bringing that contented smile to your face,
you are finding yourself in the position of things,
feeling your heart beat the tune of your life,
the thrum echoing the earth’s great pulse,
and maybe you come into this great force,
with a moment of recognition: I am here,
I am fully awake to this moment. I am. I am.
 
– tt