We Are Gold: A Poem

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our gilded days
and we are –
an imperfect yet holy
refraction
caught in our desires
that come down to this:
to be whole
to be loved,
and the mistakes we make
in the way we cannot
recognize
that we are not what is
left over, incomplete,
searching,
no, we are a reflection,
illumined and pure,
of the vastest space
we can imagine,
and I envision this,
as I my eye catches the spark
of the sun glinting off
gold leaf
on sacred temple grounds:
I don’t have to transport myself
anywhere
for my transmutation.
I am here
with everything that is,
and I will stay here,
until I understand that
love seeps through me
the way the moon
bleeds her light into the sky,
unhindered, abundant,
limitless, moving mountains and seas
with nothing but
inner light.
– TS

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

The Way of the Sun

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I see, in the miraculous way
the sun makes her sure descent,
 
my own place in this world.
The sun gives us this gift
 
In her sure movements, regal
and decisive, sweeping across
 
lands in constant invitation.
I stand and watch the sky
 
sigh plush and heavy at dusk,
heaving at the last letting go
 
in tufts of orange, grey and pink.
I, too, sigh, with the weight of
 
the undone, my heart hammering
in her caged dome, unlike the
 
sun before me, a fireball ablaze
with the potential for all that is,
 
offering me, even now, her golden
embrace. I stand before the mountain,
 
shaking at the wonder of all the ways
in which I am here, and not here, and
 
I take it. The sun’s persistent rotations
that allow my fluttering, fledgling
 
trajectories. Warning of the dark,
soothing, always again, with her light.
 
– TS

The Mountain Dreamer

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The Mountain Dreamer
 
The mountain dreamer
trembles in awe
at the majesty
laid out before her
in two dimensions
on a misty morning,
the gradations
of grey and pink,
the cloudless milky sky
keeping her tethered,
still, to the sticky and
tentacled dream world
she is not quite ready
to leave behind.
She, too, casts no shadow,
her feet rest
on dewy ground,
a cow grazes nearby.
As she watches,
the mountain emerges
from the haze,
her shape etches
bold and clear against
the sky of new day.
The mountain dreamer,
still caught between
the parts of yesterday
that cling to her bones,
and the many forked trails
of her tomorrows,
lifts her gaze to the
great heights before her,
contemplating the mountain,
risen from tumult
to tower over the ground,
under the unimaginable
depths of sky,
on top of the world,
but still at the very beginning
of it all.
 
– TS