I Bow to You

DSCF0274

I gather false strength
and stand upright,
me versus the world.
I throw my shoulders back,
throw my gaze long,
discerning and proud,
as though surveying
something that belongs to me,
and not to you,
or to you, and not to me,
and this is where desire dwells,
and a terrible need grows,
and I am in my perch,
and you are in yours,
and no proximity
can bring us together.
 
I bend down,
close my eyes, and bow,
and immediately,
the separation has disappeared.
We are not yet one,
this might be the work
of a lifetime.
But we are so much closer,
I feel so much closer here,
where I can smell
the earth below, that tethers us
to the same source,
where I can kiss your feet
in acknowledgement
of my devotion to you,
who have so much to teach me.
 
– Tammy Takahashi
Advertisements

For Sri Lanka

DSCF4228
Sometimes I imagine
that if i try hard enough,
I can bring myself
to every place of suffering,
be in all the places at once
where unfathomable
pain and confusion dwell,
where growth has ceded
to the tides of destruction
and love is smothered
by dark fear and rage,
and do everything
that is within my power,
and in my imagination,
my power is great,
to take all this misery
upon myself, so that,
for just long enough,
there will be a clearing,
and in this open space
we will see so clearly
that this sheen of splendor,
it is for all of us,
and that if we can’t share
in the ready abundance,
and bow before the other
as we cling steadfast to ourselves,
we will lose all of it, together,
and that to choose wisely,
would be to go the other way,
and share, and love,
and mourn and grieve together,
and rebuild slowly, as one.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Past Now Love

DSCF2143

There is no part of our land
that has been left untouched
by the ravages of our violence
and the blessing of our prayers,
existing together, all at once;
it can be the work of a lifetime
to sit with everything we know.
There is no life without history,
and no body without memory.
To walk is to walk with ghosts,
to breathe is breathe the story
we’ve brought to waking dreams.
Fear drives dark excavations,
Wonder brings back the light.
What’s dissolved, what remains,
what brought tears, our hope,
the fluid emblems of our lives.
May we find the love within us
to seek all those sacred spaces
marked with all of experience;
the silken threads and wisps
singing to us our past laments
as we find in them everything
we need to remember about us,
and our will to make it better.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Love Stories Everywhere

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are love stories everywhere,
in the butterflies of first caresses,
in the clouds shaped like hearts.
Love can be found in the flowers
opening each morning to feed the bees,
in a mother’s warm, soothing embrace.
There is love in interlocking treetops,
in their roots intertwined underground
to help each other, and feed the world.
Love builds a mama bird’s nest
for her babies’ fledgling first days,
and makes a rainbow from rain.
Love arches the sun up toward the moon,
and the moon across the breadth of sky,
and love makes all the oceans swell.
Love lets us forgive our gravest mistakes,
and come to believe in new beginnings,
And love lets me reach deep inside,
where I sometimes forget love resides,
and turn all of the darkest places to light,
until I know: love stays, love abides.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

I am Human

DSCF0225

I am the wind, storming through,
I am the tree, badly shaken.
I am the sky, clear and hopeful,
I am the clouds, grey and obtuse.
But the tree, it doesn’t break,
And the clouds, they dissipate.
I am the background, I am listening,
I am the foreground, I am acting.
I am the mountain, I am brooding,
I am the forest bed, I am inviting.
I am the wild animals, I am starving,
I am the Earth’s wild green, I am providing.
I am trying hard to be everything,
As I harbor the fear that I am nothing.
I am the world, and I am broken,
I am the world, and I am healing.
I am the cosmos, running on love,
I am a person, and I am learning.

– Tammy Takahashi

Be What You Are

DSCF2043

It is the nature of a flower to bloom;
It wouldn’t know what else to do.
It will never walk across the field
To commune with the faraway trees.
It won’t kiss the sky on a bird’s wing,
Or climb the distant mountains,
It won’t arch its pretty spine up
To greet the sky before first light.
It knows when to stay buried and wait,
and when to greet the world again.
It doesn’t know how to be beautiful,
But this takes away none of the beauty.
Its wisdom is its graceful blossoming
Into what it was always meant to do.
It is the sacred purpose of a flower
To bloom, and nothing internal to it
Will ever stop this great unfolding.
May we learn from the flower’s grace,
To find what we are, and be that, fully,
As though our lives depended on it.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Grow the Garden

DSCF5237

Until we can fully grow,
the garden inside us,
which is to say, to see,
to seek, and to love
the blossoms and thickets
surrounding the heart,
Until we can venture there,
May we seek the gardens,
fields, mountains and trails
we still have left to us,
May we cherish them,
be in constant wonder of them,
and seek refuge in them.
May be first become aware
of the magnanimity of
everything they are,
and vow to protect them,
knowing that as we do this,
we are doing nothing less
than guarding the seeds
of our own evolution,
of the heart revolution.
 
– Tammy Takahashi