We are in This Together

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If it is an echo that you seek,
a far-off cry, resounding and important,
reverberating off the storied walls
of ancient times, if you are reaching
very nearly into the great void
hoping to hear the sounds
emerging, muffled and true,
in the great winds that have brought us
everything we know and hold dear
from places we may never go
and people we might never meet,
or be, if we are straining to hear
the sounds containing all that wisdom,
and we will sacrifice everything
we know, for that which we don’t,
if fear has turned into determination
and the seedlings of love keep growing,
then know: you are being listened to,
you are heard, felt, seen, and loved.
You will not fall. We are seeking together.
 
– Tammy Takahashi
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There is No Time

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We move through time
The hours and minutes
A life force from below
mounting through our feet
like a slow-burning fire,
The days our discoveries
of Sun, Moon, Starlight;
The weeks the stories
Streaking through the sky
Giving us our memories,
Creating a past of ghosts;
The years our wisdom
Won from movements
Enshrined in our remains,
Sloping down hair of grey,
Embedded in our lined faces;
And there is no place
For everything we know,
And when the fire
Is reduced to embers
And finally to ash,
There is no time that stops,
Just life to be discovered
By those who come next,
And they will find
All of our gathered secrets
In the butterflies
Hovering over spring flowers,
In the fireflies
Making dances in the night,
In the birds
Connecting all the mountains
They will never climb
And that would otherwise
Never find their flight.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

What I Want for Us

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I want to bring myself to the world
and bring all that vastness into me.
I want to let down my untamed hair,
wear loose and breeze-filled clothes,
invite all the creatures to safely land.
I want to never forget about the fairies
and spirits in the forests of the stories
I used to read under the covers at night.
I want to read every book ever written,
and discover all the possible universes,
and then sit down to invent my own,
and always be dreaming, over and over.
I want to hear from every sea shell
to get my favourite news from afar.
I want to never stop seeking my truths,
and doing what I can to protect them.
I want to know every single one of you,
and I want to always remember who I am.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

I Bow to You

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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

For Sri Lanka

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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

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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

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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