Remember Love

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Do you remember
The ten thousand thoughts
You had in a day
Between the hours of waking,
And the laying down
Of your tired self to sleep

Or do you remember
The time you stood on sand
As the ocean waves
Lapped to shore
And tickled your ankles,
And all was right with the world?

In your memory,
The not quite blue
And not quite green of dawn,
The blazing red sun turned to dusk,
The first star of the night
(star light, star bright)

A touch so deep
That skin becomes the map
Of the universe,
And there is no end
To the impulse to immerse yourself
Every contour and curve

A moment shared
Where, without words,
The longings of lifetimes
Come pounding to the surface,
Where they are held
With ancient and visceral love.

We fear that fear
Is all we have and remember.
But, really remember
The love and awe that slipped though
The cracks of thought, to find you:
This is who you really are.

– Tammy Stone Takahashi

The Prayer

All my life,

I’ve been praying,

Something I have not allowed

Myself to see

Until now.

For the caterpillar,

So that it could become

That most magnificent creature

Capable of flight.

For the sun-scorched grasses,

So that it may

Return to that holiest of green.

With the riot of flowers

Peppering lawns and fields

With reminders

Of what is possible

When we notice,

And even when we don’t.

With the cycles themselves,

The snow sitting heavily

On hidden ice,

The worms coming through

The pavement in spring.

The crickets,

Giving us our late summer hymn,

The fading leaves of fall.

I’ve been praying

With the trees,

Who were born into psalm,

And are unwavering

In their prayer for us,

That we, too,

Can find our way

To withstand the hurt,

Brush past our denial,

And breathe the good air

That is left

So that we may give back

The promise of tomorrow.

I have been praying,

Small as a scampering squirrel

Running between the shrubs

Dividing households

With no sense of borders,

Knitting together a world.

I have been lovingly

In the throes of creation

Praying one word, one stich

At a time,

As possibilities arise.

I have let the sun

And moonlight bathe me,

Oceans take me,

And every submersion

Into what sustains me

Has been a prayer of gratitude

And belonging, and love.

And faith.

For we are here,

Imbued with great power,

And prayer has always had

The answers.

  • Tammy Stone Takahashi

The Visitor

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The Visitor

I wasn’t going to stay long,
I realized,
So instead of unpacking my bags,
I removed all the things
We don’t use when we are here
Just for awhile,
Things that came to me
Via love,
In their own place and time,
Things that have found their way
To me,
And which I can love
Inside of me at will, forever,
Because forever has nothing to do
With this kind of duration,
Of my time here.
I took all of those things,
And put them in a box
Destined for a place where
Goods that are needed
Go to those who need them.
I felt so much lighter,
But not yet light enough.
Knowing I wasn’t going to stay
Longer than awhile,
I wondered,
How much can I excavate
From my own heart,
How many emotions
Have outlasted their welcome?
How many thoughts are tired
Of circulating through me?
How many patterns
Desire their liberation
From the cage of my unwillingness
To understand I can be free?
I wondered about the life spent,
So far, collecting a history
I could no longer recognize
Myself in, and vowed,
Knowing my stay is short,
To give away all that I could,
Of myself, until all that remains
Is what I have been seeking,
Here and there, and always.

– Tammy Stone Takahashi

 

Everything/Nothing

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Today, I aspire to be nothing,

and no-one.

I am keenly aware

that none of the ways

I adorn myself bring me any closer

to who I am.

The slow, sweet glide

into the darkness

that, as I wait, fills

with the most splendid

of night’s visitations:

stars, moon, nature’s songs,

which still feel real, and true,

and I feel I am coming closer.

I undress; let my hair down,

I strip myself of words,

of the thoughts that form them.

This is the aspiration:

to rest in the stillness of being,

maybe find unrest at first,

a tremendous discomfort:

I am not who I thought I was.

The whole world, too, changes

as I see myself this way,

as a different self, then no-self.

And as I sit with this new

light of non-being,

I find I am still inhabiting this body,

a most sublime cosmic dust

and I get to dance with the sights,

sounds and textures of this space

we have been given

to play out our own evolution,

and I know that there is nothing

more sacred, or more important

than to tear myself away

from any of the comfortable notions

and face being nothing at all,

feeling with everything in me

how much closer

to the infinite nothing is, than I am.

 

– Tammy Stone Takahashi

 

 

Earthing

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To make art

of our hands and heart,

resting, finally, where needed

To make love

with the sacred ground

of our unfolding

To make breath

as the earth breathes

her heaves and sighs

To make space

for the seeds of potential

to find their way to light

To make peace

with the past and future

in the terror and splendour of now

To make a home

between life and death

our very place of freedom

 

– Tammy Stone Takahashi

 

By the Window – A Poem of Hope in the time of Coronavirus.

By the Window

By the window,
It looks like any other day,
a particularly beautiful one,
sun shining, clear blue sky,
the snow and ice succumbing
to winter’s end.
It is quiet,
a silence heralding, to me,
a feeling of peace
that is hard to ignore,
or to thwart with logic,
with what I now know.
By the window,
it is just I, the observer
of life being itself,
of steady spruces offering comfort,
of geese flying home,
of hand built wooden furniture
meant to weather
the seasons and the years.
Then the thoughts trickle in,
and the freedom of this moment,
this clear moment of witness
of all that his holy and right
with this world,
threatens to become
a cage for fears and doubt,
which, like the fertile earth
one window away from me,
know well how to grow.
Before this can happen,
I turn to look at the flowers
we have been nurturing inside
these coldest months of the year,
at the scarlet petals blushing with life
that do not sway with the times,
and settle on finding eternity here,
so that I can turn my gaze outside,
and see that eternity cannot depart.
The geese know it,
in their homeward movement,
and if we can sit within the stillness
of a new day beginning,
despite, and even though,
and gather every last beating heart
into our own,
we too can become the world,
and in it find we are home.

– Tammy Stone Takahashi

I Overheard a Conversation Today

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I overheard a conversation today.
It was between one bird and another
Saying the sky has changed.
It was between both birds
And the topmost leaf of a tree
Asking if the tree was lonely.
It was between this one leaf
And all the other leaves of the tree,
Wondering why they were still safe
Amid the wreckage, knowing
As they do, there is no separation.
It was between one forest
And all the other forests of the world,
A collection of missed connections
And feverish work in overdrive,
So that we may go on breathing,
All of them imbued with knowing,
The way we know
When our most cherished ties
Have been severed,
By the cave-size hole in our hearts,
Growing to consume the world.
It was between the dismembered roots
Of the forest and the rocks above,
Those silent sounding boards
For millennia of secrets,
Those records of our living and dying.
It was between me and you.
Trying to know what to do.
Reaching out our hands
As though together we could
Wrap ourselves around the world
And love it whole again.
– Tammy Takahashi
Please share! Let’s make a difference! Let’s save our planet! Any inquiries: tammystoneshare@gmail.com.

The World is Burning

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What is a prayer
if not a question so deeply asked
that the body starts to tremble
as the tears fall,
and a heart that opens
like a flower under the love of the sun,
slowly but according to the rhythms
(the roars and swells,
the sighs of turning inward
in a world ever revolving)
ready, now, to hear, and to listen?
It is a time of burning, of flooding,
of maniacal sweepings through,
and we are afraid,
and underneath that, we know,
and so we pray.
We close our eyes,
and feel the ocean of suffering.
We bring our hands
that have reached for the world
back to ourselves,
where we turn to all this pain
with our ancient legacy of compassion
as we surrender,
and fill the space between us
with hope, that underside of pain
that in the shadows feeds from
the rich home of our earth,
the shelter we will love back to life.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

 

 

 

 

 

If I Could, Our Precious World

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If I could love all the trees
newly planted, in their infancy,
until they grew tall and strong,
faster than we could
ever have imagined, I would,
not because I want to
play with time
or the natural order of things,
but because
I see a world starved
of breath and connection,
and an entire system
of our mothers and protectors
severed at the roots,
withered and isolated,
and I don’t know what else to do.
If I could bring water
to where it runs dry, I would.
I would carry it from where
it has spilled over
and caused so much wreckage,
and bring it to where
there is so much thirst and famine.
I would ask the wind
to take kindly to us,
and grace us with secret wisdom
hidden in sweet, warm breezes
until we know how to handle
with equanimity and stillness,
all that the great gales carry.
I would inject the sun and sky
with the life force
of all the love that still exists,
and ask it, every morning,
to heal what is broken,
and remind us of gratitude.
If I could, I would paint, or sew,
or write our happy world
into existence, and it would appear,
and we would shake our heads
and marvel at how long
we chose to live in such suffering.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

How Mysterious the World!

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How mysterious the world is!
I cannot take my eyes
off the sun and the universe
that feed our world, its beings,
and our common dreams.
I try to look through
what I can see before me,
but the eyes, of course,
do not take us there.
So I try to go first where
my senses can take me,
because these are the gifts
we have been given,
and gifts by nature grow.
There it is, a cosmos
at the bottom of a teacup
on an artist-adorned wall,
hidden in the shadows
made by startling sunlight
streaming in through the temple’s
raw, wood-framed windows,
in the space of a gap-toothed smile.
A few brushstrokes evoke
the dance of enlightenment,
a pure joy of being,
two colours combine to suggest
the realm of infinite possibility.
Why do we rest where we are?
Dive into the unrest
for just long enough to grasp
that the world is shaking up
so that the pieces can resettle,
as they always will,
to forge a new direction
for the wild and untamed
and brilliant seekers among us.
 
– Tammy Takahashi