A Travel Poem

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What is the promise of a new journey
if not an awakening of soul’s stirring,
an expansion of the privileges of new dawn,
and the singular experience of renewal
as we search for the morning sun
after night’s dark and restless charms,
and bathe ourselves in the soft heat
that has been all the way around the world
and has so many stories to tell us?
How is it possible not to seek communion
with each of the places the sun has been
that has painted us with all this life?

– Tammy Takahashi

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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

Taking the Day

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Without knowing it, I have been sleeping
with tiny branch ends and leaves in my hair,
a tumble of the best of me, and of world
working together to spin life from the dark.
 
Without knowing it, I have fused with the trees,
and we have both marked our passage in time,
though they gave me eternity, wisdom and patience,
and I, what I could of my fragile, fledgling heart.
 
Without knowing it, I have passed the seasons
watching momentous stillness, then rebirth
following with eyes wide open the cyclical rhythms
to their soft sweet end, the finest of beginnings.
 
Without knowing it, I have been taking the day
for the profound lessons each of them extends
and some seep into me like the sun through skin,
and most lay buried, seeds that too, will blossom.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Heart Garden

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And sometimes, in the fleeting breath
between thoughts, in the moon
that peeks through restless clouds,
in that perfect moment between
lost, shivering memories and lifeless
future projections, we truly arrive,
to where we are, and maybe the gates
don’t swing open and invite you
into your life, but maybe you approach,
cautiously, with feet more assured
the farther you go, and maybe
you stop to gather the beautiful seeds
you can plant and nourish as long
as it takes to grow them into
the wild, stunning garden of your heart.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Through the Veil

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Through the veil that we have coloured
with the woven tapestry of our stories,
those that illuminate and those that fail us,
we peer out, as much as the veil allows,
and on the one side is a honed isolation,
billowing around us like a comfortable pillow
that can also, on another day, suffocate us,
and on the other, imaginings of belonging,
soft and sweet and frightening and pure:
what that would look, smell and feel like,
what the sinewy textures of our grounding
would be in the lands that cushion our birth.
We birth: again, and again, we are borne
of a thousand suns and the lives they touch,
of endless moons caressing our shadows
with a hope that cuts right through to bone.
We can crest the mountains, soar like falcons,
or we can sit on grass, watch tiny buds grow,
and no victory is small, that shatters the veil,
and brings me to myself, and all of me to you.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

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

Fire Through Me

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There is fire embedded in the rock,
subtle, less mad, buried as potential,
but fire still, capable of burning,
and we may not know how
to draw the fire from the rock,
because the conditions are not ripe
for the fire’s powerful emergence,
or we are not ready, yet, to see it.
I would like to be in perfect stillness,
by the tree or in the mountainside,
where very few would notice me,
and invite my own awareness
of the fire burning through me
as I breathe clear as the wind,
flow deep and strong as the waters,
readying myself to burst into flame,
destroy the unwanted with great love,
and ignite the world with my passion.
 
– Tammy Takahashi