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

Upside-Down and In-Between

DSCF5134

I gaze at the reflection
Until I forget
There is any other world.
There are two trees
That at first looked upside down.
It didn’t take long
Before I was so immersed
In this world of trees
Suspended from the sky,
The empty ground below,
The muted glitter
Of the sakura lights
Hung side by side
With the dried leaves
Of Japanese maple
That winter left behind.
I wasn’t quite a part of this world;
I was aware of my legs,
Large and looming,
Close to me,
In the waterworld below;
There was no way to enter.
But the other world had left,
And I had no thought
Of bringing it back,
Of needing to belong to the scene.
Observing was my way of belonging,
Of being immersed
In the world of contemplation,
Which filled me.
When I did finally look up,
I was startled to see the world I knew
And was mine to join,
And here I was,
Not in one or the other,
But somewhere in between,
And I knew I would have to decide,
And knew it would be impossible,
The upside down world no less real,
The familiar world no less imagined,
I, as witness, with my expanded view,
Exactly where I wanted to be.

– Tammy Stone Takahashi

I Overheard a Conversation Today

tree

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

P1390807
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

DSCF2740

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

Beautiful, Tree

DSCF1583

What is the story
you have to tell,
what are the moments
of your life
carved onto your skin
and bone?
Tall you stand,
a totem,
a witness to our age,
how much of us
do you mirror,
as you try to give
all of yourself
to a world
that has forgotten you?
The tears, the stains,
the marks of time,
the sinewy curves,
the shades
impossible to be
replicated. Your beauty.
Your beauty,
The shape of loss,
the presence of life
folding in, growing tall.
What of myself
Am I trying to find in you?
How much do you
have to do alone, now,
because you’ve been
severed at the root
from so many of your
brothers and sisters?
I see a topography,
an archeology,
an entire world
as I look at you,
but maybe I don’t need
to reach so far.
Maybe I just need
to close my eyes,
and wrap my arms around you,
or sit, my back
to your long body,
and feel this moment
that is sun and rain,
that is dawn and midnight,
our stake in this world,
that is always
both here and forever.

– Tammy Takahashi

How Mysterious the World!

DSCF0570

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