A Poem and Sun Salutation for Summer Solstice

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On this summer solstice, the longest day of the year, saluting the sun (in the basement, not to awaken the beautiful sleeping ones, the sun peering in) and a poem: ☀️

To the sun,
Dear glowing orb
Gliding through the horizon,
Peeking over fabled mountaintops
Before rising seamlessly
According to your principles,
Never straying,
So that the rise is a triumph,
Every time,
And in your vast expanse,
We know we, too,
Are invited,
To rise,
To bring hand to heart,
Arch chest to sky,
Lift our gaze
Between our brows,
Where sun and moon meet,
And beyond,
To the one great source
Of light.
To the sun,
For giving us our days
With your brazen warmth,
And for your twilight descent,
Which gives us our
Seasons in a day,
And the darkness
You fortify us to face
Before each new dawn.

– Tammy Stone Takahashi

 

Sun Salutations

NEW BOOK AND FUNDRAISER!!

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What a time this has been… In the very early days of the pandemic, I felt a strong pull to put together a book of poems themed around peace and hope. I envisioned sprinkling doses of these more magical aspects of the human experience as far and wide as I could. Things were bleak. We were scared, lonely, confused, and clarity did not seem forthcoming. I started looking over my streams and streams of poems, and there it was, so plain to see (though the path from first epiphany to final editing/layout is a veerrrrrryyy long and winding one!): my poems, which always help me learn about what is in my heart, show me I’ve been preoccupied with our warring inner selves, the state of our disconnected world, and with the human longings for peace, for ages!

It felt like the time to distill from all the poems a selection that would be both relatable and, hopefully, a solace. It took time; something wasn’t quite gelling. I hemmed and hawed. I rewrote, edited, had my amazing mother read it for typos. Then I rewrote some more.

Then the world fell apart again, with the murder of George Floyd. Confusion, sadness, despair, again. Also, a new resolve. The time for this book feels like NOW. Everything started falling into place. I have packaged the book as a PDF – not only the quickest way to do it and get it into people’s hands, but also in an eco-friendly way. I tried my best to format it so that it is easy on the eyes (and hopefully on the heart). I might make hard copies eventually, but I’m hoping to get the book out there to anyone who might be interested and in need of a caring package of love and connection.

I’m offering the book on a donation basis, and half of the proceeds will go to a beautiful foundation called The Loveland Foundation. (www.thelovelandfoundation.org) From their page: The Loveland Foundation is committed to showing up for communities of color in unique and powerful ways, with a particular focus on Black women and girls. Our resources and initiatives are collaborative and they prioritize opportunity, access, validation, and healing. We are becoming the ones we’ve been waiting for.

I can receive PayPal and e-Transfer at tammystone4444@gmail.com. Just send me your e-mail and I will send you the book. Please share and spread the word, if you can. Suggested donation is $20, and anything you have to offer would be so greatly appreciated. If you would like the book but are unable to make a donation, please contact me and I’ll happily share it with you.

It is my great hope that we will all overcome this time of crisis together. I am so grateful for your support, for this foundation, and also for my art. Love and peace to all.

 

Cosmology of a Dream

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Cosmology of a Dream

And we woke,
to find we were still dreaming,
and it took time
but now we knew

How vast the empire
populated by warring thoughts
defending against tides of change,
resisting truth to the death

But truth, like light
does not disappear
or surrender
the way we, so tired, can

And when we let truth
slip in to plant its seeds
the dream itself will start to smile
the sweet smile of the free.

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

Upside-Down and In-Between

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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

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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