For a Hard Day

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When it’s too haunting
and the memories spill over,
threatening to dismantle
the fragile, beautiful edifice
of your everyday life
and hard won victories,
When the emotions assault,
and you honour each of them
even as they dance and clash
and squirm in all directions,
and they don’t know where to go
and you don’t know how to guide them,
Take it all into your space, and retreat.
You don’t have to go far,
or to bury yourself
in the layers underneath,
above or beyond where you are.
You don’t need to escape.
It is all here, right here,
in one sublime sunset,
in the rippling sea speaking of forever
that glistens in each wave
lapping against the shore.
Find a tree, kneel down, graze roots
that commingle with the entire planet,
taking all that life force through trunk
and up to the highest branches,
carrying messages of the sky
back down to earth,
for every single one of us.
Listen for those secrets
with utmost silence, your prayer,
and as you reach down
to touch stones and smell soil,
notice how it is, in every sense,
there for you, a perfect full presence.
All of it, all of it, for every part of you,
no judgement, only love. Only love.

– Tammy Takahashi

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Tomorrow

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t has never been the same,
but still we have fallen into
our comforts, taken to the belief
that things get better, that
there is a sheen on the horizon,
which is always, deliciously, ahead,
and if we stopped here, maybe,
in the playground of our versed hopes
and our deepest wisdom,
our steps would graze the ground
lighter, a golden future we’d make
from the firm beingness of now.
But what of the other side,
the way we turn to the past,
not with our bare feet on holy ground,
but with our eyes turned inward,
fixed on an object that never, really, is?
The happy-laced, the moments receding,
buried so in a fortress of our love and
desire, that it changes colours, hardens
and turns without our ever knowing,
and we intuit that we must leave
them where they are, but
we build altars and shrines
around them, with our tenderness
but also our fear, for we know
that in their unveiling, there would
be a disappearance, and a shudder
would pass through us, like lightning,
as though nothing remained, as
though we were not here, blood
and bone and hope on sacred
ground, still moving toward
the beckoning hues of tomorrow.

I, Between Ground and Sky

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I am my contradictions;
I am not my contradictions.
You will find me here,
a little too far away, maybe,
from the depths of the ocean floor,
where movement is unweighted grace,
and the talking, deep and sonorous
and capable of stretching for miles,
exactly and quietly where it needs to go;
a little too removed, maybe,
from the vast blanket of sky,
that knows how to stay,
that holds space for shifting clouds
suspended, it seems to me,
in a state of satiation and whimsy,
unburdened by their responsibility
to nourish us, to not fall right down
before their job is done;
and there is no clashing of the clouds,
is there, only seamless integration.
I am not in one place or the other,
and before I can determine what this means
about where I am,
my mind drifts like the sea creatures and the clouds,
chasing colours I am sure I have forgotten.
But I remember –
it is in my nature, as I try
to find the ground between,
the soft, bold place in the center of my being,
to get caught between two places
now and then as I journey through
the realms of hope and hunger and despair,
to love and hold the untruths that
have made me, and regard them, and let go,
as I make my unhurried movement,
like the dolphins do,
toward grace.

– TT

Image may contain: sky, cloud, twilight, outdoor and nature

We Are Gold: A Poem

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our gilded days
and we are –
an imperfect yet holy
refraction
caught in our desires
that come down to this:
to be whole
to be loved,
and the mistakes we make
in the way we cannot
recognize
that we are not what is
left over, incomplete,
searching,
no, we are a reflection,
illumined and pure,
of the vastest space
we can imagine,
and I envision this,
as I my eye catches the spark
of the sun glinting off
gold leaf
on sacred temple grounds:
I don’t have to transport myself
anywhere
for my transmutation.
I am here
with everything that is,
and I will stay here,
until I understand that
love seeps through me
the way the moon
bleeds her light into the sky,
unhindered, abundant,
limitless, moving mountains and seas
with nothing but
inner light.
– TS

The Woman I Am

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if i look close enough
i’m at ocean’s bottom
hovering just above
a bed of rock and gem
unbound by the weight
of my own body
and all her secrets

for here, the little stones
speak to me in silence,
the vibrant lush ones
know songs I have
not yet learned,
transmuted into colors
my heart understands

and what if it is
not the deep seas
and I am still governed
by the laws of earth-
bound nature, and I
am no longer a mermaid,
but a woman who can
choose the light and free? – TS