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

Petals Fallen in Spring

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Petals fall lush to ground,
not yet dried or decayed,
unsullied by wind, sun, rain,
handfuls of spring snow
tethered still to this life,
where we train our eyes
on what comes before
the last, the spectre of this
dancing alongside our joy.
Beauty gathers everywhere
before we have a chance
to discriminate and fear,
pierces though every want
we might begin to have
for things to be different.
Imbibe before pleasure
divides into pain.
It is here in this space
that miracles are born,
that the ways of seeing,
ways of our sacred being,
outnumber anything
we could possibly know.

Tell Me Your Stories

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Tell me your spring stories
flourishing inside of you
after long ferment,
it has been quiet, hasn’t it,
but here we are, now,
every last piece of us
budding new under bright sun,
and not once did you leave
as everything else
stripped away, slowly,
and there was the agony
of standing by for the laying bare,
not once did your love wander,
did you seek too much,
and how this soothed me
in places sadness once grew.
The growth of things now rising,
framing us from earth to sky,
and maybe the stories
are not ripe just yet,
are still learning their worth.
Take my hand,
and I will hold yours,
and as we stay,
let us bear witness
to the wonders that will unfold.
 
– tammy takahashi

For a Short Time

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For a few days,
the cherry blossom trees
come alive in bloom,
decorating the world like snow,
as if in joyous collaboration
with the winter just passed,
as if to remind us of the continuity
embedded in all this change.
For a few days,
the senses are heightened,
the sky has opened
to give space for all that grows,
and the moon grows large and quiet,
illuminating the beauty
that wants to be seen,
touched, most of all, felt.
For a few days,
the gates to our perception fly open,
maybe slowly, if we are afraid,
and we can start with one blossom,
her fragile pink petals
delicately announcing herself,
giving everything she has
before falling to soft sweet earth.

– tammy takahashi

Spring, Our Beautiful Perfection

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On a diffuse grey morning,
late winter surveys the barren landscapes
of hardened essence and wisdom in retreat,
holding on, but loosening its arthritic grip,
allowing soft rain to gather, fall, in snow’s stead.
The buds have not sprouted,
but the plum blossoms, which thrive
in the dance between cold and warm,
herald the wonderland of life to come,
like a promise, like a dream,
like nothing other than the beauty of what it is.
What will the spring bring?
Will we emulate nature and come forth,
with no hesitation at all,
on the side of creation?
Will we be soft on our struggles,
tender with our pain,
and grow into our full and vibrant potential?
Will we reclaim the intuitions
buried golden and deep for millennia,
long submerged by our own wintry confusions,
and play with what nourishes us?
Will we laugh, touch the earth,
look each other deep in the eye?
Will we celebrate the new season
and the new beginnings it offers,
in the way of the quiet lands around us,
that call for silence, which is reverence,
and a stilling of our heart’s great stirrings,
as the perfection of life once again emerges?
Will we heed of the extraordinary peace
and cooperation it takes to rebuild the world?
 
– tt

In the Land of Sweet Honey

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In the land of sweet honey
that flows like endless water
that nourishes the flowers
that feed our wild things
that hum and buzz the
world alive
 
Every year, a new year,
every day, a new sun.
every moment,
life follows death,
 
death, which for
all our efforts,
we cannot fathom,
 
life, the foundation for
and the trajectory of
our awareness.
 
One follows the other
at every turn, and we
can glide, as though
on a magic carpet
through the
alchemy of our
 
transformations
turnings
cycles
 
And when we are tired,
we can come to rest
on this, our land,
and expand this
piece of Time
to encompass
all that is.
 
The reflections in
one grain of sand,
even.
 
We will find
one another
there.
 
– TT

We, the Flower

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A flower,
with no effort at all,
all day, and nothing else,
doing the work of
growing and rising,
coming into being,
listening to the very heart
of what moves us
to know when to open
her petals
and receive
golden sun,
when to curl inward
to take rest,
to enter a period
of receptivity and
healing.
This is the contemplation
of a flower,
her mechanism of hope,
her bearing witness
in rhythm and cycles,
her lesson,
each day,
in motion and stasis,
in sun and moon,
in the small deaths we make
in order to rise and
to live.
 
– TT

I am Home.

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I am home, just woken.

I’ve done my morning ablutions,

and take my first sip

of steaming coffee.

I put off the vacuuming for

another day,

I wonder what to do with

all the fresh mint, how to cook

with sesame leaf.

There is indigo dye

to experiment with,

the grey sky is readying for rain.

Last weekend,

when we went to the mountains

in a mountainous prefecture,

it was another sky, cerulean,

allowing the dazzle of sun through

so that everything, including

ourselves, glittered

like jewels.

We came upon a pond,

on one side of which

a gaggle of retired men

with the longest camera lenses

I’ve seen were at attention, silent

and stealthy, waiting

for a kingfisher to appear.

On the far end of the pond

was a house in the traditional style,

large and cavernous, gaping holes

on the roof, and it was hard to

imagine, on this sunny day

how wet and cold it would be

would be most days of the year,

if it were still inhabited.

Today, the house was flanked by

trees of every kind and colour,

like the four seasons decided

to hold congress in the

fractal rays of this one afternoon,

so that we could delight in

this fold in time and its

embrace of all our bleeding

emotions and sun-drying experiences,

as if to give every single one of

us visitors the warmth and

liberty to say it loud:

I am home.

We are the Blossom

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Is there a revolution
in your mind?
Of course there is.
From yesterday to now,
thoughts and feelings
have travelled to the
sun, moon and back,
so imagine the days
before this, the years.
Oh, the way we fight
so hard to be
who we are,
to keep the pieces
whole and tethered,
to keep closed covers
on both ends of the story.
We are always
who we are.
The tree, from root to sky,
anchors the whole world
without questioning
the what of her.
The blossoms come out
to live in time
for just one week
before the rain brings
them to their lovely end,
and still they are
fiercely and only
what they are,
even as they resemble
themselves the least.
The light will hit them
a certain way,
threatening to change
everything we know,
and this looks a lot
like magic.
And this is the
revolution.
It is the stuff,
the same and
ever-changing
that weaves our lives
together, too.
May we always be
fully, wholly, wildly
what we are. – TS