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

The Sunflower

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I would like to bring
my soft-hearted eye
to the great sunflower,
that lion and lioness,
each one of which
forms a cosmos,
its ring of life inside
harboring infinite pathways
outward from
source we seek,
its bright yellow invitation
to come closer,
to travel beyond
the velveteen mane
of petals,
to land on the sacred
cushion within,
but just as I am readying
to fly,
my soft-hearted eye
finds another,
and now there are two,
and I don’t know
which way to go,
and if I close my eyes,
I fear annihilation
before destination,
dissolution before union,
fear itself before love.
Then, a voice of power
speaks from within:
this is your journey,
and you can always re-frame.
And so I try: not to isolate,
or close off my view,
but to widen it all,
until it is One.

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