After the Storm


When the storm hits

Where is the refuge?

Is it in the storm itself,

Because we have accepted it,

Surrendered to the flying bits,

The scattered parts,

The howling raging winds,

The spitfires, the lava heaving?

Do we fling ourselves

Into the storm, as if to say,

Take me where you will,

I can’t bear the alternative,

Of riding you out, hoping

You will not take everything

I have loved so dearly?

Is the refuge in you,

Who will, like me,

Cling to your fragile body,

Knowing how small it is

Next to the gargantuan storm,

The waves thrashing

In each of the directions,

The currents that will

Take us all? Do I hold you

As you fall, take refuge

In a life I won’t have to live

Without you, my love?

Do I have what it takes

To take refuge, finally,

In myself, which is of course

A sacred body filled

With all our bodies,

Suffering, clinging madly,

Holding out our hands?

Do I do the very best I can

Not to be idle, but to prepare

My house for the storm,

Lean on others doing the same,

Knowing that what begins,

Ends, that we will never

Be the same, that in the wake

Of fire, flood and hail

There is the awesome stillness

From which it all began?

– Tammy Takahashi


Be the Peace, Be the Love


The wind is loud enough,
Wailing its storms and
scattering its fury
in our midst.
The rain is torrential enough,
pounding the earth
long after thirst has
been quenched.
The sun is powerful enough
threatening the world
with engulfing flames,
holding back for now.
May we learn not to
match storm with storm
torrent with torrent,
fire with fire.
May we withstand the storm,
witness the rolling sadness,
Respect heat of fire,
May we be the eye, the heart, the peace. – TS

The Forest of Bloom


The day could be glowing
with smiles full of sunshine
Or there could be rain
Falling in torrents, like tears
Maybe it has just snowed
Blanketing the earth for rest
There could be a soft breeze
That turns to gales in the night
Fierce so nothing feels sure
And ground itself has come loose
There is always the forest within
So we close our eyes and go
Maybe we come to the tree fearful
Or maybe ready for her healing
Maybe we look at her with longing
Or maybe we have truly arrived
And see: even as day grows dark
even as storms growl and uproot
Still the once-ripe leaves will fall,
Still the tree will bloom again. – TS

The Storm


It comes like a storm
and looks like total erasure
a blur, a chaos, a tumble
of all emotions to the very limit
of our capabilities to withstand
But even the chaos has a purity,
the colours awash with vibrancy
and if you look long enough,
patterns emerge, and where they don’t,
there is a glory in the dissonance
A jazz, an essence of expression
a time for new voices to be heard,
and the longer we look, something else
reveals itself, and it was there all along,
our ability to come back home. – TS

Dear Sweet Love, The Coming Storm


I would like to write my heart on your body

And become as close as I can to your story

I would like to ask you to take this heart of mine

And hold the parts that have trouble keeping still

I want to walk with you where the waves roll in

As we imagine each grain of sand a whole world

I would like to take the universe we inhabit

And saturate it with the deepest pink of our love

I would like to never ask you to be less of you

When all I’ve ever known is how very much you are

I want to watch you release your light into the world

And grow even stronger as you share the gift of you

I would like to honor every single aspect of you

The way I do every bright star in the clear night sky

I want to tell you that you embody perfection

In the way of every flower, tree and mountain

I also want to tell you that you are the mountain,

Fierce, protective, strong, rooted and ascending

I would like to know which sounds most haunt you

And which transport you to other realms of being

I would like to lay my hands on all of you at once

To try and understand the infinite as it plays on your skin

I want to remember that you are not the answer,

But a dear companion on the great journey of questions

For I can hear it in the wind: there is a storm coming.

Please let’s hold hands: let’s all love our way through.