Finding Joy

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Joy was there in the early morning,

Hoping we wouldn’t pass her by

In a world that always offers so much

To weary souls and striving minds

Living off the landscapes of our old stories,

Joy, that other most primal of emotions,

Waiting with a fierceness of strength,

Like the trees and mountains that

Fuse with our ancestral lines in evolution,

Yet with a love-laced gentility and grace,

Because she has weathered our histories,

She knows what we think we have needed

And what we can, when we try, come to know,

And she is there, on the other side of knowledge,

Her edges glinting in the new day’s sun,

Her borders diffusing at day’s fiery end,

And her capacity for play is infinite,

And her sparkle and reach will never wane,

And we can find her everywhere,

Everywhere.

 

– TS

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.

The River

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I know but do not know the river.
I try to search its depths in the fog,
To find myself in its grey expanse
Like I’ve done so many times before,
Like I’ve come here, in the end, to do,
But the day is thick, impenetrable.
The only movement is the current,
Strong, taking the river away from me,
Reminding me it’s never been mine
In the way I thought I so badly needed.
The sea of clouds, above, is shifting too,
Though the rain promises, for now, to stay.
The river knows but does not know me.
I see in its strong eastward current
My own trajectory, which brings us close,
And so here there is understanding.
There is an essence to the pull of our lives.
Yet there’s a dissolution only the river knows,
As I do not yet flow like it does, mutable, strong,
Ready to take form or spread its reach.
But in my efforts to open, the river is there,
If only to witness my eventual unbecoming,
As I witness and welcome the waters within me,
And we continue to know and not know.
– TS

We are Home

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we find ourselves
turning away from what
we’ve had and known
dreams of distant suns
and faraway moons
proving too powerful
to calm the restless heart
and allow us to stay
we see ourselves
getting lost in the
seas and oceans of
the hearts and minds
of others, the din of
all that came before this,
as we search for the compass
the gravity, the ground
until we experience,
in one moment, a return
that is not quite a return,
and it can be the glint of an eye,
one embrace, the rustling
of one leaf or the magnanimity
of one ancient, holy tree,
and we know:
we are protected
the ground is ours and not ours,
yet yet, in our humility,
an opening as wide as
a cave that promises the world
has offered itself, and we are ready to
find the treasures and shadows within:
we are home.
– TS

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

For the New Day

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The brimming heart of a new day
begins with a slow stirring within
 
A shaking off of nocturnal dreams
a deep, long stretch the body through
 
A feeling of joy for nascent things rising up
from toes to belly to the top of the head
 
And most of all, a wondrous belief
In what stays despite all the going
 
In the calm on the other side of tumult
In the ability of the self to just carry on
 
Which is to say, in the unwavering love
that is always flowing in both directions.
 
– TS

All the Brilliant Things

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sometimes
i want to gather
the most exquisite patterns
the most transporting paintings
like a mural-sized piece of outsider art
I found once by a Japanese artist in Toronto
that put a lifetime of colour and emotion onto one plane
together with the books
that fold all the way through time
that i can only spread out in my imagination
and it is not a spreading out so much as
a tunneling through, an accordion expansion
so that i can traverse them as i would
a dense forest trail in which everything lives
and also every loved one
i would like to gather
all of this brilliance around me
like a pile of crisp autumn leaves
and I’d like to take a deep breath at dawn
and finally, finally understand what i have,
and say thank you for waiting, and dive right in. TS