To Fly, To Land

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Where do we rest? And land?
Do we soften into our surrounds
The way a few pieces of wood,
Lovingly brought to size
And placed in the new garden
to make a walking path,
Which at first tremble and shake
Under our own hesitant steps,
Soon meld into the ground,
Become stitched to the fabric
Of both Earth and time,
So that we, too, may walk
With the strident ease
Of an eagle soaring in the sky?
Do we land with the determination
Of a moth arriving at the light,
Of a fly buzzing at the table,
Where there is a grain of sugar
To sustain and entertain it?
Do we, like the butterfly,
Flit, and fly, almost as though
Stopping to rest and feed
Is an afterthought in a life
Defined by agility, grace,
And an absence of the burdens
Laid upon us by our gravity?
But to see, to witness
The path of the butterfly
As she dances, floats, sways,
And finally chooses
Her sacred place of landing,
To approach as quietly as possible,
So as not to disturb a moment
So rare it must be filled
With the deepest significance,
To take in the velvet intricacies,
The colours richer than gems,
Is to know: no landing is forever,
And might only be a moment,
But how incredibly sweet it is.
 
– Tammy Takahashi
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The Edge of Everything

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There is a chair
and a comfortable place
to rest
at the edge of everything.
You take it. You look ahead,
but there is nothing
to see.
You look back,
but of course, the view
has already fallen away.
The place where you
now sit comes
into sharp focus,
your lifeboat, the raft.
At first you see nothing,
the fear obliterates all.
I’m scared too,
at my edge of everything.
We know we are not
meant to stay here,
that it’s necessary
to take a step forward,
and we’ve prepared for this.
You’ve tried as hard
as you can, I have too,
but that alone
will not grant us our place,
we need to go deeper.
Though I can’t see you,
yet, I reach out my hand
for yours, and you take it,
and this, this faith confirmed
gives us what we need,
so we avoid the temptation
to squeeze our eyes shut,
we keep them wide open,
encourage the heart
to do the same,
and take a step together.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

When You Are Tired

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When it is difficult

To find the right view,

The one you have been seeking

And know makes everything sing,

And you cast your gaze wide,

And are filled with detritus:

Yesterday’s thoughts and creations

Turned grey, tired, the living legacy

Of mistakes ongoing,

When this is the challenge of today,

Start by narrowing the view.

Find the flower growing, miraculously,

Out of a pile of storied rubble,

The vines climbing the electric fence.

See the art succeeding to lift

A sad neighbourhood up,

The way the sun beams for everyone.

Take yourself off the road

In the direction of the horizon,

And look down, and your shoes

Are already off by now,

So that your feet are sinking

Into the grasses, fields, forests,

And the prickling sensation

Is your reminder of the struggle

That brought you here,

And there is always the promise

Of moss on stone.

Reach the mountain. Climb it.

Or maybe you have a potted plant

On your windowsill that wants you

To talk to it. Do better. Sing.

Tell it your deepest wounds

As you caress it to health.

When you have been filled

With everything that nurtures,

Widen your gaze again,

And bring your vibrant beauty

To our hopeful, waiting world.

– Tammy Takahashi

A poem for hope on a very important day in history.

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Today is a new day.
There is a little less here today
than there was before,
and there is also a little more.
Everyday, the moon
grows to perfect expansion,
or contracts until we are
in our night of darkness.
Everyday, we reflect
on what no longer serves us,
and build the courage
to invite more of what we need:
for our growth,
for the betterment of a world
that doesn’t need us,
and needs us fully,
and welcomes us so dearly.
Everyday, as dawn breaks,
and we peel the glorious
wreckage of night from our skin,
and shake loose from the dreams
of shattered yesterdays
and broken tomorrows,
we take a moment too look
for what as arrived, again,
just the same, and a little different,
anticipating our full participation
that can alter it all,
the course of our future,
in one small instant.
Today is the day to begin.
One decision, and liberation is ours.
One breath in the name of love,
and love is forever ours.

– Tammy Takahashi

One Golden Evening

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And as sun goes down tonight,
I do not think of all those things
that will lay in surrender, to rest,
or wonder where they’ll go, if,
like the dazzling golden jewel
lowering into the silken waters,
they will seem to lower themselves
with great gentility, straight through
to the other side of the world,
where they will find their ground
of great comfort, dignity, grace.
I do not think of the black night
that is waiting behind the veil
of this grand spectacle of in-between,
or the moon that will ascend
to illumine the deepening cracks
between each of our aging bones,
each with her thousand stories
imbued with the powerful promise
to witness, create, destroy.
Instead, I divest myself of these,
I stand naked between sun and moon,
between here and where it all goes,
flooded with the play of now and then
on this body, sanding here, now,
shivering with winsome delight
because suddenly, nothing remains
but one golden evening that
knows every star, every flower,
every flight and every fall,
and it is all me, and it us all us
reflected here, making it whole.
 
– 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.