Welcome to your Garden

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Welcome to the garden of your life.
It’s so pretty here, if you find yourself
taking it all in at exactly the right moment,
when the flowers are in full bloom,
and the sun glints just so through the treetops
and into the lush, verdant space around you.
There is someone praying, maybe it’s you,
for relief from the feeling that everything should stay,
that the worst thing that could happen
is that all of this is going to change.
It is a deep and earnest prayer
that brings tears to the eye
and a deep rattling within the heart cage.
Maybe your eyes were closed, so you open them,
and the sun’s rays have shifted just enough
that the flower petals, as you take note,
have changed their direction to follow
the source of their nourishment.
It’s still your garden; you are still
in its endlessly deep, luxurious confines,
and you’ve never felt more free,
letting the changes do
what they were always going to,
and these transitions around you
are the heralding of life,
it’s coming and changing and going,
and fear that it will all disappear
is the golden emblem of your humanity.
It is your gorgeous humanity,
singing and haunting and taunting,
crying and pleading and laughing.
The garden takes it all in,
has only love to give back.
Take note of your garden; take it all in
with the time you’ve been given.
There is so much being offered,
and it’s all for you.
 
– TT
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Come Sit With Me

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Come
Sit with me
I want to say,
It’s been such a long time.
 
Maybe this place is unfamiliar to you,
I know – I am also, still, not so sure of it,
or even how I came to be here.
 
I’m not sure which of my histories
had to emerge, defiant and victorious,
from the rest, for today to take
the shape it has, or why,
 
Or how to contend with
my other stories, so stubborn and sure
(so much more certain than I am),
each cropping up, in turn,
to ask something of me.
 
Maybe it’s like that for you, too,
where you are?
I would like to meet you there
and hear your stories.
 
I would like for the act
of our communion, though,
to be our beginning,
to form the core of our existence,
both yours and mine,
 
and for the stories
to enlighten us without taking over.
 
Let us sit together,
and not scramble for meaning,
or dismiss the struggle either.
 
Let us take all of it,
hold it in the space between us,
and breathe and love and be,
you and me,
 
And start
the only place we can,
here, now, free.
 
– TT

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 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

My Body My Land My Home

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I’ve crossed many lands,
and there are many more
my heart will guide me to
 
I will watch suns ascend
beyond great mountains,
feel the first blast of warmth,
gentle, hit my upturned face
and I’ll want to run toward
thousands more just like it
 
And the chanting I can hear
in the distance only affirms,
as I keep yearning, the
gem-like quality of this road
I have been taking
 
I will listen to the sounds
of a bustling new day still
tinged with the sweet sleep
of a community at peace,
 
I will long to be among them,
sweeping dusty roads,
performing ablutions, calling
out to neighbors, laughing,
putting the kettle to boil.
 
I will look for myself in it all,
the minarets in silhouette,
the sacred river going by,
the wizened face of a sage,
 
And I will know before I want to,
that the only land that can
sustain my earnest desire for
awakening is the land whose
borders mark the space
 
I take up in this world,
my body my land my home,
and I will finally
rest here too.
 
– TS

The Essence of Things.

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I am the bamboo leaves
Shuddering under the weight of rain
In a cold windless sky.
I am the wind
Flown across the ocean,
Rootless and unearthed,
Hovering around the bones of things.
I am the pane of glass,
Human-made, heavy and obtuse,
On both sides of every place
Creating distance even
In invisbility.
I am a woman, here,
Looking out the window
Memory of past rains
On my skin
Forgetting to know the how of
The patterns of shapes,
And the essence
Of things.