There is a Treasure

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There is a treasure
long and deep,
the way obscure,
and we are pushing past
a hundred different obstacles
webby, spindly things
scratching our faces,
and it is all we can do
to keep from crying out,
and we are tripping over
exposed roots and mossy stone,
slamming against rough surfaces
that don’t hesitate to take our weight,
and the heart pounds,
and we wish we were anywhere else.
But the treasure!
Eyes in a far off place,
maybe a clearing in the path,
maybe another place,
maybe tomorrow’s tomorrow.
The forest, then,
is no longer a forest
with its endless shades of green,
and sounds from ancient times,
from all the times and all creation.
Each tree is not a tree,
that pillar of wisdom,
joining heart to heart, root to root,
with the entire ground beneath us,
with the foot that touches down.
And what is the forest?
And who am I
in its thickets and dreams?

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How About Kindness?

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How about, instead of asking
where I come from,
you ask me where I want to go,
and instead of offering your name,
you find self in a warm embrace?
How about a smile instead of a rebuttal,
an ear for listening instead of shouting?
How about looking at a rainbow,
and marveling at how few you’ve seen,
and are likely yet to see in this life,
and mark the day as a miracle?
How about making wondering,
wandering, too, your true vocation,
becoming a master in the art of awe?
How about looking around
and seeing it all for the first time,
inventing new shapes in the clouds
before they, too, disappear,
and how about inviting this change,
and finding beauty in what can’t be held?
How about finding a new perspective
instead of delighting in the already known;
how about finding and honoring
both the teacher and student in you?
How about taking your shoes off
and grounding in the earth,
and feeling this support through life?
How about talking to trees,
Finding songs in a breeze,
How about being still and
catching it all and remembering:
There is so much love where I am,
and I am here, and I am free.

I am Home.

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I am home, just woken.

I’ve done my morning ablutions,

and take my first sip

of steaming coffee.

I put off the vacuuming for

another day,

I wonder what to do with

all the fresh mint, how to cook

with sesame leaf.

There is indigo dye

to experiment with,

the grey sky is readying for rain.

Last weekend,

when we went to the mountains

in a mountainous prefecture,

it was another sky, cerulean,

allowing the dazzle of sun through

so that everything, including

ourselves, glittered

like jewels.

We came upon a pond,

on one side of which

a gaggle of retired men

with the longest camera lenses

I’ve seen were at attention, silent

and stealthy, waiting

for a kingfisher to appear.

On the far end of the pond

was a house in the traditional style,

large and cavernous, gaping holes

on the roof, and it was hard to

imagine, on this sunny day

how wet and cold it would be

would be most days of the year,

if it were still inhabited.

Today, the house was flanked by

trees of every kind and colour,

like the four seasons decided

to hold congress in the

fractal rays of this one afternoon,

so that we could delight in

this fold in time and its

embrace of all our bleeding

emotions and sun-drying experiences,

as if to give every single one of

us visitors the warmth and

liberty to say it loud:

I am home.

The Path to Spring

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These are restless, porous days,
when what has been dried out
and hollowed in the living of
our darkened, wintry existence
 
Gives way, as moon to sun, to
the watering of spring, the juicy
filling out of aching joints, the
shadows of heart awaiting light
 
The long ache of cracking through
of stepping out, of tentative steps
to sun-drenched emergence, finding
the will to enter our rightful place
 
Come to the tree, then; she has been
through this hundreds, thousands
of times, has seen cold, barren land
quiver, and then zealously come to life
 
Feel her wholeness, her towering
solidity, and feel also the light, the
upward trajectory, ground to sky
the roots of her ever generating.
 
Wrap your arms around her and
remember, because you always
knew, that when mind surrenders
to heart, the movement is true. – TS

The Heart of Us

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Our hearts might
have gone to
the moon and back
 
Danced in the light
and free forming
weaves of space,
 
Tied their strings
around the fiery
light of the stars
 
In hopes of some
gentle guidance back
on savage lands,
 
Where dreams that
so scent the night
give way, cruelly even,
 
To what the morning
brings, and we lose
time, even, for shadows.
 
Yet all the while it’s
going on, this tapestry
that is our home,
 
The butterflies teaching
us about fragility and
change at the very
 
Tip of our noses,
the birds that rest and
land and take formation.
 
The trees, always the
trees, with the rocks and
the slippery slopes of moss,
 
And they are not secrets,
even as roots grow inch
by inch below the ground,
 
Reaching our for each other
To make sure each one
is fed, nourished, whole.
 
They are not secrets. They
are the gem inside the fruit,
waiting and regenerative.
 
Doesn’t it sound like our
hearts, beating inside of us,
wherever we go? – TS

The Life of Flowers and Trees

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The flowers cluster together,
carpeting the fields with
their vivacity and sprinkling
their life force across the plains,
peppering the world like smiles
bobbing back and forth in the breeze,
catching the sun and radiating
joy and light from deep within.
 
Asking nothing of each other,
living the truth of generosity.
 
As the trees do, in the
magic forests of the continents,
towering forces in themselves,
stronger still in unison,
and we know they are talking
to each other, sending signals
needed for survival and health, but
more than that, in an astonishing
feat of grace, the lifeline of
happiness that feeds the world.
 
Elegant, refined, aware,
Carrying messages from sky
to earth and back again
In purity of being
 
Asking nothing of each other,
leaving their legacy of abundance
for us all to embrace. – TS

Stay With Me

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the temptation
is great, to sweep
it all aside with the mind’s
roving eye,
to push through
to go forth
to dwell in the land
of the other,
where daisies grow
from our hair
and the nymphs sing
playfully in our ears
 
the trick, i guess, the work:
not to take our wandering
feet too far, to tumble
with great zeal
into the abyss we imagine,
to cling to the idea of
‘through’, and ‘over there’,
and ‘beyond’, instead of
trying to be here,
the heart of things,
from where we come,
and can go so far. – TS