After the Storm

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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

 

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For the Living

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For life and for the living,
for the choices we make
on the side of life
that keep us cushioned
in earth’s warm embrace,
breath springing from breath,
heaving, mounting, rising,
majestic being coursing through us
when we feel it, and when we don’t,
and all we have to do
is know this to be true,
to bring our feet softly to ground,
feel life playing with our skin,
and we are gazing ever upward,
taking in with curious eyes
what the heart already knows,
as we begin our journey there.
 
– tammy takahashi

Trust and Love

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I think the word “trust”
and my heart cowers, trembling,
trying to squeeze
into the tiniest corner it can find,
to be left alone to pick up
a million shattered pieces,
find utmost tenderness
in the wake of a thousand heartaches.
There are so many ways of falling apart,
each feeling like a well-trodden road
that can take you to your place of pain
with the great ease of the unburdened.
The climb back, out, in the other direction,
the monumental effort of this.
The ache of one tiny swivel of the head,
the reward is instant.
Right there, just off to the side
on the road of worry,
a tree, gargantuan, protector and protected.
Both ways.
It makes no promises, asks nothing of you.
So you are drawn here, slowly, to observe,
to witness
(still clutching your aching heart)
the great way of the tree,
standing through all seasons,
accepting of its plush plenitude
and bear nakedness alike,
harming no thing,
nourishing as it is nourished
only to the extent that it can,
so that it always has what it needs,
the great lesson in this.
The great miracle
of being teaching being,
of all that is offered, all the salves
to a heart in need of healing.

– tt