This poem is inspired by a visit I made to a Shinto shrine in Japan…
It is almost obscured in the landscape, entirely hidden from view until you cross a bridge and reach the tiniest of islands housing nothing but this place of worship. The poem blends this experience with a few others from shrine and temple visits in this country, that is so full of them.
|Photography by the author: Tammy T. Stone|
by Tammy Stone
The shrine of the tiny island forest
allows entry after hurtling gales of wind
onto the bridge, until the threshold is
crossed. The gods have been pacified by
our perseverance, and remark on our
long-awaited arrival, like they have been waiting.
Dried yellow leaves hang from the gate,
slick moss skirts along a log once reaching
for the low-hanging sky,
dewy but never cold.
I fall in the face of beauty every time.
I touch my forehead to Earth in reverence for its certainty.
The fall deepens, my thoughts absorbed
like they are the cherished secrets
I have hoped they’d become.
Every step, a new wondrous accounting
of the ground’s ever-presence.
Wild life thrusts upward through
the obstacles we have made.
They will not be appeased,
they do not need our comfort.
The flower unfolding, in scarlet bloom,
never asking why, the tree’s broad
I dream of a field where we can sit
and eat the light and drink the little river,
of sitting in the garden, where the sun fills
Maybe it’s true, that they’ve been
waiting these long years,
and now we’ve come.
The loveliness of clouds, white and suspended.
This is what the view wants to say:
I am you.
Steam rising over rocks,
a life force carved by love,
carrying the magic
Tammy T. Stone is a Canadian writer, photographer and chronicler of life as it passes through us. Always a wanderer, she's endlessly mesmerized by people, places and everything in between; the world is somehow so vast and so small. She feels so lucky to have been able to work, learn, live and travel far and wide, writing, photographing and wellness-practicing along the way. She invites you to see some of her recent photography here and to connect with her on her writer's page, twitter and her blog, There’s No War in World, here.
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