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FROM HERE, I SEE by Tammy T. Stone

This poem is part of several that make up one section of my first published book, the poetry collection, “Formation: Along the Ganges and Back Again.”

This collection is bookended with scattered, poetic reflections of my childhood on one end, and my current experiences living as an expatriate in Japan, on the other.

The bulk of the collection was written (and then re-written and played with several times!) during my travels with my now-husband through Thailand, Laos, and India, where we lived for about three years. These were formative experiences in almost every way: for the first time in as long as I can remember, I was listening to the tugging of my deepest heart telling me it was time to let go of so many things, including the stronghold my mind had on me, and to really dip myself, from head to toe, into this beautiful world we’re blessed to be in for the time we are here.

I was falling in love, reflecting on loves (both romantic and otherwise) lost or left behind, trying to dismantle the pieces of a fragmented soul to give love and attention to each part, in hopes of finding a new, harmonic (and ever-evolving whole).

I wrote on napkins, I filled journal after journal, and even made my own with recycled paper and things like mosquito-coil and matchbox box covers. Every word was written on something I loved, with love, and in the name of discovering and understanding love in its many forms.

If I could distill a life-forming and life-altering journey into its essence, I would say that I was on a heart-awakening journey. Love, and the workings of the heart, and not things we can read about and intellectually grasp. Arriving home in the heart involves so many layers of peeling back, being vulnerable (not always easy for me) and revelation, and this must be done slowly, with great reverence and gentility, a beginner’s mind (heart!) and patience. It’s a path I feel so blessed to have found myself on, and one I look forward to walking in the days, weeks and years to come.

The poem below, along with the rest that make up this section, were written in an almost feverish state over a period of weeks. There were so many intense feelings brewing and building for a long time – eons even, it felt – and suddenly the means to express it arrived, and wouldn’t let go. It was a beautiful and inspired time when the need to write and the ability to express found themselves in a rare moment of perfect merging.

I felt, as I was writing these, that I had one great love next to me, and both great Past Loves as well as Ideal Love somewhere before me, just out of my reach …
Pictured is the author, Tammy T. Stone

From Here, I See
by Tammy T. Stone

To become awake,
the start of what I need
to say to you.

It’s been a long time now
that I have been taken in by things
we didn’t ever know,
the flare of dragons’
nostrils as they jump up and down,
absent from our mythology,
engaging in mock flight.
Now, the carvings on temples,
the costumed Bali evenings,
and the sun has put away
its fire again.
And again, we climb,
you are so beautiful
in the way of the warriors.
Also on temple doors,
dancing lithe and strong,
how you have
let your beauty out,
and sometimes I think of how we used to envision
our future
next door houses.

Now I walk on
temple grounds, far away
from where you are,
and I see you everywhere—
etched on gilded walls—

I walk quietly along,
touching the textured wood,
the crackling paint,
hiding in the darkness
when I need to, and lighter
things too, washing in the
Andaman Sea, discovering
flight in song
and how have we not
talked about love?
Let’s greet it together,
this place for stories.
I made so many
choices on my own.
I don’t know yours.
Even the magic, then,
and it has been so abundant,
is only a part of it.

(Tammy's new poetry book is available on Amazon here, or at Prolific Press, here.
Photograph by the author, Tammy T. Stone

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 pagetwitter and her blog, There’s No War in World, here.

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~


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