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YIELD by Tammy Stone Takahashi

My new poetry book came into being during a period of great (and ongoing!) transition in my life, both material/physical and spiritual: my husband and I, after three years of traveling around Southeast Asia and India, and then five years of living in Japan, my husband’s home country, are in the midst of a move back West, to Canada. I left home in my mid-thirties; nearly a decade later, I am slowly entering a new phase of life altogether, one that has me reflecting on my identity: as a woman, as a writer, and as a conscious citizen of this amazing, struggling planet of ours.

I have to admit, I had a number of other writing projects on the go, including another book of poetry! But every time I sat down to write, these were the poems that flowed out of me. These were the words that needed to be conceived, expressed, and ultimately, birthed into this collection. The title came to me immediately; as a long-time traveller/wanderer and someone currently living in two different countries on opposite sides of the world, I am really drawn toward the concept of  “land” as both geographical territory and metaphorical and metaphysical space. 

To land is to touch down, to arrive, presumably to find a new place of settlement, if only for awhile: to get back “home.” Home is such a lovely word, isn’t it? It is the object of our most comforting dreams and hopes, a place we nostalgically yearn for, and a place we can find over and over again, every time we are truly at peace with exactly who and where we are any given moment: inthepresent moment. 

And yet… there is so much wandering on the way home; this is our playground, our battlefield, it is the entire spectrum of the human experience. The whole of the human journey, we can say, replete with our cornucopia of emotions, trials and tribulations, obstacles and triumphs … aren’t we experiencing all of this as one great, grand road trip home, to that mythical, yet very real place where we will sigh, let go, and know we have truly arrived? Will this day every come? Can we learn to find peace every single step of the way there, regardless of the outcome?

It is this space – in between departure and arrival, between the varying cycles and stages of life that each come with their own challenges and joys, between struggle and contentment and the empowerment we feel as we truly learn from both – that I have strived to capture with this collection of poems. I truly hope you will join me on this journey so we can move through this wondrous life together!


Yield

We are all looking 
for the same thing,
to stand without fear
of our own height, 
facing a sun that 
streams down the face
like a waterfall, 
our one face like dunes
before fearsome wind
spreads and scatters
us and we are too busy
scrambling to our feet
to notice what’s
been stripped away.
We are all looking,
are we not, 
to arrive softly, 
gently, with a hand 
to hold, a loving home
to come home to.

(From the poetry collection, LANDby Tammy Stone Takahashi, to be released with Golden Dragonfly Press, June, 2018)


Tammy Stone Takahashi is a writer, poet, photographer and student of life. Her short stories and poems have been widely published and anthologized and she has worked on several anthologies as co-editor. Her published works include a book of photography, "Tag it! Toronto: A City's Imagination Revolution" (2009), and the poetry collections Formation: Along the Ganges and Back Again (2015), Little Poems for Big Seasons (2016) and Land, 2018. She is based in Canada and Japan, and can be found curled up with a good good, talking to trees or hand-sewing in her spare time. 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.

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