Catch and Release 

Happiness begins in summer air
when we lift our hands,
ink stained from editing a life
in need of revisions and
vision, a mid eve dream
reformed. Reborn.

Where we find comfort
in the stormy eye of
new beginnings,
in trying again
but this time in today.
Ready to risk, to breathe
to pick the window seat,
to upgrade to first class,
to meet the stranger’s gaze,
not caring if it’s a four leaf clover
or a curse.

Mistakes and Nirvana
flickering in from the West.

Happiness begins when we
finally learn to rearrange the whys
and start believing in the how,
even if we come up short,
even if we fail.
Knowing it’s all in the
catch and release anyhow.

-Tosha Michelle

Paradoxically is Such a Fine Word.


I’ve been besotted with chocolate.

I’ve been confused
by broccoli.

I’ve been stung by hornets,
but still I stirred the nest.

I’ve tripped over my mangled
spirit walking the narrow way.

I’ve prayed with fervor.
I’ve sinned with grace.

I’ve courted darkness.
I’ve loved the light.

I’ve questioned the sun.
Its answers reflected back
in the hourglass.

I’ve remembered to thank the academy of monotony:
laundry, vacuuming, dusting.

I’ve had it all: the sky, the finicky moon, the unfolded map.

I’ve got lost in a roundabout,
trying to navigate my mind.

I’ve lived well in unsettled hues.

I’ve been Saturday, Sunday,
and Monday.

I’ve tasted ash, eaten roses,
demanded a life of flames.

I’ve been a lunatic and lover.

I’ve been the Patron Saint
offering my protection.

I’ve been Judas,
freely spending the silver.

I’ve nearly drowned in the past’s harsh syllables.

I’ve held a grudge.
I’ve forgiven.

I’ve found a second soul.
I transcribe it in chaos and peace.

My heart circumventing the paradox.

I’ve learned how to rearrange the letters of myself in a sentence that fits.

Casting away yesterday’s syntax.

Coming unmoored.

I move toward clarity’s
swinging door as fast as
a sip through a straw.

I make my getaway.

The quarrel with myself.
I stand at attention,
dust free.

I’ve survived.

-Tosha Michelle

Don’t Dream It’s Over

Don’t Dream It’s Over
Crowded House

There is freedom within, there is freedom without
Try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
There’s a battle ahead, many battles are lost
But you’ll never see the end of the road
While you’re traveling with me
Hey now, hey now
Don’t dream it’s over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
We know they won’t win


Excuse me, do you have a
spare self lying around?
Could I rest under your shadow,
take off this skin of nostalgia
weighing me down like Southern heat.
Perhaps I could write myself
out of this malaise,
become Sylvain Reynard
writing romance and adventure,
the latest best-seller.
But I can’t.
Look how the mosquitoes taunt me,
just waiting to draw blood,
to feast on my despair,
the dark twisting through me.
No room in my heart even for air.
I sell my golden locks for any kind of buttons,
to unclasp my soul from its self-imposed cage.
I’m tired of living inside who I use to be.

-Tosha Michelle

The Days Come Forward

Remember when we thought we ruled the day?
The sun looked upon us with untold knowledge.
That was the year, we discovered Tennyson.
We thought to ourselves it will never be too late
to find a better world.

Little did we know then,
We were at the center of a wasteland.
Then, we were still unmapped by scars.
We had no use for a lingering ache in our souls.
We were too busy staring at whitewashed walls.
Words threaded into lilting tunes in a pristine language.
That was before the earth answered us in a sigh;
a moan. Before the fire in our bellies became compressed.

These days we drink tea in a fog.
We serve our time among monotony.
The walls have become a silhouette of shadows.
We sing a halting refrain.
Struggling in a garden where nothing stirs.
The leaves have lost their luster, or there are no leaves left.
We pray for love, for mercy, to see the lone bird lifted.
Watching as daylight weaves evening.
The tree steeped in twilight.
We try desperately to unravel
the thread.

-Tosha Michelle

October In View

I could live for the sky today.
so bright and vast
Spread a blanket on the ground
Open a basket of hope

Feast on the taste of an illuminated
world, green fields
with no fences, the sun rising
over the meadow.

Devour the middle of the white
chocolate colored clouds
No one to take note of me

Serenity in the stillness
My skin alive with the melody
of the breeze slow
dancing with the golden leaves.

I sway along with the stray wind
My face dusted by
sunlight. My worries dissolving
into sweet pitch of
a heavenly October day.

-Tosha Michelle

Finding Bliss in The Abyss

Not even the sun saw me retreat.
I swallow my sadness whole.

You may ask what is it good for?
Where can it take me?

I need its darkness to find
the light, to show me the
way toward creativity

I draw blood from its
silhouette, and write
among its shadows.

I walk through purgatory
to find words.
A delicate concoction of arsenic
and ink mark my descent.

-Tosha Michelle

Abstract art by me.