Life Study of a Rose.


Sometimes we need to look
beyond the self to see the
the cartography of light
glimmering on floor.

The rose petals and their lovely disarray.

The glean of splendor.
A seductive mediation.

We think we know so much
We don’t see the petals wilting, like Clytia
our faces turned toward a misconceived heaven.

We don’t notice the air stale
with regret, the glass candles
snuffed out by the sludge of

The roses stripped, bone stick discarded.
Silk once so kissable, now unbearable.

Paradise spent, like two
lover after love before one
falls away.

-Tosha Michelle


You Know Who You Are


I thought I’d post something lighthearted for a change. Don’t get use to it. 🙂

You Know Who You Are.
by Tosha Michelle

You who carry sunshine in
your hair, the sky in your hands,
and blueberry pie in your eyes

You who knows all the words
to every Chet Baker song.

Why don’t you come by my record shop?
I’ll teach you the percussive du wop

Come unearth my city plot.
Right my upside down heart
with the lilt of your melodic

Stain my soul with your graceful hands.

Sing me your red velvet tune
with not one note of sorrow.

Scrawl on my tongue
your heart song.
I’ll sing along.

Make music to a woman
not so young, but not yet old.
My mind a score of hunger.
Patterns of passion across
my face.

Don’t be afraid to improvise
summer nights composed of
bodies and sway.
Wingtip and rosehip.
We’ll create our
own tune.

The tenor sax takes the lead.
It sounds like desire,
like it won’t ever stop.

Let’s crack the night with needle and groove.
Two lovers infusing the dark with rhythm and spark.

How to be an Expert at Life.


Praise imperfections.
Ask questions.

Don’t fear the answers.
Do fear snakes, toads
and Donald Trump’s hair.

Adore books, animals,
weakness, brokenness,
and old age

Find a love to orbit around.
Have a constellation seeking brain.
A star gazing heart.

Don’t trip on what’s been
gone for years.

The one seemly not
telling the truth is
the one you should
listen to the hardest.

Pay attention to your
conscience, make
sure it’s really yours.

Know there’s beauty;
in words. The ones
you use and the ones
you leave out.

Read the classics.
Brighten to artistry
Don’t be afraid to improvise.

Listen to jazz while
drinking iced coffee.

Don’t admire yourself
too much, this can
lead to disaster.

There are two types
of people in the world,
be neither of them.

Know sometime what
seems useless is
full of meaning.

Learn how to bend,
not break.

Lose yourself to love,
to madness.
Always carry a suitcase
full of mischief.
A passport of adventure.

Don’t forget to add a dash of moonlight.
Season the nights with heat.

Create the scene.
Live it.

Lose your shoes and inhibitions.

Split the wishbone.

Know nothing important
comes with a manual.

Just because your
spirit is tangled,
doesn’t mean your
soul has to be tied in a knot.

Be full of vigor,
meaningful chit chat
and chocolate. Lots
of chocolate!

Know there is holiness in the missteps.
Grace in the fumbles.

Remain unfinished.
Be the light.

-Tosha Michelle

This Year’s Death


The year’s death is approaching
and my soul is in migration.

The breath of frost lingers
longer with each passing winter.

I sit looking out at the night,
coming down like calendar
pages falling to the floor.

The moon looks like a clock.
The wind whispers “tick tock”

The ghosts of 2015 stumble around in my backyard.

Unfulfilled dreams appear like
oracles at my front door.

I measure my loses.
I count my gains.
I write my life in blue.

Praying for the luminous dawn
of fresh beginning.

Hope diamonds the sky.
I long to dance with starlight
in a tango I’ve never danced

Hipswaying my way across
the galaxy.

Peeling off the last twelve months
like sheets.

The flakes of auld lang syne.
no longer glazing my bowl.

The skeletons of the past
under my feet.

Knowing biography is not fate.
There’s still time for revisions.

My heart quicken by the sun.
My soul renewed.

Bathe in the bright light
of a new year

-Tosha Michelle

I Love the Broken Ones


Because I am broken.
I find comfort in the broken ones
The flowers out of season.
The dark mornings.
The delinquent library books.
The residue that slips through.

The ones not half full but fully
shattered. The ones scarred by

I fall toward them with open arms .

For those who are lonely, those
wandering city streets, lost.

I pack kindness in a carry on of
imperfections. The bag so full
it’s spilling over.

The challenge of life, making everything fit.

My back aches for all I tote. There
are exits all around me. The gift shop is giving away apathy.

But I’ve purchase humanity’s ticket and I’m not going back.

Realizing life is more than chiffon pie and summer afternoons.

Knowing it isn’t the sky that matters but how we fly through it.

Navigating with a fractured flight map of scars,
counter winds and all.

Compassion our wings
The destination, love.

-Tosha Michelle

What Does a Poet Know of Desire?


The poet writes of desire
in a notebook of fortification.
Her pages dampen by the demanding ink,
the way words lap and swirl
at her mind’s core.
Her notebook, becomes her confessional.
The lines read of yearning.
Inhibition slips from her shoulders.
She disrobes her longing in syntax.
Language becomes guttural
and primal.

The blue lines become taunt with her desperate handwriting, converted half truths, and lies of the imagination.
Letters griping letters in a frenzied tilting
of a restless hand.
Wishing language could become solid
and have the certainty of flesh.
The poet writes on, in hopes of luring
the phantom lover off the paper.
Hoping art will plunge hard into life,
into tender hours, sinful Sundays,
and the softer side of midnight.

-Tosha Michelle

This will be my last post until next week. Happy Holidays. I wish you peace and happiness.

Shadows of Death


The shadow of my dead
grandfather cast itself
in my dreams some

I see his silhouette
walking down a deserted road.
I follow him for hours. Every
time I quicken my pace to
catch up, he quicken his

There’s always a
ending but never a beginning.
Time refuses to fold back
Translucence wanders endlessly.
Papa’s the light darting through
my eyes.

I wonder if the dead remember?
Maybe in my dream I’m
looking for a clue that they
haven’t forgotten us,
that’s there truly is a spiral staircase to a better place.

Papa keeps moving
The bones stay quiet.
The ash refuses to speak
The moon gives me the dead eye.
What a thing to be so close
but hear no words

The night dissolves.
A squawk of a crow wakes me
My sadness steals the sun.
For now my question
remains unanswered.

-Tosha Michelle