The Heart of The Matter

When my life becomes
hard. I write away in
my notebook of dreams
that lives on my desk.
I take a short cut through
ink to be with it.
My pen
of angst spilling out
particles of love. desire,
fears.
I wonder how the pages
can ingest them all. My
constant purging of
emotions. Trying to
convey with words
truth before time
distorts it and it
becomes an artifact in
the Museum of
UnNatural History.
At times the fog
likes to exert control
over my verse. Longing
tend to be blind to
reality and reason.
It never sees things
as they are. The poet
trying to alter the
past and its asterisk
Poetry becomes a
contraption of denial.
Truth fight its way
through pages
watermark by tears
to sit on my back
like a weighed
pack, pulling
down hard on the
straps. Reminding me
how flimsy
my poetry and life
would be without it.

-Tosha Michelle

I liked the Tin Man song so much, I decided to do a cover. Hope you’ll give a listen

Advertisements

Woman Child

I’m the woman who believes in thorns,
the beauty of fallen fruit,
and lavishing love on the lovable
and unlovable.

I’m generous, difficult, and incomplete.

I’m emotional, moody and often demanding

I have spells of sullen iciness,
and moments of hot tea and clarity.

I’m the woman who can only be
of this world for moments at a time.
My soul affixed to solitude
and one darkness after another.
When the lights finally come back on,

I confess I like a warm arm around my waist
and a strong shoulder to rest my chaotic head.
I’m also partial to masculine fingers
that know how to coax my color back,
under silk sheets, with creative words,
and hands of purpose.

I’m often confused. Do I succumb
to the screeching crow
or pay homage to the nightingale?

I’m the woman who would go
anywhere to leave you,
but will beg you to come with me.

When we get there, I’ll fight with you
over the map and then kiss you
on the street.

I’m an expert at backbends.
I practice them every night
under memory’s disco light.
I hide an extra heart under my bed
in a packed suitcase of longing.

I’m the woman waiting for good enough
to be enough. Still, always wanting
more of much. Knowing life, like art,
is what we make it.
We all deserve something more than nothing.

I’m insignificant, and at times insecure.
I’m the broken woman.
cracked, bent. Damaged.
I’m the woman becoming whole,
becoming more me with each new break.

-Tosha Michelle

High Praises

image

Oh Goddess of rejections,
insecurities, sleepless
nights, and the sink
that always seems to leak.

Oh Goddess of loneliness,
depression, evenings spent
looking for hope in the
foggy light of isolation.

Oh Goddess of endless
chores, mundane errands,
always lurking around,
watching me toil and spin.

Goddess of painful memories
collected in a heart jar.
Unfulfilled dreams and desires.
The oil slick of wasted time.

I love you for forcing me to feel;
As I stand here holding onto
the railing of my sanity.

I thank you for the hands
wrapped around my neck.

For each tussle with the sun,
that always hides behind
a cloud of chaos.

At least I’m still here, kicking,
and dodging, the shadow crop of
my mind. I know how to make fire,
while others still struggle with flint.

For you it was never about high praises.
You live for the forlorn.
You know the insincerity of the thorn bush.

I praise you for the shattered,
the weeds, the bee stings, the
thunder clouds, every skinned knee,
wilted flowers, the dove that
refuses to eat from my hand.

Oh Goddess of imperfection,
You know that despair is the beauty
life and poetry are made of.

Thank you for teaching me this.
My tears and words sing back
a hallelujah for the pain.

-Tosha Michelle

White Hillsides and Falling Into a Leap

image

Calming breath as I walk in the cold. The sky cast in a sober shade of melancholy. On the ground a thin layer of snow, lined by my footprints, creating a circle. Feet that have lost their direction. No faith in the journey. My heart blue with evening. My soul in the dark hours. My mind in paraphrase.

It’s a New Year. Time to let go of past regrets, focus on the now. Toss out our bad habits and scrawl a new list. Do I still have use for such things?

Soon January will mutate into February. Hibernation is a kind of conservation, I remind myself. I could live inside, sleep until spring comes. Let my dreams refurbishes and rehabilitate. No longer full of Cinderella wishes, but still wishful.

I’m not as young or as uncomplicated as I once was. My spirit has never been still. The future is an Edward Hopper’s painting, a lost penny on the side of the highway. Perhaps, this is what purgatory is like: the scent of falling snow, the taste of ash, the endless road of what was, the journey to what will be.

As I walk back inside. I catch a glimpse of myself in the living room window. For a moment, I see the reflection of the girl I used to be. Shy. Timid. Meek. She was always happy to linger in the hallway outside her life.

Would I go back to the days before I became unmoored,  before my life accumulate in experience, sorrows, and lessons learned? I don’t think I would. A dust free existence isn’t really living, is it? The artful dodge is only artful for so long.

Perhaps, Purgatory really is where we understand the multiplicity of self. That what’s left for us, is what we make it. Maybe I’ve been trying too hard to remove myself from the syllables. Perhaps, there’s grace in the old nouns, adjectives, and verbs, and hope in the new ones.

As I go to close the front door; I note my footprints, and how the snow looks brighter and softer in the half light. Could it be my steps have purpose, even if the heaven I’m looking for isn’t there?

-Tosha Michelle

Advice to Women

Better to be alone than devalued.

Men are like shoes. Replaceable. 

If you do find a pair that fit. Treat him like your favorite chocolate or mixed metaphor.

Honey and milk under the tongue should always be spiced with peppermint and truth.

You can do better or worse 

There will be seasons of weeping willows and years of cherry trees. Savor both.

So called friends are like your favorite cereal, easy to find.

Real friends more like magic seeds but if found can grow oak trees that will anchor your city for a lifetime. 

Don’t be afraid to strike a match but expect your thumb to get burnt.

The easy way out ends on the last train to nowhere. 

Trust is the taste of sunshine but lightening is always poised to strike, leaving a bitter taste in the mouth. 

Conjugate verbs full of hope. 

Be with the one who doesn’t just praise your face but your soul as well.

Don’t wear out your voice calling out for someone who doesn’t answer. 

Leaves always depart. Let them go. 

Don’t be afraid to climb mountains bare-handed and trees bareheaded.

Better to be a beloved lover than just a lover.

Always dream like a kite gliding over a serene landscape but be aware of diseased branches out to snare you 

A million roses bloom inside of you. Let them spill out onto the pages of the world.

-Tosha Michelle 

Guest Blog Post by Stephanae McCoy.

 

 

I asked the lovely and inspirational Stephanae McCoy if she would be so gracious as to write a guest blog post She said yes almost immediately, because she’s lovely like that :). For those of you who don’t know this dynamic lady ” (Steph) McCoy is a successful businesswoman, style setter, blogger and abilities crusader who breaks the myth that “blind people can’t be fashionable.” As a blind woman who happens to love fashion and style, Ms. McCoy founded boldblindbeauty.com, a successful website that brings women together to share in the beauty of fashion and style, provides a community that encourages empowerment and camaraderie, and makes a connection between the sighted and non-sighted worlds eradicating misconceptions and long-held stereotypes about people with vision lost”. You can find out more here. Be sure to follow.She’s one of my heroes.

About Steph

And do check out the amazing things she’s doing through her on-line store Abigail Style.

From the site:

Breaking down barriers, and giving back are the most important messages of Abigail Style. Empowering blind women to love themselves through the promotion of self-confidence enables them to walk through life on their own terms.

Independent living is achieved through focusing on individual talents and abilities. By supporting Abigail Style’s mission of improving the world, you are also aiding the Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh (BVRS) as 10% of all profits are given to the Employment Services Division of the agency. BVRS, known for its outstanding programs, has served people from around the US.

Abigail Style

And now Stephanae’s inspiring piece.

“Shame was the reason I decided to describe myself as ‘blind’ versus ‘visually impaired’ because it was important for me to accept the word ‘blind’. Once I did this I was able to get a grip on my fear and move forward.”

I’m not sure why I felt shame when I lost my eyesight but I think it was closely tied to my personal biases and lack of understanding where blindness was concerned. In walking through the process of sight loss and facing my shame/fear head-on I was able to move forward.
Do you Face Everything And Run? Or Face Everything And Rise? Fear can motivate or repress and your response is a matter of choice.

Choosing To Rise:
The first step is doing an honest self-assessment. Like following a map, unless you know yourself, you will get lost.
The next step is to set short and long-term goals. Goals should always be written, periodically reviewed, revised and once they are met, new ones should be set.
The third and final step is to stay the course. When you get derailed, get back on track and keep pursuing your dreams. Do not let anyone, tell you that you cannot succeed.

When it gets down to it the choice is up to you. You decide how to navigate your path to success.