Jane, Killer Queen.

Today is my lovely friend Jane’s birthday. I wanted to celebrate her life with a poem. Don’t worry. I celebrated it with gfts too. Do you not know me at all? Ha! In all seriousness, Jane is one of the strongest people I know and worth more than Gucci and Versace put together. She battles MS daily, and no matter how many obstacles this world throws at her, she never gives up. She fights each battle with style, grace, and an unwavering sense of humor. I’m in awe of her. You’ll never meet anyone more real or resilient. There’s no pretense with Jane, although she is a skilled and talented actress. She has some wonderful and funny stories of times spent on movie sets. She’s also brilliant with the camera. Her photography is out of this world. She’s truly a fascinating woman, blessed with the allure of charm and complexity. I’m honored to call her one of my best friends.

Jane, if you’re reading this, and you better be,(ha), thanks for being a constant in my life for the last 14 years. Your friendship means so much to me, even when we get on each other’s nerves, or clash over who’s hotter Larry David or Jon Stewart. Clearly, the latter. Duh!. Ha’. Drink every time you see “ha”. 😜 Just make sure to raise a glass to Jane. I know I am, a toast to my beautiful Philadelphia buddy, I love you. Stay classy, stylish, bohemian, artsy, and fierce. Happy day of YOU!

And now a poem 💕

Cloaked with depth and shades
of autumn. She’s sometimes
more scrambled numbers,
than transparency’s friend.
She’s walked many moonless
paths guided by light of her
soul’s constellation.

Red leaves brushed by the winds
of adversity fall at her feet.
She well versed in archery,
a modern day Artemis,
each arrow a talismans of
resiliency and grace, even
in the dark, she knows the
art of letting go.

-Tosha Michelle 

Deity in Diversity

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Maybe someday we will
have written about humanity
and grace so much
that the paper we scribble on
will burn down
the forest of hate
that grows in casket-closed minds,
eradicating words like
racism, hate, bigotry.

The fire cleansing away
evil and ignorance.
Strike a match with
your pen.

Let’s try at least to
direct the language toward love.
Let’s keep moving the
adjectives higher and higher.
Trust the verbs to lead us,
the pin of light, to the fire.

Maybe as the trees come undone,
leaves igniting,
branches bursting with truth,
charity and clarity will rise.
Rustling beneath skin.
Love rising, tapping deep.
Opening eyes and cleaning tongues
in the dialect of compassion.
Hope slipping into the core.
Porous and large.
Looking out in every direction
until it is inside the sky,
the rocks, the moon.
Lacing the night and hearts with promise,
the rainy season finally over.

Until then, let your pens sway
against the dark waves.
Let’s push our boats against the current.
Light the candle wick.
Kiss it with fervor.
Give flame to the wind and waves.

-Tosha Michelle

Photo, my own 

Johnny and June

Hey y’all. It’s been awhile. Life just keeps getting busier and busier but it’s a lovely kind of busy. I really haven’t been writing much. I’ve been in reading mode for ages now. I’m still on a Johnny Cash kick. In that vein, everyone knows you can’t have Johnny without June so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite videos.

I love their love story, not because it was a fairytale, because it wasn’t. Their marriage wasn’t always an easy road, just like their courtship, they had to struggle and battle to keep the love they had. They went through some hard times through their 40 years together. They almost divorced at one point during the early 80s, but ultimately they never gave up and that’s what’s true commitment and love is all about. In their later years, they were closer than they had ever been and more in love. In my opinion, that makes their love affair  so much better than a fairytale because it was real and genuine. Very few of us live happily ever after, but many of us live happily after all. As June Carter always like to say steel is strong because it knew the hammer and white heat”

Here’s Johnny and June on their way to Jackson. As a side note, this song was inspired by Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
And one of my favorites of theirs. “Long Legged Guitar Picking Man”  such a playful song . 
This next video is not the best quality, but it’s so poignant. Time catches up with us all. June would die 8 months after this was filmed and Johnny would follow her 4 months later. It’s makes the words their singing so moving, It’s a wonderful love song of hope and redemption, and the promise of never ending peace.

How to be an Expert at Life.

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Praise imperfections.
Ask questions.

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

Adore books, animals,
weaknesses, the broken,
and growing older.

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

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

Walk hand in hand with today.

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

The Man in Black

I’m currently reading Johnny Cash: The Life by Robert Hilburn and its got me revisiting Cash’s music. He was such a creative, complex and beautiful soul. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite songs of his.

“Hey Porter” was the song that started it all. As a Southerner, I’ve always loved the images of the Southland it evokes.

“I Still Miss Someone” is so poetic and emotionally stirring.

And of course this one:

Okay, I have to throw in this iconic clip, Why does Bob Dylan look like Andy Samberg here?

Merry Christmas y’all. May we all be as cool as Johnny Cash.

Bluebird

I just love the heck out of this song.

“Bluebird”

Yeah I’m a turner
I turn pages all the time
Don’t like where I’m at
34 was bad
So I just turn to 35
Yeah I’m a keeper
I keep digging down for the deep
Like the records I’m playing
They might keep you waiting
But you know I’m only playing for keepsAnd if the house just keeps on winning
I got a wild card up my sleeve
And if love starts giving me lemons
I just mix ’em in my drink
And if the whole wide world stops singing
And all the stars go dark
I’ll keep a light on in my soul
Keep a bluebird in my heart

Well I’m a giver
Yeah and I’m still giving ’em hell
Forgiving’s pretty hard
So I’ve made an art
Out of forgetting ’em well
Yeah I’m a rhymer
I can turn 20 cents into a 10
And if I get confused
And I start to lose
I’ll rhyme a dime till it all makes sense

And if the house just keeps on winning
I got a wild card up my sleeve
And if love starts giving me lemons
I just mix ’em in my drink
And if the whole wide world stops singing
And all the stars go dark
I’ll turn a light on in my soul
And keep the bluebird in my heart

And if the house just keeps on winning
I got a wild card up my sleeve
And if love starts giving me lemons
I just mix ’em in my drink
And if the whole wide world stops singing
And all the stars go dark
I’ll keep a light on in my soul
Keep a bluebird in my heart
I’ll keep a light on in my soul
Keep a bluebird in my heart
Keep a bluebird in my heart

And the bluebird sings”

-Miranda Lambert

https://youtu.be/ms1MY9SP7f4