And We Write

Poetry is all about perception.
It’s what we perceive, not what
we see.

It’s all in the rhythm.
The arrangement of the poetic
notes.

It’s about loosening those
syllables until they roll off our pens
in a dance of self.

We release our whimper and watch
it turn into a roar on paper

We write for preservation.
We write to empty the emptiness.
We write like we eat, to live

We spend our nights out on a limb                                                      so we can fall into the melody of our craft

Our souls writing on.                                                                            Finding salvation in verse

-Tosha Michelle

White Hillsides and Falling Into a Leap

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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

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.

Life in Motion

The encyclopedia of my life
dwells inside my mind.
Home is found in my personal history.
My world is located here.
The trajectory of a moonlight
path. The sun upon my face.
My mother’s embrace. The
voices of friends. Loves lost
Loves found The purr of my cat.
My daughters’ laughter. My
Father’s smile. These things
give me purpose.

My life has been a slow
awakening. With the passing
of each year, I become more
aware, more alive. Time has
a way of opening eyes. It’s
midday and the mist never
clears completely.
I’m still struggling in a dimly
lit room. Trying to understand
where my place is in the
swirling of seasons, places
and things. I yawn and stretch,
hungry for the unknown, the unborn poem,
the next adventure, to exist wholly,
before the fadeout begins.

-Tosha Michelle

Tick Tock

Outside of her was history.
A shroud to the past
The living beneath a life.
beyond the open door
an engraved coin, the swell
of violins, conjured spirits,
the echos of and
etching of yesterday
The yearning for a new day.

Inside of her, dwindling reason
An endless ticking watch
The watch was her mind.

-Tosha Michelle

https://m.soundcloud.com/tosha-michelle2020/time-after-time-rawvery-raw

The Past

The past slips forward
under the door.
Slithering around on the
floor, tangled with our
muted perceptions and half
recalled facts. It’s dines
on our regrets, our annual
if only breakfast of crow.
We study it like math,
figures, we can’t quite grasp
We equate in retrospect.
under a ghost light
We ponder its multiplicity.
We survive on a broken
calculator and flashcards
that read don’t let go.

-Tosha Michelle 

Poetry

It feels safe to reside inside poetry. It’s my escape route.
Real and imagined.
Here I can live multiple lives
My feelings are diverse, if I tire of one emotion, there’s always another close as the ink on my hand.
Poetry holds my heart, and understands like water, I’m perpetually in transition. My words take on many forms. Some are steeped in reality. Others, solely fantasy, perhaps, live perceived in a parallel universe.

My soul never grows static in verse. My poet self, helps me gain confidence to live life as my real self, to have the courage to balance monotony and forgive the world its drudgery.

-Tosha Michelle