Stage Leaps

Renewal happens in stage leaps

and high dives.

Under the water waits another 

life, another world 

Listen to the keening of the day.

Spring always comes around again.

The sun doesn’t move but we can.

Don’t be afraid to shimmer 

to put on new skin.

Let your heart be hungry 

Knowing whatever you become

next will be better. 

Shed your claws, your regrets 

The air is brighter but the time

finite. Jump into the arms of 

the novel of your life while

there still time to live the story. 

-Tosha Michelle 

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Laying the Blues Down

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I’m tired of dragging my
hurts round like a stick
along jail cell bars.

And my tune always broken,
and the warden always asking
for some change.

Let me lie down on a cot,
or in the middle of the floor
and scatter my grievances
and self abuse all around.

And wait for another inmate
with a bottle of whiskey
and harmonica, who knows
how to play the blues, to
come and sit down beside me

And we’ll harmonize our angst
like pressing a finger to a bleeding wound.

And our hearts may be broken organs,
but we’ll pluck a banjo from it’s strings.

And we’ll sing until the night
opens for us like a door.

And let our song carry us as
far as the sky will go or, at least
to Chicago or St. Louis.

There we’ll swallow snowmelt, and
take our self doubt underground.

Finally laying those
melancholy blues down.

-Tosha Michelle

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

Besot with Fire.

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I don’t want a dehydrated love
that lives somewhere between
purgatory and just good enough.

I’d rather bust my knee on the sidewalk,
bruise my arm and cheek on the wall,
crash my bike on a rocky path, crack my
wrist for a love full of oxygen caught fire.

Turning blue to red. Scarlett Crimson.
I don’t want to be rescued from the flames.
I want to be wrapped in them

Let’s lose the word complacent,
and replace it with passion.

Trust that a love full of imperfections
is more interesting than one
full of perfect nothingness.

Let’s get pleasantly disoriented
on a bed of salacious.

Where everything we need
is a finger trail away.

Let’s follow the glint of rosebuds
and not be afraid to step on the
thorns.

Let’s create a love of different rooms
we can waltz into.

Now a lover.
Now a friend.
Now a sexy stranger.

Nothing predictable, no room
for maybes.

I want a love full of poetry,
but nothing conventional

I want crude statements.
Expletives, obscenity.
Possessive pronouns.
Imperative verbs.

A lexicon of love and sex.
A love that’s not offended by
the Fword -foreplay
and likes to fucking fuck.

No! I don’t want a dehydrated love
I want a love that is fully
saturated.

I don’t mind drudgery but lace it
with swoon, with heat.

I believe in the power of endurance and faith,
but let’s pepper it with decadence and sin.

I don’t want us to look back
and realize how sane we were
for each other.

I want to reflect back on
a crazy love that took us and
the moon down.

One that resides somewhere
between soulful conversation and
a wet dream.

-Tosha Michelle

On Friendship

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Dedicated to Jane and Niles.

On days that should be remembered for
their cold rain, because of you all I see
is the sun breaking through.

You wrap me in a wool coat
and we wander through years of experience-
heartache, loss, hearty elms
and wilted vines.

Our friendship knotted with the binding
thread work of love.

We are the roses on the vines

Always pausing as another
flower is cut from our lives.

Knowing in the end none
of us is spared.

We walk on hand in hand.
The light of day disperses.

The light of our friendship
never shutters, never wavers.

The tint of the years fades details.

Age will eventually tint the nuances
but time can’t touch our souls.

Our heart won’t forget.

Thank you for always being
the one constant sky
I have prayed for.

-Tosha Michelle
Listen to You ve Got a Friend2 by Tosha Michelle 2020 #np on #SoundCloud

How to be an Expert at Life

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If you can’t leap
then fall.

Correlate. Equate.
Arrange. Rearrange
Be an apprentice of the years.

Sometimes breathing is in the
spinning as the still world passes.

It not the heavens that matter,
but how you soar through them.

Teach your broken spirit
how to navigate landmines.

Remember that yesterday is just as
relentless as tomorrow.

Your griefs and sorrows are not
the worst of griefs and sorrows.

Find hope in pain. The new pain,
the old pains that returns.

Teach your heart to be sensitive
to the music of your bones.

Don’t be afraid to tear your
skin away and begin again.

Don’t become immune to
the overwhelming.

Listen to your nude soul’s intuition
Let your mind await instruction.

Don’t concern yourself with the
breakable dawn.

Use your talents, the seeding
of grain to nurture survival.

You are the boat, the canopy,
the light, the decree.

Remember the eternal sleep,
the erasure, always lurks
in the shadows,
ready to loosen souls
and carry us toward some
unspecific light.

Life is all in the choosing.
Come September, come
December, then April
For today, choose to live.
Choose to be.

-Tosha Michelle

A Mindful Poem 


In the brief tranquil reprieve
just before dust.
You don’t notice how
high the wind is
or the bitter in the cold

The night may carry a
satchel of bramble.
But for now you close
your eyes and listen to
the music of the air.

Focusing on the amber length
of the hour.
Your dormant heart made
melodic like a harp touched
by skilled hands

You realize you deserve more
than shuttering light and
shifting shadows. 

You who are besotted with
the fever of a waltz
And moonlit rivers
on the way to sea.

No matter how awkward your
gait, you know grace is
found in a soul that won’t
be nettled and a mind
made beautiful by the swarm
of fireflies.

You, this lady and warrior
who gets by on Southern
charm and the rhythm of
a drum that beats in three-quarter time.
Here. where prim
and proper meets sas and grit.

You who are singularity lovely
but hideous too.
A mess of colors, hungry
You refuse to live a sepia life.

For a moment as you watch
the sun set, you don’t dwell
on failed arithmetic or Dostoevsky
and his sullen things.

Instead, you reflect on the wonder
of aliveness and compose yourself
in a poem, composure found in a view
redefined . You rearrange the disquieting
into a sliver canopy of serenity.
Finding peace in your eccentricity.

-Tosha Michelle

My latest cover-Sign of the Times with a little Human thrown in