The River 

So many things in life are temporal,
even friendship and love
Yet we never stop searching for
someone to hold onto when the
streets flood and our peace
becomes a distant shore.

We still love, love even when
we have no boat and are left
with one cracked paddle.
We remember times better
The days of umbrellas
and raincoats
Splashing in the mud.
The days before
the river overflowed
The backyard deep with
water and regret.
Sunken hope and sunflowers

We recall only the beauty
of an embrace,
the lovely cadence of 
heartfelt laughter.
We find a bittersweet solace
in the pain of two souls divided
Tossed in different directions.
We wonder why we were
chosen to live
this life and not another.
Why do foundations slide?
Why do rivers flood?

Then left with the morning after,
we know we must put our
questions aside, understanding
that enduring loss sometimes
is the only way to start over
We clean up, rebuild.
taking note of the
sunshine and bright skies
And if we’re lucky we finally 
find the warmth that’s meant
only for us.

-Tosha Michelle

If you liked to help children in SC and NC effected by Hurricane Florence, you can donate here:



To paint the day in joy, a birthday poem for Tosha Michelle by Tracy Diane Miller

The very talented and always thoughtful Miss Tracy was gracious enough to write me a poem for my birthday. It was unexpected but such a lovely surprise. She truly is a gem.


To paint the day in joy, a birthday poem for Tosha Michelle by Tracy Diane Miller

If I were an artist
Do you know what I would do
I would paint the day in joy
All to celebrate you
What color is a smile
To decide may be tough
To capture the vibrancy of laughter
What color is enough
Could I call upon a Renoir
Might a Monet know the hue
A masterpiece of emotion
Leaves work for a heart to do
Maybe the heavens know the answer
I could ask the clouds to speak
The wonders framed in nature
Surely must know these colors my heart would seek
To paint the day in joy
A poet writes the words
For poetry holds no judgment
In the love that is often heard
A Muse may be tired
A Muse will not rest
To journey through my soul
For the words…

View original post 73 more words


When I get tired.
I sometimes wonder
what’s this poetry
thing all about?

What am I writing for?
During these times
I’m usually stuck
in a creative muck,
I still don’t dare
call it a rut.

There’s no food
in the picnic basket
so I eat drudgery instead.
My mouth full of lost time.

I’m so hungry for words
that have run off
with my silk dresses.
I dream of nouns, adjectives,
and verbs, sinking
in a sea of syntax.

I try to dive in
but get stuck in the sand.
I sit along the shore
I wait. As seagulls fly
from under my bed,
my silk dresses hanging
from up above.
I reach for them
while I still can.

-Tosha Michelle 



The words you speak
discount my pain.
How your verbs like to
punch and scream.
There’s never any lapse
in your open mic night of the insane.
Your tone sets the mood of us.
A tainted midnight summer’s
nightmare. The nervy syntax
of careless “oh wells”.
Yet our façade of happiness
refuses to be gutted.
We whore out delusions and dine on the revenue
of lack and long lost luster.
The gods of irony mock our names.
I dress my knife wounds up in lace and garters.
Pop a placebo and call it real.

-Tosha Michelle

Kindergarten baby

Her poetry so simple.
God, strictly elementary.


Sometimes the poet wishes
to sing what she means.

She has no time for red velvet stars
or a cinnamon moon.

The flash of alliteration
or wandering couplets.

She prefers the bunny
in the hat.

She’s not trying to entertain
or get your cash.

She doesn’t mix her ink
or words.

She sometimes speaks in doubt,
she writes with her crayons out.

Her instructions are easy to read
but this isn’t some syntax
by numbers kit.

She cultivated metaphors and
coordinates for her mind.

Schooled in sadness,
she attempts enlightenment.

Prays to the paper on her desk,
while turned to some interior
door covered in blue.

Offers her soul in heartstrings
and unencumbered truth.

Sometimes the poet wants you
to understand the music
under the air,
to notice the
Milky Way
of scars.

The complexity of cotton.
that goes beyond shimmer
and lace.

She doesn’t need you to toss her
a rose or two.

She just hopes you understand
the subtle cadences of her bird song,
spinning in hope’s current,
looping back art
to a natural sound.

-Tosha Michelle

Apathy is the new compassion


Because if you are a human being,
you should try it at least once in your life,
assuming you’re already in that delinquent minority
of people who actually give a damn.

In which case it is imperative that you deny your nature.
Pay no mind to the wounded, those hurting, those living
in poverty, those abused and degraded

Your conscience might try to entice you
into fighting these wars.
Don’t be tempted to be a regime of change.
Be the most pathetic of apathetic.
Be an emphatic sack of nothing.
Become fish like with your feelings.
Let summer revolve solely around you.
Become Dionysius favorite daughter.
Affix yourself to a incubus of

Don’t have eyes that see and are able
to to derive a lesson from a flaw.
Don’t have ears that are able
to discern a cry for help
from a sports match on TV.
Don’t let your skin be alive with compassion.
Don’t feel sick in the bones
for all the horror in the world.

Let your indifference be museum quality.
Mona Lisa with a bottle of gin
and a party dress on.
Let your own selfishness uproot your veins.
Parade down the street and cheer yourself on,
while a homeless man begs for money or change.

This is how you do it. You have no time
for extreme emotions. No truths. No news.
Drink your tea, and steep yourself
into a stupor.

Sleep for years without a map.
Waste your life drooling and snoring.
The planet will spin on.
Who needs to feel the sun, the rain?
Dream toward less.

You can wake up when you’re dead.
Just don’t expect anybody
to look for you in the dark.

Don’t be surprised if your left stunned,
spinning, alone.

This is just one of the ways it could go,
if you take my advice.
I hope you can tell me another.

-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.



On lonely nights when
the moon
is absent from the sky,
and all
my distractions are spent.
The sky
so dark even the void feels
The room as quiet as the
I dream about the past in
It whispers to me in hushed
Bent close to the curve of
my ear.
Unfastening all its forgotten
Dissolving inside of me. I
struggle to
find meaning in yesterday’s
When I awake the night’s
residue will
find its way to paper, to
text, that
you, my reader, will decipher.
My words carry dust.

-Tosha Michelle

NY Times Best Selling Author Sylvain Reynard on Poetry.


NY Times Best Selling Author and my favorite enigma Sylvain Reynard was gracious enough to write a guest blog on poetry. If you aren’t familiar with Reynard’s books,you are missing out on riveting tales full of suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption. You can find out more about SR and his work by going to You can also find him in all his tweeting glory @sylvainreynard

This poet is a huge fan. You will be too.

Now I give you SR in his own words


Many people avoid poetry.

Poetry usually brings to mind limericks, or schoolyard sing-songs, or angst-driven blank verse. But The Iliad and The Odyssey are poems. Dante’s The Divine Comedy is a poem.

Poetry is extremely flexible as a genre and like other arts it contributes something important to the human experience. Poetry can be a thing of beauty and a medium for reflecting on profound and sometimes unsettling truths.

When I wrote The Gabriel Series, I was inspired by the poetry of Dante, hoping to introduce the beauty of his art to a wider audience. Dante is not very well known anymore and few people read him outside of school or university.

In my new Florentine Series, I was inspired by the poet Apuleius’s account of the love affair between Cupid and Psyche. Again, this is a poem that is not very well known and infrequently read.

You can read the tale by starting here:

Psyche was the youngest of three sisters and very beautiful. Her beauty was so great, it intimidated prospective suitors. Her older sisters quickly found husbands, while Psyche remained alone.

Her father feared that Psyche had been cursed by the gods and so he sought out an Oracle, who instructed him to deliver his daughter up to marry a great winged evil. In sorrow and despair, the father obeyed. Psyche went along with the Oracle’s instructions, proclaiming that her condemnation was the result of unbridled envy.

And then something surprising happened…

“…prompted by the sight of the evening star, Psyche retired to bed. Now, when night was well advanced, gentle whispers sounded in her ears, and all alone she feared for her virgin self, trembling and quivering, frightened most of what she knew nothing of. Her unknown husband had arrived and mounted the bed, and made Psyche his wife, departing swiftly before light fell. The servant-voices waiting in her chamber cared for the new bride no longer virgin. Things transpired thus for many a night, and through constant habit, as nature dictates, her new state accustomed her to its pleasures, and that sound of mysterious whispering consoled her solitude.”

Psyche was delivered up to someone, but far from treating her evilly, he treats her well. He gives her pleasure. He loves her body. But he only comes to her at night, so she has no idea who he is.

The oracle prophesied of a great winged evil, but her husband reveals himself as a tender, attentive lover, who truly cares for her. One evening, he speaks to her,

“Sweetest Psyche,” he said, “my dear wife, cruel Fortune threatens you with deadly danger, which I want you to guard against with utmost care. Your sisters think you dead and, troubled by this, they’ll soon come to the cliff-top. When they do, if you should chance to hear their lament, don’t answer or even look in their direction, or you’ll cause me the bitterest pain and bring utter ruin on yourself.”

Psyche subsequently is faced with a dilemma – should she trust her husband’s actions and how he treats her, or should she trust the judgments of her family and the Oracle.

Psyche knows what it is like to be judged on appearance alone, without regard to her character. Suitors shunned her, because she was thought to be too beautiful and too perfect – like a statue. In the poem, it looks as if she places all her trust in appearances as she strives to discover her husband’s identity, not trusting that his actions have revealed his true character.

But what would looking on his face reveal? Would it make his actions a lie? Psyche doesn’t stop to reflect on her husband’s nature. If he were truly monstrous, he’d treat her badly and not kindly. He loves her and brings her pleasure and she seems to enjoy his company, although she is plagued with doubt. Her doubt, however, reveals a fatal flaw in her character – she cannot trust her judgment of her husband based on his actions; she must judge him based on his appearances. This fatal flaw will be her undoing …

You can read the rest of the story through the link I posted above.

I deal with similar themes in “The Prince” and “The Raven,” and also the next book in the series “The Shadow.” The male and female leads find themselves in a situation where they end up having to trust one another’s characters rather than outward appearances. Indeed, the importance of having a good character is one of the themes of the novels, along with love, sex, hope, and redemption.

I welcome your comments on the myth of Cupid and Psyche and I hope that you will take time for beauty and poetry in your daily life. – SR

Willfully Wild


If your going to love,
love wilfully and wildly,
like a leaf on the wind
soaring out,
with abandonment.
Burn yourself through
for passion.
Make an altar of greater than.
Praise longing and
its insanity

Love bold men,
the ones like red umbrellas
with strong wooden
handles, and a fancy inscription,
big and deep, that makes you
feel like the daintiest
of ladies out for an
afternoon stroll,
his sheltering arms
keeping out the misty rain.

Let every idea you have
be love.
Study him like
you would the curve
of the horizon.
Follow your instinct,
lose the pattern.
Go where he goes.
Don’t let the sun disappear.
Let it swell
and put him first,
draw him closer,
until he believes in you
and the sky trembles
when you touch.

into his eyes, his thighs,
the pulse of his being.
Fall into ripeness, rightness,
until time is stripped away,
and your soul is cast in
forethought. Forethought
brushed in red and heat.
Never to be an afterthought.

If you’re going love, love
willfully and wildly until
you are spent, until the stars
shatter over the white tips
of pillowcase as two lovers
fall out of God’s mouth into

-Tosha Michelle

My cover of The Eagles “Desperado” for Sunny Day