A Poem for Niles

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This post was written for a dear friend.  Happy Birthday, Niles. You are the calm to my storm. The voice of reason to my insanity. The jitter to my bug. The Niles to my girly Frasier

Without further ado, I give you my ode to you.

There’s once was a guy from Macon
who like to shake his bacon
his hips, yours for the taking

Kidding….

but seriously….

Still Waters

While other men measure success by titles and cash
He dreams of making text dance over the crevices
of uncharted pages, imaginary characters alive in his mind
He longs to breathe life into figures he has never met.
to fire his own artistic semantic round.
to pen The Great American Novel,
with sophisticated soulful prose that linger

While other men play golf and women
He’s happier with his nose in a book
Getting lost in CS Lewis and Hemingway
Sliding between his world and theirs
walking chapters to be read. Again and again
He lives in the land of mystical lions,
not fearing the tolling of the bell,
finding his lifeline in fanciful excursions

While other men long to dominant and control
He strives to be gentlemanly and bold
A silent nod to a picture page
Old world charm, lost in a photograph
Shaking the dust off his top hat
He welcomes chivalry anew.

While other men court surface friendships,
His quiet still waters run deep
As deep as the tea he seeps
He puts his shield away
Cast the armor aside
Content to share the secrets he holds inside
He caters only to a select few
Kind beyond fault to those he holds true

While other men drown in the noise of a fast paced life
He’s busy taking comfort in starlit skies
Content to linger by the stream with Whitman and Thoreau
Green fields blooming. His soul dances in the yellow light
He smiles at the passing herd, wondering if the sheep
will ever open their eyes and see?

While other men are slaves to convention
He marvels that his soul is as free as a feather
No guise needed, a peaceful mind is on his side
He travels on, marching to his own tune
with steadfast authentic steps and exquisite simplicity

-Tosha Michelle

Alternate ending

He travels on, marching to his own tune
with steadfast authentic steps
and visions of Norah Jones
alive in his bed (Note from poet, I couldn’t resist)

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Watchmaker Analogy (Out of Sync)

fragmented

A toast to the last sip of sanity,
to a friendship, I thought would never end
Drink from the bitter flute of regret
as chaos and mistrust oxidize
the palate of life

Cheers to a relationship
swallowed whole by anarchy
The struggle of bosoms buddies
maderized on sea of lunacy
Kindred spirits no more

Raise your glass to a hint of
false truths, fair-weathered faith,
famished reason, futile declarations
Assumptions paired with judgment in excess-
verbal checkmate.

Here’s to “Judas’ daughter”
Dante’s stage prop, a sterile cross,
and a refermented simulacra Jesus.

-Tosha Michelle

 

 

Absent Song

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I imagine you in a coffee shop.
Somewhere along the West End.
Sipping your mocha
Eyes transfixed on a book
Lost in words and silent meditation
Gently tapping your foot
to some obscure tune in your head

I am but a distance speck
a muted memory

For me, you are always there
cannibalizing my thoughts
dancing in my dreams
your scent lingering
on nostalgia’s breeze

Impressions locked away
like the sweetest wine.

I recall when our days
were governed by
a smile and touch
where we ran through
the meadows of life
without a care

The grass green
devoid of tears

Summer days where we were
as wild as the flowers in bloom

I recall the pub we stopped in
to take shelter from the rain
me, with my diet coke
you with your scotch
We warmed to the sound
of hushed laughter
laced with serenity

We raised our glasses
to friendship and love
even the clouds
couldn’t shatter
the beauty of the moment

That was a lifetime ago
These days I go on with living
content with what was
Missing what can never be

I’ll always love you
and wish you were near

Perhaps, one day you’ll
look to the sky
and reflect on
a girl with golden hair,
and feel the silence
of her absent song.

-Tosha Michelle

Friendships, reality, perceptions and a guy named Bill.

Are online friendships “real”? Is anything really real? It all comes down to perception. Don’t we invent our own reality? Does absolute reality exist? Isn’t matter completely invisible? Isn’t our reality defined by our sense perception? If reality is invisible, and we give it form; is it real? What does it all mean? I haven’t got a clue. I’m paging the great Dr. Mark Kingwell, philosopher on call.

Let’s take the word “real” out of the equation and focus on what friendship means. (Perception)

What constitutes a friend? It boils down to an individual’s needs. For myself, I am not a people person. I don’t need a constant physical presence to feel fulfilled. To me, a friend is someone who gives emotional support, who is there to listen and, with whom I can be myself. I choose quality over quantity. I have many associates but few friends. I’m very selective with whom I open up to. Some of my friends I have yet to meet in “real life”. However, I have spent countless hours on the phone with them. I’m always there to lend an ear. I support their projects. If they needed me, I would be there. We share our secrets, our woes, our highs and lows ((there second nature to me now) Friends are a source of growth and enrichment. Other friendships have started online and ended up offline. I’ve been really blessed. I’ve met some truly amazing people. There’s a closeness there that supersedes the physical.

In our contemporary society, making friends online is the new norm. Social media has changed the landscape of friendship. The ease now in which we can keep in touch is incredible. What I do online and offline are completely interwoven. Intimacy now develops in both the physical and online realms, often crossing freely between the two. The beauty of online friendships lies in their mutability in my purse, on my screen, in the comfort of my home. As time goes on, I think the distinction between on- and offline friendships will dissipate. That doesn’t mean that we are doom to a life, of tweets and emails. It simply means that the person we meet in the virtual realm is no longer a stranger, but someone we know and trust.

These Foolish Things

3

Oder?/Nicht?

Narcissistic and solipsistic
Perfected persona
Brilliant promotion
The Egotist HIM
Reflecting- illuminating
The Parasitic WE

Uppercase Conscience
lowercase nothingness

Exotic occultation
Discarded drapes
Faded facade
Man behind the curtain
Revealed and released

Introverted and reclusive
Urbane and well versed
Boyish and charming
Sly wit- understated grit
Ridiculously insane

Weirdly sublime
Quick to opine
Abstemious but salacious
Burlesque without the bourbon
Cranberry juice- No wine

Awkward and nerdy
Suave and dirty
A foreign culture
One of a kind
an original high

Overtly domineering
Covertly controlling
Maddening manipulator
Lunatic generator
Mischief maker

A shadow rider
Crossing lines

Chess master
Playing minds

A comedy of errors
A tragedy of wills

Mistaken missteps
Decimated land mine

A predisposed assumption
A steadfast exclusion

Forward drag

Seductive reincarnation
Poetic crossbow
Taking aim
Semantics rounds
No error in form
Story crest
Bowed illusion
Target hit

Unfulfilled ghost
Evaporated time
Miscarriage of intent
lies between you and I
Psychological filler
Masochistic reiteration
Empty leads
Bridge-less divide.

Demarcation erased
Dwindling mirage
Mind fog-lifted
Visual adjustment
Heart muted
Watch out
Back to reality I climb

Until..
of course…
next time…

-Tosha Michelle

Miss. Nothing

download (3)

1. Real beauty- the kind you find in museums and great literature- is eternal. True beauty comes from the soul and touches the spirit. Note  to all the jerks out there- it’s not about cup size or the shape of the thighs. It’s about the condition of the heart and the state of the mind.

2.Pet peeve- Fickle people who are only interested in the next best thing. Human beings are not expendable. Sincerity and genuine affection carry much more weight than false flattery.  I don’t understand having an ADD-like mindset when it comes to friendship. End rant. Cue silliness.

3. Do people who use the expression “cray cray” know how “stew stew” they sound? (ugh)

4. What’s up with the smiles, Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish? We are so going to eat you! Cue philosophical thought

5. Don’t wait on people to love you. Lead the way. Be a compass of kindness and compassion.

7. The authentic you is beautiful. If you want to impress, be yourself. Trust me, “realness” is a precious commodity. I strive to always be genuine (at times, to my detriment)

8. Speak your truth. Love without conditions. Live without limitations. Count your blessings. Life is fleeting.

9. If you can’t be polite, kindly keep you mouth shut. Manners matter.

10. On Monday, I get to speak to one of my favorite intellectuals- Author and Philosopher -Professor, Mark Kingwell The nerd in me can’t wait.. He doesn’t have a pretentious bone in his body. Mark a true delight to listen to. It’s going to be a fun and illuminating hour. (stoked)

Tune in here:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/laliteraticarpelibrum/2015/04/27/the-return-of-philosopher-and-author-mark-kingwell

Miss. Nothing.

Final Thoughts:

The mark of a true rebel (to me) is a person who fights against apathy, who embraces their humanity and looks beyond the surface. It easy to be mean spirited, selfish, materialistic, and shallow. It takes heart and tenacity to embrace traits like honesty, integrity, compassion, kindness, and loyalty.

It’s not about taking the moral high ground. No one is better than anyone else. We don’t all have to believe a certain way or be a certain way. But it sure would be nice if everyone could embrace love, forget about hate, and learn to live in harmony. Hey, a girl can dream. By the way, my rebel wears a suit, smells like Dior, and is handy with a wrench, a pen, and frying pan.

Anyway, gather round, children. Let’s all hold hands and sing a rousing rendition of Kumbayah.

CAPTAIN SCARLET

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-193

 I wrote the poem below for my mentor and dear friend Colin Smith. He had just turned fifty the time. I wanted to honor this milestone in some way. You see Colin has changed my world for the better. His guidance and support have been invaluable. He has taught me to see the sublime in the ridiculous, to slow down, to breathe, to be at peace with the world. (The world is easy; it’s me, I still struggle with). Mr. Lovely has been instrumental in awakening my rebel spirit, a spirit that no longer sits meekly and quietly in the background, paralyzed by fear and insecurities. I have found my voice and purpose in life. .We are not meant to be stagnant. We are meant to move, to be, and to give back. We can change the world for the better (Tosha 2016. Rock the vote).. I’ve grown and blossomed so much through my interactions with this soulful Brit. Colin will always have my undying gratitude and affection. He’s a bit of a paradox, a punk rocker and an academic Ph.D. in one hand, guitar in the other, Professor and hellion. This poem attempts to chronicle his journey it’s not my best bit of poetry. I warned you. It may not be a work of art, but it was a labor of love.
Note- the quoted lines are lyrics from Colin’s songs.

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CAPTAIN SCARLET
ByTosha Michelle

I

“Every since I was a child all my dreams been running wild”

A baby is born with the heart of a warrior.
A restless spirit, a soul full of magic
In need of a place to call his own.
Into his life walks a beautiful woman.
Singing to him her sweet motherly song.
He will be her son now, and she will be his protection and hope.
These are the days of security and peace.
A blessed refuge and reprieve, but alas not meant to be.

II
“Hate is like a battle, love is like a war”

A little boy grows feeling lost and alone.
Clinging to his mother, she alone is his home.
Escaping from his father who is militant and mean,
Berated and bullied it’s always a scene.
He loses himself in rockets and dreams.
These are the days of fear and survival,
Where contempt and abuse are his arch rivals.

III
“My adolescent dreams are nightmares in the streams.”

A teenager he becomes, defiance his mantra,
He’s out on the streets, looking for peace.
Drugs and needles he seeks. Hedonism and Dionysus he meets.
A life on the brink Chaos and havoc he reaps.
These are the days of excess and rebellion
A manic season of an outlaw and hellion.

IV
“We’re the kids from the block we know how to rock.”

Adulthood finds him a punk rocker with the band.
Girls and guitars, he’s pissing on czars.
His future looks grand. A rebel is taking a stand.
JJ, The Cardinal, -The Blood is the plan.
These are the days of desires and extremes,
Fighting the establishment and rocking sweet, sultry things.

V
“Loving you religiously is doing in my brain.”

A man full grown now at 25 he’s half-way to today.
The girl of his dreams, a bonnie lass is she,
He takes as his bride and a life of passion they lead.
In a few years, a daughter comes along.
Filling her daddy’s heart with song
These are the days of stability and chaos,
Anguish and bliss, and love not without risks.

VI
” I don’t want fortune. I don’t want fame. I want a piece of history.”

A time of changes comes on strong with 30’s drumbeat marching on.
His mind begins yearning as he develops a hunger for learning,
His thoughts, they are a turning, his soul burning.
Off to college, he goes. The seeds of knowledge sown.
These are the days of highs and lows,
Of books and enlightenment and he grows.

VII
“The bouquet of insanity left me a wreck, but I won’t forget.”

The 40”s find him on his own; his family gone.
Somehow, somewhere, someway it all went wrong,
Some things in life are not meant to be.
Sorrow is all he sees, but time moves on.
Through adversity, he finds his strength.
The depth of his spirit, humanity is his link.
Finding his Magna Charta, he realized his purpose.
Justice and liberty become his new song,
A magnum opus for us all.
These are the days of devotion and emotions,
His soul for humanity is causing a commotion.

VIII
“The road less traveled, it’s the one I’m own”

At 50 now what will be will be.
He has miles to go before he sleeps; He cannot rest life is still a test,
But his future is anything but bleak, His spirit far from weak.
Riding out the highs and lows, Tempering the desires and extremes,
Ordering security and chaos, Challenging the unchallengeable dream.
Understanding from experience, he fights the true outlaws and hellions
Humanity his devotion.. Lost in emotions

These will be the days of Renewal and Survival. Rebirth and Revival
A rebel causing a commotion, a life in full motion.

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