I Love the Broken Ones

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Because I am broken.
I find comfort in the broken ones
The flowers out of season.
The dark mornings.
The delinquent library books.
The residue that slips through.

The ones not half full but fully
shattered. The ones scarred by
bramble.

I fall toward them with open arms .

For those who are lonely, those
wandering city streets, lost.

I pack kindness in a carry on of
imperfections. The bag so full
it’s spilling over.

The challenge of life, making everything fit.

My back aches for all I tote. There
are exits all around me. The gift shop is giving away apathy.

But I’ve purchase humanity’s ticket and I’m not going back.

Realizing life is more than chiffon pie and summer afternoons.

Knowing it isn’t the sky that matters but how we fly through it.

Navigating with a fractured flight map of scars,
counter winds and all.

Compassion our wings
The destination, love.

-Tosha Michelle

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Swim

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The afternoon is sunny,
light falls warm
The breeze through the
car window full of lilacs

Soft air caresses your bare
arms. Everything is a hazy
green.

Nothing in the day speaks
of grief, but its there on
the news.

This should be a universe
of promise, of expectation.
The death of innocent lives,
feels so out of time with the
sky’s forget me not hue.

You think about rolling the car windows up,
shutting out the blossoming world.
letting winter settle in
Fear unpacking its suitcase
in your mind.

Consumed with rage over
black hearts and evil ways.
Terrorists stealing
what should be preserved

Their shrapnel of devastation,
an infinity of darkness
littering the ground
My hate is bigger
than your hate

You fight the urge to give in
to give up.
The world is breakable, but
your spirit is not.

We are all here trying to find
our balance on this broken
wheel.

Your heart constricts in a
fist of humanity.

Love pours out, gold as honey.
A living lightbulb goes off,
illuminating the transparent
glass of intimidation.

Hope waits beyond despair
You note how the heavens
embrace the sky.

The blue so deep, so thick
You could dive into it
You could swim in it
until you reach the other side-

Call. Don’t Answer.

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I sometimes long to be a

name no one answers, a

name that no longer

tolerates humanity. I yearn

to take the wintery chill

of my mind and go off by

myself, to live in a great

empty space, where

the breath of solitude can

falls on me like clouds,

-The only greeting needed

the green grass. I long

to belong to none, to be

elusive as residue.

The sun in my arms,

the only embrace I

need.

Then (as it always is)

Someone asked

“so how you been?”

How quickly the name

answers.

-Tosha Michelle

Without ME

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Today I stand by the window.
staring out at the world
The light from the sun
splitting the room in two.
I converse with the air,
who informs me my
opinions are really
insignificant in a world
still millenniums away
from knowing my name.
I scoff and return to my
window shopping.

Amazed by all the people
out on the street, while I
stand alone. I’m astonished
that I’m not the ball being
bounced or the laughter
that follows.

I notices the red
tulip, forming a path
of fire in the yard
and marvel that
they can thrive
without me.

I think about my daughters
out with their friends,
Somewhere I am not,
having forgotten the days
when they use to cling
to my legs. They
go on without me.

Right now, people are
filling their bodies with
food, with each other,
decisions about the
history of the world
are being made.
without me.
Somewhere I am not.

Even you my dear
reader are somewhere
in the vastness, I am
not. Tearing open
the heart of this poem,
until it is forgotten,
devour by time and
a hungry urn. I’m
stunned, even my
words rise and die
without me,
somewhere
I am not.

-Tosha Michelle

A cover from Yours Truly. Have a lovely weekend without me. 🙂

Listen to Just A Little Bit of Your Heart Cover. (Vocals and piano) by Tosha Michelle 2020 #np on #SoundCloud

Kicking Pollyanna to the curb.

Removing my rose colored glasses.

Stepping down from my Ivory Tower.

Into a broken world.

Kicking Pollyanna to the curb.

Yesterday everything was disposable.

Self pity was my guide.

Always crying wolf.

For the suffering I had known.

Today the bubble burst.

Choking on my own callous disregard.

Slapping me out of my apathetic slumber.

To hell with selfishness and pride.

Eyes wide open. The blinders off

My heart cries..my soul aches

For the child who’s never known love.

Only abuse and neglect.

For man in need of a home.

Making a bed out of concrete and stone.

For the drug addict who fallen through the cracks.

Who can’t find her way back.

For empty bellies and a cruel world.

The sex slave being pimped on the street.

Only 15 years old her body bought and sold.

For war torn countries, surrounded by senseless death.

Genocide, mutilated figures, horrific acts..all in the name of hate.

Smashing my rose colored glasses against the wall of apathy.

Tearing down the Ivory Tower.

I live n the light of grace

Vowing to be a voice for change.

To take a stand, to never lie down in complacency again.

My shield hope. My sword compassion.

Eyes wide open in clarity and love.

-Tosha Michelle

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Not Just a Girl.

 
Inside she is sunshine.

An innocent girl.

Full of dreams.

Her whole life ahead of her.

The world at her feet.

Out on the street

In the late summer heat.

Men with wicked schemes.

She meets

They have her in their reach.

Sadness and horror they teach.

Selling her to the highest bidder.

Money they will keep.

Binding her in chains.

A sex slave they seek.

Breaking her spirit.

Crushing her soul.

Taking her humanity.

All for gold.

Inside she is broken.

A heart that just a shell.

Her body void and empty.

Her life a living hell.

The terror gets worse.

Fear it grows.

Brutality all she knows

Can anyone hear her?

 
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She is only 12 years old

 

 

Join in the fight against Modern Day Slavery. You can make a difference.  
 

The Art of the Matter.

Is there a proper focus for understanding, and evaluating, the arts? Which is more important, the characteristics of the artist, as Tolstoy would have us believe, the actual work of art itself, or is it how the audience appreciates the art work?  We might argue that art is about all three of these potential interpretations and that each plays a fundamental role in what makes art, art.

If we were just to look at the artist and his, or her, perceptions we would have to consider that there were different elements up for debate; the first one being the intention of the artist, and what they were trying to convey through their art. Our concerns arise here when the audience interpretation of the artist’s work is different from what the artist was actually trying to say. Does this invalidate the work? We could argue that it does not, and that most critics would say that as long as the audience gets something out of art, then it has not been created in vain. However, this begs the question of should we even consider the artist’s intentions? Further, if we then discover new facts about the artist, should they alter our perception of the artist’s work? For instance, the author of Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling, has said that in her mind one of her characters if gay.  If one now goes back to re-read Harry Potter but still does not identify the gayness of the character, should we then just accept the artist’s views? Or, is it reasonable for us to assert that we do not perceive the character as gay? We would contend that is reasonable to assert that we do not perceive it. Art is subjective, and we believe that it is within the subjectivity of such aesthetic works, and the illusions that are conjured up in art’s mysteries, that hold the enchanting beauty of its magic. The fact that two people can perceive something entirely different from the same piece of work is, arguably, a dimension that demonstrates a free will that encourages us to, somewhat obliquely, consider the Robert Frost poem The Road Less Traveled: and how taking the road less traveled makes ‘all the difference’ to our journey.

 Another dimension of art that is up for debate is the social content, and what role it should play in art.  Some would argue that knowing the meaning, and the message, that the artist is trying to convey with their work is the crucial element of understanding the work. Some would contend that it is this dimension of art that gives the work its vitality and soul. Others would assert that the social content should not be the focus, but the art work itself. 

Some would offer that it should not be about the artist but the art work and that, social content, and therefore, arguably, cultural values, are not an important factor. However, the acknowledgment, appreciation, and awareness of social content in art, we would argue, can enhance an aesthetic work and, possibly, take us to a deeper level of understanding: recognizing the humanity in art is vital to understanding the humanity in ourselves.

Margaret MacDonald, an artist herself, had a lot to say about art.  She felt that to fully appreciate art one had to become an active participant in the art itself. She felt that to just merely look at a piece of art and pick out a good, or bad, feature was to miss the bigger picture. She argued that it is not, simply, enough to just pick out what we like, and do not like, about a piece of art, and that to do this  limits us: the limit is manifested in that we will, eventually, in probability, run out of things to say about the particular piece of art work. 

MacDonald writes that there is always more to say about art, because art is always evolving and changing. The meaning of art shifts through time because the interpreter changes.  A piece of art can mean different things to different people at different times in history because the appreciator also experiences change and evolves. That is to say that someone who is reading Hamlet today, perchance, may not interpret it the same way as someone reading Hamlet during Shakespearean times. Or that the Mona Lisa smile does not change, but over time our interpretation of her smile can change: the De Vinci code drifts JL. According to MacDonald, the best way to enjoy art, and feel art, is for the interpreter to put a part of himself, or herself, in the art.

Critics of MacDonald would be quick to point out that she puts too much emphasis on the interpreter and not enough on the art itself and that it, arguably, cannot be the case that whatever one believes about a work of art makes it a truth.  Which is more important then, the tension between the interpreter and the art or the artist intention? Why does either one have to be prioritized as more significant than the other, or more important? Why can art not be a collaboration of both the artist and the appreciator? After all is it not an aesthetic impulse to interpret art after we perceive it?  All dimensions of interpretation, we would offer, seem equally important. Art for art’s sake is a nice concept, but art should be shared and appreciated by all of humanity.

Tolstoy wrote that ‘Art is a human activity which has as its purpose the transmission to others of the highest and best feelings to which men have risen. Nietzsche argued, in The Birth of Tragedy, that art was the only justification for life. Perhaps if we, subtlety, bring the perceptions of these great writers together, for a moment, we can see that art is a shadow dancing within in a silhouette in search of the possibility of a harmony for humankind.

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