Lesson Learned 


Hello wonderful WP peeps and Chris. 😛 Last post until Friday when we’ll return to poetry. I graduate from grad school in little over a week.  I’m so excited to be done. I have a research job lined up and look forward to applying what I’ve learned. It’s been an adventure but an arduous one

Since school is slowing down, I’ve had more time to be on WP. One thing I’ve noticed, a lot of people are struggling with various things. It’s kind of refreshing to see people being honest about their pain. You know so many times, people just want us to be blown away with how amazing their lives are (or appear to be) that it can be intimidating. You know what I mean, from so called Instagram models, to Hallmark moments, to couple practically making out for the camera. Umm, could you not?  Ha!

I know for myself, I’ve had a rough couple of years. Some of my unhappiness was self inflicted, while the rest revolved around circumstances out of my control. I was in a negative place for a good while. I’m finally finding my way out of it. Note, being a Bitter Betty isn’t my usual MO. I’m known for being emotional, but in the past, I’ve always tried to put a positive spin on things.  It’s super hard to be positive though when you keep tripping over fallen branches that surround you in all different directions, not to mention, stumbling over your own insecurities. I guess the solution is to remove the branches and get some self worth. 

In the past, I had this annoying habit of making milk chocolate out of vinegar. My mom used to say, I was too trusting. She was right, I’d always been the type of person to see the good in everyone. These days  I’m more realistic, but there’s still the tendency to trust too quickly. However, there’s a healthy dose of skepticism attached now too.

Anyway, wow, I use that word a lot. I’m trying to get back to being my perky, quirky self, but tempering that optimism with realistic expectations and hard earned truths. I’m realizing that sometimes things fall apart so better things can come together. Every experience in our life is leading us to where we’re suppose to be. I guess the key is not to fight it, but just accept that change is the one thing we can always count on. Also, don’t look for validation and happiness in other people. Find it within yourself. 

Don’t chase people who don’t want to be caught either. You’ll just wear yourself out. You’ll be so much happier if you reserve your affection, time, and love for those who would willingly run towards you with open arms. Choose people who choose you!  Forgive and forget those who don’t. It’s not about the chase, but about  the the choice. The choice belongs to you. Choose to be happy. Choose to love yourself.  Choose to be liberated from doubt and fear.

Sometimes we just have to exhale and let go of negativity.  Sometimes we have to acknowledge that some things aren’t meant for us. Sometimes we have to be broken to finally break free.

Cue music. 

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Erasable Scent of Yesterday

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She finally realized it
wasn’t him she missed
but her old ideas of him.
Molded by the absent
years. The feelings lost,
and reshaped in her head,
so many times, that they
became something that
didn’t exist. Emotions.
so foreign they felt
familiar.

Standing on reality’s
shore, her back turn
to the mountains.
No longer between
the future and the past.
The desire to move
ahead, stronger than
the desire to recreate

Freedom replaces fright.
That which is gone, is
now gone completely.
The sun swelled, and
disappears.
She slips away on
the stars, leaving
confetti in her wake,
and the erasable
scent of yesterday.

-Tosha Michelle

Tabula rasa

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I always notice the dreamlike quality of
clouds, their soft layers of hazy beauty.

I often see daisies in dry bones.

I dance with skeletons, ignoring the witch’s
brew.

I stick my hand in the boiling
cauldron and call it comfort.

I pay no attention to the clock’s
incessant noise.

I’ve repeated your name so many times
it sounds like an incantation.

When do I stop hoping?

When does your name mean
nothing?

Do you remember dictionary?

I pile on the words trying to
reach your table.

For one moment, I grasp the surface
just as my chair folds but refuses
to collapse.

I pick up syntax from the ground.
Your form takes shape on the paper
only as you are walking away.

-Tosha Michelle

Little Boy Blue and Mary Quite Contrary

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Dear Past,

It’s been awhile. I come waving a
flag of peace and unarmed.
My arsenal is depleted.
I have no time for hate or malice
laced air.
I imagine like me
you want to live in peace without
the threat of guns and
claws. To awaken to the sound
of serenity, not bombs going off
in the distance.

I hope hearing from me doesn’t cause you pain.
Frankly, I miss you. Your theatrical ways,
always leaning toward a Shakespearean tragedy.
No time for much ado about nothing.
Although, everything had to be as you like it.
How you were
a master at parlor games and word play.
Your eyes a depletion
of fallen leaves and green tea.
Hair as dark as a grackle.
Arch so charming, fencing with
unseen stars. Little boy blue,
and Mary. Mary, oh, so contrary.
How our garden did grow.
Shells that pelted the ground,
causing wreckage and carnage.
It wasn’t all welts and hell.
There were days when light swelled
and sliver bells grew.

But i digress, as I climb a slide of memories,
backwards with slippery hands.
My legs lose traction,
my lungs clog with dust.

I end up on the ground negotiating
with my untapped toe.
Trying to reclaim the beat with
half recounted facts
and nostalgia’s false sense of rhythm.
Holding a few cards in the hand you deftly dealt me.
Beside me lies a map, marred
by revisions.
that reads let it go. Let it go.

I stand up, and realizes there’s a
tear in my heart, that I
mistook for my sleeve. I walk through the open gate,
ignoring the stained alleyways,
cobble stone,
and street lights shaped like a question marks.
The scent of orchids lingers in
the tired air.
My soul fighting off bees and
the counter winds.
You, dear past, will always sting.

-Tosha Michelle

Not Quite Love in an Elevator

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Some people keep in
touch via the phone,
the internet, weekly
lunch dates.

You keep in touch by
pissing me the hell off.
Lightening up our
elevator display
of toxicity until
we’re stuck between
floors.

Listen, do you hear that?
that’s my head lacerating
on the wall.

My sense of peace
fractured.
Go ahead pick the bone.
I’m done battling
scratched glass.
Drag me through it.

It’s time to rinse
off the anger,
and nail all 1483 of my
grievances to your
sanctimonious door.

Martin Luther and me
the grand reformers
He sowed in grace.
I’m more prone to
mace.

Maybe, I’ll just try to
lose you in a place
I’ll never find again.
Unraveling your
foothold or finding
mine, up your………

I’ll save the hair pulling
spear throwing, and
obscene gestures of
distain for terrorists
and guys named Tad.

I’ll just vent my anger
in a silly poem
Snide as my temper,
but light as numbers
with no equations,
letters missing
sentences, and a
poet whistling
satirically at madness.

-Tosha Michelle

Of Bees, Veins, and Rage

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In the aftermath, when
anger grows.
The quivering sets in
like
hundreds of bees let
loose inside
your veins, the mind
screaming
expletives. You shake,
it starts in
the head and works
it’s way down,
like a toxic virus, it
invades the
lungs. It takes all the
resolve you
have to hold back
bitter words
from lips held taunt
Your jaw
like a vise. Images
best left
to the imagination
all in red.
You know if the quiver
takes you,
rage wins so instead
you write
You write away the sting,
the cold,
until the fever is gone
Words and
bees, rustling with pollen,
fall like
evening from your pen.

-Tosha Michelle

Bare

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For you, I slip off my
insecurities and step
out of my nerves.

I remove my doubts and
set them on the nightstand.

I unhook my inhibitions.
Spread my desire out
upon the bed.

You dissolve in me
like a pill, a remedy
in water. Spilling your
lightening into me.
in an explosion
that removes the
numbness in me.
The spear in my
heart- dislodged.

Consumption.
Transformation

Finally adding a comma
to my life, I pause.

My soul silhouette
comes out from
behind the shade
My spirit untangles

For you, I am finally bare.

-Tosha Michelle

And on a totally unrelated song note.