Please and Thank You.

When did civility become a
white chalk drawing left out
in a summer storm?
Remember when reason
was a slow moving train
passing through every
town and belt-Bible, barley,
and business suits too?

Now compromise is a locked
door, constructed of egos and
dogma. We the people fatigued
with all the discordant noise,
huddle under blankets
decorated in red, white
and the feeling of blue.

Living on a prayer with
Bon Jovi and the blessed
Mother Mary. Could we just
get an amen and a few
politicians worth a
Hallelujah or two?

-Tosha Michelle

My thoughts on “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile


Never Forgotten 

I thought of you 15 years old
and your parents who weep
for their son who’s life ended
much too soon, another
fragrant willow clipped
with the blunt shears of
a world gone mad.

Another life taken by a mass
shooter who name I refuse to

I thought of the life you
should be living,
all the milestones you’ll
miss, a future that should
be fully in bloom.

I mourn for the
shadows of other
children senselessly 
gunned down
Faded blossoms
and the fullest summers
that might have been.

I pondered how anyone can
be indifferent
to a wind that continues to
shutter and lash out.
Endangering elms and
our humanity.

I long for a day where
the headlines aren’t
filled with grieving families
and discourse that solves
nothing, but perpetuates hate
Whiplashing our brains
with fear and despair.

You won’t be forgotten.
precious child.
You didn’t deserve
such a hellish fate,
nor will I forget the ones
who inevitably will come
after you if we don’t
start acknowledging the
thunderthrottled air.

Rest in peace. I hope
you’re in a place where
the monochrome scales
of this world have gone
a serene blue.
A place where the weather
never conspires against you
and your soul is a lexicon
of green serenity.

-Tosha Michelle

Just A Thought 

Due to the current political climate in America, I’ve watched myself become increasingly more angry and disillusioned. I was finally able to take a step back this weekend and realize how unhealthy that is. It’s so easy to let bitterness take over, not just with politics but in our personal life too. We always want someone to blame, but usually the fault doesn’t belong solely to one person.

Extremism whether in politics, religion, personal relationships, or social movements is dangerous. It creates this hostile environment where resentment breeds. It eats away at compassion and tolerance . There becomes this “us against them mentality”. There’s no room for shades of gray. People are either good or bad. Victim or villain. It’s ironic, given that we see ourselves as so progressive and forward thinking.

Extremism doesn’t provide clarity. It simply blurs lines, the line between civility and chaos, the line between sexual assault and harassment, the line between misogyny and chivalry, the line between what’s actually right and our need to be right. We must remember that rarely are people all good or all bad. We are all flawed, we all make mistakes. Imagine, if we could look beyond political and religious affiliations, beyond race and gender, and just see the humanity that resides in all of us.

I’m tired of defining myself as a Democratic liberal. I’m tried of seeing Republicans as the evil enemy. We as people are so much more than how we vote, or our gender, or who we pray or don’t pray too. I’m tried of labels and assertions based on emotions instead of facts. Yes, we have to fight injustice and follow our moral compass, but if we lose sight of our humanity in the process, than we’re no better than the injustices we are fighting.

End rant.

This blog will return to poetry on Wed.

Political Discourse. (Come on, baby. We can work it out)

Recently, I’ve been reading up on political discourse for an upcoming show with Canadian philosopher Mark Kingwell. If you haven’t read his work, you’re missing out on greatness. Brillant guy. Note, I’m on his payroll. Kidding. I’m just an admirer. Don’t make it weird. I have an innocent fixation with his mind. My friend and co-host of La Literati, Niles, is all about his body. (Just kidding.) Given the recent mid-term elections, I thought I would post my thoughts on civility in politics, or lack thereof. This was actaully something I posted back in 2012, but it still rings true, despite the promises by the Republicans and Demorcrats to turn over a new leaf and learn the art of compromise. I’m sorry, but cut the bull sh#$. Now, who’s being uncivil? There’s already a fight brewing over immigration laws. Could another government shutdown be in the works?

In 2012 I wrote:
I have a general observation to make about the vilification that goes on in the political arena, not to mention the hate-filled, public discourse between Americans. It is sickening. It’s demoralizing and demeaning. What happened to showing decency to others? Just because someone has a different point of view than you doesn’t mean they are morally bankrupt, a terrorist, or ignorant. It simply means they have an opposing view.

Isn’t America all about diversity? Must that diversity lead to dissension and discord, to the embattled and embittered democracy? Forget sexy, we have to bring back civility and decency, respect and consideration, for each other, for the candidates, for ourselves, for our country. If we want ethics back in politics, then we must put them back into our lives as well.

And while I am on my soap box. What happened to integrity in journalism? You know conscientious journalists who vowed to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty? I just don’t see it much anymore — at least not on news shows that are more about ratings than accuracy in reporting. The talking heads are the worst. All they are, are corporate marketing interests, delivering entertainment substance, governed by polls, projected ratings and sponsor demands. What we see is well-crafted hype for dramatic value by an eccentric cast of cartoonish characters¬, sound journalism be darned. (Editor’s note: The public would do well to rely more on newspapers and their associated websites, and public broadcast media – organizations where the journalistic values of fairness, thoroughness and accuracy are still held in high esteem.)

As an aside, I’m thinking Iceland is the place to be — clean living, stellar education system, virtually no crime, wonderful food, quality healthcare, political indifference, literacy rate of 99 percent, not too small, not too big. They gave us Of Monsters and Men.  I love America. God bless us, but we could learn a few things from this small peace-loving country.