Upon Hearing of Your Passing.


Years from now when I read of your passing, I won’t imagine you in some abstract place. I want to picture you where you were the happiest- by the stream, where the ocean is never far, with book in hand, countless chapters, and no one to interrupt you.

Relaxing under a cerulean sky, blue-winged birds soaring.
The years, an heir to what was, golden, swinging light
as a breeze on an olive branch. The sky opening in their final valediction.

The sunlight dusting your hair, the fringe of grass.
The water from the stream flowing upward against the backdrop
of an eternal, carefree day.

The wisp of yourself pouring into the syntax in front of you. Words open again and again. Never taking back what they promise.
A thousand words to sustain you. Peace hemmed cover to endless cover.

Paused on the footnote of the page, you look up. Freedom in your gaze. Liberation in the moment. How still you are. How content. The words happening here. You look back down: your finger in the book. Your heart still, attuned to the glimmering of the stone.
The precipice attained.

-Tosha Michelle

The Days Come Forward.


Remember when we thought we ruled the day?
The sun looked upon us with untold knowledge.
That was the year, we discovered Tennyson.
We thought to ourselves it will never be too late
to find a better world.

Little did we know then,
We were at the center of a wasteland.
Then, we were still unmapped by scars.
We had no use for a lingering ache in our souls.
We were too busy staring at whitewashed walls.
Words threaded into lilting tunes in a pristine language.
That was before the earth answered us in a sigh;
a moan. Before the fire in our bellies became compressed.

These days we drink tea in a fog.
We serve our time among monotony.
The walls have become a silhouette of shadows.
We sing a halting refrain.
Struggling in a garden where nothing stirs.
The leaves have lost their luster, or there are no leaves left.
We pray for love, for mercy, to see the lone bird lifted.
Watching as daylight weaves evening.
The tree steeped in twilight.
We try desperately to unravel
the thread.

-Tosha Michelle

Shadows of Death


The shadow of my dead
grandfather cast itself
in my dreams some

I see his silhouette
walking down a deserted road.
I follow him for hours. Every
time I quicken my pace to
catch up, he quicken his

There’s always a
ending but never a beginning.
Time refuses to fold back
Translucence wanders endlessly.
Papa’s the light darting through
my eyes.

I wonder if the dead remember?
Maybe in my dream I’m
looking for a clue that they
haven’t forgotten us,
that’s there truly is a spiral staircase to a better place.

Papa keeps moving
The bones stay quiet.
The ash refuses to speak
The moon gives me the dead eye.
What a thing to be so close
but hear no words

The night dissolves.
A squawk of a crow wakes me
My sadness steals the sun.
For now my question
remains unanswered.

-Tosha Michelle

An Apprentice of Sadness


If you listen to the language of sadness,
you know it has much
to teach us.

There’s dignity in the monochrome
Sanctity in darkness, in the pulse
of quiet, in the rut to be dug out of
Sadness can be a type of burning bush,
the X on a map.
It can make the unknown, knowable.

It can help us unfold
It can rip away our untruths, like
paint torn off a congealed can,
taking skin with it.

Sadness can then suture that skin
back together.

It can birth art, music, poetry.
I write proudly with my back ink.
I take solace in words,
even the ones written in water

I choose to write my difficulties,
my grinding realities.
The fantasies under which I labor.

I write to remember-my rain of tears.
How cathartic it is when the downpour
renders everything lush and green.

Enlivening the colorful sensations of hope

I am a student of sadness so
I can become a teacher of light

-Tosha Michelle

The Sky is Falling.


If you think you are the
sun, think again.
You are the sky
holding the sun up,
trying to change the world
one dawn at a time.

Even if you don’t have time,
notice the new day.
We are so busy we forget
we’re out of milk.
We forget how we use to
hunger for a fulfilled life.

At first there was vitamin D
in excess, now just deficiency.

We can’t live if we are constantly
trying to escape our reality,

I’m a litany of doubts.
Wondering if I should lower
my expectations.

Maybe I’m still the sun.
Maybe the sky is your

I remember when our sky of delusions fell.
You spoke to me only in scars.

I’m trying my best to be
your nightcap, your safe route,
your whimsical merry go round.

Imagination echoes
in every chamber.
Hope lingers.

Is it enough?

The sky cries “Forget it”.
Sometimes, we are just lost.

-Tosha Michelle

My latest cover. My friend Danny requested “An American Trilogy” He also requested I sing it sans music. I did my best.

Listen to An American Trilogy (for Danny) by Tosha Michelle 2020 #np on #SoundCloud

If I Were King of The World


This isn’t my most eloquent poem. I’m aware. My silly and playful side needs an outlet, too. For now, I’ve locked angst in the closet.

If I were king of the
world. For this poem
let’s suppose that
this is a thing.

I would never lose
touch with the details.
I would answer all
your calls.

I would be a regular
at the Starbucks you
hang out in.

There would be laugher
in thunder. I wouldn’t
pretend to be bigger
than you.

Salvation would be
found in art and folly.

The mourning doves
would learn jazz and
how to wing it.

The livable life would
be embraced. Slow on
recliners and TV viewing.

Everyone would have
a place at my table.
I would dispense milk
and clothes, but never
unsolicited advice.

Good sex and good
manners would be

Love would come
without conditions.
I would lay my kisses
on imperfections
and celebrate the
different and strange.

I would do my best to
catch hearts falling
from pine trees.

Everyone would be
required to read Henry
Miller and Fitzgerald.

The Karxashians and E
would be banned to their
own island. Egos and
ignorance too.

Like any king, I would
contradict myself, but
mostly, with humor and
nonsensical poetry.

Water would be
plentiful. Wine too.

I wouldn’t take away
all your burden, some
are needed. How flimsy
our characters would be
without them.

Earth would be spun
in hope. There would
be 7 days of fun. The
8th day, chocolate.

Instead of a robe
and crown, I would
wear yoga pants
and a T-shirt with
James Purefoy face
on it. Everyone would
know who James
Purefoy is.

Words would live in
evey home. Love
would hang out in
the kitchen.

The inner world would
would trump the outer,
which reminds me,
there would be no
Donald Trump.

-Tosha Michelle


Different Types of Love.


A note from the poet This one it a bit on the silly side.

Different Types of Love

I love you, but I’m not
in love with you.
I love you like a brother.
I love you,
but your friends have to go.
I love you,
but its complicated.
I love how you are
a dare, a rage.
I love you for your
spirit and how it makes
me think of the ways of
the flesh.
I love how I’m a shrine of
longing for you.
I love the showmanship of
your voice and how my
skin comes alive from
the pitch.
I love how your orbit is
constantly circling me,
but you are never there.
I love how I drown in the
upwelling of your coldness,
just happy to be touched
by your water.
I love your family.
They’re so much saner than mine.
I love your hair and how
I want to sink my teeth
into your neck.
I love how if I tasted you,
my heart would turn blue.
I love you for your
opulent sadness.
I love you, but I don’t
know you.
I love how you write
I want to f””” your poems
I love how you don’t
see me.
I love you more
I love you in spite of
the restraining order.
I love you for hitting me.
I love you more than I ever
loved anyone..
well, except for John and David.
Oh and Kyle.
I love how you get
my sense of humor.
I love your madness.
It’s so competitive.
I love when you go Fifty Shades
of Christian Grey on me.
I love your emotional surcharge.
I love the curve of your hips,
the thrust of your sway.
I love you for your
smarmy imagination.
I love the crack
running through you.
The one I’ll never be able
to repair.
I love how you know all
the words to every Morrissey
I love the void you’ve created
of yourself.
I love how you peel away my
sanity, and suck on my wounds
I love how bright and alive the
world taste when I am
beside you.
I love you, but I hate you.
I love the swelling edge
of your core, the unthreading
of the pulse in my center.
I love how your darkness
casts shadows in my soul.
I love how all things nerdy
and bombastic ring in you.
Often shrill, but always shrewd.
I love you but you’re fictional.
I love you, but I could really
love you, if you loved me

I love you..but…

-Tosha Michelle

Of Bees, Veins, and Rage


In the aftermath, when
anger grows.
The quivering sets in
hundreds of bees let
loose inside
your veins, the mind
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



On nights when sleep has ran
off with my sanity, I lie in bed
and contemplate my fears, I
dwell on sentences left undone.
Conversations I wish I’d had,
The nights I’ve wasted not
dreaming. I wonder about
others like me, not sleeping.
Do they ponder the darkness
of our world? I think of those
without a place to rest.

I dwell on falling monuments
and fallen men. I wonder how
our hearts can break apart
and regenerate again.
What would it be like
to see everything at
once? Does God know?
Does he even exist?

I wonder how many days are
left in my life.? How many more
truths are left to reveal? Does
it even matter? We all fade to
nothing in the end. Don’t we?

I just want to rest now, to snuggle
in the arms of the one I love,
to kiss his mouth, to stop thinking,
to just say goodnight to the
shadows, the ticker tape parade
inside my head and those restless
souls like me……

awake and wondering.

-Tosha Michelle


My beautiful friend Terry has just started a a WordPress blog.  In addition, to being a sassy Italian chick from New York, Terry is also a talented writer, not mention, one of the most kind hearted people you’ll ever meet. Please check out her blog, and follow.

Nostalgic – http://wp.me/p41XYO-15