The Next Big Thing


Big ideas are everywhere,
from religion to capitalism.
There’s always someone
trying to sell us something.
I’m burnt out on the peddling.
I just want to be left on the
side of the road while I still
have a little sanity.
Let nature stand for all I believe in.
As for faith, I’ll leave that to the sun.

We all die in the end,
the good, the bad,
the blissfully indifferent.
It doesn’t matter how well
you sing the hymn,
or if you know the slogan
by memory.

Life is freshly pressed and
the creases only hold for so long.
I’d like to believe in
the lottery, mail in rebates,
and a free trip to Hawaii.

In my crisis of faith,
I have moments where I wonder
if we all just fade to dust.
Our molecules scattered
in the wind.
Left with nothing but our
collective darkness,
where there are no charge
off or loopholes.

All I know for certain
is I know nothing.
Oh to have the wisdom of Solomon.
I look for assurance
in the clouds.
Punching the fog.
I fall back on my upbringing.
close my eyes and
pray for grace.

-Tosha Michelle

Stairway to Somewhere?

Here under the tent, we say
our final goodbye. Soon your
coffin will be lowered into the ground.
The crowd folds like fall foliage,
with promises that it will get better
and death is not the end.
What will they remember of you?
Your smile? The broach you always wore?
The photo of you on the beach
in your Sunday best, with sunglasses
as stylish as Jackie O’s.
Please send me a sign,
a popcorn kernel of hope
that your spirit lives on.
That your soul is in a peaceful
place. That days and years
from now, we’ll find you again.
I question the sky. It reflects
back light then dark. No
definitive answers there.
Yet still I search eternity,
for you. This depth of feeling
keeps me pondering infinity.
This anguish spurs me on.

-Tosha Michelle

Feel This


What if feelings were simply
make believe, and the pain
we suffer just a made up thing?

But they aren’t.
They’re real, aren’t they?

How they rule out hearts.
We let them lead us around
and try to explain to our mates
why we just had to have one more
pair of shoes, or to our parents why
we snuck out of the house to
meet our boyfriend again.

I remember how I used them to
explain my relationship with a
higher power, but ended up
doubting, because I felt like a
prisoner about to be hung.

How quick the righteous were
to drop their blade of intolerance
of judgement. But I escaped.

Briefly, I was absent of feelings,
and free from authority. I thought
I had moved out from under the
snide mouth of the patent leather
of life, too naive to understand there
would still be judgement from those
other misconceived safe places.

My heart breaking like a glass.
Coca-Cola bottle on the sidewalk.
My life there between the cracks
and crevices, where it’s ninety-nine
degrees in the breeze,
but there is no breeze.

Pain grieving in the hot sun of truth,
and in my existence. Do we give into
the black and blue assortment of scars
in the making, or do we fight to move
past the doubt and adversity and
into a peaceful existence?

Can we choose happiness even
if our feelings have no proof?

-Tosha Michelle

A Letter to Hypocrisy


Disclaimer. The following is not an attack on Christianity. It is simply a commentary on the hypocrisy of self professed Christians who only seem to advocate fear, hate, and intolerance. I’m also a bit perplexed over the demonizing of Starbucks cups and peace-loving Muslims. Note, the only religion terrorists know is hate

Dear Potentially Clueless,

Your rally cries taste like stale coffee.
You with your righteous indignation.
You who think your religion is the only one that matters.
You who have cleansed your lips with hate.
The sheerness of your nothingness confounds me.
I want to cover my mouth and nose to avoid your plague.
Where did your humanity go?
Do you really ask yourself what would Jesus do?
Do you even care anymore?
When did the Bride of Christ turn into the whore of intolerance?

The beauty of the cross lies
in forgiveness, love, compassion.
Your kisses say razors,
blackened moss, barbed wire fences.
They scream Judas.
You love your religion more than God.

Do you not understand how your
sanctimonious songs will never
resonate hope or faith?
Your notes are shrills,
an emphatic kind of
warning in the undertone.

You sacrifice your Christianity
on the altar of ignorance and ego.
As I write, I’m afraid I’m becoming what I loathe.
I never want to fall into what I once was.
What I want is change. I want you to be changed.
I want to drink from the red cup of sunshine,
to eat the good fruit.
I want to know that the world is made up of possibilities.

I wait for a world where love falls like snow,
where halos slide down slopes of imperfections.
A world where God forgives our folly
and grace overshadows our need for holiness.
A world where my skin comes alive with the pitch of tenderness.
Where the green leaves are dewy,
and hope becomes a shivering, tangible thing.

Until, then I’ll sip from my red Starbucks cup
and let serenity diffuse in my mouth.
The bride of caffeine and open eyes.

-Tosha Michelle

Praying for Paris and our world.