Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

I realize it has been a very long time since the last post here. I also realize that I don’t have much to say lately, and that’s probably why I haven’t been anxious to get back into it. I should have a lot to say. I should be overflowing with words. There have been endless activities and changes in the last few weeks, the most prominent and pervasive of which has been the moving to a different city thing.

So, as you  might have imagined, the internet was unavailable for a while, hence the halt in the posts…and then, since I’ve been able to return to the world of cyberspace, I haven’t really felt grounded enough to attempt this again. So we’ll say I get an A+ in non-perfection this month.

Either way, Easter season is around the corner, and I’m going to try and post three times a week or close to it until that time. It feels strange to approach Easter this year. Strange for many reasons…

First of all, we have a kid now. So the whole Easter egg hunt and pastel colours thing that used to ignite my inner religious indignation and cause much speculation and discussion has now turned into… “Awwwwwwwwwwwww….a pink bunny!”

Yes…parenthood does change you.

But the time of year also seems strange because of our new church environment, because of our new living arrangements…because of our new life. And yet, it is all about new life, no? And more than that…it is about resurrection. It’s about old made new, not just new new. It’s about the first-born being brought back to life….and the rest of us celebrating the truth that we get to follow suit someday.

So anyways…pink bunnies or not, the preparation for the season is upon us. Like all seasons, it will pass and repeat in time, but in the midst of a crazy life, my goal is to hold onto to the eternal and timeless truths that are represented. I hope that thought encourages you today to whoever takes the time to read this. 🙂

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Little to Say

Tears don’t fall in time.
Words come too much later on…
Goodbye takes it’s toll.

I am taking my good friend’s advice and writing a short haiku tonight because I feel like I don’t have it in me to write a lot of words right now. I don’t even know exactly how to write haikus, sadly enough, but I think I used the traditional English syllable count at least. This was a night of goodbyes and a night of reflection on things to pass. May the joys remembered and the hopes to come get us through these times. Amen.

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Blustery Day

It’s a blustery day,
As the Pooh bear would say,
And I won’t go outside.
Even though, I’ll confide
That no matter my place
I feel wind in my face.
I feel breeze in my hair,
And the chill in the air
Makes its way here inside
Where, like Rabbit, I hide
And pretend I am warm
And kept safe from the storm…
Still, like Piglet, I shiver
And my lips start to quiver
So I stutter away
On this blustery day…
While the Pooh bear in red
Drags his bulk out of bed,
Does some stretches to song,
And then lumbers along
With a scarf ’round his neck
Starts his honey-bound trek
And goes out in the wind
With what’s hardly a cringe.
All his thinking of honey
Keeps his heart warm and sunny.

And so maybe he’s right
To put up such a fight
Against blustery blows
And the dangers they pose…
Goodness knows I’m less free
Sitting here with my tea…

Still, I won’t go outside…
I’ll sit here like I’m tied,
And like Eyore I’ll moan
For a less drafty home.


I just kinda felt like getting back into a bit of verse tonight. Not very Lentish, I know, but I’ll dedicate this to the strange weather we’ve been having lately…and to getting up and at ’em even when it feels impossible… 😉

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Poetic Biology

Well, this week’s post comes a little late, which is the result of a rather crazy week wherein my energies were necessarily directed elsewhere… So…here is a blast from my past poetic adventures. I promise to write more new stuff soon, but I thought this might be appropriate as a lot of my younger friends are currently just finishing and/or still writing their exams. Also, it’s one of my favourite nonsense poems I have ever written. Context: This was written while I was supposed to be studying for my exams in the third year of my nursing degree (note the medical terminology – lots of fun for rhyming for sure…) 🙂


A Conversation Between My Neck and My Brain

My dearest brain, oh CNS,
A small complaint I must confess…
So weary is it looking down,
In constant focus on the ground.
For when the eyes are stationed low,
There also must the neck then go.
And we the C’s from 1 through 7,
Do swift demand this trend to lessen.

To the neck:
A quandary yes, you may confess,
If quandary could be called this mess.
A most peculiar trend of late,
Indeed a source of great debate.
For even while your message came,
The eyes had sent one most the same.
They say, long hours most absurd
Wherein they’re forced to stare at words
Are making for a dismal week,
How white and black can be so bleak!

From the neck:
The eyes may spout their teary tales,
But this, I say, is cause to wail:
Our cartilage is near worn thin,
From holding up that spiteful chin.
And ever the trapezius
Is throwing fiery darts at us.

And in return:
My dearest neck, such woes you have,
Would really make me duly sad,
If not for one small fact of life,
I, too, have had some cause for strife.
In constant flow for quite some time,
Such info., terms, and facts have I
Been forced to process, know, and store.
The files are falling out the door.
The neurons’ union quite enraged,
Demanded an increase in wage.
We cannot fire this fast, they said,
In such a drab and cluttered head.
So as the signals pile in heaps,
I’m forced to give up hours of sleep,
It really is a mighty jam,
I have no use for all this cram.
We sort all night till 2 AM
Until the signal comes: EXAM
And then at once the fingers ring,
Demanding for the very thing
We’ve worked so hard all night to store,
And then we see it nevermore.
Forgive me if I sound rebuffed,
But you, my friend, are out of luck.
While weary bones and muscles may
Cause sorrows in their own fine way,
No other cells have higher stress,
Than those that send, perceive, process.
So hold on strong, my friend, the neck,
We may get through this quandary yet.
And when’s it’s done, I’ve heard there may
Be some vacation on the way.
In which event, I’m sure the skin,
Will make demands for melanin.
So let us wait till this is done
And hope she doesn’t read for fun!

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Inspired by Dinner

Something a bit ridiculous inspired by something quite delicious…


Salty, savoured…lips will smack,
Sauce so good it lures you back…
Back to munching mushy fries,
Back from other tasteless dives.
Leave the burgers in their drawers,
Don’t eat pizzas dropped on floors.
Settle not for sushi plates,
Let the sauce decide your fate!

Chicken comes in many sizes,
Shapes, and several strange disguises:
Chicken hiding in a nugget,
Chicken noodle soup, just chug it!
Chicken pies and chicken stews
Chicken dishes – all old news.
What you need to make it nice:
Dipping sauce with magic spice!

You can put it on your chicken
Pour it on or get to dippin’…
Rolls are tastier if soaking
In the sauce so sweet and smoking!
Good with french fries? Not good, great!
Any left? Then drink it straight.
Thank you to the house of Swiss
For making sauce I can’t resist.


And thank you, as well, to my husband for picking up the Swiss Chalet for dinner tonight. And now I need to go and get myself something to drink…I wonder why… ?

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Sing Me To Freedom

I had hoped that this week’s update would be more upbeat, but life happens…and sometimes it feels like way too much of life happens for one small day to contain. Today was one of those days. So this is something I just sat down and wrote tonight pretty quickly.


Sing me to freedom.

Sing when it’s crowded and loud,
All around,
And the birds have lost hope that the morning approaches,
Keep singing the words that I can’t swallow down.

Sing in the moment
Of deep desolation,
When hurting and death are like trusted old friends,
And the birds bide their time, as the evening encroaches,
Just waiting to feast on what’s left at the end.

Sing songs to freedom.
Its mythical presence,
Its maddening perfumes that poison the air.
No wonder the birds can’t sit still on their haunches,
Keep moving or else it might cease to be there.

Sing for the saving
Of sinners and saviors.
They still don’t believe even after these signs…
Their glances are skittish, they scatter like roaches.
To flee from the birds and their searching black eyes.

Sing as the sovereign,
The one who is surer
Than all of the ones who are stuck with their sight.
Your songs – are they sturdy? They sputter like torches
To those of us stuck in the mire of this night.

Sing us to freedom,
We beg you to sing it.
Though we have but scorn for this holiest state.
Though we join the birds in their songs of reproaches,
Though all of our hopes become shackled with hate.

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Resolutions and What-not

The new year is once again upon us. And once again, we enter it cold, tired and addicted to Christmas junk food…. Nevertheless, we press on to new beginnings – new adventures. There is something so enticing about newness, as my baby daughter proves effortlessly every day. She is always turning over a new leaf and indulging in innumerable “firsts”. And she is downright ecstatic about it!


So…enter the resolutions.

Number One – I want to continue to share my poetry and other ramblings with you on this blog, but in a more regular fashion, with the goal that this could become a venue for celebration and discussion of poetry in all its wonderful forms. Of course, I am not the only one out there who writes, and I would love to hear from other fellow bloggers and writers, so that we can form some connections. For starters, check out my friend Mike’s poetry blog at underthehebrewsea.wordpress.com. Also, take a look at my sister-in-law’s website at genuinemudpie.ca for wonderful crafting/crochet ideas and other intriguing concepts!

Number Two – Introducing ToshPoems.com! This is my very own personalized poetry website – accomodating all of your poetry needs. My goal is to get the word out as much as possible over the next little while. Check it out, and if you like what you see, spread the news. 🙂

Number Three – I am going to be trying to do some more themed stuff. For example, I’ve been thinking about starting a sort of series of “Poems for the Everyday”. I’d also like to continue to work on the freeverse stuff I’ve been doing on the themes of hurting, healing, recovering from burnout and learning to trust again.


Now, we all know that resolutions are not as set in stone as we’d like them to be. But let’s see how it goes, shall we? To finish off for today, I will leave you with something I wrote earlier around Christmas time. A bit out of season, but full of hope for new beginnings all the same.


Away in a Manger

Away in a manger,
A baby is crying.
It’s no time for silence,
The darkness is dying!

His mother is laughing
For joy at the yielding
Which hours of labour
Within her were wielding.

The curse of her mothers
So mingled with gladness,
The mirth bubbles over…
To fight it is madness.

No, all is not finished,
The lame still need healing,
The blind are still lonely,
The light needs revealing.

But, oh! Don’t you know it?
The joy of that moment!
When life first takes breath and
The pain meets atonement!

He’s crying, he’s screaming!
His lips start their searching.
He’s human, among us,
He joins in our thirsting.

He wails in his hunger:
Love’s great incarnation.
The hungry will hear it
And find satiation.

The thirsty will drink of
This life everlasting.
The poor and the broken
Will break all their fasting.

Oh deaf, can’t you hear him?
He cries out our story.
Oh blind, can’t you see it?
His coming is glory!

His breath the beginning
That will be death’s ending.
His life such a dawning
To set darkness trembling.

The cattle are lowing,
The baby is waking
The calves and the kids and
The hope he’s remaking.

It’s no time for silence,
The angels proclaim him!
And mother and shepherds
And sinners will name him…

Yeshua. Emanuel.
Lord of creation.
Who’s born unto us
For our light and salvation.

He’s come! Bless the manger
That now proudly claims him!
He cries in the night but
The dark won’t contain him!

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I’m still not quite satisfied with the end result of this, but I needed just to get it done for now…


“Won’t you be my neighbour?”
Are the words we first exchanged,
When you asked for cash so casually,
But I saw passion in your hunger,
I saw romance in your pain,
And fumbled quarters frantically
To feed a fire
And fan a flame
I thought my love contained.

So maybe I had youth to blame?
Maybe we were young…
To share a swing set built for two,
When all I’d known was one.

I was keenly captivated,
Drunk on kindness,
By your filthy shoes.

I rode the waves of sympathy.
I relished how it feels,
When knowing what’s stuck in your throat
Is finally something real.

So gulping back these fervid tears,
I worshipped dirty shoes,
And caked-in mud,
And street-wise scars,
And all of hopeless you…

I took you as my neighbour
And sang your ballads too,
When we would gather at the bonfire,
Many wonders to require,
Endless missions to inspire,
Even as a concert’s choir:
This opera of you.

Feed the fire,
Fan the flame,
The book of love proclaims.

I held your hand one afternoon,
When nothing else would satisfy…
Your vice of gripping so to match
My vice that sought to gratify
A world of empty hands.

And still our houses side by side,
And still me stopping in my stride
Along the road to Jericho…
Despite the toll that journey charged,
I blessed each tear I cried.

And you were wearing Velcro shoes
The thieves had left behind…

Feed the fire,
Fan the flame,
Of parables pertained.

You followed me to school one day,
A furry freshman lamb…
And as I suffered through my studies
At the hands of books and bullies…
When I fought through fears and furies
For a passing grade…
You were the needed bursary.
You were why A’s were made.

Every time I slipped my feet
Into my closed-toe shoes,
They fit a little bit less well:
The grime all gathered in the creases,
Sweat and tears…secretions, feces…

It won’t wipe off,
At least, not well…
I’m left with all the traces.

It’s such a slothful, soiling pain.

Feed the fire,
Fan the flame…
Be-still my numbing brain.

I let you live beside me,
And left an open door.
One cup of sugar
Not enough.
You always wanted more.

And more,

And more,

And more.

And popping in one day to see
If you had muffins, cakes or cookies
Laid up well in store…

I saw, instead, your sticky shoes,
Shuffling through a sea of sugar
Smothered on the floor.

What the hell’s it for?

Sputter out, this fire and flame…
I won’t be tricked again.

I thought that I could change you.
And wasn’t I a fool?
But don’t they say that love is blind?
I’ve learned that hope is cruel…

‘Cuz when you hope to wash a neighbour’s
Dirty, worn-out, calloused feet…

You’re left with soggy shoes.

And so today, I pack my stuff.
I’ll take it somewhere far enough
From you and all your convoluted,
Crass and cross,

I do not know when I’ll be back.

I miss your presence even as
I’m getting used
To cleaner air.

I bought new shoes,
But now my feet
Just tip-toe here and there.

What use are shoes for those of us
With no one’s weight to bear?

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Baby Yoga Fun

Our instructor for prenatal yoga had us write out a “lullabye” to our babies during class yesterday…so this is what I came up with in about 2-5 minutes:

Let yourself be cradled,
Curled and tucked tight…
There’s time enough for cuddling
When you’ve come to light.

So maybe the baby will listen to me instead of my husband who tells it to “come out and play” every day. Not quite yet, I say. Soon, but not quite yet…

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Sundowner Poet

Lately, the words come reluctantly…at least in poem form. They flow as fluidly as ever when I open my mouth to complain or contemplate this crazy busy beginning of spring…but writing anything sensible eludes me. Anyways, this is something I wrote a little while ago, back in August of last year, when the words and I were similarly at odds:


Sundowner Poet

I’m scared to begin it,
Afraid to go on,
But it’s dusk and I’m never
Awake when it’s dawn.

Words are like sunsets,
They don’t last for long:
Like summer or cookies
Or your favourite song.

The words are now with me,
The words are now gone.
The sun left the stage,
And the stars sauntered on.

I’m stirred up and sulking.
It’s not really wrong,
Just broken or missing,
Or doesn’t belong…

So turn my face westward,
And savour the sun,
And let it be ended
When the shining’s all done.

But I’ll be here waiting
‘Till the next sundown dawns.
Dusk may be an ending,
But it can’t stay gone long.

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