ToadSoda's blog


Three more days until I greet the moon
There's no telling what I'll see.
The moon holds no meaning of its own.
I'm throwing my expectations
up at the sky, prepared to see the moon
through the lens of my own reality,
but I'm not comparing myself to the sun;
beautiful in the harsh, dazzling way of diamonds
and razor-cheeked models with hollow throats.
last year, the moon looked sharp and ominous
a sickle moon, ready to slice me in half
a cold moon, stealing the warmth from my skin
pulling the breath from my lungs,
in billowing clouds the color of bone.


No matter how tight our grip, sometimes
the world takes them
into a swirl of dark emptiness.
I hope that death is just the threshold
a wardrobe, an oak tree, platform 9 & 3/4
in a London train station.

Can she see me
as I grope and weep and rail at time?
watching from her place in eternity
maybe she's laughing as I count the days
the seasons
which are connected end to end, a circle
I feel her reaching out
I smell her
I know the weight of her spirit,
as familiar to me
as when her infant self
was warm and safe in my arms.


The nectar sat, untouched
fermenting like cherry soda
in the June heat.
I waited, but you didn't come
when the wine berries ripened in July
when I tied crimson ribbon to the trees,
where it flashed like ruby slippers,
when we planted bee balm and purple salvia
drawing fat bumblebees to the yard,
you didn't come
when I exchanged red nectar for clear,
when we moved the birdbath
filling it twice a day,
still, nothing, not yet
until I realized the final piece
was all about me.
to have patience,
to be still,
to sit like aging wood, letting time slow...
You came, your blurred wings humming,
beak needle thin,
helping yourself to handmade nectar
answering my invitation
with the gift of your tiny magic


I thought the hummers would careen
up and down, like butterflies
at the whim of the August breeze
flying drunkenly, precariously,
barely airborne, but no
When he came, he was self-possessed,
in total control
and I wonder if he saw me
sitting still, expectant
watching the empty sky.
He appeared through time
gliding across the open air
of my backyard, a minuscule wraith
needing to feed--that's where I had him
holding my breath,
focusing on the blur of tiny wings
a clockwork bird moving, like light,
across the spine of heaven.
Perhaps he was there all along
waiting for me to create space
oblivious of the meaning
I placed on his slight presence
that whisper of life,
sipping nectar like an ancient god
perching on hair-thin branches
invisible, persistent, aloof
a tiny hawk, a tiny window
with ruby curtains
and a valence of silk


I have nothing for you
except hollow bones
a secret void inside me,
watching the birds, waiting
envying them, hidden but close
living on another plane, not for us
we can't imagine what it's like
except I do imagine
the morning blush
waking me from dreams of flight
the brush of wet leaves
against silken feathers
I wouldn't care if they gave me a name
I'd know only the feel of my own song
warbling in my throat
and the color of dawn
rose and sherbet
I'd know the scent of rain
sweeping the forest clean
I'd know height and speed and freedom
and a solid branch
beneath clawed toes


Drenched in green, I'm surrounded
by a living quilt exploding up and out,
from winter's long death.

This year, I don't feel crowded
by the goldenrod and chicory
the pale jewelweed and wild cucumber
creeping from the mountains
onto paths trampled flat by a thousand feet.

I feel embraced, protected,
by life that glimmers--
a dozen shades of green
and green and green...
imploring my numb mind
to release the grief.

The cardinals, darting out from beyond,
were set free to cross my path
by her slender fingers.
Of course, she can catch them.
Of course, they're drawn to her.
Her voice, in life, pure music
must, in death, be pure magic.

When I walk this verdant maze
at the edge of our dual realities,
I feel her close, lingering
beyond the skin
that separates our worlds,
The barrier--thin as breath, fragile as air.

She gifts me with glimpses...
in the spine of a brown feather
she's laid at my feet,
in the rolling clouds,
dancing above me,
in the rustle of new leaves,
an echo of laughter.

What The Sky Gives Away

The clouds don't know I'm watching
they don't know the sky
their billowy enigma
is not a form of guilt
I wonder what it's like to rest up there
high above the tiny troubles
of passing days
just air and water
holding the possibility of rain
I welcome it, the rolling darkness,
harbinger of a coming storm,
the promise of a torrent,
ushered in by low rumblings
blanketing the sky with fevered dreams
that acknowledge a time
when ignorance burned all the altars down

Empty Malls

Time is the same as waiting
each marked second minuscule proof
that I'm not in control.
When did I become so obsessed?
Glancing up or down,
trying to mark my place,
as if the numbers were a mall map
telling me I'm here or here,
but really, I'm nowhere.
Each store closing one by one.
Their facades dark,
sandwiched between the ones
still clinging to relevance.
Except none of them were ever relevant.
None of us are.
I wanted to hang onto everything
that filled my space; keepsakes,
flat and meaningless.
Now I want to purge.
Now I want to throw it all away.

Rejecting Acceptance

I'm trying on acceptance
as if, one day,
it might fit comfortably
like an old sweater,
but this is impossible.
You can't understand
though you might think you can
because the universe or god
or whatever spirit, bright or dark,
that you pray to
didn't forsake you.
You still have the rainbow
that bright arc of color,
you still have the gift of time
that heartless demon.
You can't know this ache
that lives inside me
forcing me to see emptiness,
the setting of my life.
The platitudes of your denial don't apply
I'm alone in this grief, swallowed in it
as the daily turning world abandons me.

Self Reflection

The quiet mind hides
afraid to hear itself
and the empty echoes
of introspection
no amount of social media
can fill the silence
what spiritual riddles lie
beneath this hum of distraction?
I might never know.

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