a poetic lamentation

A figure stands in the rain. Their top half obscured by a red umbrella and the bottom half visible with black and white patterned baggy, blousy trousers. They stand in front of trees.
Photo by Aline Nadai from Pexels

It’s called a period

but how many times

do we have the fortune

of it being only a


It’s called a period

but how many times

would we like

the exclamation point

vibrating with immense pressure

quaking our uterine walls

cramping, crimping, and cringing

bloody waterfall of tissues

to unwedge itself from our craw

and embrace us in parentheses

of heating pad, hot bath or shower,

and/or food craving;

It’s called a period

but how many times

is it a question mark

slithering down the leg

outside of the bedtime fashioned canoe pad

or dripping from the the overflowing tampon

leaving us to wonder why

we still have a uterus;

It’s called a period

but how many times

do we want to ellipses and/or dash

our way out of everything…



a poem

crushed up chalk powder in colors of the rainbow is sitting atop pavement
Photo by Alexander Grey from Pexels

you think in a & b

while i feel a through z

we are known as Black and White

but together we are rainbow dynamite

you are straight

while i am queer

our joy buoys the atmosphere

amidst these differences

our inner lights converge

our star luminescences.



a poem

In the center of the image is a circle where sky and trees are visible. Surrounding the circle are faint lines of masonry with barely any light touching them. It is a view from inside a well looking out. A squiggly line of rope or chain where the bucket would be is seen cutting diagonally across the circle of sky.
Photo by Filipe Delgado from Pexels

There is a well inside of me.

And for a time

you were there and we filled it.

No bucket was necessary

as everything was fresh

and always at the surface —

even the deep

had a place at the top of

the well I opened to you.

I let you in

nearly all the way.

But at some point

we discovered

that nearly was all

we would have.

The well no longer holds fresh water.

Yet, it remains damp

from the memories sealed into its walls.

Though we no longer share the well

I still make solo trips from time to time.

I run my hand along the grooves,

and sometimes catch a wisp of the

warm sweetness I knew

when we were the friend

each other

clung to

like the moments

that remain in the well.



a poem

A narrow, rectangular cardboard box sits on a white table and open at the top. Two large indoor plants sit on a light colored wooden floor in the background.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/cardboard-box-on-table-in-room-with-plants-4464817/

To the curb, to the bin,

checking boxes is no longer in.

Fancy vees are my former vibe.

List making,

task breaking,

goal staking,

are now in the

donation bin.

This project baker, to do slaker,

future shaker,

is now chillin’, fit to be killin’

it by just being

a gift – a box

open to the present

and not wreckin’

with a reckon

by checkin’

a feckin

to do.



Photo by Felix Mittermeier from Pexels

This morning,

I stood in my power

accepted my bitch

and felt whole.

Green is my power color.

I adorned my green eyes

in green, teal, and pink powder

and iced my lashes in blue.


Then, I moved into the next moments of my day

where the light had changed

and then, I saw

an exhausted painted face

of a person who spent

most of their spoons.

Reminding me of the preciousness of spending time.



a poem about spells, casting, and manifestations

A dark blue gradient of star-filled sky with a rim of sunset in oranges and pinks at the bottom. There are rocky silhouettes underneath. One white comet is in the right side of the image showering down.
Photo by Dick Hoskins from Pexels

Frissons, swirling stirrings in my gut

murmurations of energy being liberated

tingling through my nerves

and alighting in my core.

The comet assembles.

Fireballing, gathering heat

thrusting blood into my extremities and face

pinking; armpits exhausting fumes I pit out

casting change.

The thrust forcing me to exercise my

vocal chords and make words dance

along my tongue and palate out into the open

air or freeze.

Icing the fires, glacially slowing the blood,

turning the comet into a block of ice, walling

off the inferno that sought to undo me,

spelling protection.

The frissons of swirling stirrings in my gut

settle and perch

manifesting preparedness.



a poem vignette

A hazy photo of a graveyard with a brick building in the background and trees enshrouding the tombstones.
Photo by Chris F from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-a-graveyard-10045909/

He bit through his tongue

made a notch in it

the size of a fingernail.

He sat quietly most days

at the dinner table

rarely engaging in discussion.

He dug graves covered in

earth and soil, collected worms

to sell to local fishermen.

He was not a repair man and

did very little to maintain

and maintenance things at home;

a hole in the floor of the living room

was covered over with cardboard

or wood scrap, pulling it back an

adventurer could see ground.

He violated his children with

threats, violence, aggression, and


by the time he had become a grandpa

he had buried all traces of

these behaviors.

He gave very little in his life while

taking so much and we called him grandpa.



a poetic self-portrait

Selfie photo of writer with hair in blonde waves cascading towards the camera lens. The writer’s eyes are focused towards the upper left corner of photo and mouth is wide and smiling. Sunlight is peeking through tendrils of hair.
Selfie from 2020 where my hair reminded me of a tree’s branches and leaves.

My trunk is lined with stretch marks

showing where I have grown and aged

though if you cut through me you

would not see rings.

My branches of leaves are coarse

tendrils that curl and frizz

in humidity, change color

from exposure to the sun

and fall when there’s new growth

though no one is waiting to

jump into a pile of hairball.

My roots are under the surface

a network of heartstrings

flowing and rushing sometimes

showing themselves in my skin

giving me that hue of rosacea

though I am pale most of the time.

And like the old tree,

I make noise when I move or am moved.



a prose poem

Two silhouettes under an umbrella in an outdoor low lit environment. Everything is rainy and hazy looking surrounding the pair. Black and brown tones.
Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS from Pexels

There is a shared belief

that when something

or someone is at an ending

we need closure

and that to have closure

means to never have to

think about, delve into,

or revisit that ending

ever again.


is not

a sealing off

of an ending



a way to move

through difficulty,

to pause,

to refocus

on one’s healing,

and center being.

Endings, past hurts, and traumas

will re-cycle themselves into our


the cycle of blessing a person,

situation, or thing and setting it free

is never ending.




Librarian and Information Specialist by day. Queer writer of poetry, sensuality, personal experience, and health by night. Instagram @tolbert_on_medium #BLM✊🏿