a runaway quatrain

A poetic re-telling of how I am handling the first stage of grief.

Sitting at the Anger Bar a stewing.

Dishing and venting with the bartender,

An urge to have another round, brewing.

Fighting the anger-holism overtaking


Me. Where the last round “tastes(sh) like anothers,”

And this is where…



a poem about TMJ

A zoomed in photo on a gray stone mortar and pestel crushing green herbs and plants.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels


(but not the kind you think)

my teeth together

before I even realize

I am doing it.

I unclench

my jaw

and rarely

get that woom woom woom

feeling these days.

The kind that feels

like waves

from pressure and pain.

Desensitizing myself

to tension I now carry

in my face.

When I hear

fix your face,

I will think of

taking a deep breath,

drinking water,

and unclenching my jaw.



a poem about an autumnal reprieve

A white steaming mug of tea sits atop a pile of books with a pair of glasses in front of a water streaked window.
Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels

Deliciously chill

is the day.

A cooling sunny blue calm

sauntered in,

heralding tomorrow’s autumn.

The vegetation shivers

out of excitement

and shock as they

try and adapt to

a two-day plummet

in temperature.

I, too, shiver

mostly in delight

while shrouded in a sweater,

clasping a warm mug

with windows open.



a poem about good omens

A heron in flight with black feather tipped wings and a whitish gray body against an overcast bluish gray sky. The ground below is dried out yellow and brown grass with power lines featured in the distance.
Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

Scintillas of magic

could be felt on the buxom breeze.

Last drops of summer’s

weighted humidity dissipating

in autumn’s cool honeyed crispness.

Spotting a large-winged bird in flight

gives me hope.

Amidst the jarring change,

this small-boned creature

with incredible span

manages to soar elegantly

and undeterred.

I, too, will glide.

Perseveringly and contentedly.



a poem on self-compassion, healing, and forgiving one’s self

An Instagram post from the gendersauce account with text on the left that is about old pains visiting not as a form of punishment but because a person is ready to heal. To the right is an ink and charcoal drawing of a tall, dark figure, a cloud, a tree, a house in the distance, and a figure crouching on five legs.
From Instagram story re-share originating from @gendersauce account.

I want to unbuckle the saddlebags of regret and

empty the canteen of fetid denial.

It’s time to send it all to pasture

and drink from the fount of self-compassion.

I want to forgive myself but I hesitate

like my foot is stuck in the stirrup

while I hang from it upside down.

The horse stands still not going anywhere,

waiting patiently for me to stop my delay.

Waiting for my command, my “hyah

to set the pains free, to free up my unforgiving self,

and giddy up into forgiveness.





Queer Writer & Poet | Sex and Sensuality | Health and Wellness Interests | Personal Experience | LINKTR.EE/TOLBERTMBB | Instagram @tolbert_on_medium