Sunday, December 29, 2013




Holding on to what is real, rather than elusion,
Alluding to my narrow, if noble, perspective;
Presenting a pattern of objective confusion,
Perhaps it really is time for new directive.

Yearning for a moment frozen in time and space,
Never taking into account, potential consequence;
Each dawn has its day, then vanishes without a trace.
While I know it was there, I haven't seen it since,

You took it, laying rightful claim to what you own.
Eventually, life lines fade and become thread bare,
All too apparent when I look to find you are gone;
Reminders, like clues, are strewn about, everywhere.

Reckoning is a task I find altogether foreboding.
Of all advances taken, two steps forward and wait;
Seeing the final vestiges colliding, imploding,
Every step taken leads one to this certain fate.

For all I imagine, and that which I know to be true,
Running in place, from past, is all that makes sense.
Obstacles only impede if I choose to allow them to,
Much to my benefit, at present, I am easy to convince.

Moving forward requires us all to turn and gaze back,
Yet this lesson must be reminded, and learned again;
Keeping with the ancient order, staying on track,
Even a final dawn has its day to claim. What then?

Michael Todd (2013)

Disclaimer: If I have ever written a poem about the turning of a page on a calendar, as a new year commences, I don't recall. Maybe I am running out of things to write about. Possibly, I just overlooked the topic. Or maybe, a part of me hates to put the old year to rest, at best, passed and gone. Just call me sentimental.

While I adore the concept of a happy new year, and wish that, sincerely, for any and everyone I know... there are few things that make me happy. But, the upside to that is that what does make me happy has a great impact. And, more importantly, who can make me happy can do so with minimal effort. I do not require a detailed directive. Just point me in the right direction. That is all I need.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ice Cream Letters (for Lainey)


Ice Cream Letters (for Lainey)

Send me ice cream letters, post marked no later than a Tuesday,
to afford me something special to look forward to on a weekend.
If I get in a rush to open one up, to review and see what you say,
A potential paper cut, small price to pay, to read what you send.

Send me ice cream letters, covering any subject matter of your choosing,
Be it anecdotal in nature, or dwell on random whimsy of your design.
Touch on your dark side if it makes you feel better, although amusing
is preferred. If you're happy, I'm happy, so I'd rather you enlighten.

Send me ice cream letters, to warm my heart, at your discretion,
I have seven empty picture frames, hanging in tandem on my North wall;
Their spots reserved until such time, you send a rendered interpretation;
Once the letters are framed, I'll seal them with adhesive, to never fall.

Send me ice cream letters, seemingly insignificant to you, "Just a note..."
from your perspective, but to me, they are the ultimate ever end all:
Sprinkled with epiphanies, infatuations, intuitions... so much to quote;
Sent from your heart to your hand, on to me, your deemed port of call.

Send me ice cream letters, should you be inclined, towards me proffer,
Or make a request, you'll find me altogether amenable at point of contact,
and thanking you sincerely for the opportunity, your more than kind offer.
Or, if you open with "I don't need a thing," you will still make an impact.

Send me ice cream letters, with the envelope exterior displaying SWAK,
and maybe a heart and arrow combo, you know how I love your illustration.
Still, getting down to the heart of the matter, not on the front or back,
But what's inside, when I fold back the flap, that makes an impression.

Send me ice cream letters, if you've the time and it goes well with you.
You don't know how they raise my spirits and help to pass time, or delay.
I revel in your success, despair in you failings, in all you say and do;
Thanks in advance for your correspondence; hurry soon and send one my way.

Michael Todd  (2013)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Work In Progress (Sonnet for Charlotte)


A Work In Progress (Sonnet for Charlotte)

I think I like someone. What should I do?

Agnizing, her bearing has caught off guard.

Pause, reflect... enough data to review;

A simple survey... why make this so hard?

First steps are subtle, to shared envisions,

Endowing part of a sudden, not all...

How does one weigh in random provisions,

When sample sizes, in hand, are so small?

Knowing, emotion is driving this team,

Running rampant from cause to consequence;

If my first impressions are as they seem,

Nothing more is required here, to convince.

Count me, all in; nothing more to address;

She is far more than a work in progress.

Michael Todd  (2013)

NOTE: I got the idea for this poem from Charlotte Blackwell.

You can find her here...


Monday, October 21, 2013

The Greatest Story (for Lainey)


The Greatest Story (for Lainey)

She has passed and reviewed pyramids, in the City Of The Dead,
Saw a time of order, where the sun never set on British soil;
She shook her head sadly at the The Seven Years War, it is said,
At the folly of those who proclaim "Sovereign" as nations toil.

It is spoken, she views through a globe of glass on a base of gold,
Centuries past, present and future, as seen through her Stoic eyes:
Reciprocity as sleight of hand, alliances and treaties are sold,
With no esteem or regard, for life and death, birth and demise.

Those who would seek a brave new world, she knows, can't go back;
"Villains in their lodges speak of repose but poison the watershed.
Loose associations with warrior societies... to run the same track,
Is as discordant as a call to order in a gold rush," so she said.

Those who might say, "We are unbreakable, beautiful and young,"
They don't talk to strangers, seeing their one life as perfect,
No thoughts of dying to live again, regret never on their tongue.
It is said when the word gets out, they will regret their neglect.

It is said, in prophecy, passed along in hushed tones, through ages,
There is one who will appear, and she will speak from her station,
As empires merge, canals surge, oft in the distance, from her pages,
With no regard for stratification, hierarchy, caste or affirmation.

Many forewarned along the way, saw this as a pocket full of dreams.
The enlightened, with open hearts and eyes, see dreaming's for sleeping;
A closed mind cannot fathom a concept of sink or swim; what seems
Conscription to one is convention to other, and worth keeping.

The time she will rise and step from her realm may well be at hand;
An epoch where the rainbows vibrant colors will fade and dissipate.
Discord demands, it is time for her to sentence, to display her brand,
When her gaze will turn from her snow globe, repairing to collate.

Some, granted audience, will be in the company of those they hold dear;
Others will be found, in the throng, as wanderers on the open road;
The faithful who seek her out, see her visage as shelter, to appear,
When she emerges from her hiding place of recompense, her humble abode.

Should all who witness, know in advance, I am not compelled to say,
But I believe, all things are revealed, especially in a last call;
Who it is that stands before them, holding steadfast in her sway,
Will be made apparent in the end, if not the outset, to one and all.

I hope to stand before her, when she shares the greatest story ever told;
Would, in the end, I be so fortunate as to be counted among her friends.
What was semblance and mirage will manifest, ours to see and hold.
Until this day dawns, even she does not know how the story ends.

Michael Todd  (2013)


NOTE: As I was writing this poem, I was listening to Loreena McKennitt's "The Emigration Tunes." The cello player is Caroline Lavelle, who also performs as a solo act. She is my favorite cello player. If you want to get the full effect of the poem, from my humble perspective, listen along to this track, as you read.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Riffing with Lainey


Riffing with Lainey

Love is like a Beatles Song....

Perhaps all our ideas of love, start from books
Grow from sappy songs that spark fanciful dreams and ideals
I always imagined that attraction came within piercing looks:
Knights on white horses falling head over heels.

And while those daydreams haven't all come true,
There is one thing, one belief, in which my fantasies
Have been proven, one thing that I would swear to,
The reality of heart, one truth in which everyone agrees.

And that is; true love will burn in you like fire,
Will keep you warm, make you comforted, and protected.
Your world will turn empty and cold should it expire...
Biting again, and again every time your heart is rejected.

Because love consumes your mind, your heart, your soul-
But then in doing so, it makes you whole.

All you need is love~

written by : Elaine



A carousel horse can't change his course, doesn't see the need;
He is going to hell in a hand basket (just a figure of speech).
This breed fails to see the need, spiraling, in locked speed;
Consider, perhaps there comes a moment to teach, avoid impeach?

I am unabbreviated etcetera, in as much, the ultimate so and so,
Noting in my way, there is nothing on display, to break my fall.
Consequence: turbulence; cast fate to whims of change in escrow
Over the top and smash it up, or hit the brakes: a margin call?

All the things you said: At face value folly, appearing distant;
What makes me so quick to fend off with logorrhea and dissent?
I can't say, or I won't, but I know: Your voice is a constant.
Should be obvious by now, truth lies in your advice and consent.

My intricate flaws, as you deduce, reduced to a simple design:
Guage Northern lights to southern stars and please, toss me a lifeline.

All I need is you~



Disclaimer: For anyone not familiar with the term "Riffing," that is what we call responding to a poem with another poem. I have done this often, over the years with Elaine aka Lainey, who is not only my bestie, but my favorite writer in the realm. Getting to share her poem here, is a high point for me.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Meaning of Namaste (Sonnet for Marcy)


The Meaning of Namaste (Sonnet for Marcy)

Those we meet, who take us to new places,
Make us feel part, not along for the ride;
Who leave indelible marks, in traces
ever apparent on impact, in stride.

Exuding verity, with no remorse,
With meanings clear and diverse, not implied;
Freely unwavering, with subtle discourse,
The same at face value, or lantern slide.

Sometimes deep, often eccentric; hands dealt,
Tendered with veracity; eyes open wide
would make any heart, including mine, melt;
Any doubts at this point, cast aside.

Leading me to this place, here now to say,
I now know the meaning of Namaste.

Michael Todd  (2013)

Written for and dedicated to Marcelina Boudebes.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Taking A Break

Taking A Break

Step to the mic, on the road, at largest venue we have performed,
As often as I've sung this song, you'd think, no cause for alarm;
Reality never seems to set in, as I navigate the first verse,
Knowing full well, when I step away, the feeling only gets worse.

This song is about a first love, the one I let slip out the door.
Each time I sing it, it takes me back, seems to hurt a little more.
Second stanza, once cloudy when written, more focused, now I find,
Once the chorus slides in, harmony helps to easy my weary mind.

But when the band members step to the spotlight, each one takes a turn,
I'm standing in the shadows, dealing with lessons I have learned.
Each looks at me, as they perform, hoping the singer will approve,
I nod my head, give them a grin, trying to get back in the groove.

The guitar guy has been with me for years, he knows what going on,
The fiddle player's heard all the stories: coming, going and gone.
The bass and drum pair, take pains to get it right, in their own little world,
The steel guitar man we hired for this tour, never even heard of the girl.

I guess I shouldn't complain or cry in my beer, success is now at hand,
My song is on the radio, I'm on the road with this really fine band,
Studio producers, and the A&R men, swear to heaven I've got what it takes,
They see my melting down as having soul, when the band is taking their breaks.

I may write a hundred songs, as I move along, with what they call a career,
But I'll never have another, as long as I live, where the meaning is so clear.
When I'm in a crowd, I make it okay. When I'm alone I consumed with fear.
She who left me her heart surely won't mind, if you sit down, lend me an ear.

One day I'll get to a place, where reality's skewed, I will fail to see,
What the true intent was when I wrote this song, what it meant to me.
And if I practice real hard, at bending a string, who knows what I'll do,
I may take a break in an encore, forgetting who it was that made me blue.

Michael Todd  (2013)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Not That I Care (Sonnet for Sara)

Not That I Care (Sonnet for Sara)

Failed relationships often intrigue me,
None more so than Sara Trevor Teasdale;
Lack of success not all it seems to be;
Slide is always dependent, on the scale.

It seemed she had it all, with The Lindsay;
Courtesan and a bad boy, he enthralled;
At each turn, both went a separate way;
Mutual sabotage result: they stalled.

Delving deeper, it is her side I choose.
She clung to peace as, opposed to his war.
Don't pick a fight you are destined to lose,
Don't choose a lunatic as a mentor.

Just my personal thoughts, from here to there;
Random observations... not that I care.

Michael Todd (2013)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The One That Got Away

The One That Got Away

Jesse and Dale fished the tournaments for the longest time,
Friendly competitors, in search of trophies or a cash prize.
Now, the two were fishing partners, each far past their prime,
Sharing successes and failures, as well as whopper's lies.

Jesse had a good boat, and an outboard motor with get up and go.
Dale had an array of rods and reels and tackle, next to no one.
Each had a pickup truck with a sturdy bumper and hitch to tow,
Their competitive days behind them, now they fished for fun.

At an isolated campsite, they put in for a full day on the lake,
A location neither would share with others, call it a honey hole.
In the early Autumn, low humidity, not a day to sit and bake,
They came to a bed, known for small mouths, each grabbed a pole.

These hybrid bass would fight like a big fish wished it could,
Don't set the hook too hard, you can get a mouth full of steel.
Too much line slack, it will spit a lure at you, as it should,
These experienced anglers knew the game, and each had the feel.

Dale caught a hook in the hat like that, back in the early days.
Jesse laughed his ass off, until he saw it caught Dale's ear.
That mistortune was the event that ended their competitive ways.
It's fish, not fishermen, that are supposed to succumb to the gear.

Dale retired that hook that day, and it became a hat decoration,
From that day forward, his camouflage hat would glean with glare.
Rain or shine, hat never came off, Dale's signature decoration,
Not just in a boat on a lake, he'd wear the darn thing anywhere.

The fish were biting that day, but landing them, another story,
You know the tales told, about the big ones we fail to secure,
Where you reel them almost in, only to lose them, and the glory;
The fish get bigger from year to year, those that took a detour.

This day was proceeding, in typical fashion, no sign of alarm.
Jesse caught a glimpse of Dale, out of the corner of his eye.
Dale slumping over, mumbling incoherently, grabbing his left arm,
Jesse assumed it was an issue of the heart, now what to try?

They kept a kit of medical supplies, in the deck of the boat,
But Dale's dilemma was not a cut, scrape or even a snake bite.
Jesse's cell phone had no service, as such, could not connote;
Helping his partner lay down; he could no longer sit upright.

It was a frantic full hour before they could find help to access.
An ambulance met them, and took Dale, on the out skirts of town.
"I got him here as fast as I could," was all Jesse could confess.
Upon examination, siren was silenced, evidence, Dale was gone.

Come Tuesday, Jesse sat with the family, on the front row to view.
When it came time to revue, he paused longest, and with them cried.
Afterwards, he offered give them Dale's tackle; that wouldn't do.
They told him to keep it all, and assured him, they knew he tried.

Saturday afternoon found Jesse in his boat, late for water today.
He tried in vain to speak aloud to his friend, now passed and gone.
Gazing at Dale's hat, perched on the chair, these words to say,
"In the race to that big lake in the sky, Dale, you beat me home."
He bowed in silent prayer for his friend... the one that got away.

Michael Todd  (2013)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Letters To Solaris (Suite)

Letters To Solaris (Suite)


Closing the set with a salute to Pozega, as I always do;
Casual listeners always assume I am tying a Celtic knot;
Trick of the trade, a one man dirge rarely sings blue.
I know why I do this; as to when it started, I forgot.

Pace of the show, like this floating stage, is ever steady;
On this river boat, performing as a travelling minstrel;
I sing every night, and for good measure, a Saturday matinee,
On the deck stage below of this good boat, The Southern Belle.

We came to dock when we reached our desired destination;
Passengers stepped off to walk the streets of New Orleans.
I sat on a deck chair, in the open air, my preferred station;
Soon joined by McGinnis, veteran of The Merchant Marines.

Captain Green soon followed, offered  up a round, to toast,
"To the best guitar man, the deck hand, and to me, of course,
Another successful bayou venture, not one passenger was lost."
Then he said to me, "Let us sing your song of remorse."

McGinnis concurred. "We will own this dirge tonight.
You know, since first I heard it, n'er a day it leaves."
If practice might make perfect, perhaps he'd be right.
There is just something about a lament that grieves...

Letters To Solaris

To My Dearest One, (as any worthy epistle may commence),
You have weighed heavy on my heart and mind this day.
As though a stage was constructed, lights put in place, since
that night, in a dream... I caught visage of a Nightingale.

I awoke to a sense of calm, along with the sound of your name,
Though there was not a voice in the room, save for my own.
I wondered if you'd channeled me, or the bird; all the same.
When I set my mind to reason, I realized, the bird had flown.

Did I ever tell you of the time I conceived, mapped a quest?
I wrote it in detail: Solaris to the Sun, Marina to the Sea.
I envisioned a homecoming of sorts, with me as welcomed guest.
It really was an impressive sight, it was: my map and key.

Can you imagine me, firmly at the helm of a paddle boat wheel,
Atlantic winds at my back, passing through Strait of Gibralter?
Gliding stealth across the Mediterranean, in my delta vessel,
Turning north to The Strait of Otranto, on a wing and a prayer.

Dubrovnik to the south, Pula to the north, The Adriatic Sea
Splashing salt, in the paddle wheel spray, coating the hull;
Might I find you waiting in Porec, taking pictures of me?
Oh, I love to imagine this as real, being destiny fulfilled.

I recall the tale, of the one legged man who played a tune,
His gait, out of step, but his bagpipes never missed a beat.
I wrote of him to you, on the night of his downtown commune.
I sent it in September of o'nine, the encounter complete.

I have written you often, in detail, over the span of years;
Those letters, unlike the initial, stacked neatly in a chest.
Fearing I'll over state, I choose, recluse among Volunteers
This letter will now come to close, and go resign, with the rest.

Letters dated and addressed, but never released from sender;
To some, might be counted as written in vain, content lost;
But, there are those who understand what the heart may render,
Counting only heart's intent, content to overlook the cost.

Solaris to the Sun, Marina to the Sea, Nightingale on the wing,
Speak to me, in a language only she and I will comprehend.
Content to live out my days, on a wing and a prayer, to bring;
And if ever proclaimed in a dream, I'll have letters to send.


They sat there in silence, their private performance concluded;
Harmonies never more cohesive, perfect time to get it right.
Three grown men, not a dry eye among them, as lyrics colluded,
Captain Green raised a toast, "To Miss Solaris, and to the night."

Without a breeze, the song may have rung clear to Black Bay.
There was wind current, and on it, their song found a destination.
In The Big Easy, at Windsor Court, was heard at a window bay,
By a casual tourist. Velimir was troubled by great causation.

Not the first time, but more so now than ever, he heard a home call.
Three decades prior, he fled, walked away from his former life.
What was, was not; Yugoslavia had fragmented, rather than fall.
He made a good call, coming to America, avoided impending strife.

He shook it off, this allusion apparent, as he took to sleep.
His slumber, however, was interrupted by, perhaps, an illusion.
It was not, but was, this apparition, his own ghost to keep.
It was a girl, standing on a bridge, she, a welcome intrusion.

She presented a picture, him standing before a red bridge, deck arch;
He knew this to be The Meslenica Bridge, a new and modern span.
If he knew, he'd forgotten the old one succumbed to a demarche;
In his kip, he committed this to memory, as though part of a plan.

He stirred, whispered, "Solaris to the Sun, Marina to the Sea."
He awoke, assuming it was middle of night, but sun shone bright.
Called his office, out of pocket, there was a place he had to be,
Then he called the air line, in order to alter his scheduled flight.

Two days later, his plane landed at Pleso Airport; upon arrival,
Velimir realized there'd be no greeting party to offer a welcome.
Knowing not if he was there to bury the past or invoke a revival,
Standing in Zagreb, now more than ever, Croatia felt like home.

Michael Todd  (2013)

Written for, and dedicated to Marina Stankovic


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fair Weather Friends (A Simple Sonnet)

Fair Weather Friends (A Simple Sonnet)

In a perfect world, no place for discord;
A fair weather friend changes with the wind.
Take what they will, give what they can afford;
Leaves me feeling like a means to an end.

Truth be told, they do have a place with me;
See focus I choose, in my preferred lens,
Rolling the credits, no need for marquee.
Grant me multitudes of fair weather friends.

Truth be told, you did not take me to raise.
No call for me to apply pressure here;
Caught at a bad time, going through a phase,
Perhaps my intentions were not made clear.

A host of fair weather friends, bring them on;
Remind me what I said, when they are gone.

Michael Todd   (2011)