Trusting the Process

Toni Love Spotlight Performance

#takecareofmetuesday
This photo by @zamanifeelingsphotography I call my “ok God, what’s next?” stance.
It was taken on a night that was a pivotal moment for me because I was surrounded by people who believed in me and didn’t want anything from me but to see me shine. I let go of my plan for the evening and let them help me, and it was greater than I ever imagined. I was the spotlight performer and ended up bringing a 3 piece band of good friends and we shut the place down (check out a clip of the performance below)! ✨️

When the rug is pulled out from under you without a warning, you can either stay where you’ve fallen and wait for someone to pick you up, or you can take the time to meditate and envision the beautiful, safe replacement “rug” God has in store for you, get up and go get your blessing.
✨️Just for today Let time take time, say no to people who are constantly taking and not giving and do what brings YOU joy today.
✨️Trust the process, everything will come full circle
God I’m listening

#loveyourself ❤️

Catch Toni Love on Facebook Live ❤ August 6th, 7PM EST

Sewey Hole Family presents Bruiz and Friends , a Live poetry reading filmed at the infamous Pen and Pencil club in Philadelphia. The event including poetry readings from James Feichthaler, Bob Zell and myself, Toni Love will ONLY be viewed on the Facebook page of Keith Outlaw so visit the Event page to access the link to watch us live.

I hope you are able to check out the show. I will be reading a few new poems but please support and grab a copy of my poetry book or CD from my website and I’d be happy to autograph it for you.

Love always,

Toni ❤️

My ODE to George (Original Poetry)

From: Black History Mini Docs

My ODE to George. 

The first night of your trial I stood waiting for my son to return home. 

The cops showed up first after stopping him for running. 

My heart jumped outside of my chest as I struggled to prepare myself for the worst.

As he does every night,

he was running 

Running in his own neighborhood. 

Running at night because as a black boy He knows that black men who run in the daytime get chased and murdered. 

So he runs to feel freedom in the dark of the night. 

Stopped just minutes from his home by four police vehicles. 

That’s 4 x 2 officers approaching a 19 year old boy who wanted to run but by the grace of God stood still. 

Anxiety. Heart racing. Traumatized. Sweating. Sweating. Breathing.

Refusing the courtesy ride home in the back of the police car. 

He was innocent. 

No apologies for being accused of fitting the description of someone who was running and not doing anything but fitting the description of every black boy profiled. 

A black boy running at night. 

The cops told me that he wasn’t running when they stopped him. Thank God, I thought. 

Because black boys who run get murdered. 

So today I feel sad for you and all of the children we’ve lost to racism. 

Today I selfishly thank you.

Thank you George for your life because it may have saved the life of my son. 

A black boy who just wanted to breathe fresh air. 

A black boy who just wants to feel freedom. 

I pray for him. 

I honor You. 

You couldn’t breathe but he will breathe and run and stop and take breath and return home again today 

I pray . 

~ M. Tonita Austin aka Toni Love 

written on the second anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. 5.25.22

#This is Us – This is Me

Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies…

~Erich Fromm

Last nights episode of This is Us hit me to the core. I have been a fan of the show since it’s inception, not only because the writing is so beautifully woven but I was particularly impressed at how perfectly they captured the personality and stressors of being a gifted black male in a white world. Randall reminds me so much of my own son and although I am not a white woman, as a sole parent, I can relate to her character as as a mother mostly raising her children on her own.

This episode brought back the deep sadness that I felt as the caretaker for my own mother. The hospice nurse coming to let us know that she had 48 hours left with us and the goodbyes we had to say as we stood sobbing by her side. It was the most heart wrenchingly beautiful moments I’ve ever experienced. At the age of 35, in my first trimester, carrying my first born in my womb I wished time would stop in that moment and raise her up just to see me through my pregnancy. I carried so much grief for so long afterwards, not just for myself but for my unborn child who would never know how it felt to have a loving, nurturing grandmother hug and kiss them. So of course my tears flowed during the goodbye scene, both affirming the end of this part of her journey and experiencing the writers vision of a soul’s transition from this life to the spirit world. I saw myself in the only daughter, the last one to say goodbye moments before she took her last breath. I saw my brothers, I saw my Godmother, her best friend letting her know it was okay to go and that she’d take over the nurturing.

I saw the sadness, the pain and the peace.

I saw the joy when Rebecca was finally reunited with her true love.

There was so much that reminded me of my own mother’s transition, yet what hit me the most was how Rebecca questioned if she had done enough as a mother. The what ifs that I often feel especially when my children are struggling with school and life. The questioning and guilt I feel when I leave them alone or with a caregiver because I just need some time away from all of the heavy responsibilities of giving and mothering. I adore my children and I wouldn’t have it any other way -well, maybe I would have a regular housekeeper! – raising them on my own, but I think society places such a burden on the custodial parent regardless of why the other parent is absent from parenting.

I am thankful that I have loved ones who remind me that I am a loving mother, and that I am doing the best I can with my children. I remind myself of how much I’ve sacrificed to provide for and support them. I think one thing the writer didn’t get right is that our loved ones continue to show up for us, care for us, help us and nurture us even after they transitioned. I’m sure I will do the same for my children and loved ones when I transition.

And because I have several decades of healthy life remaining in this lifetime, I am committed to incorporate #rest into my daily living so that I won’t have to wait until my transition to experience true rest.

Love,

Toni

bit.ly/tonilovemerch

Save the date! May 18th





Live Poetry Event: Tonita Austin, Sibelan Forrester, Alison Lubar
Wednesday May 18, 2022 – 7pm
Fergie’s Pub
1214 Sansom Street and on zoom – Registration Required

Come out and hang with me in the City!

I’m excited to share my poetry for the first time at a Moonstone Arts Center event with these gifted poets! There will be an open mic and loads of fun and poetry ❤️. I will also have copies of my book “Toni’s Room” for sale and if you already have a copy and want it signed, please bring it with you. They make wonderful Mother’s day gifts.

I hope to see you on the 18th!

https://moonstoneartscenter.org/event/live-poetry-event-tonita-austin-sibelan-forrester-alison-lubar/May 18th Reading

#love #TonisRoomBookLaunch #tonilove #artishealing

#poetryreading #livepoetry #loveyourself #art #poetrycommunity #supportlocalartists #poetsofinstagram #poetry #indieartist #supportthearts #originalpoetry #poetrybook #author #blackactivist #soloparent #blackwomenwriters #phillypoet #supportblackbusiness #supportblackartists #blackartist #indieartist #loveistheanswer

TONIGHT! Poetic Memoir Intensive with #Ursula Rucker

This intensive word/ thought/ emotion, self-truth-culling, seeks to be a journey of healing, art, therapy, and authentic conversations about life that will result in the creation of individual works/excerpts of EPIC memoir poetry. Each student is invited to perform their created works at this live-streamed event.

Check out the live streamed event on the SIFT Media 215 You Tube Channel tonight, Sunday January 30th from 6-7:30 PM. It’s a creative masterpiece to heal your soul, with the finale by Ursula Rucker!

Finally Over

Original poetry from my book “Toni’s Room”

Photo Credit: Cheyenne Gil Photography

Finally Over


When I lost you
I found myself
Oh but it hurt
It pained for so long
Thinking of how foolish I had been
To believe in you
But my hurt turned into poetry
And dance
And I wrote
And danced
Until I filled up the emptiness in side of me
The void that set inside my soul when you were no longer there
Poetry about you and for myself
Flowed from my fingertips like golden run at carnival time in Trinidad
I loved until I stopped hurting
And found not only myself
But someone to love me for real
And yes I admit there were times I wished that he were you
Until constant caresses and truthful signs
Showed me that true love accepts me for what I am
Oh yes
It is finally over
Real love has rescued my weary soul
And you are but a faded memory
Because I am no longer afraid to receive the love
That I have been given

(c) Toni Love

Give yourself the gift of poetry on #Valentinesday

Available on Amazon.com or click below to order directly from me!

Purchase Autographed Copy

Thank you in advance for the love ❤ Stay well!

Reposting Ariel Gore: A letter on Motherhood, poetry and relationships. All power to Joy!

“In Recollections of My Life as a Woman, the poet Diane di Prima tells of a night at Allen Ginsberg’s place in New York. She’d gotten a friend to babysit her young daughter and headed over to Ginsberg’s apartment because Jack Kerouac and Philip Whalen were in town for “one of those nights with lots of important intense talk about writing you don’t remember later.”

Well, Diane had promised her babysitter that she’d be back at 11:30 that night, and 11:30 starts rolling around, so Diane bids her farewells. “Whereupon, Kerouac raised himself up on one elbow on the linoleum and announced in a stentorian voice: ‘DI PRIMA, UNLESS YOU FORGET ABOUT YOUR BABYSITTER, YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO BE A WRITER.’”

How do you like that?

Kerouac just props himself up with one arm and drunkenly slaps us with the great fear we all share. He embodies the archetype of the selfish, self-destructive male artist, and he announces that unless we, too, are willing to be irresponsible to our relationships, we’ll never quite measure up.

“I considered this carefully, then and later,” Di Prima writes, “and allowed that at least part of me thought he was right. But nevertheless I got up and went home.”

Three cheers for di Prima!

“I’d given my word to my friend,” she explains, “and I would keep it. Maybe I was never going to be a writer, but I had to risk it. That was the risk that was hidden (like a Chinese puzzle) inside the other risk of: can I be a single mom and be a poet?”

A serious question, that one. Serious not only for moms but for all of us. Can we be present in our relationships and still do the work we feel called to do? It’s like my friend Lynn says: “A woman has to make a real effort not to dissolve into everything that needs her.” Our relationships need us, but we don’t want to dissolve. We refuse to dissolve, but we choose also to be responsible to our relationships. We’re tired of the drunk guy on the linoleum telling us we can’t do both. Women have always done both.

Looking back, di Prima recognizes what is true: Had she opted to stay that night, “there would be no poems. That is, the person who would have left a friend hanging who had done her a favor, also wouldn’t have stuck through thick and thin to the business of making poems. It is the same discipline throughout.”

The same discipline.

And discipline, like motherhood, is good for the soul. Poetry is good for the soul. Responsibility to all our dysfunctional relationships is good for the soul. The archetype of the selfish male artist tells us that we can’t manage all these things at once, that we can’t be simultaneously responsible to children, babysitters, self, and art, that we have to sacrifice, to abandon – but we know that’s a lie.

As I write this, Kerouac has been in his grave for nearly forty years. Diane di Prima is down in San Francisco, mother of five children, author of thirty-five books of poetry and several memoirs, powerhouse, and twenty-first-century radical.

We don’t need children to be happy, but motherhood has taught me this: to experience joy, we have to be able to honestly experience darkness, too. In responsibility to relationship, we build bodies of memory and life experience that we can be proud of. Motherhood has taught me that the opposite of happiness isn’t struggle. It isn’t even depression. The opposite of happiness is fear and obedience.

In Revolutionary Letters, di Prima writes, “Be strong. We have the right to make the universe we dream. No need to fear ‘science’ groveling apology for things as they are, ALL POWER TO JOY, which will remake the world.”

Three cheers for di Prima, for motherhood, for the courage to make the universe we dream.”

  • Ariel Gore, Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness

My Birthday gift to you!

Hey August is my birthday month and I am celebrating this special occasion with you!

If you or one of your friends and family purchase a copy of my poetry book Toni’s Room during the month of August, you will receive a free copy of my limited edition poetry CD titled “The Restoration”. FREE.

So if you have a poetry fan in your life and you were thinking of gifting them this book, now is the time to grab it! Visit my website , choose the shipping option for Toni’s Room and you’ll automatically get a free CD in the package. Just let me know who to autograph it to if it’s not you. Thank you for all your love and support. I hope you are staying safe and well during this time and remember poetry is a great way to keep your mind occupied!

“The Restoration”

Love always,

Toni ❤

March 7th Toni’s Room is coming to BusBoys and Poets Washington D.C. !

The show has been rescheduled to March 7th! Tickets from January’s show will be honored ❣

bit.ly/tonilovemerch

After successful book launches in Philadelphia and New York, Toni Love is bringing her new poetry book Toni’s Room alive in Washington D.C. at the famed BusBoys and Poets on 14th and V Street, Northwest Washington D.C.
Toni will take you on a journey inside her book, sharing the emotion and inspiration behind her poems accompanied by accomplished percussionist Ronin Ali. Tickets to this intimate event include light fare and VIP packages are available. PRICES INCREASE at the door, so get your tickets today. Show is 5-7pm.
You will leave feeling inspired, entertained and loved! 💜

Master percussionist Ronin Ali

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