It’s Toni Love Tuesday! Check out a few tracks of The Restoration for FREE!

Do you have a copy of The Restoration? There are a few special edition CDs left! Click on the photo to listen to two of the tracks and purchase a copy for yourself.

Thank you in advance for the love!


Watch “Toni Love – Old School Love 8/1/12 @ WCL Philly” on YouTube

I have been writing poetry since the third grade. My teacher was so impressed with my poem that she had me read it to the entire class as an example for them. I can still remember it. My writing continued but didn’t really take flight until my college years. The cultural influence of New York City and the exposure leant by living near the heart of Harlem bled into my poetry and the life experiences of my college years made me blossom. I performed in sold out performances of Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem,” For Colored Girls” and was given the opportunity to read my poem “Creativity” to open for my idol Sonia Sanchez. My poetry and prose was published in the literary magazine on campus and I was well known in the African-American community as a writer. Then life happened – I was unable to finish my last year at college for financial reasons so I returned home depressed and angry and the writing ceased.
Now I am recovering Toni, the writer and it’s been a slow process but I am not giving up. I started this blog to remind me of my authentic self and to share my writing and poetry with the world. And now I feel it’s time to take the next step and give it a voice.
I promised myself that I would sign up for an open mic night in Philadelphia and share the feelings behind the words. With my best friend,
my brother and my love supporting me, I took the stage at a small venue and read “Meet Me” to a very supportive crowd. I was shaking like a leaf, but it felt good and they loved it. To start my birthday month off, I promised myself that I would take the stage at one of the largest open mic events in the city and debut my most popular poem here on my blog. I was afraid, but not as nervous. When I arrived to sign up, they told me that the list was full, and the only spot left was the slot to be the very first to go up on stage. Apparently no one wanted to go first! The place was packed, the stage was huge and none of my friends had arrived yet to tell me what to do. It was then that I felt courage on my shoulder, whispering into my ear. “You came all this way and invited your friends to come see you NOT perform? What about your promise to yourself? “. So I pushed past the fear and signed my stage name, Toni Love, at the top of the list.
It was exhilarating, exciting, scary and affirming all at the same time. One of my good friends captured it on film. Let me know what you think. I’m open to constructive criticism, especially since it will not be the last time I bless the mic. I’m in love!

I want some old school love… Original Poetry

The Obamas

I’m yearning for some old school love.

That sweet love that kept you up on the phone all night.

Not thinking of short verses for his Twitter page

but long, drawn out sighs and movement from lips to thighs

sweet nothings that fill your ear and make you want to disappear

into the abyss of his love

into the phone for a long, sweet kiss and a tight hug

not looking at pictures of his body on Facebook or pictures that some other body took

but cuddling up next to his chest on the couch

not texting each other but hand in hand, mouth to mouth

can’t wait to wrap up inside of that warm oven kind of love

that old school love when he couldn’t wait to get off from work

to take you for a walk around the park

to “write your name up in the sky”

and tell you ” you’re the reason why”

wanting to be his “lover girl” and praying he’d take you all around the world

or even for a push on the swing

and maybe one day a shiny diamond ring

both “wishing on a star” that no one would see you in the back seat of that car

vowing to love each other “forever” as you sunk deeper into the leather

i want THAT old school love

i want his hand to slowly caress my back

not the touch screen of his phone

i want us to feel like we’re all alone

not with a zillion other friends chatting, messaging and interrupting

when he holds my face in his hands and says that this was where he wants to be

the only tweeting that I want to hear

is sweet nothings being whispered in my ear

or music softly playing while he lay near

and though i know things are different in this time and age

and people and relationships are not much more than comments thrown all around the page

I want that old school love back

I know you’re out there and until you find your way through

I’ll be “saving all my love for you”.

(c) M. Tonita Austin   3/5/12

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