In the collection of poems New Life Not Death, Toya Stone transports others on a symbolic journey as she explores spirituality, faith, and the natural world.
In a celebration of her personal victories against depression, anger, and helplessness, Stone extends an invitation to enter her personal life and experience the corruption that once choked her and the salvation that eventually saved her. She opens the collection with rich imagery and an engaging sensuous tone: Secrets of what my neighbor hath done to me, I care to share. Quick, give me your ear. I shall tell you only what the wind doth know as I grow tired. Night holds hands with the stars as they persuade me into bed. As she continues her ten-year pilgrimage through darkness to the light on the other side, Stone focuses on the natural and spiritual world where, once bandaged and bruised, she takes a deep breath, closes her eyes and realizes it is time for a new life and not death.
"A vivid breath of beautiful color whispered into a black and white world. Her vision is an illumination."
-Jon-Michael Foshee, Actor
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New Life Not DeathTame your tongue and speak with love
By Toya Terese Stone
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2010 Toya Terese Stone
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSex by Nature Secrets of what my neighbor hath done to me, I care to share. Quick, give me your ear. I shall tell you only what the wind doth know as I grow tired. Night holds hands with the stars as they persuade me into bed. Moon watches me strip thy body of its material, illuminating my breast as I sleep. This moon watches me in my most innocent hours. Morning skies cried rain in which I stood, but it too corrupted me. Rain danced down my body, caressing my skin, leaving me wet. Sun grew jealous and came out to warm me, oh that lovely sun. Inside I felt hungry so with the persuasion of the honeybee, I with my lips shared kisses with desire. This is our secret. White beauty through the air, a man of feathers, he serenades me with a song of such flattery. Wind tickled my side cooling me down, whispering sweet nothings into my ear. Green that covers the earth, well served as a pallet from which I had sex with nature. The sun set, its rays flirting with my shadow. Politely, I handed the hungry roots that entangled me my cherry. Déjà vu Same pictures and poses. Candy-complemented holidays in continuous fashion. Repetitive story to follow a broken heart. Heroism only defined by death and execution of enemy. Purple hearts and flowers to say thank you. A cheap world for sale if anyone conceited enough dares to buy it. Forgotten streets visited only by the rain, which asks a place to sleep until the sun. Black and white photographs are easy to look at but not to exist in. Books are only opened if the title reads nice. Politely though, I forgive, due to an introduction of the already acquainted. Hope and all my maybes have been purposely given to a soul who is the color to my black and white. Vindication. Who dreams to define heroism by being the saint of skies. This soul is my woosaw. Alphabet Abyss of silence Breaks my mind Chaos images I do find Drug me not into submission Enlighten my soul in dark noisome prison Free me now and let me fly Great cuts pour out blood, oh I die Hell will not forsake this soul I am pure and fresh as a whole Jokes and laughter I do hear Kissing lips are my own conscious fear Lost and bound, where is home? Mindless paths leave me alone Needless to say I found my way Oh good Satan, you will pay Pouring blue streams of dreams Quiet mouth reveals no screams Righteous oh the Lord was to me Silent abyss allowed me to flee Trenches filled my mouth with dirt Undefined objects cut my skin; it hurt Ferocious hands reached at my eyes Wicked demons failed; I will not die Xylem to the world of nature Yearning to take my soulful wager Zest to the savior of life Anger Why does anger approach us all? It is a stupid, pitiless emotion to feel. Stupid anger, I gave in to it. Anger is hell, and I hate it. Let me be the broken glass, and dare not let me be swept up off the floor. Hell and hate, hate and hell. To give in is to fail this test of useless scores. Not with me will you win. I stand alone, and alone you feel. Antique Be ever so quiet, your voice rages out loud. You see I am trying but inside I am dying. Old dust sits and then gathers upon me like an antique. Just take me home and you can leave me there. Here I will make friends with the shadows and gossip about all the cents I am worth. I am neither a stage nor a director, so quit auditioning and kill the acting. See, if you were a bee you would care too much about your honey. Are you blind? Have you lost your eyes? It is pouring. It is not sunny. Take your shoes off and run in the grass, get a little dirty. Okay, I give up. Where are you hiding? Fake linens; please just let me rip them. Can I revive your face because it looks like it is drowning? Don't crack now, be strong not weak. Do not bury yourself deep, die an antique. Be the story, not just the title. I will not laugh at what most people find funny. Step with me outside as it rains so no one can tell we are crying. Instead of taking a step, please start to leap, and retire as a noble and beautiful antique. Anxiety I no longer rest in a bed of comfort but instead dwell against the cold cement where neighbors of deep cracks nest. Just a simple walk I took on this pleasant day while my tired mind continues to fail in making me smile. Coffee shops with dark windows no longer send an invite for a full cup of sweet aroma but a fear of what the people inside can see and I cannot. Blue skies no longer linger too high for me touch or to get lost in but now fly too low and too dark for me to be found. A part in life where one can exist as an image is quite popular, but I exist as only a cold wind. Cold sweats soon start to condensate with the rapid, shallow breathing my mouth pushes forward. Which in my mind creates a fog across the window, while my fear slowly writes, "I have anxiety," for everyone to see. I dwell in an empty soul where I struggle to love and stay sane, but I fall into an empty soul of fear where I'm learning how to not care and to hate. Outside is cold, yet I need not the heat of warmth but to just freeze. On solid ground I stare and wonder if it is easier to live as if you're dying or to just die with your last thoughts containing the emotion of not wanting to die but to live. To be scared is a comfort and happiness to me, but I know the reality of this is supposed to be uncomfortable. In time one shall heal, but like a soul one shall never have full control. My soul cries when I do, and if I was to rip my soul from my body and lay it in the crack that nest as my neighbor, I would lie there dumb. I'm without love and those who hold my hand, whose warmth makes me, want to never let go; I manage to yet again be judged by the hidden faces of those who hold a full cup. In the dirt that covers the earth, that has felt my every step, my prints and travel and my story would be soon forgotten. I do not walk in my own shoes, but I walk barefoot. In no more comfort do I rest, but on cement where I gaze one last time through the alleys, up the buildings, and at the dark window. A deep crack, just big enough for me to fall in, would be tempting. This is where and when one falls, whose identity is controlled by a simple anxiety. In time I hope I heal, but as of now I'm standing on cement on the edge of a crack. Oddly enough, I shall step forward and fall. Then the cycle shall break, if someone would only catch me. Atonement Eyes do not take me seriously; have you forgotten your smile? They stole you while you were sleeping, and I know it's not fair. Rage out and scream, run wild, naked, across these fields, and let the sun along with the shadow paint you into the soil. There I am sure no one can find you. When the rain falls it will cover your tears. Okay, I will lie next to you and let the earth consume and swallow us whole. In case you change your mind, I will give God a shovel. Dig you back up and maybe then you will smile. Two shovels in fact, since I lie here with you. The days will be cool from the October breeze, and the spring blooms will dress us in colorful attire. Sweet this life is here next to you, but soon I pray that you ask him to bring his shovel. I cry because I will miss you; no longer can I lay here with you for the heavens call my name to smile here about the soil. Your arms are like roots now so confined to this earth. I love you, friend, and I pray you do not fade. You are but an oak tree. There I saw your smile today. I planted a seed in hopes that it will visit you in a while. August My heart lies cold on the ground as the snow does in the winter Harsh winds rock the branches to sleep as my own lie awake and numb Night fades away and with it my eyelids slowly fall to rest upon my face Before my soul hibernates, I thank the moon for leaving a light on In time my neighbor visits and with him he brings the sun Now my heart grows warm and my tears of snow melt away Here beside me the sun naps and all of my limbs start to unthaw Hibernation is now slept away, and with the hot air I stretch myself awake, and I whisper ... Good morning, my sweet season of August Battle Slash my skin from side to side Leave me broken and here to die Your eyes are mysterious The eyes you look with leave me delirious Our swords pierce the air Invitations let you step inside my lair Hymns our motions cried To our promised creed we lied Soil changed from brown to red Rotting corpses made a bed My shield is cracked Your sword and my flesh now made a pact Slash my skin from side to side Leave me broken and here to die This is our battle, and so it shall be When you die, I will be free Born Breathe with me, world Give to the soil a seed Rise from the ground, a new life Let the earth hand to the world Me Down from the sky, let sins soak into unforgotten elements Rapture the wind to bring in a new season Carve your identity into the roots of me The essence of immortality I am spoken for Boy Met Girl A boy met a girl who was sweet with a smile A girl met a boy who was simple in this world She was color and he was black and white A boy loved the cold A girl loved the warmth He was the hunter and full with adventure She was the poet and complete with a picture A boy moved to a northern state A girl continued in a southern state He became a hero in the plumber world She became a hero in the disabled world A boy missed a certain girl A girl didn't mind this missing her To heaven this boy's brother went Home to comfort a friend this girl went A boy went to Costa Rica A girl went too and became a step closer Engaged the two became Married months later and her name became his name A boy to become a hero in the world of law A girl to become a hero in the world of love She wrote this poem for a simple boy so he could understand To remember how the two became one, and now I can say Once upon a time ... Cherry Tree Underneath the cherry tree A place where contentment is to be free You can be you, I can be me To be unaware, naïve, is considered a good thing Hearts are in hands as hands are held out, fingers spread open On purpose No prices or sale signs Underneath the cherry tree Screams of anger do not make you crazy Here arms are capable of only hugging Little bluebirds sing in a cappella Good habits are to sing along Underneath the cherry tree There are no yield signs nor live with caution gestures Canvas; all this that I see is painted by artists Who are survivors of broken hearts, newfound faith, and stupidity? Wisdom that makes up for it Gravity only sits next to what is forgotten P.S., forgiveness, serenity, righteous reds The rest goes up Underneath the cherry tree Politely a stream enlightens me I float in this stream of make believe More like I drown If you are sad come sit with me, downtown, near the street Underneath the cherry tree Chocolate-Covered Poet In the fall, I imagine me naked, wearing only her colors With the night I allow the dreams to play with my imagination I visit enchanted forests where the moon meets the pond In love I am complete, for without it I would bleed Enchanted tales are to be written, and like a play, my soul is the words This mind becomes the author and this heart a simple editor I believe in Shakespeare and date Poe from time to time Chocolate is sweet and what I have secret affairs with A pirate I would enjoy to be, to follow a treasure, to scream aye, mate I respect the relationship between knowledge and wisdom The only song I know best is the one complete with laughter I would like to sleep in a strawberry patch in the middle of summer Stubborn kisses I give passionately without hesitation and some would claim Him to be my best friend Hungry I am inside to create a war on poverty and neglected innocence Who I am, I give all thanks to a God who designed me with all these things And with the heart to be a poet. Armadillo We are never content in life, we always want more. Our nature is to question life so much that life ignores us and then we react in anger. Sometimes in life we love so much and receive no love in return. Our returns involve excuses, apologies, and all we can do when we are at our saddest is to quietly nod. To pretend the tears aren't real, not visible. Inside us we are burning and yearning to say so much. There is a reminder that pain is only everlasting when You begin to stop choosing to see the little things in this world that are still innocent. Tonight, mine was a hungry armadillo. Our words are too busy soothing our heart, and no words are available for our tongue and lips. There are moments in life that take away such pain, and these moments may not last for long But even a second makes a difference. They help us realize that this sadness doesn't have the power To consume our every waking thought or process in these moments hope is accompanied by chance. Clock Watch Love I was a fool, failed to see All the true love he had for me I realized my love in time The sounds of a hand in watch rhymed Sometimes I wonder if I reacted too late Did take his love as granted fate? I realized my love in time The sounds of a hand in a watch rhymed I regret not returning the love Now a darkened cloud floats above I realized my love in time The sounds of a hand in a watch rhymed His love for me is real He understands how I feel I realized my love in time The sounds of a hand in a watch rhyme I feel so apart from him and what we had Now my soul can't stop weeping, I'm so sad I realized my love in time The sounds of a hand in watched rhyme How times with us are hard He is strong; he is my guard I realized my love in time The sounds of a hand in a watched rhyme These true emotions do rapture me as a whole My loving heart joins my fornicating soul I realized my love in time The sounds of hand in a watch rhyme Someday soon we will intertwine The love I felt lost to, will be mine I realized my love in time The sounds of a hand in a watched rhyme Open gates will creak on by My heart with his will speak no lies I realized my love in time The sounds of a hand in a watch rhymed My once emotions of unsure love are broken My strong voice has spoken I realized my love in time The sounds of a hand in a watch rhyme With his ever-unique soul, I'm tied I now have love to abide I realized my love in time This clock watch love did tick with a rhyme Cloud Nine I lie to rest now To dream So many dreams one can create Millions hope To dream is my way to cope A life without dreams is only nightmares Closed eyes, a shield A shield that blocks the universe to leave you as a second ruler What a dream So many dreams My world lies asleep Cloud nine Location, a fantasy of survival Comida Amarilla Yellow in color I lie with the community of mountains In sight of me so long a human sweats Awake the bluebird sings a song of birth, a cue For me to stretch arms high Neighbor to the solar system Skies cover my eyes in fear I might stay too long I am needed, ironically, to overstay my welcome Humans search for shade Jack Frost cares not too much for my appearance Though my absence alerts the planet Anticipation is conceived, for we have growth in common Photosynthesis calls me by name
Excerpted from New Life Not Death by Toya Terese Stone Copyright © 2010 by Toya Terese Stone. Excerpted by permission.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I honestly couldn't understand much of anything in this book. Poetry isn't about being random, it's about writing art and this, frankly...just isn't art. It's just a bunch of words jumbled together. I guess if you like offbeat poets who don't make much sense, then this is the book for you! But, you probably won't be "transported to another world" as it's almost impossible to get into it. Sorry.
I was searching for a good poetry book the other day and came across this book. The cover caught my eyes so i though i would check it out. Now i usually do read books from unknown authors, but this one had something special on me. Upon reading it was drawn in like Alice through the looking glass. Mrs. Stones words dripped over me like the ink from her own pen. I loved every poetry piece she had. I cannot believe this young woman hasn't made a bigger splash on the market than she has already. As an acclaimed write i strongly suggest you check this book out. I have a feeling this woman will be the next big thing!