Poetry by Steve Tomasko

Read More: A brief interview with Steve Tomasko

You said I should write more love poems and

I said, I’m sorry, but I’ve been thinking about
sloths. Well, actually, the moths that live
on sloths. Nestle into their fur, take the slow,
slow ride through the rain forest. Once a week
the sloth descends to the forest floor. Defecates.
Female moths leap off; lay their eggs on the fresh
feces; jump back on. Their caterpillars nourish
themselves on the fetid feast, metamorphose
into moths, fly up into the canopy to find
their own sloths. They prefer the three-toed
over the two-toed. Who can figure attraction?
The algae-covered sloth fur is the only place
they live. The only home the sloth moths know.
It’s a Darwinian thing, I know, but fidelity
comes to mind. Commitment. Patience.
The world writes love poems all the time.



Dancing on the Edge

It starts with a lump in the throat,
a shiver in the legs. Your fingers fidget.
You ask yourself, how did I get here?
You find Zugunruhe, a German word
whose glottal voice holds the restlessness
that shakes the feathers, trembles the legs of birds
before migration. It’s a kind of genetic jiggle—
an edginess that tells the bird go go go.

My older brother swings to the mambo,
the samba, the merengue. He’s always boogied
to socialist politics. He didn’t always dance.
He chanced upon his passion as a way to heal
his back. As a way to deal with cancer.
A better spine, a better world, some peace
of mind. A craving is a craving for.

My brother once danced 62 nights in a row.
Medication made him sensitive to sunlight. […]

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Steve Tomasko comes to poetry from a background in science, journalism and a life-long love of the written word. Steve has always been fascinated by science and nature and likes to incorporate that interest into his poetry. Steve has had poems published in several print and online journals including: Avocet, the Aurorean, Corvus, Echoes, the Fiddlehead, Hummingbird, Right Hand Pointing, the Madison Review, qarrtsiluni, The Unrorean, and Verse Wisconsin among others. He’s also been rejected by some of the best journals around. Steve lives in Middleton, Wisconsin with his wife (also a poet), three cats, a granddog and an (almost) empty nest.

 “Dancing on the Edge” and “You said I should write more love poems and” were runners-up in the 2017 Editor’s Reprint Award and originally appeared in The Fiddlehead and Fire Poetry, respectively.

Read More: A brief interview with Steve Tomasko