Tonia Marie Harris

personalized poetry on a vintage typewriter

Paper Lilies


Where the stem meets the sepal on this bloom is longing.

The earth draws breath and I rise. A little higher

my toes drawing fine lines in the dirt. The crown

of my head lifted until I fear

you will see the dew on my cheeks

and mistake it for mourning.

Hold yourself still where you are.

Stay all your conclusions.

All the house lights dim.

I feel the heat of your impartial gaze

along my collarbone. Fetch the girl

an arch, a cusp where all her weight resides.

The best dreams are the lonely ones, I need no one

to save me but my neglect for the one

I was. She was there.

I kissed her fingers.


curled her hand in my fist and bit lips

my lips, their speech imbued

with apology.

I will take all the weight of myself

learn the art of origami and send

you all a thousand hellos tasting

of the ache we crave.

The ache where our will resides.

What I Do

Poet and south-central Illinois resident Tonia Marie Harris writes personalized poems on her vintage typewriter for you or as a gift for a friend, lover, or family member. Tell your story, or give her a prompt, and she’ll type it in free verse.

Tonia is available for weddings, festivals, fundraisers, wine tastings, fundraisers, corporate events, and more. She creates poems using her vintage Smith-Corona typewriter on-the-spot. The 4×5 poems are typed on quality card stock paper and tucked into pretty envelopes. She can coordinate the paper and envelopes to your event specifications. Tonia brings creativity and intimacy to every event, and your guests or clients walk away with a unique gift for themselves, or a for a loved one.

If you want to hire Tonia for  an event, or order a personalized poem for yourself or a loved one, please email :, or call 618-238-9213.


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