Tokus is shared magic of the pipe
that plays its music in soft brown smoke,
grating the throat but calming all else;
a blanket falling on the circle of friends,
passing it widdershins and getting through days.
A magic of community, as the aches
of heartbreak or arthritis ease, borne away
on the haze of this fragrant plant we wrap
in carved pipe or fine paper.
Tokus, conjured by a bedsit wizard
whose hocus-pocus may take away sharp focus,
but replaces it with the shared comfort and warmth
of a nest, and the lullaby promise of easy sleep.
This piece of writing is featured in PEN’s e-book, “The Dictionary of Made-Up Words”, made in partnership with the European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom. Read the whole book!