Calenders by Touched By Fire Members

Have you purchased your calnders for this year yet?  It’s still early in the year and I’m sure you have someplace in your office, kitchen, bathroom, formal dinning room, friends house that is still without an awesome calender.  Now is the perfect time to buy.  Holiday shipping is ridiculous and takes forever.  It’s all over with now, so you don’t have an excuse.  So why not check out some of these awesome calenders below???  A couple of which are to benefit Haiti.

tshirts by touched by fire members

In addition to the art, photography, and writing submitted to the touched by fire group, there are also some great tshirts for under $30. You can never have enough tshirts, and it’s super cool to have custom designed one-of-a-kinds that nobody else has. Check these out!

Support our artists and buy a tshirt!

Touched By Fire Featured Writing – Week of January 17th

And finally the writing features for this week.

Her Enemy – MommaKluyt

The silence is deafening
Can she hear me?

Why do you come for her?
To paralyze her soul with thoughts…
With things she doesnt want to see
The dark corners of her imagination
You left her choking in fear

Your sick game, so easily played in her brittle mind
Dont take this girl, my fragile doll
She doesnt belong in pieces
Leave her here, her heart I need to mend
That day I cannot wait, when you come for me instead…

Virgin Name – Siki Dlanga

he said my name
what was in that
that made me pause
as though
he were the first
to ever say it
when he said it
i heard it
as though it
had never been uttered
since he

The Value Of Your Own Worth – Shoaib

I thought she was a perfect match
So striking the way she lit up my face that fast
The spark was brilliant, but the flame didn’t last
Nights out drinking turned into pain and wrath
And each injury sustained was simply bandaged and wrapped
Not even healing before the next lashing overlapped
Till finally one day my bones gave out and smashed
I wondered if I would ever be the same after that
Looking at the pain from the gash
I felt my burnt hands would never be able to maintain in their grasp
An endless love that would stay lit instead of burning out and blaming a draft
I realized that I was looking for a match that would last
To feed an addiction that spread like a cancerous path
Because I felt like I was just a cigarette and only worthy of the ash
Not realizing that I am candle and am made out of wax
So instead of choking, that’s when I let out a gasp
And promised to give myself much more than that
What hurts the most is knowing I had stabbed my own back
But when you don’t know the value of your own worth you search for something that’s lack
And you will do anything to just keep what you might have had in tact

Candles are meant to shine light into lives not be discarded in the trash
So I lived for a while on my own because in order to heal you must cast
And when I took it off I realized that what I was missing was a simple fact
A lesson that only comes when we see ourselves outside of our box and our pack

We often mistake a quick fix and brilliant flash for love until it burns us and our lungs turn black
But true love is like a wick that melts with you and remains inside your heart as long as you last

Heart of Ice – MagpieMagic

Crystal heart of the frozen wastes
tempered by the vagaries of never-winter
moored in flakes of ice white beauty

where the sweet song of birds
and the fragrant scent of blossom
never follow the cold North Wind

where floral beauties
are carved by Jack Frost
into the brittle skin itself.

Crystal heart of the frozen wastes
tempered by the vagaries of never-winter
moored in flakes of ice white beauty

where treasures are hidden
in plain sight for all to see
obscured by mist and fog

where ravages of time
have left their mark
in secret runes upon the frost.

Crystal heart of the frozen wastes
tempered by the vagaries of never-winter
moored in flakes of ice white beauty

where memories are frozen
and beauty leaves you shivering
no shelter and no respite

where no one goes
and no one stays
unless the choice is none.

Rest – Siki Dlanga

hands that formed me
please embrace my face tightly
wash me with kindness

Osmosis of Love – ArcadiaTempest

A barrow of monkeys danced
Cheeky grins enticing
to smell the cheery blossom

A flying clock lands on a well made bed
hours have pleated a healing quilt
just a few minute threads to be sewn

A petard left by the grief gargoyle
rolls into the dug out of yesterdays
No casualties for the count
safe in the meadow of new buds

Fear stung into submission by fire ants
New skin forming in the fire light of now

Hair is tussled by a playful wind sprite
tangles or not
there is
laughter more rich than ever before
A pearl forms in the osmosis of love

Welcome – Helene Ruiz

Hello lovelies!

I am so pleased to be offering some small contributions to the Touched By Fire blog and group. I am in awe of artists and all creative expression, but words are my main passion…so I will likely be more at ease commenting on poems for the most part.

Essentially, I intend to focus on

art that very distinctly touches peoples soul and shows a creative and unique voice that inspires and urges us to look at our world in new and exciting ways.

As PJ has so brilliantly put it – that is what TBF is all about!

Recently I came across an artist i have swiftly learnt to adore! Helene Ruiz is a multi-talented and creative genius! I’d firstly like to tell you about a poem she shared – it has moved me in ways that my words barely cover, but I’ll try! For it is important to our own creative journeys to think about the poems and photos and paintings which take us to other worlds, or illuminate our own! I love discovering people and art which grab hold of my soul and throttle me, or comfort me, soothe my mind, challenge me…

  • So it starts with a favorite.
  • And then I trawl through a portfolio.
  • I revel in the moment and mood.
  • I think of other images and musics evoked by the words or art.

I have no interest in the critical blah blah blah that some sites love to use to condescend.

Basically – I know what I like, what holds true for me, what I feel.

And that is the place where I post comments from. I’m not always eloquent – but I try to convey my meaning and how I respond to something.

For all words and images – I believe it is their purpose and intent. We are meant to feel them.

Even if I don’t know a word or have no intellectual background to the archetype – well, all words and images which are good, I think they are felt on a cellular level just about. Our heart knows things our brain can barely encompass! Which I love!!!

So, to return to Helene Ruiz. The poem which floored me is called You..Fuckin Piece of Shit!

Guess I just wanna say all i have held back for so long
Now 28 yrs later you wanna know something about your son..
Well you fuckin piece of shit…
let’s go back in time….
From the moment he was concieved
You lied, cheated and abused
You took my kindness for weakness
You said I was strange and dumb
Cause I didnt think like everyone else?
Cause I didnt hate like everyone else??
Then my beautiful little baby boy was born, You were there in the room…
but the moment his head popped out you called your Bitch to tell her YOU had a son
Me and my little angel had to get home in an ambulance
Cuz you forgot to pick us up, too busy with your bitch(es)
We come home to an apartment full of your dogs shit, piss, and garbage…
I have to clean the mess on hands and knees so I can have a clean environment for my new baby…. I began to hemmorhage
but, hey what can I do??
Your fuckin piece of shit ass was too busy to take me back to the hospital
From the moment the child could walk and talk you forbade him to call you daddy
but your bitches kids all called you daddy
then you had a little baby girl,
she could call you daddy, you married her mommy
she was just like everyone else, you could deal with that!
but then you were in court, you had to pay outta your ass for her? hmmmmm
strange… huh?wonder why i left your ass huh??
I never took you to court, in 28 yrs you contributed $30 once, LOLOLOL…..
i worked 2 and 3 jobs to take care of my 2 beautiful “fatherless” kids….MYSELF
Over all the years, you every now and then would feel as though you wanted to connect with YOUR son…by coming to visit with a different bitch and their kids each time…Your bitch and her kids bragging and showing all the gifts you bought them…my son sitting there wondering if you just didint remember his birthday? never even bothered to call him or send a card….
Your princess little girl got showered with gifts
Now, 29 yrs later you have the audacity to ask me
“Is he a goddamm faggot?
Well You fuckin piece of shit…I assume you meant”Is he gay?”
Well, You fuckin piece of shit, he’s 28 yrs old now…ask him your fucking self
You tell me if he’s a “faggot” it’s my fault cuz I hugged and kissed him too much.
Do you mean he is gay because I showed him the love a child deserves? Because I loved and encouraged him, I made him gay? You fucking DUMB piece of shit…
I used to think my son missed out on havin a father….but Your fuckin piece of shit ass missed out on getting to know a compassionate, responsible, intelligent, wonderful young man…your son….your loss…
Yea…Guess I am mad as hell…
Yea…Guess I feel defensive…
Hey, you know what? You piece of shit?
I love my son…He is my angel…

There is so much that I could list as to why I love the poem, but I’ll cover the three main things I gained from it in the interests of curbing my verbosity!

  1. 1. Sense of triumph The intensity of this poem really evokes the trials of knowing someone who judges others based on sexuality. Yet there is a great sense of Helene’s love for her son – who cares what some asshole who provided DNA thinks! I really like that contrast. It makes me smile with pride for a Mum standing up for her child like a lioness – so courageous and strong. Wonderful!
  1. 2. Support outpouring The emotional chords struck by this sort of raw and powerful writing make me so thrilled to be a member of the RB community. Helene has received many messages of support and love – it is wonderful to see. The beauty of people in the face of prejudice, ignorance – it makes each word resonate that much more for me. We can unite in disgust at people who try to push others around to their own shitty way of seeing the world – and stand tall. I love the feeling that Helene and her children are admired and respected for the adversity they have overcome. It warms my soul in fact!
  1. 3. My own comment This is so powerful I am actually barely able to write a reply! It makes me so angry and yet, the love for your son is what I adore about it. So vibrant and beautiful; lovely in its raw truth Helene. Congrats on raising such a fine son and obliterating the deadbeat dad who deserves so little and holds to his hate, which I am sure will wreak its usual effect with time. Bravo for your beauty and the wonderful parenting you have achieved through adversity. Well, it seems time and space does not weaken the impact of her poem. It makes me quite speechless to think of people so quick to judge. But I sigh, take another deep breath, and try to focus on mutual support and love. They are what count – the rest is peripheral!

Everyone is touched by fire, but we can burn brighter than before, like a phoenix.

Please, be sure to check out Helene’s other works.
I also highly recommend these images as my own personal favs to date
The colours of pain
and u just wait until i get those wings

TBF welcomes MsDebbie

Touched By Fire’s Latest Blogger!

I’m so excited to see Touched By Fire growing exponentially. In order to keep up the pace I’m excited to announce we have another blogger joining us. MsDebbie, as she is known on the bubble, has been a member of RedBubble for nearly a year and has made herself quite cozy. She’s a highly motivated and emotive writer who shares her inspirations with everyone that she comes across. My first impressions of Deb were her sincerely supportive and sweet comments that she would leave for others writings. She always leaves an artist feeling worthy, like what they shared was truly valued.

Deb is definitely a woman on the prowl for inspiration in everything around her. She is a lover of poetry, music, art, books, thinking, challenges, conversations, and so much more. She will be sharing with us commentary on poetry, art, motivational thoughts, and whatever else floats through her dreamy beautiful mind.

And to use a quote that she uses “The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware” – Henry Miller. So here’s to having our joyous, aware, and divine Debbie join us – welcome Deb, we already love you!

p.s. don’t forget to check out her bubble page to see her art, writings, and journal ramblings!

Juried Art Shows – January Deadlines

Here are a couple of juried shows that I came across this week. They all have a quick turnaround as far as deadlines, but if you’re on it, you have time to get your submission in.

Salon International 2010 The Greenhouse Gallery of Fine Art in San Antonio, Texas announces a call to artists for an international juried exhibition, April 10 – 30, 2010. $8,000 Best of Show. Total Package $30,000. Jury: Greenhouse Gallery Owners. Judge: Everett Raymond Kinstler, N.A., AWS. Open to all traditional representational original oil paintings. Dimensions may not exceed 30 inches. Painting(s) must have been painted after April 10, 2008. Each artist is allowed to submit 3 entries. Deadline: Online – Jan. 15; Slide – Jan. 22. See prospectus for fee structures. Download prospectus (PDF format) or send SASE to: Salon International 2010 Prospectus, 6496 N. New Braunfels Ave., San Antonio, TX 78209. Questions? Please contact Jason Smith at or call 800-453-8991.

9th Annual International Photography Competition call for entries — The Fraser Gallery in Bethesda, Maryland is currently accepting submissions for the “9th Annual International Photography Competition”, March 12 – April 3, 2010. This opportunity is open to local, national and international photographers aged 18+. Work not previously exhibited at the Fraser Gallery. All work must be for sale. $950 in awards. Juror: Catriona Fraser, Director. Deadline: January 22, 2010. $25 for 3 entries. Visit for prospectus, or send a SASE to: The Fraser Gallery, 7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite E, Bethesda, MD 20814. Questions? Please contact Catriona Fraser at or call 301 718-9651.

Forsyth Center Galleries Regional Art Juried Exhibition – Forsyth Center Galleries at Texas A&M University in Bryan, Texas is accepting entries for the Second Regional Art Juried Exhibition, April 2-May 29, 2010. Seven awards totaling $2,700. Juror: Louise Lewis. Open to artists residing in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. Artists must be at least 18 years of age. All work must be original, executed without instructional assistance, and executed within the last two years. Photo reproductions of original work are not eligible for exhibition. All media is eligible, however exhibition hardware (television monitors, computers, etc.) for film, video and new media must be provided by artist. $30.00, up to three works entered. Deadline: January 22, 2010. For prospectus, visit Questions? Please contact Nan Curtis at or call 979-845-9251.

Paint: An International Competitive Exhibit of Contemporary Painting — The Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center in Cincinnati, Ohio is seeking artwork for a juried art exhibition, March 5 – April 2, 2010. “Paint” is open to anyone. Professionals as well as students are encouraged to enter. $10 per work submitted. Juried by a committee of professional and academic advisors. Visit for a prospectus. Deadline: January 22, 2010. Questions? Please contact Jason Franz at or 513-861-3638.

Geometric Abstraction — Still Point Art Gallery announces a call to artists for “Geometric Abstraction,” an online exhibition to be held February 10 to April 6, 2010. Juror: Christine Brooks Cote, Director, Still Point Art Gallery. Open to artists 18 years of age or older living in the United States who submit original artwork in any medium except video and wearable art. View prospectus. A non-refundable fee of $25 for up to 3 images. Additional images may be submitted for a fee of $5 each. Deadline: January 25, 2010. Questions? Contact Christine Cote at or call 207 837-5760.

Visit our blog frequently to receive more updated information on contests, awards, galleries, and juried art shows!

touched by fire – art features for January 10, 2010

Celebrating Womanhood

This week as I perused the art in our touched by fire group, I was stricken by the amazing art depicting women. Please follow my little journey through these six beautiful pieces of femininity.

Sometimes life takes us down a road that we aren’t expecting. As a woman, we should fearlessly walk these roads wherever they take us.

Indigo 02 – Matthew Dawkins

The eyes of a woman are like the universe and her dreams are reflected in them.

Eyes by Zuzana D Photography

Wonder is music in the heart. As a woman, always take in the beauty of the simple things, including ourselves.

Butterfly Chee by HollyGoLightly

One true beauty of a woman is the passion which burns in her eyes.

HaremII by Manoyla F.

Women have the magic of being fragile and strong at the same time – they delicately fly with the wind.

Sable on Blonde by Tracey Mac

Never stop dreaming, those who dream by day see things that are missed by those who only dream at night.

In a Dream by Cathleen Tarawhiti

One is not born a woman, one becomes one. ~Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, 1949

touched by fire – writing features for January 10, 2010

“A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman” – Wallace Stevens

Writing is my biggest love and passion and Redbubble has some of the finest writers I have come to know. It was very difficult to narrow down writing features to a mere six. It’s been such a blessing to have such amazing artists join our touched by fire group and submit their musings to us. I want to personally thank each of these writers for allowing me to share their amazing talent with you. Here are this weeks writing features:

extinct, i won’t forget you

You are a weight sitting just above my collar bone, creeping over my shoulders and radiating down my back. Your tail slides down my spine and slaps against it occasionally.

Camouflaged within my vertebrae, you still remain extinct.

There’s no mistaking it when you slide beneath my lumbar; stubborn little penetrator.

Hiding within me, you settle into the places you like best.

You cause me to ache.

Dinosaur, I still miss you.

………to read this in its entirety – please click here.

© 2010 PJ Ryan

a consent by silence

they taught me early on
these men
that there were certain questions
i could not ask
certain answers i could not have
and because i only wanted
to stay in their orbit
only wanted to be pulled along in their wake
i became guilty of a consent by silence
as i tacitly agreed to their terms

© 2010 greeneyedlady

a witness

draw me with the weight
of your invisible form
burn me with the coolness of your fire
sanctify me
with the wonder of your beauty
fire pass through my lips
so that i might not sin against thee
oh i love you
for i long to kiss thine feet
when my lips have touched fire
then fuel my flame to desire you deeper
you are uncontaminated water
quenching my thirst with your purity
so i might rise to run after thee
to your sanctuary
i long
there is no greater ecstasy
than you in me
and i in you
sanctify me
i pray you
with the stillness of
your words
that live forever
words that were
spoken long before
i ever spoke
words that formed me
let me return to the mouth
i came from
sanctify me
sanctify me
sanctify me
with many kisses
draw me
wash me
with love
that endures
i pray you
then live through me

© 2010 Siki Dlanga

low laughter at nonsense

lying across snow covered
tracks like a well worn
copper penny
there is no concern
for chaos or control
in a cold face
making snow angels
with eyelashes
some would rage
at the lack of light
while missing ice crystals
building shadow’s night
and the edge of happiness
when the train whistle blows
as i smile
and roll

© by ebiemer

Hold Me Baby

I feel like some red ant in line
bent on embracing sanguine knowledge
drilling and willing and ‘busy’
Scenes are passing by my window like snowflakes
Coagulating in the corner of my fate filled season
Relying on rewards of reflection and virgin ethics
As I swim down your skin.

My breath rides pheromones fate and I am more alive
Inside your embrace than I can ever remember
I growl and hiss while I plummet into ecosystems
Just now discovered between you thighs
Past your tortoise shell beliefs that just began when
You kissed me on my forehead
graduating slowly to ‘guitar glee and smile strums’

Oh No!
Here it comes

a song from 1956 country top 40’s hits

(you play inside my bones

Sucking morrow for tomorrow)

“ Hold me baby
Let my tears gather round your wrinkled heart
Smooth them out
I will
Smooth them out with my
Allowing sensibilities
For all that can never be
And all that is
Good enough for a bar or two
A whistle may do
as you pass me by
I sigh
When You Hold me

Casue we never saw it coming
We never thought to see
All this loves a humming
Oracle star fire symphony ”

This buzz makes me laugh
my ears are ringing
Can you hear it too my love?

Summer’s coming soon and we’ll give birth to our
Fabricated Dreams
Created here
as we look deep into each other’s eyes
Yours are brown with earth knowing
Mine green with emerald promise
Our past heartaches develop and shape
refine and tone down the sharp contrast of desire…

wild bees in desert hives have dripped honeyed thoughts
saturated with unquenchable longing
trimmed in unfathomable fears.

This is a feeling that I almost


That I almost cannot live without
That I almost swear I shall never let go of

And moreover that feeling of ‘never’
Feels like a prison cell
Stuckedness and without blood flow
Writing on the wall and digging hidden pinholes of relief

Not enough now

As your fingers burn crop circle stories upon
My field of fate like labyrinth lullabies
Smelling lust in campfire dust.
All night long.

The next moment is best spent in each others

as you and I


© 2009 linaji

The Forgotten Braille (content warning)

Carole, thirty-nine sensed the oil shortage in her world. The constant burning of something non-renewable and her years, getting shorter. Even today the scalpel could not be ridden for long, there was a tip she had to relinquish and her love of pain would have its use-by date. “As I leave work today”, she mused nonchalantly… “I shall stand on that scalpel and feel that lithe incision one more time before I leap into the stream where my tears have cooled.”

That would come at around 5:47 she suspected, the dawning of her Renaiisance when the last five years would be cast into grassfire. Though now, 4:11 and her sex swelled. The space between her eyes was full of vaginal gel, the uprush of her passions turned intellectual and speculative. It was nearly a year since her last resigned fuck, most fittingly kitch at the office Christmas party. She still squelched at the story, the sex remained like graffiti she was too indolent to hose off the walls. The story, its cheapness and unoriginality was what tormented her.

………to read this in its entirety – please click here.

© 2009 Jim Marshall

Please visit the bubble pages of the writers we have featured:
PJ Ryan
Siki Dlanga
Erich Biemer
Jim Marshall