Features for week of July 25, 2010

“Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping… waiting… and though unwanted… unbidden… it will stir… open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us… guides us… passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love… the clarity of hatred… and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion maybe we’d know some kind of peace… but we would be hollow… Empty rooms shuttered and dank. Without passion we’d be truly dead.” by Joss Whedon

The emotion I feel most often when going through the art to choose features is PASSION. I really wanted to bring some new artists/members to feature; what they all have in common is that their piece made me feel passionate about their subject. Some are about love, some life, nature, pain… and they all made me feel something deep inside. I hope you enjoy and feel the passion as well.

Scent of Love by lilynoelle

scent of love by ililynoelle

Dancer by Mieke Boynton

dancer by mieke boynton

She paints by chitrali

She paints,
She paints furiously


She paints,
She paints the walls,
With her heart:
All the broken, jagged pieces
That fit nowhere,
All the sharp edges that cut her to bits
She uses,
for brushes..

Dipping into the blood within,
She washes the walls,
with all the parts that make her heart.
To make Art.

She paints,
She paints furiously,
She paints the walls…

The whitewash of Old
Blackened into her soul,


She paints,
She paints the walls,

With her mind:
The pictures in her head
That no one can hear,
Talk to her
In insane colour.
She tells them:“Love”
The pictures turn
Go away.


She paints,
She paints furiously
She paints the walls…

Tearing into her flesh
Was no avail
The demons still do prevail


She paints,
She paints furiously
She paints the walls,

With her soul:
To bring Colour,
She spills her Light
Her very being,
onto the pen.

To write her song,
Upon the walls
That hang,
At her.


Her tears.
Her blood.
Her flesh.
Her mind.
Her heart.
Her very soul.
Had no point anymore,
What she had, she’d thrown onto the walls.

With nothing,
She dissipated into the void: no more..

She no longer paints
She no longer paints furiously,
The walls have her..

– Chitrali, July2010

Our Essence by restlessd

the artist suggests that you listen to this as you read

What is our Essence?
Do you know what that might mean?
Is it our soul, our core, our center?
Is it something that can be seen?

Is our Essence transcendent
Beyond ourselves and our being?
Or is it coupled with our body,
In the flesh, beneath our seeing?

Is it breathing, is it sleeping,
Is it quiet, silent dreaming?
Could it be flying, or emoting
Feelings of a peaceful floating.

In looking for an answer.
Some ponder these deep thoughts
With the hope of finding one true path.
To places others may have sought.

Perhaps we already know that place,
Our own life in need of transience.
To know oneself could be the start
Of finding our own true Essence. . .

a rhonda original© 2010

Jacarandas against a Blue Sky by Lozzar Flowers & Art

jacarandas against a blue sky by lozzar flowers and art

Do I Matter? by Leslie Gustafson

do i matter? by leslie gustafson

MY SPIRIT IN PAIN by Paul (Quixote) Alleyne

Each time I see them dying in the thousands
Shot down without regard
Butchered, beaten down
And left to die alone

Each time I see them hurting
Each time I hear them beg to be fed
Voices weak from hunger
Fear of rape and abuse

And I look around
And I see the world and all its inequities
Its lopsided sharing of wealth
Its lopsided sharing of power
Wealth built on the backs and from the blood
Of all my people

I want to help
But the task is so enormous
I have great doubts
That I can carry the weight of all this sorrow
And my Soul bleeds

I taste their blood on my lips
They wash me in their tears of sadness
They cry out to me
Reach out to me
Hopelessness with no future
Just death
And despair
And disease
And Starvation

And I cannot help
Because my Soul bleeds
And my Spirit is in great pain

Paul Alleyne 12/25/2007

paint by Wingpoem

I’m painting a poem
For you
Right here
In my heart

I’m dipping it
In all the colors of love
I have for you

All the ways I love you

All the flavors
Of giving myself

All the beauty in me
I’ve been keeping
Just for you


Soul-mates by Renate Dartois

soul-mates by renate dartois

She Comes in Colours by Cynthia Lund Torroll

she comes in colours by cynthia lund torroll

Mystery by lianne

I dance in vivid dreams
around the edges of the Mystery
of the universe unfolding,
of ME unfolding, awakening
in ever widening rings of being,
stretching from my sleep,
eyes still closed to try to hold
the luminous visions that drift
between the suns, the moons,
the stars thrown out at random,
like paint splatter on a black canvas,
across the cosmos of my mind.

And then at last, awake,
I plunge myself into words,
not to escape the dream
but to be in it and beyond it,
to embrace and let go of life and
all its sorrows, joys and questions
in the very same moment.
I drown in the sacred symbol
of each creative word I write,
not to become a mystic
but to be immersed in the
bloody words of suffering,
the unlimited lexicon of love,
the exquisite adjectives of joy,
and be one with all of it
so I can fully taste, savor
the grit and grain and grape of it
in my hungry, thirsty mouth.
I make the sacrifice of self
the food I bring to the table,
to the banquet of ultimate answers
where the whole of Mystery
waits to be consumed.
I offer the broken bread of my body
the aged wine of my words
as the grace I speak before the meal,
to be miraculously transformed
and thus to give birth to god.

© Lianne Schneider July 25, 2010

oiseau amer by Erika

there’s a blackbird
inside my chest

I think it’s dead

but that’s what makes it so alive

I half-choked on its ghost
but I swallowed it
bitter breath and all:

I felt its beating presence
cold and false
tangled up between
my heart and ribs
spun into my chest-web

like a fly in a spider’s home

I had no words
the other day
when I felt its claws


for prayer

so I gave it no hope –

I killed it
believing it might fly

Scorpio: mystery loves company I

Some artists just get visual metaphors… here’s Jessica Andrews and her stunning photograph. What she said about it…

Mysterious creatures Scorpios are, and as I got thinking about it realised that I wouldn’t be happy depicting them in just one photograph. So here begins my series within a series, dedicated to Scorpio and the two most lovely of them; Ryan and Jenna.

the pain of wanting to fix a loved one

She by Helene Ruiz

riddled by various diseases
a bag
covered with a thin layer
her veins
is in
have become
empty wells
full of the same
don’t know
to fix
don’t know

Winner of the Fire in the Eyes Challenge

When I first saw this portrait by Rebecca Tun I commented on it saying it was iconic. It reminds me of that famous National Geographic photo of the girl in Afghanistan. It is the kind of portrait that you never forget. Congratulations Rebecca on your well deserved win.


Portrait of a Girl by Rebecca Tun

TBF features – Week of July 19,2010

Hello, everyone! I share with you Matthew’s picks for this week: images so very moving and intimate, poetry with a loving everyday touch. Don’t forget to sign in and visit the featured artists and writers for this week.

0 but dust
by vampvamp

we are naught but dust…
universal particles
adrift in a plume of stars.
white gloved grit
finger tip tracings.
inhaled fragments
expelled in breath,
layers shed.
we are naught but dust…
transported by intermittent puffs
resting in mundane haunts,
we are,
we are naught but dust.

I want a poet’s house by imagineation

I want a poet’s house
Filled with poet things
I want enormous windows
And a door that opens often
I want a moat of experience
And a drawbridge driveway left down
I want several pens in every room
And paper in every pocket.
You’ll find scrawling on the
back of receipts (that I will
write in parking lots) and
grocery lists (or on the side
of the road) and maybe on
my hands (if I am desperate)
which you will hold later
(when we’re close on the couch)
Some days you’ll find me crosslegged
in a puddle (on a railing, in a tree, in front of the fridge
or maybe on our bed) with a muddied paper
on my lap
and a pen
between my teeth.
You will smile (sometimes,
depending on the weather)
and sit with me (unless
I’m in the puddle and you’re
still wearing your nice pants)
and (almost always) the
mere sight of you (or
your smile, or the uneven hem of those pants,
or the goosebumps
or the place your farfaraway gaze is reaching for…)
will remind me of the ending.
I’ll always kiss you and thank you
You’ll ask why (every time, you silly goose)
And I’ll show you
And you’ll understand
(every time, you wonderful man)

I want a poet’s house.

Reflecting Reverence by AnniG

Lavish upon me,
through shades of copper
your stature, sheer strength
Bestow upon me
your words of glory, grace
Offer me undivided
diligence in devotion
Elevate my spirit with your
weathered wisdoms
Favour me with
ample abounded affection
Touch me with
respectful reverence
Bask me in your
lustrous, luminous love
Lay upon me your
eternal ethereal presence
and deliver to me
your resplendent soul

In turn, I will echo this
imbuing your image
with glimmering liquid gold
mirroring in radiant
veneration the
bountiful beauty
of your own reflection


(collaboration with Andy Gibb)

No Time For A Modern Girl by BrightThing


Gazing out to Sea by Rebecca Tun


Welcome Home, Daddy!!! by Jen Ryan


Crash course by clancy214

i’ve got red and it’s hot
and i swear too much
and this is true
and that is decorated with
delightful embellishments
but never a lie because
my memory is already shit
so i barely remember “truth”
and i digress in certain situations
because i can’t focus
if something is shiny
the bubbles float to the top
and i sip and sit and wits
are on a crash course
with silky fibers in waves
and top shelf honey whiskey
words that caress my ears
cool water splashes



to my feet

Take Me by Rhenastarr

Take me
White hot and
About to combust
Love me hard
Then kiss me gently
In the afterglow of
Take me
To where time has
No meaning
And feelings are
All that matter
At the end of a
Burning beginning
Take me
Feed my hungry
As passion leaves
My swollen lips
In the whisper of
Your name
Take me
Over the edge
And out of control
To a place
Where the stars
Can lay claim to my
Flaming soul
Take me
In slow searing inches
Sup on what is mine
Leave my bones
A fiery liquid
Teetering on the
Edge of sublime
Take me
Beyond the boundaries
That house our
Mortal plane
Ravish me as
I surrender with
your touch slipping over
Me like warm soothing rain
Take me
Anyway you choose
With your fingers creating
Flames of fire
Bringing delirium to my reason
As I lose myself to raw desire
Take Me
Catapult me into your dark bliss
With the thunder of your racing need
Creating a turbulence of emotion in my soul
and a burning fever that only you can feed
Take me
Where my body lies fulfilled
With me fighting for my breath
From the blazing ride
You have given me
Through the valley
Of the little death

Marie Harris © July 18, 2010

Inspired by phatpuppy

Secrecy by Tania Losada

So by clancy214

Work in progress -challenge

It’s monday, people… and work seems to be in everyone’s minds. Therefore, I needed to catch up with the challenge winner updates, especially with this one: Work in progress. The concept:

Do you have a book cooking in the oven (get it out… it’ll burn!)? Essays, novellas, short stories, poetry? Submit an extract from a project you have your heart and soul invested in.

Since we only received 5 submissions, I think it’s only fair for at least the number 3 spots to be featured on the blog. Here you go…

  1. Deadlife prologue by Aryanna Aetha

Part of what the artist wrote about it:

This is the prologue to my new novel, Dead Life
kinda a secret project of mine for a while but I love people to read just this chapter to see what it is about…

2. Pretty as You Feel (art, poem & song) by restlessd

She felt ugly
She hoped the day would come
It hadn’t yet.
~ ~ ~ ~
She caught herself this morning,
Cursing at herself.
She said you’re ugly, you’re so fat,
She said I hate myself.

She looked into the mirror,
She didn’t like what she saw there.
She looked away disgustedly.
Why does she even care?

Yesterday she was happy.
She thought, today I am ok.
What could be different, changed,
From the way she feels today?

What is it in her being that
Makes her feel this way?
One day she feels so pretty,
Then so ugly the next day?

And then she feels so petty,
What difference does it make?
Larger issues loom daily
Get over it for heavens’ sake!

So then there is the guilt,
The stupid vanity of it all.
No one cares, why should you?
Just curl up into a ball.

Will she ever just be happy?
Will she ever be ok?
Will she ever just like herself?
She hopes, maybe, will it happen today?

_a rhonda original 09©

 Note: the author recommends, as soundtrack for this work, “Pretty as You Feel” by Jefferson Airplane.

3. My artistic view of depression by colindove

Part of what the artist wrote about it:

I first placed this under another heading, yet it , for me, displayed the hell of years of depression and anxiety. I hope by sharing a part of my life, may assist another on the path to recovery.

” Always there is a touch of blue reality amidst the tangled living though seemingly dead life” There is always hope.

Colin,….for further info www.christianfaith.com.au/depression

Butterflies challenge winner

Butterflies are sexy and dreamy. A more profound quote could prove our point:

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
~Irish Blessing

Here’s the most voted artwork in this challenge, Into the world by dmcart.

A Mother’s Blessings

I should call my mom, I just remembered now while enjoying this beautiful work by Itaya: A Mother’s Blessings.

What the artist wrote about it:

 mother bird hangs out on a tree limb with her little ones as they watch the colorful sky. Acrylic paint on canvas. (6” x 8”) You can read more about my artwork and my creative process here – Itaya’s Art Blog .

A “masked” tie

Greetings, friends. Though this update is long overdue, we have another tie in our hands, this time in the Masks challenge. Feast your eyes on the shared first place:

Idyll -from “Hidden Light” series- by dorina costras

Mystery of Identity by strawberries

Features 7-11-10

Our little group, not so little anymore, is overflowing with amazing imagery. I am a traditional artist myself, and so my eye tends to wander to traditional art first. Not because I love it more, but simply because it is my craft and I understand it more. Traditional art is definately in the minority in Touched by Fire, and so this week I wanted to highlight some of our outstanding traditional works. The writing I chose for this week is all centered around the themes of human greed, lonliness, loss, despair and the illumination that these emotions bring. It is not that I feel particularly dark today, but I feel that as we reimagine the world we need to understand our darkness. We can’t change what we don’t understand. Sometimes it is our darkest places that teach us the truth of who we are as humans.

Waiting For the Sunshine
Waiting for the Sunshine by LisaMM

I love the feeling in this piece, the waiting for change, metamorphosis, or rebirth. The cycles of death and birth are also in this poem by lolowe. It is written in a dreamy metaphorical cadence, speaking of death, but also of life.

The Layer of Death’s Tree

Before I escaped
The drought my ancestors created
I watched my mother sleep
I saw her face smooth out
The apple core in her hand
The last of its kind
Fell to the floor
Within the withered brown
Of its paper thin core
It held a black seed
I took it
So she would know
I left to plant ourselves
A new world

I am a thief
This I know
But my place in this life
Has become worn down
By the emptiness continuously
Digging out the illusions from our eyes
Like coal from a mine
We are left barren
And without the use of tears
The diamonds pressed into the
Furnace of our bellies
Lack the fire needed
To mourn the passing of what we
Once knew

I had a dream the night before

I woke to the sound of the world ending
I found the courage to run
But instead
Found my feet journeying
To the source of the sound
It was there I found an ocean
It was not the world
But the crashing of waves against
Each other
I wanted to taste
The legend of waters just like this
And slowly I leaned over
To find silvery fish
Swimming in the shed of their own scales
Not water
Just themselves discarded
Sustaining what they knew
In their evolution

I felt the cloak of my skin
I wanted to swim
In the fluidity of my own
But found
That I had nothing to shed
Nothing to
Nothing to keep me

But I had a seed
The onyx remainder
Or a world lost
I took it to my mouth
The water of my tongue
Cradling it
Wishing it life
And it broke it open
Sprouted within me
A temple

I couldn’t swim
In the scales of fishes
I couldn’t
Cry the gemstone tears
Long since excavated
But I could bring life
To a layer of Death’s own tree
The apple core soul
Shining red
Reminding me of the skin
Still clinging to my mother’s lip

White Leather and Chrome
White Leather and Chrome by Secretplanet

What can I say about this image. This is amazing figurative work. I predominately paint women, I think men are harder to draw. To me this work just shows the beauty of the human form. The man seems lost in his own thoughts or possibly in meditation. This next poem by Gretchen Cello hints to the eternal now moment and the losing of oneself in quiet contemplation. It is the illumination that comes with the letting go of self.

Ingredients of Purified Proximity

Initial appearance. Greeting morning.
Clouds break. Illumination. Cream. Skin. Slide.
Tracing shape, fit puzzle pieces. Soaring.
Simmering syllables. Low boil. Inside.
Gestures of questioning undermine fact.
Speak to me. In stories. Turning up voice.
Bodies. Introduced. Reinvent react.
Hushed aspiration of becoming… choice…
Awaking to dream. Physical presence.
Absorbing observation. Sacred look…
Ocular mandala. Gold. Transcendence.
Unspoken. Devotion. Fresh chapter book.
Elimination of time, distance, space.
Perpetual. Dejavu. Finding. Place.

Colibri by Erika

Just a beautiful painting with a beautiful poem attached to it. The woman in the painting is dreaming of a new world, and I believe we all have the power to dream up a new and better and more colorful world. In this next poem by Purplecactus the trouble with our world is blamed on one source, money.

Too Much is Never Enough

Such a simple word
A single syllable
Spoken in whispers
Shouted in pain
Mouthed in silence
Screamed in anger

This, the cruellest of
Unrequited by some
Lost by time
Unobtainable for many
Stolen by others

Destroyer of lives
Ripper of hearts
Killer of families
Crusher of hope
Harbinger of sorrow

It gives us no choice
Sometimes it’s power
Sometimes it’s sin
Money, for many
Too much is never enough

It strikes like a virus
No warning or cure
A life spent without it
Is no life at all
So we risk all these things
In the name of love

Burden by Redqueenself

I am always a sucker for symbolism. Here Redqueenself is presenting a symbol of women as the bearers of humanities burdens. I really liked how she put the apples on the water jug, hinting to the dominate religious views that women bear the burdens simply for eating from the tree of wisdom and life. In this next poem by Anthea Slade she speaks of the fragility of life. I also liked the symbolism she uses to get her point across.


An untouchable eagle soars high above
the mountains to the heavens
powerful, majestic beauty wings outstretched
but can be dropped earthbound
by one hit of the hunters bullet.

Life can rise you out of the ashes,
smiling free falling with smooth caress
then boom, crash you are hit
Achilles knew the spot on that heel…ouch…
Jack and Jill fell down the hill.

Indeed, how very precious this one life is!
How sacred it is to breathe in
to breathe out
to touch the breast
and feel that red muscle pounding life…
powerful yet so achingly vulnerable.

You can skip and play
You can dance the day away
Hip Hop cool staccato moves
Step and flow hot Latin grooves
You can talk and smile
and live a life of dreams for a while
but when it hits you fall you STOP.

In black silence you crawl
and creep along holding the wounds
in slow motion life returns to the basics.
Your heart opens so wide bursting
with gratitude just to know that
one breath follows another and you
can still taste and can feel love.

Like a child, a tender baby
your survival needs are all that count
smiling it is enough to feel the breeze
on your cheek and to see
the suns rays dance through the shadows
on your window pane.

Turning points
EGO… it all fades and your eyes
glisten as rain drop tears scud
down your cheek and a smile breaks
and then dances…ah you are ALIVE.

And life is Beautiful.

Lest we forget just how fragile we are.

Titok by Cynthia Lund Torroll

Once again I am amazed by the artist’s ability with a male subject. In this work the man also seems to be lost in his thoughts. With the moon over his shoulder you get a dreamy feeling to this. Something about the positioning of his hands makes him seem powerful in his ability to dream and to create. In these words by Hector A. Encinas, there is a feeling of the mundane of life. It is almost as if the subject has lost his ability to dream of new world as he is lost in the grey of life.

Grey Afternoon’s

Go to sleep.

Lost in the madness of a dream;
In a minutes lifetime.

Will I wake again?

Will I wake;
in sour hands,
Of another routine day.

This is just jail,
To those who have to wake up in mornings,
And work for such unusable standards.

I find myself taken;
Yet again,
By another grey afternoon.

Drapes the eyes of the dead beat corps,
On the bed.

Letting go
Letting Go by Helene Ruiz

Everything that Helene paints seems to come from a place of deep emotion. This work is no exception. She is paying tribute to a friend that has passed. This last poem by Linaji echoes this sentiment as she is missing a dear friend that she feels the busy pace of life is making them grow apart.

For a Girl With a Heavy Heart I Love You

I don’t know what to say,
so I feel,
I wanna say something is brewing
but what?

climbing vines
nostalgic need
strangling off the tree for a life of it’s own
roots that lift cement walkways
unfolding in low murmur:

“this is not enough, I am growing”

peeling paint where essence of Cedar lay
smell begins tri color release

“here I am!”
you pray

you say…
“life’s dissapointments
cannot hide my smell”

It lingers now (your scent)
full of wants and desires
that are soaring off the charts.

like a forest of forgiveness
like a sky-way lit up with dreams

you wrote in parchment pieces
made from mythical meaning

“I will have mine and I will envy too

Sometimes, I just cannot love you
when all that I am still does “

Slowing as I look deep inside
this beguiling soft core

I hear her once more saying
without any reservations;

“forgive for now, yes?
but you already do
I feel you
I shall still be like a soft whisper
in your shadows
where the cool space of knowing