Features 8-30-10

This week I am going with a theme of the dreamworld and the subconscious mind. We often dream to vent out our fears and stresses from our waking lives. I was looking for images that were dreamy, spiritual, and surreal; and also ones dealing with our deepest fears. Writing, especially poetry, is often dreamy and full of subconscious imagery. I tried to pick writing that dealt with two of our biggest themes in dreams, death and love. Some of the writing just sounded like a dream feels.
I will start with the image that inspired the theme:
Power of dream
Power of a Dream by LisaMM

I Give You My Flower by Linaji

I am giving you my flower,
Because I feel your seed explode
The cosmos gets lonely on Saturday.

My flower has a shameless smell that may
conjure you a dream
This dream will give you strength

Where you are I have been
The soil was rich with nitrates and oxides
But come certain times of the year
That soil turns to dust

You are left to fend for yourself
And the barren garden burns your
Eyes and nose

So come over here and let me hold your
Hand, let me just understand
And give you my flower.

Linaji 2010

Dolphin
Dolphin Dreaming by Angel Gold

The Crescent Moon by JetMannHenry
Tonight

You will lay;
Alone
on the crescent moon.

Leave yourself behind.

Tonight

I will play
vigorously
in the memory of..

Love

in the memory of…

Us

in the memory of….

You

Tonight

We will stay,
masked in the shadows
dancing on mood dust
running on crevises
sleeping alone
on the surface of..
the crescent moon. ©

Seum
Seum by vampvamp

Unfolded Down-Under by Lenny Carpet Cleaner

spring is the rising of the leaves
the thinning out of Steves

jack and jill lying on a roll
fit for the uranium pit

licking up the frost off the clit of now
the hills are alive with the likes of you

beyond the outsiders, momentary gods
trip the liff of thought, vanity’s fete

of course you can stay
august is really the month of may

holy spirit! blasphemed the puritan
tan 61 degrees is just a PhD

oh, it’s a long way to the prawn shop
if you beget to sell Johann’s Seoul

dude looks like a lady
but(t) the lady is a tramp
tom thumb waits, I just can’t

a tragicomedy reversed
the cacophony of
well meant rehearsals, a-ha!

“time for elevenses?”
the buck stops here.

steel breast
Steel Breast Light Arms by Rosa Cobos

When Nothing Is A Good Thing by Sandy Sutton

They tell me that
having nothing is
good for the soul
being nothing is different
the art of having nothing is
refreshing
replenishing
it makes you realise
who you are
when you may
count yourself
as possessions
and a figure on paper
that is an accrued
total of your fiscal wealth
the art of having nothing is
an accrued total
of you
of your
accomplishments
of your good deeds
and your bad
it is the thing
you will carry
with you when
the end is near
when in your fear
you realise
that it’s your
vision of yourself
that matters
in the end
not your possessions
not your money
not even the love you see
in the eyes of your children
or even their children
for that matter

it is the art of you
the art of life
the paintings you create
within yourself
the sculpture
you have created
out of you
for you and only
you
the image
you have of
you
is the only you
that matters

It Is You

Judgement
Judgement by Martin Muir

Stalks
It Stalks All of Us by Berns

But to die in the joy of knowing that I pursued my dream to the end or just the beautiful beginning by Blanchot

How poor a creature he must be who in his last moment cries out,
“But if only, I had followed my heart, eschewing the cold logic of my head and the creeping ice of the compartmental crypt so soon to be?”

I refuse that being.
I refuse his cowardice and the stale scent of the pillow at his side.

Rather, I celebrate my dream: realized!
I steadfastly refuse all issue of doubt:
“Do you have any idea what you are in for?”

Fools to have even asked: for my answer can only be a celebration of the equivocal. Nonetheless an unprecedented celebration it damn will be.
“Yes, I am ‘in for’ a love sublime: a love, which most will approach only in the perfection of nature’s allowance of the summer peach’s nectar.”
“No, for I am also in for an adventure the likes of which would make a proud woman of Scheherazade herself.”

Will I make it through the thousand and one nights?
“Seek thy oracle not in this stone abode.”
Will I live every night I have to the fullest?
“You’re goddamn right!”

While the life of the mind may well appear—as it so often did to me—the apogee of human achievement; it is only through the chambers of the heart that transcendence sings its siren’s song.

Long live the heart!
Mysteries, joys, pains, and all; glorify the hymn of love and of lovers!

© 08/25/09

goddess
Goddess of Light by Scott Black

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The rest was amusement

A poem by emilyhurts
drowned in the bathtub years ago
a floating body that drifted with the tide
i was flushed down the toilet
into my secret wonderland
to start all over underground
into the secret place where
the earth keeps all of the
unborn children
and all of the small pets
that were cast out
the womb of the earth
keeps them safe
from the faces that destroyed
them and ripped them to shreds
in a bloody haste
simply, we were all too much
trouble

so i swallowed the ocean
to free you of me
to make sure
you were rid of the pain
the gnat i had become to
your heart
i smashed my insect body
against a rock
to break the chains
that bound me to you
and then i giggled
having died quietly

don’t look for me
on the surface
i’ve gone into
my soul forty times
and became lost
in the labryinths
of memories
i put into cellaphane
so as not to disrupt
your sensitivity

i am not here for
you to scream into
me as a megaphone
i simply disintegrated
into the ashes
and you swept them away
with the soot from the fireplace
i laid in agony but you never came
so i burned

then i ran away
threw myself
from the cliffs of rocks
to leave fate
no more chances
let me die in peace
embrace the jagged
knives below
please just leave me
alone
give me the hour
of my bereavement
the choice of leaving

i live inside the clumps
of earth
i drowned years ago
the rest was amusement

Rebecca Tun – our newest blogger and co-host

I’m so utterly excited to announce an addition to the TBF family. Please welcome Rebecca Tun, who is a terrific up-and-coming model, photographer, and artist. Her styles can range considerably, from whimsical to period costumes, nudes, insightful, and introspective.

You may visit her own website here or her Redbubble Gallery here.

Please enjoy a little glimpse of Rebecca’s work:




Model Work:

Art & Text Challenge

The Challenge
A great piece of art paired with an inspirational thought can make a lasting impact. Please enter your best work that combines art with words.

Winner

he loves me not by TamLock

he loves me not by tamlocke

accompanying poem:

He loves me
He loves me not
A love once shared
Now long forgot

The petals fall
All becomes clear
You don’t love me
You’re not here

Cast aside
Lost in the gloom
I must await
New love to bloom

He loves me
He loves me not
He loves me…
Not

Get Dirty Challenge

The Challenge
Sometimes there is nothing better than rolling around in the mud of mother earth. Please enter your piece that is your take on getting in the dirt.

Miniature Goddess of Earth by Sesheshet

Miniature Goddess of Earth by sesheshet

accompanying poem:

Will you
hang
my eyes
on your cave
of black Aztec ribbons,
guilded Greek thoughts,
and masks of man—
headed birds?

Will you
bind
my rock hands
with wire,
and the souls
of the previous lost—
waiting for nature
to bleed
out
my
feet?

Will you
wish me
with moments
and
flesh off the bone,
beating pulse
through my cosmos
of stone?

I have hung
my birth
like a goddess
of ocher and full-belly char
inside the blink
of Sun’s eye,

where I
can see
only me
through the dark
storm of dreams,
haunting
like snowflakes,
forbidden
to be
touched.

Look at me:

I Am
your shadow—
immortal,
and worthy
of
More.

© Sesheshet 8 10 2010

Features for Aug 22nd 2010

This is my first time doing the features for Touched By Fire. I chose images that absorbed me and stimulated my imagination – ones that I see as fantasy landscapes or ‘mindscapes’. And I’ve written beneath each one what I imagine is going on in the picture. For the writing I chose pieces that arouse the senses, or pieces that evoked an emotion I recognised.


The Passing by advertisingamy
In this picture the girl is throwing away her old life behind her and running towards the ladder which will take her to a new and better one. It is a frightening but exhilarating thing to do. Lovely simplicity, and the desaturated colours are perfect.


Dancing Trees by Igor Zenin
Wow, this one is crazy. Is it dawn or dusk? I think it’s a competition between two tribes of trees: a dance-off held every year in this ancient woodland. The focussed figures in the foreground are so well set off by the blurry images in the background.


Storm Clouds by JaNae Boswell
The bad weather is coming up on that one lone house. One person lives there alone. He has an ongoing battle with the elements – he refers to the weather as ‘he’ (like they do in Iceland). He sole occupation is the upkeep of that small garden of yellow flowers.


The Dreamwalker by Tara Lemana
Waiting for her true love to come back after thousands of years. She has been condemned to a life of immortality alone on this blue planet, and will only be released when her lover reurns. She watches and waits for him every day. She doesn’t need to sleep or eat, so her only activity is to wander through this watery landscape. The attention to detail is excellent – the reflection, the mountains in background..sublime.


forgotten by Ingz
This represents end of one life and the beginning of so many more. Lovely depth of field – you don’t know what’s going on in the background but it’s not important. Even the glass is given a cloudy texture because of the rough texture over the whole picture. I love the calm, sad and light-as-a-feather feel to this.


Into the Light by Igor Zenin
Another from Igor Zenin. Like the Dancing Trees, this picture also makes such effective use of focus in the foreground set of by misty blur in the background. The golden warmth is smooth like honey and the journey along the path depicted is a slow, reverent and dreamlike one.

And now for the written pieces…

These two pieces are sensual and charged, full of fast-paced imagery and rhythm. I like.

heat wave by autumnwind

drenched
intoxicated
sticky sweet
below
my pores are
wet
your eyes
drink me in
this sultry
summer air
makes dangerous
these pulsating charges
waves of pleasure
begin
you are flawless
we are
hard core rhythm
you dive
and drive me wild
saturated
swimming
in our thirst
we are fierce
and feral
out of control
insane
climbing
the burning
honeyed roller coaster
with
skyrocketing intensity
I scream
you roar
we melt
and slowly slide down
sigh…
what bliss…
we lick
our paws…

wow
I needed that

Our Gift by SilentScreamer

I’m dancing with you
a wildly passionate
covetous paso doble
for our enjoyment
only

I’m playing with you
this capricious game
of lust, wanton desire
for our excitement
only

I’m sharing with you
every cell and sinew
of my burning body
for pleasure, ours
only

I’m delivering to you
my private thoughts
fantasies naked in mind
for your exploration
only

I offer you this treasure
my essence, my being
wholly and completely
for your worship
fully

I delight in the connection
of tangible true emotion
unseen, yet undeniable
our gift shared
truly
©

These next two pieces are thoughtful, insightful poems about love. Whether it’s about not getting what you want (as in this first poem) or about getting what you want (as in the second one), both these pieces eloquently express patterns of experience that I recognised immediately. I love the metaphor about the “falling leaf” in this one:

Hope by Mieke Boynton

It’s a strange thing, Hope.
You don’t choose it;
the stubborn belief in the radiant dawn
that follows the sightless night
so bitterly bleak and dark and empty…

Most consider it a blessing.

Mine plagues me like a festering sore
that resurrects unexpectedly,
deep and bright and painful
when I thought I’d killed it off last time… and the time before…

When I met you
I didn’t fall for you like a landslide,
I floated like an Autumn leaf
and didn’t realise
I was in love
until I saw where I’d fallen from
and knew I could never get back.

I was seventeen.
I thought I was grown up.
I wasn’t.

That night I rang you from America
and you didn’t want to talk
and you kept putting my friends on the phone
and then you said you’d kissed Kim –
my best friend Kim –
who suddenly wasn’t my friend anymore –
and I asked you if you wanted to be with her
and you said,
“If she’ll have me” –
that’s when I grew up.

I could say it took me years to get over you.
I do say it took years.
But I lie.
Because when I hear “Lovefool” from Romeo & Juliet
and when I drive past that park where I was late for your soccer game
and at night when it’s quiet
and when I see the brown latticed fence that still has our names etched in the paint
eleven years later
and when I watch the Autumn leaves fall

I hope.

I SAID IT by Paul (Quixote) Alleyne

I talked it
And it happened
I said that you will fall in love with me
I said that you will learn to love me
I said that you will learn to be my best friend
That you will be my lover
That you will come to me for advise
To be comforted
And counseled
And reassured
I said so many things
Some I forgot
Because I said them so long ago
But it all happened
It happened just like I said it to you.

And finally, here are two sad pieces about suicide – at least I think they both are. This first one by darkvampire is just dripping with bitter sarcasm and horrid, angry imagey – and all the more interesting because the voice comes from beyond the grave. It’s strangely entertaining. The second one, less obviously about suicide, in only a few words and using a well-chosen metaphor touches upon what I think are several salient features of a suicidal train of thought. I especially like the metaphor about “setting off an alarm”. And I find the last two lines are as much like a question as a statement.

sorry by darkvampire

that’s me
hanging
in the wood
I decided to
go
tidily
but without a
fuss
sorry about the
swinging
it must be the
wind
maybe I should
have
weighed myself
down with
something really
heavy;
I always
did
move about too
much
as you often
remarked
the creaking too
sorry about
that
perhaps I
should have
oiled
myself
that penetrating
stuff
to get the
keys out of rusty
locks.
funny,
I could have
done
with some of
that
to get
you
out of
me
when you
took
me
by
force
those many
times you
tore me
open
sorry I didn’t
enjoy
it
sorry too I was
dry
I should have
used the
oil
you see
my fault
entirely
sorry about the
bird
pecking my eye
out
no wonder you
told me
I must be
blind to ruin the
dinner like that
so sorry about
the
maggots
in my
rotted
flesh
you always told
me the
place
wasn’t
clean
I can’t apologize
enough;
please forgive me
but I appear to be
dripping
onto the grass
it’s some sort of
putrid liquid that
gathers in the
orifices of dead
bodies I believe.
you always said I
smelled
and
of course
you were right
sorry about the
bloating
apparently it’s a type of
noxious gas that
collects in
corpses
and causes them to
swell up;
you used to say
I was
fat, remember?
right again.

sorry I left you
in the house
leaking your
blood
onto the
nice new carpet
sorry about the mess
sorry

about

that…

EXIT by kashmirecho

I’m staring at the EXIT sign
Wondering if it’s an easy way out
Wondering if I’ll set off an alarm
If I walk out the door
Wondering if anyone will notice
The absence of my presence

The EXIT sign is glowing red in the dark
A welcoming beacon
A safe way out
An escape route

All I have to do is get up
And walk out

Clothing Challenge Winner

The Challenge: It’s amazing how the translation of powerful art into an everyday & personal medium such as clothing, can leave testament to a designer’s vision. Submit designs that represent the TBF concept and are available as clothing designs.

The Winner: Turn ur back on Love T-Shirt by DellaGunnz
turn ur back on love tshirt by dellagunnz
You can purchase this t-shirt by clicking on the image above.

Features – 15th August 2010 – Reaching Out

This morning I was moderating all the art and writings that had come in over the past hours and I took my time over it with the view that it is my turn to do the features today. I am so glad it that I get to do the features once every month as there is always so much wonderful art and writings for me to choose from, if anything too much!

The one that inspired this feature made me think of why we do what we do and why it is so important that we do. For each poem I chose a picture that for me encapsulated the spirit of the writing.

Cosimopiro, you inspired this week’s features with your most wonderful poem. 🙂

THE ECHO OF EMPTINESS

I see you
gorge
on generous banquets,
python like,
swallowing whole
to gratify
a hollow unending
without
ever savouring
its many delicacies.

I watch you
quaff
aged juice
from the blood of grapes,
imbibing
intoxicating potion
into numb stupor
but
never relishing
divine nectar.

I spot you
pluck
tender, ripe fruit
craving fingers
bruising,
covetous lips
sucking soft flesh
but
only tasting
bitter seeds.

I hear you
rant
the madness
of self delusions
reverberating
in a vacuum
of unrealized dreams
without
ever listening
to the silence between.

Together we stand
gazing
into clear night sky
scanning
our destinies
across time’s hardened face
but
you only see
the darkness
betwixt the stars.

I recognize you,
restless,
eyeing me,
reflecting
my own wilderness
in waiting,
ready to spring
and capture
my final
berry of grace…….

…….and I wonder…….

is it best
to have company
in the void
or to feel lonely
in Paradise?

If I was to share
this morsel of joy
will it satiate
your wanton appetites
or
will I stand
where you are now,
an echo
skipping
in our emptiness
across the flat plains
of infinity
searching
for watering holes
to quench
our thirsty wanderings?

I see you
behind the looking glass
see me,
with your pleading eyes
and I with wary glance
pass the flesh
of my fruit
into your outstretched hand,
the seed of which
I keep safe
to plant in my heart,
to watch over it
in its dormant state
and nurture it
when it takes root
and buds,
in the hope
that it will bear
more fruit.

© Cosimopiro

… and here’s Martin’s wonderful image to go with it.

The Heart Of Everything

The Heart of Everything

© Martin Muir

This next poem touched me deeply:

The Ecstatic Air

I think about God and I see Him in my situation
this situation entangled in thorns and priceless misery,
whenever I move forward I am behind myself
living my life trying to catch up,
but I stumble and I fall in slow motion into that quagmire of grief
I am lost without you, and am lost with you,
If only I could learn how to breathe other people’s stale air,
if only I could live on the stale emotions of others,
and on their salty breaths and recycled kisses
my lovers and your lovers exhausted and torn up in the blender
of divorce and no reconciliation,
please don’t come back to me
God doesn’t murder, He gives us numbers in the womb
we are living, and we breathe, the ecstatic air,
I don’t think about yesterday, and the sand that stuck
to my toes on the beach, and the kisses you left upon my heart,
I can’t think about what broke us apart, the waves that crash,
and the imposssible task of holding onto them,
Time slipped through the cracks of my dreams,
my daughter has grown and is the teenager I once was
but I was silly then, full of naitivite dressed badly,
and hid behind a shy smile then
the illness in our souls became the signatures we signed
in our sleep and we still dream to escape to
we forge similarities to make the differences bearable,
we’ve attempted to love each other, but only end up
loving ourselves,
pretending we haven’t lived through this nauseuous nightmare before

Pretending we just met, when we’ve known each other for centuries,
we married ourselves to the lies we believe, and we can’t commit to
the memories that we lived,
I’ll write until I can find the words to paste the years we ripped to shreds
and wasted back together
I’ll dance until I spin myself useless and faint dead away,
until I can get back to the precise moment you walked away,
to the second you knew you didn’t love me
to the moments my voice sickened you,
to the time you became my jailor, and I lived the sentence
of missing you, and spent years trying to get back there to that
space I offended you, when we offended each other, and spit each
other out like chewed tobacco,
when our uses outlived us,
when God seemed to forget us,
when the angels stopped singing, and the demons descended
and the howling of our anger became the reasons we stayed
pasted to the wounds of our past, and to the expressions of our emptiness
when loneliness became the beating heart of our existences
and we wandered through hundreds of miles of wilderness
the dishevelled forest of our lust, a lost cause of animal instinct
the grave of the intimacy we lost, the priest that read us our last rites
when God couldn’t keep us alive anymore, when dying seemed better
I bit the ecstatic air like bits of glass to my tongue, like chunks of diamond
to my teeth,
breaking and chipping teeth until my gums bled the life of me away,
sometimes there isn’t a happy ending and lovers are really strangers
who got confused in the rain.

© copyrightmisfit19652009

I found the same sense of connection in this image:

Running thru the fire

Randy Montheith Running thru the fire

Randy Montheith Running thru the fire

© Randy Monteith

… and again a deep sense of connection and longing:

Sonnet To My Soulmate

Dear skin and hands and all things sweet and pure
containing legends deep within the bone,
and holding old romance in their allure
pull me in dreams of you and me alone –

Alone in white rooms, fantasized by me;
alone in orphaned gardens, saved by you;
alone in white-washed castles by the sea;
alone in meadows pale and soaked in dew.

The beauty of your life is intricate
although you may not see its rambling grace;
you’re made of candlelight and fires lit
to warm the pallid shadows on my face.

My spirit flies to you and now I’m whole,
and sweetly, gently, I embrace your soul.

© lilynoelle

… perfectly expressed here:

lovers

vampvamp lovers

vampvamp lovers

© vampvamp

… this is why we put ourselves out there:

The Prodigal Daughter

Thanks to a class offered by a
soft spoken South American professor
who preaches the gospel of creativity
I am whole again.

Seeking the power of steel beams and girders
I had tossed my Muse (my dearest friend) into the sea.
I needed muscle
not watercolor dreams leading nowhere.

I learned to weld and solder
to read blueprints and gauge distances
to hammer and sweat in the sun
until mine was as big as his.

I forgot how to cry.

Finally one day in class (for three credits)
I walked alone across the bridge that
I had built with my own two hands
and found my Muse

waiting
like an indulgent mother
for me to call her name.

Now words and colors and images
leap and dance before my eyes
and I paint golden wildflowers on my bridge
and I sing purple poems
and my tears fall freely now
because I have come home again,
transformed.

It is indeed a form of prayer.

© Maggie Vlazny

…and here this feeling of connection and being part of everything and being yourself is perfectly shown:

The Guardians

MoonSpiral The Guardians

MoonSpiral The Guardians

© MoonSpiral

… and a great sense of being part of it all and being yourself:

Whales on the cusp of everything

Upon waking, before the whale’s sleep drives in and
out of my eyes, I sit: taking in, taking out, turning off—

turning on until a smile births on my face in the shape
of a lightening dark spark—breathing and blooming

in the heart of infinity’s shadow. I am dead; and
more alive than any thing. My heart grows a mouth,

here, beneath and above the pitch of the sea—a baby
in the arms of a forgetful young mother; a whale singing

down the shipping lane sea. When my thumbs are
the only ones still breathing, I rise, a rice-paper basket,

empty, in the fist of the universe, a photo of love
in my pocket, beating with the fragrance of fruit.

© Sesheshet 8 14 2010

… and the connection continues:

after the rain has come

Ingz after the rain has come

Ingz after the rain has come

© Ingz

… ending it with a heartwrenching poem that almost made me cry:

Freeing Myself

sometimes I get soo angry
soo mad I cant even cry
holding that blade to my skin
contemplating suicide

I think of all the times
that I’ve been pushed to the break
my hands are shaking with hate
I dont know how much more I can take

I wish the world would grow silent
everyone would just go away
lifes becoming too much of a struggle
each and every fucking day

I put on my smile
I’m happy is my constant lie
when deep down I am screaming
wishing I could just die

give myself freedom and peace
its not too much to ask
but my mind is slipping
no longer in my grasp
I have too many secrets
that I just cant get past
but I smile real bright
cover it all with my mask

I’ve got alot of issues
that already weight me down
but people keep fucking with me
pushing me deeper into the ground

I dont know what to say
to make my life alright
sometimes I’m soo lonely
I cry myself to sleep at night

then there are the days
where I dont want to leave my bed
I hate it soo much
these voices in my head

I just want to end it all
the pain is to much
the emotions are spilling
I’m loosing grip on the clutch

I want to rip out of my skin
breakaway and be free
no more pain or anger
I just want to be the old me

I want to smile
I want to love life
I dont want to hate myself
I dont want to hold this knife

I’m sorry…I can’t
and you’ll always wonder why
I just needed to be freed
and now I am….goodbye.

© JaNae Boswell


… and leaving you with an image that shows all the longing and heart breaking loneliness of JaNae’s poem:

so much emotion

cerphotography so much emotion

cerphotography so much emotion

© cerphotography

I hope you enjoy this week’s features, Sybille xo

Body parts – Challenge winner

One of our latest challenges dealt with a partial view to our own physical embodiment: “Pieces of us. As whole beings we are beautiful, but focusing in on specific pieces of us can have a tremendous impact”.

Lilynoelle‘s work, a self-portrait, Perfume received the most votes. Here’s what she wrote about it:

Inspired by “Perfume: Story of a Murderer” ~ book by Patrick Suskind, film by Tom Twyker

roses and the scent of a woman …

This self-portrait was inspired by Perfume. The film and book are both beautiful reminders of the gentle, mysterious loveliness that all women have. Virginity is prized in the story, with the virginial women possessing a certain beauty in their Pheromones that make for a perfume so pure, so sublime, that it has the power to control the world (which our anti-hero, Grenouille, chooses not to do.) The story enchanted me and I felt honored to be a woman and virgin – not that being a man is any less important, but hey! We need to feel that beauty can come from something as simple as a scent or virginity. It’s not all about makeup and clothing. A scent of a rose … the scent of a woman.