Features 24th October 2010

A few weeks ago I launched a challenge called Happiness in Blue, where I asked people to submit images that portrayed or evoked positive feelings while predominantly using the colour blue. In continuation of that theme I decided to base this week’s features around the same theme. Here are six pairs of pieces, a piece of writing with an image to go with it, or the other way round if you prefer, which complement each other in their portrayal of something happy.

This image by Mugsy is really exhilarating and just pulsates with joy. I’ve put this one first because it’s definitely the most straightforwardly pure depiction of happiness out of all my choices. To me, the dolphin launching itself over the crests of the waves with such fun, freedom and strength is the very picture of those rare moments in life of clear elation and confidence described in the poem ‘yes!’ by LoveWitness. The poem talks about being on the highest peak; the moment with no questions; the absence of fear; freedom; promise; delight, and screaming YES with all of your being. We can’t go round in a perpetual state of great hope and surity, but we can always draw strength from the times when we have been in that state.

SURFIN’ by Mugsy


yes! by LoveWitness
remember the pure feeling of joy
recall the sound of your laughter
in your happiest moment
remember the touch
the one that touched your soul with kindness
remember the look
the one that felt like the early morning sun
breaking the darkness of the night
remember the cheer
that made you feel as though
you were on the highest peak
remember the calm
the love that quietened your soul
the moment with no questions
because of the assurance of peace
the absense of fear
remember that purity
that freedom
the promise of the morning star
that yes
that yes
that made all the no’s
a delight
that yes
when you screamed
with all of your being
it is all there

(c) siki dlanga
13 Oct 2010


I love this poem by Blake Steele and this beautiful drawing by LisaMM, which I think could be a nice depiction of the spirit of the woman in the poem as she is described in the first half. I found it hard to choose a favourite Blake Steele poem for this week because so many of his works please me in the way that they really elevate sensual experience and other primal feelings into the higher and most enlightened forms of happiness. This image, ‘Bliss’ I think achieves the same thing – it’s saying ‘I’m passionate about sex’ and defying anyone to call that shallow or crude. And to round it off, LisaMM writes that the image was ‘inspired by the sensual delight of Klimt’s work’.

Bliss by LisaMM


You are beautiful
because you are sexual
in a fuller way:
with childlike open innocence,
deep feelings of wonder,
and the steaming forth of spontaneous joy!
Your energies swirl
like wild hair about your face,
whirling out of your beautiful body
which you have trained,
mastered, made free,
so that you may both laugh and play
like any free child,
then turn suddenly to silence and discipline
if you choose to stay up night after night
— sleepless, weary, raw —
that you might paint masterpieces
upon bathroom walls.


This image by TamLocke might seem an odd choice for the theme of ‘happiness in blue’especially given the title ‘wishing for you…’; it’s an image of ending, and dimnishing in strength, and the moment before complete loss. But I can see a happy message in this too, which I think is expessed well in hollyann’s brilliant poem ‘Time’. Sometimes it’s appropriate to hold on, and then there comes a time when you have to let go, and we can’t stop this change from happening in ourselves. One day you just wake up and the last remaining thing that was weighing you down in the old life just floats away without ceremony and you calmly note that you’re standing at the beginning of a new and unpredictable phase of your self, ‘leaving old scars and new potentials’. For instance realising that you’re not going to go into that career after all, or deciding that you finally don’t mind any more that he/she left you. I was reminded of this poignant poem by Emily Dickinson: “We outgrow love, like other things / And put it in the Drawer— / Till it an Antique fashion shows— / Like Costumes Grandsires wore.”

wishing for you… by TamLocke

time by hollyann

there is a time
for moving on

a time
for staying still

a time for dreaming
a time to act on the dream

there is a time
of realisation

there is a time
for watching
and a time
for taking part

this moment now
will pass
and different from the rest
will never come again
leaving new potentials
and old scars

the sun will pattern
the wall
and shadow
the room
in it’s journey
leaving the stars
to decorate the night

and i here
am watching
their distant light
as time
ticks by
and leaves me standing
looking up for answers
praying for the
not to hold on
too tight


Another poem by hollyann here, accompanied by this beautiful image ‘Ray of Hope’ by valzart. Both say something about our relationship with nature, in the sense that we can use the phenomena and rhythms of nature to guide our feelings in the right direction, and to an extent this happens involuntarily anyway. As well as dawn and sunrise, there are various other images in nature which can signify new hope, such as Spring, and birth.

Ray of hope by valzart

the rising by hollyann

wake up day
your horizon
is glowing with new promise
the pale lavender edge
gives way
to a magnificent dark blue
further up
is nothing
is everything
we breathe in

the morning sky
is bidding us rise
take haste
take heed
and make your day
for the beauty
of this world is
ever changing
and we
are grains of sand
filling it up
and shifting
at the shore
we still exist
but not
never waste
an earthly dawn
fuelled by last night’s
dream treasure
digging deep

now rise
and find your feet


Continuing the theme of sensuality, I chose this photo ‘Extase aquatique’ by Auquier, which has an interesting mix of smooth, warm, voluptuous textures with sharper, cooler visual representations of pleasure such as the glistening jewels of dancing light. This poem ‘Pathways to Pleasure’ by Anthea Slade, dense with diverse luxury, paints a series of different pictures, each with its own colours and flavour. Auquier’s photograph shares some things with this stanza in particular: “Soft glow generates generous heat, / sizzling with lucid hunger. / A spontaneous quiver that pulsates / the skin making the flesh ache.”

Extase aquatique by Auquier

Pathways to Pleasure by Anthea Slade

Sinuous skin with supple curves
that burst in graceful dismay.
Lithe sensuality that skips
through delectable daisies.

Speechless dirge that teases
with tantalizing seduction.
A knowing eye that magnetises
to the point of soul surrender.

Languid lovers lament that
sings of unrequited fantasies.
The tick tock of transparent dreams
that etches ways to forbidden pathways.

Beckoning red wilderness
ceremoniously carves tracks
into streams of tantalising vision.
A whisper kiss that creates an essence ache.

Heart embers can be startled
into dance with a poke of pleasure
from a punishing stick of desire,
that captivates delicate wings.

Transparent liquidity stimulates
the tumultuous tumble of articulate minds.
Creating blossoming flowers of inspiration,
unlocking Pandora’s mystery.

Soft glow generates generous heat,
sizzling with lucid hunger.
A spontaneous quiver that pulsates
the skin making the flesh ache.

A torpedo of sultry desire that provokes
the balmy body to shiver,
arousing a longing pink rosebud,
to open with spectacular delight.

Damp dreams of spontaneous sexuality
stutters and slips into a tattoo
of breathtaking beauty on the soul,
etched forever in a secret cave.

Fertile imaginations trip and
skip over all that is banal,
pedestrian, dull to luminous heights.
Smouldering seduction radiates from your lips.

The ability to see the process of emotion
from the blood veins in
the mind trip to the heart connection,
thoughts transported by their utter expression.

Gentle whispers that tickle with dulcet tones
into the tunnel of the ear to the
the doorway of a receptive mind,
that smiles with scintillating life.

So many pathways creative,
aching images divine,
juxtapositions poetic flow
to the blood beauty of your heart.

Anthea Slade 2010


‘Dreams and fantasy : the Evening star’ by Amalia Iuliana Chitulescu is ‘second-order’ happy I suppose – it depicts a mental state in reltion to an imagined happy thing, some dream or wish or fantasy, but I think the use of the cold blue tones and the drooping cloth makes us ask ourselves how much happiness we get out of fantasizing (which could be a lot, but the question has at least been raised). I like the title because the Evening Star is the very same as the Morning Star; one star was mistaken for two as given two names. But this doesn’t make ‘the Morning Star is the Evening Star’ a tautology – which goes to show that just because terms have the same reference it doesn’t mean they have the same meaning. And talking about fictions also goes to show that you can have meaning without reference. ‘SHALL WE?’ by Paul (Quixote) Alleyne paints a picture of an imagined situation, but his invitation to partake in it is put as if it is real, largely because the clause is introduced by ‘when’. It has meaning, but no reference.

Dreams and fantasy : the Evening star by Amalia Iuliana Chitulescu

SHALL WE? by Paul (Quixote) Alleyne

Shall we dance
Under the stars in the sky
When the moon is at it fullest
And the perfume of flowers
Permeates the cool air
And I am in love with you again

Paul Alleyne 01/24/08


One thought on “Features 24th October 2010

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