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


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

Happier, healthier – Challenge winner

Hello, friends. It’s time to share with you the most voted work in one of our latest challenges: Happier, healthier. The concept:

Art inspired by medication. You or someone you know may have experienced with an affliction that required a physician’s prescription. Share your art or clothing with medicated themes.

This not too popular challenge was inspired by octobray‘s piece Numb (be sure to comment on it).

Now, to our winner…

“And just who the hell wrote this damned book anyway?” by Helen Ruiz

What the artist said:

Acrylic on canvas (from my time series)
Someone once gave me a book on coping with chronic pain///LOL..didnt work

TBF Features – June 20, 2010

“Run your fingers through my soul. For once, just once, feel exactly what I feel, believe what I believe, perceive as I perceive, look, experience, examine, and for once; just once, understand.”

It’s time to experience the passions of life through the eyes of someone else. Be prepared to be awash with emotion from the following features.

Water Souls by Ming Myaskovsky

for Mariette by Wingpoem

And we talk
Of lambs and doves
Trust and friendship
Marriage and poetry
And we play
In deepest sincerity
And nakedness
And we love
For what else is there?
And we laugh
Because we need to
And we cry
Because we can’t hold back
And we come together
Because it fulfills

New Beginnings by Cherie Sayer

new beginnings by cherie sayer

The Number © by Hector A. Encinas

I want you to know.
I’m not coming back.
Shut the screen off and,
look into my eyes,
Before I go.
I’m not coming back.

If my soul had been a dog.
I would have drowned it,
At birth.

I keep thinking of the dirt nap.
And my mouth buzzes’ like a fridge.
I don’t know myself anymore;
And I don’t know my nature,
Like I probably should.

If I could,
Keep writing what I write.
What comes to me from inside;

I wouldn’t want to.
I wouldn’t,
Want to know who I am.
I don’t.

Ill take the midnight drive.
A hundred past miles an hour.
I’ll take the midnight drive.
And take that final flight,
Off the road,
And into eternal night.
Where I’ll see death in the eyes with o fear.

I want you to know.
I’m not coming back.
Look into my eyes,
I’m not coming back.
I’m not coming back………….

(And for a minute there, I lost my self.
I remembered her.)

I lost my self, deep in her soul.
That light that I had thought extinct,
From the human soul.
It was.
She was something to have faith and hope for.
Something I had lost in complete.

Id found myself in the dodos conundrum.
Wanting to take flight,
And not having the wings to do so.

I lost my self, deep in her soul.
Almost like falling in love with something you don’t know.
I came back to life.
That night,
On the midnight drive.

And for a minute there, I lost my self…..
I lost my self…..

She did quite “the number” on me that night.

Keys by Cherie Sayer

inhaling the heaven or hell of you by Kristin Reynolds

I wish I could say
i smelled you coming
from a mile away—
but all angel’s scents
are one in the same:

graveyards, birthdays,
static and gold,
weapons and blood,
darkness and light.

One way or
you found me

and i
breathed you


© Kristin Reynolds 6 19 2010

ironing out the matters of the heart by helene ruiz

ironing out matters of the heart by helene ruiz

everything and you. by Alondra Blick

It’s really like a symphony, if you listen close enough. Deep enough. Drunk enough. The difference is, I liked classical music, until I met you. I never liked beer, until the taste was like your lips meeting mine, the first time when we were shy. It felt uncomfortable in an exhilarating way. The millions of miles of skin that were still unknown. The lives and the friends and the habits and the way you moved in bed, worried to wake me, unsure of my sleeping patterns or how I’d like to be held. And the feeling of your body, returning to the sheets still damp with soap and a shower taken before waking hours. I would have liked to love you then. Would have liked to picture us standing still, eyes awake and unchanging while the blurred lines of light and lives and memory rushed by us. I would have loved to watch our bodies tumble down the years, gracious and quiet. And on the first night, I dreamt you had changed your mind, and so I buried my head into your back and spent a minute just memorizing the moment. The feeling of your breath shaking your soft frame, and of the mingling of our skin, and the smell of you, and the delicate morning hesitating to push forward. But life moves heavy and quickly and the streets empty and fill like the sea and the waning moon, and small and large things grow steadily, and we are of no consequence. We do not listen to voices in sleep who whisper our mistakes. In another time perhaps, we would have mourned the past, and prayed and shaken the coating of winter from our shoulders, hushed and cold, and moved ahead to the sound of the ritual spring. But instead we gathered our clothes, arranged the morning and made remarks about the future, like it was a living thing that belonged to us. And from the kitchen I could hear the road soaking up the rain and see the mist soaring upwards each time a car or truck passed through. And soon all these things, and all the others would be fragments, nonsensical and vague. Part of a distant time. Mixed up with things that should not have been there. Cluttered halls, and strip malls and afterhours, and the moon, and bars, and cafes, and desperation, and routine, and strangers, and city lights, and admissions, and guilt, and the cold.
It’s really like a symphony, if you listen close enough.

blue profile by frederic levy-hadida

blue profile by frederic levy-hadida

Talk to me by Siki Dlanga

When you talk to me,
I forget that I exist.
Your words become me.

(c) siki dlanga

mind set, 2010 by flovie

mind set 2010 flovie

Nobody’s Son by Trenchtownrock

I have had many saviors
hung around my neck
rosary prayer tears
fragrant offering
the old and new Jesus
gully baptism
still can’t wash
stench of
what never was
what could never be
planted roots
in the earth’s surface
trying to be born
of something
rotted corpse
the I am
without flesh
try to replant
seeped through skin
history’s seed
my twenty first century
Pilate’s edict
head to toe
midnight hanging
holy water
springing from veins
imperfect gods
becoming perfect
born to be sacrificed
I stopped being afraid
once my mama pulled me
from between her legs
stripping away the umbilical chain
looking at me with closed eyes
trying to stuff me back
in her tomb
a mother’s love
hymen doors closed
modern day Mary
without the immaculate daydream
job completed
heard through a baby’s cry.

TBF Group Art Features – Week of January 31, 2010

“There are moments in life, when the heart is so full of emotion That if by chance it be shaken, or into its depths like a pebble Drops some careless word, it overflows, and its secret, Spilt on the ground like water, can never be gathered together.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I believe this quote and these beautiful pieces of art speak for themselves… if you are touched by them please visit the artists pages and leave a comment.

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