TBF Features (sample), week of June 19, 2011

Hello, fellow art and poetry lovers. This is just a quick update to showcase some of the art and writing hand-picked on Touched by Fire by our cohost lroof:

I’ve chosen images and writings that remind me of my recent journey

 

“Taurus” from Zodiac signs series by Dorina Costras

 

playground by vampvamp

 

Have you ever??? by wildwomenlove

Tickled the cat on the belly
Gone knickerless to work
Read a whole magazine on the shop stand
Skipped lunch and gone straight for dessert?

Worn high heels washing the dishes
Leant over a fence for a rose
Danced naked in a rainstorm
Painted hot chilli red on your toes?

Taped ‘kiss me’ on your friends back
Made your own bubbles in the bath
Sung Madame Butterfly in the shower
Ordered a fake fur rug hearth?

Gone skinny dipping at midnight
Learnt a little burlesque
Tried painting a self portrait blind folded
Enjoyed a chic flic with girlfriend and Kleenex?

Guzzled Perrier watching the sunset
Dipped strawberries in chocolate and munched
Handed out smiley face cards on street corners
Acted on an impromptu hunch?

Have you ever tried tango
Or dyed your hair burgundy red
Sniffed at the musky scent of lilies
Bought silk sheets for the bed?

A little bit of naughty goes a long way
To reviving a neglected heart
Your spirit will sing in your heart space
It’s never too late to start

Have you Ever?…

©wildwomenlove poetry
16.06.11

 

A poem of Sally’s words by Blake Steele

To listen to a recording of this poem

I’m almost home now,
almost at the end of this weary road,
almost within small, welcome fences,
almost circled by curling vines and flowers
where I may lay down safely in someone’s arms
who knows my wounded, torn ways
and loves me, placing their hands tenderly
on me to sooth… until I allow the simple luxury
of slipping into old rhythms.
I’m listening to birds singing ancient songs:
homing songs, songs of wild flight.
I’m listening to the lullabies
of my own breathing,
and the whispered syllables of wind —
the wordless longing of silent love within.
For a moment, I’m a child again,
crying myself to sleep;
until someone wraps me warm in light
streaming through their gentle eyes
and I cautiously let fingers play with mine,
and touch my hair,
seizing my soul in a suspense of silence,
breathless and unknowing —
until words begin.
Your words are light:
like small fireflies in dark woods
where frightening creatures move.
Like feathers of light
they drift carelessly and somber
amidst the fearful shift of shadows.
Now I’m nesting down in two worlds,
still afraid,
yet running towards small lights,
small miracles in the dark,
your words amongst them…

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TBF Features for the week of April 3, 2011

Greetings and salutations, fellow art and poetry lovers. My picks for this week’s features have a flair for drama, hope and passion.

Lollipop Rain by Keith

The Gift by Matteo Pontonutti

Cross Pollination by Sean Phellan

Take me higher by Kym Slark

Steely anguish by Roger Mann

Lost the second set… by Philip Gaida

New Thing by Soxy Fleming

The cracks have grown large and great chunks fallen out,
so I’m eating to fill the holes in the plaster.
An icy cold wind whistles through sad and lonely
I keep eating – those holes they don’t fill any faster.

The stuff just keeps building up great piles inside there,
the holes in the walls remain gaping wide.
That might be a good thing, it may be that something
new will blow in from beyond the divide.

I can’t hide the inside when cracks are a-forming.
I think I can fill them but then, should I try?
The cracks will keep cracking to make a way inwards,
when the doors are all jammed and the walls, so high.

the walls will all crumble
and pile up as bricks
the chairs will all wobble
and turn into sticks
the wind will keep blowing
both fresh and with sting
and one day, yes one day
there will be a new thing…

june, and you are falling out of love by Alondra Blick

Outside it is june again
I can hear the rain trembling
through canopies of green
and it’s all I can do
to stop myself
from ending it all.
Isn’t that what every poet says?
And who’s more brave
the ones that do,
or the ones who don’t?
Evening weeps in
with the smell of honeysuckle
and warm wine,
and I know all too well
the way your body moves inside me
humming,
and the rain is humming
and the way it all crashes together
is a sad soft love
is sea spray drowning the moon
is an ache for you
and for me,
lost inside ourselves
and the inconsolable mess
that we have made
of each other.

Hero None by ManInTheBox

Hero no, none have I
When head upon pillow I lie
Villains cloaked in yellow green
Camouflage heroes in a dream

Quench thy thirst on acid rain
Deliver not a mortal drain
Bleed you none in shades of red
Feast on flesh unholy bed

Hero no, none for me
Darkness falls it should be thee
Rather know thou art not mine
Echoes through this empty shrine

Into the night feathers fly
Knowing not eye for eye
Let bleeding hearts’ veins be blue
Become not hero untrue

Death of Ophelia by Sarah Bentvelzen

My feigned misery,
My feigned madness
Treason of my love for you,
Dear Ophelia

I be the death of you
Grief-stricken
With sadness;
A disease of my mind

Your violets in vain
For I did not offer
A love to satisfy
Your needs

While your rue
Grows unnoticed
In the broken womb
Of our love

Features 20/02/2011 – Softly, gently

It’s foggy out there and all the sounds are muted, which led me to today’s theme.

Laurie’s beautiful image is all gentle and quiet. I love the colours and soft feel of it.

Be Still, My Heart by © Laurie Search

Be Still, My Heart by © Laurie Search

Here’s a little something we do well to remember now and again by Rishani.

A breath by © Rishani Sittampalam

Life is but a breath … a whisper in the wind
Here today and whisked away so suddenly.

I love the simplicity and colours of Peter’s lovely shot.

...seedling… by © peter holme III

...seedling… by © peter holme III

Another gentle reminder of what is important by Hollyann.

one drop by © hollyann

one drop
dries up
all alone
but mixed with others
becomes
a puddle
a rivulet
a river
a flood

feeding gentle fishes
tending the sea weed
crystaling salt
and playing tide music

an ocean of beauty
you know
we can’t do this
on
our
own

I’ve always been a fan of Dorina’s art, and this one is special. I love the title and the way she executed this painting, full of questions and doubt and beauty.

Daisies…and doubts by © dorina costras

Daisies…and doubts by © dorina costras

And here’s another of my favourites on RB – Lisa’s poem is mysterious and magical.

mercy by © Lisa Jewell

her alabaster lip
pouted
seductively

her tangled spirit
rolled
achingly

her desire for touch
spilled
into waiting hands

her tears
washed
all the feet that walked into her heart

her heart
broke down
the truth had been lost in lies

her shadow of a vessel
slipped silently
back into the alabaster jar

A little bit more heat now from Randy. I couldn’t resist this clever image – full of fire and passion and more.

Embers by © Randy Monteith

Embers by © Randy Monteith

More passion, even if it’s of a sad kind by SimplyRed. You can’t help but be touched by these words.

Burning of the old Homefire by © SimplyRed

He walks silently through
pristine snowfall
each footstep…. beating crisply
in time with his heart

pumping heart of lonely
but chilled to the very core
the homefire burns
with thoughts of her

there will be no greeting
of warmth nor doorstep of comfort
no welcome mat
of open arms to make him smile

three winters now
since death stole her
creeping in through
night times darkness
swooped away on
wind of ill fate

vacant empty rooms
filled with memories
their love dusting tabletops
and chairs of comfort

footsteps deep and crisp
homeward bound
life now barron
as winters landscape

his breath fogs
as a single tear
tracks an icy cold chill
upon his cheek

Rebecca’s whimsical image brings new hope.

Rays of Sunlight – Morning Mist by © Rebecca Tun

Rays of Sunlight – Morning Mist by © Rebecca Tun

I couldn’t resist this poem by PJ either. For me it’s full of light.

the colors of lightening by © ShadowDancer

He asked her
“Have you ever seen lightening
before it leaves the clouds?”

She softly smiled
and shook her head in response.

(never daring to tell him
that it has 8 colors
and she sees it
every time his eyes meet hers)

There’s something sad about Ruby’s image, but it’s a gentle sadness, one that has almost given up. Touching, very.

God Help The Outcasts by © Ruby Del Angel

God Help The Outcasts by © Ruby Del Angel

Finally, Mohawk Man’s poem. It seemed a fitting match to Ruby’s image and a fitting end for these features.

the insanity of inanity by © mohawk man

Trapped
in all my freedom’s glory
not a care in the world
nor a worry
save the love of my lives

Caged
by the very uselessness that set me “free”
with too much time
to ponder
the what if’s of yesterday

Hopeless
seems tomorrow
regardless of the dreams
of a young man
with the world in his hands

Enjoy!

Features 1-23-11

I don’t really know what these features have in common this week. The images and writing just really jumped out at me. I think they all have a story to tell and a strong emotion to express. So here you go, this week’s features full of beauty, pain, and all that’s in between:

man
Untitled by Thomas Acevedo

A Walk Down Joshuas Path by Jascie Epinn

Two nights and a day had passed
when we walked along Joshua’s path
You had a cigarette behind your ear
Clearly you could see I was sad
about how we lost all that we had
But you couldn’t stay somber
You turned to me
Your heart in your lungs
And you took my hand
before you sung to me
to me…

And you said
What’s the kind of guy you dream of?
Who is he to me?
What are the kind of clothes he wears?
Cause that’s who I ought to be.
You said
I don’t know if I can find him
But I’ll try my best
I’ll turn my life around
and God will handle the rest

Three weeks and eight months had passed
when we took a ride down Joshua’s path
You had a look on your face that was unclear
Clearly you could see that I was mad
my hardened eyes were iron clad
But you couldn’t stay somber
You pulled over
Your mind in your heart
I turned my head
before you could start again
again..

And you said
What’s the kind of guy you dream of?
Who is he to me?
What are the kind of clothes he wears?
Cause that’s who I ought to be.
You said
I don’t know if I can find him
But I’ll try my best
I’ll turn my life around
and God will handle the rest

Four weeks and two years had passed
when I went walking down Joshua’s path
holding a letter ending in sincere
Because that day, I didn’t crash
but I’d prefer that I had
then maybe I’d forget about that summer
I knelt over
My heart in my soul
and placed that letter
near your bowl
and it reads…

And you said
What’s the kind of guy you dream of?
Who is he to me?
What are the kind of clothes he wears?
Cause that’s who I ought to be.
You said
I don’t know if I can find him
But I’ll try my best
I’ll turn my life around
and God will handle the rest

3 hoods
Sigh No More by Matteo Pontonutti

Drum Solos are Boring by Antonio Raymondo

Stop beating your own drum!
It’s a tiresome sound.
It rings hollow.
It’s got no rhythm.
Like your life, meaningless, shallow!

Stop beating your own drum!
It’s a terrible din!
You’re an empty vessel,
A pathetic charade.
Like a cheap Hollywood set,
A flimsy facade!

STOP BEATING YOUR OWN DRUM!
I can’t jam with that noise!
You’re like a spoilt child
Who won’t share their toys.
When will you stop beating your own drum?
Hasn’t anyone told you that……

DRUM SOLOS ARE BORING!!!

pagan
Sometimes When by Rowanmacs

The Master Drinks life’s Elixir by Blake Steele

Eyes wide open, mouth open,
hands grasping and releasing
the Master drinks Life’s elixir
and gurgles his delight.
In his eyes stars shine,
bears waltz, leopards prowl,
a horse kicks up and prances.
Upon the soft pink mountain
he laughs:
he gave up a kingdom for this,
the fame of a thousand worlds,
even the wild love of his heart:
that woman whose will
had brought down castle walls
and slain ten thousand men.
Someone had slapped him
when he came through the door.
He forgave the poor fool instantly
though something in his bones
would not forget it.
Blind fools! Insolent arrogance!
So much to accomplish here
in another alien world.
So much to do
as soon as he
outgrew his nappies.

hat
You can leave your har on by madworld

Re.Joy.Sing by Cynthia Lund Torroll

Welcome Home
to the place
that is inviolate
to the place
where patience waited
graciously…

The timing is meaningless
It happened –
The joining
of a lost soul
to her hearth
Manifestation
over Cacophony –
a wellspring of pure peace
rendering the outer shell
as window dressing
a tiny fraction
of The Life beneath…

She’ll reside there
without fear –
the impostor seen
and still loved
for all her heartfelt efforts
for all her machinations
she thought she knew
aWay but finally saw
she just had to
get out of Her Way…

The storm is over
The time is still
Sensations tickle
her outer form
She can laugh
She can be
She rejoices
and greets
each noble guest
each mystery
each thought cloud
with Her Beingness…

boat
Comfortably Numb by Carol K

Dark Wings of Night by Redqueenself

Dark Wings of Night

Darkness of the heart
from unexpected paths flies in.
The questions start
and the doubts begin,
flickering in the corner of your eye,
whispering a dark and wicked lie.
Soft wings of grey
flutter with the dawn.
The wolf hour floats away
in the brightness of the morn.
Quivering briefly, just in sight,
faith so hard to grasp at night.

girl
Sweet surrender by Strawberries

Forests of the Heart by Sybille Sterk

Bitter-bitter word shards
Cutting my lips to shreds
Dripping black ink snakes
Onto the pristine white paper
Shaped by the solicitous pen
Into syllables and words

Sing-song word notes
Dancing on the page
In undulating conga lines
From the left to right
Called to order by the pen
Into verses and rhymes

Pineapple-scented words
Flavouring the ink
With little bursts of lemon
Golden sunshine days
Forever engraved by the pen
Into minds and hearts

Pen in my hand
I get ready for the day
Exorcising demons
Banishing shadows
Sharing my heart
Baring my soul

Painting mindscapes
Sketching soulscapes
Growing Forests of the Heart

Touched by Fire features (week of December 26, 2010)

Hello, dear friends. So… it’s time for 2010’s last features. Please enjoy this assorted bits of passion from our Touched By Fire artists and writers. May you cherish all within your life, this and every other night of the year.

My best to you, Duffboy

 

Iceman by Gabriel Forgottenangel

 

Vision by LisaMM

 

[couldesac II] by Bande I part

 

Light by Rishani Sittampalam

 

Miami by Isa Rodriguez

 

catch the wind by vampvamp

 

Culture Shock by lovelyrita

I will never be like you
With your beer bottle in hand
Your hair a parachute, land
on the floor, big feet small shoes.

You wave your Budweiser high
in the air where all can see.
You’re buzzed and you’re a beauty
still – your hands reach for the sky

And I watch you raise the roof
From my lonely letter seat
Wearing shoes to match my feet
I’ll look for lingering proof

That the lettuce you’re eating
tastes like the leaves on my dish
Despite my desperate wish
for flavor’s visit’s fleeting

In each fork and dress and square –
And even your figure-eights
Dry like wine you pour like greats
I add salt and pepper there

You’re a doll and I’m a wolf
Village moppet, discount rate.
Pour another, stand up straight
The camera’s on you.

 

through the vines by robin ellen lucas

through the vines
connecting my blood to infinity
i move so that i can water
your roots.
they reach out to me so…
each with its own strength, its own sound
its own breath, its own life
yet moving together as one.

i find you
where you are raw
not dark
but vulnerable
needing to be held
to feel safe
my breath, my attention
to your every need
your every call for touch
to be an open room
for you to pour your soul into.
you ask that of me
and i hear you.

your warmth has the power to soothe
and pierce me
to puncture the balloon
where i keep my secrets
can you feel it now?
as a bit seeps out
released in the air, to the open
to find its way
no longer trapped, no longer secret.

a veil between you and me
its thin yet it covers
that which we need to protect
until time opens its wings for our flight.

r.e.l. 4/7/10

[ as also posted on my blog … entitled, through the vines ]

 

DO IT, IT’S CHRISTMAS by HamperRefuser

I would love to stay
But
Apparently I am leaving
Not
Through choice
I
Do not control
My
Own being
For
I
Have
People to do that for me
In
This stilted way
How
Could
I
Think
In
This
World of confusion
Fuse on
The means of giving
Buy into it
It is
Christmas
A great
Excuse
For
Armed robbery
And taking someone’s
Soul
That they trapped
In
Commercialism
And
Consumerism
What I take is worthless in
Truth
As it is unessential
To cling onto
That
Idiot box
Think for yourself
And
Be there
For
One
Other
In spirit
Not
For
Financial
Purpose
Merry Christmas
Blinded buyers
Of my
Product
I
Am
Pleased
It is
Always
Coca Cola
Is Santa’s
Suit
Green
Not
Red?

Oops
I screwed you idiots
Over
And over
Again.

 

Rape by ShadowDancer

A smile appears on your face
as you pillage her body and
discard her soul;
as if you told a timid joke
that she could hear
but not understand.

Pain gushes inside of her,
rushing forth like blood
from a morbid wound;
it’s a knife that twists her heart
into a tangled pile of hate.

She is now
but a small scar on the world.
She would rather enter the throne of Hades
than relive that fate-less moment,
for it has reduced her to a painful fear
that she is unable to ignore;
a fear that causes
her to live in a frozen world,
one where she watches
others moving forward
yet she herself no longer knows
how to move on.

You touched her for your own sick joy,
to fulfill some twisted fantasy,
while removing her ability to feel.
You never thought of love or trust,
of the way a woman dreams for it to be.
This is why you are not a man,
you are a serpent, cold, calculating,
and always searching for your next prey,
shedding your skin in between
as if you could so easily discard
the terrible things you do.

She will survive your
probing fingers
and your coy smile possessing no shame.
But you- you have the blood
of her free soul on your hands,
a part of her soul that will forever be pillaged.
This is a mark that will never fade,
even when you change your skin
and smile at the next pray
with your forked tongue
and slithery heart.

Go ahead,
pray for your own soul, bastard,
be assured that no one else will ask
for God to give you mercy,
the mercy you never thought to give to her.

 

Flowers for Kathleen – In Memory of Kat (journal entry) by lilynoelle

A beautiful artist and writer has left us. In memory of her, I would like to start the “Flowers For Kathleen” project: submit a photo, painting, or poem revolving around a flower. Title it “A Flower For Kat” or “Flowers For Kathleen,” etc. If we can come together and do this, it will be a beautiful reminder of our commitment as artists to stick together, and – more importantly – a good memorial for a woman who only lived 23 years.

Here is a link to one of her lovely poems: http://www.redbubble.com/people/katcollins
And here is a link to a beautiful artwork: http://www.redbubble.com/people/katcollins/art/5685684-1-dreaming-about-tomorrow

Peace

Lily

 

Car Wreck by kashmirecho

We were in a car. You were driving, an odd thing because you never drove. I was always the driver. But for some reason you had to pick me up in my car. You were driving my car. I was the passenger. We were driving on the interstate, driving at interstate speeds. We were talking. I don’t remember exactly what about. But you turned and looked at me, with this look on your face. I knew in that instant there was no stopping you. You looked back at the road and yanked the wheel to the left directing us into the median. No stopping us now. I don’t think I even had a seat belt on. I lunged at you and held onto your waist for all dear life. I held on. I held on. I closed my eyes and held on. We crashed. The car crashed. Other cars crashed. There was smashing and grinding and metal scraping. It was a car wreck on the interstate. You caused it and I couldn’t deny it, there was evidence everywhere. But I did not let go of you. I held on. I held on to you because you are all I needed and you needed me worse.

Features for November 14, 2010

There are two ways of spreading light – to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. ~Edith Wharton.

Giving love to our hosts/bloggers. A lot of hard work goes into Touched By Fire, both the group and the blog. Like you, each of our co-hosts have lives outside of the bubble… families, jobs, and responsibilities. Yet, they always find time to devote to our blog and group, sharing gratitude, encouragement, and support with all of us without hesitation. I can’t express how much our little group of volunteers continue to encourage and wow me with their generosity and friendship to keep this blog buzzing along.

These wonderful people are also artists in their own right. In fact, it was their role and quality as artists that made me ask each of them to join TBF. I love the variety of styles, media, and ‘flavor’ that everyone brings to the table, and to see how that affects their choices in features and blog posts.

Touched by Fire, the blog, is nearing it’s 1 year anniversary. I wanted to take a moment this week to celebrate our co-hosts as artists and allow them to get some basking in the limelight they, without complaint, bestow upon all of you. I have chosen to showcase different pieces on the blog than on the features page, simply because I wanted to give their work more exposure than is allotted by the features page. Duffboy, MagpieMagic, Moonspiral, Rebecca Tun, lroof, and Linaji – I wholeheartedly celebrate each of you as amazing artists, incredible co-hosts and bloggers, and especially dear friends.

Duffboy
Duff was one of my first co-hosts and he has stuck by me through thick and thin. He really helped me give this blog a great running leap and was always entertaining us with terrific posts, tidbits, and helpful information. I first came across Duff as a writer. His ability to evoke sharp-shooting emotions within just a few lines really grabbed me. He’s a man of many talents, including photography and film-making.  Here are a few pieces of Duffboy:


Echo
I’m your alternate ending
the button you
should’ve pushed
21 flavors in a single
cup.

I’m the passerby
who dialed 911
mystery man, scape goat
a bomb.

I’m the right words
to say when you need
to seduce, snake charmer,
whenever you must perform
spread legs forgery.

I’m the echo, the real deal
a surface just cleaned.

MagpieMagic
Sybille, otherwise known as MagpieMagic, is a photo manipulator of the otherworldly kind. I have been following her work since I first joined the bubble. Explore beyond her redbubble portfolio and you will find she is a creative in every sense of the world; her own blogs and websites display an array of beautiful things, jewelry, crocheting, writing, knick knacks, handbags, to name a few. She has also helped keep the blog a buzz with her features and giving spirit. Please enjoy a little bit of MagpieMagic:

The Secret Keeper
He stood in the dark wood, doubtfully looking at the moon through the trees. He shivered in the cold air. Before he had time to consider his choices and give in to his fears she stood before him.

Her hair was long and shimmered blue in the light of the moon. Ribbons were tied in it, each with a key at the end of it.

“You are the Secret Keeper?” he asks her.

She nods.

He pulls a blue silk ribbon and a key out of his pocket and shows them to her.

“Any questions before we proceed?” she says with a low, soft voice.

He thinks for a moment, “Will my secret be safe with you? A lot of lives depend on it.”

“Of course”, she replies with certainty, “I am the Secret Keeper.”

He pointedly looks at the discoloured and scarred flesh of her shoulder. “Are you sure? Even under torture?”

She smiles and a soft green glow appears in her eyes, “Yes, I am sure. Even under torture, maybe especially under torture. This”, she looks at her shoulder, “happened a long time ago, when I was a new keeper and didn’t know my power yet. Do you want to change your mind?”

He shakes his head. “What happens now?”

She holds her hand out and after a moment of confusion, he gives her the ribbon and the key.

With another of her little smiles she leans forward. He whispers the secret into her ear, breathing in the scent of her, earth, smoke and a flowers whilst he does so. It makes him feel light headed. He finishes the telling and takes a step back, watching her as she ties the ribbon into her hair and attaches the key to its end.

“That’s it?” he wants to know.

“Yes, that’s it, no more is required. Your secret will be safe with me.”

“What happens if I ever need the secret back?” he queries.

“I’ll find you.”

“How will you find me? I could be anywhere.”

She laughs, and with a mocking tone in her voice she replies, “The same way I found you today. I will know if and when you need me. There is a connection between us now anyway”, she said.

“But how will you know which secret it is?” he asks curiously.

“I am the Secret Keeper and in my presence each secret will always know it’s owner” ,she explains and pulls on one of the ribbons. A key shimmers in the moonlight. He recognises the swirls and curls at the top of the key as the one he has given her.

Her dignity and serenity surprise him. She seems very young for such a responsibility.

“Is it difficult carrying all these secrets?” he wonders.

“Sometimes”, she agrees and then, almost inaudible, “they whisper to me, late at night”, and in a normal voice she continues, “you are full of questions, aren’t you? Remember, curiosity killed the cat.”

He grins, “It’s what I do, ask questions. How did you become a keeper of secrets, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“If I told you that”, she laughs at the look on his face, “you’d have to take over. Are you ready for that?”

He shakes his head and raises his hands, “No, thank you. My job is difficult enough.” He takes a step back to make his point.

“Our business is finished then. Unless you have more questions?” she asks him with a mocking smile.

He shakes his head again. “No, no, we’re done.”

She smiles, “So be it then.”

“Take care of yourself”, he tells her.

For the first time surprise shows on her face. “I will take care of your secret, don’t worry.”

“I am sure you will, but that’s not what I meant. Take care of yourself. I wouldn’t like to see you hurt.”

“Thank you”, she smiles, but this time the smile lights up her face and he finally sees that she is beautiful, scarred shoulder notwithstanding. His fear leaves him and he smiles back at her. He is tempted to ask her something else just to keep her here with him a little longer.

“One last question?” he asks giving in to temptation.

She nods, amused by his curiosity.

“What happens if I die? What happens to the secret I mean?”

“The ribbon and key will crumble to dust and the secret will die with you.”

“Good. That’s very good.”

“Goodbye, be safe”, she says and when he looks up she is gone. There is a tinkling sound as of metal clinking against metal, but then that fades, too.

He stares for a moment at the place where she stood before him, then turns around and finds the path back to the city, his heart a lot lighter than it had been earlier.

___________
© Sybille Sterk

Moonspiral
Tammy Mae is a deep and loving artist that I have adored for some time. Her stunning paintings, women and goddesses with deeply expressive eyes and emotions, typically represent deep-level subconscious or spiritual conveyances. Her work blows me away every time. Enjoy a little glimpse of her stunning work:


Rebecca Tun
Rebecca’s photography won me over from first glance. Just one look at her portfolio and there is no doubt she will go far in the photography world. She is also a model and you may find her in some of her own, and others, work. Her work always focuses on the emotion of her subject along with storytelling. Please enjoy a few pieces of her work:


lroof
I came across Lauren through the homepage layout forum on redbubble. I loved her keen eye for great work, and especially for her ability to put together a collection of pieces that look great together. She is a budding photographer with a youthful, whimsical style that I adore. She’s one of the new kids on the block and came on board specifically to help me out with some of the things I stopped having time for, and of course I love her for it! Please enjoy a few of her fabulous photos:


Linaji
Seriously, is there someone on redbubble that doesn’t know Linaji? Photography, digital painting, storytelling, poetry, and not to be overlooked, her enthusiastic support to everyone else’s work. It’s no secret that Lina is a dear friend of mine, but truth is when I first started TBF I asked her to join me, but with commitments to many other groups she declined my invitation…. for a year. However, I’m a persistent little squirrel so I kept squeaking away at her until she finally had room in her life to be a part of us. Lina is seriously one of the very first persons that I ‘followed’ on the bubble. I found her because of her writing but also appreciated her visual art as well. I love the way Lina’s written word gets a hold of my insides and squeezes them until I gasp.. and the way she is constantly forging new paths in her photography and digital painting. Enjoy a few wonderful pieces of Linaji:

Your Pearls
We were waiting together
The lines of communication were all out
Wired up to find the sound of hearts like our own
Grey matter silver lined clouds
Amassing in the south
Waiting it seemed to rain on our parade.

However, we then looked toward each other
Our peaceful conversation seemed endless
And In our connection
There grew a peerless strength
Within each of us as we remembered
the world was our oyster.
It was then I began to feed you the pearls you were wearing
You took each one with a sensual understanding I cannot
quite describe except to say
I was in awe
My hands touched your skin like raw silk
Smiling you said you liked the itch of remembering with hands like mine
You liked the connection
As did I
And soon we forgot
How painful growing up can be.

Linaji 2009

Love each one of you,
PJ Djennel, aka ShadowDancer

TBF features, week of September 12, 2010

This weeks features brought to you by Duffboy!

10th Sonnet! The Thrashing Crowd by lilynoelle

The heavy ache of longing binds man near
to the relentless march of tired souls
who pass by Paradise in secret fear
that it won’t be as sweet as God extols

They hurl their silent armies in the gloom
and man draws ever nearer to their chants:
a siren’s song too dangerous to consume –
a poison of the heart one ne’er recants.

What makes the souls of men so full of grief?
What potion hath young Circe fashioned now?
There is a need for love and true belief
yet all the world is caught on Sorrow’s bough.

Oh, world don’t join the throngs of grim despair;
Set all your pain aside – and leave it there!

Impotent Sentinels by Tom Newman

A Walking Advertisement For Camera Companies No Longer by Raoul Isidro

This morning, I got myself a very large high performance Artline 100 xylene free black permanent marker.
The one that grafitti artists use on walls.
Back at my desk, I proceeded to black out all bright colours and logos of the camera name brand that was stiched and embelished on my camera straps.
There were quite a few of them to do, as I own several camera bodies.
Off they went for one wash cycle to remove any excess ink that might rub off on to my shirt or jacket, then a slow drip dry beside the radiator.
I am no longer a walking advertisement for these camera companies.
My camera neck strap no longer shouts to the world: “Steal Me!”
I now wear a simple, dull, dark and daggy neck strap.
I like that very much, thank you.

Wither by Randy Monteith

wither by randy monteith

Art Exchange by BrightThing

I have often been to shy too say the words …….

“Please could I paint your portfolio piece..(add title) “

But like the sign that often appears with a “please don’t ask” request, says……

“Refusal can upset”……

So I have never asked “you” if I can use your photo for my oils…..

Here is one I DID pluck courage to ask the artist…..with nervousnessI have to say,
The Lady was very kind indeed!


Brothers in Arms
by rodeorose

If you would be really happy to let me paint something…… please paste in your reply your piece of work…… And I will write to you privately if I wish to pain the specific
piece……

Reasons for painting or NOT wil be personal interest choices…..and not
artitsic comment or judgement AT ALL….

Best wishes to you my friend….

In hope of some lovely ones…..

(I would be happy to consider your requests of me in return.)

Best wishes
Simon

Takeoff by Igor Zenin

Waste Away by Tycatz

You wanted a partner in crime,
Someone to do your bidding.
I let you scrape your boots on my face
As you fed me dirt, sweat, blood…
Never did I let you see me cry.

My voice was weak
And I was stoned.
Your pathetic attempts at throwing rocks
Cut my face
But you would not break my skull.

A mistake it was
For you to underestimate me.
Your childish claims of vampirism
Only made me laugh later.
A disgrace you are to my people.

How dare you ask for my help.
You will never breach my security,
Don’t forget
That I was the warrior,
And I’ve only increased my training.

Show your face at my door,
With one glance I will rip you to shreds.
You may need your hands to fight
But I will not stoop to your level
And choke you as I wish.

These deep pupils are my weapons,
Don’t be so cocky not to fear me.
One glance and I will make your eyes bleed,
A thousand deaths inside your head
Screaming, I will haunt you.

You can not persuade me this time.
The fire in me is lit and burning,
I could control you, consume you,
Send you to your knees.
Not the way you had me on mine.

Do you not recall my power?
Of course not, you gave it no thought,
I wouldn’t hurt you,
No, never,
I would never hurt you…

I never warned you of my demons.
Maybe if I had you wouldn’t have
Given me reason for revenge,
Wouldn’t have been so careless.
Maybe you should be regretting that.

If I wanted, I could destroy you,
Summon a million maggots to eat you alive
And watch them devour you
And you would beg and plead for my mercy
While I sit back and laugh at your crumbling ego.

But you are not worth it.
You are not worthy of entering my thoughts
Or the torment I would bring you.
You will not forget me though,
And you will waste away.

Inner Flare by SuziTC

Her Last Days by Charmiene Maxwell-batten

“You’re here, you’re here,” she said with a childlike smile that always warmed my heart. Hurriedly bringing my luggage into the hospital after having just arrived from America, I dared not miss even a second of being with Mum.
Her blue eyes sparkled as I walked through the door of the hospital room where she lay; my sister was sitting close to her – helping Mum to eat a small spoon of yogurt.
I sat with her after that, not wanting to leave her side. That evening she sank into semi-consciousness and her blue eyes took on a familiar softness.

Every so often she jumped as though frightened, crying out in her sleep “Help – help!”

It worried me, it concerned me. I felt helpless. What was distressing her I wondered? I held her hand and comforted her. She wasn’t able to tell me what happened or why she was frightened. I could only soothe her each time she awoke. Next day I discovered what had occurred in the last few days. A ginger haired nurse had forced powdered medicines down her throat without mixing it with any liquid; it was not easy to swallow and mum choked. The nurse who had been very edgy with Mum, seemed unable to express the gentle and loving receptivity towards people who are ill and frail, it was clear that her heart was not in her work.

That same nurse grumbled at us for sitting around our dying mother in those last hours, she said that there were too many of us and instructed us to take it in turns to sit with her. It seemed that we as a whole family, were a nuisance to her. I wondered whether the nurse herself had a lonely and loveless life.

In spite of the disapproving looks – we all stayed together quietly sitting with our mother as she lay in a peaceful sleep. She didn’t wake up. It was a rare moment where five children sat silently in unison – each conveying our individual goodbye. We did not feel any need to separate. It was a moment in time that was deeply sad; we each had our own thoughts and feelings as we sat as one. Our mother had loved us unconditionally; no words could describe the emotions we were experiencing, but the loving stillness that surrounded our tender sanctuary, said everything.

Within minutes of our Mum’s death the same ginger haired nurse tried to hurry us all away so that she could ‘get on with her work’. We weren’t permitted to sit silently and say our final goodbye in our way. I had felt that the moment of Mum’s death was sacred and I needed to come to terms with what had just happened. The nurse was keen to get the bed ready for the next patient and she made no attempt to hide her impatience. With a face that revealed an imprisoned heart she had no sentiment for such a rare and consequential event. She attempted to steal our moment of love and our poignant farewell to a beloved and cherished human being. I often wonder to this day what caused this nurse to have relinquished her own feelings of sensitivity towards others. I felt aggrieved, I felt powerless and I felt abused by the nurse in a moment of profound and personal vulnerability.

I still have an ache in my heart when I think of Mum’s last days; every fiber of my being wanted it to be different. I wanted her to be nurtured and loved in her final days and hours. But now, mostly I feel that my mother is free and she is surrounding us with her love. I feel thankful in knowing that she is liberated from a painful and difficult body.

The day Mum died I noticed the breezy day outside. Leaves were fluttering in the windy air and I knew that she was dancing with the trees – her free spirit joyful and young again. The moon was deep purple that night, with a pink ring of soft cloud around it – she was close to us – her children. After that month I felt an immeasurable bond with my siblings, I didn’t want to leave England. I returned to Seattle with a heavy heart.

I will always be grateful for the treasured friends that I came to know during the years I spent in Seattle (Washington State) but in this moment, I felt lonely. An unspoken connection with my siblings was deep-rooted and difficult to leave behind.

This is a narrative from my book ‘My Reflections of England’

SEE MY BOOK

Protected by Copyright Charmiene Maxwell-Batten 2009. All Rights Reserved.

Border Security by Michael Jones

The Flight by Blake Steele

I ran down through the labyrinth of the airport, having heard the
last call for boarding my jet. The stewards smiled their professional smile, but I knew they must be at least mildly upset, for the plane had missed its place in the take off rotation because of me.

I squeezed down the crowded aisle and the air was already stale from being breathed by too many people. My seat was 47B. I was looking: 27, 32, 41… some people glanced up at me, but nobody greeted me or smiled: until I got to my place. In 47A sat a small woman, with large, sad eyes. She was beautiful to me, though others may have considered her too thin, like a spring twig on an apple tree. In seat 47C, next to the aisle, sat a seal, round and rubbery with doleful, black eyes that looked immediately right through me and called to me as if I had known it intimately, been its lover once in the blind deep.

No one seemed to notice the seal except the woman and I. When the stewardess served refreshments, the seal had sparkling water, the woman the same, but with a twist of lemon. I ordered a salted mackerel, but they were out.

The woman never spoke the whole trip. She just gazed out the window at the sky as if she looking for something. The seal spoke constantly, but never with words. I felt her warm soul, like chocolate.

After a while I closed my eyes, and images filled my mind of sea birds and barnacles and a thick, muscular shark moving quickly in murky water.

The plane landed, and the moment the seat belt light went off, everyone erupted from their seats and began frantically gathering their stuff, as if they were all late for a wedding, or a funeral. But the three of us just sat there, content to be the last ones off, not in a hurry to be anywhere other than there.

It was then the woman finally spoke, but not to me. She leaned forward and looked straight into the seal’s eyes and said, “I saw them again.”

The seal seemed very pleased, though its expression never changed nor did it clap its flippers. It just felt happy to me.

As soon as the aisles were empty, the three of us disembarked. I left them at the luggage carousel. They had to wait for an over sized cooler of iced fish. I smiled at the small, thin woman, and she acknowledged me with a quiet steady light in her eyes and a subtle lifting of one eyebrow.

When I walked out into the warm light of day I smelled a sea breeze, glanced up at the sun and felt like the whole sky was loving me.

when she opened up to darkness, the stars came down to her by sesheshet

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 .

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
Tremble
I wanted to swim
In the fluidity of my own
Body
But found
That I had nothing to shed
Nothing to
Give
Nothing to keep me
Afloat

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
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
Emotions
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
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.

Fragile

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
Crossroads
Competition
Empowerment
Challenge
Stress
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
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

Shave;
Shower,
Go to sleep.

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

Will I wake again?

Will I wake;
Smitten,
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.

Bewilderment,
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
Because;

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
exists.”

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