Forever Puzzles – Features – 18/09/2011

Forgive me, the features are a couple of days late. I forgot, got mixed up with all the cleanup going on.

Sometimes things are fragmented, you’re not quite sure where everything is going and try to find an anchor or a map. This is what today’s features are about.

This image seems so simple when you first look at it, but there’s a world of meaning in the faded red glory.

Fading Passion by © Laurie Search

Fading Passion by © Laurie Search

The words seemed to fit perfectly what I felt when I saw the image.

Venus Goes Retrograde by © Jenifer DeBellis

It never quite goes back to the way it was.

What was once healthy and taut has been pulled
and stretched and ripped, pushing the limits
of what nature’s elasticity was intended to contain.

Life-giving veins are overrun with toxins,
circulating bile and sludge in this river of blood.
Scrambling hands hold fatty piles of neglected flesh
as they droop and dip in their chaotic imbalance.

There’s nothing the latest fad plan can do to fix
the acute symptoms that have been ignored.
There’s nothing modern medicine can do to fix
malignant growth left too long to its own devices.

Surgically, most things can be repaired or altered
to appear as they once were, but to fool a heart
that knew every crease, crevice and flaw?
To restore years of neglect as if it never happened
is an impossibility within a sea of improbabilities.

Yet there you stand, with my heart in your hand.
Seems such a waste of a vibrant, potent organ.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could bottle up our love and ‘bathe’ in it whenever we want to?

Love Itself… by © Tracey Mac

Love Itself… by © Tracey Mac

And here it is – the things you can do, the things you can stand and the things you survive if you have love.

HAVE YOU EVER by © cosimopiro

Have you ever danced naked
on the tip of a flame
or skipped on ripples
of a butterfly’s wake,
have you ever rode bareback
the wrath of a hurricane
or swam the molten rock
of a volcano’s lake?

Have you ever leapt blind
from a shooting star
or slipped down the throat
of a crescent moon,
have you ever touched
the screaming of a devil’s scar
or be trapped
in a spider’s cocoon?

Have you ever flown
in a hungry vulture’s eyes
or walked in a nightmare
of a lonely ghost’s dread,
have you ever drank
the sobs of a whale’s last cries
or desperately held
a heartbreak in a madman’s head?

Well…. have you ever?
I can’t say I’ve had such days,
but hell,
some moments feel like it!
If not for you
and Love’s caring ways
I’d crumble in a heap
bit…. by…. bit.

But things don’t always go smoothly and the devil will have its way and put obstacles in front of us we have to overcome, and rarely do we realise that it was those obstacles that helped us grow until much later.

Me and the Devil by © Jessica Walker

Me and the Devil by © Jessica Walker

The friends we make and lose and re-make along the way…

Catharsis, or, Ode to Former Best Friends by © singerchick

I.
I wonder,
If I wear my argyle knee socks
And the chunky-heeled Mary Janes you adored,
Will I miss you?
Will I miss singing Journey in your kitchen
While helping you pack?
Will I miss the inside jokes, the giggling, and the feeling of belonging?
Will I miss biting my tongue because I don’t want to hurt you,
Or the ensuing drama when I fail to hold back?
Will I shed a tear because I believe you hate me?
Or will I simply smile because we once shared space
In one another’s lives,
And try to be a better (not bitter) person because of
The things I’ve learned about myself in the process (of knowing and losing you)?

Thanks for the memories …

II.
If there’s ever been one constant in our relationship,
It’s definitely inconsistency.
You floated in and out of my life (and good graces) as though brought in by an erratic tide
Or the prevailing winds—
At times carried on a light zephyr, and at others swirling tempestuously—
But always you come back, and for that I love you.

III.
I was truly bewildered by your good-bye,
Yet grew accustomed to the subsequent silence.
Once the self-righteous anger (and pain) subsided, I mourned and moved on
Only to be stunned by your out-of-the-blue apology.
(It’s okay, blue is my favorite color!)
Now we’re somewhere in the limbo between forgiveness and friendship
(Only I don’t know how to limbo. I’ve never been that agile!)
And I don’t know what the future holds,
But I know Who holds it.
I’m cautiously trusting…

Sometimes too much is just too much and we have to keep it at bay and ourselves distant.

Let Your Hand Do The Talking by © James Leader

Let Your Hand Do The Talking by © James Leader

At the end of the day we can only be who we are and not the faces people put on us.

You don’t make sense, why should i? by © DominicSavio

if i
bathe Your
feet
in
tears
will You call me Mary and
remember my
face?
will you embrace me
if I left
my
limbs
in the past?
can
You
stretch out my love
like
elastic to make it
last?
will
You touch me because i dance?
[am i lego
because You always
take me
apart
and put me back
together
again
but You said
this isn’t a coincidence
when
i begged You
“please
no more coincidences
i just need
to
heal”]

There are always dreams…

Dreams by © Matteo Pontonutti

Dreams by © Matteo Pontonutti

And when those dreams are shattered there are the fragments of self, floating around, trying to find a place to settle and become.

Fragments by © ShadowDancer

I come to you in fragments of a dream
pieces & stems
& half chewed morsels of flesh
alive, dripping with honey
bittersweet
my eyes an awkward attempt
at seduction
digging my way down to your open
wound
to lick away your tears

Only sometimes the puzzle pieces can’t be put together again and we have to try and forget.

Trying to forget him… by © Eliza1Anna

Trying to forget him… by © Eliza1Anna

And we start the long process of renewing ourselves, of becoming whole again.

Unraveling by © reindeer

My mind needs an unraveling
a transformation
a disentangling
a freedom from complication.
I am
a reflection
of all that is in it.
What does everyone see?
Engage my mind,
affect my mind…Holy Spirit.
Please
resurrect
and clear
my mind.
Might I have
a mind
like
His?

Hope you liked today’s (belated) features. Please say hello to the artists and writers and let them know you enjoyed their work. xo

The Ways of Travel – Features – 14/08/2011

Since these are the Summer months and many people are enjoying their holidays, I thought travel would be the perfect theme for this week’s features. However, travelling can be done in many ways: we travel to other places, inside and out, we travel with people, we watch other people travel through their lives and we talk of our journeys and impart the wisdome we have gained.

We’re starting with the ‘normal’ trip to another country, another place… Venice – wonderful all year round.

Rialto by © TaniaLosada

Rialto by © TaniaLosada

Rialto
by TaniaLosada


There is something about travel that brings about the best or worst in us. This is the best, when you help your fellow traveller.


courage III by © uncleblack
here, let me take that,
let me carry it awhile

so the forms are made,
lines and colours
create the different shapes.

i can hold this,
sit down, this can be shared

ages wither and fade in time
we learn to prop up the old ones,
learn that our time will come.

you will never see the things
i have seen

the canyon was once a stream,

and i will see what will come
after you

as my skin is still young.

let me take this for a while
season this moment with courage,
let us both taste, now,
the beauty of our lives.


We take trips not just without, but within where there’s a whole universe (maybe many of them) which are well worth seeing…

astral travel by © vampvamp

astral travel by © vampvamp


That’s where the greatest disoveries are made – within.


IT ENDS WITHIN! by © cosimopiro
It ends here!
So… I offer this,
my battered armour,
my sword sheathed in its place of rest,
and I take up in their place instead
a pen and flimsy paper
to wrap you in the words of a condemned man
who finally found his voice.

I am a condemned man;
condemned by religious bigotry,
condemned by political agendas,
condemned by social class,
condemned by racial slurs.

I stand before you
judged by fear and hate,
cast out to the fringes
before the trial began.
In fact I was condemned before I was born;
condemned by the DNA of sin,
condemned by the past guilt of ancestors,
condemned by the stories of conquerors,
condemned by the swift hands of injustice.

I was born with the mark of a devil
and a crown of thorns
embedded deep in my psyche…

…such abuse should never be placed
upon the heads of innocence…

As a child I was told,
“Harden your heart,
toughen your skin,
tighten your grip,
don’t rock the boat, son,
toe the line, boy,
It’s a tough world out there,
no place for dreamers or losers!”

… and I never questioned who made it thus…

… but it is us
who carry the lies and deceits of monarchs, pontiffs, and generals,
we who question not
those who command our youth into wars,
who even in peace time
sit on their golden thrones
and feed us crumbs to keep us pecking.

CUT ME!

… cut me and I’ll bleed,
break my heart and I’ll cry,
threaten me and I’ll be fearful,
but put me in shackles?
I WILL BREAK FREE!
For although I am steeped in condemnation
and I am guilty of silent resignation,
I’LL BE DAMNED
IF I’LL CARRY THIS CURSE ANY FURTHER!

IT… ENDS… HERE!
… within…


Sometimes we find a fellow traveller to share some of the distance with us…

I Found Love On A Two-Way Street by © Tamarra BaVincio

I Found Love On A Two-Way Street by © Tamarra BaVincio


and sometimes we find ourselves alone again, to travel onwards to new destinations.


someone by © Nathan Emery
someone please turn off the sound
of everything
because i’m so damn tired
of listening
eyes are heavy
and i’m worn down
so please love or hate me now-
but choose
because falling off
is scarier than jumping off.

the days are blurring together
into what feels like seconds
and i hate it.
god how i hate it.
everyone is leaving-
oh wait that’s me
and maybe i’m just waiting
for someone to take my hand
and pull me away
from the ledges i always get lost on.
but now i’m rotting
in ten story air.

i wish someone
would just tell me the god damn truth
cause i’m so sick
of second guessing the world
when all I want
is someone to love.
and it feels like tonight will be
the last time i will ever breathe
in your company
and i can’t do anything about it
until it’ll be too late,
cause i’ve always lived
a few minutes behind.

it’s this air i breathe;
i swear somedays it’s poison
and makes my stomach empty
like the words i say.
but i hope someday
someone will hold my hand
and give me an escape;
into their eyes and heart,
and maybe climb the walls
around mine.


When we’re young it’s easy to seize the day, and make every second last a life time. It comes naturally.

Every Second of Every Day by © tori yule

Every Second of Every Day by © tori yule


It’s when we get older that we listen for the silence and our place in it.


Silence Is. by © imagineation
Silence is eraser shavings.

It is the space in-between a smile and a goodbye. A word and the page it is no longer on.

Silence is a mouth interrupted. A hug halfway through. An arm around the waist for a second.

It is the last three words of a sentence cut short. Because no one was listening anyway.

Silence is an unsent letter.

It is signing your name by listening too hard.

Silence is a siren on what must be a busy street, the clatter of what must’ve been a misplaced dish, the beep beep beep of a dial tone.

Silence is when you hear the most

Because you’re listening so hard

For something else.


We watch our children start on their journeys and we hope and we pray.

Run baby, run! by © Caterpillar

Run baby, run! by © Caterpillar

We treasure every moment of all the time we spent together and hope for more.


I Have Only Met You by © kashmirecho
I have only met you
Only known you a short while
And already you are leaving
Traveling across the country
To start a new journey
In a new place
Let’s hope our time apart
Is short in the scheme of things
And that we will see each other again
And spend many more moments together
Making splendid memories
As we have already done


We try to impart some knowledge and wisdom before our ways part.

The Godkeeper 32 by © Alenka Co

The Godkeeper 32 by © Alenka Co

And, once we go on different journeys, what is left but travel within to find ourselves.


What is growth but a difference between now and then? by © DominicSavio

I would do anything for
you
but what do I
do
when the thing I have
to
is nothing?
That’s when
the tables have turned
you see
and the question becomes
not what do I do with
you
but what [the heck]
do I do
with
me?


I hope you enjoyed the journey. Please tell the artists and leave a comment on their pages if you liked what you saw. Have a lovely weekend!

Features July 31st 2011

My theme for this week is women and winged creatures (e.g. birds and butterflies). No particular reason except that after more than one image I liked contained these elements I decided to continue in the same vein. Enjoy!


Butterfly
by fotowagner


Hope
by Elvenspot


Those Watchful Eyes
by Matteo Pontonutti


Branwen
by MoonSpiral


The Owl Lady’s Midnight
by MaureenTillman


The Crow Knows
by MaureenTillman

 
Girl with Magpie
by Sybille Sterk


there was a girl ..
by Alenka Co


COLOUR IS THE BEST FRIEND OF BEAUTY
by GittiArt


Keep Dreaming
by AngiandSilas


So Close…
by Sandra Bauser Digital Art

From Rebecca Tun

TBF Features for the week of July 3, 2011

Hello again, friends. Hope that all of our US readers enjoyed your Fourth of July holiday festivities. Here’s our latest batch of sexy/hopeful/emotional art and writing, chosen by yours truly, Duffboy.

 

Believe in Kindness by 8upchef

Believe in the kindness of others
Believe in their intentions
Believe that there is no hidden agenda

Believe
That even now
In these days darker than others
That a person can show kindness
And then

Believe in kindness

 

My Lord Carpathian by Arcadia Tempest

Reload my arrogant heart
drink of it
if it will please you

My Carpathian Lord
I am not one of the in-tune
lacking of beat
a retracted tempo

Feast on me

Then
drift me to a figment
of imagination
when your savoring
in me is done

I will not remember
cast black eyes into me
slumber the memory of you
leave a vision of what lives amongst the hopeful

She wakes.
She remembers.
She sees in her dreaming a wayward witch who covets the fresh liver of the eye painter to bring color to her dead heart.
She screams.
They gather.
They will protect the painter of eyes.

© K S Hardy 2011

 

Contact (t-shirt) by Manana11

 

 

Pájaros Volados by dmcart

 

 

Inbox is full by msdebbie

My inbox is full
of messages I do not need.
My smile is full
of teeth which crack and bleed.

My memory is full
of words which say so much.
My outlook is full
of possibilities I dread to touch.

What should I say?
I feel empty.
What do I mean?
Nothing.

Something is missing.
I feel clammy with malcontent.
We are missing something.
My inbox is full.

 

Ryan by Jascie Epinn

I know there’s nothing I can say
to apologize for this.
And to be honest, it’s all I’ve ever wanted.
From Prom night
When a boy sang to me
such sweet words as we rubbed hips on the dance floor
“And I will never try to deny that you are my whole life
cause if you ever let me go, I would die.”
And I reveled in it
Those words were so delicate and delicious
But now, after promises having been broken
Bones and hearts and spirits past
Those words disgust me
They are empty, meaningless
Only connoted by displeasure and shame
So how dare you look me in the eye
and tell me that you love me?
It’s all so swollen with raw humanity
I don’t want them
Take them back
I don’t want to be your everything
I don’t want to be the one who is breaking your heart
I don’t want to be her
But I know there’s nothing I can say
to change your heart.

 

Goddess of the Mountains by David Mapletoft

 

 

the shape shifter by frederic levy-hadida

 

 

“Awesome” doesn’t really begin to cover it… by singerchick

If I could invent the words to capture the sunset
I’d fill a new book every night.
But even if I could create a language to do it justice,
I could never keep up with the glorious new hues God crafts nightly —
How much less could I begin to describe the breathtaking trail
Each saline drop etches from your tear ducts to my heart?

 

the radiant sun by hollyann

i have a soft heart
and as such
am easily
loved
and love

i wake up
with a radiant sun
in my mind
that fills the day
with the light
of joy
never to be darkened
by anything
or anyone

the radiant sun
of my mind
reflects
the radiant sun
of yours
and everyone
has this
buried deep
or shining
everyone
not one left out
not one alone
it just depends
on whether
it has been found
behind
distraction
behind
reaction
a peace that glows
there to behold

so look in
there it is
for you to
call upon
the radiant sun
the home of calm

 

Hat and a red rose by fotowagner

 

 

Sea of Flowers by Artof Morgaine

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…

My Own Wonderland

I’m not that into fashion… but I know what I like. Here is a beautiful photograph by Sílvia Dias that is feature-worthy:

My Own Wonderland by Silvia Dias

Model: Abaddon Maiden

Hair & MUA: Andreia Ribeiro

Clothing Designer: Katia Teles

Photography & Edition: Sílvia Dias

Date: June, 2011

taken with natural light

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!