Touched by Fire – Features for the week of August 7, 2011

Hi everyone, a few days ago I chose this week’s features. An interesting mix of drama, visual metaphors, sensibility and overall statements. Please congratulate all the wonderful and talented artists. Duffboy

 

“its paradox” by robinellenlucas

ever emerging
all sides
of you

choose the
one in your now
who is
in between
your dark night
your early dawn

rising
because it knows
what to do
…next

is it the
mystery
u n f o l d i n g
its view
its paradox
that chooses
without limits
to protect you?

© r.e.l. 7/20/11

“Your spirit looks a lot like the fog but boy do I know the difference” by DominicSavio

Oh God
Your
spirit
in
vades
my
person
hood
like a
spiral
around
my
spine and
You
wrap
around
my
spirit
man
like a choker
with black
ribbon
and
precious
gems
like
replicas
of
Your eyes
and I
am
ice
without
You.

“The Loop” by RC deWinter

It does no good to say “Forget,”
what is experienced burns in the brain.
It does no good to say “Move on,”
what is within simply follows along.
And not looking back doesn’t alter
the past or wipe away memories, feelings, intent.
If buried, these things resurrect
doggedly as surely as some claim Christ rose from the tomb.
But they appear not miraculously
restored but as ragged skeletons clothed with shreds of flesh,
now grinning, exhibiting their
fragile framework for what it ever was –
a wish, a hope, a dream, a curse –
to accompany silently down all the years
the unfortunate pilgrim who
struggles to make sense of misplaced affection,
unfounded trust, perception
colored by desire and losses that could not be cut,
but must be paid for again
and again with the rising and setting of the
eternal sun.

© 2011 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

“inVisible” by wildwomenlove

As a receptacle for your rape and pillage
i remain invisible
to your lost sense of humanity

As a middle child to the nuclear family
i remain invisible
to your parental nurture

As a daughter to women who cherish men
i remain invisible
to your favouritism

As you label me a person with some kind of incapacity
my achievements remain invisible
to your boxed-in concepts

As an artist in a world motivated by greed
i remain invisible
to your economic rationalism

As a child in a world of responsibility
my childlike wisdoms remain invisible
as they fall upon deaf ears

As a mother waiting tables of bloodline
i remain invisible
to your gratitude and recognition of value

As aging attempts to put all my eggs in one basket
i become invisible
in a society which romanticizes youth

The flame of my Self burns brightly
whether it is seen by others or not
it lights my way

on my death bed I will meet my Self
and all shall be visible
Once and for all

Blessed be

© wildwomenlove poetry

 

“Uncontrollablefailure” by Nathan Emery

She
fell down so far,
out of my reach
but not out of my sight.
I watched her
crash and burn
in the bottom of a bottle of crown
and I tried to reach down
but she didn’t even look up
to see my expression;
the red in my eyes.
I didn’t want to let her go
but she was never
really in my grasp.
So maybe I’m the one that fell;
into a bottle of vodka and vicoden,
to drown her out
to drown the world out…
to drown me out.
She split and spilt in every direction
except the one I was standing in;
just trying to catch her,
trying to clean her up
but missing every single drop.

“lay down now, little sister” by greeneyedlady

i still see him
walking up and down the darkened street
he held a shotgun in his hands
he held our lives as he always had
and two faces too little to be seen
were peeking over the edge of the windowsill
and i was whispering hollow words
lay down now, little sister
it’s just some cats running through the garbage cans

and for the fear he brought down
a father’s raucous shouts and a mother’s terrified cries
shatter the quiet of the night
would he shoot the gun?
she knew very well he might
and she waited
for the night to edge a little toward the light
and when the neighbors said settle down
or we’re calling the police, man
i thought
they’ll take you in and dry you out
and i hope you never get out of the can!

but for any of you who have ever tried
to reason with a wickedly drunken man
well, you know the decision to put the gun down
wasn’t made out of love at all
he just stepped wrong took a little fall
and it dropped from his unsteady hands….
now i don’t know how we ever did it
how we managed to pretend it never happened
our eyes would meet but we’d just look away
and two faces, too little to understand
but never too old to pretend
to be sleeping
in their beds
in that house
in the way that only scared little kids can
lay down now, little sister
it’s just some cats running through the garbage cans…

Artemis by Lynnette Shelley

End by Matteo Pontonutti

White Light by Lissie Rustage

Porcine by Lynnette Shelley

The Pecking Order by Glitterfest

4 Eyes by Paul (Quixote) Alleyne

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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!

Role playing – Writing challenge winners

Once again, dear friends, we seem to have a tie. This time around, Alison Pearce and ClothoTwine put on their literary masks, for this writing challenge centered in role playing. For your reading enjoyment, here are the top 2 works:

One by Alison Pearce

It was a game we used to play a lot when we were young. If we became annoyed at each other, instead of fighting we would simply switch roles. Astrid would bury her nose in a book, flick her hair behind her ear and begin every sentence with “Did you know”.
I would prance around the house in what I considered Astrid’s “prissy” clothes and dance in front of every mirrored surface and bounce up and down on my toes until everyone’s attention was drawn to me.
The original source of aggravation would be forgotten and we’d burst into giggles when our parents got us mixed up. We could mimic each other’s personalities so fluidly that with our identical appearances, it seemed to others that we had in fact truly switched roles.
It stopped being a game and became more of a reality for me on the day Astrid’s physical presence was taken from this world. Astrid was at dance class, I was in the school auditorium running through a final rehearsal before our debate team faced off against a competing school when the storm broke.
It was a freak event people would later say. Astrid had run outside to grab her water bottle from her knapsack only to be greeted by a bolt of lightning that almost seemed to have been waiting for her.
The moment she fell, on the other side of town, I felt something inside me being torn viciously away. It was painful and terrifying, an agony I have never been adequately able to explain even to myself. The closest I could come was to imagine that someone had reached inside me and pulled my heart out with red hot, blunt, knife.
I fell at the same time Astrid did; but unlike my sister, I got up again.
I remember the sudden clarity I had in the moment the lightning struck. I knew exactly what I was losing and my mind had cried out, “God, no! I can’t live without her”.
When I woke up I knew my wish had been granted. It was a strange feeling; instead of feeling like I had been torn into pieces, I now truly knew what it felt like to be whole. A complete person. Now, after I have finished delivering well thought out speeches in front of judges and juries I come home to twirl and dance in front of mirrored surfaces. I tend to bounce up and down on my toes as I read through case files, beginning me sentences with “Did you know” and making sure everyone’s attention was drawn to me.
Twice, Astrid and I have been torn into two separate pieces.
Once in the womb.
Once by lightning.
But now Astrid and I are what we were always meant to be.
One.

© Alison Pearce 2010-09-30

 

Clotho and the World by ClothoTwine

PRELUDE

Before Birth

Far far away (though according to the whole complicated time-space continuum thing, also very very near), the youngest of the three fates waited. Around her in an eternal halo were the gossamer threads of creation. Most people believed she span these all by herself, and in truth maybe she did. It was hard to remember though.

After the first trillion millennia the past became a bit vague. She wasn’t even sure where she herself came from. She suspected some deviant forerunner of white-anglo-saxonism – hence the eternal work ethic. It could just as easily have been a rogue Salamander from the pink ponds of Vermouthia.

The present however, was constantly interesting. Sentient and self-aware, young Clotho The Maker was asquirm with sensation. And she had an idea.

While browsing through the pages of contemporary earth blogs, Clotho had discovered a poem. The poem was about a thread. The injunction at the nub of the matter was to follow ones own. Like a camera lens stuck on wide, there was suddenly a sustained burst of illumination. Not godlike, but more of a laser beam. It struck Clotho in her fourth eye. With it came a realisation.

Of all the skeins of life-silk now shot through the pluriverse, not one of them was her own. She listened to her womb and knew. It was time to create herself.

After Birth

Dust motes floated past. Clotho could feel the prick and rasp of the rusty dumpster lid beneath her bare thighs. A few fetid odours mingled nearby and then dispersed. Born for the first time, confusion sparred with delight. It seemed as if many deep truths were absent here, and yet….the dimension of body now flooded into everything. She swung her legs to and fro, testing.

Before long another body appeared. Shaping the cyberspace beside her with something unfamiliar yet longed for. The shape was almost human. And so it began…

 

 

 

 

Features – 15th August 2010 – Reaching Out

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

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

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

THE ECHO OF EMPTINESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

…….and I wonder…….

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

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

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

© Cosimopiro

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

The Heart Of Everything

The Heart of Everything

© Martin Muir

This next poem touched me deeply:

The Ecstatic Air

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

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

© copyrightmisfit19652009

I found the same sense of connection in this image:

Running thru the fire

Randy Montheith Running thru the fire

Randy Montheith Running thru the fire

© Randy Monteith

… and again a deep sense of connection and longing:

Sonnet To My Soulmate

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

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

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

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

© lilynoelle

… perfectly expressed here:

lovers

vampvamp lovers

vampvamp lovers

© vampvamp

… this is why we put ourselves out there:

The Prodigal Daughter

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

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

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

I forgot how to cry.

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

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

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

It is indeed a form of prayer.

© Maggie Vlazny

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

The Guardians

MoonSpiral The Guardians

MoonSpiral The Guardians

© MoonSpiral

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

Whales on the cusp of everything

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Sesheshet 8 14 2010

… and the connection continues:

after the rain has come

Ingz after the rain has come

Ingz after the rain has come

© Ingz

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

Freeing Myself

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© JaNae Boswell


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

so much emotion

cerphotography so much emotion

cerphotography so much emotion

© cerphotography

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

Features – 23/05/2010

My turn again. 🙂

I love doing features as there are so many fabulous images and great writes to choose from. The only difficulty is that I can only choose six of each. 😦

This time I’ve chosen portraits for the image features. There’s something about the face that’s amazing and these are all wonderful. See for yourself.

The first one is

The Illusion by Cynthia Lund Torrol

I love the emotion and the mystery int his one. And it includes one of the most amazing flowers ever – the Bird of Paradise flower.

The Illusion by Cynthia Lund Torrol

The Illusion by Cynthia Lund Torrol

I’ve teamed it up with

i know everything by greeneyedlady

i know
the depth and breadth
of everything you felt for her
i know the joy
and the elation
i know the sadness
and the devastation
i know everything
you’ve tried to hide
every sweet nothing
every passionate embrace
and every tortured goodbye
i know
i’ve seen it all there in your eyes
you try to pretend she didn’t matter
you try to convince yourself
that you can come back
and i will fill the void
and you think i don’t know
that you’re losing the battle
but i know everything

The second one I selected is

It’s about time by Terry Hinkle.

There’s something so fabulous about this. It makes you wonder what she’s thinking, who she’s looking at.

It's about time by Terry Hinkle
It’s about time by Terry Hinkle

I thought this one worked well with

Sex, death and violence

by Chitrali

Tonight I want sex and violence,

And death.

Oh yes, Death – not of many, not grisly, not butchered nor ‘arty’…
just ‘that’ Death.
Literally.

Yes, ‘that death’ of ‘that one’.
Y’ know the one I mean.

I want to let The Beast out.
I want it to rip and tear and shred to pieces that,
Which it must.
Serve, it’s own justice.

For in ‘that death’, lies it’s own slaying.
For with ‘that death’, there may be no more Beast remaining,
After, either.

With ‘that death’,
I might begin to be born anew…

After all, aren’t all births violent and red?:
A near-death, of one to create another?
A near-death of 2, to become one?

With ‘that death’, sex and violence,
Re-born,
like no other.

One of her many fabulous poems. 🙂 This on struck my with it’s intensity and power.

Perfect Day, Elise by Duffboy

was my third choice. I know, I know, it’s not a portrait, but it qualifies for mystery. This caught my eye the first time I saw it and I just loved it. 🙂

Perfect Day, Elise by Duffboy
Perfect Day, Elise by Duffboy

I teamed it up with

MR. FREER (EMMA)reworked by 8upchef

Monday 13:59
John Freer walks along Ludlow Avenue. A stranger calls out, “Come to the Freebird Baptist Church! Hear the VanZant Choir perform!” Freer accepts a brochure from the crier, and walks on. On the Back is written,

Ms. Emma Mays
14 W 40th
Ovarian. Inoperable

John drops the brochure in the next trash can, and carries on.

Tuesday 8:10
Ms. Emma Mays feels, what she believes is a mosquito, on the back of her leg, and waves it away.

Tuesday 8:12
Emma boards the #8 headed uptown. She sits in her favorite seat, lays her head back, and closes her eyes forever.

Wednesday 15:16
John enters his apartment to find a single Red Rose and a card. It reads simply…

John,
Thank You!
Emma.

John’s heart warms, as a vibration comes from his phone.

This is one fabulous story – just the bare bones, work it out yourself – but marvellous because of it. I love the way it includes the reader and makes the reader flash out the gaps.

My next choice was another not quite portrait, but again it qualifies for mystery and I love the way the light has been used.

Tracey Mac‘s When hope and dreams are far away

When hopes and dreams are far away by Tracey Mac
When hopes and dreams are far away by Tracey Mac

I thought it goes well with

Janis Zroback‘s story The Old Place

At the end of the story I had all those questions and loved the fact that I got to make up the answers all by myself… 🙂

The Old Place

Frank wanted to drive up to the Old Place one more time..

I didn’t want to go…after all we had not been there for more than 30 years and it had changed hands many times since then…why rake up the past!!..too much had happened there that I did not want to revisit…the place always gave me the creeps anyway and since the incident..well I didn’t even want to think about that…

Besides it was too cold…it was December and snow was in the air…the Old Place was miles away…what if we got stuck on that god forsaken road again…but no.. he felt he had to go and I finally gave in…we loaded up the car with the remaning stuff and headed towards Old Farm as it was still called, even though it had not been a farm since the 50s.

Soon we left the paved highway and turned off on to the rutted dirt road, the car labouring over the ridges and sinking into the many holes, splashing muddy water as high as the windows….I marvelled at the sameness of the landscape…nothing had changed….it seemed stuck in the past century…

Just when I thought we’d never get there in one piece we turned the corner and there it was..in silence we drew up and got out of the car…
Shocked, I gasped “where is the house?”… all that seemed to be there were the two outbuildings and a heap of rubble where the house used to be….
The sheds looked lost, bereft of their reason for living…there was snow already on the ground up here and I could see clouds approaching…the house was gone…there was no reason to stick around…I sighed with relief…now we could turn right back again…..I tugged Frank’s arm…

“Let’s go” I urged…”there’s no reason to stay”…but he shook me of as if I were a fly and moved forward, not saying a single word..reluctantly I followed…the hills seemed to press in on us and I felt the old familiar claustrophobia as I got nearer to the buildings..

“You’re not going inside?”…”there’s nothing there..look no more house…they must have torn it down“

He kept on walking closer as if he was being drawn forward against his will…suddenly I stopped…damn..my shoe had stuck in the mud…why didn’t I change before we left?…I stooped to free it and then straightened up…Frank had disappeared…

Suddenly frightened, I ran towards the sheds…”Frank Frank” I called…but there was no answer…

“Frank” I screamed again…but the only sound was the silence of the Old Place.

I really, really love this portrait – the natural light, the slight smile, the beautiful face… there’s just something captivating about this.

It’s just the little glances by Matthew Dawkins

It's just the little glances by Matthew Dawkins
It’s just the little glances by Matthew Dawkins

To go with it a great poem of self affirmation and inner strength.

….never enough? by JaNae Boswell

When they look at me
I wonder what they see
Another mixed breed
My ancestors history

Just a incomplete girl
To never belong in the world
Never to fit in
Not the right color of skin

Too Dark
Too Light
I’m just not quite..
good enough to meet your standards…

have you felt it..
Unaccepted
Rejected
Well I can never be perfected
from the colors they see

will they ever understand
how it’s been so rough
how it can be so tough
that to some I will never be enough

Should I just swallow my pride?
Should I just stand aside?
and let them walk all over me..

On either side I choose
There is someone I might lose
Its given me an open mind
It’s made me colorblind
I only have eyes for the beauty in life

Well this is what everyone must see
I’m still me
Even if to you I’m not right
African American and Chippewa
my French blood makes me light
I don’t give a fuck what you say
the world is revolutionizing its histories ways
Sorry I’m here to stay
haven’t you heard the news
I’m starting up a brand new day.

The final selection is

Enjoying the Applause by Berns

I love the emotion and depth of this portrait. It’s of the moment and captures it so well…

Enjoying the applause by Berns
Enjoying the applause by Berns

The final written offering is

Macolm by Trenchtownrock

I let the poem speak for itself. I found it touching, powerful and intense.

You are Malcolm
the red headed negro boy
who manifested
before the eyes of sixties America
into that venom that needed to be silenced
you were never Martin
who preached kissed the other cheek
while the other cheek
shackled him
with memories of middle passage
you were never Gandhi
who fought his British daddy
with hunger strikes
non violence
while his head got split opened
waiting for heaven’s redemption

you were the by any means necessary negro
who stood by his window
with loaded AK47
gently peeking through curtains
ready to avenge the loss of your papa
his papa
slave masters
whose lack of humanity
was written out of history books
and whose legacy still can be smelled
their fragrance hidden in America’s bosoms

you brought dignity to the ghetto
with your well dressed Islam
telling the black man to love self
before the white man can love him
you found a new respect for women
and stood on crate boxes mountain high
calling out house Negroes
who thought they had arrived
with the shilling and pence
dispense
their chicken came home to roost

but before that twenty one gun salute
was fired in your chest
while your wife and children
witnessed your funeral dress rehearsal
you brought America to the mirror
one more time
telling her about her apathy
for the colored
letting her taste some of her vile
as your blood flowed
down the river of soul brothers
with Martin
and Evers
washing away the stench
momentarily
etching your offerings
that will be forever read
on America’s tombstone.

I hope you enjoy this week’s features. They certainly impressed me. 🙂

Embedded literature (teaser)

There are great ways to share our work as writers and reach new audiences. Though I haven’t received much feedback on my profile, I acknowledge scribd.com as a powerful channel to readcast your words, and have them downloadable on several formats. A few minutes ago, for instance, I uploaded a Word document, now available to you, my dear TBF friends. I call it, Tuesday Afternoon EP. Continue reading

Imaginative Pencil – Justin Jenkins

Justin Michael Jenkins is a professional artist, writer, illustrator, and designer with a unique style of bold surreal pencil works. He specializes in the mediums of colored pencil, acrylic, and pencil. His approach involves the arrangement of color, form, shape, and the involvement of positive and negative contours within the overall composition. The complex intricacies interplay and come into balance with the overall flow of the theme of each piece.

When you visit his myspace page you get a glimpse at the man behind the art. I most appreciated this quote: “In all my travels and experiences the one thing i learned is that in matters of life, the HEART is the only pure way to express. When we use our heart the intended subject will feel this in a more positive and genuine way. This will also reinforce the strength of your SPIRIT and ultimately heal your SOUL.” Please enjoy a few pieces of his work, or visit his website Imaginative Pencil.




Writers beware

As I shared with ShadowDancer and through Twitter and Facebook, I was pretty excited about the possibility of my first short novel being published in the english language through an enterprise called, among several things, Strategic Book Marketing. My skepticism said: “Not so fast, Duff!”. I asked Romi Moondi, a fantastic writer/blogger and overall positive soul, if she could shed more light on an email I received from SBM. I share with you some of her insights regarding the “joint venture” they were proposing. Hope this serves as a proper cautionary tale:

You mentioned this literary agency/publisher. Are they one in the same? They should be separate and distinct, otherwise it is a conflict of interest (i.e. a literary agent will target the publishers that work with them, so that they all make money except you). The truth is, you should not have to pay a dime to publish your book, unless you specifically take the route of self-publishing and doing all the work yourself. But if a publisher is working with you, you should not be paying, otherwise it is a vanity publisher (i.e. fees, but they won’t actually sell a lot of your book).

And I noticed that they mentioned if your book sells 1,000 copies with them, they will “almost certainly” publish your next book at no cost..well what does “almost certainly” mean? Continue reading

The Dreamy MagpieMagic

Sybille, otherwise known as MagpieMagic, is a very prolific artist. She churns out fantastic art pieces, one after the other, hosts her own blog, writes, creates magnificent jewelry, knitting, and wire crocheting, just to name a few. I’m excited to announce she has joined the ranks of a TBF Host & Blogger to help spread the flames of touched by fire.

Here are a few of my favorite things created by this dreamy and oh-so-talented artist:

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?”

click here to read the full story

Nymph by MagpieMagicSoulscape by MagpieMagicBlossom by MagpieMagic

Please visit her site on redbubble, her blog, and her etsy shop for more of her fabulous stuff. I’m excited for everyone to get to know her as she contributes to our fun group.