Monday, November 17, 2008

Never Let Die

Never surrender
your ability to burn.
To light up,
and be consumed.
Never surrender
your ability to blaze,
Flare up,
And never let die.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Life Called Love

I thought we could be something,

you know?

Something new,

shined and polished.

I thought we could be something --

you know, something --

Fitted into two halves

so we could round up

to make a whole.

Something well planned,

thought out,

cleaned and sanitized.

I thought we could be like

neat little words,

all stacked up on paper

in perfect, parallel rows --

We could wash our hands

of the ink and paint

and all of the

smudges of soot

that make up this




I thought wrong.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Lesson in Reading Poetry

Hello there,

It has come to my attention over the course of my English classes that even a lot of people who are English majors do not know how to properly read or enjoy poetry. And yes, it is a pleasure that can be learned -- poetry is a fast evolving and changing tradition, and its much less popular than it used to be, so many people don't enjoy poetry because they never learned how poetry is supposed to be read. Hopefully this tiny introduction will open the doorway to years of happy poetry reading ahead of you.

1. What's the point of poetry?

Poetry is as broad-ranging and diverse an artform as you can imagine. The "point" of a poem can be as simple as relaying a single emotion over a few lines, or as complex as challenging an entire society and government over hundreds of pages. Poetry does have something universal to offer, however -- it serves as a window to the human experience, a way of living other people's thoughts and ideas through words. Poetry expands the human mind through philosophy, emotion, and truth that extends back thousands of years.

2. Poetry is not Fiction

These days people pride themselves on how fast they can read. They speed through 500-600 page novels in a weekend and feel satisfied, having thoroughly enjoyed the story. Literature wasn't always meant to be read that way, however. In the case of poetry, it is much more enjoyable to read slowly. This can be hard at first for people who are used to reading fast, because our eye wants to speed along the lines and get to the end, but in a poem the placement of every word and linebreak is meaningful. Therefore, in order to get the full meaning and picture of the poem, one must read slowly, savor each line and linger on it before continuing. Of course, some poetry doesn't require you to read as slowly as others, some poems are easily understandable and simplistic while others are much more complex and stylized. Both, however, are equally enjoyable if you just adjust how fast you're reading and engage in the poem's message or energy.

3. Sometimes it's about imagery, not meaning.

Sometimes people read a poem and go "What the heck was that? I don't get it." Yeah, well if anyone ever tells you they've understood every poem they've ever read, they're lying. That's part of the beauty of poetry -- in a sense, it is a mystery; there is a certain amount of freedom and interpretation that happens between the author and the reader. Sometimes the nice thing about a poem isn't so much the meaning behind the words but the imagery that is used, or the expression of a certain atmosphere. So don't read every poem like a robot expecting everything to be literal; you have to read it with your feelings, and understand that sometimes when a line doesn't make sense grammatically, its meant more as an image to communicate a feeling.

4. Poetry is painting with words.

Poems are about images, not rhyming. One of the reasons a lot of my classmates don't seem to get poetry is that they don't know what to focus on. A poem can rhyme, yes, but that's not the point of the poem - the point of the poem is its imagery. The image in the poem is what impacts the reader emotionally, be it of a raven or a summer's day. Rhyme vs. non-rhyme has to do with the tone the author wants to communicate to the reader, and is mostly up to your own interpretation. So don't focus on whether the poem rhymes or doesn't rhyme, poetry and song lyrics are not the same thing, though at one time that was arguable.

5. Don't be afraid to be wrong.

That's the thing about poetry -- there's no right or wrong answer. You understand poetry better the more you familiarize yourself with it, and it is a very enjoyable artform once the eye and brain adjust. So find a poet you like (because we all have tastes), take half an hour, and enjoy a few poems.

Have fun! :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mini Poems

Each numeral is its own separate poem! Don't try to link them together, you'll be vastly confused. :)


Don't ask me
to write anything

All words fall.

Such are
dying things.


We spent years
trying to love
only to find
that we couldn't love
because we were really
in love


We blamed them
because we weren't good enough.
So we needed to blame.
We could have just fixed it --
But that's why we throw stones
Instead of climb hills.

He lectured viciously,
poised to strike,
a feral beast,
King of the classroom.

May we one day know
such passion.


You left.

When you came back,
it was your silence
that had changed.

We listened together.


We were in love today;
a little bit, at least,
but tomorrow will be better.

That's what she promised me.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A person owns this room....

You know, a person owns this room
despite the cobwebs and the dust;
Unwillingly, I must admit
she doesn't like to clean that much.
But she loves her pretty things,
her baubles and her figurines,
a hawk with somewhat regal eyes,
a dragon with twice-broken wings.
The fairies that adorn her walls;
The sunbeams and the porcelain dolls,
the books half-scattered cross her floor,
of love half-won and kings half-poor.
This is the room of someone's soul,
whose feet may not quite touch the ground --
But whose mind is ever wandering,
and needs not touch, nor taste, nor sound.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I saw two souls....

I saw two souls walk side by side,
Their hands fast-clasped and smiles wide --
and step by step,
they glowed a bit,
Enough to take the night in stride.

It seemed to me they were in love,
and fancied themselves an honest pair --
with quiet looks
and easy breath,
They silently took the still night air.

I hope to have that love someday,
the silent kind, that stays and stays --
Yet seems to me
It will not be;
For what soul walks where my heart strays?

The Nature of Love

"Thank you, but I'd rather dream...."

Thank you, but I'd rather dream,
since love is such a dreaming thing,
and no heart wears the dreaming crest
as mine, a wan and weightless ring.
I'd rather walk the moonlit paths
and imagine where the road might go,
than travel the weary, dampened steps
and confront what harsher day might show.
So thank you, but I'd rather sleep
and bury myself in love less common,
than tread into the meadows deep,
just to find my dreams forgotten.

"If someone had told me...."

If someone had told me before I loved
that love would fade, like autumn leaves --
and please, that someone could have told
the garden path and all the trees.
That someone might have said a word
and warned the flowers not to bloom,
and chased away the Spring that year,
the laughing sun and amorous moon --
And oh! If someone could have spoke,
and whispered all the perfect words
to shield my heart before it broke
and fluttered like a dying bird --
If someone had chanted in my ear
that some day love would surely fade --
Then I'd have passed a smiling thought
and loved you dearly anyway.

Show Me

Show me where you kept my heart
and I'll show you where I kept my wings,
the ones I used to fly away
when I was willed to break these chains.
Show me where you kept the lock,
and I'll show you where I kept my key,
The one you always tried to find -
Alas! But could not take from me.


This secret lies 'twixt you and I,
That I shall wait and ask for thee --
and ask and ask,
and wait again,
until life finds it right to send
your presence to my company.
Dare I hope you'll do the same?
To wait and wait,
and ask again,
Until love finds your way to me,
And joins us as two hearts should be.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tiny Poem

I imagine myself a bigger thing,
Like the forest, or the sea,
An ever-growing mountain range,
The sky that stretches endlessly.

I'd like to think that all these things
Are somehow all contained in me,
But though my heart knows not its size,
The world reminds me constantly.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

True Faith

True Faith

String me,

tune me,

become me

and play me,

Focus me

and let me sing

your Song.

Expand me,

contract me,

Blind me

and deafen me,

challenge me,

unwind me,

and let me play

your Song.

Crash me

and burn me,

Ruin me

and torture me,

Push me to the brink

of what it means to be a man.

Destroy me,

Delete me,

scrap me and bleed me,

shove me to the bottom

and then scrape me off the top.

Give me the spectrum

of suffering

and dreaming --

Give me the full choir

of what it means

to be your Song.


For those who are willing to be Instruments, it is through burden and suffering that we learn to better serve our God. So teach me, teach me, teach me....

Friday, September 5, 2008

Smaller Places -- Edit

I seek the smaller places,
The older ways,
The quiet whispers.
I seek the narrow streets,
The crooked fences,
and garden weeds.

A world of rusty tires,
Unclasped hands
And downcast eyes.
To walk the empty roads,
The chipped sidewalks
And pale skies.

I seek the older heartaches
With familiar pain
And closed-up wounds.
I seek the smaller places,
The unbound hearts --
The open rooms.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

She lived the Wilderness --
it flourished inside of her,
a tactical advantage
to those that broached her heart.
Her lips were a riddle
of winding rivers
and broken streams,
her eyes were a north star
hid by cloud cover
and moon beams.
She tempted young adventurers
To test their merrits
and their youth.
And one by one they failed,
Found naught the New World
But broken truth.
She lived and died in the wilderness,
Lost and hiding,
Her secrets unfound.
Her treasures went undiscovered,
Her land grown old,
The wilderness unbound.

I have no idea how to finish this poem, ugh....

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Answer me, dammit!

God confuses me.

He won't answer my questions. I want to know what my purpose is. What my meaning is. How I might find the direction and the stability that I seek. I want to share my faith with people, but I feel like they won't understand. I just want to be around people who believe in God and will let me have that personal relationship without trying to force their other beliefs on me. It is as Milton said -- God is Love, the rest is dialogue. I just want someone to accept me and my faith with no questions, as I would accept theirs. Faith and God are so important to me. I just want to talk to Him and listen and understand. I suppose that's what we all want, but what none of us really have. It hurts me sometimes to think that after finding Him, I'm still seeking. I'm still looking for answers, and goddamn my logical mind, it will not accept dogma as the truth. My mind wants God to tell me the truth, but God won't speak, at least not in words that the intellect understands. My heart knows its own answers, but it is keeping them from me just as surely as the great Beyond. I can feel His peace, but I am no closer to intellectually comprehending what is in store for me than anyone else.

I'll just pray to be led down the right path once again. Hopefully this time the right path will be easier to keep to.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Don't Kill This Rose

Don't kill this rose for me,
For it will never smell as sweet
as a love that never was,
and a bloom that will never be.
Don't force the tattered petals
To wilt slowly and decay;
This is beauty-preserved incarnate,
Far longer lasting than love's sway.
For this rose will repeat forever
If it is allowed the chance to grow --
Unlike a love that never was,
Or a bloom we'll never know.


You know you're going insane when you start laughing at witty jokes in Milton's essays. "And must tradition then ever thus to the world's end be the perpetual cankerworm to eat out God's commandments?" Lol Milton I love you.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Byrem -- Colored, pretty much finished

So because of the sudden really heavy onset of homework and whatnot, I've had to speed up the "final detail" part of this portrait. I think it looks fine the way it is, I wanted to add more to the cloak and play with the hair longer, but I just don't have time. So this is the pretty much finished version. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Coloring Progress

Those horns are EVIL. EEEEEVIL. DIEEEEE.

Finally got the skin looking less... transparent, I suppose. Cape still needs some work, and the hair, and the crown... but the horns are finally looking halfway decent. FINALLY.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Culmination of Dreams

We are the culmination of dreams;
of burning stakes,
of Hemlock.
Tattered papers
written by quivering hands
in molten candlelight.
We are the diction
with which they wrote;
the secrets they hid and died for,
their fallen hope.
We are every voice that ever shouted,
all the fire that they spoke.
We are their cry to the far future,
their hearts embodied,
their visions defined.
We are the message that they carried,
and the dreams they left behind.


Everything that society is today was planted by the mind of a philosopher, dreamer, or inventor -- but all of them writers.

This is all that we are.

Think about it.

Common Heart / My New Hat

So my face is like red and nasty and I'm pretty sure a bear ravaged my hair and that's how it got like that (or conceivably I didn't brush it), but this is my new hat! It says "airborne" on it. I know it's a stupid army thing, but I mean, come on... "airborne." Like I'm flying. Like I'll never touch the ground.
And now for my latest poem:
Common Heart
We didn't understand the words
so we learned to recognize the sounds.
Hanging on each syllable,
each movement and glance.
It became like music,
Tingling over the skin,
teaching the body to
We tensed with the oooohs,
quivered with the aaaahs;
We connected through murmurs and assonance.

No common tongue,
But a common heart.

Friday, August 22, 2008

So the person who ordered this art said that the horns were part of a crown. So... crown much?

Alright, so there's still something wrong with the lighting in this... I want him to look like he's about to lean his head against a wall, or like his shadow is really close to him, but I think in that case the left shoulder should be darker...? (His left shoulder.) I have no clue, I think I've been staring at this piece too long.

I'm happy with the horns though, finally... after redoing them like three times, yeesh....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm not ready to grow up!

Just playing with my phone, I like this photo....

So weird, turning twenty next month. I've been thinking a lot about this birthday. I know everyone always focuses on 21, but 20 is a crazy age to be... two decades, no longer a child, no longer a teenager. It's intimidating, thinking of all the things that will be expected of me in the next few years. Moving out, finishing my bachelors, getting my first "real" career oriented job. I feel behind. I feel like I'm not good enough, like I'm not ready yet. Like I'll never be ready. It's nerve-wracking.

I kinda just want to go back to being 18, you know? Still just a kid, nobody expects much from you, nobody's watching what you do with your life. At 18, I wasn't any different than I am today, I even weighed the same... though I have gained and lost weight in between. I still complain about the same old things, I still have the fashion sense of a polar bear, I still like plaid shirts, floppy pants and green tea. I don't remember what 19 was like for me at all. I feel like I missed a year, somewhere between making my bed and finishing with community college.

I have a few things to promise myself this new year. For the first year of a new decade, I am going to be happy with who I am, how I look, and the things I like. I'm going to pursue writing and expand my social life. I'm going to put every ounce of effort into being the 'Tess' I know I can be. I'm going to be happy. Yep, that's my goal. I'm going to accomplish everything it is I have to do in order to be happy.

I have five GIANT spider bites on my arm and two on my leg! THEY ITCH SOOOO BAAAAAAAAD...... *starts crying*

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dream from Sandman

Some random characters from my book.

And now, just for funzies:

Dream from Sandman
Because you KNOW you want to sex him!

My next big challenge will be to start practicing landscapes and architecture. I favor portraits and drawing figures far too much... ugh, self-teaching is a pain.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Some Art

Figured I'd post some art up on this blog, not that anyone reads it anyway.

Here's a "progress" thingy I did. Pretty much I sketch everything in photoshop since scanning and lineart is way too big a pain in the butt. Then I flesh it out in black and white, and finally the last step I put a layer on overlay and more or less paint all the colors. Then I put a layer on normal over that and add in the details. I have a long way to go, but I think I like this method much better than my other ones.

And here is a short baby poem, to fulfill my "poem a day" need:

He had longer strides
So walked faster,
Went farther,
But I had the greater heart,
I lived deeper,
Laughed harder.

He was keen of mind,
So learned quicker,
Spoke sooner.
But I was keen of eyes,
I looked closer
And knew more.

Forsaken Things

In shallow breaths
We learned to speak.
Through bitten lips
We learned to lie.
It was all Frostbite and Bittersweet,
The love as fleeting as it was shy.

That's all we had
were bitten lips,
And shallow breaths,
Spent on words.
Wasted when we could have kissed,
Coveted when we could have burned.

And now those words
Are lost again,
Splintered upon
Such broken wings.
We fade again to Bittersweet.
Such memories of forsaken things.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Smaller Places

Smaller Places

I seek the smaller places,
The older ways,
The quiet whispers.

I seek the narrow streets,
The crooked fences,
and garden weeds.

I seek the rusty tires,
The clasped hands
And downcast eyes.

I seek the empty roads,
The chipped sidewalks
And pale skies.

I seek the older heartaches
With familiar pain
And closed-up wounds.

I seek the smaller places,
The unbound hearts -
The open rooms.