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Soulmates

"Soulmates" © 2017 Jeanne Decklar Fine Art
24" x 24" oil on canvas
#MJ #MichaelJackson #MJArt #MJFam #art #oilpainting #painting #illustration #PrincessDiana

The Light

I am surrounded
I feel the walls of darkness brush against my skin
A malevolent pressure
Growing and gnawing
As it tries to force me to crumble
to bow down, to give in
I wipe the sweat from my brow
My heart weakened by the strain
And drawing one last breath
I listen…to the silence…

Then renew my resolve to live again

I open my eyes
And see beyond the darkness
to the Light
It is there, in me
I have it inside

In that moment, I transform
And change from within
My heart beating faster, I glow
And I win.
I am the diamond
Formed from coal
I am the broken heart that has become whole
I am the light and love and color of my soul
I will drive out the darkness
With my will, I will grow.

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Catharsis

Catharsis - 20x24" oil on canvas
© 2017 Jeanne Decklar Fine Art

Surfacing

"Surfacing" © 2016 Jeanne Decklar Fine Art
20" x 24" oil on canvas



Floating toward the surface
I exhale every cursed dream
Letting go each memory to an orb in the water
like a prayer in the night,
reaching for the light to meet God
I separate you from my blood
Leaving my lungs empty at last
When my skin meets the warmth of the sun again
You will finally be gone
And I will fill my lungs with hope
and cry, "freedom"
No more drowning in your darkness
I lift up my soul to the light
And let it shine upon me
Whole, unbroken.

-JMD

Karma

The love you give will be magnified
just as the pain you inflict
will become a cut within your own heart.
We are One...
The light and the darkness
at the heart of it all
What you believe, what you think
the power in the words you speak
the energy of your actions
reverberates and paints the world around you.
Breathe love, speak love, give love, think love
FEEL LOVE, and be the light in the darkness.
Reject in all ways the harm done to you.
Stand against the pain and frustration and sorrow
Fight against the desire for revenge.
Meet the force of the blow with the love you have inside
for you reap what you sow—
and Karma will take care of the rest.

-Jeanne Marie Decklar

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Madness

I know we’re doomed
We repeat these words every day
I know there’s no hope and yet
My heart forces me to love you anyway

I can’t control the heat I feel inside
I can’t confess to anyone to anyone
I can’t control the desire I feel for you
I can’t confess to anyone to anyone

I know we should stop
While we’re still on this side of madness
But I can’t now it’s too late too late
I’m in Hell, I’m already in love

And I know this fear we feel
Is the wall we need to break
How can something so magnetic
Be the thing we cannot take?

I can’t resist your words
I can’t confess to anyone to anyone
I can’t stop the sparks that fly
I can’t confess to anyone to anyone

Control me, fill me with your energy
Let me connect again with your soul
Just hold me, I can’t bear for you to leave
I need to set this light inside me free

I know we’re doomed
We repeat these words every day
I know there’s no hope and yet
My heart forces me to love you anyway

I can’t control the way you pull me
I can’t confess to anyone to anyone
I can’t control the urge that moves me
I can’t confess to anyone to anyone

We can’t stop what we both know is too much
We opened Pandora’s box
Succumbed to what lay inside
You and I
Never realized the power when our forces collide

Your soul and my soul knew, we set alight the glow
Hit each other hard with gravity
Now we can’t stop the wheel that’s set in motion
The pain we both know we soon will bleed

Because I love you, I love you to madness
You love me, you love me to madness
No choice I can’t stop what’s happening
You tried but you can’t stop what’s happening
It’s madness, insanity
We collide inside we know I’m meant to be with you
But you can never be with me…

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Digital Desert

I am standing in the middle of a desert.
Hot sand shifting and crumbling
destabilizing my fragile sense of balance,
as it scorches the once supple skin of my heels,
burning away the callouses that have formed
from a thousand miles of lonely walking.
I take in the stark environment around me
And slowly turn a full circle,
my arms outstretched, hoping for rescue
but not a soul can be seen with my naked eyes.
I am alone.
The jagged mountains loom
like ominous observers in the distance,
staring me down with narrowed eyes
and expressions of vague disapproval.
They watch me, but they do not speak,
instead they lean into one another to whisper.
I stick out my tongue at them
and as I do, I feel the cracked skin
as it drags and catches the bleeding scales
across my withering lips.
I need water or I will die
And there is none to be found around me.
Not even a mirage.

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Agony

Love is the sweetest agony
It is a blade that cuts us deep
into the marrow of our soul
and the healing caress
that can empty an ocean of sorrow
It is the chains that bind us
and also the wings that set us free
It is the force that gives us strength
and the crux of our greatest weakness
Love is one and also the other
A duality and an irony
It is the endless aching need
that can never be satiated
and the life and death of us all

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WDIM241 Week 9 Blog

Blog Prompt 9

https://medium.com/@monteiro/13-ways-designers-screw-up-client-presentations-51aaee11e28c

How do you set the stage before a design presentation?

To set the stage properly, you must start the meeting by thanking your clients for their time. Let them know what their roles will be and why they are there. Outline what you’ll be showing them. You should also specify clearly what kind of participation you need from them. Its good to make them feel involved and necessary in the process. You should let them know what stage your project is in, and what stage you just completed.

What are some things not to do in a design presentation and why?

You should never state the obvious and treat the client like an idiot. Also, you should never, ever start the presentation with an apology. You should not sit in one place, you should move around the room and be attentive to the client. Don't forget to sell the benefits of the design. Do not read from a script. It's boring. Do not get defensive when criticism is given, and do not mention typefaces. If a client cares about the typeface they will ask.

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WDIM241 Week 8 Blog

Blog Prompt 8

Chapter 15
What is beta launching?
Beta launching is when real, unfiltered users are the audience for live testing of the web site to help identify bugs, errors, crashes, or any other problems. Its common now for betas to be offered to the community at large.

When does a UX designers job end and why? There is no real end. After a project is done, you should compile the new testing results and make a new proposal. This should springboard other projects and launch additional prototyping and tests.

What do you gain in variance of users for user testing?

With more testers you get a broader idea of what the problems you might encounter with your site are. Some users may be more advanced than others. The only way to find out if you are appealing to the lowest common denominator is if you test a wide variety of users with different backgrounds and skillsets.

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WDIM241 Blog Post 7

Blog Prompt 7

https://medium.com/@jaceyleigh/great-responsive-web-design-is-a-matter-of-process-270048a88c70
Questions:
Why does it make sense to design for a more adaptive web environment rather than be concerned with device breakpoints?
It makes sense to design with a more adaptive web environment in mind, because since the web is fluid, the current focus in UI design today is on producing something that is not fixed width and that works on multiple devices. Designers today should be focusing on content quality as well as the look and feel of their website as it translates across devices. When we focus too much on fixed widths, sometimes content and hierarchy get left behind.

https://medium.com/i-m-h-o/future-of-internet-and-web-design-587b66677bf3
Questions:
What are some changes you, personally, can foresee in the future of web design?

I personally think that we will see more and more simplified web design. Fonts will become san serif, and there will be less gradients used. Everything will become minimalistic. Less bold colors, more colors that are light and easy on the eyes.

WDIM241 Blog Post 6

Blog Prompt 6
Chapters 10

Questions:
What does an effective design do?
How do grids help proportion and balance?
What will one of your custom design principals be and why?


An effective design meets the clients specifications and needs, and works seamlessly. All buttons click through to their proper destinations, and the stylization fits in with the message that the client is looking to achieve. The navigation of the site will be intuitive and easy for the user to figure out.

Grids help keep proportions of buttons and boxes symmetrical and within limitations for the platform they are being designed for.

One of my custom design principals will be simplicity and symmetry. I think that when a site has a very clean, non cluttered look then it is more appealing to look at, and therefore will get repeat users.

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WDIM241 Blog Post 5

Blog Prompt 5
Chapters 13

Questions:
Why is it important for you to understand who you are building the prototype for?
What do prototypes help you achieve?


It is important to understand who you are building the prototype for, because that will determine the functionality of the site. Their needs will set the rules for how the site must function. It also determines how basic the prototype can be. If you are showing something for clients as a business pitch for example, it might be more beneficial to have a prototype that resembles the actual site, rather than a black and white wireframe. But on the other hand, if you are building a prototype to be used by a development team, then a more basic bare bones wireframe may be all that you would need.

Prototypes give you an effective way to test and validate proposed functionality of a design before you invest in its development. They help you identify issues with a site design, so that you can fix them and ensure the best user experience possible. As users test the functionality of the site, they can help identify ways to improve the design, which you might not consider otherwise.

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WDIM241 Blog Post 4

How do wireframes help translate information at this stage of the process?


Wireframes help identify the proposed content and structure, as well as functional behaviors of a view of a web page or an application. These can be used for identifying prototyping scenarios and proof of concepts. They are basic gray-scale lo-fi prototypes of webpages using placeholder content to highlight representative locations that can be used as guidance in the visual design. They identify the elements that will be displayed on the web page or screen such as navigation, content sections, imagery or media needs, form elements, or calls to action. Wireframes are used to represent the site or application to clients, designers, developers, and any other team members who have a stake in it at the core level.

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WDIM241 Blog Post Week Three

Q. What’s one of the first steps when creating an advanced site map?

A. One of the first steps to creating an advanced site map is to use your first page to identify any of the steps required to reach the sites home page. Then you should identify all of your top level pages, global navigation elements, and footer elements.. This gives a very high level overview up front and helps provide your team and clients with a clear picture of the project.

Q. What’s the difference between a site map and task flows?

A. Site maps help to identify the structure of web sites and applications, whereas Task flows take site maps a step further by identifying the various courses of action that a user may encounter within a section of the site.

Q. Why is it important to structure content?

A. It is important to structure content, because without a good structure, navigating a site could be very difficult for the user. Not all users know the names of what they are looking for, so its important to structure the content in a way that is easily identifiable and understandable.

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WDIM241 Blog post and Homework Week Two

WEEK TWO BLOG NOW COMPLETE

Questions:
Q1. In short, how do you define user groups for a project?
A. The way to define user groups for a project is to begin by identifying the characteristics of the groups you will be designing for. this helps you focus research to a confined demographic. Create a list of attributes, discuss the attributes, prioritize the attributes, and then use that information to define the user groups.

Q2. What type of research method would you see to prove as the most challenging? Why?
A. I would think the contextual inquiry method of research would be the hardest because it might be difficult to gain access to the participants environments, and then there might be added security or copyright issues.

Q3. What’s important to do after you have finished your research?
A. Once you have finished your research its important to reevaluate the information and revisit assumptions you may have made about the initial user groups you defined. They should be revised.

Q4. How do personas benefit your clients website?

A. Personas can help resolve conflicts that arise when making design and development decisions, enabling you to continue to make progress with your project.

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I would apply this information from the presentation to my process by thinking about how my website could differ from the competition and offer more to the consumer in a way that is exciting and easy to use. Hopefully the skills that I am learning could help me improve how I create a website to make it more effective.

I think I have moved in a more agile process in the past. I tend to be more fluid while I work on projects and I like to continuously improve them as I work them rather than seek a metered end result. I tend to be more of a fly by the seat of my pants person so being confined by steps doesn't work as well for me.

Two important aspects of Heuristic Analysis is to get an initial observation of the website and a first impression of its usefulness to the consumer and how well the buttons work. You need to give a rating and suggest possible improvements that could be made. Making sure a site is functional and easy to use is imperative if you want a user to come back to the site again, and it takes very little time for a user to get frustrated and go elsewhere, so finding out the problems quickly is key.

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I Wish

I Wish

Standing beneath a sequin sky
With arms outstretched as you once did
I embrace the air and the spirit there
And I wish for you to never leave us

Are you out there in the ebony night?
Dancing somewhere, shining bright?
Still the light, the eternal spark,
The glorious heart of joy and love
That woke a sleeping world?

As I gaze toward heavens I cannot reach
The stars assemble to form your smile.
All too swiftly hidden with a tip of your hat
And a turn of your nimble feet,
In the precision that only you were capable of.

My heart can see you there before me
As you manifest in a spinning glow.
There I marvel and wish all the world could know
What you meant to us...
And the breath of life that you still are to me.

I wish I could exhale this love I feel
And fill their lungs with your oxygen
I wish they all could understand
Us die-hard fans who will always be here
Dancing to the rhythm of love you left behind.

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Reflection

Weeping within the stark reflection
The mirror reveals a lesson to be learned
From wasted moments taken for granted
In the foolish season of invincible youth
The lines walk across his leathery skin
Like the paths he wished he had taken
Each leading to the lingering gaze of regret that remains
Seeking out in vain the industrious man
That experience and time erased

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Words

An arrow drawn and taut
With a whack hits my back
Like a sprung slingshot
Unexpected and searing
Abruptly armor piercing
Just a whisper
A murmured phrase
The cursor upon which I gaze
Words can heal or cause pain
Bleed a wounded heart
Again and again

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Childhood

CHILDHOOD

I inhaled deeply the familiar musky odor
Of the old tire baking in the sun
As it swung low on the humble tree
Dank road soot dusted the rubber
Like dirt on a fresh mushroom
A lazy metronome
Ticking the time between yesterday
And forever
I stretched out my stride
As the gingham billowed across my knees
Smiling widely at the sky
My twittering thoughts full of wonderment
And my loyal heart empty of sorrows
Oh that I could bottle this innocence
Seal it tightly with a lid
And store it in the cellar of my eternal soul
That I might remain always the captive firefly of my childhood
Instead of escaping into the darkness of adult cynicism

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Exploring Empathy

What is Empathy?


Empathy is often confused with sympathy. But they are two entirely different things. When one sympathizes with a person, they feel pity or sorrow for their situation. Empathy on the other hand is an effort to put ones self into another persons shoes. It is a concerted attempt to understand a thing and share the thoughts and emotions that arise from it.

When we empathize with each other, we share our strength and solidarity. It is a way of saying, "you are not alone". If a person is feeling sadness, we can show this special way of caring and lift them up. This is an important part of who we are as an species, and marks the uniqueness of the human spirit. In this sharing, we can combine our strength and use it to lift each other up.

Empathy is not limited to just a person to person situation. It is something we share with animals and the earth itself. We can share this with societies, religions, and social ideas and values. And in fact, it is a force we can use for change. Because when we exercise our ability to empathize, we share our combined knowledge with those around us. And knowledge is power.

The key to healing the world is by understanding it. By seeking out people, places, and things that are different from what we are accustomed to, we can expand our minds. Imagining ourselves juxtaposed with someone different can create for ourselves a library of resources for how we view the world, each other, and our own lives in general. When we begin to understand that which we previously did not, we loose the fear we have of the unknown. Hate is an emotion born of fear, so when we empathize and use our amazing minds to absorb and truly understand the why's and how's of each other, we can begin to resonate a unity that can only be found through this learning process. And in doing so, confusion and discord can be replaced by harmony.

At the root of all empathy, is love. And love knows no boundaries. It crosses all barriers of race, gender, social status, age, and political affiliation. When we practice empathy, we are practicing the gospel of love, and as we all fundamentally know as human beings- "Love is all we need."

"Like the old indian proverb says, Do not judge a man until you've walked 2 moons in his moccasins." - Michael Joseph Jackson, King of Pop

The Top

a teetering top at the end of it's spin
was all 'twas left of me
till an angel came, took me under his wing
re-spun and set me free
without his gentle hand to hold
without his often loving scold
how would that old turn have unfold?
where would I be
where would I be...

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At The End of It All

I'm a mirthful battle-tried warrior
I stand alone, bent for sure, but unbroken
at the end of it all...
brushing off from the fall
at the base of the next mountain to climb

Fate spun it's tempestuous storm in my way
Lashed out in a fury to lead me astray
but at the end of it all
I still got my way
I stood tall and defiant and I'm here to stay

There's no force that can take away my joy
for peace of mind is my wisdom and gift
at the end of it all
I am solemn but strong
I have become the unmovable monolith

Try to break me!  I challenge the breeze
You can't shake me nor bring me to my knees
For I am the wind, the earth and the trees
I am one with it all
I've become all I need.

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The Living Dead

You whip me with your words
While your fear holds me in chains
Drowning in your life
is the neverending pain
I can't escape your love
its the kind that makes me bleed
You break me down,
then build me up
but never to set me free
Always controlling and cajoling
undermining and witholding
Demanding pure perfection
for a withered carrot of affection
I am starving here...
and yet I'm overfed.
I've become the target for your blame
Throttled with judgments
and pierced with spears of endless shame
I try to break free but you're in my way
You don't want me to leave,
you want me tamed!
Locked in a box where you can choose
a miserable life for me
that that's just like you!
Filled with all the loss and bitter regret
the loveless life
of the living dead

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Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes

I've reached the point of no return
then crossed it and come back.
I've hit the wall of defeat so hard
that my body bounced as it smacked.
I've brushed against the turbulent winds
that swept me off my feet,
I've played the tape a thousand times
watched it all and hit repeat.
I ran the track for so many laps
That I've actually finished first AND last...
the trick was to do it all at once,
and somehow, I also managed that!
I used my wings to fly the nest
like an eagle on the wind,
fell to the ground, buried six feet down
dug out, and jumped back in!
I've swam the deepest ocean
filled with endless aching tears.
I've drowned and come back up for air
repeatedly for years.
It's a sucker punch...
a dead end score.
I've been here forever
and one day more.
To remain this way, is to fall on my sword
and I'll be DAMNED if I stay here till I grow old!
but nothing changes, if nothing changes I'm told

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FLY

Don't quiet the voice
let it speak aloud
let your hands write the words
of your heart
let your soul rejoice
in the creative tongue
let it come...
let it come.
Step into the light
and out of the shadow
fear not what you hear, but allow it,
allow you to be what you feel
and feel what you are
for your soul is a light
a shining bright star.
Fall into the the rythm of life and its passion
being yourself is always in fashion.
You are what you are, you must not deny...
you must fly.
Fly!
You must fly.

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An Invincible Heart

They may shout their sharp tongued words
and try to cut my thin and fragile skin
with empty headed verbs
they may aim their arrows at my chest
draw back and shoot their very best...
but every time the arrow hits
it splinters, shatters into tiny bits
for nothing can pierce this mighty heart
Invincible, it beats apart
all hateful words that come it's way
for love will drive all hate astray.

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SILENCE!!!

Behold, I cannot be broken!
No, I shall not be tamed
I see only perfection
in being stripped of your name.
You think I can't stand up?
I can't fight back?
You're wrong.
The years healing from your Hell
Made me quiet...but STRONG.
I am no more the lost child
abused and bowed and bent
begging for your love
like the money for rent!
Taking the beatings
like a hungry fish
I am a woman, I stand my ground
Think you can best me?
You wish!!

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BITE ME (for Emotional Vampires)

Bite me
sting my skin
with the nestling prick
of your wanting teeth
devour the lifeforce
that flows through my veins
I can hear you cackle
feel the excitement
the exhilaration
lingering on your
rapid breath
like a rabid dog
you howl when I fight you
chortling a song of victory
savoring the kill
laughing like a hyena
enjoying the thrill
of sucking me dry
but the question is, why?

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Power Hungry

Do you think you can shake
this mighty tree with your hate?
How little you seem to know my roots
they are buried deep
in the mother love that beats
through the veins of the hearts
I gave birth to.
Try to chop down that tree
and you will soon see
those roots will regrow
like an insatiable weed.
This envy you feel
this cruel revenge you seek
for a momentary denial
of what you *think* you need...
is corrupt at its core
and will fail.
No one can deny
the desperation in your moves
they reveal all your fears
those lifelong obsessions
your narcissistic fuel.
Oh yes indeed,
I'm sure you now can see
*THIS* "bad poetry" is for YOU!
So I tell you now
and mind you, listen well:
Love will prevail.
Love will prevail.
I've been here before
at the tip of your sword
and I lived through that battle
so many times and more...
I cannot be harmed
the steel of my armor has been forged
from so many years of being ignored!
So try to trip me with your power
and your misdirected rage
I will stand here tall and FREE
while you live in that cage!
the only love you can harm
is the ego need
for the dreamed of power hungry victory.
But, there shall be no conquering of ME.
You cannot harm the love
that you can never know
for you have long been disconnected
from your immortal Soul.

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Nothing Matters

Inward and aware
I turn to toward my heart
to hide from the world
that tore me apart
I reject this body
this circumstance
these people around me
the pain in my hands
what I loved is lost
nowhere to be found
I reject what is left
shut out
shut up
shut down
inside with no vision
no pain
no sound
neither good nor bad
theres none to be found
there's no anger, no fear
no joy, no laughter...
in the inside spac
where nothing matters

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RAINBOW

A rainbow is thrown at me
the colors are words
I see them and feel them
and hear rhyming verbs.
The meanings are weaving
like a river of thought
I've stepped into the water
and flow where I'm tossed.
In a moment of brilliance
somehow I have regained
the poetry I relenquished
while I chose other things.
The art was in another part
of my brain.

As I walked on the land...
...with a brush in my hand.

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SPINNING

I'm all kinds of spinning
and leaning full tilt
I'm tumultuous inside
But thats how I'm built
I shake and I rattle
while I preen and I prattle
and all I want is a handle on things
sometimes I can't have it
it's born out of habit
and one day I'll change it for good
till then I face forward 
to the force of the wind
crying love rain out
as I change the storm within
tasting the free air
while it beats against my skin
as the stillness I've lost
becomes the peace that I win

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ENERGY

All the energy confounds me
surrounds me
beats at me from all directions
sometimes I feel like
I have no protection
from the waves of emotional intention
shooting toward me from the hearts
of all whom I know
I seek the calm
at the eye of the storm
in the center where my soul lies
I can be there if I just close my eyes
if I breathe
if I realize that I am in control
and I decide
where my heart, my mind lives or dies

RUMINATION

I'm stuck in rumination
the quicksand of hesitation
so afraid to take the plunge
after endless days of not enough
I sweetly slink beneath the sheets
and let the blankets cover me
as I hide inside my quiet comfort zone
I might stick out a toe or two
but I'm afraid to see it through
wondering if "out there" means
that I will be alone...

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My Soul

In the silence I find my focus
quiet my mind
to open up my soul
I fix upon my horizon
the goal
with conscious precision
my hands conduct the symphony of form
each movement whispers a prayer
each hue becomes a sacrament
as I begin to weave in brush strokes
the tapestry
of my heart's hidden masterpiece

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The Wisdom of a Whisper

A old man once told me
imparting his wisdom
When I was young and headstrong
lashing out blazing idioms
"Dear, should I have something
to be angry about,
I then wrap my mind around it;
turn my scream into a shout
and that shout into a whisper
most astonishingly loud.
Because a shout can be ignored,
and a scream often returned
with nonsensical anger
that fuels a fire's burn.
But a whisper brings truth
more apt to be heard,
and more easily considered
as a lesson to be learned.
There is no need for rage
It brings only contrition.
Calm, subtle truth
Is bold enough ammunition.
Yes, the young often buck
against the wisdom of old
But when we learn how to whisper,
then love can take hold."

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