A Ship Onto a Sea of Hope – NEW RELEASE

A Ship Onto a Sea of Hope by Ashlee CraftFrom the book –

opening lines

I took the leap & the Universe followed.
I made a decision & the Universe rose up to meet me.

The bold steps I took? Spending money to get my music out there,
to start selling the things I knew I should be selling,
the bold moves in which the Universe saw
that I was exactly what I needed
& my actions proved I was ready
for greater, better things to be bestowed upon me

the bold move towards the things I’d always wanted to have?
I asked him for the keys, tentative for fear of revoking
but he willingly handed me them without argument,
& even when it seemed as though nothing would work out with it,
& I was faced with the option of losing half –
love came through & I found the love was multiplied

I took the bright step, the bold leap towards the kind of
person I always wanted to be; I showed up, & that stood for
something – & when I reached my hand out to touch the largest
beam of sunlight, it did not burn me like I feared it would,
but rather, warmed me deeply from the inside out,

exactly what I needed

A Ship Onto a Sea of Hope contains 57 poems by Ashlee Craft.

Publish Date :: December 12, 2017
Paperback 90 Pages
Genre :: Poetry

The Walls Were Gray – NEW RELEASE

The Walls Were Gray by Ashlee CraftFrom the book –

RUBY TUESDAY

when you walked in the air was hot & heavy & smelled strongly of
lilies like the warm dark green crevice of a secret garden / you were
so afraid of the world & nowhere seemed a safe place / big & scary
with the expanse of war looming inside & out, conflict mingled with
the inner sadness that followed you everywhere / at least she
would not hug me today / I remembered the
hot summer mowing the yard by the fence
looking at the lake / hot & heavy /
the peculiar, beautiful feeling of the song, deeply hopeful longing
for the love I may one day find, strange beautiful slightly sad music
I embraced that summer / run fast / remember what it was like
growing up at the last house? / you stayed up until 2 am each night
watching videos & reading about your favorite people & bobbing your head to the music /
ruby tuesday, maybe she was right when she accused you of hating your life,
but not doing anything to make it stop being the same

//

The Walls Were Gray is a collection of 90 poems.

Published :: December 15, 2017
Paperback 104 Pages
Genre :: Poetry

Sun in the Night: The Poems of Art Poems & Assemblage

Sun in the Night by Ashlee Craft - Cover

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This book is a volume containing all the poems from the first three volumes of Art Poems & the first 13 issues of Ashlee Craft / Assemblage. A book filled just with the poetry, in case poetry is your main priority & you just want to read them.

Poems “Breezy Summer Hill” through “Yellow Jazz” are from Art Poems, Volume 1. Poems “Bricks” through “Wish Upon a Star” are from Art Poems, Volume 2. Poems “Vivid Life” through “& I Embrace the Changes” are from Art Poems – Volume 3. Poems “Relieved Dream” through “You Never Owned Me” are from Assemblage, Issue 1. Poems “Seven Things You Need to Know” through “…YOU DON’T KNOW ME” are from Issue 2. Poems “I Don’t Care” through “Authenticity” are from Issue 3. Poems “I was so innocent” through “You Cared About Me” are from Issue 4. Poem “we danced in the rain” is from Issue 5. Poems “Stay” through “You Cared About Me II” are from Issue 6. Poems “she liked to battle her demons in the dark” through “I Knew Then I Belonged There” are from Issue 7. Poems “You Thought You Had Me” through “beautiful” are from Issue 8. Poems “my name” through “after the storm” are from Issue 9. Poems “Souvenirs” through “fledglings” are from Issue 10. Poem “Friend…” is from Issue 11. Poems “WAKE UP” & “people (there) actually seem to enjoy helping me” are from Issue 12. Poems “if it were that way” & “respected, at last, at once” are from Issue 13.

In total, this book contains 140 poems.

Breezy Summer Hill

wind blowing onwards ever onwards gently pushing soft fluffy clouds into view the breeze is slightly cool in contrast with the warm summer sun / the beginning of summer / rays of sunlight occasionally peeking thru the air amongst the clouds providing hint of light / a summer storm is blowing in rain / rain that will allow the fragrant flowers to bloom / smell the impending petrichor in the distance growing ever nearer / feel the heartbeat of the earth

I lie on my back on the hill staring up at the vast expanse of bluish gray sky / the wind blows fresh upon my face caressing my hair & causing the grass around me to sway & dance / rustle rustle rustling sweet music / & the meaning of it all changes in repetition / please stay, perfect feelings that swim so gracefully around me & fill my soul

in the distance I can smell the fresh air approaching / I smell nature all around me / & the smell & sound of the ocean at the bottom of the hill summer serenade in perfect peace / waves crashing in the stormy sea in preparation for the onslaught of pelting rain / I know I must return home soon but for now I want to remain on this hill / remain here & just breathe & be & feel alive / there is magic upon this hill I feel it deep down inside of me / & despite the impending storm I feel like everything will be perfectly okay / I want to remain here as the rain approaches / I want to feel alive

in the midst of the ongoing breeze, a blue flower twirls in freedom bending to the beat of the wind / it dances & sways in perfect freedom remaining out there to gather up the nurturing rain / always changing & growing & becoming more radiant / & I watch hope blossom

Clovers

green green green all around in the patterned hallways / an ongoing onomatopoeia of sounds & colors & sights & senses ignited by it all

a waterfall of green & circular stones in the empty sky floating by tent ground

a maze labyrinth never-ending always something to discover if you look a little closer

a square picture frame wet by watercolors about to be placed into the art museum in the street

a seashell lying on the shore having journeyed many miles along ocean currents now waiting on the sand for someone to find it pick it up & bring it home

behind it all a green grassy meadow turf flowing onwards & onwards

the sun is just rising above the hill spreading fingers of gold out into the sky & alighting the new world

the patterns of nature pine trees & feathers & rows of spiny scales & interlocking plates of stone

& a flower blooming upside down just to feel the rays of sun on its petals & yet in this different approach, succeeding

ombre stripes stipulated by four-dimensional allusions, the safe warmth of home’s hearth & the cozy rug beneath my feet

piano key pattern with yin yang showing the balance of productivity & relaxation

yet outside my window mountain tops loom & yet I will climb them soon I am finally ready

suddenly I look down & on the ground beneath my feet

& there, I find a lucky four-leafed clover

Coasting Along

walking along on the shore with you / our hands entwined / it is fall & cold wind nips at our skin & the leaves in the forest are falling from their branches & littering the ground / & yet on the shore, everything looks the same as it always does

we snuggle up next to each other / my hands are chilly but if I couldn’t feel the cold wind biting at my skin I could imagine it being June here rather than November / but I don’t mind / the fall wind just makes everything cozier & the sea more vast in its endlessness & infinity

see the contrast of the wind pelting but not harming or changing the solid & stoic stony arches that rest on the shore ahead of us / see the contrast between the dry powder sand & the chilly sparkling water / see the stolid distance horizon that we approach but it only grows further from us / see the contrast between the cold empty shore & the warmth of our love

& yet amongst the chilly wind & unending shoreline & unchanging beach, I find something strange & fleeting & beautiful / it is the slow yet gentle passing of time, & the warm beauty of you next to me, grinning at me & reminding me that in a few minutes we should head back & get some hot cocoa to warm us again / I say wait a minute I want to walk under the stony arches / you nod & hand in hand we run there together

we approach the stone arches & suddenly we see that it’s not all unchanging shorelines / the arches grow closer & suddenly we are near enough to feel their enormity / we walk under them slowly, my heart beating a little quicker with awe at the majesty of the arches / infinite & everlasting / always there like a beacon lighthouse upon the stormy sea / it’s not much but it’s something to hold onto / my hand feels the cold stone strength of them in one hand & the soft passionate warmth of your hand in my other / & as we pass through the stone arches & turn to head back home, we’re grinning at each other / & suddenly something occurs to me / maybe the shore isn’t always what it seems / maybe it changes / maybe there’s more to it than meets the eye

Glow of Hope

the street is dark & hope is bleak, dirty street walls caged souls can’t speak

remnants of garbage & things left behind, to rot in the sewers of the streets where dreams die

the lonely girl walking along, the night is still & silent, no one knows she’s out here alone

but it was essential she came here when she did, she could not wait any longer

the streets were empty & almost silent

except for forlorn cries in the distance, yet she could not stop for anything not even fear

her feet padding along on dark pavement heart pounding

heading towards the old forgotten lifeless brick buildings

finally she reaches the place where she is drawn to (even though she doesn’t understand why)

the place where the idea first came to her, sparkling

& she stood in between the brown bricks & cold cement, arms upraised into the air

& her hands clasping the dreams she holds deep within

holding them up to the darkened sky & waiting for something to happen

the night is still & silent & frightening & cold she’s never felt more alone in her life

yet nothing changes & the dreams remain in the dark (fear creeping in fear creeping in)

suddenly she breathes in deeply the approaching air

& at that moment her dreams are ignited by an ember of Hope

she stands in awe looking at the dreams in her hands

they are glowing the whole alley is glowing she is glowing glowing

the dreams once drying & dying & forsaken & forgotten

alight in the night illuminating her soul & her dreams are breathing again

& there is nothing more beautiful than dreams coming back to life stronger than ever before

dreams illuminated by the undying light of Hope

& suddenly she knows that everything is going to be okay

Misty Mountain Fog

cacophonous enrapture upon sea after sea

drifting colors on a palette, brush sweeping strokes across the creational landscape

the city streets & the countryside

do not have to remain cold & bleak with their winter monochromatic paleness

the walls & brick buildings & sleepless apartment buildings

empty emotionless persuasions & repercussions reprinted on false paper & held onto by plastic ideals

they do not have to remain unmoved & emotionless with steely-smiles frightening in the dark

they do not have to remain as empty representations of what really matters

the mountains do not have to stretch up into the sky

with their many insurmountable challenges looming above you

too high for your hands to ever reach

too difficult for your soul to be able to stand, strong enough to beat you

you can climb that mountain you are stronger than you think you are

explorational flurries & swirls twirling & dancing as the paint falls from the sky

you can do this you can make it

you feel weak & insignificant & afraid but soon you’ll find that light inside you

& the wind is suddenly the canvas

painting the land with the colors of life

you take that first step up the mountainside

& begin the grandest journey ever lived

this is the story of your life from now on

Spring Breeze

it would be a crime to dispute the ebullient valor in technicolor parade

gauzy leaves & floral petals, ethereal & evocative in their gentility

reverberating in rippling ruffles of breezes

& incandescent filaments in their radiant newborn resonances

rhapsodies in repeating waning charred chords on stone

printed on old newsprint blowing in the zephyr

expectations of joyous possibilities you see them all laid out in front of you

letting go of the mistakes of the past even though you mourn for what was lost & what cannot be rewritten

but rewriting the story even better than before when presented with the second chance finding even better ways of making words come alive

a chrysalis consisting of a glass bubble forever suspended upon the fragile flower seeds beneath the snowy ground

sandy soil the warmth of the sun slowly seeping down into the rain-soaked soils

& the flowers waiting waiting waiting gently until the urge to rise above fills them & they push up through the soil & towards the sunlight which they crave

& they will emerge into the air on a bright spring day as the snow is melting

& painting the landscape with their colors of red blue purple

they will become the future

in the garden of hope

where every month is a year, and every year, a decade

where time stands still but progresses all the same

& where anything is possible

Sun in the Night

sun in the night looming in the eclipse above antique Victorian houses rectitude shining over the old metal trellis grating / piano keys inside the wind tunnel spinning in unison with the breeze / tents & campfires just being started in empty fields near rivers & clouds flying on past by

trees in a river of multicolored paint spreading the waters & dividing the tides into what is free & what is owned, reverberating rectification a baseball thrown on a warm summer day in the retro neighborhood where parents & children throw the baseball around to each other as the sun is setting behind the clouds / but also in the clouds forming the shape of someone with their mouth in a snarl looking towards the flaming forest fire & the pools of sorrow strewn into the ground / a lone figure emerging from the darkness crows surrounding it & flying up cawing & crying out into the darkness yet the fear dissipates illuminated by the sunrise / brick walls in the morning light / oceans in the rain

(I will try again tomorrow)

& yet despite fear’s flurries cascading around me I feel their strength collapse with each breath I take & every strong & unstoppable step forward suddenly seeing that things that used to break me now become the stairs I ascend upon into the next day brilliant & breathing & alive / marveling at the perfection & miracle of my existence, & of the existence of everyone & everything else in this world / I am not afraid anymore

& yet above all of this stands the sun, glowing & yellow, rebelling against the oppressive darkness / & the sun is always overhead in the sky even when the night is dark & we cannot see it

Sunray Meadow

warm warm sunrays & meadow of life

river running thru it to nurture it & the gentle swaying grasses

warmth bright light free from sorrow

but not free from difficulty (that would be boring)

(to live in a place where everything was too simple

& there was never anything to contemplate or figure out or solve or change or do anything else about)

sure, I don’t want an enormously difficult life

but if everything was too happy & carefree & easy

I would be very bored with it all

thankfully in this meadow there is contrast

the contrast between the day & the night

yes, the long smiling summer days

& the rainy cold ice winters & dark nights of the soul

there is contrast & conflict & that makes it all interesting

mediated by the flow of tears of sorrow & tears of joy

running thru the land & the cracks in the drying soil & nurturing the very things

the very things

that make us human

Sunshine Mountain

harpsichord difficulty diffusion renegade

pianos in the streets with keys left unplayed

to gather the threads left strewn & strayed

the swirl in the red-orange wing from the desert

sunbeams flowing downwards over hills of stone

from stained glass window mountains the light shone

remembrances I can only remember alone

clouds of fiery colors collecting in the sky

standing on top of the mountain peak’s majesty

to think you say emotions are such travesty

but in this struggling strife we find unique diversity

& in reflections in stained glass mountains

pale blue clouds floating on a languid summer day

purple mist in the distance is coming this way

I thought all this time I wanted you to stay

but in the end it was all just a memory of the mountains

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Sun in the Night: The Poems of Art Poems & Assemblage

Sun in the Night by Ashlee Craft - CoverSun in the Night is a collection containing all the poems from the first three volumes of Art Poems & the first 13 issues of the zine Ashlee Craft / Assemblage. By compiling a book of the poems alone without the artwork which accompanies them in their original volumes, it allows the words to shine on their own. Sun in the Night contains 140 of Ashlee Craft’s poems.

Publish Date // July 13, 2017
Paperback 224 Pages
Genres // Poetry

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So Long, Lonesome Place – Poetry Book Sample Chapter

So Long, Lonesome by Ashlee Craft Book Cover

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& I Won’t Have to Forge My Own Dark Road

it seems radical to me, all of this / & I’m so afraid I won’t be able to handle it (was any of it real anyways?) / but I do have to keep in mind, in all my moments of doubt & self-questioning, is how many countless others before me have done the same thing that I am doing now, & succeeded in doing so / how many others before me went off & forged their own pathways rather than following in the footsteps others had carved out before them & blindly listening to the instructions mumbled to them in poor faith / how many of them not only survived the falling out, but thrived because of it?

I think about that lady I used to know, with the curly brown hair, & how she used to always go to the little cafe I went to / I think about how when I saw her, months after she left him, how they asked her, “don’t you miss him?” / & I remember how she tossed her head happily & with defiance, & said, “not at all” / she laughed, explaining she didn’t miss being a slave to him, how she would never go back to living that way / & I didn’t feel that I’d miss it either, & didn’t fear it

I think about all those who left, even those who left & then came back – how even then they came back because they wanted to, because it was the right thing for them now & not because they were forced & obligated to be anything different than what they were / they came back to it, because even after all the thundering discouragement, they still felt that longing on both lonely nights & happy days that there was something else they should be doing

I think about the other girl I knew, who told me that it could be great, but how too much would be expected of me being in that condemned union, & how it wasn’t fair to me to stay in with him / “get out while you still can” she told me – “before you’re broken by them.”

& I think about him, who told me that it wasn’t worth it, it wasn’t worth destroying myself over something so trivial : someone who would never love me as much as I had loved him / “don’t kill yourself over it” / it made no sense to me to be a slave to someone I could not treasure any longer

I am new to this pathway but it is not new to those I have known

& certainly not new to the world –

they have all done it; so can I,

& I will do the same thing that all before me have done,

& it will all turn out fine, as it has for those brave path-forgers before me.

I will be okay

I will be okay; I will be more than okay

& there is nothing wrong with taking this first step, & claiming back my freedom / there is nothing radical about it & nothing shocking & nothing wrong in standing on the edge of the wall & declaring to the sea wind that I DESERVE something BETTER / it is my freedom I am seeking, & it is my freedom I will face

you missed your chance

I am tired of wasting my love
on someone who could never love me back

I would have done anything for you;
don’t you know that?
walked a thousand miles
on the burning sands of hell
if you would have asked me to,
cut open my skin & bled on the ground –
touched the surface of the sun –
burnt myself out until I was hollow & dead inside –
if you would have only asked

I gave you all of my passion; you gave me an empty gaze not returned in mirrors
I gave you all of my thoughts; you couldn’t even tell me what day of the week it was
I gave you all of my loyalty; you turned your cheek & kissed her instead
I gave you all of my devotion; you forgot about me as soon as I left your house
I gave you all of my time; the minute it would have taken you to call was too much
I gave you all of my dreams; you told me they were ridiculous & outlandish fables
I gave you all of my love; you watched me bleeding alone & walked the other way

I became you : I became all that you wanted me to be
& what did I get in return?
a dirty note scrawled on a torn piece of paper,
saying that despite all the intimate things you’d told me
& the tenderness you’d touched me with,
you would never be able to embrace me the way you did her

I burnt myself for you.
I beat myself down for you.
I bruised myself for you.
I sweat an entire ocean of salt
so that you would have somewhere to swim.
I cut myself for you;
I bled for you.
I cried endless pools of tears for you.
I overwhelmed myself for you.
I hurt myself for you.
I lied to myself & others for you.
I let myself believe I didn’t deserve better for you.
I died a thousand deaths for you.

& what did I get in return?
you laughed in my face when I asked to be treated better
& told me I would die without you :
but I will not

you never deserved anything I gave you
& I am taking my power back away from you
to reclaim everything rightfully mine

I am tired of wasting my love
on someone who could never love me back

no use

maybe there’s no use in trying to bring back what we once had / maybe it is dead & long buried & long gone & long hidden away, & maybe I am long hidden & long shrouded & have walked too far away from the sacred spot where I first saw sunlight / & maybe that it the way it is supposed to be; maybe this is the way that feels the best, in the end, & will provide the most light, or at least the most fuel for relighting the fire

the break of day the break of day break of / there are no rules; so what am I talking about? / I tried to make a short film about the way it felt to love you but all that came out was a muddled puddle of broken tears mingling with euphoric joy & the sight of that was somehow more beautiful than any perfect thing could be; it prismed

a rainbow is built from scattered droplets of light

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So Long, Lonesome Place – New Poetry Book Available!

So Long, Lonesome by Ashlee Craft Book CoverSo Long, Lonesome Place is a collection of 63 poems about leaving behind that which does not serve you, & the search for the place that you’ve been seeking.

EXCERPT

it seems radical to me, all of this / & I’m so afraid I won’t be able to handle it (was any of it real anyways?) / but I do have to keep in mind, in all my moments of doubt & self-questioning, is how many countless others before me have done the same thing that I am doing now, & succeeded in doing so / how many others before me went off & forged their own pathways rather than following in the footsteps others had carved out before them & blindly listening to the instructions mumbled to them in poor faith / how many of them not only survived the falling out, but thrived because of it?

Publish Date // October 2, 2016
Paperback 110 Pages
Genre // Poetry

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my eyes are open

My Eyes are Open // Ashlee Craft / Assemblage, Issue 11

the real truth of the matter was bold like the business cards & the muffled sound & flashing cameras in the studios / when that type of gold lost its shine / I walked the false pathways many times before & saw the reflections on the other side of glass mirrors / hard work, & real integrity, he said, & I believed him, & loved the road-songs / I remembered the utter freedom of the time, & the way it felt driving towards the storm, & also away from the storm simultaneously

& the real falling-in-love happened, & the veil was stripped away, revealing the core of your own frequencies, sent out into the universe / I watched the facades fall away, & the clear-crystal water reflected my own face back, gently

A Beautiful Question of Where & When // New Release

A Beautiful Question of Where & When by Ashlee Craft - Coverit was the fifth of May –
I was smiling & you laughed at some joke I told,
about the fact that it was raining out –
I kissed you on the lips as we walked from the bus station –
the storefronts lit up night with neon –
watching the moon slowly rising,
above the boardwalk
& my hand was in yours

A Beautiful Question of When & Where is a collection of 42 poems.

Publish Date // February 5, 2016
Paperback 82 Pages
Genre // Poetry

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Poem for David Bowie

David Bowie - TopPop 1974 10

poem for David Bowie

I remember when I heard :
you disappeared like smoke rising; a phoenix in the open air,
a song drifting in empty through an open window
reminding me of the longing,
oh, beautiful longing,
of driving under bridges at night & through city streets
& of holding people close; oh, the beautiful longing
of reaching out to find things which are no longer there
& still hoping to feel a glimpse of them,
the things that never were but felt alive in their own heartbeats;
you disappeared the way light fades at the end of the day :
still golden even as the dark blankness of night creeps in;
a song playing on a record player on the floor
as the ch-ch-ch-ch-changes bloom inside & out,
I turned to face the music & it was there I found myself;
& the way the music sounded on the floorboards & ceiling
reminded me of why you were my hero :
reinvention, I said, over & over again repeating in the night;
you had a thousand names & a thousand faces
& like the birth & rebirth of a phoenix
you tore down & rebuilt yourself over & over
breathing life & color into the word EVOLUTION
& the flames breathed their life into you
as you became new things & new people
& found homes for all the limitless planets you wanted to become;
to prove that the outsiders were not really alone at all :
to answer your question, yes,
there is life on Mars

Poem inspired by this.