FOG: A ZINE, Poem 1 – The Ashlee Craft Show – Episode 020 – Poetry

Episode 020: First off, I’m excited that doing Episode 020 means 20 weeks of doing an episode EACH WEEK! In Episode 020, I read the first poem from my new photography zine, “FOG: A ZINE” which I am super in-love with (both the photos & the poems). Also, I really love + relate to this poem so I really enjoyed reading it.

CHECK OUT THE ZINE HERE

LIFE IS MY PLAYGROUND T-SHIRT

“Simple / Dance on the Triangle” — The Ashlee Craft Show — Episode 018 — Poetry

The words sound nice together.

Episode 018: I read a poem from my 2012 poetry book, “Dancing in the Sunlight”. “Simple / Dance on the Triangle” is the name of the poem. I like how the words sound together. & I talk about my red & orange “fall leaf hair” briefly at the beginning.

DANCING IN THE SUNLIGHT BOOK

“Revelations” – The Ashlee Craft Show – Episode 017 – Poetry

I read “Revelations”, a poem from my book, A Thousand Cranes, Volume 10 & I discuss how the poem relates to when you’re changing your life & becoming more yourself.

READ MORE – A THOUSAND CRANES, VOLUME 10

GET THE LIFE IS MY PLAYGROUND T-SHIRT HERE (it’s unisex & comes in 14 colors!)

“Ground” – The Ashlee Craft – Episode 015 – Poetry

Ashlee reads “Ground” from A Thousand Cranes, Volume 9

In Episode 015 of the Ashlee Craft Show, Ashlee reads a poem from A Thousand Cranes, Volume 9 titled “Ground” & discusses the meaning behind her favorite line in the poem.

A Thousand Cranes, Volume 9: http://amzn.to/2xTfqPg

“Life is My Playground” T-Shirt, as seen in the video: https://www.shop.ashleecraft.com/collections/t-shirts/products/life-is-my-playground-unisex-t-shirt

GROUND ::

I walked across wet grass & was caressed by raindrops
I trekked across galaxies & stars & suns left unnamed by human tongue
I holed myself up in an apartment contemplating what the answer must be
I time traveled back to the critical moment & changed my mind at the last second
I fought myself in dirty basements of buildings struggling to stay
I took the time to learn about the magic kept locked inside of me
I learned that all that glitters isn’t gold & that gold should not be loved too fondly
I put on my mask to become the person I wanted to be
I felt the breeze of after-rain & touched sunbeams & the earth
& through these things
I discovered where myself was hiding

“Ground” – The Ashlee Craft Show – Episode 015 – Poetry

Ashlee reads “Ground” from A Thousand Cranes, Volume 9

In Episode 015 of the Ashlee Craft Show, Ashlee reads a poem from A Thousand Cranes, Volume 9 titled “Ground” & discusses the meaning behind her favorite line in the poem.

A Thousand Cranes, Volume 9: http://amzn.to/2xTfqPg

“Life is My Playground” T-Shirt, as seen in the video: https://www.shop.ashleecraft.com/collections/t-shirts/products/life-is-my-playground-unisex-t-shirt

GROUND ::

I walked across wet grass & was caressed by raindrops
I trekked across galaxies & stars & suns left unnamed by human tongue
I holed myself up in an apartment contemplating what the answer must be
I time traveled back to the critical moment & changed my mind at the last second
I fought myself in dirty basements of buildings struggling to stay
I took the time to learn about the magic kept locked inside of me
I learned that all that glitters isn’t gold & that gold should not be loved too fondly
I put on my mask to become the person I wanted to be
I felt the breeze of after-rain & touched sunbeams & the earth
& through these things
I discovered where myself was hiding

“I Danced Under the Rain Storm” – The Ashlee Craft Show – Episode 014 – Poetry

Ashlee reads a poem from her debut poetry book in Episode 014.

Episode 014 of the Ashlee Craft Show: She reads a poem from The Allure of a Summer Evening, her very first poetry book. The poem? “I Danced Under the Rain Storm”. FUN FACT: She wrote & published the book when she was only 16 years old.

READ MORE

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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The Ashlee Craft Show – Episode 007 – Poetry – “Fight, Or Not”

In Episode 007 of The Ashlee Craft Show, Ashlee reads one of the poems from her 2015 poetry book, Panorama Novelty.

Buy the book here

POEM

I thought the answer was the fight.

pushing anyone who got in my way out of the way, kicking through doors, fighting & working & fighting as damn hard as I could to make something give

beating against the wall, fists pounding on wood, trying to find that one weak spot

“let go of it all” I told myself “become a machine. that is what they want you to be. that is how you win”

become ruthless. become inhuman. be a machine. be a machine. be invincible. coat yourself in iron armor. build a suit where nothing will ever hurt or touch or lovingly caress your skin. become unfeeling. be a machine. become what you do & not who you are. you must protect yourself. you must not let anyone get too close. you must not let anyone know the person you really are. you must protect yourself. stop feeling. fight. fight. fight. fight. fight, even if it makes you bitter, even if it makes you cynical. cut yourself off from feeling this way. cut yourself off.

yet there is a price to pay / you win the game, in some aspects, but you are left behind, the underdog, unfulfilled, unhappy, unseen, unknown, lost / lost / you will all the wars but lose all your soul / you become what they want you to be, but not what they need you to be / not what you need to be

because all along, the answer wasn’t less heart, but more / all along, the advice you needed wasn’t less soul, but more

& the fight doesn’t have to make you bitter

it doesn’t have to make you cynical

it doesn’t have to make you heartless

maybe you just need more heart, more soul / maybe you can only be strong if you know how to be vulnerable

The Ashlee Craft Show – Episode 002 – Poetry – “part two”

In the second episode of The Ashlee Craft Show, I read the poem “part two” from my poetry book, “A Beautiful Question of Where & When”.

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POEM:
part two

I left the space open
to write a good-bye letter to you

& the empty page stared back at me
gasping & lurching & trembling;

it was broken, it was cracked;
the paper swallowed me whole

I thought about the last time I saw you
how you were despondently numb & begging me

the bird sitting still in the cage
it once previously tried to escape from

& I thought about the tenderness :
radiantly gentle & ardent in its fierceness

& I thought about you;
you believed in me when I was just a shadow to myself

my hand was trembling
& the conviction inside me rose & sang

& I could not write anything
I could not say goodbye, unclasp your hand from my own

I could not leave behind, move on
from one I’d loved so authentically