FOG : A Zine

FOG: A Zine by Ashlee CraftMy camera lens fogged up one evening when I went to take a photograph of wild mushrooms that sprouted up in my yard. When I saw how the photo came out, I started taking pictures that night of a variety of things, just to see how they looked with a fogged lens. After the lens adjusted to the outdoor temperature, I breathed on it to keep it foggy & kept taking photographs. I was enthusiastically running back inside over the span of half an hour or so to gather more props, to do more experiments in how things looked in the fog. The fogginess made everything look fantastic & otherworldly & surreal & aesthetically marvelous.

The results of my photograph experiments are all contained in this book. There are four poems interspersed among the photos. The photos follow a progressive from the warm lightness of the beginning of sunset to the cool blue darkness of early twilight. The photos have not been altered in any way. How they came out is how they were taken.

The magic you see is real.

Publication Date // October 30, 2017
Paperback 63 Pages
Genre // Zines, Photography
Poetry

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 011 – Poetry – “Four Roads to Freedom”

The Ashlee Craft Show — Episode 011 — Poetry — “Four Roads to Freedom”

Episode 11 of Ashlee Craft’s webseries, The Ashlee Craft Show

In Episode 011 of The Ashlee Craft Show, Ashlee reads the titular first poem from her third poetry book, “Four Roads to Freedom”, which she published in 2012. The poem is about four pathways people can go down in life — the fancy-looking pathway that’s unfulfilling, the sad dark pathway, the repetitive mundane pathway, & the brilliantly beautiful authentic pathway.

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Four Roads to Freedom

four roads to freedom in the noonday sun I sat on the plank by the fountain waters a plane flew overhead & I felt the sun seeping into my skin into my soul / a dove flew overhead carrying an olive branch united with both hands & under a sky painted blue by the ringing of freedom & the music from all around – standing underneath overhangs / trying to find the road upon which my destiny lies / trying to find out where I’m meant to be

but sometimes getting caught in chains as I walk down the roads trying to find out who I am / chains made from the dreams I hold deep in my heart but sometimes I fear my competency to make them come true / chains made from my tears & confusion & phases I went thru / chains made from each step upon mistaken roads I walked / chains made from each contemplative hour I clocked / chains made from searching for my true home / chains made from thinking that I was alone / chains made from trying to please everyone / chains made from chains made from the lies I told myself / chains made from wondering whether my dreams would come true / chains made from my desperation to find you / but I have broken free from these chains

but how was I to know upon which road destiny lies / there’s so many roads I’ve seen & walked down & so many times I’ve turned around only to find that I was on the right road all along / the only map is my soul & sometimes I end up lost & stranded with no place to go

some roads shine with the reflective sparkles of diamonds & gold yellow bricks covering the ground & veils of lace terraces of silk & boughs of silver / you hear the sound of glasses clinking & parties & the overwhelming music of money jingling in pockets down these roads / but be warned / this is a road of plastic lies & a road of everything that isn’t true / if you walk too long down these roads, your heart & soul will be sucked out of you & you’ll become just another puppet / a snake dressed in money’s expensive costume / you’ll gain the world but lose your soul / you’ll be imbued with disillusionment as to what life really is about / you’ll forget who you are / don’t try to be somebody you’re not

other roads are dark & sad & dingy & dangerous / the trees brush against your shoulders as you walk thru them & you can hardly see in the darkness / you can’t see your own hand in front of your face & there’s tricks & twists & turns ready to pull you in & imprison you for eternity / you hear the sounds of approaching animals, yet are blind to whatever else may be out there / as you wander thru the darkness, its so easy to get lost & it takes the brightest light to be able to see anything / pits of quicksand & poisonous animals on the ground & so many turning paths you could get lost upon if you let yourself remain on that path very long / if you go down such a road, tie a rope to your waist to lead you back home / don’t get lost in the darkness

some roads are blocked & just go around in circles & never lead you anywhere but based on how fast & far you’re walking you think you’re going somewhere / but you’re not / look up & notice the canyon you’ve worn in the dirt walking around the same circle year after year / notice how with each repetitive rotation you just dig yourself deeper & deeper into the sand / nothing ever changes along this road except time & the travelers are afraid of change so they stay in the same place doing the same things but still thinking something will change / but change doesn’t come unless you change / some people make things happen & some people wait for someday / but today is the day for your dreams to come true / don’t close your mind to the possibilities

but there are some roads that are happy & beautiful & wonderful / when you walk on them, it just feels right & somehow you know that this is the right road for you to be on / on this road you’re never alone & never afraid because you see that everything you need is in your soul / flowers & trees sway in the breeze & when you follow these paths, you find your dreams / cool brooks edge the paths & birds sing in rhythm with your footsteps & flowers dance / the sun shines brightly & warmly caresses your face & you sleep safe under the bright cozy light of the moon under the twinkling of stars & the music of crickets & frogs / you’re guided by the music of life singing within your soul / it’s on this road that you discover yourself / it is the road of destiny / don’t hesitate to live the life of your dreams

open your mind & your heart & dare to dream / search within & you’ll find all the answers you need to know / be yourself & believe in your dreams / don’t be afraid to take that leap & learn to fly on your way down / live & laugh & love / know that anything is possible /

believe in yourself

& someday, you’ll find your own road to freedom