Anthea Slade

Carlton North, Australia

Creating art and writing is like breathing to me, it keeps me alive. If I stop creating my world shrinks and contracts. When I start to...

A Poetic Year - My Top Ten Poems for 2009

Wow 2009 what a creative and intense year it has been. When I come to the end of a year I become very introspective and reflective of the year that has past and think about all the high points and memorable moments that make my heart dance. It has been a highly creative year here on RedBubble and as a way of celebrating I am reviewing my poetry, art and photography and am going to publish in my journal my top ten poems and my top ten paintings/photography. I also want to thank each person who has visited my poetry, left comments, favourited my work and read my poems. Your contributions and attention has been so deeply appreciated by me, my beautiful RedBubble friends.

Four out of my top ten poems were inspired by the beautiful paintings of Reynaldo in our Two Collaborations, Passion Series and A Tribute to Womanhood. These four poems include Purple Passion, No is No, Meeting the Madwoman and Blue Eyed Gypsy Woman. It is and has been an honour and a pleasure to collaborate with the brilliant and gifted artist and wonderful person Reynaldo over the past five months of 2009. We will continue with remainder of the Tribute to Womanhood Series and other collaborations in early January 2010.

Here are my top 10 Poems for 2009:

1. Insane or Wired or Brilliant?

Brilliant Plath disappeared in her Bell Jar
Intense Vincent Van Gogh was labelled insane
And when he cut off his ear they cried he had gone too far
They cut poor Frances Farmers emotion out of her brain
And made her placid benign boring and dull
Angelina was considered already dead
Vulnerable girl interrupted accused of a lull
Her hurt was cold but her blood was red.

Insanity was thrown in my face at 17
When the high school boys shouted
My favourite artist Van Gogh was insane…
‘He is not’…I found my voice
‘He is sensitive, passionate, intense,
misunderstood…and Don Mclean had
it right on that Starry Starry Night
He took his life as Lovers often do…
I could have told you Vincent this world
Was never meant for one as
Beautiful as you.

Ah the eternal debate…
There is a fine line between
genius and insanity…they say
and how closely do we step the tight rope
With so much mental illness today
Exposed…Depression, Anxiety,
Bi-polar…Obsessive Compulsive
Disorder…A mental health professional
recently advised that 9 out of 10 have
a mental health issue.
Are so few exempt…are these figures really true?

With so much stimulation in the media, mobile, data
Sensory overload with iPods linked to our brain
Texting 24/7 with our mobiles we sleep instead of our lovers
Is the cyborg fantasy becoming a reality…?
in this wired generation?
Constantly on…we must be or we miss out…
We become fed by instant gratification
and stimulated by virtual admiration.
Addiction to this constant contact means that our
heads are overloaded with stimulus but
not given as much time to reflect, to think, to feel.

We are becoming overdeveloped in responding to stimulus
and underdeveloped in knowing our own heart.
Strangers and outcast to our own feelings
Dependent on the hit and the high of the new
and losing sight of the bravery of the subtle and simple.
Craving perfection and the eradication of foibles
we photoshop out our character lines and faults
so that we fit into some kind of ideal of the neo post notion of beauty.

Are not faults far more defining then some sanitised notion of perfection?
Are not our faults the real indicators of our individuality?
Is not our vulnerability a sign of our sanity?
Does not our sensitivity reveal that we still belong to humanity?
Taking time to celebrate and know the individual in their idiosyncrasies
Surely this is worth the effort rather then striving for some standard of
fantasy that can never be translated?

I shudder when I think where we are headed
Man machine…woman machine…cyborgs half man half machine
I pray that disposable people, relationships that end with a click
of the key and people racing to rejection will never be the accepted.
And that the human mind, heart and soul will pause…think and
move the emotional muscle so that sensitivity can still survive
and link us together through heart and mind
right through to the end of time.

So Vincent, Sylvia, Frances, Angelina and Girl Interrupted
Insanity does not seem to be able to define,
What really was going on in your mind,
As far as I can tell…you all could see, think and feel,
Oh that you suffered and were misunderstood
This cannot be denied but you were
real raw and achingly human in your pain
and there was no question of your humanity
Even if there was and still is a question over your sanity.

To me you were brilliant, free, sensitive and intense
And by all indicators ahead of your time.
And I bow to your courage
to follow your own voice and live the
passion that was raw in your heart…
To me it is as if you just knew right from the start.

by Anthea Slade 26-4-09

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2. Passion

Chase the emotion
around my heart
until it crystallises
A butterfly landing
on an open flower
Beauty upon beauty
My eyes water
and flood my face.

Building a fascination
into an obsession
Feed each word until
it etches on my heart
a blood tattoo more
red then black
that cuts across my eye.

A hunger that
pervades my essence
A yearning that cannot be categorised
A passion that cannot be rationalised
A feeling from the core that only intensifies

Annihilate alienation
Celebrate fascination
Imbibe motivation
Right to the core of the matter
to the the nuance of heart beat
Subtle sensations that climax
to bliss and beyond
A kiss like honey dew
and so strong
makes my stomach ache
with undying emotion.

A knowing that cannot be spoken
A love that cannot be broken
A fascination that burns
Flames that fire the soul
with the deep sensual flame
Tormenting the heart
Longing to embrace and engage another

Raw…it aches…
Skin on Skin
Heart on Heart
Matter doesn’t mind
When the heart is seduced
Look that sees the blood breathe
Touch that feels the pain
To reveal or to hide
the flame.

It’s sooooo hot
Flame to sweat
Spontaneous and welling
Dance of soul
Music of mind
Drama of heart
It is complete
when enraptured, intoxicated
and feed by longing
It is so hot it is wet…
exploding the boundaries of desire.

Removing the restraints of thought
And venturing where words cannot go…
To the very heart, the heat
the pain and the utter bliss
of passion.

By Anthea Slade 21-2-09

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3. Disrupt

Don’t come near me unless you want to be disrupted.

I will:

Upturn a cliche and write it to a new form
Eradicate generalisation and turn it specific
Challenge a belief system if your face is sad
Think from different perspectives always…
Look at one feeling, idea, person from multiple points of view at once
Break apart binaries good/bad right/wrong that imprison our minds
Turn objectivity to subjectivity and then reverse it
Unpack revolutionary, anarchist, activist, environmentalist…..creative
Bounce from one archetype to another from muse to vampire thanks Jung
Shatter expectation if it is judgemental and cruel
Surprise with imagination and odyssey travelled
Thrive with encouragement and inspiration
Question our wired generation
Devastate prejudice and bias that hurts others
Advocate freedom and fight for love, honour, decency and respect.
Look through lens of post structural, scientific, modern, psychological
and head towards Neo Post or Beyond the Post…
Research from Foucault to Derrida to Decartes to Hegel to Jung to Freud
Think creatively, innovatively, strategically, laterally and emotionally
Live on the edge, the fringe, from the inside, the outside and be free
Do what you don’t expect….

…because I have been told since I was a little girl that I
think too much… ‘Leave your mind behind next time’

They said to me:

You feel too much
You are too much because not only can you think you can feel too much…
Your too intense
(Did they think these words would silence me…remove my voice…
stop my mind…)

Too much for Who?
Too much for What?
Too much for You?
Too much too much too much
Much too much
Makes me want to scream…too much.

I will:


As long as my mind is free and my voice can speak and my heart can
feel I will disrupt death in life, cruelty to others and intolerance
of difference. And live full and free to my last breath.

Too much……….never :)

Anthea Slade 21-2-09

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4. He

He rhymes with ‘she’ ‘free’ and ‘be’
He is silent and then he speaks
He excites and he provokes
He is energetic, he is assertive, he is driven
He is magnificent!
He is intellectually and emotionally alive
He is articulate and expressive
He is mysterious and he captivates
He sees – he believes
He is primal and earthy
He is erudite and aware
He is generous
He is pleasure
He is pain
He is virile and he is masculine
He is vulnerable and he is strong
He is wild
He is sensual and social
He blows my mind
He has charisma
He is a king and a knight
He cries
He creates beauty…he is beautiful
He loves without pause
He sees life from and through his own eyes
He is agile, adept and engaged
He is poetic…he is wise
He has a creative imagination
He is passionate…he is whole
He is colour…he is heartbeat…he is ocean
He is the sun – wind – rain
He questions
He challenges
He is spiritual
He heals
He is an alchemist
He is heart
He seeks and he finds
He is a feeling mind
He is kind
He is Man.

By Anthea Slade

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5. Purple Passion

Her body tilts back into him
opening her breast to the universe
She reveals an open heart
in order to be close
She risks raw
to reveal what is true

If she falls will she be caught?
She leans back exposing her heart,
her breast to the world.
Vulnerable echoes across her soul
as she risks real
in order to grow

She dreams of true intimacy
but she knows that to be close
can be messy and not always polite.
Closeness urges her to be more,
to push the boundaries of fear
She imagines herself dance
through expectation
as she eradicates limitation.

She wonders if she tells her story
will he be there
when she reveals the real in her.
Human kind cannot bare too much reality.
Oh it can bite, it can make her bleed.
If she shows her wounds will
he still breathe her in, drink her
essence and revel in her mystery
or will he walk away?

But purple passion is more then all passions
the highest of all it extends
beyond the earth into the heavens,
transcendent and beautiful it is
more then what we see.

Foibles and idiosyncrasies can
come out to play and
she does not need to suppress
them or hide behind a façade.
When she reveals more she wonders
closing her eyes and she
imagines him still there.

She hungers to tell her story
and still be seen and in
her dreams to be real.
What ever is written in her heart
finds a voice in time
and he will hear her.

The emotion of longing
strokes her soul and she feels
his arms holding her arms,
his cheeks pressed to her cheek,
his hot breath on her neck,
his masculine scent mixing,
with her feminine scent,
releasing the pulse of heart
and the reverie of fidelity.

She can feel her body open
as the more she reveals
he remains.
And she delights that her
truth does not shred their closeness
Instead he loves her story
he holds her close to his heart
as her story unfolds
a tear scuds done his cheek.
She shares her life
of soul and her years.

He whispers in her ear
telling her to reveal more and more,
as their heart beats in time
he does not want her to shut down
her soul to social propriety
And with each truth he urges her
to be more and more of what she is.

He sees her, not just her sensuality and
beauty by her soul screaming to find voice
He knows her sensitivity that purrs,
her passion that integrates her reason,
and her heart that expands his universe.
He holds and contains her fragile courage
and she leans back, relaxes into his
strength and tenderness the true note of his love.

She is no longer afraid to be as fragile as she is
and no longer fears the echoes of her inner strength
With his strong arms around her,
She can breathe and be,
because purple passion is just like that,
where to be is finally enough!

By Anthea Slade 13-9-09

Purple passion was inspired by Reynaldo’s beautiful painting Purple Passion and was part of our first collaboration Passion Series.

Purple Passion by Reynaldo

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6. Meeting the Madwoman

She is nice
She is kind
She is subtle
She is compliant
She is nurturing
She loves so much
She is sweet…
Oh the feminine beauty we all know,
we all love.
That intrinsic beauty that
belongs to women,
we revel, we indulge,
we dance in the flame of softness.
So tender, so full of delight
I love this side of others and
self…the divine feminine.

Women have throughout history been
iconized for their ability to nurture and build
relationships with family and friends,
rewarded, applauded and admired in fact.
But this is just one side of the story,
there is another that needs to be told…
and that is of the mad woman.

For every hurt that hits her heart
For every disappointment that eats her soul
For every rejection that wounds her mind
For every heart ache that shreds her sensitivity
there needs to be an expression.

For some women it comes out in tears
For others it comes in silence and disappearing
For others it comes out in bitchiness
or passive aggression that is mean.
Others become insecure and are
unable to be a sister to other women.
It comes by her dying inside and losing
touch with who she really is.
And others it comes out in illness,
losing confidence,
losing voice…

But for some it comes out in rage, pure unadulterated anger.
Why is there such a fear of anger?
Is not anger the other side of love?
Is not anger a healthy, normal emotion that
makes the blood explode with fire?
Why is it many people cringe whenever they
see a woman expressing her anger?
Why do some people run from her?
Screaming she has gone hysterical,
crazy, god forbid insane!

But no she is just angry. Passionate!
She is hurt and she has become angry.
Her pain is real. At that moment it is her truth.
It is a raw expression of her soul
Gasping to find breath,
it is her true voice finally finding expression.

Anger is as valid as her sweetness and without
owning it she is just half a woman.
Jung referred to this as a shadow side.
Our less pretty side and it was his belief
we needed to embrace and integrate our shadow
side into ourself creating light and shade.

We need to dance with anger,
love her, hold her, embrace her with out fear
that we will be: abandoned,
rejected…left again.

She is the wild part of our soul
that is screaming to find a voice.
She is the wild woman of passion and sexuality
that longs to dance and embrace every archetype within.

In meeting the mad woman we engage the core self.
We chant to fire and burn with passion
as whole wild women.
After all isn’t anger…another view, another angle,
another lens of Passion?

And is it not passion that attracts our lovers and
creates our art and yes above all makes our
heart start!

By Anthea Slade 22-7-09

Meeting the Mad Woman was part of Rey and my collaboration A Tribute to Womanhood and inspried Rey’s beautiful painting and my drawing by the same name.

Meeting the Mad Woman by Reynaldo

Meeting the Mad Woman by Anthea Slade

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7. Growing older with Grace

‘It’s all over for us’
Two 40 something women in my class cried…
‘No it’s just beginning’ I replied
‘Your 40’s and 50’s are the best years of you life’
I echoed the words of my 75 year old mother
who texts me for my birthday, in Paris
travelling Europe for the first time in her life.

‘You become invisible in your 40’s’
A relation said to me. ‘I will never photograph again’
‘You lose your sexual power…your pull
and not seen the way when you were young.’
‘I disagree…women grow more beautiful
with age if they let their face follow their heart
it’s only the beginning, just the start.’ I replied.

Ah yes society’s eternal obssession with youth…
the mags, the movies, the stars, the reviews, the shows
the chasing after that 20 to 25 skin and frame…
Poisoning the forehead with botox
Puffing up the lips with fat
Cutting and lifting that face to eradicate all those lines
And stop expression from forming
As faces start to drop and sag
some just stop smiling to save their skin
just to hold to fragile branch of youth.

Youth is beautiful – this cannot be denied…
tight bodies, faces and hearts.
Confidence that comes from physical prowess
and a face that is even and smooth.
Attention comes from every where and it is
soft and smooth encased in desire.

With aging there comes a new kind of beauty
less obvious and more subtle and gentle.
If the heart is open and the
inner child is nurtured
an inner harmony is built on the confidence
that grows from wisdom through experience.
An acceptence of just knowing
where to just be is finally enough.

A time of maturity where the acceptance of self and other
leads to a warmth and courage to
wear that smile without fear of lines
and let them breathe and flow
as they follow the contours of our hearts.

When I think of all the women I admire
my mother, Cheryl, Glenda, Judy Dench, Meryl Streep…
they all have one common denominator
they all grow older with grace.
Their lines are lines of life and character
Their faces are raw and beautiful
and there is no supression of emotion
through botox and any other artificial procedures.

So when I see my smile lines become more defined
and the cracks in my top lip appear
I smile even more and create more lines
and embrace this wonderful aging process.
I turn on the music
I dance to my own rhythm
and I embrace the sensitivity and vulnerability
that comes from a growing maturity
My heart deepens…my insight sharpens
and my sensitivity sucks in all the emotion.
Acceptance of the changing self is perhaps
the greatest beauty of all.

On June 9…I always become reflective
because this is the day I was born
And I celebrate each year alive on this wondrous
earth…I sing to the sun behind my curtain
I dance to the full moon that is my birthday present
and I shout out loud… ‘I just love growing older’ …

By Anthea Slade
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8. No is No

No is not yes
No is not sort of
No is not kind of
No is not maybe…

No to mind games that devastate sensitive brains
No to power that intimidates tender hearts
No to subtext that does not equate real text
No to premediatated cruelty that attacks self esteem
No to dishonesty that disturbs pure minds
No to manipulation that hurts our souls
No to love bombing, where abundant love shifts to deprivation
No to pushing through boundaries that are never meant to be broken
No to sadistic enjoyment of others misfortune
No to words that will never be action
No to betrayal that leads to deep wounds
No to abandonment where ones security is erased
No to rejection that should never be an option
No to lies that deceive and torment us
No to lack of decency and honour
No to black and white thinking that limits our minds
No to judgemental attitudes that bleed our imagination dry
No to undermining sentences that crack our confidence
No to praying on the innocent
No to sexualising children
No to disrespecting our aged
No to exploiting our vulnerable
No to snobbery that alientates and divides

No is not a joke
No is not a laugh
No is not to be taken lightly
No is not an invitation
No is not a temptation
No is not a seduction
No is not a revelation
No is not a suggestion

No is an answer
No is to be respected
No is a protection
No is given for a reason
No is fullstop.
No is The End.
No to Date Rape.
No is No.
That is all.

By Anthea Slade

No is No is part of Rey and my collaboration A Tribute to Womanhood and was inspired by Rey’s beautiful painting No to Date Rape.

No to Date Rape by Reynaldo

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9. Blue Eyed Gypsy Woman

Her crystal blue eyes sparkle
with the verve of life
reflecting the gentle rawness
of her journey that has
sculptured the woman she is now.

Her sensual lips quiver, vulnerable
with the sensitivity of her heart
revealing that through cruel experience
she has blossomed into a goddess,
gracious, wise and knowing.

Her blue necklace and earrings
dance with her blue eyes to expose
the serenity of her heart
Her red dress energies her
to keep moving from town to town,
Her brown hat attaches her to the earth.

Where ever she roams
She becomes part of the time and place
Learning from experience,
Living in the present,
She becomes one with the moment,
She is zen.

A free wind that blows
through one town to the next
Where ever she goes she shows
the local people they can be free
because freedom resides in her heart.

She is there and then she is gone
but she leaves indelible mark
on their minds.
Her beauty and her grace
etched in gold for all who look
and see her radiate love.

It just takes a moment to see her
kindness and warmth
Her true free spirit,
will last in their memory always,
Cause she has courage to keep flying.

Free like a bird of grace
she flies to the next place,
to start the next transformation
Because she is the divine feminine
the alchemist of our souls and for
all those who dare to look
will be forever changed.

Forever free and wild,
overflowing with kindness
she gives all who
greet her a touch of grace,
blissful joy and a
radiant smile on their face.

By Anthea Slade 20-9-09

Blue Eyed Gypsy Woman was part of my collaboration Tribute to Womanhood with brilliant artist Reynaldo and it was his beautiful painting that inspired my poem.

Blue Eyed Gypsy Woman by Reynaldo

Views 233
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10. Creating Heart

In that moment when our hearts break
We can choose to remain open
Feel our pain
or shut down.

If we remain open we are raw
We scud through a plethora of emotion:
shock black, anger red
grief grey, growth green
love pink.
The odyssey of pain.

Often the violence of our pain
makes us want to withdraw
like a deer, to lick wounds
like a hermit to fall within ourselves.

If we choose to close down
We divert our minds
Our wounds stay open and
then become crusty and dry
And our heart shrinks, tightens,
and the creative flow…stops.

If we stay open…
vulnerable…fragile everything hurts.
Looks shatter.
Words annihilate to red raw.
We crumble and fragment
And we bleed.

But we survive if we live our emotions
We wear our feelings out until
our tears a continual waterfall on our
face wash the pain away.
And we begin to heal.

Our divine inner child walks
and than dances again
Delicate fragile and raw
our heart breathes
And our creative flow continues
Vulnerable we can create and feel.

And we grow and we reconstruct
and put our pieces back together
Raw, exposed and alone
we draw from our heart
to create beauty
Alchemists and transformers we
recreate ourselves in a new form.

Naked, consumed in the act of creation
engaged and enraptured
we are consumed forever in
creating line by line
brushstroke by brushstroke
colour, line and form
uninhibited and free
creating beauty, creating life

…Creating Heart.

Written by Anthea Slade

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Favourites 5
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Thank you so much to all my wonderful friends on RedBubble for your reading and support of my poetry and I wish you all an inspired and poetic year in 2010 filled with grace and beauty,

Love and Respect,

Anthea (30 Dec 09)

P.S. This journal was featured in All Things Poetic, Artistic, Philosophical on the 31 December 2009, the last day of 2009. Thank you so much Suzanne German for featuring my journal in your beautiful group. You have made my day.

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