Friday, 14 December 2012

A Scorching Tyrant

Oh the blistering rays of the summer sun
Beating against my head and eyes;
Whilst my brain fries and my energy is sapped
The sun shines bright with menacing glee.

The scorching heat is too much for me,
It weighs me down like a burden on my back.
Yet the African Sun has no mercy;
It torments those who are utterly defenceless.

Summer is like a tyrant reigning
For as long and harsh as possible.
Summer is like a cruel master,
Casting loads too heavy to bear.

Summer gives no grace to those who wish
For inspiration and consolation,
But instead clutches them in his hot fingers,
Not letting go until clouds and rain and Autumn save the         

Who loves thee, Oh African Summer?
Perhaps those who have much electrical wind inside
And deep, cool waters outside;
Perhaps those who eccentrically find heat a blessing.

But for us who feel it as a curse
Have to bear up under the weight
Of the scorching summer fire
Until the leaves wilt and turn brown and the wind begins to    

P.S. My apologies to those who love summer; we are all different, so I hope you don’t mind me expressing my own opinion on summer, even if you don’t agree ;). 

Friday, 7 December 2012

A Silent Plea

I always like art that has some kind of message. Something that can be powerfully depicted through a carefully thought out picture without the need to use words. It is really true that a picture can speak a thousand words. To me, art shouldn't always just be some beautiful, well-done drawing or painting, etc., though most of my pictures don't necessarily have a meaning. I believe the best artists are able to speak out against something, express something personal or tell a story through their art. That's what I loved about my art exam I did for AS Levels, Cambridge. I did a series of pictures on the aftermath of child abuse (some of you might have seen them). But I haven't really done any more art that has some meaning since (besides a self-portrait I did with lots of symbolism of who I am in the background.) So now I decided to do one. The following picture is a charcoal drawing of a slave (I think the photo I drew it from was of a real slave, but I'm not sure) and you'll see that in the background there are words. I really enjoyed doing this picture and my art teacher did help me a bit, so I can't take all the credit for it. For those of you who have read my other blog Colours of the Rain, you'll know that modern-slavery is something I'm very passionate about.

If you want to find out more about modern-day slavery you can go to Not For Sale or A21 Campaign

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

All About Elevensies

I've been tagged by Willa Nicole at Willa Nicole Scribblings. Thanks so much! And it's all about elevensies....

- If you are tagged/nominated, you must post eleven facts about yourself.
- Then, you must answer the eleven questions the tagger has given you and make eleven questions for the people you are going to tag.
- Next, tag eleven more bloggers.
- Tell the people you tagged that you have tagged them.
- No tagging back

Now for eleven facts about myself....

1. I am terrified of frogs (weird, I know!)

2. My favourite foods are pasta, pizza and pie!

3. I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy; the movies are awesome!

4. I am a middle child.

5. I got a haircut last week.

6. I have been blogging for over a year now.

7. I'm trying hard to think of other random facts.....

8. I LOVE anything chocolate-y

9. I ate seven crumpets on Sunday night! (I know, I'm quite greedy, aren't I?)

10. I love vintage or olden-day things

11. Saying 11 random things about myself required some thought.

Now for the questions Willa Nicole asked...

1). What's your favorite time of day/night? My favourite time of the day is just before sunset.
2). What's the favorite stuffed animal you've ever had? I think it was a soft, white monkey (and a stuffed Barney. Did I just put that on the internet?)
3). If you could choose one of the three following places to go, which would it be? Madagascar, Brazil, or Greenland? Brazil.
4). Fuzzy socks or slippers? Fuzzy socks.
5). Can you make up a rhyme right off the bat? If so, write it down here. Ummm......
6). If you could create a phoenix, what color would it's fire be? How big would it be? And would it have a voice, screech, or song? (That counts as one question, right?) Its fire would be blue, it would be big and have a song more than a voice.
7). What is your favorite mythical creature? A Centaur or a griffin.
8). What are four of your favorite books? Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Anne of the Gables series (I’m counting that as one!) and Blink.
9). What is one not-commonly-used or BIG word that you know right off the top of your head? supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (does that count? ;) )
10). If your could have a dream birthday party, what would it be like? Awesomely unique ;)
11). Which one of the following trees would you like to grow from seed: An apple tree, weeping willow, or wisteria? Weeping willow.

11 questions for those I tag.....

1. What is your favourite flower?

2. If you could be any fantasy character from a book or movie, what/who would you be?

3. Would you rather go on a wild adventure (like to Narnia), become a super hero (like Spiderman), save a world from darkness (like Frodo), or become a pirate (like Jack Sparrow)?

4. What is your dream holiday?

5. If you could visit any country in the world what would it be?

6. What accent in the world do you like the most? (I love the British and Australian accent, by the way!)

7. What do you like best: chocolate, cookies or cake?

8. Cozy pyjamas or comfy jeans?

9. What is your idea of a relaxing day?

10. If you could do anything, anything at all (no limits), what would you do?

11. What are your three all-time favourite movies?

Tagging Time.....

Storyteller at Storyteller of Weston Country

Tangerine-Tane at Fifth Out of Ten

Katie at Whisperings of a Pen

Miss Hatcher at the sweet and the simple

Morgan at short sleeved pants

Sarah Jane at Pearls on a String

Britt at Encouragement For Everyday Struggles

Gina at Jars of Clay

Orla at Escape to Vanilla

Keaghan at Whisper Above the Thunder

Cindi at Cotton Candy Clouds

Friday, 16 November 2012

No Turning Back

Light danced across my closed eye-lids, beckoning me to wake up. I opened my eyes to see the first rays of the sun shining through the cracks between my curtains. It was raining gently outside; a strange mixture of rain and shine that gave me a delightful sense of peace. But then I looked around my room and saw the boxes that contained most of my earthly possessions, and suddenly I was reminded what day it was. My momentary peace shattered, I wanted to pull the covers over my head, close my eyes and rewind a few years, even as excitement, simultaneously with fear, flooded my heart. Today I was spreading my wings and leaving the nest.

I could hardly believe that I was leaving a life-time- even if eighteen years is not that much- of memories and my family and friends behind to go to University in another city. It seemed so surreal and, to be honest, I felt old. I wanted to travel back in time and enjoy my childhood of day dreams and imaginary adventures once again. But there was no turning back now; time was marching onwards, whether I felt like joining the ride or not.

Sighing, I pulled myself out of bed, got dressed and walked past the kitchen, where my mother was cooking something delicious for my last breakfast at home.  Noticing that she looked ready to burst into tears, I slipped quietly outside into the cool air and seated myself on the veranda’s steps. The rain and breeze teased my hair as I drank in the sights I would only see during the holidays. The tall oak tree I had climbed countless times, the soft green grass, honey-suckle bushes, tree house and flower-beds all held a wealth of memories. A smile played on my lips as I thought of all the times my brother and I had romped in that garden.

I was called in for breakfast some time later and it was such a dismal meal, despite the scrumptious food. I was the first child to leave home and we all somehow knew, or thought, that our close-knit family would not be quite the same again. Finally it was time to leave. We packed all the boxes we could into my small car and the rest would arrive in a truck. I had never seen my family so forlorn as they were when they hugged me goodbye, tears in their eyes. After all that needed to be said was said and a prayer was prayed, I climbed into my car and, with tears streaming down my cheeks, rode away. I couldn’t believe I was leaving them behind as this new chapter in my life began. I had finally flown away and left the nest; there was no turning back now.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Writing Tips- Literary Humour

First, I would like to apologize for neglecting my blog; I know I haven’t posted in a long time. I won’t be able to blog much anymore because our internet minutes are greatly reduced. However, here are rather amusing “tips” I found in a book on writing. I hope you enjoy it and notice the humour.

The Thirteen Gremlins of Grammar
1.        Correct speling is essential.
2.     Don’t use no double negatives.
3.      Verbs has got to agree with their subjects.
4.     Don’t write no run-on sentences they are hard to read.
5.     About them sentence fragments.
6.     Don’t use commas, that aren’t necessary.
7.      A preposition is not a good word to end a sentence with.
8.     Remember to not ever split infinitives.
9.     Writing carefully, dangling particles must be avoided.
10.   Always use apostrophe’s correctly.
11.      Make each singular pronoun agree with their antecedents.
12.   Join clauses good, like a conjunction should.
13.    Proofread your writing to make sure you don’t words out.
And, above all, avoid cliché’s like the plague.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Pencil Drawings

-The Bohemian Musician



-Scarred Childhood

-Unseen Tears

-What My Eyes Say

Friday, 7 September 2012

Tear Drops

For parents who have had to bury a child
The moment the words met her ears
The mother fell to her knees without a say.
Something so heavy crashed upon her;
The weight of a sorrow that neither tears
Nor time shall ever carry away.

The loss of a young child
Is something none can fathom nor explain.
No mother should have to lay to rest
Her child; it is something that makes one wild
With unrelenting sorrow and pain.

How does one endure such loss, since
It has left one desolate, shocked, in the hole
Of despair, with no light to guide you home?
How does life continue when the absence
Of a loved one pierces the very soul?

Loss such as this causes the mother’s tear drops
To fall silently in her shattered world, where
She sees her child all around her.
Haunting her in sights, smells and shops
Are glimpses of a beloved childish pose and well-known eyes and hair.

Flitting about her is a precious record
Of a loved one who has passed on into
A better life, where she cannot now follow,
But instead must move onward,
Trying to see beauty in a horrific view

Amidst the harrowing pain and
Never-ending sorrow, is a comforting Presence,
Who is there to help her persevere.
He holds her in the loving palm of His hand,
And catches each tear drop that falls into the surrounding silence.

Thursday, 23 August 2012


For all the babies whose lives have been ended prematurely by the choice of their parents.

Unwanted they come, unwanted they go,
Their tiny heartbeats are not treasured
Nor their precious lives cherished; no
Instead they are seen as a problem
That needs to be destroyed, although
The heart of God is forever breaking

They grow in a dark and unseen place
That is meant to be safe, but instead
Is a hole of coming pain and un-grace.
Unloved, they leave the leave the world with hardly
A catch of light nor a glimpse of another’s face,
Their cries unheard and their tears unseen.

The ending of their heart’s tiny beat
Is accepted and justified as right by many,
Who feel not the fear nor the complete
Pain of the unseen ones who suffer in silence,
Their heartbeats ignored and their lives discreet
By the choice of those who carry them.

In this world, there is no resting place; none
At all for those who shall never have
The chance to live, laugh nor run
Nor to love, sing, speak or behold beauty,
But shall pass on as an unwanted one,
Their hearts stopped before their lungs’ first breath.

There is One who loves them still,
Whose heart is breaking in two over each stilled life.
He shall gather them to His Kingdom’s hill,
And cherish and love and delight in them there;
With all of His Fatherly heart, He will
Protect each heartbeat that others had cast aside.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Part 2- A Daughter's Strength

Tirzah fetched the girls and then entered the house and began making preparations to head for the hills for two months. Her closest friend, Miriam, and five other girls, Rachel, Ester, Ruth, Tamar and Sara, attended her, tears pouring down their cheeks the whole time. She bid her parents goodbye and walked through Tob, where she had lived her whole life. Keeping her head held high, though her lips quivered, she walked passed her people, as some stared silently, while others cried out their goodbyes. Once she and her friends reached the hills, Tirzah breathed a sigh of relief.  The peacefulness the tall trees and the fresh streams offered her in these hills gave her peace, though also a feeling of loneliness.

For the next two months, Tirzah felt as if she drifted in a dream; in a nightmare that didn’t want to end. She and the girls roamed the hills, mourning and weeping that she would never marry, that her life would be ended prematurely. But mostly, Tirzah mourned for Asher and her parents, and all the pain they were going through. Her parents visited her often and villagers from Tob brought her gifts and kind words. Yet Asher stayed away and Tirzah understood why. The days drifted by in agony, her inevitable fate lying forever before her. Yet she knew that she was doing the right thing; God had given victory to her family and her people, and Jephthah had sworn to give back to Him.

At last the fateful day came and Tirzah had come to terms with it. The girls attended her as she bathed in sweet scented water and slipped into the beautiful dress her mother had made for her; white to symbolise her purity and virginity. Miriam put flowers in her dark hair, which hung loosely around her shoulders. She was ready and looked beautiful, yet her usually bright eyes were shadowed with sadness. As she was about to leave the hills, Tirzah told the girls to go ahead. There in the cool, quiet air, Tirzah sought help from the Lord. She beseeched Him for courage and strength. She took a deep breath, opened her eyes and was about to leave when a dark figure caught her eye.

She gasped. Asher. He came slowly towards her and silently offered her his arm. “You will need all the strength you can get.” He whispered as they walked towards town. “You look beautiful.  You don’t deserve to die. ” He said, looking down at her, evidently fighting emotion. Tirzah stopped and looked up at him. “Thank you.” She said. “I’m so sorry, Asher.” Tears slipped down her cheeks. “I love you, Tirzah.” He answered, then leaned down and kissed her. Then he took her hand and they continued to walk towards the coming doom. Tirzah saw a large crowd gathered around a  fire where her father and mother stood. Her father held a sword in his hand and wore a look of intense pain. Tonight he would have to kill his only, beloved child.

At the sight, Tirzah clung tightly on to Asher’s hand. He gave her squeeze and a final kiss, then whispered, “Be strong, beloved.” He then led her into the centre of the crowd, dropped her hand reluctantly and moved to the side. Tirzah stood in front of her father, feeling exposed as hundreds of eyes stared at her. Yet she could only stare into the eyes of her father and see the pain and hopelessness that loitered there. “I’m so sorry, my daughter.” Jephthah said. Tirzah suddenly stopped crying. She gave her mother and friends a final hug, looked into Asher sad eyes one last time and then again stood before her father who held the drawn sword in his hand.

Tirzah looked him in the eyes with a slight smile on her face, and said, “My father, you are only doing what you must. I don’t blame you at all and love you dearly.” Tirzah kneeled, moved her hair away from her neck and bowed her head. A peculiar peace flooded her and she felt God’s presence with her. Complete silence engulfed them. Then Jephthah closed his eyes, as tears streamed down his face before opening them again, lifting his sword and completing his vow with one motion, while his daughter remained strong until her final breath.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Part 1- A Daughter's Strength

Based on Judges 11:30-40, when Jephthah had to sacrifice his (nameless) daughter because of a vow to the Lord.

Tirzah impatiently kneaded bread by her mother’s side, looking out the window nearly every minute. Surely her father would be coming home by now. If they had been victorious.... Fear and worry stabbed her heart. She stopped what she was doing and ran to pear out the door. “Tirzah!” Her mother, Zipporah, reprimanded. “Your father will come home in the Lord’s timing. Now come help me!” Tirzah obediently left the doorway and did as she was told. However, her mother could not keep her mind in check, which had soared to her father’s side once again. The last few weeks had been exciting ones for her family and all who followed her father, Jephthah, who was a godly man and a mighty warrior. Her father was a Gileadite, but had been driven away from home because his mother was a prostitute. Yet, now that his homeland was in trouble from the Ammonites, the elders of Gilead had begged Jephthah to help them, and then they had made him leader over them.

Jephthah had marched to war a few days ago and Tirzah, his only child, had been overjoyed for the father she adored. Now she eagerly awaited his return, which was expected daily. However, someone else was also on her mind; someone who was returning with her father. Once all her chores were done, Tirzah put on her best dress, did up her hair and ran outside the house. As she waited, she thought of Asher, the young, handsome warrior in her father’s army. Suddenly, her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of shouting, cheering and tambourines.

Gathering her dress, Tirzah nimbly climbed upon the roof to see what all the noise was about. Not too far away, she saw a victorious army led by her father and Asher was at his side. Her heart swelling with joy and pride, Tirzah climbed off the roof and ran inside to tell her mother the good news. People with tambourines had gathered around her house, clapping and shouting. Tirzah was a beautiful girl of sixteen, and the people of Tob asked her to dance. She began laughing and spinning in the crowd with joy. Seeing her father coming closer, she broke away from the crowd and danced out alone to meet him, wanting to be the first to welcome him home. Her long, dark brown hair swirled over her shoulders, her brown eyes were bright and her small, slender body moved gracefully.

Tirzah stopped in front of her father, expecting his face to be full of pleasure at the sight of her, Jephthah’s Jewel. Instead his face had gone pale and was suddenly overshadowed with despair. The men had become strangely quiet and Asher looked as if a knife had been thrust in his heart. “What’s wrong, Jephthah?” Zipporah’s voice asked quietly from behind Tirzah. Jephthah didn’t answer but instead silenced the crowd with his hand, dismounted from his horse and stood before Tirzah, who now wore a worried frown. Putting his hands on her shoulders, tears began pouring down his cheeks as he said, “Oh! My daughter!  You have made me miserable and wretched, because I have made a vow to the Lord which I cannot break.” Tirzah looked into her father’s eyes and somehow realised that she was going to die. The realisation shocked her speechless and fear struck her heart. Her father brokenly continued. “I made a vow to the Lord that if he gave the Ammonites into my hands, I would sacrifice the first thing that came out of my house to greet me as a burnt offering.”

The crowd behind them gasped and Zipporah began wailing and shouting, “You can’t do this Jephthah! She’s my only child! Please, no!” Tirzah’s eyes filled with tears and she still could not speak, but she somehow remained strong. She knew that a vow made to the Lord could not be broken. She could not beg her father to let her live, otherwise he might die by not honouring his word. “Oh Lord, give me strength.” She prayed silently. As Tirzah began to speak, a strange peace settled over her. “My father,” She replied, her voice surprisingly firm. “You have given your word to the Lord. Do to me as you have promised, now that the Lord has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites. But grant me this one request. Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.” Her eyes fell on Asher.

“No!” Asher shouted. He dismounted and strode towards her, his powerful body shaking slightly and his brown eyes intense. As he stood over her, Tirzah looked small and fragile next to this tall, strong man, especially now that her fate had been decided. “Don’t let this happen, Tirzah.” He said softly so that only she and her parents could hear. Tirzah looked down miserably and saw her father dismiss the crowd and the army from the corner of her eye. When they were gone, she whispered, “I have to, Asher.” Her voice shook now and her chin began to quiver, but she knew she had to be brave. Asher reached out as if to comfort her but stopped in time, knowing it was inappropriate in their culture.

Instead he whispered, “But I love you. Tonight, I was going to ask your father for your hand in marriage.” Tirzah shut her eyes tightly, tears slipping down her cheeks. Opening them, she looked up at Asher. “And I love you. But I must do the right thing and honour my father’s vow. I am... I am sorry, Asher.” Stepping away from him, Tirzah looked questioningly at her father, who was holding her weeping mother. He nodded. “You may go.” Her father kissed her on the cheek, his eyes full of pain, and led Zipporah into the house. Not one person remained except Asher and his presence broke her heart. He stared at her and, seeming to no longer care for propriety, took her in his arms and held her tightly. “I don’t want to let you go, my Tirzah.” He said. “But if you can be strong, then so can I.” He kissed her on top of the head and then released her. “As you spend your last two months, remember that I love you and always will.” With that, he turned around and disappeared from sight.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Ink Stains

I love different types of art mediums, but I must say that one of my favourites is ink. Ink suits my style as it’s just right for mixed media pictures (which I enjoy) and doesn’t have to be perfectly detailed. It is lots of fun. I either first mix it with water or put the water on the page and then add the ink (which makes a really cool effect). When I use ink, I usually add either charcoal or grey pencil to the picture to give it more detail as I did to the ones below:

A Cloudy Day- Ink and charcoal

Abigail-Ink and Charcoal

The Wrecked Voyager- Ink and pencil

Joel- Ink and charcoal

Walking in the rain- Ink and pencil

I love doing black and white portraits in ink, as I did with Abigail and Joel (I have no idea what their real names are, by the way, I just sometimes give my portraits names. Weird, I know). Ink is also nice because it’s quick, messy (I like getting ink on my hands for some reason), and the results are usually rewarding. 

Friday, 27 July 2012

A Land of Day Dreams

Written by Jess Leigh
I forgot what I was doing,
I forgot where I was
And, in a small way, I forgot who I was.

My mind played games with me;
Tricks as some might say.
It whispered strange stories in my ears.

Then it whisked me away on adventures,
It took me to places none had been,
To paths not travelled upon.

Eyes wide open, yet wholly unseeing,
I was no longer there;
My spirit was soaring on invisible wings.

I went to lands none can know.
Of my inmost thoughts and wild ventures,
I can reveal nothing to a soul.

To I alone do they have meaning,
To I alone does my mind speak
And carry away to another, unknown world.

There, none can touch nor harm me,
There my imaginations run wild
And the inventions of mine mind are free.

Where my mind takes me are others,
Others like me, and yet so dissimilar from me;
Others only I know; my friends alone.

With a pinch, with a word, with a shove
The visions fade and I am brought back again,
Only to return to my world at another time.

Can anyone guess the theme of this poem?

Friday, 20 July 2012


Welcome to my new blog! I've been blogging since November last year (at Colours of the Rain) and have loved it. Now I decided, as I want to be a writer, and writing and art are two of my passions, that I would like a blog where I could post my "creations". Here I will post stories, poems, art (all done by me) and perhaps tips or comments on writing and art. This blog will officially open next Friday. Every Monday and Friday I will have a new post, and every Friday I'll have a new quote. I hope you'll stick around for awhile and return next Friday! :)

~Jess Leigh