A Brief String of Visual Metaphors and Expressive Pictorial Descriptions
by Vanessa Lemen
“Holding On and Letting Go”

I’ve held on and let go countless times,
And the balance between the two has always found its place.
I’ve found myself blindsided by what later seemed obvious,
And soared high above snakes who have slithered below.
I’ve scrawled out magic memories in the form of scribbles
That leapt from the page and took form as a lump in my throat.

“Tightrope Trouper at the Speakeasy”

I’ve walked on tightropes with my mouth erased,
And painted it onto another to speak for me.

“The Bob Tree”

I’ve seen faces in all of the trees around me,
And heard the applause of their dry leaves when it rained.

“Heady Machinery”

I have floated through time, ventured in space,
And walked in places it seems that time has forgotten.
I’ve been lost and have lost. I’ve come back from the void
To a place that was familiar but suddenly not the same.
I’ve shed tears in the happiest of moments,
And stood stoic in sadness, been numbed by betrayal.

“Letters To A Young Poet”

I’ve stowed away life lessons in my thinking cap,
And found most answers in my unconscious riffs.
I’ve wandered aimlessly with beings great and small,
Adventured with creatures sensitive and fierce.
I’ve laughed with them in the shadows,
Howled with them in the light.
I’ve held signs in crowds, roared among the tribe.

“Hold True”

In the most silent of moments, I’ve heard truth speak.
I’ve hibernated for what seemed like eternity,
And then awoke to shout from the mountaintops.
I’ve shared strides with characters from all walks of life,
And journeyed with those who defy gravity.
I’ve danced with fire spirits. I’ve bonded at bonfires,
Lifted by the power of human connection.

“Melt Back in the Wave”

I’ve lost my breath under powerful waves,
and reached the surface thankful for air.


I’ve sung with clowns and clones and wind in the branches,
Flown with birds and planes and cats.


I’ve felt the heaviness of darkness,
And have reached out to the most colorful of lights.

“Harvest Whisperer”

I’ve witnessed dry fields turn to flames, then black.
And in those fields, I’ve run through grass tall and green again.


I’ve traveled to worlds that have only machines,
And to worlds where no machines have ever existed.
I’ve listened to the tales of wise monkeys,
And swam in the veins of their ancestors.

“Tree Woman in Kakusu Forest”

I’ve grown roots and floated from limbs.
I’ve seen devastation, witnessed growth and renewal.
I’ve watched the sleeping breath rise and fall quietly
in the chest of the ones that I love and have grown old with.
I’ve been rescued and nuzzled with those whom I’ve rescued
Who remind me to rest, to play, to listen and hold true.
I’ve visited the spirits of those who’ve passed on,
And met new souls that possess magnetic energy.


I’ve been lifted up and loved, sung harmonies on long road trips,
And been comfortably quiet in shared spaces.
I have fallen, I’ve been broken.
I’ve risen, and I’ve healed.
I have been powerful and powerless,
Larger than life and microscopic.
Often times, I’ve been invisible.
Some adventures have been heavy,
Some have been as thin as air,
And most have defied the boundaries
Of the years that define my lifetime.

And so I will continue to paint what life shows me…