For the longest time I had trouble naming my paintings. It was a tedious chore. It always felt a bit pretentious and like the names were meaningless labels plucked out of the air. Then one day I was randomly jotting down some short poems that were bouncing around in my head and it occurred to me that I should merge my creative writing with my painting and give every painting a poem instead of a name. That decision changed everything. Mostly it forces me to slow down and consider the work beyond the composition and color. It exercises my creativity by giving me a reason to write. The painting inspires the poem, but sometimes the opposite happens. I write a poem and it inspires a painting. The painting and the poem are now two halves of a whole in my creative process, and I no longer have to name my paintings, because the name is pulled from the lines of the poem. I enjoy the process much more now. Below are the poems that go with each painting shown.

July 2020

Those Beauteous Things

This painting is part of my Dante Series. Each work in the series is titled from a line in Dante's Inferno. This is the passage for Boundary of the Valley:


It was the hour of dawn; with retinue

Of stars that were with him when Love Divine

In the beginning into motion drew

Those beauteous things, the sun began to shine;

And I took heart to be of better cheer


     - Dante's Inferno, Canto I

June 2020

The Storyteller

the storyteller


on the

edge of







the willing

June 2020

Autumn Yields to Winter Winds

autumn yields

to winter winds



as fog descends

May 2020

View From A Sacred Mountain

heights unseen

by mortal eyes

where banners wave

their silk goodbyes

where futures lived

in pasts unwept

where giants sleep

and dragons kept

by gods who dare

to hold them still

high upon the sacred hill

May 2020

Shallow Days of Silence

we walk

room to room

hoping to escape


brittle broken days





April 2020

Listen to the Whispers

listen to the whispers

carried on the wind

the hum

of a hundred thousand


we cannot comprehend

a dream

a wish

a memory

a destiny we share

the whole of our humanity

stirring in the air

March 2020

Behind the Curtain

behind the curtain

of ice and stone

a world


to call

my own

where waters run

and trees can speak

where foxes dance

and mountains sleep

where nothing starts

and nothing ends

behind the curtain

of my pretend

January 2020

The Road Home

the road home

on winters day

passing wood

and walls of stone

January 2020

The Passage

the passage


a frozen forest


quiet moments

for thought

January 2020

Sand Storm

the sand storm

lays bare




July 2020

A Place Eternal

This painting is part of my Dante Series. Each work in the series is titled from a line in Dante's Inferno. This is the passage for Boundary of the Valley:


I decide therefore and judge that

thou hadst best come on with me for

guide; and hence I'll lead thee where

a place eternal shall to thee be



     - Dante's Inferno, Canto I

June 2020

The Sky Bridge


the sky bridge


memories sleep







May 2020

A Mile Above Water

we soared

a mile above water


for a place

to land

our dreams

May 2020

A Haze of Forgotten Afternoons

a haze of forgotten afternoons

drifts across

my splintered mind

as ghosts of


long since grown

dance in a past

lost to time

April 2020

Shallow Days of Silence

desperate mornings


to empty nights

these shallow days

of silence



to our weary souls

April 2020

Waiting for Spring

a late snow


frigid tears

waiting for spring

February 2020

The Audience Swooned

the audience swooned

the audience swore

they shut their eyes

but wanted more

January 2020

Snow and Ash

snow and ash

pave the way

to roads beyond

a winter day

January 2020

Quiet Path

an afternoon

crossing frozen fields

I take

the quiet path

June 2020

Boundary of the Valley

This painting is part of my Dante Series. Each work in the series is titled from a line in Dante's Inferno. This is the passage for Boundary of the Valley:


Scarce know I how I entered on that ground,

So deeply, at the moment when I passed

From the right way, was I in slumber drowned.

But when beneath a hill arrived at last,

Which for the boundary of the valley stood...


     - Dante's Inferno, Canto I

June 2020

Buried Secrets



the mist

of my aging mind


the buried


of youth

May 2020

Hear the Hollow Places

hear the hollow places

that exist


a thought


a dream

May 2020

Along This Quiet Road

along this quiet road

through field

and fen

and fern

the mountains watch

through veils

of fog

our steps

at every turn

April 2020

Between Heaven and Earth

between heaven and earth

a sacred mountain


immortals awake

April 2020

Cruel and Beautiful Places

we live between the times

stumble into days



the cracks and caves

daring hope but

scared to find

those cruel and beautiful places

hidden in our mind

February 2020

Beyond the Cliffs

beyond the cliffs

of fallen rock

are fields of gold

above the loch

wind and storm

thrash the shore

whistling howls

across the moor

but I see only

home and glen

where hearths are warm

and love is kin

January 2020

Moon Sings Over Pinks Sands

moon sings


pink sands

sad songs


forgotten lands

January 2020

Seeking Shelter

seeking shelter

in caverns below

deep inside

ice and snow

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© 2020 Tamara Lepianka