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Literature
Hear It Now: 1940
Thin static, noise-mess, grainy tuning sounds.
Voice, recognizable. This is London.
The sound you hear the moment,– an air-raid
Siren,– wailing high over the rooftop
Silhouettes. Spotlight bursts into action.
Another behind Trafalgar’s Column.
White light in the capital of the night;
Blackout. Now the hoary searchlight rays,
Roving, rearing, reach up into the sky
And through; or strike cloud; splash against the bloom.
Noise, unintelligible. Twiddle the dial;
Find the way, with voice, with speech, with the word.
I am standing on a rooftop, looking
Out. To my left, red burst far off snaps out
Without report,– too far,– but angry fire
Against the steel-blue sky, invading steel.
White paint across from me, what was a home
Yesterday, and ten years ago, now ruin.
Whispers of a plane above St. Paul’s dome,
Dull thump of the guns working near.
Explosions overhead, but faintly heard.
Interlude. Interruption. Bulletin.
London is burning. London is burni
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Literature
Geronzio di Padova
V: We can still part, if you think it would be better.
E: It’s not worthwhile now.
I
On overweight chairs, the basket-woven men
          recognise me, hail me
              an old man with womanly hands,
              an old man with beautiful manners,
                              and an aged wife
              to whom I must return the nights.
       Hist!
              I mean to say no more than what I mean,
              what meaning mingles in my words;–
              I
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Literature
Sehnsucht
Again I ask wherefore and wait in fee,
    long-ling’ring on this feeling that I feel
    consuming me; and throbbing like a weal
upon mute flesh, this dull uncertainty
that low’rs me like an off’ring to the sea:
A paltry sacrifice. The waves receive
    and close; in closing wrap me o’er with weeds
    of white denial, with oft-vaunted deeds
by which my kind and likeness will and weave
incorporate in me,– for some reprieve?–
Though little lasts to prove the hope that rears
    before the surge that mingles loss with change,
    and gain with grief. What is not gone is strange,
and all that goes is dear;– and less a fear
rests heavy on this wretch that waits;– and hear:
No answer tumbling from the lover’s game;
    no answer borne upon the voyager’s tide,
    nor come from all the light that guides;–
save dreams diminished by lost hope and sh
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Literature
Resquiescat in Pace - Christina Grimmie
Rest softly now, for only angel arms
Embrace thee,– soft pinions bear thee away;
Quit from quarrels, cruelties, pain by day,
Unkindness, struggle, human strife, and harm.
I see thy shining furrow, silver star,
E’er lingering yet on the midnight sky:
Sublime beside the lowly and the high;
Crowned with thy voice, which moves me from afar.
All things must go,– but wherefore soon, so soon?
That all the days that thou hast yet to see,
In one monstrous moment wrenched, torn from thee!–
No more… senseless and cruel… and far too soon…
Peace enfold thee, e’er more,– for this I pray
Although cold grief seizes the wounded heart,
Cloys in the throat,– I cannot bear to part
E’en as thou movest far and far away.
Canst the love that thou hast giv’n voice, thy songs,
Hold me fr
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Literature
Ricercar: On a Theme of T. S. Eliot
I
                       I have no ghosts,
An old man in a draughty house
Under a windy knob.

Stern cypress; humbly drooping acacia;
the shrill shriek of the cicadas; dull heat;–
                   with the rain comes melancholia,
                   comes this narcolepsy of unrest,
and I am restless with that same heaviness,
though I know not what it means.
There, there should have been a river flowing
          slow from rapids broad to fall,
                 from fall to winter harbour mouth,
                 mouth, forehead, eyelids all
 dew-sodden with your hyacinth tears.
                         You speak to me, to me
 
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Literature
Sunset and Evening Star
I strove against the stream and all in vain:
  Let the great river take me to the main…

My master died
             in the closing week of autumn,
     when the trees were still green
             and the heat reddened my brow
under a livery of sweat.
This stuffy isle is bound in jade
everywhere I look: in the crook
       of the harbour, the high
       mountain sweeping
over me,–
              sea-green, verdure-of-forest-green,
       moss-covered-headstone-coloured-green,
                   and never-to-be-forgotten green,
the stalks of the carnations I took
               to a whitewashed hospital room,–
I am green-eyed from the view.
I would that he had died at sea, steaming
to an anti
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Literature
Lucilius: A Riposte
Do not speak to me, Lucilius, of your love for a woman:
I have, of late, heard too many a love lyric,
                       read too many an epigram of a similar kind
                              to desire to hear much of your own.
At the baths of Caracalla, wreathed in steam; by
    the walks of the Forum Augustum, writ in marble; by
    the antique Servian Walls, girdled by houses; and
    the even steps of the stoae, where
    the day’s idle folk consume foodstuffs from stalls;–
wagging tongues are all aflutter with this matter of a girl,
     with the flavour of the hour:
                                           this small matter of a girl.
I have not heard much talk of h
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Literature
Love Lyrics from an Aberration
My love! You are here when the moon waxes gibbous
    and trembling starlight rests low on the breach;
ascend with me now to those altars amorphous
    that rise from an antique and alien beach,
where polyps unravel and pulsate enormous
    with tenebrous echoes of R’lyehian speech.
Accursed are the shuddering planets that burble or gloom
    in a horror of cosmic proportions;
while maddening flutes greet the shambling doom
    that has spawned from the foetid confusion,
and an odious stench permeates to the nethermost room
    from the gibbering wreck of our union.
We’ll pass through the unhallowed ebony gates of the Third
    where the gloam–elvers wriggle or weep;
and drink of the blood of a blasphemous bird
    and partake in the dreams of the deep;
and wed in the witch–house where idiot Azathoth stirred
    the abysmal unknown in his sleep!
Indelible stains on insensib
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Literature
Whitby Abbey
Grey abbey of brick and mortar and loam
    seat high and lone on rocky seaward bluff;–
below the thund’rous roller and the foam
beat out an antique cadence on the rough
    face of nature-raised masonry walls;–
dark crags made slick with ocean spray and slough
stand unmoved by time’s press, caress and call
    unlike thine own:– five hundred years lain low;
and neither faith nor genius could forestall
an end in echoing dust, and in the slow
    resounding roar of water on the stone,
and wreck beneath time’s endless afterglow.
    With thee in dust lie triumphs overthrown,
    of all my vaunted race, as well mine own.
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Literature
Homage to Alfred, Lord Tennyson - Extract
Faint echoes of the thund’rous guns
    Ring o’er sleepy house and home,–
    To hateful war o’er the foam
We send our daughters and our sons,–
For country, freedom, and for king!–
    So shook those public rags at me,
    Who loves our children first and free,
Who loves them more than all these things;–
They all decry that despot East,–
    That slaves the wretch unto a faith,
    That makes a waste, a mock, a wraith
Of all that faith prize most and least,–
And bade me bathe some foreign land
    In proxy blood of thine and mine:
    For righteousness makes death divine
And angels guide the murd’rous hand
And God is with us in the West
    And progress leads us to the light;–
    But here I ask the echoing night:
Are minarets not also blest?
Should I not mourn for those I see
    Who suffer now beneath the rain
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Mature content
Hotel Room :iconprussiantique:PrussiAntique 0 0
Literature
'The Moon Is Beautiful, Isn't it?'
The moon is unspeakably beautiful:
    how lowly is this dark world beneath her?–
    how lonely is this night sky without her?
Mere words from chaste lips can hardly convey
    a complete elucidation of love…
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Literature
Treaty
non enim ignavia magna imperia contineri
In the morning, I arrived at their house,
    at its low walls and tile-winged roof;–
such a house that would keep the water out,
    or the cold away from old bones;
mayhap make firewood after a stiff breeze;–
    and there I bade them bend the knee
or I would return at the next day’s dawn
    with fire in hand.
Yes: fire, steel, lead, and shot at my command;–
    tall ships with sails as white as swans
now habit this unhomely harbour-sea
    amongst boats, as goshawks to geese,–
troubling sleep like cold spectres or old bones
    for all their nights to come,– and rout
undue defiance per force,– by my word!–
    “We must refuse…”
And that was the end of that.
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Literature
Lines by Gerontius
ab aeterno
Let us go. There is nothing for us here.
    The world is all too much for us to bear,
and little that would bring us joy is near.
    Consumed are we by time, and time by care,
    and there is little in us left to share
when life’s assurances have proven wrong.
Our lives exceed us; we have lived too long.
How oft we hear those ghostly voices that remind
    of happy days that once were ours long ago.
How oft we see those ghostly faces that remind
    of friends all gone before us to the earth below;
yet lingering unlike ghosts, when motes of daylight break
    on snowy mountaintops that dwindle distantly,
    or ivied ruins left to moulder thoughtlessly,
    or mossy plots of age-worn marble silently
recalling us from hope; or when by night we wake
    from sad dreams of mingled faith and melancholy,
the grot and cell of all of us that yet remain.
    Alone, the
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Mature content
Roman Caprices :iconprussiantique:PrussiAntique 1 0
Literature
The Battle of Gela, 11 July 1943
Sicily seems calm today; out in the sea
    There comes the sight of distant ships that sail
    Towards an isle that is not of the free.
    The cloud-crowned heavens lie open; the pale
    White beaches and the cliffs of broken shale    
    Rise from the sea even as the winds sigh,–
    And there, an aircraft’s tell-tale vapour trail
    Lightens into splendour before the eye
And glistens on the sierra of the morning sky.
O the glory and the wonder of flight!
    Stealing like sunlight over disputed land,
    Over vacant Sicilian hill or height,
    Spitfires and Warhawks range through cloudscapes grand,
    All-seeing, all-wary, chancing as a band
    Hostile line and bunkered coast and fortressed lea,–
    And from airfields carved out from dirt and sand
    Rise stern defenders to oppose yet boldly
The invading lib
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PrussiAntique
Johnathan Siu
Artist | Student | Literature
Hong Kong
Opened a new account on wordpress for all my poetic and non-poetic thoughts! Find me on wordpress at the Kingdom of Poetry where I hope to write a lot more about all the things that hold my interest!
Interests

Activity


Thin static, noise-mess, grainy tuning sounds.
Voice, recognizable. This is London.
The sound you hear the moment,– an air-raid
Siren,– wailing high over the rooftop
Silhouettes. Spotlight bursts into action.
Another behind Trafalgar’s Column.
White light in the capital of the night;
Blackout. Now the hoary searchlight rays,
Roving, rearing, reach up into the sky
And through; or strike cloud; splash against the bloom.
Noise, unintelligible. Twiddle the dial;
Find the way, with voice, with speech, with the word.
I am standing on a rooftop, looking
Out. To my left, red burst far off snaps out
Without report,– too far,– but angry fire
Against the steel-blue sky, invading steel.
White paint across from me, what was a home
Yesterday, and ten years ago, now ruin.
Whispers of a plane above St. Paul’s dome,
Dull thump of the guns working near.
Explosions overhead, but faintly heard.
Interlude. Interruption. Bulletin.
London is burning. London is burning.
Shrill sirens scream. Alarms howl. To shelter.
A sense of unreality pervades,
And there is little meaning in distance:
Sudden flowers of smoke, and streets strewn with glass;
behold the rubble; eyes reflect no fear
No anxiety, until the bomb-scream
More felt than heard. Down prone, dust-dowsed, struck dumb.
Breathe. Stand up. Later, the human wreckage
That fills a half-dozen ambulances
Push home the human cost of tragedy.
Go, press on, onwards, groping through the dark;
Hand meets another urging human shape
In passing. Back to the sirens? I hold
The rough-wrought wrist I will not hold again.
The meaning is known though the words are weak.
Yes. Good night, and good luck. My friend. Godspeed.
Hear It Now: 1940
I was listening to some of the old radio broadcasts when I got it into my head to rewrite and montage them into a poem. Most of these were the wartime broadcasts of Edward R. Murrow during his time in London Blitz.


Hm...

Not much to say really,- a combination of immediacy and distance underlies the dual action of event and emotion, with the radio providing a contextual conduit. Although everything happens in real-time on live radio, the physical distance is something that nonetheless contributes to a sense of detachment that pervades the poem despite the horror of the action. As Orwell suggests through his narrative in Homage to Catalonia, distance makes action seem unreal, or inconsequential. Sniping at other human beings far away in trenches become potshots at ants, and the machineguns of an aeroplane high in the sky become the flutter of wings.
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V: We can still part, if you think it would be better.
E: It’s not worthwhile now.


I

On overweight chairs, the basket-woven men
          recognise me, hail me
              an old man with womanly hands,
              an old man with beautiful manners,
                              and an aged wife
              to whom I must return the nights.
       Hist!
              I mean to say no more than what I mean,
              what meaning mingles in my words;–
              I would not have marri’d my muse,
                        unless I meant to kill mine art:–
                       “Art come again with vain
                        bibble-babble, pantaloon?”
          “Again…”
                       – tantamount to death; only old men
                          sleep softly to dreams of suicide.
                                          Endeavour to sleep,–
                                 follow thy course in safety
                  as though the sacred laurels pave thy way…


II

Adulterous are my paints; mine eyes, diminish’d
                                by mine age, remain
       yet prone to listless wand’rings
       here amongst the faces that I chance to meet,–
                         such faces that I chance to meet…
                  my wife awaits me; I must away
         soon,–
                  time yet to linger, count my brushstrokes,
                  paltry losses, petty loves
         that come with pity on their lips…
                       such pity when they gesture
                     at my paintings, these remainders
                              of a world no longer come.
               Solicited:–
                              she comes to me again;
                        this shy girl that I painted once,–
           curtsies; bids good morning; asks my health
           politest, though I were some lord of old,
                                          some majesty return’d;–
            and all at once I am once more a man!


I
II

Do I know her truly, know her
           in herself; in herself all that she is…
           and all things that I have seen, in themselves?
     I must seem a senseless thing… but can there be
           knowledge without a thing that knows?–
           and should I be forgiv’n for making all things
     philosophy?
                     Distancing this doubt does nothing:
                     like a pillar between heaven and earth
                                      neither affirms, denies
                                      both heaven and earth!–
            tolls must be levi’d before passage is given.
     Only heroes may cross the frost-veil’d bridge…
    “Amen!”
               For doubtless, saints will make their rounds,
                    while church bells ring out choric songs:
                    sweet music here that softer falls,
                    amidst the fugues of Maestro Hugues…
         but tell me: wherefore should I care, when I
         am stood here at the end of all my cares?


IV

This shy girl,– with such beautiful manners,–
            listens more than speaks; she watches
            as my brush returns the colours to the world:
                handsome bridges o’er the river,
                well-dress’d walkers on the banks,
                horses, cabs and gothic lamps
     alight,–
                illumin’d by the moon…
                there is a wonder in the world,
                when all is calm and all is still,
                and civil, courteous, manner’d, fair;
                      the ladies in their hats and vair,
                  beyond reproach, beyond compare…
        Hush,–
                  a word regains me, and I am but sham’d.
          What needs be fear’d of old and feeble men,
                  save harsh infirmity, their sudden passing?
          Would that she avert her eyes!
                  She looks at me as though all things
                  were well and should be well once more.


V

An old man, unseasonable; dry days and nights;
                  a latter-year painter
                  in the low’ring light of life;
          beside this vestal girl a-watching;–
          some days lunching on some morsel
                  fish’d from her bag.
    “Ahimé!–”
                  that I have not holy bread to break,–
            nor gold that all my fellows hoard and waste;
            nor silver words to flatter; nor beauty brazen;
            nor such iron sinews to hold her strong;–
            nothing, save canvas, cold fingers,
                        wet paints…
            Patience
                        hath taught men impotence;
      and render’d battlements mere air;
      and ancient giants into incoherent towers;
      and the will of one who once was mighty
            meek,–
                       nor would I have chanc’d!


VI

“Sullen and incontinent, Geronzio?”
           All is mock and gull
               in this late hour.
           Age insults me…
         Youth insults me, also,
                 and neither art nor nature
   liberate;–
                 not even when the sunsets
                 arc their vaulted shafts above me,
                 countless and incarnadine,
                            is there liberation
                            from this grey circle
                            for this grey soul!
                      How
                            should man desire to live
                            in such a state for long?–
                            and why should I be held
                    contemptuous for craving relief
              that comes by courteous hands
              and manners, beautiful, shy, polite?


VII

I have come to the sum of a life’s long history;
                       neuter’d by life’s long history,–
                       yet unmuzzl’d
                                          as it was when
              la figura di Nembrot
              first enter’d discourse with the world.
       Alike
              in noise, if not in meaning…
              the Porte of all that is to come
                                             is clos’d to me;
              blind to that which lies beyond,–
                     experience hath prov’d
                     a comfort
     inadequate.
                     Painted effigies of little substance;
                  by a man become of little substance;
                     and whose truth is little and demean’d
                        by what he hath become:
                                   ‘I make a mock of all
                                   that once I held was true.’


VIII

To have liv’d as nothing in a rented house;
            far from a home I lov’d;
                                             with passionless
           concitations, advocations
           on fraudulent prophecies;
                       gifted from dry loins;–
           behold!–
                       but virtue is not abash’d by sin;
                                     is not abas’d
            by this house of flesh; immur’d,
            is a piteous thing,
                            that she thus indulges.
                        “…sanza tema d'infamia ti rispondo.”
                Hear!
                        I am so much abus’d by such charity,
                                                   and such comfort
                                        beneath
           the many-branchéd, malé-branchéd trees.
           Ask me not to suffer a peace without honour,
                                  or compassion without love!


XI

Unfinished shapes; shameless hands;
               and eyes all-wet with want,–
               betray what tongues cannot utter?
                                If not to one…
               nor would we either mourn if one
                     were soon to go, my wife and I!
           Repeat:
                      “Summae Deus clementiae,
                       mundique factor machinae…
                       …and the wait consumes;
                               these altar-offerings,
                    doom’d to be divided, devour’d:
                    this rag-meat, these bones!
     Benedetta!
                    Why come to me now? I am
                    infirm, and forgetful, and alone,–
                         myself, myself no more:
              and will I see you when I lie awake
              the nights,–
                              the sun amidst the stars?

Geronzio di Padova
The principal inspiration for the poem are T.S. Eliot’s ‘Gerontion; Dante’s Divine Comedy (more specifically segments of Inferno; the latter half of Purgatorio and the final canto of Paradiso); and a number of Tennyson’s late poems. Epigram is a snippet of conversation between Vladimir and Estragon from Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’.

The decision to use this epigram was because it most echoed the spirit of the speaker to me,–Vladimir and Estragon are trapped, essentially, by their desire to wait for Godot. Why they are waiting for Godot is unknown, but all that they do within the confines of the play amount to various attempts to kill time and fill the void that idleness has left them in until such time that Godot arrives. The speaker of the poem exists in a similar state, awaiting death, but stuck in the impotent limbo of old age, where all that he would like to experience is forever beyond his grasp. All that he has left to do is to paint and think and pass the days in frustration until such time that death should take him away.

The mode of the poem is where T.S. Eliot’s influence can be most seen. The Modernist dramatic monologue, in contrast to the highly focused Victorian dramatic monologue as formulated by Browning and Tennyson, is consumed by the aesthetic of literary montage, wherein the use of free verse, allusion, fragmentation, etc. are used to enrich the narrative or spoken voice of the poem while simultaneously overwhelming the reader-listener with the resulting linguistic panoply.

The nine stanzas of this poem are intended to, firstly, mimic the nine circles of hell that Dante traverses in Inferno, and to suggest that the speaker is currently experiencing his own proverbial hell in the poem, namely being trapped in the state of old age. The girl who he sees, by contrast, represents everything that he cannot have or has lost,– vigour, innocence, youth, and beauty,– and can only imagine by being in the grip of intense memory or else by lusting for this girl despite his physical frailty and impotence (suggested by the language of drought and being ‘unseasonable’). Of the damned though, he is one who is keenly aware of his suffering, but also too proud to suffer the pity of others, hence why his inner monologue is dominated by powerful yet self-destructive impulses (self-hatred, frustrated lust, denial, self-isolation, scorn for others, etc.). The most he can do is look forward to the moment he will cease to be, and dream the nights of all that he would but can no longer have,– something with most tellingly culminates in the image of the ‘sun amidst the stars’ which echoes Dante directly, who describes God’s eternal radiance, beauty and compassion in such a manner.
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Again I ask wherefore and wait in fee,
    long-ling’ring on this feeling that I feel
    consuming me; and throbbing like a weal
upon mute flesh, this dull uncertainty
that low’rs me like an off’ring to the sea:

A paltry sacrifice. The waves receive
    and close; in closing wrap me o’er with weeds
    of white denial, with oft-vaunted deeds
by which my kind and likeness will and weave
incorporate in me,– for some reprieve?–

Though little lasts to prove the hope that rears
    before the surge that mingles loss with change,
    and gain with grief. What is not gone is strange,
and all that goes is dear;– and less a fear
rests heavy on this wretch that waits;– and hear:

No answer tumbling from the lover’s game;
    no answer borne upon the voyager’s tide,
    nor come from all the light that guides;–
save dreams diminished by lost hope and shame…
for want of reassurance or a name!
Sehnsucht

Et, voilà! An artifice which I pray may placate the poetic palate, if I may be so bold as to hope.

The poem is separated into four quintains,– that is to say in plainer speech, stanzas of five lines,– and follow the following rhyme scheme: abbaa

Structurally, however, the stanzas prove far more arbitrary,- enjambment occurs frequently, cutting syntactic lines across stanzas and lines, and creating a profound tension between sense and meter due to the unexpected fall of the caesura or pause.

Similarly, the assonance and internal rhyme,- observe how the phrase ‘consuming me’ seems more like the end rhyme of the second line than the word ‘weal’ due to the natural desire to close the couplet opened by ‘in fee’,- also serve to cut the across the rhyme scheme to create a kind of counter-metre and scheme to what the poem seems to present.

Regarding the language, I must confess I have a preference for archaisms;- however, considering the sense of age and long-nurtured loss that pervades the poem, I would like to say that archaisms are not in-apropos, as it were. When I speak of archaisms, I would like to suggest that archaisms also include the use of words in ways or meanings that have ceased to be commonplace. The words ‘weeds’ is a prime example.

The title and theme are broadly speaking the very same: Sehnsucht, which unfortunately has no equivalent word in English. An emotional state of longing, yearning or the sense of something profoundly missing, Sehnsucht has a deeper connection with things that are desired but unattainable. Indeed, I would like to stress that the following idea is the most important thing to bear in mind when attempting to understand the poem’s theme: a sense of profound longing for the unattainable.

It is a sense,- the merest ghost of a sensation,- of a profound longing that lingers on the heart. Just as a piece by Debussy or a painting of Monet is as much an impression of the thing rather than a thing itself,- a relationship directly underline by Magritte’s famous Pipe,- the poetic artifice is merely an impression of a longing for the unattainable or the unanswerable.

I would like to suggest, however, that an impression of a thing is by no means a lesser object than the thing itself. Here, what becomes of greatest interest is the form of the impression: which elements are felt most keenly in the impression, and which are excluded or diminished?- how are these elements made prominent by the artist?- how does the emotional distance afforded by the impression of the thing affect one’s subjective experience of that same thing? The art of impression,- or the shadow play of Plato’s cave,- is as legitimate as the art of the real.

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:icontheevilovelords:
TheEvilOvelords Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for joining our group! :D
May we be graced by your presence for a long time :meow:

Sakurai Amy
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Zara-Arletis Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the watch! :icongrin--plz:
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GHancock Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2017  Professional General Artist
Thank you for the faves! ^_^
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Omg!Thank you so much for the points!  :happybounce: 
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PrussiAntique Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2016  Student Writer
Is my pleasure! I must say, do like your art~ :D  How are you doing?
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VivectheGod Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Every thing is ok I guess, maybe just a little busy =\ Thanks again to the points! I really appreciate it.
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PrussiAntique Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2016  Student Writer
:D No worries, no worries. Sent you a Note, by the way!
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Hey things are going great!~ Thank you SOO MUCH for extending the premium, I didn't see it coming so it was a pleasant surprise xD
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WithyArt Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
salmon heart bulletFin Sep By Lu Tan-da8nzy4 by WithyArt   Pink Heart IconThanku by WithyArt   Pink Heart Icon Fin By Lu Tan-da6dxdm by WithyArt  salmon heart bullet 
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Thanks for the watch! Bunny Emoji-72 (Kawaii) [V4]
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