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A.H. Scott: The Torch

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The Torch

 

 

Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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Essay by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2018

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“A fool who dances with fascism balances on a tightrope of fallacy. Melody of the cheering masses are the intoxicant that allows the fool to believe all which he thinks and does is a symphony of approval; when in fact, many in that crowd are just amused by circus act that arrived before their eyes. History is a flame which never is truly doused, as it can burn that tightrope the fool balances precariously upon. Empires fall as do fools” – A.H. Scott

The Torch

Callous to the core
When the world wants less of his mess, he presses forth with more, more, more
As everything he ever touches turns to ash
Hopes of Dreamers are dashed
Core of who he is churns on the spit of hate, proving this spoiled, rich man’s son is beneath and below a penniless reprobate
Dollars he may have
But, sense is vacant in his sphere
Accept what the leader says is how a megalomaniac gets his kicks
And, for this year’s pick it isn’t Chairman Kim
But, this propaganda is not about DRPK’s nuclear ambition
This is about an orange hedonist’s vicious disposition
Commandant of Cruelty doesn’t ride solo
Prince of piety is Mike Pence
His swooning gaze at his orange-tinged King can make the world blush a rainbow
Yet, loving your fellow man can never be in the land of He and his preachy beliefs
On a Trump leash Mike always heels, especially if in a stadium where an ungrateful bunch of sons of bitches kneels
So pure Pence is, of mind and soul
Yet, he works under a man whose own words have told to grab a lady’s angel part and not bat a delicate eyelash of backlash
Frauds come and frauds go, but this crapshow of an administration is a swamp that truly overflows
Babies in cages and parents taken away
Standing up and wishing for the day when ICE will melt away
Humans aren’t stained with a stamp of being illegal
But, now they have been judged by a singular man in a house of white as being not worth anything
They are invisible to his eyes
Even when his beloved daughter and wifey pouted to him about hearing the audio of their cries
He still don’t give two shakes of care, but realized the impact of those bad optics were ever so bruising to his brand
MAGA! MAGA! MAGA!
Sounds like a chant of an arm held at a specified angle upward
Making this country great again, isn’t coming on the watch of this regime
Hearing them thar’ words are just a bumper sticker scheme
Trump and his crew of division and despair have been kicking liberty in the rear for more than a year
From that moment he rolled down the escalator in that tarnished tower that bears his name, the push beyond the limits has been clear
Beyond dignity
Beyond respect
Beyond humanity
Beyond shame
Beyond anything considered normal has been eviscerated
Did it happen overnight?
Of course not
We are the frog in the fractured melting pot
Slow boil
Bit by bit, sliding towards something so dire
It can’t happen here
This is America
Red, White and Blue
It can’t happen here
What is the glue to patch the melting pot?
Resistance!
Voices rise!
Democracy!
This is OUR country, not HIS alone!
We are the BEACON in the darkness!
America is MY home and FREEDOM is my song!

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About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and frequent contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To read additional articles by A. H. Scott, go herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/a-h-scott-tws/

 

 

 

Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, History, News, Photography, Poetry, Politics, Popular Culture

Mikala Mikrut: Self Love

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Mikala Taking a Sip

 

 

Poetry and Essay by Mikala Mikrut, Copyright 2018

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Photography by Alex Meyer, Copyright 2018

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Self Love

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Her nails, blades that once cut along the dotted line around her neck.

Her skin, galaxies for you to explore but never conquer.
Her laugh, flames of fire to keep you warm under that starry sky.
Her eyes, roses at first glance and brambles at second. 
She has more to learn before she finds you.
She was so used to inhaling smoke that wasn’t hers, now there will only be fresh air.
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Mikala Sunbathing

 

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We live in a world drowning in negativity.
 
It is so easy to fall into the mindset of most, that life is excruciating with all of its trials and unexpected turns for the worst. I am no stranger to self deprecating thoughts. However, I have always known the power of loving oneself and haven’t toyed with that positive power until recently. As people once close to me cut me out of their lives for their own (I hope) justifiable reasons, I am choosing to accept who I am and to move forward by trying to better myself.
 
I believe in me. I believe in the good in people and that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, because life is not made out of expected moments but it does balance the choices we make. Sometimes we make wrong decisions, and that’s okay in the long run. We are only human, an imperfect species by design. It’s what we do to follow up our actions that speaks volumes; making a promise then breaking it speaks volumes as much as saying something you didn’t mean and then making amends. 
 
I acknowledge my own self worth; my confidence is soaring. On this journey of self love, through the testimonies of friends armed with countless examples of the good I have done, I have found that I really am worth attention and love. I even read somewhere that “fake it ’til you make it” really works, so now I even made it a point to walk anywhere with my head high. I’m proud to report that not only do I feel better, but there have been actual instances where strangers walk up to me and express their admiration. 
 
I am not my mistakes. There have been nights where I hardly sleep because I berate myself over and over on what I “should” have done. What I have realized, though, is that it doesn’t matter. If my wrongdoing was to someone that really knows me, then they will accept my apology and forgive me for acting out of my norm. We cannot be expected to be happy and kind every second of every day, and it is of the upmost importance that we learn to forgive ourselves.
 
The poem I wrote was inspired by a drawing I came across that really resonated with me. I know I’m not perfect, if there even is such a thing, but I am so grateful for that because it gives me a direction to go. I know so many people who wake up, go to work, then go to bed unfulfilled and do it all again the next day. That will not be me, I refuse. I will be a strong, happy woman that accepts her trials rather than expecting life to be perfect and cursing the universe when it isn’t.
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Mikala Meditating by the Pool

 
 
About The Author: Mikala Mikrut is a sophomore enrolled at Southern Utah University and  summer intern at Catherine Trifliletti Design, Las Vegas. To access additional articles by Mikala Mikrut, click herehttp://tonyward.com/2018/05/mikala-mikrut-why-be-a-spectator-when-you-can-play-the-game/
 
Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Erotica, Fashion, Friends of TWS, Glamour, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture

Bob Shell: Letters From Prison #15

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The Collector

 

 

Bob Shell: Letters From Prison #15

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Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

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I’m sitting here listening to some wonderful music. It’s the soundtrack album for The Collector, a late 1960s film by William Wyler, based on the novel by John Fowles. I consider Fowles to be the finest writer in English of the second half of the 20th Century. The Collector may have been his first novel; it’s certainly one of his earliest. By very happy synchronicity, Maurice Jarre was given the task of composing the score, and that seductively sensitive music stuck in my mind when I first saw the film and wouldn’t let go. Samantha Eggar was the actress, but I’ll be damned if I can remember the actor’s name. It’s just the two of them for almost the whole film, and they both did spectacular jobs. Simple plot, but beautifully realized.

I rushed out and bought the soundtrack on vinyl LP as soon as I could find it, and probably wore the grooves off a copy or two. Somehow, when my music collection changed from vinyl to CD I never could find this music on CD and after my turntable broke down I was without a lot of music. Some came out on CD, but much didn’t, or my sources just couldn’t get it.

Naturally I was delighted yesterday when my regular search turned up a hit and I. was able to buy the soundtrack of The Collector. I have a list that I search for regularly, and periodically I’ll get a hit and once more listen to music that’s only a memory in my mind.

Another album I played the grooves off in the 60s is Puzzle by The Mandrake Memorial, one of the best of the psychedelic genre. That one did come out on CD eventually, but is still absent from our music catalog. We get our music downloads from a company called JPay, which has an exclusive deal with the Virginia DOC. There are terminals on the wall of each pod, and when we’re allowed out in the pod we can log on and search for music to buy and download, and send and receive email. Most songs cost us $ 1.99 each, with albums running around $ 15.00 – 17.00. Unfortunately, JPay doesn’t have any Beatles, Bob Seger, John Mellencamp, and several others, but otherwise their selection is pretty good. They even have some pretty obscure groups like Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies that I used to listen to back in the day. I even recently found an odd old album I like, Hard Rock From The Middle East by The Devil’s Anvil, perhaps the only American rock band that sang in Arabic and Turkish!

Music makes the long, sad, boring hours of prison pass a bit faster and carries me away from this sordid existence that is my life now.

Maurice Jarre is one of my favorite modern composers. He’s been lucky enough to write the musical scores for some of the finest motion pictures. I have a collection of movie music, and have more by him than any other composer. There are few outlets today for composers working in the classical mode, so I’m glad movies still provide an outlet for this talent. Rich patrons who support art for art’s sake are all too rare these days. Of course, this applies to all arts, not just music. We can’t all be Jeff Koons!

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Mr. Shell is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/bob-shell-letters-from-prison-14/

 

 

Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Environment, Friends of TWS, History, Men, Popular Culture

Bob Shell: Letters From Prison #14

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Photo of Marion Franklin by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

 

 

Letters From Prison: Part 14, 2018

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Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

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I should explain my reactions on being arrested. I was raised to believe the police were my friends. My father, a TV news reporter, had many friends on the Roanoke force, and one of my cousins was a police chief. So I’d been around policemen all my life and was comfortable with them. So when the Radford police arrested me I talked to them honestly and figured they’d quickly realize they had it all wrong and drop the charges. Wrong!

When I first got to know Marion in early 2002, she was very open with me that she was a druggie. Said she’d been a “pill freak” since the age of 13. Called herself a “walking PDR” (PDR is the Physician’s Desk Reference, a big book that includes information on all prescription drugs, what they are used for, and pictures of all pills, capsules, etc.). Marion could identify almost all pills and capsules on sight. She was also a pot smoker, on pretty much a daily basis. I wasn’t concerned about the marijuana, because I knew it wouldn’t hurt her, but did have some concerns about the pills. Back in the late 60s I’d known Dr. Humphrey Osmond, a researcher at NIMH in Bethesda. He had a project in which he gave people money to buy street drugs and bring them to him. Then his lab would analyze them to see if they were really what they were sold as, and if not, what was really in them. Not surprisingly, many were not what the sellers claimed they were, and some contained pretty nasty stuff, like belladonna, formaldehyde, etc. According to studies I’ve read, the situation is even worse today. A fairly high percentage of “X” sold today is something other than MDMA, the real substance that’s called “Ecstasy.”. MDMA is a so-called “super amphetamine,” and even the real stuff can be dangerous because it spikes body temperature and blood pressure.

Anyway, the question was asked, “did you ever give Marion drugs?”. The honest answer was yes. Marion was taking Valium, and so was I. We both had prescriptions from our doctors, hers in North Carolina, mine in Virginia. Did I have any proof that she had a prescription? All I know is that she would periodically go home to North Carolina and come back with a big prescription bottle full and the label had her name on it. Anyway, she ran out one time and couldn’t go home to get a refill right away so I gave her some of mine to fill the gap. You might think “No big deal!”. But you’d be wrong. I got a one year sentence for that. Did I ever give Marion any other prescription or illegal drugs? Emphatically no! And I’ve offered to take a polygraph exam on that (or any other questions), but the prosecution turned down my offer. Polygraph results are not admissible in court in Virginia, anyway, but it would have been nice to demonstrate that I’ve told the truth from day one.

What about the marijuana? I never bought any for her, but I did pay her for modeling and studio assisting, and I’m sure she spent some of her money on marijuana and pills. Her supplier, a college student named Rob, came to my trial and testified that he’d supplied her with pot, pills, and cocaine. But he said he was not a drug dealer, just a guy who got drugs for her (!). In spite of this admission made under oath in court, he was never charged with anything!

When they searched my studio the police found in Marion’s purse her pipe and the plastic box she carried her stash in, and ignored them. The detective said that they weren’t interested. After my 1969 experience in Richmond, that really surprised me. What a turnaround in those years!

Shortly before her death, Marion had gone to Florida to spend a week with friends near Orlando, had gone to some sort of concert/party/rave and came back with some pills sold to her as X. She’d taken some at the party and said she thought it wasn’t really X. I told her to throw them away, and thought she had. I’ll talk more about those suspect pills another time.

(How many of you know that, at least in Virginia, if you pick up someone else’s prescription medications from a pharmacy, you are violating the law? I was in court for a hearing one time. The person ahead of me was a frightened young woman who had been caught with her grandfather’s pills during a traffic stop. She was facing six years in prison! I don’t know how her case turned out because the judge didn’t drop the charges at the hearing, and sent her off to jail. That’s insane!)

Since Richard Nixon pushed the “War on Drugs” all his successors have followed suit, persecuting drug users but little else. Sure, they make a big splash now and then arresting people like Pablo Escobar and “El Chapo,” but that barely dents the river flowing across our borders. The government should have learned with the Volstead Act and the “Hooch War” of the 1920s that prohibition does not work. As long as there is a demand, someone will fill it.

As far as Marion’s drug use, I figured that she would outgrow it, as I had. By the late 1970s I had completely given up on drugs and considered them time wasters. I was just too busy. I even gave up alcohol, except to nurse a single Campari and soda all evening when appearances demanded.

Marion and I went to several parties when she accompanied me to Las Vegas for a photo industry trade show in 2003. She loved it, all the glitz and glitter. At a party at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant, she was delighted to meet a very drunk Val Kilmer, who was a Nikon spokesman at the time. There’s a picture of us taken by Vladimir Samarin, Editor of Photomagazin in Moscow, at another party on that trip on the opening page of bobshelltruth. com……

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Mr. Shell is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/bob-shell-letters-from-prison-13/

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Documentary, Erotica, Men, Models, News, Nudes, Politics, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women

A.H. Scott: TWS!

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Illustration by Alexandra Rouvet Duvernoy, Copyright 2018

 

 

Poetry by A. H. Scott, Copyright 2018

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TWS!

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 Colors

Composition

Form

Shadows

Silhouettes

It’s all here at TWS!

Contemporary and classic

Conformity brushed aside

Aroused and astonished

Seduced by a sly wink

Fabrics of coolness and delight

Hues of intensity and intention

Crafted items of dimension

Open your eyes and let your senses soar

Get a glimpse at his list of affiliates to learn and explore

Visionaries of style from days gone back

Newbies are even rubbing shoulders with this well established pack

With a roll call like this, there’s no way in the world any visitor to TWS could ever be bored

Tony Ward is an artisan of the lens that always taps the right cord

Shutter sounds and the quickening of creativity’s heart pounds

East coast, West coast, Europe and beyond, impact of this man’s camera has made all the rounds

Proclaim it proud!

Proclaim it loud!

This is Tony Ward Studio!

Bulls-eye perfected!

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About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and frequent contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To read additional articles by A. H. Scott, go herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/a-h-scott-whos-trippin/

 

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