Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chimera Poetry: An Appreciation

by Anthony Servante

Click here to visit Chimera Poetry

The Chimera is a multi-headed creature that has been described in many ways by many cultures. To some, it is a combination of reptile, lion, and goat; to others, it is a dragon, lion, and ram. For Jaye Tomas, it is a melding of art, words, and friends, and the occasional troll.

I discovered the Facebook group by accident. I traced a picture back to its source and found myself at this magical place with mesmerizing graphics and enthralling poems. I immediately sought out the leader of the group, and to my amazement, found that it was Jaye Tomas, one of my favorite poets and a friend on Facebook, in that order.

Next, I asked her if she'd like to talk about Chimera Poetry with my readers (who may as well be her readers as her poetry always attracts big hits for the Poetry Today column). She agreed, and here we are. I posed a few questions for Jaye and let her write her own column about her poetry page.

So, let's get to it. Without further ado, here's Jaye Tomas.

Jaye Tomas

How did the idea of Chimera Poetry come to you, as opposed to your text only poems?

Well, as in most things I did it backwards. I did the page first as a showcase for my poetry. A place to collect and display them all in one area. I envisioned having a convenient spot for a few, supportive friends and family (you know, the ones who HAVE to like you) where they could come to see the latest scribbles and give opinions. I never saw it growing like it did, never anticipated strangers liking and sharing it. It has both humbled me and made me a bit bolder. There has been a certain amount of “trolldom”, but the Internet is a breeding ground for that unfortunately. Mostly, however, there has been a tremendous show of support and affirmation extended. The kindness has been overwhelming. Meeting and making connections with other poets and writers has also been invaluable, the sheer talent out there is unreal. Joining the online poetry groups is a great way of honing your own talent while helping other people. A good group will offer writing positives; critique (constructive not destructive) and guidance. And that makes me work harder, extend myself more. It makes me willing to put more of myself out there, on the line. It has been a good experience personally, a way of building my confidence and developing my craft at the same time.

Where do you get the artwork? They are haunting pieces. I often just look at the art and then go back and read the poetry. Do you pick the art for your poems or for the art itself? Or a combination of both?

The artwork is truly a double edged sword. I think it adds to the poetry, to the overall affect - but there is always the chance of it overpowering the writing. People are visual creatures and some will like the pretty picture while passing over the poem itself. It’s difficult when someone comments about the “great painting” and says nothing about the verse I just dragged kicking and screaming out of my head and on to the paper. A conundrum.

I find it....oddly enough....on the Internet! I spend a lot of time finding the right image. I have to feel that "click". I was surprised how long it sometimes takes to find the artist name to be able to properly credit the images.

Most of the time I find something to match AFTER I have written. Occasionally I will see an image that hits me like a ton of bricks and inspires me on the spot. Lente Scura is one who does it to me allllllll the time. Sorell too. Unique and amazing artwork on a consistent basis.

Do you find a big difference between writing from a source (the artwork) for inspiration and writing from the muse alone? How does the poetry differ from different sources of inspiration, if in fact it does?

Not really. My muse is a loud mouth, nagging, insomniac with an abysmal sense of timing. Write or die.

I don’t know how it differs really, very hard to say. What the artist creating a painting or photo is seeing might be light years away from what my perception of it is. It's very subjective . In one case ("My Shroud") the artist paid me the highest compliment ever, saying that they were “…taken aback on how clearly you saw it’s meaning and how you were able to communicate it via words.” It really doesn't get any better than that.

What future do you see for Chimera? Is it evolving? I’m new to the page, so maybe I missed the beginning. Was it different than today?

You haven't missed that much! The Facebook page hasn’t been there that long - since June 2013. The blog since August. I think it has evolved because all things do really. Not from any conscious decision on my part. I am a little more comfortable now, not so worried that something is too long, or too short, or too…..“me”. I have laid out the truthful person, the truthful questions and pain I deal/dealt with. People respond to that truthfulness I think.

Or….in the case of my darker, more paranormal pieces….they just like monsters. Heh..heh…

As for the future, I hope to keep adding and growing. To advertise my Very First Book being published soon would delight me. Watch that space!


Poetry by Jaye Tomas

Marionette ~

He comes to you in shadow

and in secret

not quite seen

a calm confident voice

whispering your insecurities

chiseling away

erasing parts and replacing them

doll face

with crimson painted smile

broken bits of heart

old letters and faded photos

bound into a body



about by jerky marionette strings

he has remade you

in his vision

and you don’t know how to feel

with someone elses broken bits of heart

The Moon Smiles ~

Check the small print one more time

before you sign the deed

the marketplace may not be buying

what you think you’re selling

in this place of instant freeze dried aspirations

where every chicken seeks to be chanticleer

and all full moons rise with smiling faces

dreams and delusions are separated by a line so thin

that the angels dance across it when tired of the pin

no ring to rule, no drink to make you larger

to swim in the water of Lethe

may deaden your fears

for awhile

but feeds them too

until grown so large they become master

and cringing, you look to the sky

to see that the full moon still rises smiling

it never was just for you.

Within the Dragons Dream ~

Molten gold runs through me warm as blood and lifts my wings

spreading with thunder

and power like the lightning storm

to be within the dragons dream is to be wrapped in scarlet and memories of a mighty fall

the shock of plunging

plummeting cloud clad

the wind may whisper adversary

but I scream my defiance back into it

and let my wings carry me

to farseen mountains where even the air is strange

my heart and my resolve hardening

as the fire kindles in my veins

the scent of gold and blood lures me

sings to me in siren tones

and I will go where that song leads me

full of heat and spice and shining like a morning star

resplendent in gemstone armor

as terrible and beautiful as the crimson dawn

I will remember who I am

and I will fear no living being

for dragons do not bow

Tattoo ~

I pull the darkness from the air

feeling it sink into my skin

my blood

swirling as ink through my veins

surfacing in the patterns and runes and markings

that my yearning called from the other planes

the other levels

the unseen

the unknown

the deliberately unremembered

tattoos rise in beaded symbols of power and love and loss

of belief

a call across obscured spaces

and times

calling to some not awakened yet

and to those who have slept forgotten for long years

I am a living archive, a breathing record of my tale

it is not enough to tell my story

I want to become

I need to become

my story

expanding with darkink and consciousness risen

like a tidal wave, I pull more

and I rise, imprinted

still calling

unfolding into all I am

and will be

knowing not how it ends

or what transformation this journal will require

but for now

the writing of it is sufficient

and the ink soothes and spreads deeper into

the worlds

under my skin


  1. Magical as always, Jaye. And two I hadn't read before, which is a great treat! I especially enjoyed "The Moon Smiles". Thanks for featuring and sharing her verse, Anthony! She's one of my favorite poets as well. :)