The first layer

Rise consists of 18 painting and poem combinations, each conveying meaningful messages on overcoming adversities in life.

The second layer

Two lines from each poem link together to form a second poem, intending to help inspire you to overcome your own adversities.

The third layer

Once you’ve discovered the second layer, the third and final one requires you to step back and intuitively see why I’ve created this.


By viewing this collection, I hope it will help towards you finding your own peace, joy, love, happiness and fulfilment in life.
(All art works and poems in this collection are copyrighted and may not be copied, duplicated nor reproduced in any form or by any means.
Copyright © Kourosh Wallace, 2018. All Rights are reserved.)

1. Losing hope

(Oil on canvas, 39.5" x 27.5")

No matter how good to people I try to be
I'm always bullied and tormented, relentlessly
I don’t deserve this distressful despair
For someone who simply wants peace, this isn't fair

For my feelings and well-being, please care
All dignity stripped to its bare
Of course, it’s no skin off their nose – if only they knew the weight in each tear
Humiliated to the point I drown in fear

What has become of our society?
When many live each day in darkness and anxiety
Dreading the next time I’m shot down by a sniping tongue, lashing out malignity
My kind nature always targeted, fuelling an unprovoked enemy
Where does this hatred come from? Ah yes, envy
That little parasite revealing its ugly face
Giving a low’ blow’ to my core – a diabolical disgrace

Baffling it is how we rapidly advance in technology
Yet we can’t learn how to deal positively with feelings of jealousy

Ostracised for being different, there’s no acceptance
No shame, no guilt, no conscience; no heart, no compassion, no repentance
Brutal is their behaviour, taking pleasure in seeing me quiver and quake
That’s life hey: some enjoy seeing you smile, others enjoy seeing you break

What is it going to take?!
For us to realise our words and actions can hurt; we must open our eyes and awake

Why the cold-hearted and cruel leave others feel so small and abused?
I’m left feeling lonely in this dark place; withdrawn, dazed and confused

Everything I know right from the start
Has been shattered and battered
I’m losing the will to live
My world is falling a part


2. Blinded with sorrow

(Oil on canvas, 48" x 30")

The down pouring of pain is impeding my sight
I no longer know my day from my night
I must alleviate the strain and overcome this plight
My chest is suppressed, all heavy and tight

There’s no respite – not a moment of relief
I foresee of a future filled with nothing but grief

I can’t take any more
I can’t make it through another day, that’s for sure!
All the depression and dejection > the despondency and despair > the sadness and unhappiness > the helplessness and hopelessness > the agony and anxiety > the misery and melancholy
– Like a long knife stabbing the heart relentlessly

No matter how hard I try, all I feel is the hollow
I’m giving it all I can with a broken heart
Yet all I face is endless sorrow


3. Going it alone

(Oil on canvas, 48" x 36")

Hopeless is what I feel, knowing what will follow
What is the point in a tomorrow?
When being different means I have to walk my path alone
I know I have to break free and recover on my own
And overcome these projected seeds of suffering that have grown

Singled out by ignorance for my difference and brandished as being ‘weird’
At least this lonely track I pursue is now cleared
The possible directions are endless; which way do I turn?
Overwhelmed with countless options; there’ll be many mistakes and plenty lessons to learn

If everything has a beginning, a middle and an end
Then what is the definition of a ‘life-long loyal friend’?
Yes, people do enter your life for a reason
But this finite exchange is only for a season
However long it may be the destination isn’t key
What truly counts is what you share together that makes the journey

With infinite stars to choose from, it’s hard to know which is right or wrong
I’ll make the one I follow an adventure and let my life be my song

Whichever I choose, I’ll do so with courage and conviction
I can’t afford to lose any more precious but limited time I've been given


4. Seeking out the answers

(Oil on canvas, 48" x 36")

Under the stars is where I rest
Constantly questioning in my quest

The more I ask, the more I receive
Always curious to see what I can achieve
When I analyse, I realise no one’s immune from life’s thunder
There’s a real risk each of us can go under
Is there more to our life than our existence and experiences? I wonder…

No one should fall victim and suffer on their own
Each night I ask for the universal truths to be shown
Because finding the meaning in the suffering brings nourishment to my soul
I want to discover my calling and live out my true role

I search for my purpose in being alive
A more happy and fulfilled experience is what I strive

It’s down to the dark depths in which I dive:
At times I wonder why most don’t live compassionately
At times I wonder why we lose faith in ourselves and humanity

We don’t even try

At times I notice opportunities pass me by
At times I look at what I’ve become and cry
At times I feel I’m ready to die
Other times I just simply wonder ‘Why?’

At times I wonder what all my efforts will cost me
At times I wonder who would care if they lost me

At times I wonder whose hearts are pure; many times I doubt
Other times I wonder what everyone’s lies are about…

I devote my life to the truth as if it's my ‘best mate’
Always setting me straight
Always treating me fair and just
I may not like what I hear or see but knowing reality from illusion is a must!

The truth will never betray
Nor will it ever lead me astray

The truth always brings peace to my mind
It is key in saving humankind

The truth may become concealed
But it always rises to the surface and is revealed

The truth pierces with clarity – as clear as black and white
Always providing protection – even through the darkness of night
Guiding me in the right direction to reach the light...


5. Honouring my innocence

(Oil on canvas 19.5" x 28")

What I endured left my heart with a gaping hole
To remember who I truly am as a whole
I must honour and protect my innocence from the wild and corrosive weather
Rejoicing with little Kourosh is what I truly treasure

What was I striving for?
Forever unsatisfied and wanting more
Succumbing to life’s distractions, tempted with shallow things
Deceived in believing I’ll be respected for owning soon-to-be-obsolete things

Once full of curiosity, innocence and playfulness
Full of dreams, adventure and fearlessness

Free to express my love, affection and kindness
Without being outcast for my innocent self fullness
– Sounds like the signs of timeless youth and happiness!

It’s only in life’s adversities what you go through
That gradually suck the life out of you
Therefore, it’s my mission to renew
And remain true to myself and what I value

What I faced, has been no mystery:
– All the worry, the stress, the anxiety
– All the burdens, the bitterness, the suffocating responsibilities
– All the lying leaches trying to rob me of my energy
– All the jealous who are over zealous in preying for my downfall and misery

What is more important to me:
To agitate my mind in striving to raise my status?
Or to liberate my mind and raise my consciousness?

Maintaining good health is the real wealth that no money can buy
I know I can’t take my possessions with me when I die
So why waste my borrowed energy chasing after meaningless things while precious time passes me by?
We’re living in mixed up times; desperate for pointless things that taint the eye

I must reserve my love for those who appreciate it
I must protect the goodness in me for those who relate to it

Success for me is to regain my vernal spirit
Surely, that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?
To restore my passion for life and not take it too seriously
So I can be little Kourosh again and play in the warm weather
Happily, peacefully and blissfully


6. Power of a hug

(Oil on canvas, 24" x 24")

My need for being comforted now is more than ever
One moment of compassion can bring two souls together

Please drop your barrier; cushion me close to your heart
I’ll be wrapped in you tightly because right now I'm torn a part

I hope you hear me

I need warmth and humility
All I feel is the cold steel from our sick and suffering society

I’ve been through it all – all I can bear
I’m only human with feelings – needing comfort and care

Your kindness would alleviate my pain, making it a little easier to deal with
I promise, with you, I will keep it real with

I’ve spent a lifetime constantly having to defend
But now I can no longer pretend
I need a heaven-send to help me mend

How frustrating it is; always the target to tease
Why?! All I ever wanted to do was please
I fall to my knees and I ask you “Please?”

I swear, a lifetime of suffering can disappear in one loving embrace
It can banish the fears and tears
It can bring peace to my soul
And that glowing smile back on my face


7. Letting go

(Oil on canvas, 24" x 20")

It’s all how I perceive the adversity:
Is it a mandatory mountain to climb; an uphill struggle of negativity?
Or will I cut through the baloney and see it for what it truly is with clarity?

Will I separate from the unnecessary pain?
Will I liberate myself from the chain and emancipate in the rain?

Will I shamble heavily or drift like a feather?
All these bitter burdens I carry, I must sever

I must let go of it all to lighten my load for flight
I must disunite from the puny parasite


8. Following the light from within

(Oil on canvas, 36" x 48")

It feels like forever I endeavour to find the light
But like a tormented kite, I’m pulled down
Life without sunshine is like a king without a crown
Trials and tribulations are always there to put me to the test
Since our character has many sides; will I bring out my best?

Shocking it is: how the herd abandon their true identity
– In fear of being rejected

Shocking it is: how the herd lose their integrity
– In fear of being unaccepted

Shocking it is: how the herd sacrifice their health to impress
– Just so they won’t be neglected

Shocking it is: how the herd live a life of cliché – claiming originality and ‘cool’ness
– Just to be respected

Do my dreams truly come from my heart?
Or do they come from what is expected?
Will I succumb to the misguided crowd and fall into a programmed life of the non-existential?
Or will I remain true to myself, Rise above it all and fulfil my true potential?

Since my life is shaped from the decisions I make
I know deep down what path I’m meant to take

It’s time for me to analyse and realise
The joy that’s available in front of my eyes
Filtering out the negativity that's hidden in disguise
It’s time to celebrate my life and strive in thinking, saying and doing that synthesized

It’s time to live my life in the way I am true to one


9. Saving one's self

(Oil on canvas, 48" x 36")

Will I roam around with a smile or mope around with a frown?
Will I part from resentment or hold onto it and drown?
Am I willing to face the facts that surround me?
Or will I allow the negative thoughts to hound me?

I must confess, I need to rest
I’m exhausted from all the sleepless nights and endless stress
I am well and truly tired
My legs have expired
All my resources are used
In helping each of you when you were abused
I’m showing signs of wear and tear
All armour deleted, energy levels depleted, leaving us bare
Now how are we to operate?
No wonder we have become easy bait!

Beaten, bruised, defeated and drained
For far too long now, I've been strained
For the sake of us all, I certainly complained
But the programmed behaviours left me disdained
None of you heard me
Leaving me feeling abandoned and lonely
I’ve gone through all the motions
I’ve had my outbursts and explosions
You all felt the wrath severely
You all know it cost us dearly
I'm infuriated how you let others hurt me
I’m frustrated you let life pass us by
Now I’m lost in despair and distrust – why?!
We’ve missed many a chance to advance due to self-doubt and fear
But now, I'll push us all into gear
From now on, I will be heard
Through the power of the voice, the visual and the word
No more suppressed rage; I'm finally out of the cage
With each of you, I'm ready to engage

I may have saved us each time in the past
But my protection won’t last
Logic and rationalising isn’t the winning combination in every equation
It’s time I let each of you Rise to your occasion and deal with your situation
Sometimes you, Psyche, will be the one to detect
Sometimes you, Emotions, will be the one to interject
Sometimes you, Matter, will be the one to protect
Core Self, leading is the role you have to accept
I am not perfect
Nor am I in charge – I wasn’t built to be!
You each have to carry out your own responsibility
With all its back-stabbing and deceitful faces
Negativity can infiltrate my thoughts and drag us to dark places
It’s hard to differentiate the good from the bad
I hand the reigns over to you, Self, before I make us all go mad!

I’ve been doing my best for us all to regress
Back to the joyful childhood memories and blissful happiness
If each of you are feeling dreary
Have a guess how it makes me feel? Weary!
It makes our third eye see bleary
I care for you all but our future appears hazily
Hang on, I sense something is a miss
Where is our protector in all of this?!

My dear faculties, follow me, I’ll lead the way
I’m sorry that, in the past, you haven’t had the chance to have your say
But today is the day
We unite and become a strong family – I’ll take charge if I may!
From this moment on until eternity
We’ll honour each other’s ability
And let us display our gifts when the time is right
We’ll be there for one another, through the brightness of day
And through the darkness of night
I’ll guide us all to the light...


10. Appreciating the gift of life

(Oil on canvas, 40" x 30")

As I retreat from the wild, balance is restored and tranquillity emerges in me
Through stillness, I appreciate the heaven within and around me

What I see in life’s reflection comes from inside
A place of calmness, composure and quietude is where I abide
The turbulent ocean of emotions is now set aside
As my awareness expands, my clear vision broadens further a wide

Calm in body, peace in mind
Free from all matters, my nerves can finally unwind

What else could possibly match this?
This moment of serene paradise, this feeling of bliss...


11. Having my dream

(Oil on canvas, 36" x 48")

Most flee their home in search for joy, forgetting the treasures they have hidden inside
Since most are mislead by distractions from outside, in my dreams is where I reside
Where my story comes from the goals I set, achieve and celebrate
I must catch them before it’s too late!

I wish for true love: the kind where two souls are united
And what we give to each other is requited

Our hearts dancing through each day in rhythm and unison
Enjoying each moment like our romance has just begun

Venturing through life’s journeys, side-by-side and hand-in-hand
For each of our heart’s desires, we both honour and truly understand

Alleviating each other’s pains, floating delicately as light as a feather
Drifting in our thoughts and living out our dreams together


12. Welcoming the creative spirit

(Oil on canvas, 60" x 48")

My tolerance for lies has become thinner
All of the treatment has made my blood simmer
The inner switch has flicked and the light in me has started to shimmer

There’s only so much one takes
Before the sleeping beast in one wakes
Provoked by the hissing from the enviousssssssss snakes
Invoked with a cause to expose and prevail over the fakes

Their sick and twisted game of torment and hostility
Was to cause trouble for me, dishing the bait for me to retaliate
For my nerves they wanted to aggravate
But remaining focused on achieving my goals and creating a success is key

Blessed I am through my stark realisation:
Through their battle for domination
I found my salvation
In the power of my creation

Nothing they do nor say
Could ever get in my way
On the playground they subjected me
Yet in art class they respected me
Their need for feeling superior revealed to me
The one who was really weak and suffered from insecurity

Funny how fellow folk follow the fake facade
Easily mislead by their absurdity
But not me, I see the reality:
They’re not ‘hard’
They're just psychologically scarred

It’s time for me to set things straight
It’s time for me to illuminate and transcend to a higher state
It’s time for me to bring the heat and facilitate

My boundaries are strong, no one can take my shine away
No longer will I be kept at bay
It’s my time to have my say
And dance around the ring of life like Cassius Clay

My burning desire can no longer be contained
My inner voice can no longer be tamed

‘Like the Sun’: it’s time for my creative spirit to Rise
And silence the vultures who antagonise with their despise
Leaving them choking on their own bitterness and spite
It’s time for the world to feel my heart ignite
And witness the ground I hover over alight

It’s time to finally release this tormented kite
Allowing it to soar to a great height

The dragon in me is finally resurrected
This creative energy is what keeps me protected

Immune from their sniping bullets:
I now call the shots

I’m done whenever I say I’m done
My real journey has just begun...


13. Taking that leap of faith

(Oil on canvas, 40" x 40")

Having faith in myself and life is knowing everything is, and will be, OK
What am I scared of?! Death is nearing day by day, anyway

I must overcome my fears and fly free
I must harmonise with the universe and accept everything is as it should be

I either make it or I won’t
My chance is there: either I take it or I don’t

The higher the mountain of struggle, the larger the leap
My climb might be steep but there's more for me to reap

Just because I can’t see it happening, doesn’t mean it won’t ever exist
It depends only if I’m willing to persist

It’s my responsibility to turn my vision into reality
The only thing that could ever stop me, is myself doubting me

It is my insight through meditation
That gives me the determination
To achieve revelation
So I can make that elevation


14. The storm

(Oil on canvas, 60" x 48")

To the goodness and strength in my spirit
My nerves and faith have been tested to the limit
I want to live peacefully but I’m struggling here in societies wicked pit
It’s make or break time: this is it

There’s nothing left for me to fear
They’ll lose their game with me, I’ll make that clear!
Their projections of insecurity
Will boomerang back to them, immediately

I’m now fearless of failing, being criticised or ostracised
Never will I dis-empower myself, nor will I ever again be victimised
No longer will I anxiously wait, dreading another unprovoked attack
After all, you become accustomed to it when you’re regularly stabbed in the back!

Never will I crack

My 4-year old skull may have been hit by a brick, cast from hostility
But the hatred left me that day; it was they who held onto the sick animosity

I do not control anyone, nor does anyone control me
I strive to feel alive and live with morality, humility and integrity

I’d rather be my true self, be crucified for it, then meet my hearse
Than be held down in fear, conforming to wicked ways imposed on me in this ugly curse

I couldn’t think of anything worse

It’s easy to be mislead by the artificial light and lose sight of your star
It takes real courage for you to remain who you truly are

Nothing comforts me more in knowing:
I was brought into this world through the arms of my caring mother
And foreseeing I’ll depart through the arms of a kind-hearted lover
Everything in between is in my hands and no other

I continue to follow the desire of my heart until its beat stops
I continue to express my discoveries through art until my body drops

I continue to think, say and do what feels right
I continue to follow the path of truth and be guided by the light

I continue to devote my life to the truth because it protects me
I continue to live each heartbeat with purpose, passion and sincerity
And bring meaningful colour to my remaining days
Power and status doesn’t matter; my spirit is what I care to raise!

I’ve suffered so many times, I’m no longer afraid to die
I won’t waste an of my life and let it pass me by
I’ll use all my strength – for the full length – to reach for the stars
Knowing at least I’ll end up in the sky


15. Living for love

(Oil on canvas, 48" x 36")

There’s something so special you receive through the act of giving
Something very fulfilling, making life really worth living:

Soothing wounds with my comforting touch
– The pain and strain alleviates!

The lasting impression I leave through my words of affirmation
– The empowering encouragement that resonates!

The quality time I share to show I care
– The cherished moments it creates!

The act of serving
– The bond-building that accumulates!

The spirit I uplift when I give a gift
– The joy that emanates!

Like the essence of the sun: from the magnitude and power of its rays
The beauty of life on earth flourishes in many ways

Love is what I give of myself: I know I live on borrowed energy
How I choose to use my precious time, I know I can’t waste carelessly

Like the nature of a butterfly: the love, the life, the energy I pass to another
Makes my heart elevate for joy, high in the sky


16. I Am

(Oil on canvas, 30" x 30")

Who I truly am, you’ll never fully see
Because you look through your lens with your own insecurities – not through reality

I know the power is with me
I create my own fate, opportunity and destiny

I don’t need your approval nor want your validation
I know you can’t escape your own projection
– Even if you avoid introspection –
Still, it appears through your own eye’s reflection

I am whatever I think, say or do
I reclaim my power and strength
And will enjoy my life for the full length
I know this is – and always will be – true


17. Reborn again

(Oil on canvas, 10" x 14")

With all of life’s wonderful possibilities, I am truly mesmerised
I look to the boundless opportunities with reborn and excited eyes

A new beginning has just begun – the best for me is yet to come!
The power is with me to determine my destiny and create my own fun

With so many visions, I have numerous ambitions to achieve
Since we hold many gifts and surprises within us;
I wonder what is the next life-invoking idea for me to conceive?


18. In loving memory

(Oil on canvas, 40" x 30")

No matter how you try to stress or depress me
No matter how you try to grill or test me
I'll always prevail because the truth will protect and bless me

At last the cage is open!
The creative dragon in me has finally woken
And my true essence has spoken

My spirit cannot be broken

I am revived
A new lease of life charging through my veins, surging me to my destination – I have arrived
I continue my eternal quest to seek out and express
The truth about compassion, love, kindness,
Peace, humanity and consciousness

Re-living how I was treated in the past left me feeling numb
But the last 30 years revealed there’s nothing I can’t overcome

The long-lasting grip on me is finally undone
I can now see what I'm destined to become

My creative spirit burns brightly,
And I will continue to Rise and be


‘Like the Sun’