art ~ spirit ~ transformation

e*lix*ir   #1
autumn 2015



  • Forging a Poetry of Hope
    by Sandra Lynn Hutchison

  • Poetry

  • Christine Anne Pratt
  • Harriet Pasca-Ortgies
  • Valerie Senyk

  • Fiction

  • The White Dog
    by Maya Bohnhoff

  • Memoir

  • Riding a Purple Bicycle
    in the City of Isfahan

    by Sahba

  • Reviews

  • Luminous Journey
    by Anne and Tim Perry
  • Prison Poems
    by Mahvash Sabet

  • Column

  • The Writing Life: Beginnings
    by Sandra Lynn Hutchison

  • Art

  • Paintings
    by Honnie Goode
  • Paintings
    by Louise Mould

  • ← Previous       Next →


    Beijing Suite

    Every green thing stands taller
    after the three-hour thunderstorm
    and the air is blessedly clear

    Children and their ayis emerge to play
    on concrete still damp and puddling
    Birds flit with joy in treasured gardens

    I look more foreign wearing my bike helmet
    but people in the street still smile at me
    because it rained for them

    I’m waiting for the cicadas’ shrieking song
    in the cotton willows overhead

    or the ghostly erhu plucked
    by a blind musician on a bridge
    straddling Chang’an Avenue

    instead: horns,
    shouts, sirens, tonal babble...

    knowing so little; learning from
    the sounds around me

    the day like the inside of a steeping teapot
    you could warm up a bowl of noodles
    on the window ledge

    a dense pall of noise
    thickens at each intersection
    muffling the slap of my approaching sandals

    magpies in muted blues and browns
    have stopped to eat inside the park;
    everything feels stopped

    this pencil is shhhh

    Pilgrim Poem

    I want a poem folded in my palm
    like a handkerchief
    saturated with the scent of rose

    to recall a threshold strewn
    with red and pink blossoms
    beyond which there is no passing

    forehead pressed upon petals
    eyes turned to an inward light
    whose gold burnishes my sight

    I would become a pilgrim
    with her nose dipped in her cupped hands
    offering it all up

    take me up*

    * This poem appears in Valerie Senyk's
    recent collection of poems,
    I Want a Poem (Vocamus Press, 2014).

    I Want to Dance

    I want to dance again
    before God
    There is no one but him
    before whom I can dance
    These are his feet, his arms
    His starlit skies hold
    secrets for me
    I’ve only to listen

    I live to live in this state
    Why shout at me?
    I’m his not yours
    You’ve never seen me
    dancing these timeless rhythms
    nor my youth held fast
    in the speed of light

    Valerie Senyk
    Artist missing photo
    Artist Statement:   In my teen years, I denied my artistic desires, feeling that they were frivolous in such a needy world. The Bahá’í Revelation has encouraged me to pursue my work as a writer and theatre artist, with the knowledge that the arts and sciences are important to humanity's development and that my work can urge people towards a more spiritual and inclusive outlook. The emphasis on beauty in the Bahá’í Writings has encouraged me to strive to cultivate my aesthetic sensibilities. I also try to imbue all my endeavors with the Bahá’í quality of truthfulness.
    Bio:   Valerie Senyk received her BFA and MA in Drama from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, and taught Theatre Arts at universities in Saskatchewan and Ontario for over 23 years. She recently published her first volume of poetry “I Want a Poem,” Vocamus Press, Guelph.