art ~ spirit ~ transformation

e*lix*ir   #13
Centenary Issue 2021



Sacred Stories: Beyond Joy and Pain


Global Poetry Reading Honors ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

The Writing Life

The Fountain and the Thirsty One by Mahvash Sabet


Christine Anne Pratt
Elegy with Mourning Dove and Red-Tailed Hawk by Sandra Lynn Hutchison
Dana Paxson


An Opening in the Curtain by Martha Washington


Encountering Beauty: An Interview with Painter and Photographer Chris Page by Christine Anne Pratt

Personal Reflections on Bahá’í Texts

The Wound is Where the Light Enters by Sandra Lynn Hutchison

Artist Profile

Interview with Mahvash Sabet by Raha Sabet Sarvestany
Persian Poems by Mahvash Sabet


Chris Page

Voices of Iran

Thy Court of Holiness by Mahsa Foroughian
The Silence of Being Heard by Nazanin Eslami
The All-Highest Paradise by Melika Rezvani

State of the Art

Books for Children by Allison Grover Khoury

Looking Back on Books

Pearls of Bounty and Light of the World
Agnes Parsons’ Diary by Richard Hollinger
‘Abdu’l-Bahá: The Perfect Exemplar by Dariush Lami

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Ann Sheppard

Elegy with Mourning Dove and Red-Tailed Hawk

(For Christine* Pratt)


The heart traveling through rough terrain
makes its slow ascent — “Birds of Paradise”

I walked out this afternoon
expecting nothing
from the quiet street
with its row of blazing poplars,
the garden with its single,
sleeping hydrangea
and the sunflowers
toppled by some impetuous
child or wind or by the heaviness
of their sad yellow faces.

I expected nothing
but a short walk
around the block
on a November day,
not golden or mild
not blustery or made
wild by the nor’easter
promised in the forecast.

And then it set down
on the telephone wire
in the space
between two elms —
the mourning dove,
Pink and warm breasted,
it perched above a home
for the aged, well known
for its charitable deeds .

Plaintive muse,
master of lamentation,
messenger come
from the country
of sorrow and of love
to remember you.

I listened for a while
then walked on.
Why should I mourn?
Follower of the Spirit,
lover of the nightingale
poet of the embodied Name,
I can see you now,
soaring in your upturned
blue bowl of sky, circling
with the red-tailed hawk
the peak of Mount Norwottuck,

I hear your voice breaking
through the clouds,
the sweetness of your song
echoing through the valley —
Clean air. Clean water,
Food for every mouth
on earth!

Why are we always surprised?
The Beloved has told us —
this is what it’s like
to leap, tail flashing, into
that wild blue welkin,
This is how it feels to rise
and soar on the thermals
spiraling higher and higher
in such wide gyrations
all the way

* The name “Christine” means “Follower of the Spirit.”