art ~ spirit ~ transformation

e*lix*ir   #4
autumn / winter 2016



  • The Spiritual Lives of Children

  • Fiction

  • The Imperfect Pilgrim
    by Ron Tomanio
  • “Maggie’s Forever Friend”
    by Patti Rae Tomarelli
  • The Red Roan Stallion
    by Beverlee Patton

  • Poetry

  • Three Poems
    by Susan Engle
  • “Advice to a Daughter”
    by Sandra Lynn Hutchison

  • Picture Books

  • The Painting

  • Essays

  • Two Decades of Spirit of Children: A Retrospective
    by Allison Grover Khoury
  • Brilliant Star: Looking Back on 36 Years of an Award-Winning Children’s Magazine
    by Susan Engle

  • Interviews

  • Interview with Mary Victoria, author of Chronicles of the Tree

  • Looking Back on Books

  • Lilly and Peggy
    by Ronald Tomanio
  • Maggie Celebrates Ayyám-i-Há
    by Patti Rae Tomarelli
  • Kamal’s Day
    by Leona Hosack

  • Art

  • Paintings
    by Jeannie Hunt

  • Translations

  • “He is God! O God,I am an innocent child.”
    translated by Shahin Mowzoon

  • Voices of Iran

  • Children of Destiny
    by Basir Samimi

  • ← Previous       Next →

    Photo by Bev Rennie


    Autumn Lullabye

    Geese are flying overhead
    Flying off to winter bed
    Flying off to downy nest.
    Summer’s yawning, time to rest.

    Squirrels are bouncing here and there
    Finding acorns everywhere
    Finding velvet moss for bed.
    Autumn’s humming, rest your head.

    Whales are diving through the seas
    Swimming south before they freeze
    Swimming, sleeping, spouting sighs.
    Winter’s calling, close your eyes.

    I will hold you. No more crying
    No more bouncing, no more flying
    No more shouting, little one.
    Snow is near and day is done.

    Bunnies cuddle. Grizzlies snore.
    Nothing moving anymore
    Nothing talking, not a peep.
    Autumn loves you, go to sleep.

    Hooray for Skin

    Rejoice and celebrate the skin
    That keeps the veins and muscles in
    That keeps the cold and germies out.
    That is what skin is all about.

    Suppose, when God created skin,
    He turned the skin-side outside in
    So when you talk to Mrs. Jones
    Your eyes meet over fat and bones.

    And tissues, blue and white and red,
    That stretch from toe to hand to head.

    It makes me glad to have a skin
    That keeps the outside bone-side in.

    Now there are folks who would be mad
    If our insides were all they had
    To tell all kinds of folks apart.
    Perhaps they’d learn to read the heart
    Instead of judging from a hue
    If that one’s false or this one’s true.

    Let’s all join hands and feast our eyes
    On skins of every shape and size
    Of every tone of gold or white
    Of luscious black, of dark or light,
    Of every shade that folks come in.
    Rejoice and celebrate the skin.

    The Crimson Balloon

    O the man in the moon
    Loved a sweet red balloon
    Who lived on the shore by the sea.
    “Do come nigh! Oh, come near,”
    Wooed the moon. “Crimson dear,
    Loose your string now and come marry me.”

    “Oh balloon red and sweet,”
    Cried the clams at her feet,
    “Take care, for you weren’t meant to fly.”
    But the crimson balloon
    Loved the man in the moon
    And raced off through the star-sprinkled sky.

    “I’m untied now. I’m free,
    And I’ll soon marry thee,”
    Cried sweet Crimson as faster she leapt.
    But her love and the height
    Burst her heart in mid-flight.
    The moon gathered her fragments and wept.

    O the man in the moon
    Loves his sweet red balloon.
    He sings songs to the sun of her light.
    And in autumn, the moon,
    Longing for his balloon,
    Hovers low and burns red in the night.

    Susan Engle

    Bio:   Susan Engle earned a BFA in Theatre Arts from Denison University in 1972. She held an apprenticeship with the Metropolitan Opera in New York and has traveled throughout Europe and the United States as a soloist with various choirs. She has also worked as a stage manager for the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. After her twin daughters were born in 1973, Susan began writing songs and poems for children, publishing more than 70 over the years, including the award-winning “Come and Sing” and “Loving Hands.” Susan joined the staff of Brilliant Star in 1995. In 2012, she published Bahá’í Holy Days: Stories and Poems for Children with Jackie Mehrabi. Susan recently created her first tiny book, The Bahá’í Faith: A Tiny Introduction. More tiny books are being planned, including A Tiny Book of Prayers, now in production.