art ~ spirit ~ transformation

e*lix*ir   #5
spring / summer 2017



  • Art as a One Eared Mad Man

  • Fiction

  • Ivory and Paper
    by Ray Hudson

  • Poetry

  • Patricia Ranzoni
  • Lynn Ascrizzi
  • Monte Schooley

  • The Writing Life

  • Joining the Circle: Art and Spirituality at Little Pond and “A Prayer in Nine Postures”

  • Essays

  • Life in a Maine Village:
    Sarah Orne Jewett and the Pace of Fiction

  • Looking Back on Books

  • Moments Rightly Place: An Aleutian Memoir
    by Ray Hudson
  • Things We Left Unsaid
    a novel by Zoya Pirzad

  • Art

  • Artwork
    by Jim Schoppert
  • Reinventing Tradition: The Art of Jim Schoppert
    by Ray Hudson

  • Voices of Iran

  • A Small Piece of Heaven on Earth
    by Saba Shadabi

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    “Blue Vase” woodcut by Ray Hudson


    Mark of Cain

    My great grandmother
    ‘Is that you in my garden,
    my pea patch?’

    She toils, calls to me,
    taunts me
    in my misadventures,

    The reins are taut,
    the headland marked
    in this fenced, gateless garden.


    Did you see the sprouts burst from the bulb,
    feel the tremors when the roots reached out,
    hear them suck moisture from the ground
    and murmur as they toiled
    to penetrate the warming soil?

    Did you see the leaves emerge from slender stems
    watch the bud form so beauty might be born,
    wonder at the hidden store of nectar
    as the bee drank its fill?

    Did you pick loveliness and place her in a vase,
    watch the bloom fade and petals droop
    and fall to nourish earth?

    Did you proclaim the blessings we shared?


    Zinnias bloom within my soul.
    Why? I do not know.
    Their roots sound growth,
    seeds form, buds are born
    perpetually, reminding me
    I have always been,
    will always be,
    where is the dichotomy?


    The apostrophe has shadowed me ever
    since my grade eight teacher took a boy’s
    hat — my own — and threw it at the class.

    Her reprimand touched upon how Jerusalem
    was apostrophized to scale Lebanon, Bashan
    and Abe rim, high mountains where one might
    gaze at the ruins of the false leaders of Judah.

    My teacher said I should submit
    an essay, fully rectified, the next day.
    O apostrophe, teach me the rules I should
    have learned at school. And return my hat.

    Monte Schooley

    Artist Statement:   In choosing words, I call on the fallen leaf as it blends with earth and feeds roots who hunger. In my work, I celebrate the eternal cycle — nature’s wordless transformation. I seek to liberate myself from restraints and injunctions, sometimes following cataclysmic events. I draw upon the strength I find in ancestry and in dreams, exploring with humor and nostalgia the riches of certainty and uncertainty.

    Bio:   Monte Schooley grew up in the sanctuary of a rural community and learned about the natural world in the woods, where he came to understand the meaning of abundance. He passed his elementary school years in a one room school house, then after high school pursued undergraduate studies at McMaster University and a Master’s in Social Work at Laurier University. While working in the field of social services in Windsor, he taught at St. Clair Community College. He then purchased a small farm, where he grew asparagus and planted trees in whose shade he often sits to reflect on the woods of his childhood.