Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Three Photos: Manuel Librodo Jr.

" Towards Nirvana (An Extraordinary Goal)"



~ Manuel Librodo Jr. has appeared in Elegant Thorn once before. He lives in Bangkok, teaching in one of the international schools there. You can see more of his art at DP Challenge and at his page here.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Two Poems: Francine Marie Tolf


what fire tastes like,
once its heart has chilled.
It rides November
like a pack of windy crows,
scattering wider and wider . . .
Where does it settle?
Street corners. Rooms.
we walk on dead stallions,
wipe hair that held sun
from dusty shelves.

* * * * *


I ask the woman in sweatpants
if her dog is friendly,
and we get to talking.
They wouldn't tell her at the shelter
what was done to him,
but when she first brought him home,
he crouched under the bed without eating for three days.

He's a Doberman
with clipped ears, a docked tail,
and such numinous brown eyes
I lay my face against his side,
which is warm with sun.

"These deep simple necessities
by which life renews itself."
We never earn them, do we?

In early spring light,
he lets me hold him
for a long time.

~ Francine Marie Tolf appeared in Elegant Thorn Review back in November. She has a chapbook of poems (Blue-flowered Sundress, Pudding House Press) forthcoming and an essay in the current issue of the online journal, Apple Valley Review.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Spring Poems has assembled a collection of classic Spring poems to welcome the season. They are seeking submissions from contemporary poets writing about Spring.

Here are the poems they have collected:
A Spring View
~ Tu Fu (c. 750)

Though a country be sundered, hills and rivers endure;
And spring comes green again to trees and grasses
Where petals have been shed like tears
And lonely birds have sung their grief.
...After the war-fires of three months,
One message from home is worth a ton of gold.
...I stroke my white hair. It has grown too thin
To hold the hairpins any more.

~ Trans. Witter Bynner
* * * * *

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Three Photos: Judi Liosatos




~ These photos by Judi Liosatos are from a 2007 Landscapes calendar featuring her work throughout. You can see much more of her beautiful photography at her website, Judi

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Two Poems: Gabrielle Wilkon

alternating spectrums

a light
flashes in her eye
and a galaxy forever changes

spectrums from yellow to red
but the speed of light is diminished
to a halt

one scream arises from multiple mouths
and is cut by the reigning silence
of the intersection that no one cared to stop at

mantled steel and frozen expressions
are shared
among the participants

the sounds of distant crowds
with mouths agape
hide the whimpers

a wave swims to the scene
and takes the evidence

into the blue, cloudless sky
the light turns green again
but no one is left to stroll through

* * * * *

Subway Portables

She smoothly opens her door
and welcomes me into her boudoir
of orange upholstery and musky aromas

I sit in a corner near a window
but she yells destinations
and draws my attention to the space within her four walls

I open my familiar book and cautiously gaze down
but she sits her representative near me
who shows me the paper distributed to her every corner

I nod and say that I’ve already heard the news
but she continues to force me to read her publications
I guess that’s all she knows

she slowly sings ‘summmerhill’
and invites a band of silent guests
into the room

we all sway rhythmically
with the motions she provides
no one falls out of tune

her trumpet blows
at the arrival and departure
of each guest

this is why I have come
to hear
her sweet trumpet blow

~ Gabrielle Wilkon is a 23 year old student learning about the body and vigorously scribbling down words on the side. She is a co-creator and editor of a student zine and an occasional contributor to the Kinesiology paper, “The Flying Walrus.”

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Poem: Tim J Brennan

one Sunday minute

it rained earlier, still wet
her hair a wet dance
breeze through blond

an orange perfect candle
wet, wax minutes dripping
away one Sunday
minute after midnight

our last kiss like a jar
of fireflies, even the clock’s
bells blushed twelve times,
once for every curvature

how i envy her love

~ Tim Brennan is a regular contributer to Elegant Thorn Review. Tim is a teacher of young minds and hails from southeastern Minnesota. His poetry has appeared in Green Blade, The Rose and the Thorn, Shampoo, and he has been a featured poet on

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Three Photos: Judy W


"Boulevard of Broken Dreams"


~ Judy W (Judilta) says, "I grew up with a favorite uncle who was a photographer, so I've been on one side of the camera forever. I really got into shooting myself about 10 years ago. I just keep plodding along, and learning, getting new cameras along the way to help."

Monday, March 5, 2007

Two Poems: Tim J Brennan

In there

for forty-seven years of marriage,
mother kept candles, white
solid paraffin, like little wax children

she loved to light them during storms,
to hold them in the darkness, smiling
at flickers, created shadows on the wall

a lit candle
has fingerprints, she said
its own wick, tearing
darkness, forcing
it to surrender
a small part of itself

a candle aches for darkness,
to be used when cold winds scream,
and loneliness, while not fatal,
is wrapped in the poverty
of its unused self

she told me all this
when expecting storms,
while waiting to light her candles,
kept above the stove, in there,
just in case, she said

* * * * *

Dance Steps

Some of us gaze into our dance
partner’s eyes like others glance
contemplatively at stars, seeking
guidance in our steps, one leading
the other obediently following

each feeling the other’s rhythm
like listening to evening lake waves
or studying bending grass fields,
others awaiting turns patiently
like sitting early in a quiet church
hoping within themselves to somehow
learn what shape God really is

~ Tim J Brennan, a teacher of young minds, hails from southeastern Minnesota. His poetry has appeared in Green Blade, The Elegant Thorn Review, The Rose and the Thorn, Shampoo, and he has been a featured poet on

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Two Poems: Mark Jackley


It bumps against the window,
staggered and ecstatic
to bring the news: The heavens
cup the earth, and now
the world is small, and quiet,
as a breath. The cat
blinks and wonders. Tell me,
friend, the rain is not
a gift but a cold fact,
and I will take your word
in my hand and skip it
over my wet heart.

* * * * *


My eight-year-old Liana
is drawing a picture, bold
Crayola strokes, an apple tree
aswirl. In the center
of its foliage, there is an opening.
Light pours out. The artist
cannot tell you why.
It is a mystery,
and she is an artist.
The blobby clouds, blobby birds
and sun are swimming towards the hole.
The sky is a sea of blue,
and the sea is swimming too.
In what? It is a mystery,
and she is an artist.

~ Mark Jackley is a business writer in the Washington, DC, area. His poems have appeared in various journals and his chapbook, "Brevities," is forthcoming from Ginninderra Press.