a journal for eastern and western forms


Ekphrastic Poetry


Bernard Gieske, US, Poet and Elizabeth Lazeren, US, Painter


High Aspect


When I finger the contours of days past
Caving in to a concert of contrasts
I crave the ever soothing solitude
Which my paints and brushes always exude

Like the Lady of Chalot
My escape will be quite swift
I will hop into a ready skiff
Quickly push away from this land
This sprit of sand
On to Camelot

I long to glide the sea
Hundred of centuries deep
Sail to where the sky and ocean meet
Where I can sigh with a symphony
Of winds and places playing fancy-free

Along the ocean shores I will cruise
View all of nature’s panoramas and more
Watch water’s night-lit moon shape views
All the wonders of the sea explore

On this journey of choices
From my visual dictionary
I will sweep with my brushes
under the spell of new dances

Only then will I truly know
The happiness of the Lady of Chalot
Who set out on her journey aglow
In her smooth-flowing bateau.
To find her beloved in Camelot


Elizabeth Lazeren, Painter



Elizabeth Lazeren, US

At an age 8 on Saturday mornings, I began drawing and painting at the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, CT. Those mornings quickly became the most important day of my week. One of my parents would drive me into the city and let me off in front of the museum, then leave. I devised my first “parent scam” by telling them how impressed the instructor was with the class I was in. The instructor decided we would get longer lessons that would end 1 hour later than usual, however he really never said this. I then spent that extra hour of freedom wandering the museum and looking at all the paintings, staring at certain pieces over and over again. To this day when I visit the museum, I always go to the grand “Lady of Shallot” painting. I now know that I was studying these paintings, even though then, they were my imaginary world. That’s when I fell “in love” and never looked back. I am a studio painter. My passion is looking forward to the solitude, production and discipline of putting paint to canvas. It means being in my studio using wonderful tools of expression. There is where I find the challenge of making my personal statement as clear as I can. I am always thinking to myself that “less is more”. When I understand myself and know my subject well, my personal response is in the painting. I paint in a studio in Truro, MA. My goal is to build a visual dictionary within landscapes that have a defining clarity of location, time and mood. I paint where the ocean and earth meet the sky. The outer Cape is my landscape of choice. It is a symphony of places and moods. I am drawn to it in every season but more so in the fall and winter. There is where I experience moments that play out in full fury or peaceful stillness. I use memory, experience, research and imagination. When I am working I choose elements of painting that will help me reach a goal of connecting, whether through strong use of oblique line, tonal color or broad sweeps of the brush. The process is a journey of choices. Often the choices are made quickly, somehow “knowing” what notes come next.

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