Monday, September 29, 2008

A Tribute to TONY VAUGHAN by Ana Elsner

Ana Elsner pays tribute to poet and musician TONY VAUGHAN

On the night of September 27, 2008, the San Francisco literary community lost one of its most forthright, giving, gentle and beloved members, the poet, artist and musician

Tony Vaughan

(July 14, 1947 - September 27, 2008)

Cancer struck him down and took him from us, but his courageous spirit and his compassion for all living things lives on in his legacy of poems and paintings and in the hearts of all who knew him. We publish here a poem that was written by his fellow poet ANA ELSNER and is a tribute to Tony, his life and work, and his sojourn on this earth.

(Photo above: Tony Vaughan performs at the UCSF Cancer Center, Healing Garden Music Series)

by Ana Elsner

so much
so much

so much
so much


the tyranny
of love and tenderness
and lapping
at the shore of consciousness;

this valiance
of gingerly rebelling against
the intimacy
of a merciless reality

in soft words
in gentle song
in pastels
on paper;


on a whiff of the herb,
on a whim of the soul,
on the threadbare sole
of street-corner anonymity
and bus-stop penance;

retracing your footprints,
in the un-cured clay of mind,

and always seeking by feel,
by feel;

wagering in the currency
of song,
of poem,
of shape and color,

at times half-veiled in riddles
and distant echoes,

yet decoded to all those
who hold the key of
shared mysticism and wonderment.

You navigated
the un-fathom-able BEING of it all
with stubborn tenacity

while doing battle with the ever-present
specter of resignation.

You kept on moving,
kept on riding the rails,
kept on strumming your guitar,
perhaps to an inattentive crowd,

kept on sketching and re-sketching
the outer reaches
of self.

I call you POET

I call you FRIEND

I call you BROTHER


© Ana Elsner

A reading by Ana Elsner
One of the poems that Ana Elsner reads
in this video recording
is her poem Tony Vaughan

[Click image above to play video]


At a gathering of friends Ana Elsner reminisces:

"I see Tony sitting across from me at a table outside Café Trieste. I don't remember him ever sitting inside the café. Always outside, with his hat on. He has just taken his guitar out of the beat-up case and cradles it in his lap, while continuing our conversation. Then, almost subconsciously, he fingers a few riffs. He tells me about his novel and the ongoing struggle he has with it, a sort of love/hate relationship with (his) life. I buy him a glass of wine. Later we walk a few steps up Vallejo Street to where the steep alley goes down to Broadway and share a smoke. We are not in a hurry. It's only late afternoon. A fogbank is pouring over the top of Russian Hill. We shiver just a little. But we don't care."

Ana Elsner remembers George Tsongas, another poet who was dear to her.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ana Elsner Reading and Book Signing at SFPL

The San Francisco Public Library presents:

Ana Elsner speaks Words that are Poems


Event Type:

Author reading and book signing


Wednesday, September 24th, 2008, 6:30 p.m.
at the San Francisco Public Library - Glen Park Branch,
2825 Diamond Street (near Bosworth), San Francisco


Poet Ana Elsner with Chad Ostwald on double bassEvent Description:


Polyglot poet and world citizen Ana Elsner delivers poetry for everyone in a performance of her poems from Ciphers of Uncommon Origin - Poems by Ana Elsner.

Accompanying Ana Elsner's reading will be special guest Chad Ostwald on double bass.

Immediately following her recital, Ana Elsner will answer questions about her poetry and her creative life, which spans half a century and two continents.

At this event Ana Elsner's book will be for sale by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.


Ana will autograph copies of her book by request.
Click to go to the
to read her biography and her poems.


Contact person: Kate Brown (415) 355-2858

Click here to view event listing at the San Francisco Public Library


This poetry reading and book signing by Ana Elsner is a Library Sponsored Public Program.

:: Click here for more details ::


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Get together right now

run run run

: :

All geo-politics aside, all nationalism aside,

the Olympics belong to the athletes,

competing in ultimate democracy without prejudice.


This is perhaps the only forum that fosters true World-Citizenship. And, at least for the next 14 days, it belongs to all of us who are ready to embrace it.

同一个世界 同一个梦想
One World, One Dream
: :
May we learn to practice World-Citizenship and make it last well beyond August 2008.

On this occasion, may all people of all nations adopt a global perspective of peaceful coexistence for the sake of this planet and future generations.

: :

mapping the region Newsflash - Thursday, August 7th, 2008:

in yet another part of the world
the opposite seems to be true,
as a new bloody conflict has broken out again
between Russian and Georgian military forces
over the province of
South Ossetia.
[show map]


Find the complete schedule of all the Olympic events here:




Click to check broadcasting times and channels (U.S. only)





Sunday, May 11, 2008

Uncensored Testimony


"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light,"
George Washington

aiming at the truth

Marking the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, a three day Press conference was held in Missouri by the group IVAW - Iraq Veterans Against the War, aka "Winter Soldier", bringing together veterans, service members and civilians to share their eyewitness accounts of the occupations in Iraq. Many spoke out about the indiscriminate violence ordered by their commanders, about the cover-up by American military of widespread civilian killings in Iraq, and about other hair-raising ordeals.

The IVAW is calling for
(1) the immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces from Iraq
(2) Veterans benefits and healthcare
(3) reparations for the Iraqi people

(Note: This event was not reported by any of the U.S. mainstream media...)

Luis Montalván, a 34-year-old former captain with a chest full of medals and two Iraq tours under his belt, said he joined the anti-war movement to denounce the statements put forward by high-ranking officials and to disclose the rampant corruption.

Captain Luis Montalván who is now tied to a cocktail of medications for ailments ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder to chronic pain resulting from an attack, slammed the Bush administration for "perpetrating high crimes and misdemeanors, committing dereliction of duty, lies and mismanagement" in Iraq.

As the medals on his chest caught a glint of spring sunlight,
he called on Americans to "vote the right way"
in the November presidential election:

"Vote for the candidate
who is most likely
to extricate us from Iraq,"
Montalván said.
(via Middle East online)

[See also: "No, thank you!"]

[Related link: How to pick and choose]


Friday, May 2, 2008

Do as you are told


Under the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, aimed at averting a looming recession, more than 130 million American households will receive economic stimulus payments beginning in May.

U.S. economic recession: There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow
Our leaders in Washington, DC - George W. Bush along with Congress - have deemed it appropriate to send YOU, the taxpayer, $300 to $600, a so-called economic growth incentive, so that you can help revive the flagging U.S. economy.

Here's the catch: For this plan to work you've got to go on a wild spending spree just as soon as you receive your check, preferrably adding an extra chunck of your cash "into the bargain". (Good luck finding ANY merchandise not made in China...)

Don't go doing something selfish like putting that money in a savings account or using it to pay down your credit cards, "No siree Bob". That would spell disaster: If you try to use the windfall in a responsible way, then this entire house of fiscal cards is going to collapse. Do you want to be responsible for bringing down the already limping American economy? Of course not! That is why it is your PATRIOTIC DUTY to go out and spend, spend, spend!

: Wouldn't you know it :

Asian stock markets respond positively to America's economic stimulus campaign. With the U.S. being the biggest importer of Asian goods, Asia's lucrative export market is hampered by an ailing U.S. economy and welcomes a speedy turn-around.

"We are going to give rebates to taxpayers, and that is great. But what will most of them do with it? They are going to buy things that were imported from China,"
said former Republican Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee.

The Powers that be
: Stop and think :

A hackneyed plot: The tax-rebate plan would cost the Treasury about $150 billion this year, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. The U.S. government is giving taxpayers money that is essentially "invented money", by increasing federal debt, debt, that all taxpayers and all check recipients are, in one way or another, on the hook for...

"We can't keep on mortgaging our children's future $150 billion at a time,"
said Representative Jim Cooper, one of 10 Democrats to vote against the bill.

The bottom line:
There is no such thing as *free money*

[Read about Recession: Economic crisis of 2008]

[Choose your News]


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hearing Other Voices

Poets International

-:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:-

Conceived of and implemented by Roger B. Humes in June of 2004,

The Other Voices International Project

is a cyber-anthology that erases the boundaries of nations, ethnicities, religions, cultures, and age in order to collect and present some of the world's best poetry.

To date, April 2008, Humes, himself a poet, has published 32 Volumes of poetry on his site. Each volume showcases 15 poets from around the world with samples of their work and a short biography.

Among the chosen poets are

Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003, Billy Collins;

Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish;

Jean-Michel Maulpoix, auteur d'ouvrages poétiques;

Multicultural poet, artist and translator Ana Elsner;

Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko;

Arab-American award winning poet and novelist Naomi Shihab Nye;

Jimmy Santiago Baca, of Chicano and Apache descent, founder of Cedar Tree, a non-profit organization for the empowerment of impoverished and imprisoned people through literacy.

Humes, founder and director of this international poetry project, goes about the choreography of content in a very selective way. As stated on the index page: "Participation in Other Voices is by invitation only". Humes is assisted by his artistic partner and co-director, Iranian poet and human rights activist Sheema Kalbasi.

An excerpt from the Mission Statement:

"The soul has become an endangered species and Art must regain its voice to save humanity from extinction.... To help you and I rediscover some semblance of our humanity, these OTHER VOICES INTERNATIONAL POETRY PROJECT writers creatively share the adventures, desires and dreams of the human heart and spirit, wherever it resides. Through this singular poetic voice we can claim unity in our diversity and strive to live in honor of human dignity."

The Other Voices International Project has been indexed by the World Poetry Directory of UNESCO under "journal", United States.

Other Voices is an outstanding resource to anyone who wishes to explore the vast world of international poetry. It is continually growing as new poets are added.


Read Ana Elsner's poem about the Oboe

[Related link: Read the biography of international poet Ana Elsner]


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The reason

Why Poetry

"Let us remember ... that in the end we go to poetry for one reason, so that we might more fully inhabit our lives and the world in which we live them, and that if we more fully inhabit these things, we might be less apt to destroy both."

- Christian Wiman, poet, essayist
and editor of
Poetry Magazine

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Bicultural poet Ana Elsner
starts most of her readings with her poem titled POETRY
to prepare her audience for what is to come.

Read the poem here:



Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Black and White - Devorah Major and Ana Elsner

Come together

The San Francisco Public Library presents


Devorah Major and Ana Elsner:

Two Colors, Two Voices

In honor of Black History Month international poet Ana Elsner and former San Francisco Poet Laureate Devorah Major come together in a performance of poetry presented as a dialogue between a European-American and an African-American voice.

At this special event Devorah Major and Ana Elsner join forces in the staging of a unique poetry duet. The two poets take turns bringing their poems to life in this juxtaposition of two distinctive personalities. Poet and writer Ana Elsner is a repeat-feature at the San Francisco Public Library. She designs and produces programs that appeal to a wide audience in an ongoing effort to raise the popularity of poetry. Devorah Major is a poet, novelist, essayist and performance artist, who served as San Francisco's third Poet Laureate from 2002-2006.

This show
takes place in
San Francisco's famous North Beach district
on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 at 7p.m.
The posterSee and hear two strong women poets delivering powerful poetry in this dynamic dialogue conceived and choreographed by Ana Elsner.

One night only.

'Poetry in Black and White - An Attraction of Opposites'

held at: The North Beach Library, 2000 Mason Street at Columbus

This is a free event, produced by poet and author Ana Elsner and sponsored by The Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.


View Event Listing for this program posted at the website on Ana Elsner's author page


Click to see other highlights of

Ana Elsner's 2008 performances


Visit the official website of poet Ana Elsner



We are

The Audacity of Hope




"We are
the ones

we've been waiting for"

- Barack Obama, born August 1961 to a black Kenyan father and a white American mother, is the junior United States Senator from Illinois and a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. In the course of his campaign Obama has emphasized ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence, and providing universal health care as his priorities. He has written two bestselling books: a memoir of his youth titled Dreams from My Father, and The Audacity of Hope, a personal commentary on U.S. politics.

America's young voters
respond to Obama's words
in a unique way,
chiming in with their own lyrical rendition of

"Yes We Can"

An excerpt from the lyrics:

Yes we can to justice and equality.

Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity.

Yes we can heal this nation.

Yes we can repair this world.

Yes we can.

We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics ...they will only grow louder and more dissonant ... We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

...we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea –

Yes. We. Can.

:: Click this: The Adjusted Pie Chart ::

Keep your finger on the 2008 pre-election pulse:

for links to major
public-opinion pollsters
on the Democratic field vs. the Republican nominee.



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