Sunday, November 17, 2013

Poems we like

Poetry is not everybody's cup-of-tea. Some of us had to read it in school and since then have never given it another thought. However, there is some new contemporary poetry out there which is intriguing and catches our attention. For example,
[click:] -> these three poems

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Documentary Film TASTE THE WASTE is Food For Thought

Valentin Thurn's film TASTE THE WASTE reveals the shocking truth about the worldwide destruction of food and its global effects on the population and the environment. It poses the question:

Why do we throw away so much food that is still perfectly good to eat?

Is it prosperity? - Is it ignorance? - Is it madness?

One thing we can all agree on:


First watch this movie trailer - then follow the link below.

International poet and human rights activist Ana Elsner puts it this way:

"Would you directly or indirectly act as judge

over who eats and who starves?

If you are a supermarket customer

you might be an unsuspecting accomplice

in making this judgment..."

Find out what Ana Elsner is talking about:



Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Faces of Shanghai

Meet Wei Yufang and his family
魏玉芳 (山东籍 小贩) 我们的日子过得很苦,每顿都是煎饼就着咸菜吃,加上一杯白开水。孩子们想吃荤菜时,就烧一个鸡蛋给他们吃。只要不下雨,就天天早出夜归,每天做十五、六个小时生意。希望孩子们上好学,我那怕东借西凑也要让他们上大学,别象我这样没文化。大儿子很争气,每学期都得奖回家,我很开心。外出摆水果滩被地痞流氓欺负,让我伤心透了。

Wei Yufang (Shandongnese, Vendor): "We are leading a hard life and eat battercakes, pickles and a glass of water for all three meals. When our kids want meat dishes, we cook them an egg. We work more than 15 hours a day if it doesn't rain. We want our kids to be educated and not to live like us. I will risk anything if our kids can go to university. My eldest son is excellent and wins prizes every semester. I suffer being teased by local ruffians."

-:-Look into the faces of Shanghai residents through the lens of Hu Yang-:-

Photojournalist and artist Hu Yang has created a lasting record of Shanghai people in their living quarters. Each individual is introduced to us in their own words (see above). There is a total of 97 documentary photographs.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Cross-cultural Commerce - a lampoon

cartoon lampoon

Global profiteering: The art of profit-taking by selling stolen goods to ignorant consumers, a time-honoured practice that knows no scruples or boundaries...


Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Abaqondise Brothers - Kobanga Te

(Click on the left button - Turn up the volume on your computer - Wait for the sound file to load.)

Text: "Kobanga te , ibe kanta la" - "Hab' keine Angst, es gibt jemand, der passt gut auf dich auf." - "Don't be afraid, someone is watching over you."

Die südafrikanische Gruppe Abaqondise wird in ihrer Heimat bereits als die Nachfolger der weltberühmten und wesentlich mehr kommerziellen "Ladysmith Black Mambazo" angesehen.

Ihre rhythmischen Lieder mit den unnachahmlichen Klängen gehen einem sofort ins Blut.

"Abaqondise" bedeutet Freundschaft in der Xhosa-Sprache und man fühlt es deutlich. Es kommt in ihren Auftritten und in ihrer CD mit dem Titel "Kobanga Te" die ganze Lebensfreude Afrikas zum Ausdruck.

"Rhythmus hat keine kulturellen und sozialen Grenzen. Rhythmus kann von jedem Menschen erfahren werden."


That certain 'Je ne sais quoi'

CROSS-CULTURAL OUTLINE visits PARIS: Le Jardin des Tuileries

From The Paris Journals by Michael Howard, Essayist, Commentator and CROSS CULTURAL OUTLINE Contributing Writer

"French police cruise on rollerblades and wear big silver stars copied from western movies. They no longer have the billy clubs and weighted capes with which they were wont to bash students upside the head. Now they carry guns. Dark vans with tinted windows transport them around town to monitor the manifestations. A manifestation is a peaceful, prearranged parade by anybody for any reason. Sometimes the bus and metro workers strike in sympathy and the city shuts down. Cars jam the streets. The police blow whistles and shout at the stalled cars and generally make things worse. Many people take a holiday. The French love holidays and take them all the time."

"Everybody smokes everywhere. Cigarette boxes say "Smoking Kills" in big black letters on one side and "Tobacco Causes Impotence" on the other. A popular item is a cardboard container into which a cigarette pack can be inserted to cover the warnings."

"In Paris everybody does the Paris Walk. If you don't do the Paris Walk, people behind you will knock you down and step over you. The basic step is simple; you just shorten the length of your stride by half and walk twice as fast. Paris is one of the most crowded cities in the world and people walk closely together. You must do The Walk in an absolutely straight line. If you swerve, you will collide with oncoming pedestrians in a domino effect which tumbles walkers for blocks. Parisians can estimate distances in millimeters, which is why they drive the way they do."

"In a crowd you see faces from history. A Voltaire sharp-chin slit-mouth face, a pudgy big-nosed Louis face, a girl with the delicate features of an 18th-century marquise. Noble families who marry carefully can trace their ancestors back to the Norman Conquest."

"This is what happens at a good café in Paris. The owner greets you by name, body-blocks an elderly lady who is heading for your favorite table, asks whether you want the usual (a bottle of St. Véran), brings an extra plate of peanuts, and fills both glasses. Everyone in the café speaks French except the couple at the next table, who are in love and do not speak at all. When you leave, the owner grasps your hand, kisses your wife on both cheeks, and begs you to return."

"This is what happens at a bad café in Paris. You spot a good table for two on the terrace; but seconds before you arrive, a party of Americans steals one of the chairs. Your wife sits in the remaining chair to establish ownership of the table and you stand in front of it while 50 comfortably-seated people stare at you with amused contempt. You feel like a bad stand-up comic. Your wife lights another cigarette and pretends she doesn't know you."

"Finally you find another chair and order wine. The waiter appears with a pot of muscadet and two glasses. He sprinkles your glass with a few drops and pauses reverently, no longer a waiter at the Café Bonaparte but a sommelier presenting a dusty bottle of Grand Cru Chateau Lafite Rothschild to the Minister of Culture. He is in fact only a waiter bearing a carafe containing a vile liquid the color of tap water tinged with piss. Without tasting it, you motion for him to fill both glasses. You do not taste the wine because you are embarrassed. You know that you have ordered the cheapest, most abominable wine on the menu, the glass misty with sludge from the bottom of the keg."

"On your right, two New Yorkers complain about their meal at one of the best restaurants in town. On your left, an ancient British couple cannot understand their menu, which happens to be written in English. With pictures. In the corner, a group of Germans loudly recall their student days in Heidelberg. The waiter overcharges you ten dollars on the bill and later presents his girl friend with the lighter your wife forgot."


[Text © Michael Howard ]

[Photo Credit: French MBA Club]


12-19-95 to 07-28-09

~ For O. & D. & W.: Forever Love ~

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Jungle in a Pot

Here you are, at home, sitting at your computer. Take a look around you: Is there any green you can rest your eyes on? Chances are, there is not.

Not everyone has a picture window with a view of a lush garden, park or copious greenery. For most of us, the view is that of the building across the street, or of the bus-stop, or of rooftops, or of the neighbor's garage, or of the fence around the adjacent property, all of them tiresome and drab.

And here we sit, pounding away at the keyboard, squinting at the screen, boxed in by walls, real or imagined. Time to make your space more user-friendly by adding a bit of green.

GREEN is GOOD for you!
Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri',
or Sprenger's Asparagus Fern

is an evergreen perennial with delicate needlelike leaves and ferny green arching or cascading branches. It is extremely hardy and thrives not just outdoors, but in containers as a houseplant or on a window sill.

This plant is inexpensive. Of all the possible houseplants, it does not require that you have the proverbial 'green thumb', as long as you pour a glass of water in the pot now and again to keep the soil moist. Asparagus Ferns are very forgiving and do not need direct sunlight. They do, however, need a nearby light-source if grown indoors (preferably near a window). This plant is the perfect option for your office, your home office, your apartment or your room.
-:- It is, what we might call, a cross-cultural plant -:-

Whether you are in Johannesburg, Munich, Chicago or Caracas, or anywhere in-between, go ahead, bring an Asparagus Fern into your life to brighten your 'interiorscape'. Your overworked eyes and stressed-out mind will thank you for it. And, who knows, pretty soon you might add a second plant, or a third to make your own private jungle.

(Fine print: No, we are not commercial growers or salesmen. We simply report on what works best in a given situation based on our own experience.)

Do you have a favourite houseplant? Tell us what it is.


Friday, July 31, 2009

Music For Your Eyes

~ ~ ~
Enter a new Dimension of Sight and Sound

This is a unique multi-media fusion of computer-generated 3D animations and audio, based on MIDI music which is processed to simultaneously drive the audio and the on-screen visualization. As we hear the sounds, generated with software synthesizers, we see each virtual instrument in the act of producing them.


Introducing Romanian Poet Ana Blandiana

Cross-Cultural Outline features Ana Blandiana

Two poems found in CONTEMPORARY LITERARY HORIZON, a European independent bi-lingual literary journal of poetry and prose in the English and the Romanian language published in Bucharest, Romania.


Frunze, cuvinte, lacrimi,
cutii de chibrituri, pisici,
tramvaie câteodată, cozi la făină,
gărgăriţe, sticle goale, discursuri,
imagini lungite de televizor,
gândaci de Colorado, benzină,
steguleţe, portrete cunoscute,
Cupa Campionilor Europeni,
maşini cu butelii, mere refuzate la export,
ziare, franzele, ulei în amestec, garoafe,
întâmpinări la aeroport, cico, batoane,
Salam Bucureşti, iaurt dietetic,
ţigănci cu kenturi, ouă de Crevedia,
zvonuri, serialul de sâmbătă seara,
cafea cu înlocuitori,
lupta popoarelor pentru pace, coruri,
producţia la hectar, Gerovital, aniversări,
compot bulgăresc, adunarea oamenilor muncii,
vin de regiune superior, adidaşi,
bancuri, băieţii de pe Calea Victoriei,
peşte oceanic, Cântarea României,

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Leaves, words, tears,
match boxes, cats,
sometimes tramways, queuing up for flour,
lady birds, empty bottles, speeches,
images stretched by the TV set,
Colorado beetles, gas,
bannerettes, familiar portraits,
Champions League,
gas cylinders, always turned down for export,
journals, white loaves, mixed oil, carnations,
airport welcomes, sodas, bars of chocolate,
Bucuresti salami, low fat yoghurt,
gypsy women with packs of Kent, Crevedia eggs,
rumors, the Saturday night soap opera,
coffee substitutes,
the peoples’ battle for peace, choirs,
the yield per hectare, Gerovital, birthdays,
Bulgarian compote, the assembly of workers,
superior wine, trainers,
jokes, the boys on Calea Victoriei,
ocean fish, Cântarea României,

:: Romanian lyric poet, essayist, and translator Ana Blandiana, born Otilia-Valeria Coman on March 25, 1942, in Timişoara, is considered one of her generation’s most significant literary voices and is known internationally as one of Romania's most outstanding poets. Deeply spiritual in her sensibility and patriotic in her loyalties, she wrote verse of traditional beauty and elegance. During her country's communist period she became a prominent dissident and later a respected public voice for freedom and democratic change. Ana Blandiana authored a total of 17 volumes of poetry, 6 books of essays and 4 books of other prose writings. Her work has been translated into 16 languages.


De ce nu se-amestecă totul?
De ce nu se-acoperă
Pielea lucioasă a pământului cu blană?
De ce nu răsare iarba verde şi fragedă
Pe spinarea fierbinte a fiarelor din păduri?
De ce nu le cresc pomilor aripi
Şi păsărilor rădăcini?
De ce nu ciripesc pietricelele fericite
De pe marginea râului?
Eu de ce nu învăţ să urăsc?
Eu de ce?
- O, Doamne, ce copil obositor,
Oftează îngerul.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Why doesn’t everything blend together?
Why doesn’t the shiny earth skin
Get covered in fur?
Why doesn’t green and tender grass spring
On the burning back of forest beasts?
Why don’t trees grow wings
And birds roots?
Why don’t the happy pebbles chirp
On the river bank?
Why can’t I learn to hate?
Why not me?
- Oh, Lord, what a tiresome child,
Sighs the angel.
[Published in CONTEMPORAN LITERAR ORIZONT, Anul II, nr. 5 (10), Iunie 2009]


- AMALGAMATED PERSPECTIVES presents 'Childhood' and 'Journey' by Ana Blandiana. Click here -


Monday, February 9, 2009

Ana Elsner shows Poetry as Theater

Co-producer and director Ana Elsner is proud to present

check it out

Three Nights of Performance Poetry


Showcasing Thirteen Distinguished Poets

on March 5, 12 and 19, 2009


This special three-part poetry series is designed to appeal to a large and diverse audience, targeting especially all those who are newcomers to poetry events.

It highlights select poets whose unique voices represent a sampling of the vibrant contemporary poetry scene.
If you reside in, or will be visiting the San Francisco Bay Area, you are invited and encouraged to attend this exciting and dynamic event.
: V e n u e :

The Randall Museum Theater in Corona Heights Park, 199 Museum Way at Roosevelt Way.

Maplink: Click here to see map

Free parking lot.
Muni #37

Call 1-415-554-9600 for directions.

Wheelchair accessible.

: P r o g r a m :

- First Night: "View Point Vistas"
on Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 7pm,
with featured poets Jerry Ferraz, Charlie Getter, Don Brennan, Rosemary Manno;
special musical guest Betsy Stein, violin;
hosted by Stephen Kopel

- Second Night: "Passion Unveiled"
on Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 7pm,
with featured poets Stephen Kopel, Jari Bradley, Christopher Bernard, Joan Gelfand;
special musical guest Don Prell, acoustic bass;
directed and hosted by Ana Elsner

- Third Night: "Lasting Impressions"
on Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 7pm,
with featured poets Ana Elsner, Al Averbach, Richard Beban, Lunation (Clara Hsu and Bill Mercer);
hosted by Stephen Kopel

-Admission to all events is free-

: S p o n s o r :

The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department


: Photo Montage of the PASSION UNVEILED Show :

(art work ©Ana Elsner)


A Word in Your Ear

"In an age when city coffers are depleted and public and community venues and facilities such as the San Francisco Public Libraries, SFPL, the San Francisco Free Civic Theater, SFFCT, director Glenn Havlan, several neighborhood rec centers and many other free city-run programs are being threatened with cut-backs, it is especially important to come out in support of local literary and community events before they vanish forever.

The Randall Theater Poetry Series is one such program. Attending one, two or all three of the poetry shows will not only inform and entertain you, but will also send a message to the appropriate city agencies that events such as these are in demand, are vital to the local community and deserve continued funding.

Yes, we are soliciting your engagement and presence at these three shows, not just for the benefit of the featured poets and musicians who are giving so generously of their time and talent without monetary compensation, but also to help us make an important point.

So go ahead, jump on our (poetry) bandwagon. There's room for all of us!

Thank you."

- Ana Elsner
Poet, Producer and Patron of the Arts
< click

: P E R F O R M E R S :

A Panoply Of Personalities


Christopher BernardJari BradleyRichard BebanAl AverbachClara HsuBill MercerJoan GelfandJerry FerrazStephen KopelPoet, director and host Ana ElsnerDon BrennanAna Elsner's musical guest: bassist Don Prell


Click here to see
The Cast


Click to see highlights of Elsner's past events and appearances

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

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

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.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Visual Vibrations


Here is a treat for both eye and ear:

This a multi-media fusion of computer-generated 3D animations and audio, based on MIDI music which is processed to simultaneously drive the audio and the on-screen visualization. As we hear the sounds, generated with software synthesizers, we see each virtual instrument in the act of producing them from beginning to end.



Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nationwide Outcry


Tens of thousands march in SF - Jeff Patterson

Marching to end the War

About the October 27, 2007
National Mobilization
to Fall Out Against The War

- People everywhere want the war to end. They know that with each passing month, the Iraq war and occupation claims the lives of nearly 100 U.S. service personnel and countless Iraqis, most of them civilians. They are aware that the Iraq disaster drains 12 billion tax-dollars away from much needed social programs, from communities and individuals.

- They want their voice to be counted and make Washington take decisive action to end this outrageous war.

- Many of them take their first step in transforming their antiwar feelings into antiwar action by marching in massive nationwide demonstrations for peace.

- Thousands from all surrounding regions and all walks of life travel to 11 cities around the country in a national expression of the breadth and depth of antiwar sentiment in this nation.
The participating cities are: Boston, Chicago, Jonesborough, Tenn., Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Seattle.


"I am marching in memory of Rabha al-Hamzawi, Iraqi, female, civilian, Muslim Women's Rights activist, member of Manar Women's Association, killed on 24 June 2007 near the Jamaliya orchards in Balad. IBC database file #k6772."

:: Click here to see pictures and video ::


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Check List


Al Gore
and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
for winning the

2007 Nobel Peace Prize

Congratulations to Al Gore
How about taking some time to pay attention to even just one or two of the global issues on the list that are due to the effects of human activity on the natural environment.

How about finding and defining your own personal strategy to help preserve our planet?

: Climate change - Global warming; Greenhouse gas emissions; Sea level rise

: Conservation - Invasive species; Species extinction; Habitat destruction

: Energy - Energy conservation; Petroleum dependence

: Genetic engineering - Genetic Pollution; Genetic Erosion

: Agriculture - Intensive farming; Overgrazing; Irrigation; Monoculture

: Soil - Soil conservation; Soil erosion; Soil contamination; Herbicides; Pesticides; Soil salination

: Land degradation - Desertification; Crop decimation; Famine

: Overpopulation - Urban sprawl; Increased longevity

: Air Pollution - Acid rain; Air Quality Index; Atmospheric dispersion modeling; Chlorofluorocarbon; Global dimming; Haze; Ozone depletion; Particulates; Smog

: Water Pollution - Marine pollution; Ocean acidification; Oil spill; Surface runoff; Thermal pollution; Wastewater; Waterborne diseases; Drinking water quality

: Depletion of natural resources and non-renewables - Overfishing; Deforestation; Depletion of fossil fuels; Over-consumption

: Waste - Waste types; Waste management; Waste collection; Toxicity; Contamination; Waste treatment technologies

It is easy for us to forget about how much garbage we produce because once a week the truck comes along, sweeps up that trash and whisks it away to a landfill out of sight and smell.


UPDATE: A Message from human rights activist and poet Ana Elsner on March 12, 2012:

It is now 5 years later. The year 2012. German Filmmaker Valentin Thurn has made his documentary TASTE THE WASTE calling attention to the issue of worldwide food waste and the problem with its disposal. Precisely one of the issues that Al Gore raised these many years ago...
HAVE WE LEARNED ANYTHING in these five years? Have we taken any steps to protect the environment and the billions of people that share this planet? The sad answer is: Clearly NOT! The same old problems still persist, have even escalated and gotten worse on a global level.
How stinging an indictment this is for our so called 'civilized society' that acts as irresponsibly as ever. When will we wake up and rally to the rescue of our abused planet earth? Perhaps not until it is too late...




At the Supermarket Checkout:

Commenting on winning the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Gore said,

"We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity."
Gore plans to donate his share of the $1.5 million that accompanies the prize to the non-profit Alliance for Climate Protection.

[See also An Indictment]

[Pass on the plastic]

[Try out a different product]


Friday, September 28, 2007

Color Art


Art work and images © Konstantin Grabowski

Konstantin Grabowski was born 1965 in Siberia, and lives in Germany. He graduated in painting and graphic design from the University of Omsk, where he studied from 1985-1991.

His oils and acrylics on canvas span colorful abstract, semi-abstract and figurative painting that is modern, yet has a somewhat dreamy quality.


The works are typically rich in relief and textured with multi-layered paint.

Grabowski began exhibiting in 2000. He is represented by galleries in Europe and in the U.S.

Von einem Katalogtext für Konstantin:

" Ein gutes Bild ist wie gefrorene Musik, eine Landkarte vergangener Bewegungen. Paul Klee sagte: 'Das Auge folgt den Wegen, die im Werk für es angelegt worden sind.' Aber es ist noch mehr: Schwere wird unschwer, Leichtigkeit unleicht, der Raum selbst wird aufgehoben und wie von falschen Beweisen entlastet. Es ist so wie der österreichische Schriftsteller Robert Musil sagt: 'Man hat noch eine zweite Heimat, in der alles, was man tut unschuldig ist.' "

"The function of art is to make that understood which in the form of argument would be incomprehensible."

Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957), renowned Romanian early-modernist sculptor

[See also: Art for our sake]



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