Seree Cohen Zohar

The Long Hand-Painted Silken Gift

Her head leans back on
limber neck; she gazes, rapt --

     two hands brush air in cursive strokes; two arms swoon into raw silk swathes
     that twirl about her muscled thighs; and when she leaps, impromptu merges
     with rehearsed ; her pulse arouses limbs; limbs seduce her pulse --

               (she knows: beyond the on-stage presentness, tomorrow's a repulsive
               thing where eyebrows strut in roman arches penciled onto crushed-silk
               skin, where lipstick stains papery ruts to mock a scrawny jowl)

          an ancient speech she once thought lost sings strong when her bare soles
          embrace the wooded floor: in slide and spring she is adored, breathes fast,
          breathes hard, sheathed in the long, hand-painted silken gift

     that ends wrapped about
     the wheel.

Jezreel Valley Summer

When legs and back and hands protest the morning's work,
when blowflies drift and straggler peaches plummet,
when the river, lilac-blue, brightens to a green so glossy
that rays smart in their own reflection,

noon prevails on me to linger:

Why don't you lie on last year's fallen leaves? You'll hear their crackle masked
beneath midsummer dust. Why don't you climb up high, stretch out along
a bough?--drop your thoughts into a pheasant's empty nest, reclaiming
them, refreshed, when skies have paled? Will you return?--no
creature yet elects to be my guest. Now I'll turn aside:
and looking forward to tomorrow,
let you and your orchard rest
while I seem to hide.


Australian-born, Seree Cohen Zohar's art, poetry and flash fiction are influenced by the landscapes of Australia, and by two decades of farming in Israel. Seree, mother of four, currently lives in Jerusalem; lectures in Europe on Biblical texts with focus on the intersection of literal and esoteric in Genesis; and collaborated with Alan Sullivan on Psalms-of-King-David, a recently published new versified translation. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in diverse print and online venues. When not trying to force words where some fear to tread, she might be found foisting flash-recipes on her unsuspecting family.


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Seree Zohar


>We are pleased to announce that Anne-Marie Thompson is the recipient of the Mezzo Cammin scholarship at the West Chester University Poetry Conference and Wendy Sloan is the recipient of The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project scholarship.

Judith Schaecter: I found the beauty of stained glass to be the perfect counterpoint to ugly and difficult subjects. Although the figures I work with are supposed to be ordinary people doing ordinary things, I see them as having much in common with the old medieval windows of saints and martyrs. They seem to be caught in a transitional moment when despair becomes hope or darkness becomes inspiration. They seem poised between the threshold of everyday reality and epiphany, caught between tragedy and comedy.

My work is centered on the idea of transforming the wretched into the beautiful--say, unspeakable grief, unbearable sentimentality or nerve wracking ambivalence, and representing it in such a way that it is inviting and safe to contemplate and captivating to look at. I am at one with those who believe art is a way of feeling ones feelings in a deeper, more poignant way.

I would describe my process as derived almost entirely from traditional techniques in use for centuries. The imagery is predominantly engraved into layers of glass; only the black and yellow are painted and fired on in a kiln. The pieces are soldered together in a copperfoil and lead matrix.
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