Blog: Poet Elizabeth Tornes

Christine Alfery

Posted on October 22 2018

After the sale of the work "Lady Blue" . Circus Diva is the only full size figure remaining in the Circus Series 2019.

 Featured image: Lady Blue

During the Northwoods Art Tour – poet Elizabeth Tornes visited the studio.  We had a great chat and she asked if she could write a poem for my circus series.  Are you kidding me?  Beth Tornes wanted to write a poem for my circus series.  Of course I said “yes.”  Beth just sent me the poem and I want to share it with you all.  It is so wonderful and has the feel of the circus – the exact feeling I go and do get when I went to the circus as a small child and when I started painting the circus as an adult.  Here is Beth’s poem.

At the Circus
Elizabeth Tornes

Who are these women
who flame up, spin and whirl
in velvet robes, ballet dresses,
bedecked in jewels and spandex? Lady Blue
strides to the ropes, her mouth a ring of red,
blonde tresses flying, flips
over the trapeze, easily
as a chimp, swings dizzily above us.
She rides a bike on the tightwire
while balancing a parasol
on the tip of her nose.

The clown’s face is a cross,
red slashes on whiteface. Her blue dog
leaps from barrel to barrel,
dances in circles on the horse’s back.
Proud and bejeweled
as Austro-Hungarian queens,
these women carry the burden of being
an artist in a man’s world. I want to live
like them, in a dream of my own making, fold
myself into a magic blue cape,
disappear, and reappear at will,
dazzling in a spotlight.

Inspired by Christine Alfrey’s “At The Circus” series of paintings

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