The BeZine, Vol. 6, Issue 4, December 2019, Life of the Spirit

“There is a LIGHT in this world. A healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, and too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.” Richard Attenborough


I find it heartening that what preoccupies me at present is clearly reflected in most if not all the submissions for this issue, which are filled with the kind of spirit that has no physical form, cannot be measured, cannot be physically embodied and, perhaps most important of all, cannot be contained or imprisoned. Human history provides us with a litany of evidence of how the spirit of the most oppressed, the most downtrodden and enslaved, even those groups of people, whom others have tried to exterminate in the most awful expressions of human behaviour, genocide, cannot and will never be vanquished.

We are surrounded by evidence of the power of the human spirit even in these times when, all around us, the leaders of the World seem to be pulling us into dark and uncertain places and there seems to be no clarity, no escape from the fire and smoke that chokes us. It is difficult to see past the debt we are creating.

The collective works of our contributors in this edition of The BeZine represent a response to Hope and Light. They seem to have taken in the many facets of the human spirit as a universal word that could be slotted into every sentence ever written. Along with compassion, “spirit” makes  a worthwhile contribution to human life, to humane life. The Life of the Spirit is truly embodied in this issue of the Zine.

We now hear the voices of those writers and poets who have embraced December’s theme in many diverse ways. I thank them all, especially those who have found their submissions published here for the first time, but also thanks to those who are returning and consistently help to make this publication special.

John Anstie
Associate Editor

Much thanks to John Anstie for the intro to this quarter’s Zine. We keep the intro’s short, which may make it seem an easy assignment. It’s not.  All of the work must be read in order to ensure that the through-line is evident and the intro consistent with the spirit of the contributions. That’s quite a bit of reading and analysis, though entirely pleasurable.

Thanks to Michael Dickel for putting together the Memoriam for Reuben Woolley who died earlier this month and to whom this issue is dedicated.

This edition of The BeZine is our most heterogeneous in terms of literary forms and national, racial, and religious diversity. We have perhaps finally arrived at the fulfillment of the original vision. We couldn’t have done it without you, our contributors, readers, and stalwart supporters for whom we have so much appreciation. And with this we close an eventful year with our gratitude and best wishes. We hope we’ve contributed some modicum of hope and healing.

In the spirit of love (respect) and community
and on behalf of The Bardo Group Beguines,
Jamie Dedes
Founding and Managing Editor

Table of Contents



This issue of The BeZine is dedicated to Reuben Woolley, “I am not a silent poet”

In Memoriam – Reuben Woolley, Part 1
In Memoriam – Reuben Woolley, Part 2



COMPASSION

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

For Victims of Natural Catastrophes, Elvis Alves
Life Is Divine, Nancy Ndeke
Health Is Health, But Love Is Love, Nancy Ndeke
A Christmas Connection, Corina Ravenscraft
The Damnedest Places, Melina Rudman
Progress, Mantz Yorke

RETURNING

“You were born a child of light’s wonderful secret— you return to the beauty you have always been.” Aberjhani, Visions of a Skylark Dressed in Black

The Enchained Spirit, Anjum Wassim Dar
The Valley of Death, Anjum Wassim Dar
Realigned perspective(s), Michael Dickel
My Valley of the Shadow of Death, Jamie Dedes
Paradise, John Hurd
A Shower of Roses, Sheila Jacob
stillborn, Antonia Alexandra Kilmenko
What We Gather, Antonia Alexandra Kilmenko
Two Poems, Rae Rozman

VISIONS & REFLECTIONS

“An awake heart is like a sky that pours light.” Hafiz

Hallmark of Success, John Anstie
Healer, Sheikha A.
ToSayThinking, Linda Chown
An Epitaph, William Conelly
Cosmic Consciousness, James R. Cowles
Paradoxical Time, Jamie Dedes
It Was Love Kept Me Anchored, Jamie Dedes
Unicorns, Michael Dickel
Who Scribbled Chaos, Michael Dickel
The Flood, Michael Dickel
Three Poems on a Life of the Spirit, Michael Dickel
Hope Spoke, Oz Forestor
The Believer, Antonia Alexandra Kilmenko
From One-Hundred Lost Letters, Sarah Law
Merge, Urmila Mahajan
winter rain in my muse-like homeland, Pawel Markewicz
Grey Dawn in Chaco Canyon, Nancy L. Meyer
Undersides, Nancy L. Meyers
Three Poems, P.C. Moorehead
Numinous, Eric Nicholson
One Hundred and Eighty Degrees, Antoni Ooto
Simply a Song, Stephan Tanham

POETRY AS MASS INSTRUCTION

“We can’t afford to have our nations sinking into dungeons of banditry cabals and corruption cartels. We are indebted to use this official language of resistance, poetry. Even under all these depressing challenges of imprisonment, exile and intimidation, poets remain the people’s commissars and their poems are weapons of mass instruction.” Mbizo Chirasha, Zimbabwean Poet in Exhile

Pastoral – Sublime, Michael Dickel
just sayin’, Antonia Alexandra Kilmenko
I Pegasus, Myra Schneider
Four Poems, John Sullivan

Poem-Scripts

Lady Striga & aka “Doc Benway” Do Spirit-Memory Magic & the Object-Monster, John Sullivan
On His Way to Damascus aka “Doc Benway” Hits a Big (br(i)ck Wall, John Sullivan

STORIES

“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.” Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

A Nun in Training, Bear Gebhardt
The Waste of It All, Sunayna Pal


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