Hand of Fire, Hand of Creation<br/>Moshe Dekel (age 5)
Hand of Fire, Hand of Creation by Moshe Dekel (age 5)

Welcome to the 5th year of 100,000 Poets (Musicians, Artists, Mimes…) for Change, and the 2015 edition of The BeZine Online 100TPC Event!  If you are wondering, hey, what are you folks up to then check out some serious non-fiction here:

Our mission here today as poets, writers, artists, photographers, musicians and friends is a sort-of fission for change—a burning with and expression of the desire for peace, environmental and economic sustainability, social justice, inclusion, equity and opportunity for all. We seek through our art to do a bit of old-fashioned consciousness raising, to stimulate thought and action leading to the kind of change that is sustainable, compassionate and just, and to engage in the important theme of the issues facing humanity today—but all with a goal to alleviate suffering and foster peace. We don’t want to just “talk about it,” we want words, art and music that help us take action in some way for positive change wherever we are in our lives, in our world.

We see a complex inter-woven relationship between peace, sustainability, and social justice. We all recognize that when people are marginalized and disenfranchised, when they are effectively barred from opportunities for education and viable employment, when they can’t feed themselves or their families or are used as slave labor, there will inevitably be a backlash, and we’re seeing that now in violent conflicts, wars and dislocation. Climatologists have also linked climate change, with its severe weather changes and recent droughts, to the rise violence in the world, and even contributing to inequities in areas – like Syria – where a severe drought destabilized food production and the economy, contributing to the unrest that led to the civil war, according to one study.

Jerusalem in an unprecedented dust storm that engulged much of the Mideast, linked by one climate scientist to the Syrian civial war and ISIS conflict
Jerusalem in an unprecedented dust storm that engulfed much of the Mideast, linked by one climate scientist to the Syrian civil war and ISIS conflict

There are too many people living on the streets and in refugee camps, too many whose lives are at subsistence level, too many children who die before the age of five (as many as four a minute dying from hunger, according to one reliable study—more info), too many youth walking through life with no education, no jobs and no hope. It can’t end well…

Syrian refugee camp, photo: The Telegraph
Syrian refugee camp
photo: The Telegraph

More than anything, our mission is a call to action, a call to work in your own communities where ever you are in the world, and to focus on the pressing local issues that contribute to conflict, injustice, and unsustainable economic and environmental practices. The kind of change we need may well have to be from the ground up, all of us working together to create peaceful, sustainable and just cultures that nurture the best in all the peoples of this world.

Poverty and homelessness are evergreen issues historically, but issues also embedded in social and political complexity. They benefit the rich, whose economic system keeps most of the rest of us as, at best, “wage slaves,” and all too many of us in poverty, without enough to provide for basic needs or housing (including the “working poor,” who hold low-paying jobs while CEOs are paid record-breaking salaries and bonuses in the global capitalist system). We are united in our cries against the structures of injustice, where the rich act as demigods and demagogues. We have to ask of what use will all their riches be in the face of this inconceivable suffering and the inevitable backlash from the marginalized and disenfranchised. We need fairness, not greed.

So, with this mission in mind, and with the complexity of the interrelationships of social justice, sustainability and peace as a framework, we focus on hunger and poverty, two basic issues and major threads in the system of inequality and injustice that need addressing throughout the world.

We look forward to what you have to share, whether the form is poetry, essay, fiction, art, photography, documentary, music, or hybrids of any of these—and we want to engage in an ongoing conversation through your comments on all of the above as you not only share your own work here today but visit and enjoy the work of others, supporting one another with your “likes” and comments, starting or entering into dialogues with writers, artists and musicians throughout the world and online viewers, readers, listeners.

Think globally, act locally, form community.

—Michael Dickel, Jerusalem (with G. Jamie Dedes, California, USA)
26 September 2015

8 October 2015

These are the features presented in The BeZine Sept. 2015, 100TPC change issue (Focus, Poverty)

 

15 September 2015

For the past five years, September has been the month of 100,000 Poets for Change (100TPC). All over the world, poets (musicians, artists, and, yes, mimes) have organized events on or near a Saturday in September each of those years, this year, on the 26th. For this, the fifth anniversary of 100TPC, there are over 500 events scheduled throughout the world. The readers of, contributors to and publishers of The BeZine have participated with a virtual event in the past and will again this year on the 26th.

Meanwhile, The BeZine’s theme for September also supports the 100TPC call for peace, sustainability, and social justice, with our focus on poverty in general and homelessness in particular. This focus relates to social justice in an obvious way. Yet, how could we speak of sustainability without social justice? If we still have poverty and homelessness, what is sustained other than inequality? And, without social justice could there be peace? For that matter, could peace be sustained without both justice and environmental plus economic sustainability? Our choice is not to put one of these three above the other, but to recognize that all of these three important themes, necessary areas of change, interrelate in complex ways. So we chose one aspect to focus on, and in so doing, this issue clearly points to all three themes through the lens of poverty.

We open by featuring three incredibly powerful poems by Sylvia Merjanian, Refugee, Second Chance, and Collateral Damage. Refugee and Collateral Damage come from her collection, Rumor (Cold River Press—proceeds go to help Syrian refugees). Second Chance debuts here. These poems show the relationship of war to poverty, oppression, and sexual abuse. In reading these, one senses the immense personal costs of war, especially to women and children. They provide an important window into the staggering worldwide refugee crisis, currently the largest human migration since World War II. Refugees are homeless in so many ways, even when they have a house to live in. And, the world seems to conspire to keep them destitute.

That war directly and indirectly causes poverty does not surprise. You might not know, until you read James Cowles’ essay, The Roots of Institutionalized Poverty, that something called The Compromise of 1877, which ended the post-Civil War Reconstruction Era, provided the political and economic structures of poverty that continued strong through the Civil Rights Era and, in many ways, still exist today. Certainly we know that poverty is not new in the United States, and neither is homelessness. In this issue you will hear music of the Depression Era that sounds too familiar today. The first time I personally participated in an editorial process and writing publication related to homelessness was in 1989, for the University of Minnesota student paper, the Minnesota Daily. We produced a special finals’ week issue, Ivory Tower, dedicated to the theme.

Poverty and homelessness are evergreen issues historically, but issues also embedded in social and political complexity. They benefit the rich, whose economic system keeps most of the rest of us as, at best, “wage slaves,” and all too many of us in poverty, without enough to provide for basic needs or housing (including the “working poor,” who hold low-paying jobs while CEOs are paid record-breaking salaries and bonuses). Our second feature, Jamie Dedes’ poem, Some Kind of Hell to Pay, cries out against the structures of injustice, where the rich act as demigods and demagogues, and it asks of what use will all their riches be in the Hellish realm of the inevitable backlash from the marginalized and disenfranchised.

photo credit: Sharon Frye
photo credit: Sharon Frye

The poems, prose, photo essay, and art in the rest of the September BeZine will ask you to feel, to see with empathy, to hope defiantly, and always to resist the status quo. The writers often look beyond the borders of the U.S. or Western Europe to see the injustices of a world-wide economic system of war, greed and injustice that makes it difficult to live outside of its oppressive realities—and for those pushed out, the available choices do not sustain their lives, their dreams, or their spirits.

Yet, people live, they dream, and they hope with spirit—often in defiance, sometimes by dying (see John Anstie’s As if and Sharon Frye’s Jacob’s Ladder in this issue), sometimes by living despite all of the forces lined up against their lives. Victoria C. Slotto’s Homeless Man tells of a “destitute” man whose story reveals that he may in fact have the most rich life of any of us. Always, there is more than what we see.

Read these words. Think about the change that could help to heal creation as Michael Yost’s poem Who Am I to Judge and Michael Watson’s essay The Realm of the Unimaginable speak to. Remember the admonition to think globally but act locally. And, most of all, imagine.

Then, join us on 26 September 2015, on our blog. Add your own thoughts, your own poems, your own essays. Join in our virtual, worldwide 100TPC event from wherever you live. We will post a page with instructions on our blog on the 26th. The posts will go up live. And, after the 26th, we will organize and archive the event (see the 2013 and 2014 pages in the tabs at the top of the page).

—Michael Dickel, Jerusalem

My poem from the 1989 Minnesota Daily Ivory Tower

Soil

i
The plow cuts, disk or chisel?
How much of what lies below to bring up
leave exposed to dry in the wind?
What residue of last years’ crop
to leave upon the soil, cover over
to rot, return to the fertile land?

What fetish draws me along this furrow?
Street and curb meet here.  Step up or down into slime.
Dust, trash tossed around and dropped by the blind wind.
What fate ties strings to which embedded hooks,
Pulls my flesh forward forever forward towards the street?

The Spring fete begins, seeds in muck
anticipating dilettante dance of the chosen few.
Weed out the hungry whose appetite starves wind-pressed grain shafts;
water the rows of the obedient who face slick harvest,
brittleness in the searing sun and death with Winter.

I move, farmer in these city streets, man among the chaff,
I offer to fetch my elegant plow-tongue, to stop the wind,
describe the deep earth and the rotted residue, the dry grasses and newspaper
blown by, salvaged for shelter by the quick grasp of an old hand,
pulled on top of gray hair to keep rain out.

ii
I would pull the plow, but a voice from under the newspaper
covers my shoes in mud and mire.

    What d’you know ’bout
all this?
              He spit

from mown rye-stubble fields,
        fetid earthen face
          Cracked
crumbled
          creased

  Caressed once, long ago

     All you see’s a bum.
      Fuck you, you son of a whore.

At home I do not wash the dirt from me,
I scrape it off, place it in a box
with a key I open my belly and
secure the box within, sated.

The weeds fend for themselves

photo credit: Jamie Dedes
photo credit: Jamie Dedes

September 2015

Theme: Poverty

Lead Features

Rumor, Silva
Some Kind of Hell to Pay , Jamie Dedes

Articles/Creative Nonfiction

The Realm of the Unimaginable, Michael Watson
The Roots of Institutionalized Poverty in the Compromise of 1877,  James R. Cowles
Farming a Dancing Landscape, Priscilla Galasso

Poetry

As if, John Anstie

Why do you judge me?, Brian Crandall
Homeless, Brian Crandel
I Understand, Brian Crandall

Poverty Line, Sharon Frye
Jacob’s Ladder, Sharon Frye
Barometer of Bones (A Baltimore Teacher Remembers Freddie Gray), Sharon Frye

The Search, Joseph Hosch
Cold Comfort, Joseph Hesch

more Washington rumors, Charles W. Martin
five dollars and some change, Charles W. Martin

The H wor(l)d, Liliana Negoi

I Am Not Alone, Lana Phillips
Pulling Myself Up, Lana Phillips
Wounded Healer, Lana Phillips
Undeserving, Lana Phillips

~ Under ~, Corina Ravenscraft

Le Mendicant, Victoria C. Slotto
Homeless Man, Victoria C. Slotto

Who Am I to Judge, Michael Yost

Photo Story

Out in the World, Naomi Baltuck

Art

Mother and Child, Roy DeLeon, OSB

Special Feature
An Art Lesson with Leslie White … music by Grandpa Elliot

Music
nueva canción de Ameríca Latina
(the social justice music of Latin American) 

Sólo le pido a Dios (with translation and brief bio), Mercedes Sosa

from the Great Depression (1929-1941)

The Ghost of Tom Joad, Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen
I Ain’t Got No Home, Woody Guthrie
Hobo Bill’s Last Train Ride, Merle Haggard
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime, Rudy Vallee
Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out, Bessie Smith

Contemporary

Democracy, Leonard Cohen

What follows here are all the works shared by you – our readers and friends – and by some of us for this special event.  We are grateful and gratified to know how many care, how many share in the vision of a world that is at peace, sustainable and committed to social justice.

Links submitted via Mr Linky:

(Some people submitted links to their own work.  Some people submitted links to works they admire and which they felt were on theme:

1. Charles Elliot 13. Jamie Dedes 25. Brian Shirra
2. Langston Hughes 14. Sue Vincent 26. Isadora
3. Fred Taban 15. Gayle Walters Rose 27. Isadora
4. Autumn Verellen 16. Gayle Walters Rose 28. Anon
5. Maxamed Ibraahin Warsame 17. Terri Stewart 29. Candy
6. Warsan Shire 18. Priscilla Galasso 30. Trevor Maynard
7. Michael Dickel 19. Michael Dickel 31. susanne harford
8. Poetjanstie 20. Manicddaily 32. Lara/ Trace
9. Jamie Dedes 21. De Jackson( Whimsy Gizmo) 33. Nadira Cotticollan
10. Reuben Woolley 22. Lana Phillips 34. You’re next!
11. Jamie Dedes 23. James Cowels
12. A Bozdar 24. De Jackson( Whimsy Gizmo) 

What follows here are works that were submitted by way of the comments section:

Refugees

Everyone lines up
where fences stand tall
between life and death,
heaven and hell’s call.
Scrambling to get
to the other side–
you know of whom I speak—
they are the “refugees”–
leaving their last treasure,
as their homes they flee:
their crumbling piece of earth,
driven by their own
on foreign soil to roam.
Welcomed they are not;
no hosts standing by–
they face the barbed fence
and hostility’s shrill cry.
They are cold where they stand,
but colder is the hand
that shoves them aside
and pushes them back.
It is that tall fence, you see,
that marks the line
between who can live
and who must fight to survive.

© Neetu Malik 2015

Poverty by Ruth Sager for 100,000 Poets, 26th Sept 2015

The soul is always wealthy
The body gets confused and
Lacks this and wants that
The community has resources to share
Each person alone might have
Enough to get him through
The next moment and there
Never seems enough for the
Future, the uncertain future
And all the people who are
Counting on him to come through
We have enough for now
Will it last till we die?
Will we disappoint children
And grand children
And the worthy causes
That mean so much to us?

My beginning was shaky
Born a displaced person
In a Europe not healed
From war and cholera and typhoid
Betrayals and treaties
A Europe overwhelmed
With survivors on every
road, on every railroad.
We were displaced people
Who needed to be processed
Lucky to be sent to
Munchenberg near Kassel near
Frankfurt
To be processed.
To be documented.
To be helped by
UNRRA –
United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.

My parents, my grandparents, my
Aunt and Uncle and my new born self,
We had survived.

My nineteen year old Aunt Helanka had
died of typhus
My three month old sister Raya had
died of hunger
They had not survived.

The survivors survived together
They didn’t call it poverty
They had food from the American Army
They had decent housing
They could recover from the trauma.

They were happy for over two years
In the Displaced Persons Camp in
Muchenberg
They had community and the community shared
And jobs were created
And those well enough
Worked helping each other.

– Ruth Sager

– When I Was There –

When I was there, I was unaware of far away lands where children laughed and played,
and had food to share

I never had any to spare, I was too hungry to move
So I would just stare

When I was there, I was unaware of televisions or video games or cell phones
And even if I knew, I just wouldn’t care

There was no water to spare
So I would just stare

When I was there, I was unaware of lush green lawns and forests with trees
I only knew starvation and disease
I was down on my knees

Suffering too much to bear
So I would just stare

When I was there, nobody came to take care of me
But sometimes a stranger would stop and stare at me
Why didn’t anybody care about me?

There was no food or water or shelter for me
Nobody came to help me

The spark of Life faded away

Now I’m no longer there

© brian crandall 08/31/2015

– Helplessly Homeless –

Ragged Clothes. Need sewn. I haven’t a home.
Dark night. No sight. I cower in fright.

Confused. Misused. A life of Abuse.
Sought help. Refused. Beaten and Bruised.

Starvation. Malnutrition. I have no real food.
Recession. Deep Depression. A sorrowful mood.

Cold rain. Disdain. Nowhere to retreat.
My pain. In vain. No shoes on my feet.

Angry people. Stare at me. They see me as dead.
Desparation. Condemnation. I only want bread.

Apprehension. Foreboding. Danger is near.
Exposure. No closure. I tremble in Fear.

I’m freezing. They’re teasing. They punch me and kick.
They leave. I grieve. Wish death would come quick.

© brian crandall

 

Circulating Language Manifesto

“…the New Economy as convention is language itself, language as means of production and circulation of goods.”
 —Christian Marazzi, qtd. by Joshua Clover

An unrealized hunger chews against ribcages of ravens in flight
as flash floods erode history in the Wadi, flushing it to the Salt Sea.
There is no food on the table and the poet goes unpaid.
These words fill an empty plate, overflowing commerce,
an exchange rated for evaporation and condensation, loss
and replacement. This moment transforms nothing into labor.
Rising water drives thirstiness to drought even as it races forward
to parched bitterness that holds ordered tourists on its surfaces.
Order falls away with things, things lost in dreams, dreams
foretelling futures past. Electrons drove the Philosopher’s Stone,
golden silicone in bits and bytes flying past geographies of object,
flowing with subject, absent verb. What is it we pay for in this life?

Red anemones contradict drenched grasses. A small blue iris sways.
Hot dust storms coat the machinery that has frozen to our city streets
as the poet peels potatoes and pauses to reevaluate golden hues.
Sentences collapse under the weight of real prisons, unfolding
the crusty earth’s constant over turning—geological composting
as surfaces rise up and bury themselves back into the hot mantel.
Potato skins skim vodka from decay; hungers twist into shadows.
Too many dimensions in set space reduce everything again.
Orbits drop toward gravity, the strength of the iron fist clamping
down on tomorrow. Poets remain unpaid; still words overflow
into nothingness with no value placed upon added desire or its
lack. Well-written banknotes are not poems;
poems are not without a price.

“Rather, there is before us the flight to a new capital, the brutal work of tearing apart and reassembling the great gears of accumulation and setting them in motion once again—if such a thing is still possible…Or there is the flight to something else entirely.” —Joshua Clover

—Michael Dickel

CHOOSE

I have a clue
Monkeys like to be left alone

They don’t smoke cigars or play poker
Prefer not to dress up like The Three Bears
But a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do

Sunflower seeds, bananas, peanuts
Making industry out of ecology
10,000 years of giving up
Now we’re supposed to compromise

So we take what’s left and split it
Take what’s left and split
Until everything is in ownership

And no one can live
Because there are too many fences
Up to the moon and across the cosmos

– Michael Rothenberg, Founder of 100TPC, March 22, 1999

Poverty

The soul is always wealthy
The body gets confused and
Lacks this and wants that
The community has resources to share
Each person alone might have
Enough to get him through
The next moment and there
Never seems enough for the
Future, the uncertain future
And all the people who are
Counting on him to come through
We have enough for now
Will it last till we die?
Will we disappoint children
And grand children
And the worthy causes
That mean so much to us?

My beginning was shaky
Born a displaced person
In a Europe not healed
From war and cholera and typhoid
Betrayals and treaties
A Europe overwhelmed
With survivors on every
road, on every railroad.
We were displaced people
Who needed to be processed
Lucky to be sent to
Munchenberg near Kassel near
Frankfurt
To be processed.
To be documented.
To be helped by
UNRRA –
United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.

My parents, my grandparents, my
Aunt and Uncle and my new born self,
We had survived.

My nineteen year old Aunt Helanka had
died of typhus
My three month old sister Raya had
died of hunger
They had not survived.

The survivors survived together
They didn’t call it poverty
They had food from the American Army
They had decent housing
They could recover from the trauma.

They were happy for over two years
In the Displaced Persons Camp in
Muchenberg
They had community and the community shared
And jobs were created
And those well enough
Worked helping each other.

– Ruth Sager

 

Prayer September 26, 2015

2015-09-26

– Terri Stewart

– – Seven Billion – –

It’s hard to comprehend hundreds of millions.
Of human kind, there’s seven billion.

Seven Billion boys and girls
Walking around this great big world

Some don’t think within the ‘norm’
In society they’re unable to conform

If they don’t think like you and me
This does not mean they are – “lazy”

Some that think outside the box
Suffered through a school of hard knocks

Unable to work from 9 to 5
Their minds tormented, barely alive

Seven billion human brains
Some will struggle to sustain

Others judge them and torment
When pain & suffering they could prevent

Some can’t see beyond their scope
The reasons to give people Hope

Seven billion human minds
Let’s find a reason to be kind

—————————————–

– – I Understand – –

I understand the Homeless Man
Confusion in his eyes

Tries to survive the best he can
There is sorrow, in his sigh

Life dealt him a deck of cards
With no Kings, Queens or pairs

Day to day is really hard
Especially when nobody cares

Tried to reach a peaceful state
Accidental over-medicate

Can not shake a dark affliction
Desperation leads to drug addiction

Society it makes no sense
Within a foggy mind

A victim of poor circumstance
Let’s find a reason to be kind

– brian crandall

Viva Terra Viva, John Denver

– Priscilla Galasso

– Why Do You Judge Me? –

I come to this school
I’m just the same as you
You want to learn science
You know I want to learn too

I live in a shelter
I once lived out on the streets
You laugh at my clothing, and
The worn out shoes on my feet

Why Do You Judge Me?
Will you ever accept me?

They shut down my job
And now I can’t find another
I’m looking for work
Can you help me out, brother?

You walk by with Disgust
The expression on your face
Do you have any Trust?
Is there even a trace?

Why Do You Judge Me?
I Wish you would Help Me

I worked hard all my life
Got no retirement pension
I made enough to get by
My body writhing with tension

My bones are all aching
I no longer have my good health
Some people work really hard
Never receive any wealth

Why Do You Judge Me?
Doesn’t anyone Love me?

© brian crandall

THE DOVES HAVE FLOWN

what must it be like for you in your part of the world?

there is only silence, i don’t know your name, i know only
that the fire of life makes us one in this, the human journey,
search and return, running through mud, reaching for the sun

like entering the ritual river without a blessing or a prayer

our eyes meet in secret, our hearts open on the fringe,
one breath and the wind blows, one tear and seas rise,
on the street where you lived, your friends are all gone

the houses are crushed and the doves have flown

there is only silence, no children playing, no laughter
here and there a light remains to speak to you of loneliness,
my breath catches in my throat, i want to make life sane again

– Jamie Dedes

Homeless Workers

“The New York Post, no bastion of bleeding heart liberalism, reported on Monday that “Hundreds of full-time city workers are homeless”. These are people who clean our trash and make our city, the heart of American capitalism, safe and livable, including for those who plunder the globe from Wall Street.” —Stephen W. Thrasher, The Guardian

A Bozdar’s poem, Keeper, is a nice companion with this article.

– Michael Dickel

Fools Gold

It’s a farce, of course;
This worship of Mammon
And the daily grind
That numbs the senses
And warps the mind.
Rainbow chasing.
Devoid of style,
Kicking and screaming
The Golden Mile
Beckons insidiously.
Pyrite glitter
Blinding our eyes
To the hungry child
Beleaguered by flies.
And we cry charity,
Shed a false tear
And brandish the plastic
To save us the trouble
Of anything drastic…
Like being human.

There is also an article on the judgement we automatically make when faced with the visual effects of poverty in an unequal society. http://scvincent.com/2014/10/09/only-human/

Afrikkan Unification added a new photo to the album: Dr. Amos Wilson.

12006275_1035168993194128_8116017065926297827_n

The Spirit of Giving and A Homeless Man

’m a little unsure about the posting procedure, but it seems I’m invited to paste work relevant to the theme right here. I offer two poems. The first, *The Spirit of Giving, *is a nasty little satire inspired by some patronizing remarks I overheard at a social gathering. The second, *A Homeless Man, *springs from a conversation I had with a man in downtown Vancouver.

The Spirit of Giving

Thanks be for the constant housework and clutter that makes me leap daily for mop and dustpan– no time for thinking of things that might matter to millions who suffer in less-happy lands. But the brown folks are used to the murders and rapes, infant impalements and girl-child castrations; they’re used to contending with wounds all-agape, teeming with maggots and gross infestations– I’m not, but I do make my own contribution to a brown child, each month, in a land far away. I look on the money as just retribution for being so white and well out of the fray. It’s the least I can do for my suffering brothers who live in such squalor and terror each day. They’d all have nice houses, if I had my druthers– but I don’t, and this thinking gives aches in my head, so I’ll hand-wash the crystal, then get me to bed.

© clark cook

10 June 2014.

*A HOMELESS MAN*

he stands slack in the queue, thin body bowed
in a vertical curve that disguises height,
makes him a shuffling gnome
long mud-crusted coat
dirty body in dirty sneakers
stands and shuffles
stands and shuffles
gets his stew, white bread, coffee
keeps dimmed eyes down so the cheerful lady
won’t talk to him
she knows nothing anyway
of his plunge
from boardroom to here.

he eats alone
mouth trembling at the edge of the bowl
spoon scooping
scooping
wipes his mouth with a dirty hand
shuffles
into the dark slicing rain and cold wind
last night—he
doesn’t know how—he
lost his toque his
balding head cold, now
he knows a cedar tree behind a nearby church
long thick branches trailing on frozen ground
its long shadow embraces
his hunched approach
he crawls under. . . .

a coyote
two half-grown pups
she snarls and cowers,
he moves to the other side
sits with his back to the warm trunk
it is dry.
when he awakes, mother coyote and one pup
are curled together asleep. The other
is licking gravy
from his cold dirty hand.

© clark cook

THREE BY MIKE STONE

“By the River Jordan”
– (Raanana, August 5, 2015)

Once upon a time forgotten,
Or so they say,
God walked alongside Abraham
On goat paths crisscrossing mountains
When they were still new and green,
When Moriah was not yet named.
But sometime later God took his angels
And his box of miracles to his bosom
Leaving us to our own devices,
Existentialism and science.
Perhaps because our faith was not enough,
Because we understood the letter
And not the spirit,
Because His creation could not create
But only destroy itself,
He left us to ourselves.
We fought our enemies oh so bravely
But, when the enemy was ourselves, capitulated.
Now we live in a moral flatland,
Two dimensional creatures on a yellowing page
Without height or depth.
We kill because we can,
We hate and hatred makes a home of death.
By the River Jordan,
By the caves of Qumran,
By the hills of Jerusalem,
We lay down and wept for thee Zion.

“Potentates of the Potential”
– (Raanana, July 25, 2015)

For most of our existence
We are either dead or unborn
In our isolated crumb of universe.
Potentates of the potential,
Stars of a meaningless singleton
We are.
Cuncta pro nil, nihil pro omnibus
All for nothing, nothing for all.
Until
Life lies in ambush
Waiting to pounce on our long lethargies
When least expected
For another meaningless singleton
Second.
Now I wake me up from sleep,
I pray the Lord
My head won’t be chopped
Before my time
By some misguided child and rusty knife
Just because he can,
Not that it matters in the scheme of things,
But one small hope springs forth,
Lightweight from being foundationless,
That some poetic challenger will escape
The gravity of our petty fears and hatreds
And find its way to some new earth
Pristine from evil spared.

“Flying with a Broken Wing”
(Raanana, June 19, 2015)

They say that the faster you go in time
The slower you go in space.
They say a lot of things,
Mostly things that hurt your ears.
Sometimes they don’t say anything at all,
Anything that would make you want
To take another breath above the ground.
Daisy is a good listener.
She seems to understand every nuance.
You can tell by the way her eyes search
Through the depths of words,
Shifting the delicate balance of them
Between her furrowed brows,
And sometimes sniffing for other
Indications of meaning.
Nothing thoughtless or mendacious
Ever comes out of her mouth,
Except when she howls at the moon
Sometimes, but who knows?
The point is we’re all going around in circles,
The stars, the sun, and the moon,
Our world, our wars and our peace,
Our gestures, our words, and our thoughts,
Like a bird flying with a broken wing.

—Mike Stone

TWO BY KUSHAL PODDAR

Asking For It

I ask for change from
the ATM.

I ask for change from
the rallies, assemblies.

Begging changes me,
you know. I have

all craving and no need.
I want change and no aim.

Imagine you changing
into a new polka dot.

Imagine the curtains
changed for the festival.

All craving and no need.
I want change and no aim.

I rub the sky, dust, clean.
Inside a cloud, a cage;

inside the cage, a song;
I sing and change. Imagine

me changing into white,
into something remains

before you unseen,
envelope you without
you ever knowing.

©All Rights- Kushal Poddar, 2015 Shared with permission at request of poet.

They don’t make spines anymore. Just GPS.

My father oils the spare spine.
‘You will need this’, He says.

I shall need more changes
in my pocket. The funny
thing- if you give away them
more you possess in the end.

‘Be the change’, he says, his
favorite quote, his hands
blurred from the movement,
a spine more and a spine less,

he says, Take care of this.
These days, he says, ‘They don’t make
spines anymore. Just GPS.’
Oh yes, I say. I twist my head,

place it on the side table.
My father inserts spine’s end.

And I begin to change.
My heart rings and tings
from the looseness of spares.
I shall give you some

if you come with me
to the hooting rally.

©All Rights- Kushal Poddar, 2015 (written on 11/September/15) Shared with permission at request of poet.

POVERTY POEM – JUST ANOTHER DAY

– Autumn Verellen

 

100,000 Poets for Change, Salerno, Italy – June 2015

Video with “Come to Salerno” (music by Ellis Ebakor and Flezzy Emese, Nigeria; video by Penny Kline, USA)

– Michael Dickel

 

“The New York Post, no bastion of bleeding heart liberalism, reported on Monday that “Hundreds of full-time city workers are homeless”. These are people who clean our trash and make our city, the heart of American capitalism, safe and livable, including for those who plunder the globe from Wall Street.” —Stephen W. Thrasher, The Guardian

Disaster Capitalism Opinion/The Guardian

Fools Gold

It’s a farce, of course;
This worship of Mammon
And the daily grind
That numbs the senses
And warps the mind.
Rainbow chasing.
Devoid of style,
Kicking and screaming
The Golden Mile
Beckons insidiously.
Pyrite glitter
Blinding our eyes
To the hungry child
Beleaguered by flies.
And we cry charity,
Shed a false tear
And brandish the plastic
To save us the trouble
Of anything drastic…
Like being human.

  • Sue Vincent

There is also an article on the judgement we automatically make when faced with the visual effects of poverty in an unequal society. http://scvincent.com/2014/10/09/only-human/

– – Seven Billion – –

It’s hard to comprehend hundreds of millions.
Of human kind, there’s seven billion.

Seven Billion boys and girls
Walking around this great big world

Some don’t think within the ‘norm’
In society they’re unable to conform

If they don’t think like you and me
This does not mean they are – “lazy”

Some that think outside the box
Suffered through a school of hard knocks

Unable to work from 9 to 5
Their minds tormented, barely alive

Seven billion human brains
Some will struggle to sustain

Others judge them and torment
When pain & suffering they could prevent

Some can’t see beyond their scope
The reasons to give people Hope

Seven billion human minds
Let’s find a reason to be kind

—————————————–

– – I Understand – –

I understand the Homeless Man
Confusion in his eyes

Tries to survive the best he can
There is sorrow, in his sigh

Life dealt him a deck of cards
With no Kings, Queens or pairs

Day to day is really hard
Especially when nobody cares

Tried to reach a peaceful state
Accidental over-medicate

Can not shake a dark affliction
Desperation leads to drug addiction

Society it makes no sense
Within a foggy mind

A victim of poor circumstance
Let’s find a reason to be kind

brian crandall

“By the River Jordan”
(Raanana, August 5, 2015)

Once upon a time forgotten,
Or so they say,
God walked alongside Abraham
On goat paths crisscrossing mountains
When they were still new and green,
When Moriah was not yet named.
But sometime later God took his angels
And his box of miracles to his bosom
Leaving us to our own devices,
Existentialism and science.
Perhaps because our faith was not enough,
Because we understood the letter
And not the spirit,
Because His creation could not create
But only destroy itself,
He left us to ourselves.
We fought our enemies oh so bravely
But, when the enemy was ourselves, capitulated.
Now we live in a moral flatland,
Two dimensional creatures on a yellowing page
Without height or depth.
We kill because we can,
We hate and hatred makes a home of death.
By the River Jordan,
By the caves of Qumran,
By the hills of Jerusalem,
We lay down and wept for thee Zion.

  • Mike Stone

“Potentates of the Potential”
(Raanana, July 25, 2015)

For most of our existence
We are either dead or unborn
In our isolated crumb of universe.
Potentates of the potential,
Stars of a meaningless singleton
We are.
Cuncta pro nil, nihil pro omnibus
All for nothing, nothing for all.
Until
Life lies in ambush
Waiting to pounce on our long lethargies
When least expected
For another meaningless singleton
Second.
Now I wake me up from sleep,
I pray the Lord
My head won’t be chopped
Before my time
By some misguided child and rusty knife
Just because he can,
Not that it matters in the scheme of things,
But one small hope springs forth,
Lightweight from being foundationless,
That some poetic challenger will escape
The gravity of our petty fears and hatreds
And find its way to some new earth
Pristine from evil spared.

  • Mike Stone

“Flying with a Broken Wing”
(Raanana, June 19, 2015)

They say that the faster you go in time
The slower you go in space.
They say a lot of things,
Mostly things that hurt your ears.
Sometimes they don’t say anything at all,
Anything that would make you want
To take another breath above the ground.
Daisy is a good listener.
She seems to understand every nuance.
You can tell by the way her eyes search
Through the depths of words,
Shifting the delicate balance of them
Between her furrowed brows,
And sometimes sniffing for other
Indications of meaning.
Nothing thoughtless or mendacious
Ever comes out of her mouth,
Except when she howls at the moon
Sometimes, but who knows?
The point is we’re all going around in circles,
The stars, the sun, and the moon,
Our world, our wars and our peace,
Our gestures, our words, and our thoughts,
Like a bird flying with a broken wing.

—Mike Stone

100,000 Poets for Change, Jakarta

Spoken Words from Malaya Called Negarakus by A Wahid Halim

A Palette of Change
contemplating-colorsSeptember 26, 2015 by scillagrace
What color is humility? What color is Pope Francis? What color is poverty? What color is racial injustice? What color is responsibility? What color is Noam Chomsky? What color is Bernie Sanders? What color is exploitation? What color is extinction? What color is cowardice? What color is love? What color is peace? What color is Thich Nhat Hahn? What color is health? What color is despair? What color is the sky? What color is Earth? What color am I?

How shall I paint?

– Priscilla Galasso

 

 … & Cut Heads Shall Speak by Rueben Woolley

Thank you for joining us for 100TPC.  

Sept. 24th, 2016 is the next Global Event Day!

On that day we’ll once again host a virtual event. Meanwhile, we do have a discussion page up on Facebook, “The BeZine, 100TPC Change” … 2016 focus for us is Environment/Environmental Justice.