Welcome to The BeZine’s online,
virtual 100,000 Poets for Change event!

This past week, an international aid convoy in Syria was attacked with devastating results, during a ceasefire. Bombs went off, as usual, in Iraq. They also went off in New Jersey and New York. There were terrorist knife attacks in Jerusalem. And knife attacks also in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Police shot (at least) two unarmed African-Americans in the United States. Police shot “terror suspects” in Israel. Iran arrested dissidents. China gave a dissident’s attorney a 12-year sentence.

Climate change has reduced the arctic ice sheets at record levels, this summer just ended. The Fertile Crescent, where Western civilization began, has suffered such a devastating drought that farmers have fled it for years now—a contributing cause to the Syrian civil war and the refugee crisis. The hardened, drought-stricken soil in the region, broken up by heavy war-machinery, artillery shelling, and bombs, has turned into dust that the wind picks up—a contributing cause of record dust storms throughout the region.

It is time for global change

For the past six years, 100,000 Poets for Change (100TPC) has inspired and supported events on a Saturday in September. This year, there are over 550 events scheduled throughout the world. This blog/zine is one of them. The goal is for poets (artists, musicians, actors, even mimes) to band together and perform / exhibit their work in a call to change the world for the better.

The 100TPC themes are peace, sustainability, and social justice. The September 2016 issue of The BeZine, edited by Priscilla Galasso and Steve Wiencek, focuses on environmental justice. This focus relates to social justice and sustainability, but is a necessary part of obtaining peace.

If we still have poverty and homelessness, what is sustained other than inequality? And, without social justice and a sustainable environment, could there be peace? Could peace be maintained without both social and environmental justice alongside environmental and economic sustainability?

Share your work here, today, as part of our 100TPC online event—help us create a space for change. As in past years, the event will be archived and made available later on The BeZine’s website and will also be archived at Standford University in California.

Here’s how to post your work

For today’s online event, our choice is not to put one of the three themes—peace, sustainability, and social justice—above the others, but to recognize that all of these three necessary areas of change interrelate in complex ways.

We invite you to participate. Share your writing, art, music, videos, thoughts that relate to these themes on our website today.

It’s actually easy to do.

  • Click on Mr. Linky below and follow instructions for posting a link to a post on your blog:

  • You can also post a link or writing directly into the comments below!
Come back during the day

Please return often today (Sept. 24, 2016) to read what others have posted, follow links, like, and leave comments—and to see and reply to what others have commented on your own posts and links. We would love to see an active dialogue!

165 thoughts on “100TPC — 2016

  1. Thank you everyone for your participation! The BeZine 100TPC 2016 event will soon be archived. In the meantime, please feel free to browse the comments and links. We received a lot of wonderful poetry!

    Thanks to Jamie Dedes, Terri Stewart, Priscilla Galasso, and Steve Weincek and all of the rest of the Bardo / Beguine Again / BeZine community.

    Like

  2. If I understand time zones enough and my calculations are correct, it remains the 24th of September until noon UTC-0 (GMT) in the last time zone before the International Dateline. I think this covers Samoa. In honor of the Pacific Islanders from Hawai’i to Samoa, I have chosen to continue to check in as EmCee through 14:00 my time, at which point it should be the 25th of September in 23 time zones and the 26th in one.

    That means, in simpler words— three more hours from the time stamp on this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. No option to peace
    Paris
    Beirut
    Belgium
    Mumbai
    London
    Bamako—
    The list is endless.
    Terror is unleashed
    By the masked young
    Spouting venom on everything.
    The violence, murders, mayhem
    Caused by random acts of hatred
    Choreographed by the merchants
    Of death has, always, an opposite effect:
    It unites Paris, Brussels, Mumbai and others
    With a grieving world.
    Masses turn out offering flowers, candles and tears
    To the slain innocent persons.
    Love united common humanity
    That chants Peace!
    And hatred gets defeated.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Here is another poem from the out of print Poems, Parables and Prayers for the 3rd Millennium (Plain View Press, 2001) for the occasion:

    Who will stop the tanks from grinding under gardens,
    the mortar shells from shredding towns, homes, and
    children who. pray for deliverance that never comes?
    Who will dig up mines hidden under roads
    that weary fathers travel, looking for work
    so they can feed their children,
    knowing they can survive the mines and
    still find their homes ground under and
    their children’s bodies shredded by
    mortar shells, or grenades, or charred by napalm or
    buried under rubble or bleeding to death
    while watching the medics who rush to save them
    float toward the sky on shrapnel clouds and
    land with a leg here, an arm there,
    eyes glazed, not comprehending?
    Who will stop the bombs from falling,
    from laying waste to block after block,
    burying living and dead under cinder and
    rubble while fires sweep from ruin to ruin?
    Who will stop the terrorist bombs from
    reducing buildings to flesh and debris,
    crushing victims who never realized
    that time had stopped for them?
    Who will stop the death squads,
    using the night to steal away someone’s
    father, or mother, or brother sleeping
    beside books which inspired his letter of protest
    about which they will question him before
    tossing what’s left of his body into a
    pickup truck and dumping it in an alley
    as a message, a cipher written in blood,
    a symbol of hope’s futility?
    Who will stop the mobs from pulling drivers
    into burning streets. from smashing store windows,
    from torching neighborhoods to unleash their rage?
    Who will stop vigilantes, filled with hatred,
    who dress their children in field gear,
    teach them to field strip rifles in forty seconds, to
    target the Black, the Atheist, the G-Man, the Jew?
    To target teachers, skeptics, and, sooner or later, their friends?

    In church we pray for God’s love
    to heal our hearts and planet,
    to deliver us from evil and
    bring justice, freedom, peace.
    We pray in safety, we pray from sanctuary,
    we pray in our living rooms far away
    from mortar shells and gun fire.
    Love that costs us nothingI is whimsy,
    as powerless as an infant
    trapped in the predator’s teeth.
    Do we lay in front of tanks before they roll?
    Do we storm air fields before the bombers fly?
    Do we offer our bodies as instruments of peace?
    Or do we write checks and poems,
    attend concerts to write more checks,
    send care packages to wish the dying well?
    Who has tested the power of love
    to turn back the power of hate?

    What kind of love can stop a bomb
    when it can’t stop pointing fingers,
    child beating, or even divorce over
    petty grudges. different faiths,
    wounds nursed for years until the
    infection kills any feeling that remains?
    What kind of love heralds peace on earth
    when it can’t stop the day-to-day
    carping and back stabbing in the work place?
    What kind of love can restore the soul when
    a question, a disagreement, a point of departure
    can tum one holy Catholic church into a
    million squabbling screaming factions with
    their own initiations, colors and turf?

    I don’t mean the Beatles kind of love,
    the teary-eyed, hug-giving,
    all you need is, endorphin pumping,
    brain-wave altering, sing along with
    your neighbor. revival meeting
    kind of love that sends you home filled
    with fuzzy feelings and grandiose resolutions that
    fade with your buzzing alarm clock.

    I don’t mean tough love,
    the kick the kid out or get daddy into detox
    because coddling will get them nothing,
    they have to take their problems head-on
    kind of love that leaves them to succeed on
    devices that failed them for years.

    I mean the God-given,
    takes practice to do right.
    lots of practice every day
    with people you can’t stand but
    try to love anyway kind of love.
    The kind of love where you dig in,
    grin and bear with people who could care less
    if you’re dead, and, if the truth be told,
    would probably like you better dead, and,
    even worse, you have to love them enough to
    respect their beliefs and not shove
    “Jesus loves you” down their throats
    every chance you get, but bide your
    time and find ways to support their needs
    and respect their beliefs. and
    (and this is the hardest part of all)
    be content to help them with the problems
    they want help with and resist the. need
    to make them just like you.

    That kind of love.

    The kind of love that makes you
    hold your child to your breast
    after you bailed him out of jail and
    he won’t even look at you and
    says, “Fuck you, I don’t need your help.” and
    still you hold him to your breast
    even though you realize you have a
    lifetime of work ahead of you.
    The kind of love that leads you
    into the county jail to talk to
    a prisoner who hasn‘t bathed since Monday,
    who’s sweating out the whiskey, and
    whose smell overpowers you in the close room
    with no fan and no moving air,
    and you help him work through
    his anger without trying to sell him
    the prepackaged belief system you
    keep on the storage shelf of your faith.
    The kind of love that makes you pray
    with those who meditate,
    to meditate beside those who pray,
    to pray in silence beside those
    who prefer to pray out loud for hours,
    to pause from your own eloquent prayers
    to hear the chants and mantras of others and to
    hear the silence in a room filled with
    those who pray in silence without,
    even for a moment, questioning their love for God;
    to choose not to lift yourself up and
    the god of your understanding for
    others to see, but to lift up others and
    the god of their understanding to ask,
    “Where is the God we worship in common and
    how can we show our love?”
    The kind of love that happens in small steps,
    one at a time,
    whose results you can’t measure
    for years, if ever. the kind of love that says
    you sit in a room of Southern Baptists
    if that’s what it takes to bind together to
    pray for peace, and sit down with
    the Pentecostals and speak in tongues
    if that’s what it takes to bring justice to the world,
    and then go the next step and bring
    the Pentecostals together with the Baptists and
    toss Catholics into the mix. and Episcopalians and
    then Buddhists, Krishnas, Moslems.
    Taoists, those who seek the goddess to
    transform themselves, transform the world, and
    stop speaking their names with contempt and
    stop, arguing ahout salvation and how to pray, and
    whether we worship a godhead, goddess or trinity,
    but to agree to love each other. and
    send up prayers of love, and do it now,
    not to wait for the millennium or the proper
    alignment of the planets or the Harmonic convergence
    but now, this minute, at the first opportunity,
    even if we’re in a room hy ourselves,
    or a handful of us in a living room,
    or in our offices remembering to
    hold hack those unkind comments
    or handing a dollar to the homeless
    or refusing to flip off the driver
    who pushed us out of our lane.
    We could unleash the power of love
    onto the planet, pour out God’s spirit,
    unleash a tidal wave of compassion
    that will push hack the tanks,
    bury the mortars under dirt,
    and bring the death squads to their knees
    begging for forgiveness from their victims.

    lnstead we argue about the nature of God,
    the manifestations of God, and the shape of the afterlife
    while the tanks line up at the edge of our own city
    and the soldiers drop shells into their mortars
    and our factories open their sluices
    to release their toxic sludge into our river,
    and the death squads prepare their lists of victims
    which include every member ofour families.

    In our domain we point out each others’ frailties
    to mask our own self-righteousness. The prudent
    accuses the activist of hrashness, the activist
    accuses the reveler of levity, the reveler
    accuses the diligent of obsession, the diligent
    accuses the skeptic of godlessness, and the skeptic
    chides the alcoholic for her lack of self-control.
    In God’s domain alcoholic leans on the prudent to learn sobriety,
    the prudent leans on the activist to leam initiative,
    the activist leans on the reveler to learn humor,
    the reveler leans on the diligent to learn restraint,
    the diligent leans on the skeptic to learn judgment,
    and the skeptic leans on the alcoholic (who prays to the
    God of her understanding for one more day of sobriety)
    to learn faith. As we lean we support each other,
    and as we support each other we build an unbroken
    circle of power, a ring of love, a wall of forgiveness
    and compassion to drive away the demons
    we created to destroy our world.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. posca…

    empty pages
    embossed
    with
    invisible ink
    pages
    that
    blisters
    when
    hate’s heat
    of
    reality
    is applied
    and
    another mother’s son
    lies bleeding
    along
    a city street
    warm blood
    fuels
    the fires
    so
    the words
    no justice
    appears
    upon
    the page

    [audio mp3="https://slpmartin.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/posca.mp3"][/audio]

    Liked by 3 people

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