There Destiny Twirling | Judy DeCroce & Antoni Ooto

On the Way There

In sunlight with a backward wave,
I cross the street I know so well.

Leaving gossip
back there on our shared stoop…
continuing the ordinary, my every day,
and in five steps…I disappear.

~

Joan, you left your face in that mirror—
a warm scent, a draft.

Anyway, it didn’t seem the last time until
his pickup plowed through that summer morning—
plowed through sunshine, sparkle…into you.

Time slipped away, though hope was possible,
and time stayed closed against his roar.

Now in this quieter year, answers don't come,
but your absence does.

What’s left?
Only memories that wrap themselves away
       when it shouldn’t have been the last time.

By the Sea…
photograph
Miroslava Panayotova ©2022

Destiny

Above my chair pigeons shuffle,
ticking the skylights.

In that reel, birds stare
into an examining room.

My wait is usual, routine,
each time longer.

And fear, full of imagination,
begins to cloud my mind.

life consumes time
time consumes life

This child will be examined
but not explained—
that is for adults.

Answers are being searched for
and I’m only the subject
left to watch pigeons.

and finally, an unsettling quiet—
an intersection where chance meets destiny
in a room at the edge of summer

they’ll try…again,
I’ll wait—worry,
never imagining
50 years later…
                      she would be me.

Some Skirts are Made for Twirling

for Mom
and she hummed her dance
in canvas sneakers 

a gyroscope of movement
measured steps
efficient—true

basement, attic, back yard,
chores always in play

filling the ever-possible days of “hunky-dory”
chasing the task, moving along;

cooking, shopping,
years of nursing,
all while humming,

then confusion cut in
and she couldn’t remember those practiced steps,
stumbling till the dance was over.

Collaborative Poems ©2022 Judy DeCroce and Antoni Ooto
All rights reserved


Judy DeCroce and Antoni Ooto

Poet/professional storyteller/educator Judy DeCroce, and poet/ abstract expressionist artist Antoni Ooto are based in Upstate New York. Married and sharing a love of poetry, they spend their mornings imaging, discussing, and refining their poems. Judy DeCroce and Antoni Ooto have been published globally in print, online, and in anthologies.



Three Collaborative Poems | Judy DeCroce and Antoni Ooto

Joanne

When I asked, how’re you doing,
“Good,” you smiled.

I could always make you laugh, right?

My artist-buddy who loved horses;
the face I never looked beyond.

Stay awhile, Jo
I haven’t learned to miss you yet.

Today,
I wish for a lift,
a little cheer,
such tiny wishes—selfish wishes.

In all those sweet or bitter days,
your hope was there.

Tonight, I’ll think about you.
  Tomorrow, I’ll think about horses.

                  In Memory of Joanne Benedict, Artist

Between, and Fog

Tied to a fender of boulders,
I sit, here within a cloud,
not even hoping to rise.

In this cove
where threads of waves on milk glass sea
tempt gulls bobbing beyond the dune grass.

I cast my thoughts through thinning fog
beached with no place safe to rest
like that red dinghy—PUFF

This Wasn’t the Plan

here, the body continues
but the mind closes the door for good

to a room we can no longer enter
where everyone wears a similar mask

like vintage furniture with faces,
that follow old ruts worn in place

we visit now perhaps only for ourselves

C, still a teacher without students
scratches in a plan book without days
forming a presentation to be given yesterday
to an audience, sleeping, slouching, staring

C. wonders where she is

and we who visit,
drive away guilty and forgotten

©2022 Judy DeCroce and Antoni Ooto
All rights reserved


Judy DeCroce and Antoni Ooto

Poet/professional storyteller/educator Judy DeCroce, and poet/abstract expressionist artist Antoni Ooto are based in Upstate New York.

Married and sharing a love of poetry, they spend their mornings studying established poets, as well as, work on revising, critiquing, editing and through reading aloud, balance the meter of their pieces. 

Judy DeCroce and Antoni Ooto have been published globally in print, online, and anthologies.

Posted in disability/illness, General Interest, Poems/Poetry

Two Poems by Antoni Ooto

Housebound

everything was so honest once
but more disappears

games in vacant lots
old haunts
all those loves

days tick down
the mirror considers what’s left

“I sit talking to myself
losing time.”

“I’m at the end of everything
barely existing.”

and my resolve?
that’s already hardening.

Minimal

How small can a life get?

Once with the strength of a Morgan
everything pulled uphill…
now, over time, resigns to cleverness of necessity.

Graceless age clutches my shirttail
dragging me everywhere.

I remember tricking my way.

In a book I read,
a bite of land was given toward the end
something—manageable to lose…

© 2020, Antoni Ooto

ANTONI OOTO has and still looks for answers which he shares at times with poetry. He finds pleasure in reading the works of many poets such as WS Merwin, Jane Kenyon, Donald Hall, Elizabeth Bishop, Margret Atwood, and the humor of James Tate.

“I read various poet’s first thing in the morning aloud.

My wife and I discuss the structure, rhythm and beauty of the lines.”

Reading poetry aloud (he feels) allows the voice to find a cadence that the reader might miss when seeing the words on a page.

Antoni Ooto is a poet and flash fiction writer.  He came to writing late after many years as an abstract expressionist artist. He eventually found his voice in poetry.

His works appear in Front Porch Review, Amethyst Review, The Ginger Collect, Soft Cartel, Eldritch Lake, Pilcrow & Dagger, Young Ravens Literary Review, and many others.

Antoni works in upstate New York with his wife poet, storyteller Judy DeCroce.

Posted in Poems/Poetry

Three poems by Judy DeCroce

Senseless Hope

she worries about losing

but not yet, not now

 

senseless hope can’t be found

 

it is definite…

she will always be ill

a beginning that will now 

be forever

 

I see it, when she does not

sometimes friends replace mirrors

 

but she is still herself in these moments 

with sense of humor fading 

 

details…

less, too much…

all shocking but eminent

 

diagnosis, pills, doctors watching,

talking, watching

talk

 

Still Trying

 

“We are losing altitude all the time” 

—Josephine Miles

Gravity and time must be the story,

strength…the music causing this smile.

 

Stepping to a mirror,

baring all you’ve become…

 

already, some is gone in the falling,

yet most remains. 

 

Anyway…that’s what we do.

late, early

 

Obstacles, challenges,

stepped over as they rise.

 

That horizon is a goal not always ahead.

It slips the lead, follows, or moves beside.

 

Today, yesterday, tomorrow,

that’s what we do…trying the best we can.

 

A Measure of Certainty

memories once carried off 

even with all my hurry

 

were certainly too late

no longer lasting 

 

sometimes a lost memory is the future

forever an empty field

 

I feel guilty 

the whole time.

© 2020, Judy DeCroce

Judy DeCroce, a former educator, is a poet/flash fiction writer and avid reader. Her works have been published by Plato’s Cave online, Front Porch Review, Amethyst Review, Tigershark Publishing, and Pilcorw & Dagger.
 
She began writing flash fiction and poetry in 2006 from which many have been published in US, UK, and India. Judy is also a professional storyteller and teacher of that genre for over 35 years, and has worked with students as young as kindergarten as well as adults.
She uses “first person” storytelling to entertain and has been invited to perform in many settings.
 
A requested instructor in Writers and Books summer program Summerwrite, and, ADEPT: An enrichment program through BOCES 2 in Rochester, New York, Judy continues to teach Flash Fiction and Storytelling.
Her impetus for writing was borne out a childhood tragedy where she was bedridden for 5 years with a then unidentified illness. Because of this, she found it easy to use her imagination to build stories of what could be. 
She was lucky to have a favorite aunt who would tell her stories before she went to sleep. This, was her most important connection to becoming the storyteller she is today.
Judy lives and works in upstate New York with her husband, poet/artist, Antoni Ooto.

Winter 2020

Untitled IV
G Jamie Dedes

Introduction

What a year 2020 has been: global pandemic, international instabilities, U.S. election turmoil. So much. We here at The BeZine have suffered a personal loss, as well, with the passing of G Jamie Dedes, our Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief emerita. Jamie led us with light, gentleness, and love.

Jamie may be gone, but her light shines on in her influence and inspiration, which we at The BeZine honor and mark. John Anstie, one of our core team of contributors, has curated a collection of tributes, eulogies, and elegies for this issue, in a section “for Jamie…”, where writers and artists from all over the world have joined us in remembering Jamie. This section also includes some of her writing and artwork.

Some of her photographs are also sprinkled throughout the rest of the issue, as well, as we continue the project that is The BeZine in Jamie’s name and spirit. The theme for this month, Life of the Spirit, chosen for this issue by her over a year ago, was especially close to her heart. She wanted to be sure that each year The BeZine would focus on this important aspect of our lives, activism, and work. Spirituality is the linchpin that holds together the other three themes of the year: Peace, Sustainability, and Social Justice.

So, read about and be inspired by Jamie and by Life of the Spirit as interpreted by artists and writers around the world.

Table of Contents

for Jamie…

Introduction

An Appreciation of G Jamie Dedes — John Anstie

The Voices of G Jamie Dedes

Unforgettable — Corina Ravenscraft
victory is mine by Jamie Dedes — Jamie Dedes
Her Light Continues — Corina Ravenscraft
Wanderer — Jamie Dedes
The View from My Place by Jamie Dedes — John Anstie
My Favorite Poem by Dear G Jamie Dedes — Anjum Wasim Dar

Additional Tributes

Tribute from Priscilla Galsso — Priscilla Galasso
Tribute from Irma Do — Irma Do
Tribute from Artist Peter Wilkin — Peter Wilkin

Elegies & Eulogies

Finding G Jamie Dedes — Anjum Wasim Dar
Unforgettable, Gifted, G Jamie Dedes ~ Yes, In Heaven — Anjum Wasim Dar
Grace — Brian Shirra
Mentor Never Met — Chrysty Hendrick
So What Do You Do? — Dewitt Clinton
Goodbye Jamie Dedes — Isadora delaVega
I Am Not Here — Jane Spokenword
Anti-Dystopoem — John Anstie
Eulogy for A Beautiful Soul — Mbizo Chirasha
For Jamie—a poem — Michael Dickel
Jamie by Mike Stone — Mike Stone
A Bulgarian Dedication to G Jamie Dedes — Miroslava Panayotova

Music

A Eulogy and a Song — John Anstie

Stories

The End of the World — Naomi Baltuck

Not The End

A Natural Continuum — Antoni Ooto


Life of the Spirit and Activism

Poetry

The Secret of Life — John Anstie
Dawn after Pandemic—4 poems — Obinna Chilekezi
After Toto—3 poems — Judy Decroce
Breathing — Michael Dickel
Wrestling the Guru of Divine Energy—3 poems — Milton P. Ehrlich
Among the angels—3 poems — Pat Leighton
Saturday Paper Pietà—3 poems — Kate Maxwell
Two Poems from TD Nelson — TD Nelson
Give Us New Hope—5 poems — Robert Priest
Gulls in an Hour Glass — Kathryn Sadakierski
The Truth Is and 4 Other Poems — Mike Stone

Essay

Do You Regret or Rejoice — Corina Ravenscraft

Web Inspirations

Arts, Activism, and Spirituality Inspirations Online — Bardo Group / Beguine Again

Coda

The Evanescent and Two Other Poem-Psalms — P. C. Moorehead

Posted in BeZine ToC, Life of the Spirit, The BeZine Table of Contents

The BeZine December 2020, Vol. 7, Issue 4—Life of the Spirit and Activism

Untitled IV
G Jamie Dedes

Introduction

What a year 2020 has been: global pandemic, international instabilities, U.S. election turmoil. So much. We here at The BeZine have suffered a personal loss, as well, with the passing of G Jamie Dedes, our Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief emerita. Jamie led us with light, gentleness, and love.

Jamie may be gone, but her light shines on in her influence and inspiration, which we at The BeZine honor and mark. John Anstie, one of our core team of contributors, has curated a collection of tributes, eulogies, and elegies for this issue, in a section “for Jamie…”, where writers and artists from all over the world have joined us in remembering Jamie. This section also includes some of her writing and artwork.

Some of her photographs are also sprinkled throughout the rest of the issue, as well, as we continue the project that is The BeZine in Jamie’s name and spirit. The theme for this month, Life of the Spirit, chosen for this issue by her over a year ago, was especially close to her heart. She wanted to be sure that each year The BeZine would focus on this important aspect of our lives, activism, and work. Spirituality is the linchpin that holds together the other three themes of the year: Peace, Sustainability, and Social Justice.

So, read about and be inspired by Jamie and by Life of the Spirit as interpreted by artists and writers around the world.

Table of Contents

for Jamie…

Introduction

An Appreciation of G Jamie Dedes — John Anstie

The Voices of G Jamie Dedes

Unforgettable — Corina Ravenscraft
victory is mine by Jamie Dedes — Jamie Dedes
Her Light Continues — Corina Ravenscraft
Wanderer — Jamie Dedes
The View from My Place by Jamie Dedes — John Anstie
My Favorite Poem by Dear G Jamie Dedes — Anjum Wasim Dar

Additional Tributes

Tribute from Priscilla Galsso — Priscilla Galasso
Tribute from Irma Do — Irma Do
Tribute from Artist Peter Wilkin — Peter Wilkin

Elegies & Eulogies

Finding G Jamie Dedes — Anjum Wasim Dar
Unforgettable, Gifted, G Jamie Dedes ~ Yes, In Heaven — Anjum Wasim Dar
Grace — Brian Shirra
Mentor Never Met — Chrysty Hendrick
So What Do You Do? — Dewitt Clinton
Goodbye Jamie Dedes — Isadora delaVega
I Am Not Here — Jane Spokenword
Anti-Dystopoem — John Anstie
Eulogy for A Beautiful Soul — Mbizo Chirasha
For Jamie—a poem — Michael Dickel
Jamie by Mike Stone — Mike Stone
A Bulgarian Dedication to G Jamie Dedes — Miroslava Panayotova

Music

A Eulogy and a Song — John Anstie

Stories

The End of the World — Naomi Baltuck

Not The End

A Natural Continuum — Antoni Ooto


Life of the Spirit and Activism

Poetry

The Secret of Life — John Anstie
Dawn after Pandemic—4 poems — Obinna Chilekezi
After Toto—3 poems — Judy Decroce
Breathing — Michael Dickel
Wrestling the Guru of Divine Energy—3 poems — Milton P. Ehrlich
Among the angels—3 poems — Pat Leighton
Saturday Paper Pietà—3 poems — Kate Maxwell
Two Poems from TD Nelson — TD Nelson
Give Us New Hope—5 poems — Robert Priest
Gulls in an Hour Glass — Kathryn Sadakierski
The Truth Is and 4 Other Poems — Mike Stone

Essay

Do You Regret or Rejoice — Corina Ravenscraft

Web Inspirations

Arts, Activism, and Spirituality Inspirations Online — Bardo Group / Beguine Again

Coda

The Evanescent and Two Other Poem-Psalms — P. C. Moorehead

A Natural Continuum

You will not be forgotten
in a lush forest of life’s lessons,
or on a solitary path into the gloaming.

We feel your presence and hear
a voice leading from your poems. 

Now, in blindness,
what more will you give?

Does hope still hold?
What brings joy?

Your name lives…
in words, in trees

“the only hope is to be the daylight.” ~ W.S. Merwin

© 2020 Antoni Ooto

Antoni Ooto is an internationally published poet and flash fiction writer.
Well-known for his abstract expressionist art, Antoni now adds his voice to poetry.
Reading and studying the works of many poets has opened another means of self-expression. His recent poems have been published in Amethyst Review, The BeZine, The Poet Magazine, The Active Muse, The Wild Word, and a number of journals and anthologies. He lives and works in upstate New York with his wife, poet and storyteller, Judy DeCroce (whose work appears elsewhere in this issue).


©2020 Antoni Ooto
All rights reserved

After Toto—3 poems

For All Dorothys—After Toto

 I know this.  
  
 That strong thread that became her life,
 became your life—
  
 you, her special one.
 Love twins a bond that has no measure.
  
 I’ve had loves now gone.
  
 Still—
 they love me like salt. 

Partly Cloudy

who knew?
  
 I was gone without a clock
 still avoiding shadows
 just before night
  
 always on this road dragging the dust,
 walking off     walking on
  
 where perfection rests,
  
 I’ve always been erasing something.
  
 I watch hoping for angels,
 from this vantage point,
 as a day mixes without rain. 

Creativity

 like a balloon
 an intent coming through descent 
  
 without need or expectation
  
 not uniform—
 judging by form
  
 and wasn’t real or near yet
  
 its place once set high
 now, grounding 
  
 creativity—
  
 it was there 
 I counted back to zero
 and began with no witnesses 


Parsley in colours
Miroslava Panayotova

Judy DeCroce, is an internationally published poet, flash fiction writer, educator, and avid reader whose recent works have been published by Plato’s Cave online, North of Oxford, The Poet Magazine, Amethyst Review, The Wild Word, The BeZine, and a number of journals and anthologies. As a professional storyteller and teacher of that genre, she also offers, workshops in flash fiction. Judy lives and works in upstate New York with her husband poet/artist, Antoni Ooto (whose work appears elsewhere in this issue).


©2020 Judy DeCroce
All rights reserved

Paper Boat

Each time I search and squint…
night doubles.

Today’s mirrors
and yesterday’s borders haven’t changed.

After hasn’t landed yet,
Before looks fuzzy,
but Something waits further out.

Is that tiny dot peace getting back to normal?

Healing must be a paper boat—
drifting on and on.

©  2020, Judy DeCroce

JUDY DeCROCE is an educator, poet/flash fiction writer and avid reader whose works have been published by Plato’s Cave online, Pilcrow & Dagger, Amethyst Review, Tigershark Publishing, and many others. As a professional storyteller and teacher of that genre, she also offers, workshops in flash fiction.

Judy lives and works in upstate New York with her husband poet/artist, Antoni Ooto.

This is not Paradise nor a Place to be Lost

no Bodhi tree
no way through

here is where the road
changed its mind

a gray snake
pulling close its end

where words fall like
some—through a shedding tunnel

this is not a place to be lost
there isn’t enough darkness

only a place to pick up a few thoughts
palm them tightly

before time changes its mind

© 2020, Judy DeCroce

JUDY DeCROCE is an educator, poet/flash fiction writer and avid reader whose works have been published by Plato’s Cave online, Pilcrow & Dagger, Amethyst Review, Tigershark Publishing, and many others. As a professional storyteller and teacher of that genre, she also offers, workshops in flash fiction. 
 
Judy lives and works in upstate New York with her husband poet/artist, Antoni Ooto.

Before

hard choices had to be made,
living was sometimes easier.

The afters never left the flagpole;
time stretched wide and forever.

Now, with so many afters,
before is emptier—(grateful this is over),
or, what is left has given some peace.

It never lived up to the before, however,
when we could check the flag pole
and feel safe.

© 2020, Judy DeCroce


JUDY DeCROCE Is an educator, poet/flash fiction writer and avid reader whose works have been published by Plato’s Cave online, Pilcrow & Dagger, Amethyst Review, Tigershark Publishing, and many others. As a professional storyteller and teacher of that genre, she also offers workshops in flash fiction.

Judy lives and works in upstate New York with her husband poet/artist, Antoni Ooto.


 

One Hundred and Eighty Degrees

until you see it and approach it
the unknown that keeps tugging unexpectedly

you’ve imagined perfection,
and after all the effort
find it ordinary

you try to recapture it
in the most promising light;
then, turn 180°
as with a camera

Voilà!
Perfect!

Hope.

It’s like falling in love.

© 2019, Antoni Ooto

ANTONI OOTO has and still looks for answers which he shares at times with poetry. He finds pleasure in reading the works of many poets such as WS Merwin, Jane Kenyon, Donald Hall, Elizabeth Bishop, Margret Atwood, and the humor of James Tate.“I read various poet’s first thing in the morning aloud. My wife and I discuss the structure, rhythm and beauty of the lines.” Reading poetry aloud (he feels) allows the voice to find a cadence that the reader might miss when seeing the words on a page. Antoni Ooto is a poet and flash fiction writer. He came to writing late after many years as an abstract expressionist artist. He eventually found his voice in poetry. His works appear in Front Porch Review, Amethyst Review, The Ginger Collect, Soft Cartel, Eldritch Lake, Pilcrow & Dagger, Young Ravens Literary Review, and many others. Antoni works in upstate New York with his wife poet, storyteller Judy DeCroce.