Posted in interNational Poetry Month, poetry

Guerrilla Poetry plus 2 more from Lorraine Caputo

A poetry reading
Digital art from photographs, ©2021 Michael Dickel

Comments on a Reading

You create images
	with words you’ve carefully chosen
		& modeled into verse
But in your droning monotone
	they fall lifeless
		before my ears     my mind

Breathe the fire you felt
	when you wrote that poem
Let the words escape from your mouth
	the way they escaped from your imagination
Let me hear the laughter       the groans
	the serenity       the anger

Your words sputter out in a constant stream
	to stop
			dead
		before reaching my Spirit


GUERRILLA POETRY

The idea ….

Take the poetry out of the coffeehouses & classrooms
	Take the voice to the streets

Small groups       3 or 4 voices united
Guerrilla strikes       poetry readings
Hit with the power of poems
		& disappear, then
	into the mundane life

		laundromats
	speaker’s circle
shopping malls
	convenience stores
		police station waiting rooms

		wherever people are
	sludging through the mud
of rutted life

Strike       with the word

Then       vanish

DO IT!

BANQUETE CULTURAL

On a ball court
in Barrio Edén
we set chairs around
the stage-buffet
we are laying

creating a different space
from the bar on the corner
blaring tropical rhythms,
from the traffic going
some place
some place else
this Saturday night

Families & neighbors
take a seat, their hungering
souls, hungering minds
feasting on the songs & stories,
poetry & mime—the visions
we serve at this 
Cultural Banquet,

a now & then breeze
softly wiping away our
sweat, softly swaying palms
to our rhythms
in this different space

©2021 Lorraine Caputo
All rights reserved


Lorraine Caputo

Wandering troubadour Lorraine Caputo is a documentary poet, translator and travel writer. Her works appear in over 250 journals on six continents; and 14 collections of poetry – including On Galápagos Shores (dancing girl press, 2019) and Escape to the Sea (Origami Poems Project, 2021). She also authors travel narratives, articles and guidebooks. In March 2011, the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada honored her verse. Caputo has done literary readings from Alaska to the Patagonia. She travels through Latin America with her faithful companion Rocinante (that is, her knapsack), listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth.


The BeZine Spring

Lanterns and Other Poems

—Lorraine Caputo

When We Grew Up

Walking down the aisles, aimlessly … 
glancing at the jacks, plastic soldiers, cap guns … 
Remembering when I was young,  
boys had their toys and girls had theirs 
 
I picked up a rubber ball, rainbow on white, 
bounced it on the concrete floor,  
caught it with senseless fingers …  
      Bounce      Catch 
            Bounce      Catch 
Flex the wrist, sing a song 
      When we grew up, we were at war 
      When we grew up, we were at war 
 
My hand went limp, dropped the rubber ball  
into its bin … the rainbow dimmed …  
my senseless fingers rubbing tired eyes. 
      When we grew up, we were at war 
      When we grew up, we were at war 
That senseless war of our childhood ended as our youth ended. 
The embers of senseless wars, smoldering as our youth smolders. 
      … When we were grown up, we were at war 
             When we were grown up, we were at war … 

Spring Storm

In my deep sleep 
      I hear another storm 
Thunder rumbles my bed 
      lightning shimmers through 
            the window-blind slats ajar 
Raining hail pings off the roof 
 
In my deep sleep 
      I hear another Stealth 
The jet rumbles my bed 
      its blackness blankets my mind 
            suffocating deep dreams 
Raining bombs ping off distant lands 
 
 
Water rises in the streams 
      in low lanes       in ceramic  
            bowls left beneath  
                  the leaking skylight 
Above       its stained glass is dull 
      in the blackness       it rattles 
            with the rumbles 
 
 
I awaken from another 
      long rumble reaching 
            deep within my being 
To water rising across 
      the wooden floor beneath 
            that stained glass 

Lanterns

Across this lightly
               wind-rippled pond
                               lanterns float
Their candles flicker
               struggling to keep alight
                               souls floating
                                              to the Spirit World
Struggling against a white-cap wake
               of another one
                               of our steps
                                              from the marshy shore
 
Lanterns for the souls
               let loose       to soar
                               on our nuclear winds
                                              above Hiroshima
                                                             & Nagasaki
Our steps
               into that New Age
                               of Kali
Our step
               letting loose
                               a hundred thousand souls
                                              of Japan
Our step
               like the multi-legged
                               Indian deity
In to the waters of this pond
               into the Sea of Japan
 
Hundreds of thousands
                               millions more
               into many other seas
A million more lanterns
               candles flickering       struggling
                               against this evening breeze
               of Vietnamese souls
& those of Laotians
                               more for the Kampucheans
& those of Filipinos       of Indonesians
               Timorese . . . .
 
How many lanterns shall we
               send adrift for
                               Native American souls?
Will we ever know?
Souls caked with
               coal dust & homeland dirt
                               glowing with uranium
Floating off across
               with our step
                               our push
 
Like a multi-handed
               Indian deity
We push these lanterns
               across this pond
One hundred twenty thousand
               Guatemalan souls
                               we push
Over a hundred thousand
               Salvadoran souls
Thirty thousand Argentinean
               perhaps an equal number
                               of Chilean
How many souls
               Panamanian       Colombian
                               Nicaraguan
How many souls
               of Latin Americans
                               have we sent afloat
                                              across these waters?
 
& how many African souls?
               Will we ever know?
Souls dipped in cobalt & platinum
               glittering with diamonds
A million more lanterns
               candles flickering     struggling
                               against the breeze
               of Chockwe       Bantu       Yoruba
& those of South Africa
               more for the Angolans
& more for . . .
 
Ay--& the nuclear rains of munitions
               & the twice, thrice weekly
                               rains of bombs
                                              over Iraq
Like the multi-handed deity
               they fall from the palms
                               sift through the fingers
                                              of our many hands
Our many hands strangling
               a million & a half
                               & more Iraqis
Squeezing every drop we can
               to fuel these candles lit
                               in these lanterns we
                                              push across this pond
Squeezing       pushing
               to give ourselves dignity
 
Our many hands strangling
               North Koreans       Cubans       Libyans
Our 285 million pairs of hands
               strangling so many millions
                               & pushing their souls across
               for all this around us
                               & perhaps
                                              a bit
                                                             of dignity
 
 
Like Kali
               we hand the world death
Gathering skull garlands
               around our fattened necks
 
But like Kali
               can we also
                               create life? 

©2020 Lorraine Caputo
All rights reserved


Lorraine Caputo is a documentary poet, translator and travel writer. Her works appear in over 180 journals on six continents; and 12 chapbooks of poetry – including Caribbean Nights (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), Notes from the Patagonia (dancing girl press, 2017) and On Galápagos Shores (dancing girl press, 2019). She authors travel narratives, articles and guidebooks. She travels through Latin America, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth.


Posted in 100,000 Poets, Musicians, Artists and Activists for Change, The BeZine, The BeZine Table of Contents, TheBeZine

The BeZine September 2020, Vol. 7, Issue 3 — Social Justice

September is an extra special month over here at the BeZine. This year, our theme for September is “Social Justice,” in an effort to call awareness to global poverty, homelessness, and inequality. And we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of 100 Thousand Poets for Change (100TPC). The BeZine will hold a virtual 100 Thousand Poets for Change (100TPC) Reading / Music / Art Event on September 26th, 2020 and co-host a live-streaming All Africa Symposium of Poetry Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of 100TPC. In the words of one of the Co-founders for 100TPC—

The need for positive change is greater than ever and we must not let our spirits diminish in the task of speaking up for change.

Michael Rothenberg, 100 Thousand Poets for Change

Below is my humble offering to the movement. Please come share with us and check out some of the others as we dare to make a real difference for those in need.

—Corina Ravenscraft, core team member


Matthew 25:40 by Cameron John Robbins

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” ~ Matthew 25:40 KJV Bible


~ Under ~

Homeless Joe, has nowhere
to go. He lives under a bridge;
not a troll, just poor.
(Not in some third-world country, no).
Crazy Jane lives under
a delusion—from voices
of people not here anymore.
(In the land of the free and the home of the brave).
Carmen, a single mother of five,
lives under the stigma
of using food stamps to eat.
(In America, the poor are victimized, you know).
Speed-freak Charlie lives under
the influence of the drugs
which keep him wandering the streets.
(How many poor would that daily latte save?)
All of them, under poverty’s yoke.
Under society’s up-turned nose.
Homeless, hungry and in many ways “broke,”
Do you really think this is the life that they chose?
(How about walking a mile in their…feet?)
What they truly need is understanding,
To help them get back to dignity’s door.
Out from under all the senseless branding,
Back to being visible people once more.
(Please help the less fortunate people you meet!)

C.L.R. © 2015


Photo © 2013 Corina L. Ravenscraft Quote by Ram Dass

100 Thousand Poets for Change—10 Years

In September 2011, Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion saw their idea and month of work come to fruition—the first 100 Thousand Poets for Change (100TPC) worldwide poetry events, held on the last Saturday in September. Little could they imagine back then that it would continue and grow for the next ten years!

The organization has over the years focused on three general areas globally: Peace, Sustainability, and Social Justice. Around the world, organizers and groups focus on these issues as they fit in local contexts plus other local issues that require attention to bring about positive change. In 2015, Michael and Terri worked with 100TPC organizers in Italy to put together the first 100TPC World Conference in Salerno, Italy.

100TPC World Conference Banner
100TPC World Conference Banner

Save the Date for this Year!

We will hold our annual online 100TPC at The BeZine again this year, on the “official” date for 100TPC: 26 September, 2020. So, save that date! In addition, we will be co-sponsoring All Africa Poetry Symposium in Celebration of 100 Thousand Poets for Change 10-Year Anniversary at 8 AM US East Coast, early afternoon in the Africa time zones. Read more here (including times in Africa). With this new mix of live-stream poetry, we hope to provide an exciting 100TPC virtual BeZine event. We plan to live-stream in The BeZine Facebook groups and on YouTube…stay tuned for more information.

Saturday, 26 September, 2020!

—Michael Dickel, managing editor


Table of Contents

New BeZine Banner — Corina Ravenscraft

Social Justice

Anti-dystopoem — John Anstie
Hundreds and Thousands — John Anstie
Sisi’s Song — Jessica Bordelon
Two Poems — Kat Brodie — Kat Brodie
Lanterns and Other Poems — Lorraine Caputo
My Country and Other Poems — Mbizo Chirasha
Bigots—poems from Linda Chown — Linda Chown
Self-Analysis by a Moth — Anjum Wasim Dar
Anticipation — Judy DeCroce
The Little Goat — Andrew Grant
OMG — Callista Mark
Breath of Fresh Air — Robert Schoelkopf
Cicadas for Change — poems by Mike Stone — Mike Stone

Voting

The 19th Amendment — Surina Venkat

Refugees / Homeless

Snow Dog — John Anstie
Tonight it could be you — John Anstie
Water from the Moon—poems by Mahnaz Badihian — Mahnaz Badihian
Displaced Homeless — Anjum Wasim Dar
Homeless Without — Anjum Wasim Dar
Oh! To Be Homeless… — Anjum Wasim Dar
The Lost Children — poems by Nancy Huxtable Mohr — Nancy Huxtable Mohr
Christopher Woods — Photographs and Words — Christopher Woods

Time of Coronavirus

Corona Dogs and How Noble—poems by Karen Alkalay-Gut — Karen Alkalay-Gut
Alive in the Moment — Naomi Baltuck
Wuhan Meditation 武汉沉思 — Wang Ping

Fall 2020

September is an extra special month over here at the BeZine. This year, our theme for September is “Social Justice,” in an effort to call awareness to global poverty, homelessness, and inequality. And we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of 100 Thousand Poets for Change (100TPC). The BeZine will hold a virtual 100 Thousand Poets for Change (100TPC) Reading / Music / Art Event on September 26th, 2020 and co-host a live-streaming All Africa Symposium of Poetry Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of 100TPC. In the words of one of the Co-founders for 100TPC—

The need for positive change is greater than ever and we must not let our spirits diminish in the task of speaking up for change.

Michael Rothenberg, 100 Thousand Poets for Change

Below is my humble offering to the movement. Please come share with us and check out some of the others as we dare to make a real difference for those in need.

—Corina Ravenscraft, core team member


Matthew 25:40 by Cameron John Robbins

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” ~ Matthew 25:40 KJV Bible


~ Under ~

Homeless Joe, has nowhere
to go. He lives under a bridge;
not a troll, just poor.
(Not in some third-world country, no).
Crazy Jane lives under
a delusion—from voices
of people not here anymore.
(In the land of the free and the home of the brave).
Carmen, a single mother of five,
lives under the stigma
of using food stamps to eat.
(In America, the poor are victimized, you know).
Speed-freak Charlie lives under
the influence of the drugs
which keep him wandering the streets.
(How many poor would that daily latte save?)
All of them, under poverty’s yoke.
Under society’s up-turned nose.
Homeless, hungry and in many ways “broke,”
Do you really think this is the life that they chose?
(How about walking a mile in their…feet?)
What they truly need is understanding,
To help them get back to dignity’s door.
Out from under all the senseless branding,
Back to being visible people once more.
(Please help the less fortunate people you meet!)

C.L.R. © 2015


Photo © 2013 Corina L. Ravenscraft Quote by Ram Dass

100 Thousand Poets for Change—10 Years

In September 2011, Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion saw their idea and month of work come to fruition—the first 100 Thousand Poets for Change (100TPC) worldwide poetry events, held on the last Saturday in September. Little could they imagine back then that it would continue and grow for the next ten years!

The organization has over the years focused on three general areas globally: Peace, Sustainability, and Social Justice. Around the world, organizers and groups focus on these issues as they fit in local contexts plus other local issues that require attention to bring about positive change. In 2015, Michael and Terri worked with 100TPC organizers in Italy to put together the first 100TPC World Conference in Salerno, Italy.

100TPC World Conference Banner
100TPC World Conference Banner

Save the Date for this Year!

We will hold our annual online 100TPC at The BeZine again this year, on the “official” date for 100TPC: 26 September, 2020. So, save that date! In addition, we will be co-sponsoring All Africa Poetry Symposium in Celebration of 100 Thousand Poets for Change 10-Year Anniversary at 8 AM US East Coast, early afternoon in the Africa time zones. Read more here (including times in Africa). With this new mix of live-stream poetry, we hope to provide an exciting 100TPC virtual BeZine event. We plan to live-stream in The BeZine Facebook groups and on YouTube…stay tuned for more information.

Saturday, 26 September, 2020!

—Michael Dickel, managing editor


Table of Contents

New BeZine Banner — Corina Ravenscraft

Social Justice

Anti-dystopoem — John Anstie
Hundreds and Thousands — John Anstie
Sisi’s Song — Jessica Bordelon
Two Poems — Kat Brodie — Kat Brodie
Lanterns and Other Poems — Lorraine Caputo
My Country and Other Poems — Mbizo Chirasha
Bigots—poems from Linda Chown — Linda Chown
Self-Analysis by a Moth — Anjum Wasim Dar
Anticipation — Judy DeCroce
The Little Goat — Andrew Grant
OMG — Callista Mark
Breath of Fresh Air — Robert Schoelkopf
Cicadas for Change — poems by Mike Stone — Mike Stone

Voting

The 19th Amendment — Surina Venkat

Refugees / Homeless

Snow Dog — John Anstie
Tonight it could be you — John Anstie
Water from the Moon—poems by Mahnaz Badihian — Mahnaz Badihian
Displaced Homeless — Anjum Wasim Dar
Homeless Without — Anjum Wasim Dar
Oh! To Be Homeless… — Anjum Wasim Dar
The Lost Children — poems by Nancy Huxtable Mohr — Nancy Huxtable Mohr
Christopher Woods — Photographs and Words — Christopher Woods

Time of Coronavirus

Corona Dogs and How Noble—poems by Karen Alkalay-Gut — Karen Alkalay-Gut
Alive in the Moment — Naomi Baltuck
Wuhan Meditation 武汉沉思 — Wang Ping

Posted in The BeZine, The BeZine Table of Contents

The BeZine, Vol. 6, Issue 3, September 2019, Social Justice

September 28, 2019 The BeZine Virtual 100TPC Event is LIVE!

Social Justice
as the world burns and wars rage

Global protest actions on the Climate Crisis have been scheduled for September, as fires rage from the Arctic to the Amazon [1]. Potential conflicts in the Middle East seem on the verge of flaring into their own wildfires, most prominently as I write this: Taliban-US, Iran-US, Israel-Hamas-(Hezbollah-Iran), and Pakistan-India-Kashmir. Underlying and entwined with these huge, tangled problems, the pressing need to address injustice, inequality, and huge economic disparity, which smolder or burn throughout the world. Big words cover what we wish for in place of these problems: Sustainability, Peace, and Social Justice. In order to understand the complex dimensions of each of these pressing global problems, The BeZine has focused in our first two issues of 2019 on Peace and Sustainability—and now, the Fall Issue of The BeZine focuses on Social Justice.

As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence. If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.

—Martin Luther King, Jr.
(Source: “The Most Durable Power,” Excerpt from Sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church on 6 November 1956
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford)

In this time of Orwellian language-logic and fake news (aka propaganda and lies), science denial (aka lies and distortions), nationalistic-populism, vitriolic debate, and self-serving and greedy leadership in the financial and governmental towers of power unmoored from ethics or morality (aka high crimes and misdemeanors)—with all of this, I ask you to reflect on these words of Martin Luther King, Jr.—”Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence.”

I find myself at times of despair drawn to the idea of violence as the only solution, but each time remind myself of the repulsiveness of that solution. We must find a way to bring justice into the world, to immediately address the climate crisis, and to foster peace, without contributing to the bitterness, pain, and murder so rampant now, fueled as it is by the rhetoric and actions of government and corporate powers. If we stoop to the level of those men (and women) in power, we will end up only fanning the destructive fires they have lit and spread.

As the Reverend King goes on to say: “If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.”

Sometimes I feel that we already are reaping that legacy with this reign of chaos surrounding us today. I fervently hope that, if so, it is not an endless inferno.

Glimmers of hope emerge—Greta Thunberg and her activism shines like a bright light. Her language makes clear that the climate crisis is an issue of social justice for our children and grandchildren. It is also a social justice issue for indigenous peoples, migrants, the poor, and less “developed” countries. The climate crisis and wars contribute to the issue of justice for migrants, creating a flow of refugees that other countries refuse to shelter. Racism, unfettered capitalism, gender biases all create injustice, and those oppressed in the system that produce hate are most likely to suffer in war and the climate crisis. Our contributors touch on these intersections while exploring social justice in their work.

In the end, the hope has to come from us—from our acting, responding, striking if necessary. Yes, avoiding violence. But also, demanding change now. We need to seek the abstract “social justice” through social ACTION. And we need to see and act on the links between issues, rather than dividing ourselves and fighting over which issue is more important. They are all important, and they all need to be addressed holistically.

We all need to work together, because there are no jobs on a dead planet; there is no equity without rights to decent work and social protection, no social justice without a shift in governance and ambition, and, ultimately, no peace for the peoples of the world without the guarantees of sustainability.

—Sharan Burrow
(Cited in: “To transform the world, we need a revolution in our priorities and values.”
The Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies. Aug. 24, 2019.

Michael Dickel, Contributing Editor


 With this issue of the Zine, Global 100,000 Poets and Others for Change (100TPC), Read A Poem To A Child week, and The BeZine Virtual 100TPC we share our passions and concerns across borders, we explore differences without violence or vindictiveness, and we sustain one another.  These activities endow us with hope, strength, and connection.

Our thanks to and gratitude for the members of The Bardo Group Beguines (our core team), to our contributors, and to our readers and supporters who come from every corner of the world. You are the light and the hope. You are valued.

Special thanks to Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion for the gift of 100TPC and Read A Poem To A Child week, to our resident artist Corina Ravenscraft for our beautiful 100TPC banner, and to Michael Dickel for pulling the Zine together this month, moderating Virtual 100TPC on September 28, and for his technical support and innovations.  And to Terri Stewart, much appreciation for our stellar logo, and for our ultra-fabulous name: The BeZineBe inspired … Be creative … Be peace. … Be …

Our theme for the December 15 issue is “A Life of the Spirit.”  John Anstie will take the lead and submissions will open on October 1 and close on November 15.  Look for revised submission guidelines soon.

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


The BeZine 100TPC Virtual—Live Online 28 September 2019

The global 100TPC initiative on Saturday, September 28, 2019, puts forward poetry, music, art, and more, that promote Peace, Sustainability, an Social Justice. The BeZine will again offer a virtual, online event on that date. Please stop by, leave links to your own writing, art, or music, leave comments… We welcome your participation. Click here to join on 28 September 2019.


Table of contents

How to read this issue of THE BeZINE: You can read each piece individually by clicking the links in the Table of Contents or you can click HERE and scroll through the entire Zine.

TRANFORMATION

“There must exist a paradigm, a practical model for social change that includes an understanding of ways to transform consciousness that are linked to efforts to transform structures.” ― bell hooks, Killing Rage: Ending Racism

Poetry
Peace, Benedicta Boamah
Five from Faruk Buzhala, Faruk Buzhala
Pushing through Utopia, Linda Chown
TimeInWar, Linda Chown
Don’t Be Stupid, DeWitt Clinton
Rising Up, You Poets, Jamie Dedes
One Dark Stand, Mark Heathcote
request…, Charles W. Martin
The Long Dark Night, Tamam Tracy Moncur
Ju$t d1$$1m1l@r, Sunayna Pal
Don’t Hang the Poets, Mike Stone

Art and Photography
Social Justice, Anjum Wasim Dar
In solidarity, documentary photographs, Christopher Woods

Essay
Using Social Interactions to Create Change, Kella Hanna-Wayne

RE-MEMBERING THE PAIN

“There are times when so much talk or writing, so many ideas seem to stand in the way, to block the awareness that for the oppressed, the exploited, the dominated, domination is not just a subject for radical discourse, for books. It is about pain–the pain of hunger, the pain of over-work, the pain of degradation and dehumanization, the pain of loneliness, the pain of loss, the pain of isolation, the pain of exile… Even before the words, we remember the pain.” ― bell hooks, Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black

Poetry
Sounding Bugles, Sheikha A.
Silent Courage, Lorraine Caputo
“Nights with Ghosts,” a poem from a child in Zimbabwe, Jamie Dedes
Change, Michael Dickel
After the 2016 Election, Rachel Landrum Crumble
The Poor, Rachel Landrum Crumble
Substituting Life, Sunayna Pal
Flow Gathering Springs, Linda Shoemaker
War and Peace (Rime Royal), Clarissa Simmens
Women in Woad, Clarissa Simmens
I Never Knew I Was So Numb, Anjum Wasim Dar

Fiction
Boots, DC Diamondopolous
The Dogs of Midnight, Mike Scallan
Time Never Waits, Anjum Wasim Dar

INEQUALITY

“We live in a system that espouses merit, equality, and a level playing field, but exalts those with wealth, power, and celebrity, however gained.” ― Derrick Bell, Ethical Ambition: Living a Life of Meaning and Worth

Poetry
Control, Elvis Alves
The Long History of Genocides, Elvis Alves
dissecting the Geneva Convention, mm brazfield
Scary People and Madmen, Bill Gainer
Humanity is often a place of forgetfulness, Mark Heathcote
Chicken Little to Testify Before Congress, Rachel Landrum Crumble
Logging-Out of Bullying School, Marta Pombo Sallés
False Economy, Mantz Yorke

Essay
Dictators, Desperados, and Democracy Revisited, John Anstie
Radicals Are In Charge, Rob Moitoz

SEEKING

“In the unceasing ebb and flow of justice and oppression we must all dig channels as best we may, that at the propitious moment somewhat of the swelling tide may be conducted to the barren places of life.” ― Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House

Poetry
Embrace, Lorraine Caputo
Epistle, Lorraine Caputo
Our Evolving, Jamie Dedes
Silent Life, Jamie Dedes
How I Park My Car, Bill Gainer
Awake at Night, Leela Soma
Places I Have Never Been, Ellen Wood

 


Notes:

[1] In support of these, The BeZine blog has been posting about the Climate Crisis, and will continue to do so throughout September (2019), in addition to our Sustainability Issue this past Summer [back].


The BeZine: Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be (the subscription feature is below and to your left.)

Daily Spiritual Practice: Beguine Again, a community of Like-Minded People

Facebook, The Bardo Group Beguines

Twitter, The Bardo Group Beguines

SUBMISSIONS:

Read Info/Missions StatementSubmission Guidelines, and at least one issue before you submit. Updates on Calls for Submissions and other activities are posted on the Zine blog and The Poet by Day.

Silent Courage

 

Santiago Atitlán

Three o’clock
The Catholic bells begin ringing
Women in their red huipiles
& ribbon-wrapped hair
wound ‘round their heads
enter the church

I quietly slip in & see
Father Stanley Rother’s heart
buried in the right wall
This Maya village wished it so
after his assassination in 1981
Variously colored crosses surround it,
each one with a name, a date

I reenter the sunlit afternoon
& aimlessly wander the market streets

Five o’clock
The village echoes with the
hand-clapping & tambourines
the singing & hallelujahs
from the seven or more evangelical temples

I am haunted by the horror of that memorial
I am haunted by the testimony of a volunteer
who investigated a massacre in this village
just over a year ago

As dusk falls
I once more climb those round steps
& enter the white-washed church

I sit in a pew near the priest’s heart
meditating upon those lives embracing him

Green paper crosses for the 209 killed here
22 yellow ones for the wounded
68 pink, the kidnapped

I walk back into the twilight
thinking of that December night massacre
not so very long ago
& how these villagers marched to the
military base & ordered them
to leave, to end the murderings
of their pueblo that had gone on
for too, too many years

The two nearest volcanoes are capped
by towering grey clouds
Thunder rumbles the empty streets

©2019, Lorraine Caputo

Embrace

Within the village church
	white-vestmented priests
		say a novena mass
In the doorway stand a trinity
	of jungle-camouflaged soldiers
		arms ready in arms

Forgive us our sins
	as we forgive those
		who have sinned against us
echoes through the nave

To the right of the door
	in the damp twilight
		under a wool blanket
An indigenous couple huddles
	a baby wrapped
		to mother’s side
The ribbon-decorated sleeves
of her yellow bodice bright
		as she pours a cloudy drink

May the peace of the Lord
	be with you
And also with you

The soldiers still, silent
	staring towards
		that altar

You may give each other
	the embrace of brotherhood *

One soldier
	head shorn bare
		looks away
Away from the embraces
	away from the couple
		towards a mural

In this evening complete
	can he see that family, that rainbow
		those words?

With social justice, peace is possible
	peace is possible because
		love is possible

©2019, Lorraine Caputo

*Normally it is said: the embrace of peace

Epistle

 

Monseñor Oscar Romero—
Today I visited the church
	of La Divina Providencia
	where the escuadrón de muerte
	murdered you.
A simple, plain 
	modern church,
across from a hospital.
On the wall
	near the front doors,
	a picture of you
	marching with the people.
Near the altar,
	a plaque from the Carmelite sisters
	for the 7th anniversary of your death.

That’s all there was of you there…


I knelt at a pew
	to talk with you—
I, a Spirit captured in this body, on this earth

	I do not know 
if you could hear 
my thoughts, my words

I wanted you to know
	how your death inspired,
 	provoked so many of us.
How there is a Central America Week
at the time of your death-anniversary
so that we learn about
the people, history, culture
of here, El Salvador
& of other countries,
so that we can learn about
the actions here of our government,
of our country.
I wanted you to know
	that such external investigation
	also provoked us to look internally
at the poverty & repression
in our own country.

I told you
	I wish I had the faith you had
	& the love
	Many times I find it lacking in my self
My self-doubts of all that work
all those years
But my inner knowledge says
As long as 
the heart, the mind, the soul
of one United Statian
was touched, provoked,
As long as 
one Salvadoran, Nicaraguan
Guatemalan, Diné
received a meal, medicine,
clothes against the mountain night cold,
then the work, 
then your death
had value…


After I left,
eyes rimmed with
the moistness of risen tears,
soul quieted with
my confessions to you, Monseñor
I thought about this poem…


As you said mass that day
the sacrificial wine became,
your blood became
the blood of Christ.

Your wound—your wound
the gun shot …
How many were there?
How many times were you shot?
Where were you shot?
You a servant of God,
a messenger of the word of Christ,
a teacher, an example of love for humanity,
became Christ on that 24 March
Were the wounds
the crown of thorns?
Were your wounds
the lance pierced
through Christ’s side?

The blood—the blood
your blood
that fell upon the altar.
Your blood became sanctified
in your martyrdom,
another martyr for the truth
of Christ’s teachings.

Monseñor Romero—
What were your dying words?
Or did the Spirit dove
fly swiftly from your Earth-bound body
to the heavens?


Your body—your bloody body
your dying body…
behind the altar,
before the bloodied
crucified Christ…

©2019, Lorraine Caputo