In Memoriam — Reuben Woolley, Part 2

In memory of a friend, poet, publisher, and activist.


coralled gates the trees no more


Reuben Woolley


for the Great Barrier Reef, officially declared dead after 25 million years

coloured

birds don’t fly here 
not even 
	                & a dry 
time we have

white a forest

moves 
	                no longer

	                no

birds	       no

song

coloured 

birds don’t fly here


rust & old machines


Reuben Woolley


here we fall

                                 the same

the stories 
of 
strange.their shining 
faces broken 
now / feel

the opening 
the silent doors 
on doors unfold

                                 it’s time 
to haul out 
our lost pieces

our histories 
of shattered shell.come 
to it then 
& in our dreaming

In Memoriam

Reuben Woolley died earlier this month 2019. His poetry, publishing, and support will be missed by readers and fellow poets around the world, and here in The BeZine community. Reuben was an activist-poet, and published other activists on his online magazine, I am not a silent poet. He worked in an experimental and expressive poetics, using typography and visual aesthetics as tools of his poetic craft. He crafted language into poetry, with white space containing silences, space, and questions, among other things. His work will live after him, and continue to be with us to read.

His collection, the king is dead  was published in 2014 with Oneiros Books and a chapbook, dying notes, in 2015 with Erbacce Press. Runner-up: Overton Poetry Pamphlet competition and the Erbacce Prize in 2015. A collection on the refugee crisis, skins, was published by Hesterglock Press, 2016. His collection, broken stories, came out in 2017 from 20/20 Vision Publishing, and some time we are heroes was published in 2018 from corrupt press. 
He published and, as he wrote in 2017, “pretended to be busy” with the online magazines: I am not a silent poet and The Curly Mind.

The BeZine published many of his poems over the years. The poems here appeared with this artwork on Meta/ Phor(e) /Play in 2017.

 


 

In Memoriam: Reuben Woolley, Part 1

In memory of a friend, poet, publisher, and activist.


sewing the bright spaces


Reuben Woolley


stitching up the holes

		                       like

black 
windows where 
the light

leaks 
	       out

see the craters 
the fat 
drops of rain 
in dry dust

		                  spaces 
looking for me

to hollow out this 
white 
skull

tat         tat         tat

                                 "spaces
looking for me"
Michael Dickel
Digital landscape from photos
©2017

these liquid hills


Reuben Woolley


drowning

in my solid earth

		           & how
these mountains grow

listen to grave
rumour
	            they talk
to me now & in
my dying

	            deep
in all their roots

		    pull
me down / they're waiting

patient

like stones always do
“these liquid hills”—
Amalfi Coast Overlay
Michael Dickel
Digital landscape from photos
©2017

a fully moon after all these years


Reuben Woolley


holding myself / still / i am 
dust floating in torch 
light.i am tree 
cutting a sky 
& rain falls newly 		just ask 
for no answer 
		& here’s 
a lost song.unplay 
me now i never listen

this hat wearing a man.oh 
my dear i want 
a new line / bold 
& brightly hiding 
like the wolf 
behind a dark hedge
“this hat wearing a man”
Michael Dickel
Digital landscape from photos
©2017

In Memoriam

Reuben Woolley died earlier this month 2019. His poetry, publishing, and support will be missed by readers and fellow poets around the world, and here in The BeZine community. Reuben was an activist-poet, and published other activists on his online magazine, I am not a silent poet. He worked in an experimental and expressive poetics, using typography and visual aesthetics as tools of his poetic craft. He crafted language into poetry, with white space containing silences, space, and questions, among other things. His work will live after him, and continue to be with us to read.

His collection, the king is dead  was published in 2014 with Oneiros Books and a chapbook, dying notes, in 2015 with Erbacce Press. Runner-up: Overton Poetry Pamphlet competition and the Erbacce Prize in 2015. A collection on the refugee crisis, skins, was published by Hesterglock Press, 2016. His collection, broken stories, came out in 2017 from 20/20 Vision Publishing, and some time we are heroes was published in 2018 from corrupt press. 
He published and, as he wrote in 2017, “pretended to be busy” with the online magazines: I am not a silent poet and The Curly Mind.

The BeZine published many of his poems over the years. These poems appeared with this artwork on Meta/ Phor(e) /Play in 2017.


 

Four Poems by Reuben Woolley

histories

the girl
…………….who danced
the ibis moon  ………….she brings
the story of it all
& this
is the telling

close

& personal ………………my sudden
consent ………….& ……..distance
is full i have
my history here
in the pulse of it all

and this is the saying of it

the dark days
……………………………& my growing
in bones & bodies
& here ………………i’m doing
a telling of it

the legs ……………& mouths ……….. & hearts of it
she dances alphabets
in the crescent fire

& the boat returns the day

* * * *

this
is the telling of it all

there is mud
& reeds ………….. & a boat
in the sky ………..& i
have names for them

the threads of what it is
& what we know ……………..she
danced a world for us

* * * *

in my sinking
sands
………………things
do not occur successively
like gravity
………………..oh ……………then
………………..i’ll get up
………………..& fly

to all my ………..scattered
dependencies

it’s what this ……………..thing
says
when i’m not looking

words
of those hands i haven’t got
just these .……………………poor
counterfeits

hold.…………………………….. separate
like atoms …………………….do not
touch …………….she
……………………….stirs
……………………….the air
the cells are orphans
pointing ………………………further

……………………………………...she is
maker ………. in every outward
move

of that old…………………………. yellow
………………………..crescent

* * * *

…………………………all the rest
is outside
where a feather
…………………………………...is counterweight

the ghosts of real
come solid from shade …………………… they play
on red sand ……………………with a girl
who danced a bird

wings spread & beating
………….the ibis & the girl
she danced a boat
sailing she danced a ragged
book
………………& this
was the telling of it

 

hiraeth

hiraeth: (n) homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past – Welsh

give me the sea
for my dotage.i’ll wear it
in shawls / in weeds
…………………………..flowing

i’m rich in reflections
in dark & blue & once
there was a girl
& a song i can’t remember
……………………………the water notes
patient just breathing

* * * *

………………………………..i cannot bleed
sufficient & all my bodies
lie in other countries

let them burst
in all their broken splendour
shining

i clothe my scars
with care
i shall not be revealed

……………………………wear shrouds
walking ………………a perfect space
of death

* * * *

……………………….diving
into deep skies …………….are homes
that do not live
in this my circus
& dark matter

i twitch to distant currents
lost
& permanently delayed
there were so many
…………………………..varied
deaths………………. i know the way

…………………………...all ticking
backwards

* * * *

we bathe in dust
deep.it is
no gentle immersion
……………………………& the sun’s
a yellow ball
……………………………fading
out of a painted sky

wait

for rain
not coming

we fly black flags
upriver …………..watch towers
………………………………………………….fall

distance between

sewing together
every lasting piece
…………………….i make
a rose
……………..on folds
……………..on leaves

here’s a bloodthorn
& the lines.paint
ages / flowers
……………..& faces
everything fades.it is
the nature of dark
glass
……………….reflecting
not silver

…………………..& we’ll dance
a last tango late
……………………………..& lips
tire in substance.just see
the words lie deceiving
…………….like petals
…………….like blood
like smiles on old canvas

those lasting rites

………………………………dry

tides
the weed & rubbers &
…………………………….rusty
spades

& flooded castles
………………………scattered

………………………………….here
a life
in such offering

flowers & broken
stems / the blind
rats

………………………see them
scurry
in shadows in
carcasses of sand

………………………watch them
eat
through dying flesh.pink
& grey & red again
a heartbeat a breathbeat

tick

tock

© 2017, Reuben Woolley

Posted in General Interest

NEWS & KUDOS: Storyteller Naomi Baltuck & Poets Liliana Negoi and Reuben Woolley

IMG_1955

NORTHWEST FOLK FESTIVAL: Popular storyteller Naomi Baltuck (Writing Between the Lines) and her husband Thom Baltuck are performing this weekend (Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-30) at the Northwest Folk Festival in Seattle. The performance schedule is HERE.

NAOMI BALTUCK (Writing Between the Lines)~ is a Contributing Editor and Resident Storyteller at The BeZine. She is a world-traveler and an award-winning writer, photographer. Her works of fiction and nonfiction are available through Amazon HERE.

Naomi presents her wonderful photo-stories – always interesting and rich with meaning and humor – at Writing Between the Lines, Life from the Writer’s POV (her personal blog) as well as on The BeZine.

Naomi conducts workshops such as Peace Porridge (multicultural stories to promote cooperation, goodwill, and peaceful coexistence), Whispers in the Graveyard (a spellbinding array of haunting and mysterious stories), Tandem Tales, Traveling Light Around the World, and others. For more on her programs visit Naomi Baltuck.com.

Naomi says, “When not actually writing, I am researching the world with my long-suffering husband and our two kids, or outside editing my garden. My novel, The Keeper of the Crystal Spring (Viking Penguin), can be read in English, German, Spanish, and Italian. My storytelling anthology, Apples From Heaven, garnered four national awards, including the Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice. I am currently working on a contemporary women’s novel.”

**********

erbacceprise 2016: Congratulations to Liliana Negoi and Reuben Woolley for making the long-list of 100 for this prize. They were chosen from among 8,000 entries world wide. According to erbacce press website the finalist are to be featured poets in their quarterly publication, erbacce journal. Read the long list of 100 HERE and watch for further announcements. (The site has great but loud music, so if you are at work when you read this, you’ll want to turn off the sound.)

Liliana Negoi has been on the core team of The BeZine since 2011 (back when it was a collaborative blog, not a zine) and is a contributing writer.

Ruben Woolley was featured for poetry month in the April edition of the zine, introduced to us by Contributing Editor, Michael Dickel. We are proud of both these poets and wish them luck in the next steps.

LILIANA NEGOI  (Endless Journey and in Romanian curcubee în alb şi negru)  is the author of three published volumes of poetry in English, which is not her mother tongue but one that she came to love especially because of writing: Sands and Shadows, Footsteps on the San – tanka collection and The Hidden Well.  The last one can also be heard in audio version, read by the Liliana herself on her SoundCloud site HERE.

Liliana is also the author of a novel, Solo-Chess, available for free reading HERE. Many of her creations, both poetry and prose, are published in various literary magazines.

HERE is an indepth interview with Liliana.

REUBEN WOOLLEY has been published in Tears in the Fence, The Lighthouse Literary Journal, The Interpreter’s House and Ink Sweat and Tears among others. A collection, the king is dead, 2014, Oneiros Books. A chapbook, dying notes, 2015, Erbacce Press. A poetry pamphlet on the refugee crisis, skins, 2016, Hesterglock Press. Runner-up: Overton Poetry Pamphlet competition and the Erbacce Prize, both in 2015. Editor of the online poetry magazines, I am not a silent poet and The Curly Mind. You can read more on Reuben’s  Blog.

photo credit (c) Jamie Dedes

Posted in The BeZine, The BeZine Table of Contents

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

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


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

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

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

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

John Anstie
Associate Editor

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

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

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

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

Table of Contents



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

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



COMPASSION

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

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

RETURNING

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

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

VISIONS & REFLECTIONS

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

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

POETRY AS MASS INSTRUCTION

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

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

Poem-Scripts

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

STORIES

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

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


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.

Posted in General Interest

The BeZine, Vol. 3, Issue 12, 100TPC Prequel Edition

 

1901786_567349210045244_3055969219023926076_nSeptember 15, 2017


Fragments—
Reflecting on anger
a sort of Introduction


i

I am trying to write a social justice-sustainability-peace song. This is as far as I have gotten.

Where have all the flowers gone, since the election?
Where has the dialogue gone, now that we yell and scream?
You may say it’s social media, typing, and not raised voices,
But you know we’re all making some dissonant choices.

This divisiveness, it’s like some sort of infection,
All the medicine won’t do any good, not pill or cream,
You may say it’s someone else, spreading these angry voices,
But you know we’re all making these dissonant choices.

Take care of others now, it’s time to give a helping hand,
Find the empathy in your heart, spread it through the land,
Stand up for justice, peace, sustainability, while you can,
Find the common ground where all of us can stand…

ii

I am searching for interconnections and intersectionality between social justice, sustainability, and peace—how each affects the other. I don’t want to focus on the negative, but I do feel a need to say something that would get at the role of divisiveness and hate in our current anxieties and politics—not just in the November 2016 elections, not just between the camps, not just within the left. It is everywhere, infused with out morning hot drink.

iii

We must reach out our hands to each other. Yes, we can and should express our differences, speak our anger, listen to the anger of others. However, we cannot afford to weaponize that anger, to externalize it into missiles and nuclear warheads. Don’t let anger shoot, stab, run us over in an un-civil war of accusations and blame that wounds our souls. We cannot let this roiling rage keep us from joining together in common cause, which we all have—the need for peace, social justice, and environmentally-sustainable practices. We must use our real angers, somehow, as building tools, to join together to create more humane, just, sustainable, and peaceful structures in our world. We must harness the anger to make love, not war.

Even so, it will be an imperfect world.

But, if we find a way to work together, through our differences, it will be a better world, too.

iv

Audre Lorde had this to say, in her 1981 speech (later printed as an essay), The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism:

Every woman has a well-stocked arsenal of anger potentially useful against those oppressions, personal and institutional, which brought that anger into being. Focused with precision it can become a powerful source of energy serving progress and change. And when I speak of change, I do not mean a simple switch of positions or a temporary lessening of tensions, nor the ability to smile or feel good. I am speaking of a basic and radical alteration in those assumptions underlining our lives.

I have seen situations where white women hear a racist remark, resent what has been said, become filled with fury, and remain silent because they are afraid. That unexpressed anger lies within them like an undetonated device, usually to be hurled at the first woman of Color who talks about racism.

But anger expressed and translated into action in the service of our vision and our future is a liberating and strengthening act of clarification, for it is in the painful process of this translation that we identify who are our allies with whom we have grave differences, and who are our genuine enemies. 

Anger is loaded with information and energy. When I speak of women of Color, I do not only mean Black women. The woman of Color who is not Black and who charges me with rendering her invisible by assuming that her struggles with racism are identical with my own has something to tell me that I had better learn from, lest we both waste ourselves fighting the truths between us. If I participate, knowingly or otherwise, in my sister’s oppression and she calls me on it, to answer her anger with my own only blankets the substance of our exchange with reaction. It wastes energy. And yes, it is very difficult to stand still and to listen to another woman’s voice delineate an agony I do not share, or one to which I myself have contributed. 

Why has this passage come to mind? Besides the fact that it remains relevant about privilege, more than 35 years later, it also speaks to the in-fighting among people who want to change the world positively, who have shared goals in making change—activists, if you will. The need to share our “grave differences,” but at the same time to work together as allies to resist—and overcome—”our genuine enemies.”

Audre Lorde | Credit/Copyright: Dagmar Schultz
Audre Lorde
Photo: Dagmar Schultz

v

It seems to me that these are some of the tools and forces of our genuine enemies: greed, oppression, racism, ethnocentricity, genders-based bias, unfettered capitalism, and fascism. Also: war, famine, and destruction of resources. Also: hatred, division, rage. Also…

vi

Right now, my Facebook feed streams with angry posts between Clinton and Sanders supporters and third camp—fourth, fifth, sixth… camps—who attack both and each other, all arguing an election nearly a year old and few looking for ways to work together for the mid-term elections a little over a year away. People argue about the best way to resist, all the while they criticize and attack each other for not approaching a particular issue in the “correct” way.

What I don’t feel is a constructive analysis and dialogue emerging from this divisiveness. I don’t feel that the anger focuses on the genuine enemies. Instead, the angry posts shred our (potential) allies against those who would divide us on the way to grinding us up. At times, my paranoia rings its tocsin, suggesting that those who oppose positive, life-and-humanity affirming change—my genuine enemies—foment the pitched battles (especially those in social media). I feel that too many of us (yes, I would include myself) think we “understand” the problems we face, and that others “don’t get it.” We want to be correct. My way or the highway.

That path only leads to traffic jams.

vii

Lorde tells us, “Anger is loaded with information and energy.” Are we listening? I often bristle and respond with anger—I fire off a few well-aimed zingers, a few capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Or else, I turn away and don’t listen. I miss the opportunity to learn from the information in the anger.

I fight against the energy in the anger, draining us both, as I argue my point of righteousness. I don’t take in the energy in the “anger expressed” to help energize our (potential) alliance. I don’t look for ways to translate it “into action in the service of our vision and our future.”

Thus, by not listening and firing my “defensive” missiles, I miss opportunities for “a liberating and strengthening act of clarification.”

This is critical when listening across the social, racial, economic, regional, generational, religious, gendered, and so many other divides of the world. It is as critical when listening to the anger that appears ready to pull apart groups of people who want to make a positive difference. When we are torn apart from each other. Divided, we will fall.

Yet, to stand together, we will have to listen to each other, to engage in learning from each other, and to find ways to translate our anger, our pain, our fear for the future into “… the painful process” of this translation, so that we identify who are “our allies with whom we have grave differences,” and who are “our genuine enemies.”

viii

A storm hammers my brain—this tide of attacks without engaged dialogue hammers my brain—my brain hammers against the ways in which I fail to do all of the many right things that need doing. And in my frustration, I forget to try to do just some of those many right things as well as I can—even if not to the level of an ideal and perfect world.

And here is where I end up, stalled, frustrated, angry. But where I want to end up is caring for humanity with empathy at the intersections of social justice, sustainability, and peace. The writing, music, and photographs in this issue have at their heart, I believe, empathic caring for all of our fellow humans. This caring motivates the work you will find ahead. Yes, you will feel anger. Yes, you will hear anguish. But all of it comes from hearts full of a desire to create “liberating and strengthening act[s] of clarification.”

—Michael Dickel, Contributing Editor


100TPC PREQUEL ISSUE: PEACE, SUSTAINABILITY, SOCIAL JUSTICE

How to read this issue of THE BeZINE:

Click HERE to read the entire magazine by scrolling, or
You can read each piece individually by clicking the links in the Table of Contents.
To learn more about our guests contributors, please link HERE.
To learn more about our core team members, please link HERE.


Table of Contents

Poetry

Honeymoon’s Over, John Anstie
Refugee blues, W. H. Auden
The Hands Off, Paul Brookes
Prisoner, Paul Brookes
The Stricken, Paul Brookes
Three men,  Rob Cullen
Measuring the Weight of Clouds, Rob Cullen
I Didn’t Apologize to the Well, Mahmoud Darwish
gods of our making, Jamie Dedes
let us now praise the peace, Jamie Dedes
do not make war, Jamie Dedes
Pigeon dreams,  Jamie Dedes
Visions Then and Now / Again, Michael Dickel
Come on up folks,  Michael Dickel
High Technology Death, Michael Dickel
the game of war,  Iulia Gherghei
Peace in the Desert,  Joseph Hesch
genome for survival, Charles W Martin
:: submarine ::, Sonja Benskin Mesher
:: reimagine the world ::, Sonja Benskin Mesher
:: the burning ::, Sonja Benskin Mesher
Building Freedom, Carolyn O’Connell
Another Note in an Endless Melody, Phillip T. Stephens
the places between, Reuben Woolley
virginia’s move, Reuben Woolley
knucklebone excess, Reuben Woolley

Musings

Eclipsed, Naomi Baltuck
~ Gen X Musings ~, Corina Ravenscraft

Music

Waiting on the World to Change, John Clayton
Musical Interlude for Change, The Young Bloods and Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach


Except where otherwise noted,
ALL works in The BeZine ©2017 by the author / creator


Around the World with 100TPC Posters

Some of them are—like ours—straight-forward with a simple and clear message, some are cluttered with messages, and others are true works of art. No matter which, together they demonstrate the strength of this movement, the passion and commitment.

 

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The BeZine 100TPC Virtual Event

The BeZine September issue previews the themes of the 100TPC BeZine online “live” event we will host 30th September, 2017: peace, sustainability, and social justice. We are particularly interested in a positive focus on the need for human connectedness, healthy human interrelations, and caring for our fellow humans as well as ourselves. Sometimes, it takes clarifying anger. More often, this connectedness comes from listening to and learning from the anger and anguish of our fellow humans.

From police killings of unarmed citizens to governments rejecting immigrants and refugees; from racism to anti-Islam and anti-Semitism; from state-sponsored violence to terrorism—the political and social landscape increasingly values some among humanity over others. Any de-valuing of one human devalues all of us.

Given the rise of anti-humanity activism in struggle for “power over”—militarization of police, white supremacism, NAZIism, KKK, and corporate greed, for examples— as part of the “mainstream” U.S. political landscape that culminated with the election of Donald Trump and in the recent violence in Virginia (among other white supremacist terrorist acts), the focus of this year’s 100TPC live event at The BeZine will be why caring for our fellow human beings is the prime desirable human value, and how social justice, sustainability, and peace arise from that caring and contribute to all of humanity.

Come to the event to browse, view, read, and listen; to contribute your own words, art, music, or links; to comment on what others have posted. Instructions will be available here, beginning at 12:01 AM, 30th September (West Coast U.S. Time). Check in throughout the day to see what new has been posted, to post something new yourself.


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the places between

it’s this
wavering time

she said

                 i see the fine
membranes
trembling /
               / the thin
reflections of
twisted orders

a free disguise
             when nothing’s
on offer

                  even

& the swollen bellies
of empty

i don’t want to
watch the greasy rivers

                            she said

where plagues
come in buckets

©2017 Reuben Woolley

virginia’s move

who said
the town was burning

                         she saw
the smoke
from every side of it
& the faces

the screaming mouths.we’ll have
a taste of it

                       & every difference
is marked for onslaught

it’s time
                she said
for removal /
                  /
                / for a stirring
from the alleys

©2017 Reuben Woolley

knucklebone excess

i don’t go

scattering bones &
raising dead armies

                    just this

combing snakes
a styled

                protection

come
you mirror-bound heroes
the weak remains
of lost battles

feed my hunger
that i haven’t 

eaten

since some god’s supper

©2017 Reuben Woolley
Posted in General Interest, The BeZine, The BeZine Table of Contents

April 2017, Vol. 3, Issue 7, Celebrating interNational Poetry Month

April 15, 2017

Poetry Month means that we have arrived at

…the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain. (T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland)

One of the most famous poems “about” poetry, Marianne Moore‘s poem, “Poetry.” It famously begins with

I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond
all this fiddle.

However, she goes on in the very next lines to say

Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one
discovers that there is in
it after all, a place for the genuine.

There is much that is genuine in this April issue of The BeZine, which celebrates Poetry Month globally with our celebration of interNational Poetry Month. We are proud to present a wide variety of poets and poetry from all over the world. We have 45 posts of poetry (many with more than one poem), an essay, and one short story. This issue of The BeZine is an anthology!

Over the years, questions of poetry’s health, suggestions of its “death,” and concerns over who, if anybody, might be reading it, continue to swirl around in various articles, essays, and round tables. While many of the debates one might encounter in this bubbling broth come from a perspective of poetry’s decline, it seems to me that the reasons that such questions arise come from two primary sources.

One is an anxiety about how society values what we do, as poets or readers of poetry. It seems that the writers from this vein often worry that, in fact, society does not value poetry—as recorded in statistics about readership or as suggested by some other perceived decline in attention to it. The other vein, in my view, is a more healthy concern with what poetry is and what we are doing when we “do” poetry (read, write, critique).

This past year, a lot of words spilled onto the screen and page regarding Bob Dylan receiving the Nobel Prize—is a song writer a poet? Of course, poetry comes from song, so a song writer is a poet. Is poetry still song, then, or has it gone “beyond”? These articles and essays seem to flow from both of the sources I’ve suggested: anxiety and reflection. If our modest zine is any indication, poetry thrives throughout the world.

While the anxieties and reflections continue—and they are not new, witness the 1919 date of Marianne Moore’s poem—poets continue to write, and readers continue to read. You are reading this, so you are evidence of readers who have an interest in poetry. Whether there are more or fewer readers in any year or decade might fluctuate, or the methods of measuring them might change. However, as there are poets, there are those who read poetry. And listen to it—as in spoken word and slam.

Billy Collins opens his essay, The Vehicle of Language, suggesting that a problem with the reception of poetry is how poetry is taught:

For any teacher of poetry with the slightest interest in reducing the often high-pitched level of student anxiety, one step would be to substitute for the nagging and ultimately pointless question, “What does this poem mean?” the more manageable question “Where does this poem go?” Tracking the ways a poem moves from beginning to end puts the emphasis on the poem’s tendency to travel imaginatively and thus to carry the reader in the vehicle of its language.

In principle, I agree that the emphasis should be on where poetry goes, how it plays with language—not on decoding “meaning.” The same approach could be applied to the concerns expressed about poetry. The concerns need not be about where poetry is as measured against expectations of its current quality, akin to the “meaning” anxiety of its teaching.

Although some express an anxiety about the “quality” of online poetry or spoken word or even “today’s” written word, we would do well to reflect instead on where poetry is going, for us as readers and writers—where we as writers of it want to go with our poetry, and where we as readers of it want poetry to go to be most satisfying.

Poetry invites us to take an imaginative journey: from the flatness of practical language into the rhythms and sound systems of poetic speech. (Billy Collins, The Vehicle of Language)

It is our hope that you will read the poetry here with an appreciation for poetry’s “place for the genuine,” and find satisfaction in the depth and breadth presented here. Whether or not you will have “a perfect contempt for it” as you read, we leave up to you…

Michael Dickel
Contributing Editor


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Celebrating interNational Poetry Month

To Read this issue of The BeZine

  • Click HERE to read the entire magazine by scrolling, or
  • You can read each piece individually by clicking the links below.
  • To learn more about our guests contributors, please link HERE.

Poetry

April Fool, Iulia Gherghei
Barricades and Beds, Aditi Angiras
The Burgundy Madonna, Patricia Leighton
Common Ground, Dorothy Long Parma
dancing toward infinity, Jamie Dedes
Don’t Let Fall Go – sonnet, Liliana Negoi
Donatella D’Angelo | unpublished poems 2016
Dreaming of Children, Renee Espiru
A few from the vaults …, Corina Ravenscraft
Four Poems by Reuben Woolley
Full Buck Moon and other poems by Lisa Ashley
gary lundy’s poetics | 5 prose poems
A geography of memories | Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt
Grandmother, Dorothy Long Parma
having found a stone in my shoe …, Charles W Martin
healing hands …, Charles W Martin
Kali, Gayle Walters Rose
Kinga Fabó | 3 Hungarian Poems in Translation
Lead Boots, David Ratcliffe
levels, Liliana Negoi
luke 10:25-37…, Charles W Martin
Melissa Houghton | 3 Poems
Michael Rothenberg and Mitko Gogov
Ms. Weary’s Blues, Jamie Dedes
not with a bang but a whimper, three poems, Jamie Dedes,
One of My Tomorrows, John Anstie
patriarichal wounds…, Charles W Martin
Poetry and Prayer, Phillip T Stephens
PTSD Children, Charles W Martin
Rachel Heimowitz | Three Poems from Israel
the red coat, Sonja Benskin Mesher
Science Fiction, Phillip T. Stephens
Socks | Michael Dickel
Spring in my Sundays, Iulia Gherghei
Standing Post: Trees in Practice, Gayle Walters Rose
Teaching Poetry | Michael Dickel
Terri Muuss | and the word was
The Marks Remain, David Ratcliffe
Three Poems by Paul Brookes
Three Poems by Phillip Larrea
Three Poems from Albanian | Faruk Buzhala
To Our Broken Sandals, Mendes Biondo
To the Frog at the Door, Jamie Dedes
Two Poems by Denise Fletcher
Valérie Déus | 3 Poems

BeAttitude

Look Upon My Works, Ye Mighty, Naomi Baltuck

Short Story

Whispers on an April Morning Breeze, Joseph Hesch


Except where otherwise noted,
ALL works in The BeZine ©2017 by the author / creator


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Posted in General Interest, The BeZine, The BeZine Table of Contents

THE BeZINE, Jan. 2017, Vol. 3, Issue 4 – Resist

“When injustice becomes law, nonviolent resistance becomes duty.” Petra Kelly (1947-1992), co-founder of the German Green Party (1979) at a rally in Nuremberg (1983).

15253540_10153871288971612_1728300874287005039_nOur theme this month is Resist! We chose it to coincide with a protest today that was initiated by poets Alan Kaufman and Michael Rothenberg. Thanks to Alan and Michael, poets across the United States will gather on the steps of their local city halls and take their stand against the backward values that the U.S. President Elect represents. PEN America also sponsored an event today at the New York City Public Library and thanks to them protests are happening today in ninety U.S. cities and some cities outside the States.

As is our tradition at The BeZine, voices in protest are not limited to the U.S.

What are we trying to accomplish by protesting? “Dump Trump” is a rallying cry for some but it’s unlikely to happen, at least in the short-term.

We think what makes sense and what people want to focus on is creating awareness and building bridges, not walls. We want to stand in solidarity against scapegoating and the sort of rhetoric that fuels misunderstanding, hate and violence. We stand in support of the rule of law, civil rights and human rights. We want to keep the feet of the power elites to the fire and demand accountability.

Michael Rothenberg and Alan Kaufman have written that with “the Fourth Estate under siege it is now up to writers, poets, artists and musicians to join in and put our shoulders to the wheel.…There is no Post-Truth Era for the world of [the arts].” And here we are …

It takes courage to speak out, but speak out we must and today we bring you a collection that we hope will hearten you, if only by virtue of seeing just how many people share your values. There is hope in that.

It begins, with one brave enough to appear.
One idea, one voice in an asphalt void.
Oligarchs try to crush all dissension with fear.
Undaunted, the idea will not be destroyed,
Shares roots with others; reassures, “I’m still here.”  —Corina Ravenscraft

In this issue, Michael Watson, Priscilla Galasso, and Naomi Baltuck gift us with BeAttitudes that are measured, gain their wisdom from history and the arts, and speak to the long-term and to the preservation of democratic values.

“There’s a striking parallel between our current social order and that of the Middle Ages, in which the wealthy ruling class acted and peasants endured.”  — warns Naomi Baltuck in Boots on the Ground

Thanks to Michael Dickel we offer a fine collection of protest music and an apologia for activist poetry.  Zena Hagerty of HamiltonSeen brings us the life of Joe Hill, labor activist and song writer.  In The Push, from Zena and her business partner, Cody Lanktree, we learn how Hamilton—the fourth largest city in Canada—courageously pushed back against abuses and lack of transparency in their city government.  We have a flash fiction piece from poet and writer, Joe Hesch.

This month’s poetry collection is a rather extraordinary gift from poets who are well-established. They are published here alongside emerging poets we want to support and encourage. Together the poems serve to frame the current challenges we face in our world.

New to our pages this month (presented in no special order) are Greg Ruud, Russ Green, Joy Harjo, Alan Kaufman and our featured poet, Reuben Woolley. We are delighted to welcome Dianne Turner back.

Enjoy the Zine and do Resist! This is the moment.
—Jamie Dedes, Managing Editor

My first contact with The BeZine came when Managing Editor Jamie Dedes wanted to review my book of poems, War Surrounds Us, and to interview me. Somehow, from there I became one of the many “core” writers who contribute to The BeZine community—and, because I am involved with 100-Thousand Poets for Change (100TPC), I ended up taking some responsibility for our annual live 100TPC online event. Now I have a nice title, Contributing Editor. As one of the core writers, and a contributing editor, I suggested the theme Resist! for this issue to coincide with the protest readings my friends Michael Rothenberg and Alan Kaufman have instigated.

I have been active in peace and anti-racism movements for years. I recall when I first heard about the Women’s Movement, as a high school student planning a student protest against the Viet Nam War. My academic work relates to violence and masculinity (see my essay, The Warm Blanket of Silence, in this issue).

However, this autumn marks, for me, one of the darkest periods in my memory. The rising influence of white supremacy (sic) movements, blatant misogyny, unapologetic homophobia, open anti-Semitism (from the right and the left), and sword-rattling (fake?) machismo in this last U.S. election—manifested openly and through “dog-whistles” by the President Elect, his supporters, and his advisors—recall the period before WWII. And not just in 1930s Germany—fascism was popular in the U.S. and much of Europe before the war, including a notorious “Fascist Plot,” also called “The White House Coup,” in 1933. Now the industrialists will have The White House—they don’t need a coup. The probable influence of Russia on our elections (not to mention the FBI) comes straight from 1950s nightmares. These dark shadows oppress my mood and sap my energy.

The only solution I know is to Resist! To stand with others and to say, loudly, “No!

Jamie has expressed the idea of resistance positively above. And I agree with her. Resistance must be positive, but also strong. It should be non-violent (until violence becomes a necessary and last-resort defense). And it must be embedded in all that we do. My own poetry, art, music, teaching, and life should help awaken, empower, and facilitate resistance to the hate, indifference, and greed that permeate our political culture (a lofty goal I expect I will fail in, even as I attempt to achieve it). I hope to do so in ways that welcome dialogue and allow for diverse responses and approaches across a wide range of contexts. However, I will not “give him a chance” to promulgate hate, strip the environment, legislate for racism or hate, or further oppress those under the heal of the capitalist boot. I resist.

I resist the numbness.

I find energy in resistance.

I resist!
—Michael Dickel, Contributing Editor

Link HERE

to scroll through the entire zine
If you read something you’d like to share, just click on its title in the header to get the URL for a specific piece.

IN A NUTSHELL

Let Us, a poem by Alan Kaufman
letting my freak flag fly, a poem by Charles W. Martin
Scraggly Dandelion in a Concrete Crack, a poem by Corina Ravenscraft

BeATTITUDES

The Act of “Survivance”, Michael Watson
Practising Freedom of Choice, Priscilla Galasso
Boots on the Ground, Naomi Baltuck
Werewolves—the Hounds of Hate, Michael Dickel

MUSIC

I ain’t no millionaire’s son, Michael Dickel
Democracy is Coming to the U.S.A., Michael Dickel

DOCUMENTARY FILM

One Wobblie’s Life: Joe Hill, Labor Activist and Songwriter, Zena Hagerty with Jamie Dedes
“The Push” or how the eleventh largest city in Canada is pushing back, Zena Hagerty and Cody Lanktree

FEATURE ARTICLES

In Defense of Activist Poetry, Michael Dickel
Silence i—Warm Blanket in Silence, Michael Dickel
Silence ii—Sound of Silence, Michael Dickel

Writer’s Block: Doubt, Fear and Heartbreak, Jamie Dedes

FICTION

The Nature of the Beast, Joseph Hesch

FEATURED POET: Ruben Woolley

Congratulations to UK poet Reuben Woolley for the distinction of an invitation to The Fourth International Festival of Poetry in Marrakesh. All expenses are paid for by the festival organizers but the airfair. Just like the rest of us who earn our bread with poetry, Reuben’s purse is a bit light. Reuben has set up a Go Fund Me page to raise the money for airfare HERE.

natural killers, Reuben Woolley
the uncertainty of bright maps, Reuben Woolley
shade talking, Reuben Woolley
venus of coventry, Reuben Woolley
barely anywhere in time, Reuben Woolley
darker application, Reuben Woolley

POETRY

Deconstruction, Michael Dickel
So Thirsty, Michael Dickel
Circulating Language Manfesto, Michael Dickel

Dovetailed, Renee Espiru

Fire Song, Russ Green

Fear Poem, Joy Harjo

The Taste of Cyanide, Mark Heathcote

The Oak, the Man and the Mighty Weed, Joseph Hesch

Into the Unknown Flee, M. Zane McCllelan
War Lore, M. Zane McCllelan
This Is Not a Lullaby, M. Zane McCllelan

Of Seas, Bicycles and Whiskey, Liliana Negoi
no rain, Liliana Negoi
congregrating war, Liliana Negoi
faulty darwinism, Liliana Negoi

Noblesse Oblige, Carolyn O’Connell

Now That Anything Can Happen, Greg Ruud
Righteous Anger, Greg Ruud

Goat Herders, Dianne Turner

Waiting, Lynn White
Separate Development, Lynn White

Leaving Aleppo, Peter Wilkin

In close:

Here and Hereafter, Jamie Dedes

CONNECT WITH US
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natural killers

we are sufficient for any genocide.we
do it

global

& all the lying

rush forgotten

here

things are thinner

where i

fall

through air / through water

i bring

memory                           in fragments

a turn of skin.are
times
it stops

& i can scatter
vacant seeds
in the wind

© 2017 Reuben Woolley

the uncertaintly of bright maps

looking for ways

to see this

is gold

a word

hanging

just here in
time.it doesn’t

shine

in dark
chance

so easy a
loss.i’ll walk
in straight
footprints

tight

laces &

keep my eyes well
open.it’s not
a game
a hide

go seek

let me

string them all together

give names unordered

© Reuben Woolley

shade talking

timely
the ghosts in this
real world

can you hear

whispers
silent.the future days

coming

quickly like
kings
with useless
gifts

are no

defence system / no
last red line

bleeding

their honour over
blank iris

those distant fields
in back gardens

our arms
in rickety sheds

© Reuben Woolley

venus of coventry

st george
in the front
window.this
is my
white house

& red

across a toy
globe.is what
we own.picture

this

a palette
a broken artist

there are people
who think in colour

very separate

they do not paint the changes

© Reuben Woolley

barely anywhere in time

they take a future

desire spinning

on dead

wheels

this is
control

where a bird still

waits

for old eyes.we search
the effluent for flesh

i forgot

this dry

water when

they hung you up

the one-eyed
defender

singing shanties
in seas of dust

© Reuben Woolley

darker applications

not always                      the words
have any meaning.they
fill the slots as long
as all the numbers
are not counted

they just                          complete
the hours / the days
go on
& die.they have
their mobile connections

the touch of a voice

i watch your screened
conversation                    ticking.your

simple
pictures

hanging
now

this glass is made of ice
a cold
intonation.cut
deep i do not bleed

© Reuben Woolley

the old crow welcomes winter

the old crow welcomes winter

i change         not hill
not tree
              to other rules

the next step’s
the liquid fall
              are deeper
tales       like a still sea
whispering             we are
unobvious            & dead ships sail
to other songs 

i keep the notes
close                 & everything’s a little
harder
a little
                  more tired
just asking
what it’s like to be human

there are places
where the world seeps through
where monsters
    gather
like shells
on empty beaches         holes
in the sky
                  are
singular response
from all my voices

a cold wind tonight

© Reuben Woolley


When I write of abuse and suffering, I write for the silenced and for the unvoiced. There is nowhere poetry cannot go. —Reuben Woolley


This poem will also appear on The Woven Tale Press website as part of a feature on Activist-Poets on Monday, April 25, 2016.

View guest contributor Rueben Woolley’s bio HERE

Posted in Michael Dickel, Poems/Poetry, Poets/Writers, The BeZine, The BeZine Table of Contents

April 2016, Vol. 2/Issue 7 ~ Celebrating Poetry Month

15 April 2016
Poetry Month

The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot

I. The Burial of the Dead

APRIL is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten.
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.…

A tidal wave of poetry, perhaps.

Michael Dickel, Contributing Editor

While Eliot declares the cruelty of April, April also happens to be National Poetry Month in the United States and Canada. In our online, social media world, it has become an international celebration of poetry as well. To join in this celebration, we in the Bardo Group Beguines dedicate the April issue each year to poetry. Many of us who write regularly for The BeZine are poets, and we usually include poetry. So, for us, it is a happy celebration—nothing cruel about it!

And what a wide-ranging celebration we offer in the 2016 National Poetry Month The BeZine issue! W. B. Yeats is oft quoted as saying, “What can be explained is not poetry.” So I won’t explain. I will tell you that Terri Muuss’ poem, “Thirteen Levels of Heaven,” takes you far and wide in a few grains of sand. “The Other Woman,” Imen Benyoub’s heart-wrenching poem, is not who you think—but in the current global storm of conflict and national political climate, indeed, she is Other. Michael Rothenberg’s “Poem for Mitko” personalizes the news we hear by imagining its impact on our mutual friend, Macedonian poet Mitko Gogov.

What these three featured poems have in common is their ability to take the intimate, the personal, the real moments of every day life, and reflect in and from them larger issues of humanity and life. Each describes very specific, personal scenes. According to Joy Harjo, “It’s possible to understand the world from studying a leaf.” And all of these poems open our eyes wide to the world. Sharon Olds tells an interviewer about poets she admires: “Their spirits and their visions are embodied in their craft. And so is mine.” And so are the spirits and visions of the authors gathered here.

“It may also be the case that any genuine work of art generates new work,” Donald Barthelme tells us in a Paris Review interview. As you read the poems, essays, interviews, and reviews in this month’s issue, I imagine that they will generate new art for you. Whether the art of living, the art of knowing others, or “the Arts,” you will want to do more of it after reading what we offer this month.


Last year, the Second Light Network of Women Poets (SLN) collaborated with The BeZine during April to present poetry from the SLN. In this year’s issue, you can read more about the network in “SECOND LIGHT NETWORK, showcasing the ambitious poetry of ambitious women.”  Jamie Dedes’ essay “POET, TEACHER, INSPIRATION: Dilys Wood and the Latter-day Saphos” also sheds light on Dilys Wood, founder of the SLN. This year, in my dual roles of contributing editor here at The BeZine and associate editor at The Woven Tale Press, I have served as liaison in a new collaboration. The works specifically from the collaboration appear in their own section in the table of contents below.

However, the whole issue represents collaboration—not only between the two publications, but between all of the writers. We work together, as a community. In putting this all together with Jamie Dedes and my Bardo Group Beguines and Woven Tale Press colleagues, I came to realize how many of the poets here I know personally—separately from these two publications. We all come from an organic online writing community. By organic, I mean through no organized effort or special social website.

After years of knowing Michael Rothenberg through email and Facebook, I only finally met him in person this past summer. Terri Muuss and I met at Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich Village, also years ago, where her husband, Matt Pasca (who also has appeared in The BeZine), Adeena Karasick, and I performed one lovely evening. All four of us keep in touch through Facebook now.

I met gary lundy a long time ago and have spent time together, including road trips and as roommates for a few months. However, most of our friendship has been sustained and maintained by email and online connections—dating back to before any of us had heard of Facebook. UK poet Reuven Woolley, Romanian poet Liliana Negoi, Natasha Head, as well as Jamie Dedes and the rest of the Bardo Group Beguines, I only know “virtually.” Until a few months ago, the same was true for The Woven Tale Press publisher and editor-in-chief, Sandra Tyler.

Today, the world of poetry, as with everything else, has transformed under the influences of technology and social media. Last year, I spoke to a graduate-student seminar about social media, poetry, and the latest wave of “democratization of poetry.” That discussion evolved into the foreword of The Art of Being Human, Vol. 14, which you can read in this issue as “(Social) Media(ted) (Democratic) Poetry.”

I won’t try to count how many waves of “democratic” trends in poetry have washed up on the beach. A couple of centuries ago, poets were concerned “just anybody” might write poetry, and they didn’t think that was such a good idea. Some probably still don’t. Free verse and the Beats in the mid-Twentieth Century have been associated with the idea, for better or worse, depending on who made the association.

Today, poetry slams usually involve actual voting, as do many online sites. Self-publishing has become easy and cheap, so anyone could have a book who wants to, now. As a result of all of this, editors—such as those putting together a special poetry issue—serve much more as curators than as the gate-keepers of old. So, we may be in one of the greatest ever waves of “democratic” poetry.

A tidal wave of poetry, perhaps.

Don’t worry. While it will wash over you and change you, you won’t drown. Enjoy the poetry, writing about poetry, and other work presented here for your celebratory pleasure!

“There is something in me maybe someday
to be written; now it is folded, and folded,
and folded, like a note in school.”
― Sharon Olds


Table of Contents

Featured

POEMS

ESSAYS, INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS

WOVEN TALE PRESS COLLABORATION

SECOND LIGHT NETWORK

IMG_9671CONNECT WITH US

Beguine Again, Spirtual Community and Practice

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Access to the biographies of our core team contributing writers and guest writers is in the blogroll to your left along with archived issues of The BeZine, our Mission Statement and Submission Guidelines.

COMMEMORATIVE COLLECTION, 100TPC 2015

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.