The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.
Morning mirror ritual
Stumbling toward the glass
Tumbling down like drowning
But seems there is no change
Rubbed my head
Not a bit dead
Everything the same
And the cosmos of my old age
Shifted while I slid
Into a new world
Of fear and suspicion
And the madness set in
As one rarely leaving the safety
Of my backyard
For precious paper products
Now both a hunter and gatherer
Worthy of time immemorial’s
Gender-biased survival tasks
As I stride through empty aisles
In dawn’s early stores
Each worker I ask
Where is this?
Do you have that?
As they politely invade my space
Trying not to glance
At my black winter gloves
And peace scarf doubling
As a germ-prevention mask
And I ask
Where is the toilet paper?
Where are the eggs?
My shopping cart emptier
Than when I first entered the store
But I so need more
Not at this store
Or the next one
All empty of what I need
Of my new-found greed
All amassing is useless
Allopathic piles of pain relief
Homeopathic heaps of flu banishers
And herbs from East and West
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Asian Indian Ayurvedia
Native American lore
Drabarni Gypsy first aid kit
Useless in this Parallel World
Nothing is the same…
And the heat and the heat
Burning like a tight winding sheet
Only the swamp can cool it down
But through drought the water drowned
And the heat from the fire
Wrapped round me like strings from a lyre
Can my magical swamp unlock the jail
Of the strangling boa’s tail…
And I flail and I burn and call out to sweet water
But it’s not there
And I stumble then tumble
Back through the looking glass
Out of the morass
And my color is better
I swallow and gulp water
From newly fallen rain
Away from the nightmare
But the greed took seed
Not only with me
And suddenly aware
That nothing will ever be the same
CLARISSA SIMMENS (Poeturja)is an Independent poet; Romani drabarni (herbalist/advisor); ukulele and guitar player; wannabe song writer; and music addict. Her poetry and songs echo guitar, ukulele and violin music mainly in a Minor key. Clarissa’s Amazon Page is HERE. Her Romani Gypsy Books are HERE.
“If we survive, we may have to analyze our engagement with dark matters
that put life at risk. If we don’t, we are to blame for our end. For now, let’s keep hygienic, keep to ourselves, bury our Dead, care for the dying and think of how we have arrived at where we are.” Mbizo Chirasha
The world has known divisions for as long as history can remember. From
strength that overrides others to the weakness that attracts marauding gangs
of men of ambition and cunning. Adventure has led some into what they
termed “discoveries” of Rivers and their sources, of Mountains high and
majestic, and a people so different in their cultural environments, that to
the eye of a visitor, they appeared other-worldly.
The world has never run short of divisive tools and terms to keep one for
each. From the irony of heights and weights, to the delight’s and
indecency of dark humor based on foods and drinks and a people’s culture.
GOD and gods have their roles and stamps on a people’s interpretations,
raging from waging wars to convert and dominate, to whole sale massacres
because others beliefs were less acceptable to a deity followed by a
muscular power. In the name of many known Faiths, humankind has suffered
immensely and continues to suffer even under the full glare of a world that
is so connected, that nothing escapes the owl eyed social Media/internet
never sleeping eyes.
If it’s not belief it’s something else that pits one man to another. Color
has played the worst card in segregation of humanity. Regimes are known to
have come up with a cultic panacea of annihilating all who were less than
their proscribed hue, height, and eye color in a so-called super race.
Commerce has not particularly done well to hide it’s dismal take on the
lesser-endowed in terms of what the world considers GDP….Countries are
graded into first-, second-, and third- worlds. Countries comprise individual
human beings. Once categorized in numerical terms, they cease to have a
human quality and adopt a statistical stature.
Dehumanizing poverty by demonizing it and those suffering
the “pauper malady”. Terms like ”those who survive under
a dollar a day”. A people labelled by lack. Another labelled by luck.
Then came weaponry and sophistication. Guns and canned Carnage. Bombs
as heroism spoke to the Sky over Nagasaki and Hiroshima. More divisions
follow. Giants with cold threats lying under silos of frozen homes awaiting
disagreements. What a time of it the world had! But like all eras, this too
came to an end with trumpets of fragmentation scattering the deadly
embers of stored caches of annihilation finding its ways into eager
markets of rogue juvenile quarters ready to tussle for positions of
“global respect” through “fire power”.
Ideology made no sense. Religion was cowed. No one was immune to the future
that loomed on the human collective heads as each goon state thumped it’s
How times change!
A new baby was born in the East. A baby with an attitude like a thief.
Escaping its parents unloving gloved hands, it flew first into the
neighborhood, dropping its ghastly feces on the heads of its makers’ kin. Death. Sinister death. The wind took the birdling over the border, across
the oceans on the comforts of cruise ships. And luxury living became a
nightmare. Right now, quarantine is not for rabid dogs or lepers in their
It’s what no longer divides that divides us. What irony! We are faced by an
enemy of our own intellect taken over concious. Our own intelligence
exceeding common sense. Our own genius gone insane.
In it all, regardless of mitigation measures, one thing speaks a human
language. It’s no longer about class, color or creed. it’s not even about
ideology or theology. It’s about being careful to survive the monster we
have made. And the world suddenly speaks “humanese”.
How I wish we didn’t have to face such an ugly and tragic catastrophe to bring us to the realization of the folly of excessive greed in pursuit of glory and power over others.
If we survive, we may have to analyze our engagement with dark matters
that put life at risk. If we don’t, we are to blame for our end.
For now, let’s keep hygienic, keep to ourselves, bury our Dead, care for the
dying, and think of how we have arrived at where we are.
While at it, let’s pray. For regardless of our form of worship, days of
worship, mode of worship. and the dress code in worship, we all pray to a
Higher Power. That Power may yet hear our prayers and lend a hand.
YOU SEE, praying is personal and communal, if you will. Worship places are
closing fast, if not faster than bars and delis. Offices are closing fast,
if not faster than schools.
Only true saints are at work. Those medics and their assistants and the
guys who must fill the supermarket shelves with your basics.
If you ask me, the very deity we seek in those buildings, is inside us and
those selfless humans who take chances with their lives to take charge of
ours. They are the ones melting down the iron wind of a viral onslaught
on humanity right now.
Mbizo Chirasha (Mbizo, The Black Poet) is one of the newest members of the Zine team and a recipient of PEN Deutschland Exiled Writer Grant (2017). He is a Literary Arts Projects Curator, Writer in Residence, Blogs Publisher, Arts for Human Rights/Peace Activism Catalyst, Social Media Publicist and Internationally Anthologized Writer, 2017 African Partner of the International Human Rights Arts Festival Exiled in Africa Program in New York, 2017 Grantee of the EU- Horn of Africa Defend Human Rights Defenders Protection Fund, Resident Curator of 100 Thousand Poets for Peace-Zimbabwe, Originator of Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Movement. He has published a collection of poetry, Good Morning President, and co-created another one Whispering Woes of Gangesand Zembezi with Indian poet Sweta Vikram.
SHELBY WILSON is a high school AP English teacher from Amarillo, Texas. He holds a B.A. in English from Texas A&M University and an M.A. in English from West Texas A&M University. His work has appeared in Ink & Nebula, Sparks of Calliope, Celestal Review, and Madness Muse Press.
no going back. and going forward feels a wasted effort. loss with little to gain. signatures retiring mid sentence. you long for laughter yet find only decimated forests. and ground water. this day when not even private jets are safe. when the only hope is for those with power pushing limits colliding against the recently constructed wall. casualties in the tens of thousands. they refuse to count being more taken in by the direction the wind may take. it being a short runway and take off tricky. fully clothed and faces masked a dance commences outrageous. you don’t want to forget. but must to elongate the shadow of daylight. and there i go drawing unexamined conclusions. then acting upon them. naturally they carry little weight. even for us. formulaic redundancy. their course prepared. play ball. sit in the sun for a little while. an all too brief respite. and their mother dies unexpectedly overnight. younger by two decades than you. photographs of flat landscapes capture the ungoverned absence of our imagination. mistake multiplication for subtraction. escape the improbable through denial. missing the page numbers twice in recounting. is there an absence gathered in those sites of silence. or more realistically reasonable doubt and blindness.
gary lundy is the author of five chapbooks, including: when voice detach themselves (is a rose press, 2013), and at | with (Locofo Chaps, 2017); and two full-length collections: heartbreak elopes into a kind of forgiving (is a rose press, 2016), and each room echoes absence (FootHills Publishing, 2018). His poems have appeared most recently in Ethel, The Collidescope, The McKinley Review, Filling Station, Shark Reef, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Fence. gary is a retired English professor and queer living in Missoula, Montana.
Our goal is to foster proximity and understanding through a shared love of the arts and humanities and all things spirited and to make – however modest – a contribution toward personal healing and deference for the diverse ways people try to make moral, spiritual and intellectual sense of a world in which illness, violence, despair, loneliness and death are as prevalent as hope, friendship, reason and birth.
Our focus is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film . . . We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.”
Call for submissions of feature articles, fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, art and photography, music videos, and documentary videos on diverse environmental topics including but not limited to: degradation, protection, greenhouse gasses, weather/climate change, justice, and agriculture, famine and hunger. This call is open from April 1 through May 15.
While The BeZine does not pay for content, neither do we charge submission or subscription fees.
Work that is not properly submitted will not be considered.
Prose, poetry, and links to videos: submit in the body of the email
Please: no odd, unusual, eccentric layouts
Photographs or artwork: submit as an attachment
DO NOT send PDFs or a document with both narrative and illustrations combined.
By submitting work to firstname.lastname@example.org, you are confirming that you own and hold the rights to the work and that you grant us the right to publish on the blog or in the Zine if your submission is accepted. Submissions via Facebook or other social networking or in the comments section, will not be reviewed or accepted.
Please include a brief bio in the email. No photographs.
ART & PHOTOGRAPHY: We are looking for something special to be the header for The Table of Contents Page.
SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS are okay but please let us know immediately if availability changes.
Among the guidelines: our core team, our guest contributors, and our readership are international and diverse. No works that advocate hate or violence, promote misunderstanding, or that demean others are acceptable. Please read our Complete Submission Guidelines.
JOSH MEDSKER (joshmedsker.com) is a New Jersey poet, originally from Alaska. His debut poetry collection, Cacophony, was published in 2019 by Alien Buddha Press. His work has appeared in The BeZine and other publications.
Ed. Note—We all wish for a better world and for something better to unfold from the tragedy of this pandemic. We take the next-to-last two stanzas of this poem as poetic license in the human pursuit of hope. We do understand and wish to share with you that the reported swan, dolphin (porpoise), and clearer water pics on social media are not what they seem. See this from Snopes.
Womawords Literary Press, the heart-child of Mbizo Chirasha, is cohost of The BeZine‘s 2020 International Poetry Month celebration, a daily series of poems that begins here on the Zine blog tomorrow.
Womawords is a complex of efforts initiated by Zimbabwean poet activist in exile, Mbizo Chirasha (Mbizo, The Black Poet). I was curious—and thought others might be as well—about the inspiration for this ambitious and worthy effort that is devoted to giving women and girls a platform in which to speak out about their concerns and experiences and to share their wisdom.
—Jamie Dedes, Founding and Co-Manging Editor The BeZine
JAMIE: Why and when did you start Womawords?
MBIZO: The heart of a women is like an ocean, thus she must be proffered a free platform to express concerns, to speak rights, to voice against wrongs, to sing experiences and more. The world-over we are blessed with an influx of women and the girl-child gifted not only physical stature but mental beauty, endowed with wisdom to sub create and shape humanity. Womawords was birthed in April 2019 as a complimentary initiative during my eye-opening and life-changing tenure with the International Human Rights Art Festival.
JAMIE: Please tell us about the origin of the name.
MBIZO: The name pays tribute to the power and influence literary arts culture, words and poetry. The Womawords Project is a positive transformation from my initial project, Girl Child Creativity Project, which was Zimbabwean based, and transitioned it into an international literary-arts culture digital space exhibiting women’s voices and literature. Women are powerful trench soldiers; they experience a bundle of traumas from child birthing, rape, menstrual health issues, domestic violence, stigma, and discrimination. A whole lot of hardships, but also women are molders of humanity. I have always known of mother-tongue not father-tongue, hence Womawords—a metaphor that gives women from around the globe a space to express themselves through poetry, resistance literature, and resilience arts.
JAMIE: What are the current activities Womawords is sponsoring?
MBIZO: The 2020 main project is the Daughters of the Earth Project, an international writer’s contest. The writer’s contest gives an opportunity for women to raise their voice, exchange ideas and promote dialogue on Menstrual Equity and Health through poetry, stories, flash fiction, and essays. And there are a myriad of issues, unresolved problems, taboos and myth experienced by women globally. WOMEN must be given the chance to speak, to raise their concerns, to offer solutions and to tell their experiences through this Daughters of the Earth Writers Contest Project. For more details follow on the submissions portal on Womawords.
Other projects include:
Women of Residence Profile Features: The Press is anchored by FEATURES of Prolific Poets, Writers, Socialites, and Artistic Luminaries.
Liberating Voices: This is a quarterly collection of voices and is guided by a specific theme for every publication.
JAMIE: What are the long-term goals?
MBIZO:Womawords Literary Press is a formula of positive change and transformation in the area of exhibiting women’s artistic voices and resistance literature by the girl child. In the next five years we are growing into a reputable book and literary arts publishing republic.
Going forward within 2020 we continue to restructure by placing and appointing representatives in more than twenty countries around the globe. These are women—writers, poets, activist, and artists—using their words to bring forth transformative change, using their poetry to expose societal tumors, wielding their artistic weapons to slash perpetrators of barbarism, using their resistance literatures to shine a light on the madness.
In March 2021, we are hosting a Womawords International Symposium with editorial associates, contributing writers, women artists, and women arts cultural activists who will convene to share and exchange experiences through symposium presentations, poetry performances, and story readings .
*Editor’s Note: “The struggle continues.” It’s a rallying cry for freedom.
MBIZO CHIRASHA (Mbizo, The Black Poet) is one of the newest members of The BeZine core team. He is a poet from Zimbabwe who is on the run. We have been coordinating in the search for safe harbor.
I hadn’t gazed at you
since we giggled through that
game of Trivial Pursuit
on the sofa of the café that
doubled as a discotheque
when you answered that
the Australian soprano who
inspired a peach dessert was called
In two decades
you’d gained gold stars for
sustained spousehood and
dadhood while I’d
wed and de-wed
I’d traded cigarettes for
White Poppies for Peace,
and you’d forayed into
once the brainwave of becoming a nurse had
subsided like a 24-hour bug.
After an iced coffee and a talk
about cursing and fear,
you let me hug you, your solidness
clamped against my chest as my
ears harbored your husky-voiced
since that April seventh
four years ago,
I can claim that
protected a cop.
ADRIAN SLONAKER: Crisscrossing North America as a language professional, Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Adrian Slonaker is fond of opals, owls and fire noodles. Adrian’s work has been published in WINK,Writers in the Know, Ariel Chart, The Pangolin Review and others.
To mark International Poetry Month April 2020, we at The BeZine blog invite submissions of poems on the current pandemic. To paraphrase R. Buckminster, think globally but write locally. Write from your context about your experience during this Time of Coronavirus, but at the same time, reflecting to larger global contexts. Write about glimmers from within the crisis that illuminate ourselves, our world, and the world(s) possibly coming to us afterwards. This event is co-hosted by Womawords Literary Press.
We especially look for poetry that projects changes (positive or negative) that may evolve from this crisis:
• worldwide coordination/collaboration
• resources of one sort or another—old, new, emerging; shared or fought-over
• the impact the pandemic might have on:
° women and the role they play in assuring good health and hygiene
° the poor and low-wage or middle class workers
° water and the environment
° war and conflict, and
° addressing the climate issues that contribute significantly to this and looming pandemics.
What about the communities—perhaps yours—that have no running water and are also therefor ravaged by typhoid, cholera, and dysentry?
In the spirit of love (respect) and community,
Michael Dickel, Co-Manging Editor, The BeZine
Mbizo Chirasha, Curator of Womawords Literary Press, Co-Host of The BeZine International Poetry Month
Jamie Dedes, Founding Editor and Co-Mnaging Editor, The BeZine
Living this life again
as though I were six sick
again and grasping about in silence.
I will learn to breathe again,
how to go beyond it
So that I can dance and fly
to those zones of magic.
Stones and burning light
and the kind of openness
you can never plan.
Tones of people touching.
The taste of food licked and loved.
As HD says, “I must read some hours every day, it is food.”
Now, I must write some hours every day.
It is my alphabet of love.
LINDA E. CHOWN grew up in Berkeley, Ca. in the days of action. Civil Rights arrests at Sheraton Palace and Auto Row. BA UC Berkeley Intellectual History; MA Creative Writing SFSU; PHd Comparative Literature University of Washington. Four books of poetry. Many poems published on line at Numero Cinq, Empty Mirror, The Bezine, Dura, Poet Head and others. Many articles on Oliver Sachs, Doris Lessing, Virginia Woolf, and many others. Twenty years in Spain with friends who lived through the worst of Franco. I was in Spain (Granada, Conil and Cádiz) during Franco’s rule, there the day of his death when people took to the streets in celebration. Interviewed nine major Spanish Women Novelists, including Ana María Matute and Carmen Laforet and Carmen Martín Gaite.
California Artist Gretchen Del Rio shares advice from her son who is on the front lines battling COVID-19 in MA. There are some tips here I haven’t seen elsewhere and they make sense to me. Check it out …
I just received the following information from my son Ben who is working on the front lines in a Massachusetts ER. It contains guidelines to stay uninfected by the virus and it goes way beyond anything I have heard or read. Feel free to forward to friends and family. peace, love and light gretchen
I was meaning to send this out to you all sooner, but I have been busy lately. I wanted to offer my help and advice if desired for info about the pandemic. Unfortunately, this is real and is likely to be a problem everywhere in the US. Hopefully, the curve will flatten with people self isolating and we can delay how many people get this right in the beginning which will allow the medical community more time to prepare for this and also for the cases to be spread out more over time.
I inhale breaths and ethers ……….. offered by this place, ……yet wonder where in this universe ………………………………..lies the rest of my needed oxygen. …………………………………………I cannot help but wonder as I ………………………………………………….separate myself from its beauty.
You remember my voice
even though I have
long ago peeled myself
from you, your shoulder,
on that crisp autumn day
while the pungent smell
of burning leaves
fell from our sky.
Your voice still resonates
I am in that other world
because this one
no longer serves
nor wants to witness us—
a love that’s so deep.
Will you accompany me
to this final refuge?
I want to be saved from disease,
natural disasters and psychic pain
or whatever might slip
a frown upon my face
or on the face of my beloveds.
Save me from fires and mudslides
which only yesterday
ripped through our neighborhood,
and cancers which swim in my genetic pools,
or massive shooters
who want to end it all
who want to snatch our dogs away.
There are so many ways
to be saved and renewed,
so go ahead write a book about me,
and share secrets of your own renewal
in a sanctuary to call yours,
as I sulk in my darkness.
People whisper in my ears
to remind me of my Buddha skin—
enlightened wisdom to share
with friends and strangers,
through green eye glances
or words strung across blank pages,
but somehow I remain unable
to tap into the distance which separates you and me.
Are you able touch the chaotic chasm
which divides us from melted fusions
of different color skins or anything
which might possibly bring us together
in what many might call
the most mysterious of unions?
DIANA RAAB, MFA, PhD (dianaraab.com), is a poet, memoirist, and blogger, speaker, and award-winning author of nine books. Her work has been published and anthologized in over 1000 publications. Raab blogs for Psychology Today, Thrive Global, and Wisdom Daily and is a guest blogger for many others. She has four poetry collections, including Lust. Her latest books are Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Program for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life and Writing for Bliss: A Companion Book.
The swan known as Hamsa in Hindu mythology is said to be the vehicle of the goddess Saraswati…..patroness of wisdom, learning music and the arts. Or they may be one and the same. That would make Hamsa the divine swan-maiden.
When lilac clouds conquer the sky,
it’s easy to forget she exists.
The moon lurks behind its thick veil,
a lunar laugh rising in her throat.
Flanked by the flashes of constellations,
she has nothing to fear.
I can still feel her watchful eyes
critiquing every word, every movement.
Our content orbit an object of fascination,
a concept she cannot understand.
Her glow extinguished, albeit temporarily,
a simple streetlight can have its spotlight.
She can only look on in wonder.
The days of bullets and blitzkriegs
when we cross paths are over.
The starry battlefield, silent and empty.
And no one else remembers,
except the moon and I.
In the still of the night the moment pauses.
Heartbeats hushed. Voices lost to lust.
This dead end dark could make me anyone.
I’m sure that’s the only reason you’re here.
Lips continue on regardless, not caring anymore;
happy to be broken, just to feel something.
Light interrupts. Lust flees. Life rushes on.
I can never be the girl that you want.
Fluorescence ravages that illusion instantly.
No parts of our bodies are touching anymore
and the familiar numbness settles in again.
Your voice ends it with words I forget.
Bird On The Wire
My twig feet dither on this tight rope,
desperate to wobble away to freedom.
Talons cling and my drunken heart sings,
taking my life into my feathered fingers.
It is so far down to fall with fractured wings
and I’ve hurt so many just to get here.
Apologies tweet from my open beak,
I am just trying in my way to be free.
KIRSTY A. NIVEN lives in Dundee, Scotland. Her writing has appeared in anthologies such as Strength, The Alien Buddha’s Feminist Agenda and Landfall. She has also featured in several journals and magazines, including The Poet’s Republic, Cicada Magazine, Monstrous Regiment and Silk + Smoke. Kirsty’s work can also be found online on sites such as La Scrittrice, Anti-Heroin Chic and Poetry Breakfast.”
Only last Thursday
after another morning
as freezing winds pushed
us along grey avenues
you shouted my name
in the middle of 34th Street
calling me poet
and instantly mountains
of mediocrity were melted
by your smile.
JOAN McNERNEY’s poetry has been included in many literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Spectrum Publications have accepted her work. Her latest title, The Muse In Miniature, is available on Amazon.com and Cyberwit.net. She has four Best of the Net nominations.
I wake up drenched. Hair matted to my forehead with damp, cheek sticking to the pillow. I’ve known cold sweats before – I’ve been waking up with them my whole adult life – but this is one of the worst.
And I can understand why. Because, unlike some that fade away within seconds, this dream, those images, those noises, are all still flashing and sounding in front of me like a Halloween display. Horror come vividly to life, lingering as though I were still there watching and listening to it happen. I gasp in air, briefly frightened by the wall of darkness surrounding me. Just for an instant, that old fear, that dread that’s clung to me since childhood, rises up to break over me like a wave. Every part of me bracing for it. Tears already pooling in my eyes as I wait for the crash.
And then the light blinks on. Behind my shoulder, immediately casting its pale blue glow onto the bedroom wall. Illuminating the shadow of my head, complete with messy, sodden hair, even as I turn a fraction in the direction of the beam.
‘Shit,’ he mutters, strengthening the brightness of the phone as I turn round further, and see the screen lighting up his face as he finally swipes the bar across to full power. And instead of the terror I was preparing for only a moment ago, a wave of soaring relief crashes over me instead, as he shifts his eyes towards me and arches an eyebrow apologetically. ‘Forgot I’d dimmed down earlier. Took a moment to figure out why I could barely see anything.’
I almost let out a sob at the selflessness behind the words. No suggestion that he might actually have been asleep, that he might not have heard the scream that tore from my throat as I came out of the dream, that he might have been resting more deeply tonight. He’s never once not stirred at exactly the same moment I have, his body ever on alert for any hint of my distress, even in the middle of the night. He frowns slightly as he notices my eyes watering, before reaching out a finger to brush away the one escaping tear. Brushing away the images of those homophobic bastards kicking him half to death and forcing me to watch it with one simple touch. Like the breaking of a dark spell. Bringing me back to him, and only him.
‘Got you pretty bad tonight, huh?’ he asks, smiling sadly. ‘It’s okay.’
‘I know,’ I whisper. I always know. I always feel okay as soon as I see him again. Alive. Well. In my bed. Staring at me like I’m the most precious thing in the world.
‘What about his one?’ he asks, showing me the screen. I glance at it, and nod. A think of something starting with… game. ‘Looks interesting.’
‘Okay,’ he says. ‘Think of something starting with I.’
CHRISTOPHER MOORE is a Northern Irish writer and a graduate of English from Queen’s University Belfast. He was also graduated with an MA in TV Fiction Writing at Glasgow Caledonian University. Alongside a number of playwriting achievements, including being longlisted for the 2019 Bruntwood Prize, he’s had a number of pieces of short fiction read, performed and published around the UK, Ireland and US over the last few years.
While we are being directed to quarantine ourselves in the sensible effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, it is easy to forget that home is not a safe place for everyone. Domestic abuse happens and the stress of these times is likely to exacerbate that impulse. Here are some resources if you are in this situation or know someone in this situation. A link is included for a directory of every country’s domestic and sexual violence agency,. These are courtesy of Maggie Royer, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Persephone’s Daughters Magazine. [Recommended]
Courtesy of Maggie:
1. We are spreading awareness on our social media pages of the unique impacts of COVID-19 on domestic and sexual violence survivors using the hashtag #MakeHomesHavens. Please feel free to use this hashtag and share information as well from our Twitter: https://twitter.com/persephonesmag
2. We are building a By Survivors, For Survivors COVID-19 Self-Care List. During this time, media coverage of the virus is overwhelming and may trigger panic and anxiety among survivors already experiencing trauma. How can we take care of ourselves during this time? If you identify as a survivor and would like to share your self-care ideas here anonymously, please do! We will compile and share via social media, website, and newsletter.
3. Our March newsletter will focus specifically on providing calm and peace from anxiety. We know this is a time of uncertainty, and our newsletter will reflect ways to cope with that.
4. We are sharing links to coverage that focuses on how the virus is impacting survivors. Please read and share.
5. We are offering information for how to support your domestic and sexual violence programs during this. For a directory of every country’s domestic and sexual violence agency, please visit Hot Peach Pages. Programs may need the following support: financial donations, in-kind donations of sanitary products, toilet paper, disinfectant, and cleaning supplies, and as always, your calls to legislators to support their work.
PERSEPHONE’S DAUGHTERS is published online, in print and in film. This magazine’s content is based on a mission to empower women / femme individuals who have experienced various forms of gendered abuse (sexual, emotional, physical, racial, verbal, etc), or other forms of degradation (harassment, catcalling, threats, etc). Persephone’s Daughterswelcomes all identities.
Online Sunday Stories feature personal accounts of those surviving abuse. There is also a film submission category that aligns with the mission. Accepted works are featured online on Film Fridays. Of note is a post-election mini-issue, a writing and art collection by people who are negatively effected by the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election. Proceeds from the sales of that collection go to the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, which provides services, legal help, and advocacy to unaccompanied immigrant children fleeing trafficking, conflict, poverty and more.