Posted in Environment/Deep Ecology/Climate Change, General Interest

“Partnering With Nature” Exhibition To Be Presented at the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Annual Meeting

spiral artworkDepartment of Seaweed: Living Archive, 2018–ongoing; Julia Lohmann (German, b. 1977), Violaine Buet (French, b. 1977) and Jon Lister (New Zealander, b. 1977); Seaweed and rattan; Dimensions variable; Photo: Pierre-Yves Dinasquet, Department of Seaweed.


Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum has announced that a special exhibition, “Partnering with Nature,” will be on view at the World Economic Forum’s 50th Annual Meeting, Jan. 21 through Jan. 24 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. Drawing from the “Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial” exhibition originally organized by Cooper Hewitt and Cube design museum, this adaptation is a collaboration between the Smithsonian and the World Economic Forum (WEF). This is the fourth year that the Smithsonian and the WEF have collaborated on bringing an exhibition to the Annual Meeting in Davos. Installed in the Congress Centre, the exhibition will be offered alongside panels, workshops and other sessions organized by the WEF that address the ecological crisis and the Forum’s major focus on sustainability.

“A global platform for design, Cooper Hewitt is delighted to once again collaborate with the World Economic Forum and highlight the power of design to address the most significant environmental issues of our time,” said Caroline Baumann, director of the museum. “Through this powerful, interactive exhibition, Cooper Hewitt will invite leaders to rethink our relationship to nature and jumpstart the dialogue on sustainability practices on an international scale.”

Four installations will encourage participants to play with natural elements, learn about the symbiotic relationships in nature and be inspired to imagine a more cohesive approach to working with nature.

The works on view include:

  • Department of Seaweed Prototyping Workshop, 2019–20. Founded by Julia Lohmann in 2013, the Department of Seaweed brings together experts in design, science and craft to experiment with the fabrication processes and material properties of seaweed and explore possible applications of this plentiful and renewable resource. For the installation at Davos, Lohmann will create a seaweed structure, Hidaka-Ohmu, and have available living seaweed and a display of hanging, dried seaweed to show the materials used in the craft process. Participants will work with seaweed in a workshop with Lohmann’s team.
  • Tree of 40 Fruit, 2008–ongoing. Artist Sam Van Aken collapses an orchard of fruit trees into a single tree using centuries-old grafting techniques. Van Aken worked with Fructus, the Swiss Association for the Protection of Fruit Heritage, to identify, collect and graft 40 apple varieties onto a 6-year-old tree. The varieties originated, are historically grown, or are important commercial varieties in Switzerland. Van Aken maps the tree grafts with hand-drawn sketches that are color-coded to each blossom’s season. Participants will be invited to try bench grafting—a technique where scionwood is grafted to root systems to create new trees.
  • Totomoxtle, 2017–ongoing. Totomoxtle means “corn husk” in the Nahuatl language and refers to the brilliantly colored veneers made from native Mexican corn by designer Fernando Laposse. Since 2017, Laposse has collaborated with farmers, agronomists and scientists to reintroduce native varieties of corn that were decimated by industrial farming. The initiative has led to local job growth, a resurgence of craft and food traditions, and restoration of indigenous farming practices. Participants will join in the completion of a mosaic.
  • Algae Platform, 2019–20. Developed by Atelier Luma, a think-tank, workshop and space for research, production and learning, the Algae Platform investigates the potential of algae as an alternative material to plastic with many possible applications in the architecture and design field. Algae is a globally renewable resource that is found in natural, urban and industrial landscapes, and can be 3-D printed into vessels and extruded into filaments for textiles.

Related programming includes presentations by the designers in the Hub, followed by hands-on workshops. On Jan. 21, the designers from the Algae Platform and the Department of Seaweed will share the creative process of turning unwanted natural materials into art and everyday objects. On Jan. 23, the artists behind the Tree of 40 Fruit and Totomoxtle will discuss what ancient agricultural techniques can teach people about caring for the land. Additional programming during the series includes a Design by Nature session, Jan. 24, featuring Baumann in conversation with Netherlands-based artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde who explores breakthrough ideas that bring nature and humans together in a sustainable way.

About Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Cooper Hewitt is America’s design museum. Inclusive, innovative and experimental, the museum’s dynamic exhibitions, education programs, master’s program, publications and online resources inspire, educate and empower people through design. An integral part of the Smithsonian Institution—the world’s largest museum, education and research complex—Cooper Hewitt is located on New York City’s Museum Mile in the historic, landmark Carnegie Mansion. Steward of one of the world’s most diverse and comprehensive design collections—over 210,000 objects that range from an ancient Egyptian faience cup dating to about 1100 BC to contemporary 3-D-printed objects and digital code—Cooper Hewitt welcomes everyone to discover the importance of design and its power to change the world. Cooper Hewitt knits digital into experiences to enhance ideas, extend reach beyond museum walls and enable greater access, personalization, experimentation and connection. The museum is fully accessible.

For more information, visit www.cooperhewitt.org or follow @cooperhewitt on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About The World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. The World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting brings together over 3,000 participants from governments, international organizations, business, civil society, media and culture from all over the world. The theme of the 50th annual meeting in Davos is Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.

Posted in Bardo News, Calls for submissions, The BeZine

“The BeZine” Call for Submissions, March 2020 issue, Themed Waging Peace; February blog post will be devoted to Illness and Disability

MISSION STATEMENT:  To foster proximity and understanding through our 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 cover these topics in the form of reviews, essays, poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction, music, art, and photography. We share work 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.”



“THE BeZINE” CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS thebezine.com is open for submissions to the upcoming March issue, deadline March 10, themed Waging Peace. This Zine is an entirely volunteer effort, a mission. We are unable to pay contributors but neither do we charge for submissions or subscriptions. We publish poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, feature articles, art, photography, and music videos and will consider anything that lends itself to online posting. There are no demographic restrictions. We do not publish work that promotes hatred or advocates for violence. All such will be immediately rejected. We’d like to see work that doesn’t just point to problems but that suggests solutions. We are also interested in initiatives happening in your community — no matter where in the world — that might be easily picked up by other communities. Please forward your submissions to bardogroup@gmail.com No odd formatting. Submit poems and narratives in the body of your email along with a BRIEF bio. Art and photography may be submissed as attachements. Work submitted via Facebook or message will not be considered for publication. We encourage you to submit work in your first language, but it must be accompanied by translation into English.

We are devoting the BLOG POSTS THROUGHOUT FEBRUARY to work addressing illness and disability. Submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, feature articles, art, photography, and music videos and anything that lends itself to online posting. There are no demographic restrictions. Please forward your submissions to bardogroup@gmail.com. No odd formatting. Submit poems and narrative in the body of your email along with a BRIEF bio. Art and photography may be submitted as attachements. Work submitted via Facebook or message will not be considered for publication. We encourage you to submit work in your first language, but it must be accompanied by translation into English.

Jamie Dedes
Managing Editor

Ah, Monday. Yesterday was record warm and windy; Saturday was just record warm. Today is seasonably cool and dark, thick cloud blocking much of January’s wan sunlight. The weekend was not just record warm. In much of New England temperatures were six or seven degrees above the old records for the date. This, probably inevitably, […]

via Weaponizing Fire — Dreaming the World

Weaponizing Fire — Dreaming the World

Posted in Peace & Justice, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Pity the Nation: Voices of the Poet Prophets, Gibran and Ferlinghetti

Photograph © Jamie Dedes

All day yesterday visitors were flying to the original 2017 posting of these poems at The Poet by Day. It’s not hard to guess what is driving interest in them. Here the poems are again for all to read and ponder along with a word from Bernie:  “Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one,” Sanders declared Thursday . . . He . . . framed it as a moment of moral gravity akin to the run-up to the Iraq War, not least because so much of the present conflict with Iran stems from the fateful intervention that began in 2003.” MORE Huffington Post



Lebanese-American poet, Khalil Gibran (1883-1931) public domain illustration

Pity The Nation
Khalil Gibran, 1933, “The Garden of the Prophet”

Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion.
Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero,
and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.

Pity a nation that despises a passion in its dream,
yet submits in its awakening.

Pity the nation that raises not its voice
save when it walks in a funeral,
boasts not except among its ruins,
and will rebel not save when its neck is laid
between the sword and the block.

Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox,
whose philosopher is a juggler,
and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.

Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting,
and farewells him with hooting,
only to welcome another with trumpeting again.


American poet, Lawrence Ferlinghetti (b. 1919), photo credit voxtheory under CC BY-SA 2.0 license

“PITY THE NATION”
Lawrence Ferlinghetti (After Khalil Gibran) 2007

Pity the nation whose people are sheep
And whose shepherds mislead them
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars
Whose sages are silenced
And whose bigots haunt the airwaves
Pity the nation that raises not its voice
Except  to praise conquerors
And acclaim the bully as hero
And aims to rule the world
By force and by torture
Pity the nation that knows
No other language but its own
And no other culture but its own
Pity the nation whose breath is money
And sleeps the sleep of the too well fed
Pity the nation oh pity the people
who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away
My country, tears of thee
Sweet land of liberty!

© Lawrence Ferlinghetti 

Link HERE for more of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poetry

Posted in Peace & Justice, poem, Poems/Poetry

Wandering, a poem for Mbizo Chirasha, Zimbabwean Poet in Exile

“No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.” Warsan Shire, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth



The wandering waters, dripping
Into rising seas and land now lonely
For his human foot, which finding
No room at the inn, wanders
Like the waters, violated like a fish
On the deck of a boat, gasping
Soul bludgeoned, human skulls
And fish entrails, politicos and
Pundits examine like I Ching coins,
Accidents of birth, plight of place
A remote sliver of moon surveils
From the starless sky, unmoved

Dedicated to my friend, Mbizo Chirasha, Zimbabwean Poet in Exhile. Please connect with me if you are able or know someone / some family able to host him in Germany. Thank you!  bardogroup@gmail.com

© 2019, Jamie Dedes

Photo credit: Crescent moon courtesy of beth woodrum under CC BY 2.0 license

Posted in General Interest

eat, pray, love

A bit of post-holiday enchantment from the magical brushes of Zine friend, Gretchen Del Rio.

Gretchen Del Rio's Art Blog

watercolor aceo 10/2015 watercolor aceo 10/2015

‘May the warm winds of Heaven blow softly upon your house. May the Great Spirit bless all who enter there. May your moccasins make happy tracks in many snows, and may the rainbow always touch your shoulder.   Cherokee prayer blessing

View original post

Posted in Music, Spiritual, Video

“The Wexford Carol” – Yo-Yo Ma, Alison Krauss

“Music video by Yo-Yo Ma;Alison Krauss performing The Wexford Carol. (C) 2008 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT”

Posted in Christmas, Video

Christmas blessings to all who are celebrating; The Three Tenors, “Silent Night”

Gerard van Honthorst, Adoration of the Shephards (1622) – Google Art Project / Public Domain

CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS TO ALL WHO ARE CELEBRATING

FROM

THE BARDO GROUP BEQUINES

Posted in Christmas, Music, Video

It is well with my soul, Hugh Bonneville Christmas Concert Narration

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square

Posted in Music, Peace & Justice, Video

This is what love looks like …

On June 14th, 2018, in honor of the historic visit to Israel by Indonesia’s religious leader Sheikh Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf, Koolulam invited 1,000 people who had never met before to a special event at the Tower of David in Jerusalem, to sing one song, in three languages and in three-part vocal harmony. The event was produced in conjunction with the Tower of David Museum and Jerusalem.Com.

* The event included clips from the Tower of David Night Shows – The Night Spectacular and KING DAVID

Posted in Music

Bohemian Chanukah, a Queen adaption

Six13Sings
“Is this just fantasy? No, it’s our Chanukah tribute to one of the greatest and most epic songs of all time. Ready, Freddie? Kindle the lights, remember the Maccabees, and rock on. CHAG SAMEACH!”

Posted in General Interest, Religon

Happy Hanukkah!

Boy in front of a menorah courtesy of ארכיון השומר הצעיר יד יערי – Hashomer Hatzair Archives Yad Yaari under CC BY 2.5.

HAPPY HANUKKAH

to all those who are celebrating

from

The Bardo Group Beguines

Posted in General Interest

December poems ~ “Look to the Light” (Hanukkah), “The Magnificat” (Advent and Christmas) & Mevlûd-i Peygamberi (the Birth of the Prophet)

My soul magnifies the Lord ...


Look to the light, the light in the window,
The simple lit candles that shimmer and shine.
The message is clear as simple lit candles,
The passion for freedom is yours and is mine.
– Rabbi Dan Grossman

December is a month rich in the holy days of the Abrahamic traditions. Jews celebrate Hanukkah, a commemoration of the Jewish reclamation of The Temple of Jerusalem in 164 B.C.E. Christians celebrate Advent – a period of waiting for the birth of Christ – followed by His birth, Christmas.  Muslims celebrate the birth of the Prophet in November or December depending on the lunar calendar. We do not need faith to appreciate the beautiful poems, music and artwork inspired by our religions, Abrahamic or others.


Look to the Light

Menorah

Menorah

In 164 B.C.E., the Syrians who ruled Israel took away the Jews’ right to practice their religion. Led by Judah Maccabee the Jews rebelled and succeeded in reclaiming their sovereignty and they rededicated The Temple of Jerusalem. The history of the celebration of Hanukkah has had some interesting turns in more recent times.

There’s a story of a young Polish soldier in then General George Washington’s army who held a solitary Hanukkah celebration on a cold night in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.  The soldier gently placed his family’s menorah in the snow and lighted the first of eight candles for the first night of Hanukkah. The man was perhaps a bit homesick and missing his family. He must have thought about how much they’d suffered over time from religious persecution. There were tears in his eyes when General Washington found him. Washington wondered what the young man was doing and why he was crying. The soldier told his general the story of Maccabee and the other Jews. It is said that Washington was heartened by the telling and moved on to battle and victory. That menorah is now on display at the Smithsonian Museum.

Yet another story surfaces in 1993 Billings, Montana where a family was lighting their menorah one night. As is custom, they placed the lighted menorah in the front window of their home where it was stoned by anti-Semites, as were the homes of other Jewish families that same evening. The town newspaper printed dozens of menorahs.  Rev. Keith Torney, a minister of the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, distributed them to all the Christians and the paper menorahs were placed in windows all over Billings as a sign of solidarity and of respect for the freedom to practice religion as one’s conscience dictates.

Look to the Light is a commemorative poem written by Rabbi Daniel Grossman and set to music by Meira Warshauer. Enjoy!  … but if you are viewing this from an email subscription, you’ll have to link through to the web/zine to view and hear it.


The Magnificat

The Ode of Theotokos (Song of the God Bearer)

It is only in the Gospel of Luke that we read of Mary’s recitation of this poem that harkens back to Jewish prophecy and is constructed in the traditional verse style of the times with mirroring and synonymous parallelism.

From the Book of Common Prayer

My soul doth magnify the Lord: and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regardeded: the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth : all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me : and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that respect him : throughout all generations.
He hath shewed strength with his arm : he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat : and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things : and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holden his servant Israel : as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.


The Prophet’s Nativity

A book explaining the meaning of the term Jashan e Eid Milad un Nabi

A book explaining the meaning of the phrase Jashan e Eid Milad un Nabi

One poem that celebrates Mawlid, the birth of the Prophet, is exceptionally sweet. It was written by the Turkish Süleyman Çelebi (also known as Süleyman Of Bursa) who died in 1429. You’ll note that in addition to honoring the Prophet Mohammad,  it honors three mothers: Asiya the mother of Moses, Mary the mother of Jesus, and Amina the mother of the Prophet.

12/21/2019 Correction from Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans) “The Holy Prophet Mohammed pbuh wasborn on the 12 of Rabbiul Awal…according to Islamic HijriCalendar…this date is observed as His birthday/Eid eMilaad un Nabi…it can be in any month of the English year…not just November or December”

Mevlûd-i Peygamberi, Hymn of the Prophet’s Nativity

Some have said that of these charming three
One was Asiya of moonlike face,
One was Lady Mary without doubt,
And the third a houri beautiful.

Then these moonfaced three drew gently near
And they greeted me with kindness here;
Then they sat around me, and they gave
The good tidings of Muhammad’s birth;
Said to me: “A son like this your son
Has not come since God has made this world,
And the Mighty One did never grant
Such a lovely son as will be yours.

You have found great happiness,
O dear, 
For from you that virtuous one is born!
He that comes is King of Knowledge high,
Is the mine of gnosis and tawhid*
For the love of him the sky revolves,
Men and jinn are longing for his face.

This night is the night that he, so pure
Will suffuse the worlds with radiant light!
This night, earth becomes a Paradise,
This night God shows mercy to the world.
This night those with heart are filled with joy,
This night gives the lovers a new life.

Mercy for the worlds is Mustafa,
Sinners’ intercessors: Mustafa!

– Süleyman Of Bursa 

* monotheism

– Jamie Dedes

Photocredits: (1) © Jamie Dedes,The first illustration was created using a public domain photograph of The Magnificat (Le magnificat) by James Tissot; (2)Hanukkah Lamp, Lemberg (Lviv, Ukraine), 1867–72 from the collection of The Jewish Museum of New York under CC BY-SA 3.0; (3) Photograph of a book explaining the meaning of the phrase Jashan e Eid Milad un Nabi by Saudmujadid under CC BY-SA 4.0

JAMIE DEDES is a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. She manages The BeZine thebezine.com and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.

Thank you, Mbizo Chirasha, for making Jamie Dedes, Managing Editor, of “The BeZine” the featured profile of the year and for including the work of so many of our Zine friends and other worthy poets who pound the keyboard for peace, justice, and human rights including Anjum Wasim Dar and Michael Dickel, Contributing Editor to”The BeZine.”

Originally posted on Miombo Publishing: December dribbles her signature dance towards January, shaking off jackets of Christmas fever welcoming 2020 flipping pages into another millennium. We are capping this year of diversity with a blessing of global poetry. This journal celebrates the power in togetherness and the vintage of diversity .Poets and poems featured in…

via TIME OF THE POET JOURNAL : Of Wretched Slogan Vagabonds and Political Hoodlums!! — The Wombwell Rainbow

TIME OF THE POET JOURNAL : Of Wretched Slogan Vagabonds and Political Hoodlums!! — The Wombwell Rainbow

Posted in short story, story

A Christmas Carol

Photo credit / Omeralnahi


She was my age. I believe I was ten. I can’t remember her name but that might be more because I don’t want to rather than a memory issue.

She had three or four little brothers and sisters, they are nothing but small shadows of recollection today. She had a knee-walking drunk for a father. She had a mother for him to beat on when he was out of whiskey. I remember that.

We lived in a boomtown in the midwest. Lots of oil. For a couple of decades, everyone had money. Yet, even when the cup runneth over, there is always the kid who has nothing. She was it. She was the poor kid.

At some point in yesteryear, civilization had conspired with Charles Dickens to draft unspoken legislation insuring there would forever be an unfortunate sucking the hind tit of life.

And, right out of the mind of Dark Charlie, the poor girl got canned goods for Christmas. Whoever thought this gift was in the holiday spirit needs to be beaten to death with their own practicality. But, wait! There’s more…

In the sadistic fashion of Miss Havisham, after Christmas break, our teacher initiated the customary — What did Santa bring you? — round-robin. The poor girl’s humiliation filled the room.

The worst kind of shame a kid can endure is that which is given to them by their parents.

I remember her dad passed out in their front yard once or twice a week. No one ever saw him staggering around, he would just suddenly appear, flat on his back, through ninety-proof sorcery. I remember my mom standing at the kitchen window growling; calling him a no-good sonofabitch without an ounce of shame to his name.

I remember the girl’s brother always saying they hadn’t eaten in two days. Always two days. He never came straight out and asked for food, but my mom was quick picking up hints. She never sent a stray away hungry.

I remember my mom standing at the kitchen window watching it all and crying.

On Christmas morning, a small gathering of blue-haired angels from the Rotary Club had descended on the girl’s house, their wings aflutter. They came bearing boxes and bags of their own righteousness and virtue. It was a wonderful day. The poor kids got fed and the blue-haired angels had reaffirmed their seat at the right hand of God. Tiny Tim’s crutch was spared kindling yet another Christmas season.

Her eyes welled with tears when she told the class she got a few cans of beans and some candy. After hearing tale after tale of Santa’s generosity, the fat guy had only floated her a few cans of Van Camp’s. Some of the kids laughed. My heart broke.

I should have seen it coming but I could not be bothered to watch for it. My face started leaking too.

I wanted to crawl in a hole and hide, but the world wouldn’t provide one. The world was teaching me a lesson. It grabbed me at the base of my skull and forced me to see. “Look! Look! This is how we roll.” We watched her cut out her own heart with the lid off a tin can and stuff shame into the void and we thought it was funny.

The only lesson I learned from the Ghost of Christmas Poverty was either fix the problem or stay away from it. Half-measures only fester the wound.

“What good is Christmas dinner if you starve every other day of the year?” — Borne Wilder

Looking back, the only shame I can still see is mine.

© 2019, Jess Starkey, Originally published by him on Medium where he is a top writer of short stories. Shared here with his permission.

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.)

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Posted in General Interest

The December issue of “The BeZine” will be published later today …

“The BeZine” will be published today as scheduled, but probably rather late in the day. We’ve been running a bit behind, but what a delight in a world gone mad to encounter all the wisdom and compassion in the hearts of our contributors. I get to spend the day with these beautiful souls.

“There is a LIGHT in this world. A healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometime 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

Jamie Dedes
The BeZine
Managing and Founding Editor

Thanks to our rich connection with Zimbabwean poet in exile, Mbizo Chirasha, I have the pleasure and privilege of expanding The Poet by Day to include African artists, to feature their efforts in support of human rights and just governance. More to come in 2020 from poets and other artists all over Africa. I hope readers will enjoy the the lyrical difference in English, the passionate action, and the creativity demonstrated. The Poet by Day jamiededes.com and The BeZine support crossing borders and honoring shared humanity. One world. One race: the human race. Read on ….

via Zimbabwe Artists for Human Rights, Freedom of Expression, and Civil Dialogue: Poetry, Song, Dance,Theatre — THE POET BY DAY

Zimbabwe Artists for Human Rights, Freedom of Expression, and Civil Dialogue: Poetry, Song, Dance,Theatre —

Posted in General Interest

Draconian Rules cut food benefits to poor families/disabled/elderly including 1.4 Million U.S. Veterans

USDA logo for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program / Public Domain

“Almost 1.4 million veterans live in households that participate in SNAP (formerly food stamps), CBPP analysis of data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey finds. In every state, thousands of low-income veterans use SNAP to help put food on the table. Florida has the largest number of veterans participating in SNAP (120,000), followed by California and Texas (97,000 apiece). In Oregon, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C., at least 10 percent of veterans live in households that received SNAP in the last year. SNAP Helps Almost 1.4 Million Low-Income Veterans, Including Thousands in Every State MORE, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, by BRYNNE KEITH-JENNINGS and LEXIN CAI



the unconscionable dance in the canyons of power,
lined with megalithic buildings, the edifice complex
of the spin-meister’s lie, that the demigods can do
anything – anything – walking this asphalt valley

a parade, flailing lemmings trussed and trusting their
die-cut dreams to the pitiless whim of the military/
industrial/medical alliance, whose war-cries are of
greed and arrogance, believing they’ll live forever,
today’s sovereignty, tomorrow’s guarantee. But it’s

all delusion – cultures die and the hope-crushing
architects of cuts and austerity measures are like
the rich man in the Lazarus story, there’ll be
some kind of backlash, some kind of hell to pay …

Rich Lazarus! richer in those gems, thy tears, Than Dives in the robes he wears: He scorns them now, but oh they’ll suit full well With the purple he must wear in hell” Richard Crenshaw (c.1613-1649), English cleric, teacher, metaphysical poet, Steps to the Temple. Sacred Poems, Delights of the Muses (1646)

© 2010, poem, Jamie Dedes



New SNAP Rule Would Cost Many of Nation’s Poorest Their Food Aid

by Robert Greenstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Statement

The emphases are mine. / J.D.

On December 4, the Trump Administration issued a draconian rule in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) that will cut off basic food assistance for nearly 700,000 of the nation’s poorest and most destitute people. Those affected — SNAP participants ages 18 through 49 who aren’t raising minor children in their homes — are among the poorest of the poor, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data. Their average income is just 18 percent of the poverty line. Their average monthly SNAP benefits are about $165 per month.

A longstanding, harsh provision of SNAP limits these 18- through 49-year-olds to just three months of benefits, while not employed for at least 20 hours a week, out of every three years. Because of its severe nature, this provision of law also allows states to seek, and USDA to grant, waivers of this three-month cut-off for areas where insufficient jobs are available for these individuals, such as when unemployment is elevated.

From the provision’s enactment in 1996 until now, both Democratic and Republican presidents alike have operated under a common set of criteria in granting waivers from the three-month cut-off. And Democratic and Republican governors alike have sought and secured these waivers. Thirty-six states currently have waivers for parts of their state where unemployment is highest.

Now, the Trump Administration is abandoning this longstanding, bipartisan practice, however, and replacing it with a much more restrictive rule that will increase hunger and destitution. The new rule sharply restricts states’ ability to protect unemployed adults from the harsh time limit. It does so by substantially narrowing the criteria that states have most commonly used to qualify for waivers, thereby greatly shrinking the number of areas that can qualify for relief. As a result, the Trump Administration itself estimates that the rule will cut off basic food aid to nearly 700,000 unemployed or underemployed individuals.

Most of these individuals are ineligible for any other form of government financial assistance because they aren’t elderly, severely disabled, or raising minor children. For many of them, SNAP is the only assistance they can receive to help make ends meet.

What’s more, the final rule is more severe than the proposed rule, which itself was very harsh. States currently can request waivers when they experience rapidly rising unemployment, as typically occurs at the onset of economic downturns based on the Department of Labor’s determination that the state qualifies for extra federal unemployment benefits. But under the final rule, states must rely on historical data that would not reflect the onset of economic downturns until many months later. Moreover, far fewer areas will qualify for waivers during a widespread, national recession. A state with spiking unemployment reaching levels as high as 9 percent would not qualify for a waiver if national unemployment were also high, such as at 8 percent. This will limit a core strength of SNAP — its responsiveness to changes in economic conditions so that individuals who lose their source of income can quickly qualify for temporary food assistance. Instead of mitigating a recession’s harm, the new rule will exacerbate it.

Another Flawed “Work Requirement” Proposal

Adding to these concerns, although participation in a work or training program counts toward fulfilling the 20-hours-a-week requirement, states are not required to provide work or training slots to these individuals — and most states don’t. Furthermore, pounding the pavement and searching hard for a job does not count toward meeting the requirement. If you can’t find a 20-hour-a-week job on your own, you’re cut off SNAP anyway.

The Administration’s portrayal of the new rule as a reasonable “work requirement” thus is misleading — as noted, most states don’t offer any job, training opportunity, or slot in a work program to most people subject to the three-month limit. And people who are “playing by the rules” and looking hard for a job are cut off nonetheless.

In addition, the history of the three-month cut-off shows that some people who should qualify for an exemption from it because they suffer from a significant health condition often don’t get an exemption — and lose their SNAP benefits anyway, because they can’t satisfy the paperwork and other bureaucratic hurdles involved in securing an exemption. That’s especially troubling now, because the Administration is giving states little time to prepare for this sweeping change. Properly identifying which destitute individuals in formerly waived areas should be subject to the three-month time limit and which should be exempt (due to conditions that affect their ability to work) can require both training staff and allocating additional administrative resources.

Rule Hits People of Color, Those With Limited Education and in Rural Areas Hardest

Cutting off basic assistance doesn’t appear to help individuals get jobs, as research into the SNAP time limit, and similar rules in Medicaid, demonstrates. The rule will hit hardest those with the greatest difficulties in the labor market. That includes adults with no more than a high school education, whose unemployment rate is much higher than the overall unemployment rate; people living in rural areas where jobs are often harder to find; and people who are between jobs or whose employers have cut their hours to less than 20 hours a week, which is common in the very-low-wage labor market even when the economy is strong.

People of color are likely to lose benefits disproportionately under the rule, given their much higher unemployment rates and continued racial discrimination in labor markets. The African American unemployment rate has long been roughly double the non-Hispanic white unemployment rate. Studies have found that white job applicants are much likelier to receive callbacks after job applications or interviews than equally qualified Black applicants.

Here’s how the new rule will harm these groups. Under the new rule, an area can qualify for a waiver only if its average unemployment rate over a recent 24-month period has been 20 percent higher than the national average for the same time period and was 6 percent or higher. But a local area with an overall 5.8 percent unemployment rate can have an African American unemployment rate closer to 10 percent, as well as an unemployment rate around 10 percent for people of all races who are age 25 or over who lack a high school diploma or GED.

The Administration and House Republican leaders sought, but failed, to secure these policy changes as part of the farm bill that Congress passed on a bipartisan basis last year. The Administration is now implementing through executive action what it failed to secure through legislation.

Robert Greenstein, UDSA photograph / Public Domain

Instead of punishing those facing destitution and other difficult circumstances, the Administration should seek to assist them by pursuing policies such as more and better job training and employment programs, a higher minimum wage, and a strengthened Earned Income Tax Credit. Denying them basic food and nutrition is not the route that a fair and compassionate administration of either party should take.

Note: The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) is a progressive American think tank that analyzes the impact of federal and state government budget policies founded by Robert Greenstein, the author of this feature. CBPP is 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Center’s stated mission is to “conduct research and analysis to help shape public debates over proposed budget and tax policies and to help ensure that policymakers consider the needs of low-income families and individuals in these debates.

Posted in Art

dreaming faerie

From Gretchen Del Rio: Not just for kitty lovers!

Gretchen Del Rio's Art Blog

watercolor aceo 11/2014 watercolor aceo 11/2014

Celtic lore tells that many house fairies and spirits lived in the form of a cat.

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