Posted in Peace & Justice

This . . .

Photo copyright unknown, but it’s not ours. / J.D. / quotation Kristen Tea @ motherwiselife.org

“To paraphrase Tolstoy, you many not be interested in war, conflict, environmental injustice, and human rights abuses, but they are interested in you. They stalk everyone.” / Jamie Dedes

Posted in poem, Poems/Poetry, Poets/Writers

Of ReGimes, ReRuns, and My Birth, Poems by Mbizo Chirasha

A demonstration in London against Robert Mugabe. Protests are discouraged by Zimbabwean police in Zimbabwe. / Photo courtesy of woWings under  CC BY-SA 2.5  license.


– Mbizo Chirasha

I was born in this month – the month of bitterness, violence and numbness. In this month the Soweto died in a reckless killing by the apartheid regime. What a fuss , horrible. Yes we live to forgive – with memories haunting peasant iron-hoe skulls. We celebrate the DAY OF AFRICAN CHILD.

In the year of the blood ballot, in my country, a country once the honey hive and the breadbasket of the African continent, blood flooded villages, death rained our valleys, tears dripped the aged and wrinkled of the war tired poor patriots – CODE named the Re-RUN- JUNE 27 2008. Those who were perceived as reckless voters had their not-voting-good hands chopped off. Grief engulfed the land whose belly is pregnant with uranium, gold, diamond, emerald, and copper. The masses are hungry, tired of abuse and corruption. Tired of the MADNESS!

I was born in a sweet – bitter month – June. My mother remembers that the night of my coming to this earth. It was raining. It was after a brutal pungwe, after vanamukoma varova vatengesi namatanda, vanamukoma vamboimba. After a dinner of village goat meat, lashes and songs. What a PARADOX!. Bullets shelled that night resonating with claps of thunder. As war rained, winter rained rained. A Life was born – a booming voice, charcoal black veil, a tight fist clutching talents, hopes, dreams, words. WORDS!

I feel to recollect some of the poems i shared some years ago.



POEMS

DEAR COMMISSAR.

Dear commissar
my poetry is
political baboons puffing wind of vendetta
splashes of sweet flowing buttock valleys of pay less city labourers
rough crackling red clay of sanctions smashing poverty corrupted face of my village
presidential t shirt tearing across bellies of street hustlers
mute bitter laughter of political forests after the falling of political lemon trees

Dear commissar
my poetry is
foot signatures of struggle mothers and green horns
bewitched by one party state cocaine
new slogan hustlers boozing promises after herbal tea of change rhetoric
street nostrils dripping stink and garbage
tears chiseling rocky breasts of mothers who lost wombs
in the charcoal of recount

Dear commissar
my poetry is
rhythm of peasant drums dancing the new gimmick
unknowingly
political jugglers eating voter drumsticks after another ballot loot.

ZIMBABWE
harare tonight you sleep a full sleep, may be
after a sunset of a nationalist and democrat table talk
cactus and roses blooming together
your sunshine eaten by rough talk and hate verbs
pavements designed by banana peels and potholes extended from
robot less highways
that beggar still linger around the freedom corner/julius nyerere avenue
the blind woman grioting around liberation street/herbert chitepo

Bulawayo your sacredness is bound
by bones of mzilikhazi and breath of lobengula
place of killing , dissidents and innocents
died when bullet wind swept your nights
tell me how many times you coughed blood
a place of kings , Ntabazinduna

Kwekwe
your intestines pregnant with gold ,copper , iron and more
heart of the nation
where soils heave with wealth
crocodiles depleted your dignity
leopards stole the color of your rhythm
flex your muscles and claim your heartbeat

Masvingo Ezimbabwe
great zimbabwe,pride robbed
changamire and mutapa turning their in magic stones
inflation eroded your pride
corruption rode your back
blood corroded your dignity
cry for a ceremonial cleansing
land of sacred , land of rituals
land of silence

Mutare
mist of inyanga sneeze glee and laughter in your back
while chimani mani cough out threats and thoughts
lungs of marange choking with diamonds
corrupted fields
defamed wealth
here in the land of the east , i see
the scarred face of the sun
chopped breasts of the moon
villagers tired of toyi toyi
patriots damned by hunger
peasants freezing in propaganda
revolutions eating kindergartens
butcheries of human flesh
winter elections erected poverty.

Gweru
i see uniform less children trudging through
winter corridors, barefooted
you are colder than joburg,though emotions
boiled during elections
cockroaches breeding other cockroaches in
once midlands hotel
emptiness , hunger ,cold and thoughts
city of progress , rewrite your progress

Rushinga
death threatened even the dead and their shadows
when struggle returned back to war
on the road again fighting enemies of the state their sons
perfume of human flesh roasting in charcoal of violence
March was cruel than april
this season was a parody of nazi hitler

Kariba
i like how zambezi vomit fish
crocodiles eating rot and sun
hippos dancing the moonshine
zambia whispering copper in your ears
you are regaining your light.
zimbabwe
let fabrics of madness bleach in acid of reason.

FREEDOM DISCORD

children will not go down with the sinking sun
sacrificed on altars of ambition
crucified buy forces of expediency
tear graffiti scrawling
on debris of their slums of poverty and hovels of crime
we are children born out of the hot sun of Sahara and burning sands of Kalahari

we belong to the semen and condom drunk streets of home
womb of our past explode with souls of martyrs and bones of freedomites choked by ropes of stigmatization
we are morphine -fuelled and marijuana
doped youngsters whose praise
and freedom is robbed by slogan fraudsters

we are dogs breakfasting
from cucumbers and feasting condoms for supper
children of pandemic genocided villages
slaves of sugar and blood
never fondled the breasts of freedom
licked the tears of our mothers
have no dignity to celebrate
we are souls blighted in sufferings
bring us nanobitas of democracy
not shigellas of autocracy.

© 2019, poems and photos, Mbizo Chirasha
““““““
RELATED
MBIZO CHIRASHA is a recipient of PEN Deutschland Exiled Writer Grant (2017), 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.
Posted in Art

best friends

Perhaps the critter equivalent of crossing boards. Lovely!

Gretchen Del Rio's Art Blog

watercolor aceo 2010 watercolor aceo 2010

Animals sometimes make friends with their deadliest enemies. I wonder why? I have two cattle dogs and a big black persian mix cat. As long as the cat doesn’t run the dogs leave him alone. My dog ‘Buddha’ actually nuzzles him with affection.

Buddha the Dog and his cat Hari Giri Buddha the Dog and his cat Hari Giri

View original post

Posted in The BeZine

Guidelines and Inspiration for Submissions to the December issue of “The BeZine,” by John Anstie

Editor’s Note:  The deadline for submissions to the December issue is November 15.  Forward submission to bardogroup@gmail.com.  Submissions via comments or Facebook will not be considered.  Details HERE.


“How do you perceive that word, spirit? How do you measure it? What sort of entity is it? What value is it to living things? What value is it to human beings, who are perhaps most responsible for its consequences? The answers appear to be as numerous as its definitions …

Spirit – noun
1. the principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans, animating the body or mediating between body and soul.
2. the incorporeal part of humans: present in spirit though absent in body.
3. the soul regarded as separating from the body at death.
4. conscious, incorporeal being, as opposed to matter: the world of spirit.
5. a supernatural, incorporeal being, especially one inhabiting a place, object, etc., or having a particular character: evil spirits.
6. a fairy, sprite, or elf.
7. an angel or demon.
8. an attitude or principle that inspires, animates, or pervades thought, feeling, or action: the spirit of reform.
9. (initial capital letter) the divine influence as an agency working in the human heart.
10.a divine, inspiring, or animating being or influence. Num. 11:25; Is. 32:15.
11.(initial capital letter) the third person of the Trinity; Holy Spirit.
12.the soul or heart as the seat of feelings or sentiments, or as prompting to action: a man of broken spirit.
13.spirits, feelings or mood with regard to exaltation or depression: low spirits; good spirits.
14.excellent disposition or attitude in terms of vigor, courage, firmness of intent, etc.; mettle: That’s the spirit!
15.temper or disposition: meek in spirit.
16.an individual as characterized by a given attitude, disposition, character, action, etc.: A few brave spirits remained to face the danger.
17.the dominant tendency or character of anything: the spirit of the age.
18.vigorous sense of membership in a group: college spirit.
19.the general meaning or intent of a statement, document, etc. (opposed to letter ): the spirit of the law.
20.Chemistry. the essence or active principle of a substance as extracted in liquid form, especially by distillation.
21.Often, spirits. a strong distilled alcoholic liquor.
22.Chiefly British, alcohol.
23.Pharmacology. a solution in alcohol of an essential or volatile principle; essence.
24.any of certain subtle fluids formerly supposed to permeate the body.
25.the Spirit, God.

The spirit is incorporeal. It is not bound by mind, body, ‘fact’ and opinion. It is beyond simple definition. can it be beyond commercial value? I do hope so, and is it perhaps beyond measurement. For me, it is part of the individual human ‘heart’, the non-physical heart. It is that part of a human body that echos throughout our universe long after the body is dead and perhaps even long after life on Earth is extinguished.

It is called upon, like the artist’s muse, so often when the mind and body are under stress, under pressure that it cannot sustain for too long; when conflict and threat to livelihoods and even life itself, sharpens the mind. It can come into its own, when ego, pride and prejudice are dispensing their know desires for individual, selfish survival; when individuals begin to fear the loss of their survival and start thrashing about and fighting for their gene pool; when the search for truth is no longer possible by simple logic, ‘reasoning’, science, well articulated, but biased speeches … this is when we have our greatest need to resort to the spirit. Whether that spirit is your God, or an established religious faith and and its set of scriptures, prescriptions for the easement of stress and improvement of self, or whether it is music, poetry or the writings of great minds, or simply great visual art, it is, from my perspective, all very valid. Humans need a spiritual guide, wither it’s external or internal. Without this, the wayward spirit can lead us further from the truth. When our spirit is strong, we can conquer the World.

May we all be able to poem, paint and play until our hearts are healed, to help us further pursue the quest for truth, through the spirit.

P.S. You may like to consider the future of digital technology in art. Can you envisage A.I. (artificial intelligence) being as capable as the human spirit in the part it plays in its creative inspiration for art?

© 2019, John Anstie / Lead for the December 2019 “The BeZine,” Volume 6, Issue 4, themed “A Life of the Spirit”

JOHN ANSTIE (My Poetry Library and 42) ~ is a British writer, poet and musician –  a multi-talented gentleman self-described as a “Family man, Grandfather, Occasional Musician, Singer, Amateur photographer and Film-maker, Apple-MAC user, Implementation Manager, and Engineer”. He has participated in d’Verse Poet’s Pub and is a player in New World Creative Union as well as a being a ‘spoken-voice’ participant in Roger Allen Baut’s excellent ‘Blue Sky Highway‘ radio broadcasts. He’s been blogging since the beginning of 2011. He is also a member of The Poetry Society (UK).

Recent publications are anthologies resulting from online collaborations among two international groups of amateur and professional poets. One of these is The Grass Roots Poetry Group (Petrichor* Rising. The other group is d’Verse Poet Pub, in which John’s poetry also appears The d’Verse Anthology: Voices of Contemporary World Poetry, produced and edited by Frank Watson.

Petrichor – from the Greek pɛtrɨkər, the scent of rain on the dry earth.

Posted in Poets/Writers, TheBeZine

Introducing John Anstie, lead for the December issue of “The BeZine,” theme “Life of the Spirit”

copyright – The BeZine

John Anstie is the lead for the next issue of The BeZine,  which is open for submission to its December issue through November 15. The theme is “Life of the Spirit.” Submission to bardogroup@gmail.com Please read our submission guidelines. Meanwhile, I invite you visit John’s site and get to know this fine musician, poet, grandfather, trainer of dogs for the blind, and so much more. In short, a renaissance man.



You can read an interview with John HERE.

The Chalice, a poem by John Anstie

The Chalice

Dear Earth, you are a sacred aqueous Isle
in a dark and endless sea of universe.
You may never reveal your strategy.
We may be  bound  by  genetic code
to the presupposing chemical destiny
of one great astrophysical master plan
for all living things. We, who represent
your malaise,  your chronic infestation;
we,  like a fleeting itch in your long life,
will never comprehend it.  But, in truth
you know too well  that  we can never
understand more  than one percent
of all there is to know. You contain
the knowledge that is beyond us.
We are but a rash on your skin.

One day, we know you will
raze all of our delusions,
prepare us for the day
when a blinding light
will  inoculate  you
and inform us  of
a moment when
extant humans
will, at last be
prepared to
distinguish
the  l i e s
f r o m
truth
and

so
we
a r e
m e r e
a t o m i c
p  a  r  t  i  c  l  e  s
inside   a   temporal   chalice

© 2014 John Anstie
All rights reserved

Posted in Environment/Deep Ecology/Climate Change

Global Harming, a poem by Deb y Felio

The Human Impact on Nature courtesy of George Hodan, PublicDomainPictures.net

we’re crossing the desert in sandals
across new Antarctica
camels follow with our packs
it feels like southern Florida

before the ocean rose and drowned
the people near the shore
and then receded sixty miles
creating quite a lore

to be recited by old timers
beginning with remember when
there was water in these here parts
now there’s sand up to our shins

we’d swim and fish—those were the days
they’d tell the children listening
to magical times when people were wet
coming from deep water glistening

It’s just a fairy tale, we know
the children refuse to believe it
like so many of us long ago
hearing the global warning bit

slow but sure the changes came
spring slush replaced the snow
low temps in seventies everywhere
and gale winds would always blow

but we were brave and kept our cars
kept digging for petroleum
concern belonged to the next generation
never mind the panic symposium

so here we are just like they said
dry and hot as old Florida
in our sandals with our camels
crossing the new Antarctica.

© 2019, Deb y Felio

Originally published on The Poet by Day



With this post we close our month-long Climate Action blog-series presented in solidarity with the world’s youth and with the many organizations that held events this past month.  Our gratitude to and appreciation for the contributors to this series and our readers and followers. Together we rise in support of our beautiful blue-green Earth and our ability to survive and thrive here.

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

Posted in Environment/Deep Ecology/Climate Change

The Top Environmental Problems …



Gus Speth. Event “The Carbon Age: From Crisis to Stability” at the Carnegie Institution for Science. Courtesy of ShashiBellamkonda under CC BY 2.0

James Gustave (Gus) Speth (born March 4, 1942 in Orangeburg, South Carolina) is an American environmental lawyer and advocate. Speth has been a leader or participant in many task forces and committees aimed at combating environmental degradation, including the President’s Task Force on Global Resources and Environment; the Western Hemisphere Dialogue on Environment and Development; and the National Commission on the Environment. Among the many acknowledgements for his work are the National Wildlife Federation’s Resources Defense Award, the Natural Resources Council of America’s Barbara Swain Award of Honor, a 1997 Special Recognition Award from the Society for International Development, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Environmental Law Institute, and the Blue Planet Prize.

Posted in Environment/Deep Ecology/Climate Change

The Chalice, a poem by John Anstie

Dear Earth, you are a sacred aqueous Isle
in a dark and endless sea of universe.
You may never reveal your strategy.
We may be  bound  by  genetic code
to the presupposing chemical destiny
of one great astrophysical master plan
for all living things. We, who represent
your malaise,  your chronic infestation;
we,  like a fleeting itch in your long life,
will never comprehend it.  But, in truth
you know too well  that  we can never
understand more  than one percent
of all there is to know. You contain
the knowledge that is beyond us.
We are but a rash on your skin.

One day, we know you will
raze all of our delusions,
prepare us for the day
when a blinding light
will  inoculate  you
and inform us  of
a moment when
extant humans
will, at last be
prepared to
distinguish
the  l i e s
f r o m
truth
and

so
we
a r e
m e r e
a t o m i c
p  a  r  t  i  c  l  e  s
inside   a   temporal   chalice

© 2014 John Anstie
All rights reserved

Posted in 100,000 Poets, Musicians, Artists and Activists for Change

THE BeZINE’S Virtual 2019 100TPC Event…Poetry, Music, Art for Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The BeZine’s Live 100TPC

Poetry, Music, Art
for
Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice


Poetry. It’s better than war!Michael Rothenberg, co-founder of 100,000 Poets (and friends) for Change


It is time once again for The BeZine live 100TPC event, this year at the end of a week when over 7 million people around the world participated in various climate crisis strikes to demand action now, according to 350.org.

Today, under the banner of 100,000 Poets (and friends) for Change (100TPC), for the 9th year, people the world over are gathered to stand up and stand together for PEACE, SUSTAINABILITY and SOCIAL JUSTICE. There are over 700 100TPC events worldwide scheduled for 28 September 2019, and many others throughout the year. This year, a large number of these events focus on the climate crisis, the urgency of which has been well expressed by Greta Thunberg:

When our house is burning we cannot just leave it to the children to pour water on the flames – we need the grownups to take responsibility for sparking the blaze in the first place. So for once, we’re asking grownups to follow our lead: we can’t wait any longer. Greta Thunberg, 15 March 2019 (age 16, Swedish)

Our themes for your contributions, as every year, are Peace, Social Justice, and Sustainability. As I wrote in the introduction to the September 2019 issue of The BeZine, these three issues intertwine with each other. With a month of climate actions, this week just past of focused action through 350.org, and Greta Thunberg’s #ClimateStrike, #FridaysForFuture, and #schoolstrike4climate efforts, the climate crisis has been a central focus of many this month. The BeZine blog has been running daily posts related to the climate crisis throughout September.

Even so, we welcome your work on any of the three themes. We need action and change in all of these areas, we need it now, and we need to keep calling for action and deep, cultural change, every day.

Right now, the youth are urgently calling on adults and governments to act, and especially on issues of sustainability. Thunberg boldly told the gathered world leaders at the UN:

People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!Great Thunberg, 23 September 2019

While Thunberg may be the most well-known youth on the issue of the climate crisis, other youth have worked on related issues, especially clean water. Clean water should be a human right—it is an issue of social justice, wars are fought over water, and sustainable practices are needed to clean our waters and keep them clean.

Autumn Peltier (age 14), an Anishinaabe living in Canada, is one of those other youth, who, as did her aunt before her, lives her life as a water protector:

No one should have to worry if the water is clean or if they will run out of water. No child should grow up not knowing what clean water is, or never know what running water is.Autumn Peltier, 22 March 2018 (age 13 at the time, Canadian Anishinaabe)

Seventeen year-old Xiye Bastida, a Mexican American living in New York, speaks to the need for deep-rooted change:

We need to change our culture and change our narrative. For too long, the narrative has been that this is some big distant thing that will happen in the year 2100. But pollution is here. Heatwaves are here. Wildfires are here. Melting ice caps are here. Floods are here. Category 5 hurricanes are here. It’s here already.Xiye Bastida, 19 September 2019 (age 17, Mexican-American from New York City)

Mari Copeny, a 12 y.o. African American also known as “Little Miss Flint,” at the age of 8 brought attention to (and grant money for) the water crisis in Flint, MI, by writing to then President Barack Obama. Now aged 12, she calls on us to not just act today, nor this week, nor this month:

No, our fight to save the planet didn’t start today with the #ClimateStrike and it doesn’t end today either. Many of us have been putting in the work for years to save our planet. Don’t just amplify our voices today, but every day and support our solutions to save us.Mari Copeny on Twitter, 20 September 2019 (age 12, African-American from Flint, MI, also known as “Little Miss Flint”)

I return to Thunberg, who proclaims “change is coming”:

You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us I say we will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.Greta Thunberg, 23 September 2019

Last year on our 2018 Live 100TPC page, Jamie Dedes, our managing editor, wrote about 100TPC:

Think on this when you are tempted to lose all hope for our species. Remember that—not just today, but everyday—there are ripples and waves and tsunamis of faith and courage crossing borders in the form of poetry, stories, art, music, friendships and other acts of heroism. Hang tough. And do join with us—The Bardo Group Beguines—today to share your own creative work and to enjoy the work of others. All are welcome no matter where in the world you live.

I say, think of these youth, their messages, and their leadership—”ripples and waves and tsunamis of faith and courage.” Think of these precious, perceptive youth—

—Michael Dickel, Contributing Editor


these precious perceptive youth, a poem

“Providing food, shelter, clothing and education is not enough any more, because all of this would have no meaning in the end, if your children do not have a planet to live on with health and prosperity.” —Abhijit Naskar, The Constitution of The United Peoples of Earth


this perfect blue-green planet, her youth
dream among the strains of their hope,
dream of us like our sun and moon,
coordinating  … if only we would,
sowing the rich soil with right-action,
cultivating a greening of our compassion,
acting on a commonsense vision

the fruits of our being-ness plant their
ideals, shared values, a call for accountability,
for a re-visioning unencumbered by insanity,
rich fields to harvest, color, sound, textures,
rough and smooth, the deep rootedness of
their stand and stand for, their wise demands
casting a spell that we might see with one eye,
splendor hidden behind our irresponsibility,
their effervescent call, blossoming unity, vision –
bright spinning planet gently graced with these
wildflowers, these precious perceptive youth.

Dedicated to the young people of the world who teach us many lessons as they reach across borders in their stand for climate action. 

© 2019, Jamie Dedes


Jamie Dedes’ poem originally appeared on her blog, The Poet by Day.

Read more about Autumn Peltier, Mari Copeny, and Xiye Bastida here.


POST YOUR WORK HERE TODAY

TO SHARE YOUR POEMS, ART, PHOTOGRAPHY AND MUSIC VIDEOS FOR OUR “LIVE” VIRTUAL 100TPC TODAY, PLEASE USE MISTERLINKY FOR URL LINKS. JUST CLICK ON THE ICON BELOW.  YOU CAN ALSO SIMPLY PASTE YOUR COMPLETE WORK OR THE URL TO IT INTO THE COMMENTS SECTION.

REMEMBER THE THEMES ARE PEACE, SUSTAINABILITY, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE.

as of OCTOBER 2, 2019, this event is closed for sharing

YOU CAN STILL READ

thank you everyone who participated

we’ll open an all-new virtual event next year, Sept. 28, 2010

Mister Linky meme: The BeZine Live 2019 100TPC
Click on Mister Linky above to add a link to your work!


 

Posted in 100,000 Poets, Musicians, Artists and Activists for Change, 100TPC, Event/s, Peace & Justice

TOMORROW WE GO GLOBAL: It’s Your Day to Shine!

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship



Tomorrow is our day to hear songs, read good poems, see satisfying videos, share art, and be moved to celebrate together and to foster peace, sustainability and social justice:

“One thing I learned from organizing 100 Thousand Poets for Change  [100tpc] this year is that change will certainly come. It just might come at the very last minute. Wow! People all around the world are signing up right now, like crazy! We have 700 actions so far! Keep it coming!” Michael Rothenberg, Cofounder of 100,000 Poets for Change on September 21, 2019.

To find an event near you go to 100tpc.org.

And . . . 

DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE BeZINE 100TPC VIRTUAL EVENT

Banner artwork courtesy of The Bardo Group Beguines team member, Corina Ravenscraft, (Dragonkatet [Dragon’s Dreams])
Don’t forget to share your work tomorrow at The BeZine virtual 100TPC.  A post will go up on The BeZine blog with complete and easy directions for participation. Michael Dickel and I will keep the event going for 24 hours at least. All you need is access to a computer. You don’t have to go anywhere to share, to read, and to be inspired.

See you there …

Posted in Environment/Deep Ecology/Climate Change

Moon Child, a poem by John Anstie

Once in a while you exceed yourself.
Are you blue, because we thought no more of you
as the driving force for life on Earth
or potency behind the waves of bitches and whelps
giving us thrilling moments or contemplative
of a thriving, muddy, salty, riverine universe of life
waiting for you to draw the tidal covers
repeatedly over the fruits of our sustenance.

A force of nature, fully formed
yet so much smaller than the mother of your birth,
you hold sway, in countless ways
you touch our lives and drive us through our days.
Humble, unassuming, even unnoticed
by those who hurtle, mindlessly, and make no time
for the wisdom of our insignificance
or feel the difference between our age and yours.

As necessity tramples over truth
most days, we hide in fear of the darkening,
of the madness that ensues.
Does not the hunter choose your waning dark
to spike the nervous memory,
remind us of the feral wolf pack?
We may not ever tame you, but
your mother is dying a slow and painful death.

Oh super blood blue moon,
does not your God and our God sing the same tune?

© 2018 John Anstie
All rights reserved

Posted in General Interest

Moshe’s House in Space, flash fiction and photography by Michael Dickel, artwork by Moshe Dickel

Author’s note: Sometimes, our children tell us things that they see or know, and we don’t have faith in our children’s senses. This is speculative fiction about climate change that suggests the children might yet show us a way, even if it is too late for us. This flash fiction appeared in The BeZine July 15, 2016. A somewhat different version of it originally appeared on Fragments of Michael Dickel (now called Meta/ Phor(e) /Play).
Ark-2 Digital Art from photos and sidewalk chalk Ark-2
Digital Art from photos and sidewalk chalk (photographed)
©2014 Michael Dickel

Moshe’s House in Space

Before, no sand swept through, no water splashed—a beach at driving distance, yes, but a long, long walk away. Before the three-year old’s stories, which I only half listened to: he was born in clouds before dinosaurs were alive; he died; “But now,” he said, “I’m becoming alive again.”

I thought a story he told me one morning came from his dreams.

He knew a dinosaur, he told me, with bright blue feathers in the day. At night it turned wooly and gray, to keep warm. The dinosaur had a name, Pollaydowen.

I thought, what an amazing imagination my three-year old son has, what colorful dreams.

He had other stories, about his house in space and all of the animals that lived there with him, a farm he had at this house. He went on and on with details—listing every animal we saw at the zoo, on farm visits, in books, on videos, on the internet; listing all of the plants and flowers he had heard of; listing creatures great and small in his lakes and seas.

How did he know all of them?

He insisted we should visit his house in space.

Then changes came suddenly, not slowly, as even the most pessimistic predictions had held. One day, news report said the sea covered beaches even at the lowest tides. The next week, waves washed across roads. Houses washed away. Whole neighborhoods of people could barely evacuate before the surf swallowed the land and their belongings.

The water washed sand over everything. The ozone layer shredded. Paint bubbled and peeled on cars, houses, government buildings. Everything and everyone aged.

Soon, sand dunes blew across the road in front of our house. The house looked like fifty years of neglect had settled in on it over the past few weeks.

That last day, my wife and I heard my son speaking in his room. And we heard another voice.

We went in. A bright blue flash turned toward us.

“We have to go,” my three-year old calmly explained, “now.”

“These sands end time here, the last to flow through the hour-glass,” the blue lizard-creature, Pollaydowen, added.

As we left the house, we trekked through hills of sand.

We returned once, to see what had happened.

I left this note for you who might find it, scratched in the walls, just in case anyone remains. We have an ark.

Photo ©2014 Michael Dickel
Photo ©2014 Michael Dickel


 

Posted in Environment/Deep Ecology/Climate Change

The Planet Speaks, a poem by Carolyn O’Connell

Deforestation in the Maranhão state of Brazil, 2016, courtesy of Operação Hymenaea, Julho/2016 under CC BY 2.0

“We’re fighting for soil, land, food, trees, water, birds. We’re fighting for life.” Gregorio Mirabal, Indigenous leader and coordinator of the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA)



the Amazon burns! No one
quells the fires
air; knowledge is lost in the fire.
Waters run polluted! No one
seeks to free fish
or children drinking poison.
Air spins in cyclones
destroying all under its twisting cloud
flooding the earth.
Metal is used to make war
peoples flee
are called predators by those who’ve only known comfort.
Are we but people
whatever language colour, creed
we came from one source?
But will expire
in our own detritus
unless we care for our planet
which will spin
into the void of extinction
unless we care for it and others.

© 2019, Carolyn O’Connell

Posted in Environment/Deep Ecology/Climate Change

The Return of Primordial Night, a poem by Jamie Dedes

“Because, underneath all of this is the real truth we have been avoiding: climate change isn’t an “issue” to add to the list of things to worry about, next to health care and taxes. It is a civilizational wake-up call. A powerful message—spoken in the language of fires, floods, droughts, and extinctions—telling us that we need an entirely new economic model and a new way of sharing this planet. Telling us that we need to evolve.” Naomi Klein (b. 1970) is a Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker known for her political analyses and criticism of corporate globalization and of capitalism. On a three-year appointment from September 2018, she is the Gloria Steinem Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University.



the ghosts of our parents search vainly 
for wildflowers near the beach at Big Sur

they were deaf to the threat in thunder,
but we were struck by lightning,
heaved in the rain and waves and
the overflow from the melting ice

the computers went down
their screens black as the wicked water,
in whirling chaos they morphed into drums

every fetus turned in the womb,
the men went to the mountain tops
and the women sheltered in caves

the souls of saints and sinners
were run through a cosmic wash cycle
after the spin dry, a new wisdom

but the shades of our parents remain,
they’re waiting for us at Big Sur,
waiting by the Santa Lucia Mountains

© 2013, Jamie Dedes

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

The Honeymoon’s Over, a poem by John Anstie

Spring’s promise of high summer
has passed, the lush greens gone,
and now less vibrant. Parched.
Stale somehow. Disappointing.

The promise so much sweeter
than reality; the heady warmth;
sun filled days and mirage haze
the balmy heat, hot naked nights.

We should enjoy this time, by rights
but if it brings us closer to the fall;
the Autumn of our life, if that is all
then can we not enjoy the cooling

promised winter chill, another world,
its yielding to the blacks and whites
mysterious greys, the icy haze,
the freezing hibernation, preserving.

But no. An earlier Spring, that comes
too soon, and sooner still the melting
Arctic ice. One day, there’ll be no more
dreaming of a summer honeymoon.

© 2017 John Anstie
All rights reserved

Posted in Environment/Deep Ecology/Climate Change

Shadow Cycles, a poem by Sheikha A.

“What use will money and wealth be to those who possess them when the rivers and land are poisoned, the seas devoid of life and the air polluted beyond tolerance?” Luke Eastwood, The Journey: Exploring the Spiritual Truth at the Heart of the World’s Religions



Autumn falls on lids
of summer as brown kohl;
dust sticks to formica – dim
laminates – dreary clouds

not heavy enough to pour,
sun sleeps without sheets,
stars bulge like heat-wombs
ready to expel – air bites

like bugs-scratched land;
necks of trees on blade of axe,
green silky bands of crowns
shorn – barks planked, piled

with their withered parts; dry
weeds irrigate soil’s uterus,
roots stoned like cracked clay;
dusk smudges like mascara-

tears, rooms bleak from
smog – homes invaded by
carbon – moon drowns in
a sea of smouldering char.

© 2019, Sheikha A.

Posted in Environment/Deep Ecology/Climate Change

En Gedi, a poem by Michael Dickel

En Gedi — Wadi David Photograph ©2015
En Gedi — Wadi David
Photograph ©2015

En Gedi

Even lizards hide from this scorched heat.
Tristram’s grackles pant in the shade of skeletal acacia.
Fan-tail ravens float on rising currents like vultures.

David hid from Saul in the strongholds of En Gedi;
along the wadi now named for him, waterfalls
drop warm water onto maidenhair ferns into tepid pools.

Any stippled shade provides shelter from the scathing sun
when hiding from midday heat or close pursuit:
Tristram and Iseult, David, seek shade, ferns, sparkling droplets.

We escape, fugitives from kings
into what little shade we find, wade
into green puddles of desert water,

for brief respite, solace,
a bright glimmer sliding down
an eroding rock face.


Michael Dickel read En Gedi at the Interfaith Eco Poetry Slam in Jerusalem on 30 June, 2016, sponsored by the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development. Here is a video of him reading it.


En Gedi Digital Art / Poem ©2014-2016 Michael Dickel
En Gedi
Digital Art / Poem
©2012-2016 Michael Dickel


This poem originally appeared in Michael Dickel’s book, Midwest / Mid-East and is published here with the poet’s permission. It first appeared in The BeZine on July 15, 2016.


Posted in Event/s

We’re Almost There: Have You Signed-Up Yet for Read A Poem To A Child Week?

Read A Poem To A Child's photo.

SEP23-SEP2I8

Read a Poem to a Child 2019



“This is a global event. Events scheduled for the “Read A Poem To A Child” initiative will take place from September 23th – 28th and will include readings in bookstores, schoolrooms, community centers, public parks and at private homes.

“It is our intent to introduce children to the beauty and joy of poetry, and facilitate a transaction between reader and listener that will not only improve literacy, but offer new and magical ways to speak and learn, and navigate the complexities of life.

“Co-founder Terri Carrion explains that, “All you have to do is read a poem to a child in any setting that is convenient, and you can sign up  … HERE.”


“One thing I learned from organizing 100 Thousand Poets for Change this year is that change will certainly come. It just might come at the very last minute. Wow! People all around the world are signing up right now, like crazy! We have 700 actions so far! Keep it coming!

“Hey Everybody, If you will read a poem to a child in solidarity with the global Read A Poem To A Child initiative, September 23-28, please let me know HERE.”

Michael Rothenberg, Cofounder of 100,000 Poets for Change and Read A Poem To A Child Week

Become Involved

Register your event for 100TPC and Read a Poem to a Child Week at 100tpc.org 

100,000 Poets for Change Facebook Communication Hub

 Read a Poem to a Child Week, September 23rd – September 28th, 2019

– Jamie Dedes