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.
The BeZine will hold a virtual 100 Thousand Poets for Change (100TPC) Reading / Music / Art Event 26 September, 2020.
While we have been holding an online virtual 100TPC event for years, this year most other events likely will be online. The Time of Coronavirus has brought about this change. We at The BeZine are thinking about how to be more interactive. We will keep readers posted on the blog and social media.
Keep in touch to find out more. If you are not already following us, follow the blog for updates. (Follow link is in column on the right side of the page).
Meanwhile, Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion, co-founders of 100TPC, have sent out a message to poets (and other writers, artists, musicians, etc.). Read on to find out what will be happening globally.
—Michael Dickel andThe BeZine Community
more about global events From the 100 Thousand Poets for Change founders
Dear 100 Thousand Poets for Change Organizers,
We are fast approaching the global 100 Thousand Poets for Change day. September 26, 2020 is on the calendar!
2020 marks 10 years since the 100 Thousand Poets for Change movement began. It has been a breathtaking experience to work and create together in community building with you, and to witness a global community working for positive change.
We hope you will all participate and organize again this year to signify that
peace, justice and sustainability are things you and your community of poets, musicians, and artists care deeply about. We stand with you in reaffirming your commitment to this vision.
But this is not an ordinary year.
We are faced with a global crisis. Covid-19 has affected us all. Sickness, death, isolation, fear and depression have touched so many. We have been forced to isolate and socially distance, to live a different reality, and the possibility of organizing a community event has vanished in the usual way for the time being. We have been left to social media and Zoom sessions to maintain communication with our friends, family, and artists around the world. This new way of connecting has been difficult for many but we have powered on.
So how shall we proceed?
Since June of this year, 100 Thousand Poets for Change has scheduled 5 Zoom sessions, organized by 100TPC organizers from around the world. The response to the sessions has been wonderful. Hundreds of poets have connected on Zoom and met for the first time and many participants who were once strangers to one another have walked away from the readings feeling rebooted and refueled. Poets from around the world have read their work to one another and the synergy is inspirational and motivating. Covid-19 has forced a new kind of community development. 100TPC is responding in various positive ways and growing stronger.
What we are suggesting for the 10th anniversary of 100tpc is that local organizers work to prepare Zoom sessions all around the world. We are asking that you reconnect with your community through social media events and invite poets from your local community and from around the world to participate. The need for positive change is greater than ever and we must not let our spirits diminish in the task of speaking up for change.
If you decide to organize a virtual event please let me know and I will add your event to promotions and archives just as we have done for the past ten years. Zoom sessions can be recorded easily and added to the Stanford University effort to document this historic movement.
Please let me know in response to this email if you will be organizing a Zoom reading or any other kind of poetic action, and send me notice of event details. Reply in the subject line: Yes I want to organize! We will tell the world.
Important! You do not need to organize your event on September 26, you can organize any time that is convenient for you during the fall and winter months.
Most important. Know that you have friends around the world who care about you and share your creative vision. We are not alone. We will get through this.
Thank you again for your years of participation and support.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Love and Peace,
Michael and Terri 100 Thousand Poets for Change 100TPC.org
Coronavirus has invaded our airspace at an incredible rate of infection using natural selection attacking the most vulnerable in our population first. Virtual prayers being sent to the heavens are asking for this demon to cease and that we be released from the clutches of this damnation plaguing our nation and the world.
Even before this pandemic as one of the coordinators of the House of Love Soup Kitchen/Pantry I’ve often wondered how long we would be able to keep going. Sustainability is a formidable issue. I think this because we the leaders are now senior citizens, some with underlying health issues. We’ve been truly blessed because our volunteers from the community with both the soup kitchen and the pantry are able bodied men and women. We have three primary leaders left that are all seniors that make up the planning committee and now we have the monster COVID 19 that has complicated matters further. One of our senior leaders succumbed to this deadly virus. She had underlying health issues and was living in an assisted living facility when the Coronavirus reared its ugly head and pounced. We are praying virtually three times a day now to keep ourselves in God’s perfect peace that surpasses all understanding and that we will be able to stand in the face of adversity.
Part of sustainability is having resources. The foodbank gives the pantry food for the community. Our main expense with the pantry is renting a U-Haul truck once a month, and taking care of the Orkin bill (pest control). The soup kitchen is not aligned with the foodbank because of certain modifications to the building that had to be made before we could join in with them as a partner consequently the soup kitchen does not get food from them. The food sources for the soup kitchen come from Seton Hall University which is part of the network of college recovery programs that are across the country. These programs have student volunteers recover leftover food from their cafeterias and then disperse it to various feeding programs in the community. This food otherwise would be thrown away. We also get donations from the Hilton Hotel in Short Hills New Jersey. As soon as COVID 19 exponentially multiplied in our area and New York City became the epi-center, and New Jersey as well was being infected at an alarming rate all the schools closed down, as well as some hotels; Newark imposed a curfew which was quickly followed by orders to shelter-in. The soup kitchen had to be temporarily closed but the pantry is still in operation.
Even though the soup kitchen had to temporarily close God has been good to us. In a way it’s good that the soup kitchen is not aligned with the food bank because we are a faith based organization. We have Bible study before our dinners but it is not mandatory for people to attend, and we also have prayer before we eat in which participation is not required. What I have found in my years at the soup kitchen is that most of our clients want to participate because many of them believe in God and are looking for consolation and comfort. Because of Federal regulations we cannot pray at the pantry, nor pass out tracts, nor engage in any kind of activity that might be perceived as infringing on our clients civil rights.
We enjoy having religious freedom at our soup kitchen though. Souls come seeking solace from a world that relentlessly beats them down. I can hear the voice of the community scribe reading from the Bible, I Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves…Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.” Issues…issues…issues…I’m homeless…got no health insurance…need to go in a program…boyfriend abusing me…don’t have enough food for my children…tired of living in the shelter…and this was before COVID 19 that is now our reality.
In the midst of this pandemic from the depths of hell our country is being shaken to the very foundation of the sustainability upon which it was built capitalism being our economic system, and democracy our political system. The organization Feeding America has always been here as have foodbanks all across the country but now they have been thrown into the forefront because so many people have lost their jobs and now have no income. Millions and millions have filed for unemployment but for many the process is endless and they have not received compensation. On our last pantry day we serviced about 161 heads of households and the food bank on the same day had a drive through pantry where 5000 boxes of food were given away. This highlights the magnitude of the current problem of food insecurity in our country.
According to a New York Times article found at nytimes.com entitled Poor Americans Hit Hardest by job losses and amid lock downs…”thirty-six million people in the last two months have applied for unemployment; 39% of those who have lost their jobs make $40,000 a year or less as compared to 13% who make $100,000 a year or more.” According to the organization Feeding America prior to the pandemic about 37 million people were suffering from food insecurity, or having a hard time buying food with all the other bills to pay. One foodbank network reported that typically they service about 32,000 households weekly but since the unemployment crisis these numbers have increased by 26,000 people needing food assistance.
Many of the iniquities in our system are being exposed. Why have minorities and immigrants been hit the hardest? There is a direct correlation between health care or should I say the lack of adequate health care or no health care at all and our black and brown communities being ravaged by COVID 19. In the Washington Post an article entitled Democracy Dies in Darkness found at nypost.com states “As the novel Coronavirus sweeps across the United States it appears to be killing black Americans at a disproportionately high rate…” In a survey done by John Hopkins University and participating state health departments it was found that “counties that are majority black have three times the rate of infection and almost six times the rate of death as counties where white residents are in the majority.” The information was taken from a sampling of counties most of the states being in the east. It is a known health fact diabetes, blood pressure, and heart disease plague the black community. Once again these trends point directly to the inequities in our health system.
Perennials blooming yet in May we still have 32 degree days. Nature is gathering all her forces to take a leap of faith knowing that God is in control of all that is natural and beautiful on earth and in our universe. The brilliant colors splashed across the sky at the beginning of a new day announcing new beginnings…the strength found in the solid rock mountains of his creation weathering the storms of life…the tides of the ocean controlled by the moon, the sun, and gravity as human beings go about their lives daily. Yet now we have been stopped in our tracks, constantly having to wear masks, and sheltering-in has become an intricate part in saving our lives…at the same time as states announce plans to open up mustering up our forces and our courage as we are adapting to a new reality.
In February my concern was how much longer the leadership of the House of Love Soup Kitchen/Pantry would be able to sustain our program. But in walked COVID 19 and sustainability took on new dimensions and we became infused with God’s limitless energy as we witnessed the crushing financial blow overwhelming our community reminding us that we are the people of God… the senior citizen leadership…In my mind I can hear our community scribe reading Galatians 6:9 “And let us not to be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” As long as food insecurity exists in our community God will provide and make a way that even in these devastating times his light will continue to shine at the House of Love Soup Kitchn/Pantry located in Newark, NJ.
TAMAM TRACY MONCUR is currently is the Outreach Coordinator for the House of Love Soup Kitchen/Pantry located in Newark NJ. This is a community faith-based organization whose mission is to help individuals who are experiencing hardship due to life circumstances. They partner with the NJ Foodbank, the Seton Hall Food Recovery Program, and the Short Hills Hilton Hotel to provide food to the community.
This is the time for God,
for a roaring sonorous voice,
a biblical moment, indeed,
when we’re shouldering the slaughtered daily,
trying to assuage the fire of fear in and around us,
when leaders spring forth and speak
with the hallowed tone of the ancient tabernacle.
Ages old salt smells, a smear of blood
We’re ready for the divine, dying alive in our
concern. This big, larger than life moment
when life and death waver voluptuously around us.
Modern Life Is Being
masked faces in the cubist ball
that modern life is being,
that modern life is seeing
masked ones gloved and covered
floating mindless in Edgar Allan Poe’s hives,
his Masque of the Red Death breaking,
reality cracks & strange shapes rattle
much like Robert Louis Stevenson incubates
fabulous forms his boats steering far off course, heroes double vestiges of how they thought themselves to be what they were
Poe and RLS brilliant slantwise visionaries. Besides they spun torn lives on the edge,
blooming irregular tunes, masked and twisted.
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. Linda’s Amazon Page is HERE.
TRICIA ENNS’ work explores how our relationship with the social and material spheres of the world impact the well-being of us as individuals, of our communities, and of the environment. She uses craft, illustrations, performance, writing, movement, playful interventions, humour and more recently electronics in her practice.
CARRIE MAGNESS RADNA is an archival audiovisual cataloger at the New York Public Library, a singer, a lyricist-songwriter and a poet who loves to travel. Her poems have previously appeared in The Oracular Tree, Tuck Magazine, Muddy River Poetry Review, Mediterranean Poetry, Poetry Super Highway, Shot Glass Journal, Vita Brevis, Home Planet News, Walt’s Corner, Polarity eMagazine, The Poetic Bond (VIII & IX), Alien Buddha Press, Cajun Mutt Press, Jerry Jazz Musician, First Literary Review-East and The spirit, it travels: an anthology of transcendent poetry (Cosmographia: published August 3, 2019), and will be published in Rye Whiskey Review. Her first chapbook, Conversations with dead composers at Carnegie Hall (Flutter Press: 1st edition; now out-of-print) was published in January 2019, and her second chapbook, Remembering you as I go walking (Boxwood Star Press: self-published) was published in August 2019. Her first poetry collection, Hurricanes never apologize (Luchador Press) was published in December 2019, now available online worldwide on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, & IndieBound.She won third prize for “The tunnel” (category: Words on the Wall: All-Genre Prompt) at the 69th annual Philadelphia Writers’ Conference (2017). She also won 12th place for “Lily (no. 48 of Women’s names sensual series)” by the 2018 Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards. Born in Norman, Oklahoma, she is a member of the Greater New York Music Library Association (GNYMLA), and is a member/have read/workshopped for the New York Poetry Forum, Parkside Poets, Riverside Poets, Brownstone Poets and Nomad’s Choir. When she’s not performing classical choral works with Riverside Choral Society or New Year’s Eve performances with the New York Festival Singers, or writing art song lyrics with her choir buddies, or traveling, she lives with her husband Rudolf in Manhattan
We want to start this introduction to the SustainABILITY issue of The BeZine with a pause and breath.
Go ahead, breathe in deeply. This is both calming and symbolic of the interrelated crises of humanity at this time.
Three huge, potentially shattering issues loom large today, what commentator Elizabeth Sawin, Co-Director of the nonprofit Climate Interactive calls “three massive threats”:
Climate Change, COVID-19, Racism a sustainABILITY pastiche
Climate change concerns the atmosphere and excessive carbon.
Breathe in again, deeply. Breathe out.
That exhalation, as you probably know, is CO2, carbon dioxide. We breathe the atmosphere.
And, as we pollute it, we poison our own breaths through industry, fossil fuels, factory farming, and other human activity. We poison the globe. And as climate change continues its charge ahead in leaps and bounds, it will be increasingly difficult for us to breathe, literally.
Climate Change hits much more than White areas in what Hop Hopkins (“Racism is Killing the Planet,” Sierra Club) calls the “Sacrifice Zones,” where White Supremacy’s “Disposable People” live. The 1% remain more secure and protected.
Have you tried to breathe when the temperatures go above body temperature (37C / 98.6F)? Imagine what it must be like for those locations that have had recent record-breaking temperatures of around 50C / 122F?
Where do you think waste is dumped? Where are polluting industries and power plants built? Who lives in areas that risk their health the most? Certainly not those with money, status, and power in societies.
How long can we continue this way? Are we able to find a path to sustain life on earth (human and otherwise)? That is the goal—sustainABILITY.
The economic problems will compel those in power to take actions that before this crisis appeared to be radically leftist measures. Even conservatives are having to do things that run against their principles. —Slavoj Zizek (Slavoj Zizek’s ‘Brutal, Dark’ Formula for Saving the World, Haaretz interview, 04 June 2020)
Higher temperatures and respiratory problems are also linked. One reason is because higher temperatures contribute to the build-up of harmful air pollutants. —U.S. CDC and American Public Health Association (Extreme Heat Can Affect our Health)
COVID-19 blocks our lungs. It literally stops us from breathing. Yes, also organ damage, including heart problems. But it stops our breath, in a world-wide pandemic. Like the global crisis of climate change will, eventually, stop our breath.
There will be more pandemics with continued Global Warming. There will be more disruption, economic loss, social unrest, and all of the things we have seen so far in this pandemic.
Will we avoid the next pandemic? Could a 30,000 year-old virus, or a 150 year-old virus revive to attack? If so, who will have our back? The government?
How will we be able to sustain human and other life on earth if we continue on this path? Will we build a sustainABLE future for our children, our grandchildren? Ourselves?
In the US, even the current CDC admits that COVID-19 has hit POC and Indigenous Peoples, especially African Americans, harder than White people. The 1% remain more secure and protected.
From Pandemic to Race
The effects of COVID-19 on the health of racial and ethnic minority groups is still emerging; however, current data suggest a disproportionate burden of illness and death among racial and ethnic minority groups. —US CDC (COVID-19 in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups page last reviewed on by CDC June 4 2020)
Robert D. Bullard is a professor at Texas Southern University who has written for more than 30 years about the need to redress environmental racism. He welcomed the statements of support this week from the leaders of big environmental groups but he lamented that the vast amount of donor money still goes to white-led environmental groups.
“I’d like to see these groups start to embrace this whole concept of justice, fairness and equity,” he said. “Those statements need to be followed up with a concerted effort to address the underlying conditions that make for despair.” —(Black Environmentalists Talk About Climate and Anti-Racism, NYTimes, June 2, 2020)
It’s essential to have anti-racism baked into the goals that even white-led organizations are pursuing because both political racism and environmental racism are drivers of our excess pollution and climate denialism. —Heather McGhee, senior fellow at Demos, a nonpartisan research and advocacy group, and the author of a forthcoming book called The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together (cited in Black Environmentalists Talk About Climate and Anti-Racism, NYTimes, June 2, 2020)
Police violence is an aspect of a broader pattern of structural violence, which the climate crisis is a manifestation of. Healing structural violence is actually in the best interest of all human beings. —Sam Grant, executive director of MN350.org, the Minnesota affiliate of the international climate activist group 350.org (cited in Black Environmentalists Talk About Climate and Anti-Racism, NYTimes, June 2, 2020)
Racism has come to the fore with the anti-racist, anti-police-brutality protests and riots since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. His quoted last words, echoing those of Eric Garner (murdered by police in New York City six years ago): “I can’t breathe.” Protest signs and chants have repeated this phrase thousands of times since last month.
George Floyd, a Black man suspected of passing a counterfeit $20, was strangled by a police officer kneeling on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. Eric Garner, a Black man selling loose cigarettes, was strangled by police using a “choke hold.” The 1% remain totally secure and protected.
Structural, systemic racism is an integral part of our extraction economy, according to Hop Hopkins, writing for The Sierra Club. It keeps those in power in power by dividing us against each other—so that the 1% (or 3% or 5% or 10%) can keep in power and grow their wealth. It is built into not only the U.S, but Western Society.
Devaluing Black and Indigenous people’s lives to build wealth for white communities isn’t new. White settlers began that project in the 15th century, when they arrived in North America. Most Native peoples of North America lived in regenerative relationships with the land; they were careful to take no more than the land could sustain. The settlers had another ethic: They sought to dominate and control. —Hop Hopkins (Sierra Club, Racism is Killing the Planet, June 8, 2020)
From “Three Massive Threats” to SustainABILITY
One of the most baffling things throughout the coronavirus pandemic is that even with a life-threatening global pandemic, sides emerged. At the beginning of the pandemic, I remember thinking that this threat to humanity would unify us and strengthen public trust in science. Boy was I wrong. The economic realities of the pandemic, cries of “just the flu”, and protests against social distancing policies tell a different and complex story.—Marshall Shepherd (3 Common Things In Race, Coronavirus And Climate Change Debates, Forbes, June 12 2020)
I wish I had all the answers, but I don’t. The answer is for all of us to figure out together.
All I know is that if climate change and environmental injustice are the result of a society that values some lives and not others, then none of us are safe from pollution until all of us are safe from pollution. Dirty air doesn’t stop at the county line, and carbon pollution doesn’t respect national borders. As long as we keep letting the polluters sacrifice Black and brown communities, we can’t protect our shared global climate. —Hop Hopkins (Sierra Club, Racism is Killing the Planet, June 8, 2020)
Today we face threemassive threats, and the only way to neutralize any one of them is to succeed at addressing all three at once.…
…we must as soon as possible – in our cities, states and nations – convene emergency task forces to tackle equity, the pandemic and climate change as an integrated whole.
These task forces will need expertise in climate, clean energy, equity, public health, epidemiology and people-centered economics. Each task force should include an additional kind of expertise: the life experience of those who are most impacted by inequity, climate change and COVID-19. Those who live with the impacts of multiple problems often have the most creative ideas about addressing them.
Time and money are in short supply. There isn’t enough of either to treat equity, climate change and the current pandemic as separate issues. A holistic, multisolving approach is an effective, cost-saving way to tackle the great challenges of our times. —Elizabeth Sawin (US News & World Report, Commentary, Why We Can’t Ignore the Link Between COVID-19, Climate Change and Inequity, April 1, 2020)
The June Theme of The BeZine: SustainABILITY
We can’t wait. The time to act is now.
We may want to say, “God save us.” But we have free will, so it is up to us to move forward and make the change, so that we are ABLE to sustain the earth.
Then, perhaps 100% of humans (and other life) would be more secure and protected.
—Michael Dickel, Co-Managing Editor
Much thanks to Michael Dickel for stunning and exhaustive editorial collaboration and technical innovations on this issue, to the whole of the Zine team for stalwart efforts and supports, to our readers and supporters who share our peaceable values, and to Margaret Shaw for the wonderful header-art gracing this edition of the Zine.
In the spirit of love (respect) and community and on behalf of The Bardo Group Beguines,
—Jamie Dedes, Founding Editor and Co-Managing Editor
“The main thing, Ruby said, was not to get ahead of yourself. Go at a rhythm that could be sustained on and on. Do just as much as you could do and still be able to get up and do again tomorrow. No more, and no less.” —Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain
“In the end, the term ‘circularity’ may just be one way to make us aware that we need a more encompassing, integrated and restorative sustainability path that includes people as much as technology and nature.” —Michiel Schwarz A Sustainist Lexicon
“..despite myriad differences in beliefs and value systems, people have the capacity to acknowledge that the one constant across the board is the Earth. Her health is our health. Her life is our life.” —Heidi Barr, Woodland Manitou: To Be on Earth
Through the decade our 100TPC poet-activist numbers have grown. We’ve expanded to include allies. These creatives from around the world share the values of peace, sustainability, and social justice. They speak out against corruption, cruelty, tyranny, and suppression through poetry, story, music, mime, art and photography, sometimes at personal risk.
If you’ve been involved before, please note the date and participate again. If you haven’t participated in 100TPC, we invite you to become a part of this worthy worldwide initiative.
By “we” I mean:
Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion, founders and organizers of Global 100TPC;
The Bardo Group, publishers of The BeZine and hosts of The BeZine Virtual 100TPC.
~ Be inspired . . . Be creative . . . Be peace . . . Be ~
The second year I invited poetry against war was 2011. I put up a post on Into the Bardo (the name of the site before it became The BeZine) and invited folks to share their poems in the comments section. That was the last year for Sam Hamill’s Poets Against the War and the first year for Michael and Terri’s 100,000 Poets for Change.
Since 2012, we (The Bardo Group) have hosted an annual virtual event on the fourth Saturday of September in concert with Global 100TPC. My thought for going virtual was that there were many others who, like me, are home bound but want to have their say, want to stand for peace, sustainability and social justice. Soon Michael Dickel (Meta/ Phor(e) /Play) joined our team and a new tradition was born. Michael became our Master of Ceremonies.
This year – whether your are homebound or not – we invite you to join with us via The BeZine Virtual 100TPC on September 26. Complete instructions for sharing your work will be included in the post that day. Between us, Michael Dickel and I keep the event running for twenty-four hours or so. Mark your calendars.
Watch for more info here on these initiatives and . . .
Call for Submissions to the September 15, 2020 issue of The BeZine, which is a prelude to 100TPC;
The Poet by Day 100TPC Wednesday Writing Prompt, September 16, hosted by Michael Dickel; and
In the spirit of love (respect) and community and
on behalf of The Bardo Group, Jamie Dedes, Founding Editor and
now Co-Manager Editor with Michael Dickel
100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE: Ten years of evolution (2011-2020)
VOL 1: The Memoir
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
From Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion
In the tenth year anniversary of the movement, we are excited to invite all past and present 100TPC organizers and/or participants, to submit a three page essay to be considered for inclusion in the book 100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE [100TPC]: Ten years of evolution (2011-2020), which will be published on a date to be announced.
This book will tell the story of 100TPC from the perspective of the poets who have been a part of creating and sustaining it. Through our personal essays, the reader will learn not only about the individual stories of the hundreds of poets-organizers from all corners, reflecting on the social and cultural effects of such poetic actions, but it will also offer an enriched summary and an organized way to learn about this grassroots movement and its impact on the history of poetry. It can also be thought of as a guidebook and manual, for future generations interested in the strategy of activists engaged in manifesting positive change–peace, justice and sustainability.
You can submit a maximum of two essays, only one (1) per theme. Be sure to send each essay in a separate email (see details below).
1. FOUNDATIONAL EXPERIENCES. First experiences as organizer/ poet/ artist/ audience with 100,000 Poets for Change. 2. LOCAL EXPERIENCES. Experiences seen as a whole, after these ten years. Reflect on your achievements, or whatever you have witnessed, good and bad. You can choose to write about success or disappointments, benefits and limitations, even if you were not an organizer/participant consistently for the past ten years. 3. IMPRESSIONS: Reflections and stories on the philosophy, ideas and spirit propelling the movement. How has this movement informed your poetics? 4. SALERNO. If you participated in the 2015 Salerno conference, you can choose to write about it, as a whole experience, and/or highlighting a specific story or aspects of the conference. 5. READ A POEM TO A CHILD. If you have been part of the Read a Poem to a Child initiative, you can also choose to write about that.
Submission deadline: December 1, 2020
Format guidelines: Word document, Times New Roman, Font 12, Double Spaced.
Maximum 750 words.
Language: If you are not an English speaking writer, please send your text in its original language along with the best possible English translation (three pages max, each). At this point, the project will only include the English version, but we’re studying alternatives to the issue of language, and world accessibility.
Bio & Photos: Please send a fifty word Bio as a Word doc. attachment. Also, and this is optional, you can attach three-to-five good quality images (jpg) related to your essay, and/or the events you organized in your community. Include photo caption and credits. Do not send bio photos. We want exceptional images that offer a glimpse either of the themes or aspects we’ve mentioned above, the collective drive, or the audience reaction.
Please send your submissions and/or any questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org In the email’s Subject Matter, please write your essay’s theme.
“In all her doings my mother influenced me to have endurance, dedication, resistance, faith and resilience.” Mbizo Chirasha Our village rondavels sat on the peripheral fringes of Dayataya, that elephantine mountain of home. It cracked with a fervent babyish glee every promising dawn. Birds sang soprano and black baboons yelped baritone. The chattering monkeys and jiving […]
“In all her doings my mother influenced me to have endurance, dedication, resistance, faith and resilience.” Mbizo Chirasha Recently, Zimbabwean poet, Mbizo Chirasha, lost his mom. Knowing that his sense of loss and grief is compounded by the fact of his exile and an inability therefor to be with her in her last days and […]
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 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 (up to three poems), 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 email@example.com, 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.
“Human rights don’t trickle down.” Heather Marsh, Binding Chaos: Mass collaboration on a global scale
Sometimes memories smell like a dictator’s fart
We once jived to our own shadows under the silver moon
and our shadows danced along with us, we rhymed to the
nightmares of hyenas and hallucinations of black owls.
Our desires sailed along with gowns of fog back and forth
at village dawns. Wood smoke smelt like fresh baked
bread.Time bewitched us, we ate William Shakespeare and
John Donne. We drank lemon jugs of Langston Hughes and
Maya Angelou. Soyinka’s lyrical whisky wrecked our
tender nerves. We bedded politics with boyish demeanor
and dreamt of the black cockerels and black Hitler’s
Sometimes time is stubborn like a sitting tyrant
Last night, commissars chanted a slogan and you
baked a dictator’s poetry sanguage. Zealots sang
Castro and Stalin and you brewed a socialist crank,
the president is a stinking capitalist. I never said
he is Satanist.Back to village nights, hyenas are
laughing still, black owls gossiping, silver moon
dancing still over rain beaten paths of our country dawns.
Sometimes time stinks like a dictator’s fart
Your lyrical satire sneaked imbeciles through
back doors. Your praise sonnets recycled suicidal
devils and polished revolutionary rejects, Back then,
smells of fresh dung and scent of fresh udder milk
were our morning brew and under the twilight the
moon once disappeared into the earthly womb, Judas,
the sun then took over and every dictator is an
Iscariot. I never said we are now vagabonds
Sometimes time smells like a dying autocrat
Mwedzi wagara ndira uyo tigo tigo ndira – the moon
was once sour milk silver white and fresh from the Gods’
mouth and sat on its presidential throne on the
zenith of bald headed hills and later with time
the moon was ripe to go mwedzi waora ndira tigo tigo ndira
Sometimes wind gusts whistled their tenor through elephant
grass pastures, we sang along the obedient flora . . .
chamupupuri chaenda chamupupuri chadzoka
Our poverty marinated, yellow maize teeth grinned to
sudden glows of lightening, the earth gyrated under
the grip of thunder, then Gods wept and we drank
teardrops with a song mvura ngainaye tidye makavu, mvura ngainaye tidye makavu ..
Pumpkins bred like rabbits, veldts strutted in
Christmas gowns. Wild bees and green bombers
sang protest and praise. I never said we are
children of drought relief.
Sometimes time grows old like a sitting tyrant,
Tonight the echo of your praise poetry irk the
anopheles stranded in tired city gutters to swig
the bitter blood of ghetto dwellers, gutter
citizens eking hard survival from hard earth
of a hard country , their rough hands marked
with scars of the August Armageddon, their sandy
hearts are rigged ballot boxes stuffed with corruption,
they waited and sang for so long . . .
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.
I fell in love
At a homeless shelter
With a man
With the bluest eyes
A Czech Republic man.
We talked and talked
Just the two of us
So much in common.
Two nights later
I sat at his table
For dinner but he
With a young man
Didn’t give me
The time of day.
Is like microbes…
They fly in
Once, a long time ago,
People sat together
Talking in soft voices
That only they could hear
Heads almost touching.
People held hands
While walking along
Held each other so close
They could feel each other’s bodies
Underneath their clothes.
Sometimes they kissed
Tasting each other’s mouths.
They pleasured each other.
There were the accidental touches
On crowded trains or buses or planes
That you each savored privately
Arms brushing against arms,
Hand touching hand
While passing a cup of coffee
A head heavy with sleep
Leaning against you
Long hair spilling across your shoulder.
These were the times before Corona
That we lived for,
That we couldn’t imagine
Having to do without,
That we thought would go on forever.
“How are you?”
Here’s a hackneyed platitude
sidelined like sticky bottles of
condiments at the edges of
booths in greasy spoons – way back in February,
when they were
throwaway words in the time of
meet-ups and Tinder, when
free physicality flowed
like turbid streams
coursing from their sources.
Yet during the drought,
the bromide won’t abandon its
as our touches and taps
and caresses and kisses are
evicted by locks and walls and
worry and six feet-
or two meters –
“How are you?”
A phrase as familiar
as crammed cafés
or yell-laden yellow schoolbuses
or sweaty discotheques,
a question of concern,
softens the strange
hole of isolation.
ADRIAN SLONAKER crisscrosses North America as a language professional, Pushcart Prize, and Best of the Net nominee. Adrian is fond of opals, owls and fire noodles. Adrian’s work has been published in WINK: Writers in the Know, Ez.P.Zine, Page & Spine and others.
Right now, every word is a tile on the roof of the house
I’ll build tomorrow.
It’s cold outside.
It’s not the slap of the march wind or a punch of hail
From last month. This is a blow beneath the beltless. Nature is
A boxer who knows only the word
Phillip sends photographs of coffins from Milan.
What a waste to sacrifice the red-brown
Of mahogany and bury it in the ground. I glance
At the last drops left in the martini bottle,
And remember the first kiosk of that drink in that very Milan.
In case someone has forgotten, it all begins with vermouth and eighteen percent of
Pure alcohol soaked with herbs. So let’s drink to their memory. Rosso,
Bianco, or extra-dry.
Salah calls from Paris and reminds me that the evil wind is blowing as well in the city
We were born. Baghdadi Corona with arabesques. He composes a curse
That it was the last piaster missing from the dinar in the stock exchange of Iraq.
And in Ramat Gan I would like to make a paintbrush gallop
The way Bashir Abu Rabia fills his horses
With paint of eternal colors.
I want Kyuzo from “The Seven Samurai“
To save us.
To come and grasp his sword once more
Like a child who clenches his last candy in his pocket
To remind the cellophane that it must hide that candy
From the teeth of the world.
Tomorrow the tiles from the first line will be a metaphoric roof
Of a coffee house for instance.
There we will understand, at last, that stirring milk
in the bottom of the cup can create
a new world.
Karen Alkalay-Gut’s latest books, due to be published next month, are the dual language Surviving Her Story: Poems of the Holocaust (Courevour Press), translated to French by Sabine Huynh, and A Word in Edgewise (Simple Conundrums Press). She lives in Tel Aviv with her husband and an outdoor alley cat.
See her two pandemic poems on The BeZine Blog here.
Barbara UngAr ’s (barbaraungar.net) fifth book, Save Our Ship, won the Richard Snyder Memorial Prize from Ashland Poetry Press and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2019; it is currently a finalist for the IBPA’s Ben Franklin award. A limited-edition chapbook, EDGE (named for the EDGE list of Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered species), is forthcoming in April 2020 from Ethel Press. Her prior books include Immortal Medusa, named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015; CharlotteBrontë, You Ruined My Life; and The Origin of the Milky Way, which won the Gival Prize and a silver Independent Publishers award. A professor at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, she lives in Saratoga Springs.
Just think about it please, and don’t worry a bit
As no one lasts that long anyways, but here’s the
Scoop, I am still here, and so glad to know you
Are still here, but then, what can we make of
All those who now are not here, and somehow
I’d like to be acquainted with all of you who have
Up and left us, in spite of all the care and love of
Everyone who hoped to save you, and all you
Who probably inhaled the wrong wisp of air
That promised an early death to you and all
Those close to you, and this is what we all
Wonder about, as we try to go about wondering
How in the heck did any of us every plan for
Something as wicked and invasive as something
Like this, and nobody, nobody ever wants this
To keep dropping people, some of whom are
As close to us as a wife, or a loved one, or our
Dear grandparents who we love so much but
Are now gasping for air, and wondering who
Just now breathed this deadly gasp of air
Which now has infected almost all of us who
Seem to not have any idea that we’re
On the way out, even though most of us
Had hoped for a lovely evening with all
Of us, gathered around a plate of such
Delectables what we all so wanted to
Taste and savor and toast to our beautiful
Loved ones, who we simply cannot imagine
Not being here tomorrow, as we’re now
At the crematorium, wondering why Julie
And Maurice are now measuring just how
High the temperature is to send all of us who
Know how flesh will slowly sear to invisibility
Into what’s left of ash and bone, and possibly
We’ll be there too, in just a few days, as
Nobody really knows who’s coughed and
Sprayed so many unknown travelers that
Sooner or later, as in, pretty soon, you and
Perhaps even me, well, we’re all going to
End up as ash and bone, and nobody will
Ever remember any of this in even a few
Years, but isn’t this what everybody predicted,
That sooner or later, all of us would inhale
Someone else, and then we’d be the un-
Fortunate one who stopped breathing
In only a few minutes, and no one no one
Knew exactly what had just happened
Even though no one no one really expected
Something like this, for even the neighbors
Asked, are you okay, and of course, no one could
Even wonder that no one no one was okay as all
Of us, or most of us, will leave the earth for ever
And no one no one wanted any of this to happen
Except for a small harmless creature as so few
Knew anything about was harvested for its flesh,
And then, quite surprisingly, we all just died
Just like that, sometimes in a matter of just
A few minutes, and how, how could that
Be something we thought was so cute, so
Charming, so delectable, so enticing, so now?
DeWITT CLINTON is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater, and lives in Shorewood. Recent poems of his have appeared in The Last Call: The Anthology of Beer, Wine & Spirits Poetry, Santa Fe Literary Review, Verse-Virtual, New Verse News, Ekphrastic Review, Diaphanous Press, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, The Arabesques Review, Lowestoft Chronicle, The New Reader Review, The Bezine, The Poet by Day, Poetry Hall, Muddy River Poetry Review, and Across the Margin. He has two poetry collections from New Rivers Press, a recent collection of poems, At the End of the War, (Kelsay Books, 2018), and another is in production from Is A Rose Press, a collection of poetic adaptations of Kenneth Rexroth’s 100 Poems from the Chinese.