The BeZine Blog

Posted in Pandemic/ COVID-19

Quarantine Questions courtesy of The Contemplative Monk

The Contemplative Monk on Facebook HERE for comfort and inspiration.Recommended.

Posted in Calls for submissions, Event/s, The BeZine

“The BeZine” Call for Submissions, International Poetry Month

To mark International Poetry Month April 2020, we at The BeZine blog invite submissions of poems on the current pandemic. To paraphrase R. Buckminster, think globally but write locally. Write from your context about your experience during this Time of Coronavirus, but at the same time, reflecting to larger global contexts. Write about glimmers from within the crisis that illuminate ourselves, our world, and the world(s) possibly coming to us afterwards. This event is co-hosted by Womawords Literary Press.

We especially look for poetry that projects changes (positive or negative) that may evolve from this crisis:

• worldwide coordination/collaboration
• resources of one sort or another—old, new, emerging; shared or fought-over
• the impact the pandemic might have on:
° women and the role they play in assuring good health and hygiene
° the poor and low-wage or middle class workers
° water and the environment
° war and conflict, and
° addressing the climate issues that contribute significantly to this and looming pandemics.

What about the communities—perhaps yours—that have no running water and are also therefor ravaged by typhoid, cholera, and dysentry?

Guidelines HERE.

Email Word files to  thezinesubmissions@gmail.com (Please not this is our new email address)

Womawords Literary Press HERE.

In the spirit of love (respect) and community,
Michael Dickel, Co-Manging Editor, The BeZine
Mbizo Chirasha, Curator of Womawords Literary Press, Co-Host of The BeZine International Poetry Month
Jamie Dedes, Founding Editor and Co-Mnaging Editor, The BeZine

Posted in Poems/Poetry

Alphabet of Love

Living this life again
as though I were six sick
again and grasping about in silence.
I will learn to breathe again,
how to go beyond it
So that I can dance and fly
to those zones of magic.
Stones and burning light
and the kind of openness
you can never plan.
Tones of people touching.
The taste of food licked and loved.
As HD says, “I must read some hours every day, it is food.”
Now, I must write some hours every day.
It is my alphabet of love.

© 2020, Linda Chown

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.

Posted in General Interest

empathy

California Artist Gretchen Del Rio shares advice from her son who is on the front lines battling COVID-19 in MA. There are some tips here I haven’t seen elsewhere and they make sense to me. Check it out …

Gretchen Del Rio's Art Blog

watercolor

I just received the following information from my son Ben who is working on the front lines in a Massachusetts ER. It contains guidelines to stay uninfected by the virus and it goes way beyond anything I have heard or read. Feel free to forward to friends and family. peace, love and light gretchen

Hi

I was meaning to send this out to you all sooner, but I have been busy lately.  I wanted to offer my help and advice if desired for info about the pandemic.  Unfortunately, this is real and is likely to be a problem everywhere in the US.  Hopefully, the curve will flatten with people self isolating and we can delay how many people get this right in the beginning which will allow the medical community more time to prepare for this and also for the cases to be spread out more over time.

A…

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Posted in history, John Anstie, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Lost Gardeners

Northern Summerhouse garden at the Lost Gardens of Heligan courtesy of Heinz-Dirk Luckhardt CC BY-SA 3.0

There was such colour and bustle
where now reflective calm.

In the thunderbox room
nearby the melon yard
haunting echoes of silent voices

once green fingers that pressed
a trigger for King and country
gently call from an early grave,
who once scattered humus here.

They shed tears for weeds
that stained the fresh leaves
of Spring, unfolding, unseen

cold frames of mouth-blown glass,
warmed the summer fare
that meant so much to those
who dug one last trench

so many lost at such a cost
shovelling cold organic mud
to sow the seeds of future green
in very unmilitary drills

and who would say what
could have been had peace
been thoughtfully nurtured
like the fruits of this place.

Inundated by nature’s mission
their names forever bleeding
from these crumbling walls

so few in the flesh of then
left much in the earth of now.

© 2019 John Anstie

[A visit to the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall, in the United Kingdom, revealed to me a very poignant story of its gardeners, 16 out of 22 of whom lost their lives in the First World War; of the gardens, which subsequently fell into ruin until the 1990’s when a descendant of the original owners set about restoring them to become one of the UK’s most popular botanical gardens. The scene is set around the ‘thunderbox’ room where they would carve the names in the walls as they sat and the very peaceful garden adjacent to it, where you can feel the history of this particular part of the gardens, which had almost completely succumbed to nature’s will. This intoxicating mixture history and place was powerful enough to compel me to write this in their memory].

Posted in poetry

Four Poems by Diana Raab

Elegant Air

I inhale breaths and ethers
………..    offered by this place,
 ……yet wonder where in this universe
………………………………..lies the rest of my needed oxygen.
…………………………………………I cannot help but wonder as I
………………………………………………….separate myself from its beauty.

You Remember

You remember my voice
even though I have

long ago peeled myself
from you, your shoulder,

on that crisp autumn day
while the pungent smell

of burning leaves
fell from our sky.

Your voice still resonates
even though

I am in that other world
because this one

have transitioned
no longer serves

nor wants to witness us—
a love that’s so deep.

Will you accompany me
to this final refuge?

Renewal Welcomed

I want to be saved from disease,
natural disasters and psychic pain
or whatever might slip
a frown upon my face
or on the face of my beloveds.

Save me from fires and mudslides
which only yesterday
ripped through our neighborhood,
and cancers which swim in my genetic pools,

or massive shooters
who want to end it all
and coyotes
who want to snatch our dogs away.

There are so many ways
to be saved and renewed,
so go ahead write a book about me,
and share secrets of your own renewal

in a sanctuary to call yours,
as I sulk in my darkness.

Buddha Skin

People whisper in my ears
to remind me of my Buddha skin—

enlightened wisdom to share
with friends and strangers,

through green eye glances
or words strung across blank pages,

but somehow I remain unable
to tap into the distance which separates you and me.

Are you able touch the chaotic chasm
which divides us from melted fusions

of different color skins or anything
which might possibly bring us together

in what many might call
the most mysterious of unions?

© 2020, Diana Rabb

DIANA RAAB, MFA, PhD (dianaraab.com), is a poet, memoirist, and blogger, speaker, and award-winning author of nine books. Her work has been published and anthologized in over 1000 publications. Raab blogs for Psychology Today, Thrive Global, and Wisdom Daily and is a guest blogger for many others. She has four poetry collections, including Lust. Her latest books are Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Program for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life and Writing for Bliss: A Companion Book.

Posted in General Interest

‘hamsa’

What could be more lovely? A little something this evening from Zine team friend, Gretchen Del Rio. Enjoy …

Gretchen Del Rio's Art Blog

watercolor 3/2020

The swan known as Hamsa in Hindu mythology is said to be the vehicle of the goddess Saraswati…..patroness of wisdom, learning music and the arts. Or they may be one and the same. That would make Hamsa the divine swan-maiden.

purchase this painting

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Posted in Poems/Poetry

Three poems by Kirsty A. Niven

Luna

When lilac clouds conquer the sky,
it’s easy to forget she exists.
The moon lurks behind its thick veil,
a lunar laugh rising in her throat.
Flanked by the flashes of constellations,
she has nothing to fear.

I can still feel her watchful eyes
critiquing every word, every movement.
Our content orbit an object of fascination,
a concept she cannot understand.
Her glow extinguished, albeit temporarily,
a simple streetlight can have its spotlight.

She can only look on in wonder.
The days of bullets and blitzkriegs
when we cross paths are over.
The starry battlefield, silent and empty.
And no one else remembers,
except the moon and I.

One Night

In the still of the night the moment pauses.
Heartbeats hushed. Voices lost to lust.
This dead end dark could make me anyone.
I’m sure that’s the only reason you’re here.
Lips continue on regardless, not caring anymore;
happy to be broken, just to feel something.

Light interrupts. Lust flees. Life rushes on.
I can never be the girl that you want.
Fluorescence ravages that illusion instantly.
No parts of our bodies are touching anymore
and the familiar numbness settles in again.
Your voice ends it with words I forget.

Bird On The Wire

My twig feet dither on this tight rope,
desperate to wobble away to freedom.
Talons cling and my drunken heart sings,
taking my life into my feathered fingers.

It is so far down to fall with fractured wings
and I’ve hurt so many just to get here.
Apologies tweet from my open beak,
I am just trying in my way to be free.

© 2020, Kirsty A. Niven

KIRSTY A. NIVEN lives in Dundee, Scotland. Her writing has appeared in anthologies such as Strength, The Alien Buddha’s Feminist Agenda and Landfall. She has also featured in several journals and magazines, including The Poet’s Republic, Cicada Magazine, Monstrous Regiment and Silk + Smoke. Kirsty’s work can also be found online on sites such as La Scrittrice, Anti-Heroin Chic and Poetry Breakfast.”

Posted in Poems/Poetry

Four Poems by Joan McNerney

Amazing How
Only last Thursday
after another morning
of clichés
as freezing winds pushed
us along grey avenues
you shouted my name
in the middle of 34th Street
calling me poet
and instantly mountains
of mediocrity were melted
by your smile.

.

A glimpse of spring

shy blue morning

black trees etch sky

children skipping

over puddles

bramble on snow

soft birdsong

listening to water

race downstream

winds gently kiss

my forehead

grass shoots push

through first thaw

.

Trees of Heaven

Those are tough trees

growing in slums.

With no need of rich soil

or pruning, they rise

in abandoned lots.

These are trees that

survive rubbish, rodents

noxious chemicals.

Not easily cut down,

they stand against

gaunt tenements.

Climbing skyward,

delicate palm leaves

flourish flowering pods.

Trees of Heaven give

children glimpses of bright

emerald each morning.

Stars play peek-a-boo

between their branches

through long nights.

Who has said a taste of

paradise is only for the rich?

.

Imagine

Imagine to be a bird

slicing air with wings.

Up up over that horizon

soaring through clouds

away from solemn earth.

Shining, shimmering

far above this sphere

into clear blue light.

Cutting through sky

gliding over oceans

eyes open all seeing.

Awake all day all night

brushing rushing

against the four winds.

Imagine to be a bird.

© 2020, Joan McNerney

JOAN McNERNEY’s poetry has been included in many literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Spectrum Publications have accepted her work. Her latest title, The Muse In Miniature, is available on Amazon.com and Cyberwit.net. She has four Best of the Net nominations.

Posted in General Interest

Nightlight

I wake up drenched. Hair matted to my forehead with damp, cheek sticking to the pillow. I’ve known cold sweats before – I’ve been waking up with them my whole adult life – but this is one of the worst.
And I can understand why. Because, unlike some that fade away within seconds, this dream, those images, those noises, are all still flashing and sounding in front of me like a Halloween display. Horror come vividly to life, lingering as though I were still there watching and listening to it happen. I gasp in air, briefly frightened by the wall of darkness surrounding me. Just for an instant, that old fear, that dread that’s clung to me since childhood, rises up to break over me like a wave. Every part of me bracing for it. Tears already pooling in my eyes as I wait for the crash.

.
And then the light blinks on. Behind my shoulder, immediately casting its pale blue glow onto the bedroom wall. Illuminating the shadow of my head, complete with messy, sodden hair, even as I turn a fraction in the direction of the beam.

.
‘Shit,’ he mutters, strengthening the brightness of the phone as I turn round further, and see the screen lighting up his face as he finally swipes the bar across to full power. And instead of the terror I was preparing for only a moment ago, a wave of soaring relief crashes over me instead, as he shifts his eyes towards me and arches an eyebrow apologetically. ‘Forgot I’d dimmed down earlier. Took a moment to figure out why I could barely see anything.’

.
I almost let out a sob at the selflessness behind the words. No suggestion that he might actually have been asleep, that he might not have heard the scream that tore from my throat as I came out of the dream, that he might have been resting more deeply tonight. He’s never once not stirred at exactly the same moment I have, his body ever on alert for any hint of my distress, even in the middle of the night. He frowns slightly as he notices my eyes watering, before reaching out a finger to brush away the one escaping tear. Brushing away the images of those homophobic bastards kicking him half to death and forcing me to watch it with one simple touch. Like the breaking of a dark spell. Bringing me back to him, and only him.

.
‘Got you pretty bad tonight, huh?’ he asks, smiling sadly. ‘It’s okay.’

..
‘I know,’ I whisper. I always know. I always feel okay as soon as I see him again. Alive. Well. In my bed. Staring at me like I’m the most precious thing in the world.

.
‘What about his one?’ he asks, showing me the screen. I glance at it, and nod. A think of something starting with… game. ‘Looks interesting.’

.
‘Okay,’ he says. ‘Think of something starting with I.’

.
I love you.

.
More and more every night.

© 2020, Christopher Moore

CHRISTOPHER MOORE is a Northern Irish writer and a graduate of English from Queen’s University Belfast. He was also graduated with an MA in TV Fiction Writing at Glasgow Caledonian University.  Alongside a number of playwriting achievements, including being longlisted for the 2019 Bruntwood Prize, he’s had a number of pieces of short fiction read, performed and published around the UK, Ireland and US over the last few years.

Posted in COVID-19/Pandemic, General Interest

In the Time of COVID – 19: A Few Uplifting Words From My Cousin Dan . . .

As kids and probably the last time Dan was shorter than me. He stands 6’5′ and I stand a scant 5’2″.

“Remember that each day is an opportunity given to us by God.” Fr. Dan

“Thank you Fr. Dan for reminding us.” The students at Holy Ghost Prep 



Cousin Dan’s students at Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Pennsylvania asked him to do a video and this is the result. It has been making the rounds on Facebook, well received.  So here it is for you, an island of peace and uncommon good sense for troubled times.

My cousin Dan:

What Have We Done That People Can Pick Up Weapons and Kill?, Fr. Daniel Sormani, C.S.Sp.

Fr. Daniel S. Sormani, C.S.Sp.

My cousin is a priest who has lived and worked in Algeria and Dubai and until recently was teaching theology at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. He asks in a feature article for The BeZine, What Have We Done that People Can Pick-up Weapons and Kill.  

“We have become our own worst enemy. Whenever we separate the world into ‘them’ and ‘us’, whenever we accept blind generalizations and cease to see a unique individual before us, whenever we forget we are all victims of carefully orchestrated deceit and deception for wealth and power, the force of darkness wins. Bullets will never win this struggle, only the heart and mind will.”

Mom’s rosary beads and Dan’s Arabic Bible

The CitySon Philosopher, me, and Cousin Dan, Gamble Gardens, Palo Alto, CA 2018
© 2020, all photos Jamie Dedes and family

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

Posted in Photography/Photographer

Photography by Ann Privateer

ANN PRIVATEER is a poet, artist, and photographer. Some of her work has appeared in Third Wednesday, Manzanita, and Entering to name a few.

Posted in Environment/Deep Ecology/Climate Change

About Cars ~ A Page from 1993 ~

It was in the year 1993 when newspapers and I mean news in paper, or to be more precise printed on paper, the Editor opened a debate “Should cars be banned from cities?. It was quite appealing and set me wondering.

The title and the invitation to write both brought nostalgic memories. My own Rawalpindi was a peaceful sunlit city, moderately warm during summers and lovably cold during Winters,many years ago. Looking down the memory lane I remembered the hand-in-hand pairs walking from our school, the Presentation Convent, to the Plaza Cinema to see some of the great classic Motion Pictures; the tonga ride to school and back was a wonderful experience, the shining leather bridle and reins, colorful ribbons by the horses ears,clean and freshly painted carriage and the loud clanging of the bell inspired a lot.  The clippety cloppety speed of the horse was so balanced, one could view the whole world at a glance and also gather details of the wayside panorama  as one went along. The air felt fresh and clear and one enjoyed learning. School was wonderful too, bags were light but minds and spirits were full. Roads were walkable and they were roads!

Over the years one finds a tremendous change of scene,there are more cars than roads,roads to learning have vanished as learning centers have increased, things seem to be moving in the opposite direction.

I found myself reversing my small car in front of my daughter’s school daily, to make space for my daughter as well as for other cars, of course; my daughter had to dash across the road or squeeze herself between two bumpers, the front bumper of our car and the back of someone else’s.

Well, it’s dangerous! No wonder Michael Jackson had realized the dangers a child faces in the world of today. I watched closely, peering over the tops of other cars disregarding the beeps and horns of other vehicles, refusing to budge an inch, till I see my little one safely enter the school gate. I had strictly advised her to keep as close to the wall as possible if she values her…school… her …life. The ‘corn walla, roasted corn seller  Pathan was least disturbed and I must say that he was a brave Pathan.

Cars and cars all around, red, blue,  black  green, er… dark green.These were mostly coasters and jeeps, and now yellow, the fever was rising…Invasion !

Would banishment be the answer.? It was decided to ask the cars themselves.
‘Here’s a red car, sad looking Alto’. ‘Well, excuse me dear, how do you find the yellow brick road these days?.”

‘Oh the yellow is all right. I have a new friend but our feet wear out so soon and lately I have developed an asthmatic problem, no oil has any effect and I am trying to get a new vacuum cleaner from my cousin abroad. But you see the tele, I mean the phone is important too.It’s so lonely without it but it does give a back ache. I guess cars should stay, it’s only that they should stay clean ! And I mean clean, CLEAN’ No monkey business, that’s it’.

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

ANJUM WASIM DAR (Poetic Oceans) is one of the newest members of “The BeZine” core team.
Anjum was born in Srinagar (Indian occupied Kashmir) in 1949. Her family opted for and migrated to Pakistan after the Partition of India and she was educated in St Anne’s Presentation Convent Rawalpindi where she passed the Matriculation Examination in 1964. Anjum ji was a Graduate with Distinction in English in 1968 from the Punjab University, which ended the four years of College with many academic prizes and the All Round Best Student Cup, but she found she had to make extra efforts for the Masters Degree in English Literature/American Studies from the Punjab University of Pakistan since she was at the time also a back-to-college mom with three school-age children.
.
Her work required further studies, hence a Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) from Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad and a CPE, a proficiency certificate, from Cambridge University UK (LSE – Local Syndicate Examination – British Council) were added to  her professional qualifications.
 .
Anjum ji says she has always enjoyed writing poems, articles, and anecdotes and her written work found space in local magazines and newspapers. A real breakthrough came with the Internet when a poem submitted online was selected for the Bronze Medal Award and I was nominated as Poet of Merit 2000 USA. She accepted the Challenge of NANOWRIMO 2014 and Freedom is Not a Gift, A Dialogue of Memoirs, a novel form was the result. She was a winner, completing her 50,000 word draft in one month.
.
Although a Teacher and a Teacher Trainer by Profession, she is a colored-pencil artist and also enjoys knitting and is currently trying to learn Tunisian Crochet.
Posted in Domestic Abuse, news/events

A Man, A Woman, and A Stick, a poem; Social Distancing and Victims of Domestic or Sexual Violence [Resources]

A purple ribbon to promote awareness of Interpersonal Violence and Abuse Prevention courtesy of MesserWolandCC BY-SA 3.0

a man, a woman, and a stick

(1921)

the stick stood in the corner of the kitchen
a constant threat; stoking, as it was meant to,
chronic intimidation

he had a man’s right to deliver his blows
to vent his anger and his self-contempt
to cause suffering for the insufferable

someone had to make it up to him,
his loss-of-face to race, creed and poverty

for her part, eve’s daughter was ripe,
shamed by her intrinsic sinfulness,
worn by her constant pregnancies

her femininity: tired and task-bound,
guilt flowing freely, as all-consuming as lava

[relief, only in death]

and the seventh child was born to die
and the man was demanding his bread

she wrapped the girl in swaddling cloth,
placed her gently by the stove, and
while the newborn made busy with dying,
the woman prepared him his meal

© 2015, Jamie Dedes



While we are being directed to quarantine ourselves in the sensible effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, it is easy to forget that home is not a safe place for everyone.  Domestic abuse happens and the stress of these times is likely to exacerbate that impulse.  Here are some resources if you are in this situation or know someone in this situation. A link is included for a directory of every country’s domestic and sexual violence agency,. These are courtesy of Maggie Royer, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Persephone’s Daughters Magazine. [Recommended]

Courtesy of Maggie:

1. We are spreading awareness on our social media pages of the unique impacts of COVID-19 on domestic and sexual violence survivors using the hashtag #MakeHomesHavens. Please feel free to use this hashtag and share information as well from our Twitter: https://twitter.com/persephonesmag

2. We are building a By Survivors, For Survivors COVID-19 Self-Care List. During this time, media coverage of the virus is overwhelming and may trigger panic and anxiety among survivors already experiencing trauma. How can we take care of ourselves during this time? If you identify as a survivor and would like to share your self-care ideas here anonymously, please do! We will compile and share via social media, website, and newsletter.
PersephonesDaughters.sarahah.com

3. Our March newsletter will focus specifically on providing calm and peace from anxiety. We know this is a time of uncertainty, and our newsletter will reflect ways to cope with that.

4. We are sharing links to coverage that focuses on how the virus is impacting survivors. Please read and share.

How Coronavirus Is Affecting Domestic Violence Victims (TIME)

Home Is Not a Safe Place for Everyone (Huffington Post)

Coronavirus Social Distancing: Bad News for Domestic Violence Victims (LA Times)

Staying Safe During COVID-19 (National Domestic Violence Hotline)

5. We are offering information for how to support your domestic and sexual violence programs during this. For a directory of every country’s domestic and sexual violence agency, please visit Hot Peach Pages. Programs may need the following support: financial donations, in-kind donations of sanitary products, toilet paper, disinfectant, and cleaning supplies, and as always, your calls to legislators to support their work.

RELATED:

The Return of Persephone, c.1891 (oil on canvas) by Leighton, Frederic (1830-96); 203×152 cm; Leeds Museums and Galleries (City Art Gallery) U.K.; English, public domain

PERSEPHONE’S DAUGHTERS is published online, in print and in film. This magazine’s content is based on a mission to empower women / femme individuals who have experienced various forms of gendered abuse (sexual, emotional, physical, racial, verbal, etc), or other forms of degradation (harassment, catcalling, threats, etc).  Persephone’s Daughters welcomes all identities.

Online Sunday Stories feature personal accounts of those surviving abuse. There is also a film submission category that aligns with the mission. Accepted works are featured online on Film Fridays.  Of note is a post-election mini-issue, a writing and art collection by people who are negatively effected by the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election. Proceeds from the sales of that collection go to the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, which provides services, legal help, and advocacy to unaccompanied immigrant children fleeing trafficking, conflict, poverty and more.

Posted in Poems/Poetry

Scars

If you’d walked the doorway of my mind
and saw my light surrender
to darkness
Saw that sneaky twin twined in creation
Your indifferent lips would’ve dared not call me a psycho and a nutcase

If you’d understood how death strays not from its constancy
And how no eye peeks wholly, at what roams in tomorrow’s heart
Remembering this, should’ve caused
you to cultivate compassion
and dared not label me the cursed or possessed one

If you’d believed how every bit and piece of your being
is vulnerable to breakdown in its order, one time or other
You would’ve seen how you too could be a victim like me
to mistakes or misadventures
and dared not call me a wacko

If you had bore scars; glaring or unseen/ some real or perceived
and had been shackled up and forced
to gaze at dancing images of gloom
Cobwebs warped around your head
in symphony of thundering voices
You would’ve dared not call me a loose cannon

If you’d looked hard and saw how thinly the lines runs
Between your ability to stand and stumble; speak or fumble
In just a slip or flip of fate , or flip or flop in your securities
You’d have dared not call me a loose bolt and cuckoo in the head

Your nonchalances, my dear friend,
would’ve neither sent me down
the abyss
nor let your sensitivity hear my silent screams
and not catch me before my catastrophic fall
Your little sympathy to inject belief
Into my disbelief
would’ve been the ultimate relief to my torment
From one who’d dared not call me
A knuckleball, a schizo and a zombie

® 2020, Samuella Conteh

SAMUELLA J. CONTEH is from Sierra Leone, West Africa. She is a writer, poet, dramatist and motivational speaker. She is a member of the Sierra Leone Writers Forum and Member of Board of PEN-SL.  She is also President of the International African Writers Association in Sierra Leone.

Samuella’s poems and short stories have been featured in several national and international anthologies.

She has also received many awards including the Medal of Ambassador de Literature (ADL), Award of World Poetic Star, Award of Mahatma Medal, and most recently, the Order Of Shakespeare (OOS).

Samuella is also a member of the Motivational Strips Academy of Literary Excellence and Wisdom (MSALEW).

Posted in Poems/Poetry

Moonlight Closeness

When the moon is full,
wondering where you are,
I will look up,
tears will play, glisten
freely on my cheeks,
knowing moon’s silver
cloak covers, warms us both,
bringing me closer to you
than we ever were before.

© 2019, Joan Leotta

JOAN LEOTTA lays with words on page and stage. Her motto is to produce
“encouraging words through Pen and Performance.” Her poems, essays, short stories and articles have been widely published. Her poetry has appeared in Stanzaic Stylings, Peacock Review, Creative Inspirations, and other journals. Her performances of tales of food, family, and strong women have entertained audiences at fairs, in schools, libraries , and museums. When she is not at the computer or on stage, you can find her reading a book, walking the beach, or traveling to be with family.

Posted in The BeZine, The BeZine Table of Contents

The BeZine, Vol. 7, Issue 1, Waging Peace

“. . . I don’t understand why our propaganda machines are always trying to teach us, to persuade us, to hate and fear other people in the same little world that we live in.” Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire



My Aunt Julie once said that it is easier to love than hate. She was a good woman, a diamond in the rough and I believe her. I believe it takes less energy to love (respect) others than it does to hate them and that honest appreciation of differences is actually our own best protection: today the hate is directed at “those people” and tomorrow it is directed at me and you. This is the way the world turns in the hands of the spin-meisters. They love nothing so much as pitting us against one another for their own gain and it is ALWAYS for their gain, not ours, make no mistake.

The BeZine is devoted to featuring the commonalities within the diversities. Our contributors and our core team of writers, artists, photographers, activists, philosophers and clerics represent a wealth of countries, cultures, religions, and first languages. We may not agree on the exact path or paths to peace but we agree that violence and hate are not the ways.  We see no reason to be threatened because someone speaks another language, enjoys a different cuisine, celebrates different holy days, dresses differently, or is seeking safe haven in our countries. We have no desire to further victimize the victims. Our hearts are open to civil discourse and our hands ready to embrace and support. I am not writing this from a position of moral superiority but from a practical position of self-concern and regard. There are profound lessons in the trauma of the 2020 pandemic. It highlights just how unified we are in our vulnerabilities and how we are only as strong as the weakest among us. This crisis also points to the fundamental amorality of many among our politicians, governments, and businesses, lest here-to-fore you’ve been inclined not to judge.

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In February 2011, I started this site and we now celebrate nine years of contributing to the Peace in our small but earnest way. The BeZine is possible thanks to the support of our core team and our contributors and readers, now approaching 7,000.

Beginning on April 1, 2020, American-Israeli poet, Michael Dickel (Meta/ Phor(e) /Play), will move from the position of contributing editor to co-managing editor with me. I am pleased and appreciate Michael’s prodigious talent, support, enthusiasm, and many contributions to the success of this effort.

We are opening the Zine blog to poetry for the entire month of April, officially Poetry Month. Womawords Literary Press, the heart-child of Zimbabwean poet in exhile, Mbizo Chirasha (Mbizo, The Black Poet), is the sponsor. Watch our Calls for Submission on this site and The Poet by Day for details and our new submission email address. While we cannot compensate contributors, neither do we charge submission or subscription fees. This is labor of love.

We continue in 2020 with our quarterly publications:

  • June 15, SustainABILITY;
  • September 15, Social Justice; and
  • December 15, A Life of the Spirit.

As is our tradition, on the fourth Saturday of September we will host Virtual 100,000 Poets (and friends) for Change (100TPC) with Michael Dickel as master of ceremonies. As the year continues to unfold, we may host other events or special issues. Meanwhile, please enjoy this edition of The BeZine and don’t forget to share links on social media and to like and comment in support of our valued contributors.

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

To read this edition of The BeZine, link HERE to scroll through or click on the links below to view individual contributions.

BeATTITUDES

Elusive Peace, Tamam Tracy Moncur
A Palace of Bird Beaks, Naomi Baltuck
Strange Fire, Michael Dickel

“I wasn’t born for an age like this.” George Orwell

A Little Poem, George Orwell
Translations, Mbizo Chirasha

FLASH FICTION

“Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.”  Albert Camus

1919 – A Story of Peacetime, Joe Hesch

WRITING PEACE

“Poetry. It’s better than war!” Michael Rothenberg, cofounder of 100TPC

To Write A Peace Poem, Michael Dickel

POETRY

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

Together, J J Aitken
No More Numbing, J J Aitken

Big Mama Is Dancing on the Purple Tide, Mendes Biondo

Wars Whirling, Worsening World, Anjum Wasim Dar
Make a Vow, Remember, Anjum Wasim Dar
Hope and Wishes, Anjum Wasim Dar

Paper Boat, Judy DeCroce
This is not Paradise nor a Place to be Lost, Judy DeCroce
Before, Judy DeCroce

through the ache of time, Jamie Dedes
pulsing peace, Jamie Dedes
At a Peace Reading, Jamie Dedes

Another Protest Song, Michael Dickel

Drear, Anita East

Bizarre, Mike Gallagher

Search, Kakali Das Ghosh

Reprieve, Robert Gluck

the full moon’s light, Ed Higgins
refugees, Ed Higgins
Epistemology, Ed Higgins

Good Vibrations, Linda Imbler

By what right?, Magdalena Juskiewicz

The Path of Empathy, Antonia Alexandra Klimenko
Out of Sight, Antonia Alexandra Klimenko

Waging Peace, Charles W. Martin

Let Peace Be the Journey, Neelam Shah

Global Forest, Ankh Spice

“When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.”  Fred Rogers



The BeZine: Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be 

Daily Spiritual Practice: Beguine Again, a community of Like-Minded People

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SUBMISSIONS:

Read Info/Mission StatementSubmission Guidelines, and at least one issue before you submit. Updates on Calls for Submissions and other activities are posted on the Zine blog and The Poet by Day.

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

Environmental Justice ~ Poseidon’s Plea

 

Courtesy of Joseph Barrientos, Unsplash

Oceans are one of the many miracles of the Creator as the Earth itself is. The water holds itself yet moves, full of life, rebirth and deaths and fathoms of fluid space, stable for all ships and boats, salty roadways, for travelers transport and sport. / Anjum Wasim Dar



O’ Poseidon bestowed with the power unique
tell us the secret of the two seas that do not meet
yet flow with different colors, wave by wave, move
by move, side by side, a perfect acceptance of diversity,

Poseidon speaks, ‘Man is nothing without the Gods’
oceans or skies the sole power is with the Creator
who loves clear open hearts, He blocks nothing nor
builds walls, see my home has no doors nor windows’

All are free to enter, float, sail, swim dive or dig
I am full of food, fish, color, charms and treasures
but many living beings are careless, inconsiderate
they throw harmful waste trash plastic on and in me.

Water will not become less but will be a source of
trouble for human beings themselves, the dead will
float the dying will cry and curse, the thought makes
me shudder, storms surge, waves rise to great heights,

Water is hurt, it is red now with blood and scales
breathing is difficult, inhale a struggle, exhale an
ordeal, oil blocks unmarked uncharted paths
Ocean ides, no longer accept offerings from fans.

Home state worries Oceanus, growing more old
countless pennies coins of gold, are useless down
on the sea bed, worthless is such a treasure which
sinks and loses its values, shine and becomes cold.

A revenge rises a tsunami results, as the grand
bowl shakes jolts jumps and throws up-
beware O People …I envision a huge surge…
sing not any songs nor lie naked on the beach

Pray pray pray peace, repentance, forgiveness, seek

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

ANJUM WASIM DAR (Poetic Oceans) is one of the newest members of “The BeZine” core team.
Anjum was born in Srinagar (Indian occupied Kashmir) in 1949. Her family opted for and migrated to Pakistan after the Partition of India and she was educated in St Anne’s Presentation Convent Rawalpindi where she passed the Matriculation Examination in 1964. Anjum ji was a Graduate with Distinction in English in 1968 from the Punjab University, which ended the four years of College with many academic prizes and the All Round Best Student Cup, but she found she had to make extra efforts for the Masters Degree in English Literature/American Studies from the Punjab University of Pakistan since she was at the time also a back-to-college mom with three school-age children.
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Her work required further studies, hence a Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) from Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad and a CPE, a proficiency certificate, from Cambridge University UK (LSE – Local Syndicate Examination – British Council) were added to  her professional qualifications.
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Anjum ji says she has always enjoyed writing poems, articles, and anecdotes and her written work found space in local magazines and newspapers. A real breakthrough came with the Internet when a poem submitted online was selected for the Bronze Medal Award and I was nominated as Poet of Merit 2000 USA. She accepted the Challenge of NANOWRIMO 2014 and Freedom is Not a Gift, A Dialogue of Memoirs, a novel form was the result. She was a winner, completing her 50,000 word draft in one month.
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Although a Teacher and a Teacher Trainer by Profession, she is a colored-pencil artist and also enjoys knitting and is currently trying to learn Tunisian Crochet.