Posted in interNational Poetry Month, poem, poetry, song

A Letter to Jonathan by Manouk Rachelle Rosenfeld

In Hebrew, the same word is used for song and poem. This song is a poem, or this poem is a song, in any language. Manouk, a student of mine at David Yellin Academic College of Education in Jerusalem, shared this with me. As we continue poetry month(s) into May, we at The BeZine want to share its message with you, our readers.

This past week has been one of loss and sorrow here in Israel, with the death of 45 people in a crushing crowd during a religious celebration last Thursday night into the early hours of Friday morning. Lag B’Omer, the holiday, celebrates freedom and resistance to tyranny. The religious aspects go deeper, with Mystical Connections to an ancient rabbi believed to have handed down the Zohar, a principle text of Kabbalah.

This song is dedicated by its writer to Yonatan Zaken, who died too young. The BeZine dedicates it also to the 45 young and old Israelis who died last week, and to those we know and love we have lost in this past year.

—Michael Dickel, editor


Dedicated to Yonatan Zaken
Music and Lyrics: Manouk Rachelle Rosenfeld (Vd Woestijne)
With Yonatan Gelfand, Guitar, backing vocals, and recording
Lyrics translated into Hebrew by Noya Rosenfeld
@2020 All Rights Reserved

There is a place
Called heaven
Where loved ones go
And never come back,
Where time is not counted.

Magical rides
And violins 
Play in the dust of clouds.
And i am here empty handed…

It's been a long time now,
I've seen the contours
Of your face.
You have been brave.
They say you're better off now…

I look up high.
You promised me
You would be the brightest of all.
I know you will always be

Dancing in a field
Of memories so free.
No, I won't forget,
You remain a part of me.
יש מקום
הנקרא גן עדן
שלשם האהובים שלנו הולכים
ולעולם לא חוזרים
מקום בו הזמן לא נספר

נסיעות קסומות וכינורות
מתנגנים בעננים של אבק
ואני כאן בידיים ריקות

עבר המון זמן
ראיתי את צורת פניך 
היית אמיץ
והם אמרו שיותר טוב לך עכשיו

אני מסתכלת למעלה גבוה
הבטחת לי שתהיה הכוכב המואר ביותר
אני יודעת שתמיד תהיה 

לרקוד בשדה
של זכרונות חופשיים
לא, אני לא אשכח
אתה חלק ממני

The roof of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai Tomb, Mount Meron, Israel (2010 photo)
It was at the site of this tomb that the Lag B’Omer Tragedy of 2021 happened.
Source: WikiMedia. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike
4.0 International3.0 Unported2.5 Generic2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.
Bar Yochai Tomb, Mt Meron, Israel
(photo from 1920–1930)
Public Domain Source: PikiWiki – Israel free image collection project via WikiMedia

©2021 Manouk Rachelle Rosenfeld
All rights reserved


The BeZine Spring

Posted in interNational Poetry Month, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Sometimes life is full of questions

What do you feel
	when a rock of ages 
	tumbles into the the sea
	when something you relied on 
	sat upon, learned from and 
	leaned on for good counsel
	that you needed to be 
	reassured and feel secured 
	and rooted in your trials, to be 
	there regardless, even if you were 
	somewhere else entirely ... or not
	a rock that’s been there for always
	this life just entered the realms 
	of leavened legend and lore 
	knocking at the gates of Neverland.

What can you say
	when someone asks you 
	“how do you feel?” about such a 
	controversial, yet conversational 
	challenging, yet charming 
	pragmatic, yet princely 
	daring and duke-it-out 
	yet dutiful and dashing 
	outspoken, yet outgoing 
	much loved, yet likeable rogue. 
	
	Why didn’t you expect it? Why 
	did it suddenly become 
	the least wanted wish 
	after all this time, taken 
	for granted, yet forgotten 
	in the background, yet difficult 
	to ignore. What else would we 
	impossibly say ... or want?
	
What do you do
	when time freezes 
	into glacial slo-mo 
	a clip from an epic film 
	a moment when child-like
	uncomprehending
	self-preserving denial
	an innocent hope of
	one more time, again
	please, please, please
	let’s go to sea once more
	reflect, respect, deflect
	the imperative 
	to understand 
	the inevitable change

What did we learn
	in the aftermath, if you spent 
	an incalculable time, not wasted 
	in the shadows, but replete with 
	so much energy, so much given 
	simply feted pre-modern man 
	as modern as tomorrow 
	as modest as any soul, with 
	a zest for knowledge, that 
	when least expected, rocked 
	the best brains, with a power 
	to convene the greatest minds 
	of Gods and Engineers, who 
	would change the World, 
	where it mattered not who 
	you are, as much as what 
	truly interests and moves you 
	to take what privilege you have 
	and use it to serve, continually 
	to learn so much, care so much 
	about advancing the causes 
	conserving of species of ... even 
	one less seemingly insignificant 
	precious life on Earth. 


Written in the immediate aftermath of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, Consort of Queen Elizabeth II.


©2021 John Anstie
All rights reserved


The BeZine Spring

Posted in interNational Poetry Month, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

having no one to keep us | 8 poems by gary lundy

you set out
to write narratives

of your life after the fact as all 
stories are we find those 
thoughts enjambed racing 
toward intolerance pages 
unnumbered mixing tea bags 
in hot water the repeated 
inaccurate refrain they find a 
small hope suddenly crystalizing 
on artificial sweetener with snow 
forecast in inches over night our 
muscles begin to atrophy a kind 
act among hundreds of other 
assortments never worry about 
prepositions repeating even 
when swallowing hard a day 
dream awakens unexpected 
hunger you feel the press of 
their attraction weighing down 
opportunity events from a past 
muddle through too many filters 
until only pure illusion gathers 
among the quiet introverted the 
collection resonates internally 
with few avenues of escape

then they the lies
abundant built

upon those acceptable which 
means leaving more than half 
alive out our denial and refusal 
the medicinal median you gave 
in four days ago and more than 
hearts break little fuss to make 
out of no longer having to wait 
for this event while others play 
overhead on imaginary tight
ropes to choke the life out 
pretending choice personal so 
block out the porous windows 
brick closed the two doors 
escape prevented no longer an 
advocate for certainty even when 
in its midst blankets quartered 
around the filleted body last night 
a repetitious dream just before 
waking a circle of colors blended 
gray you will be missed had 
already been solvent for years

there hope is
hard to come by

so many alone in beds meant 
for brief visits we want to 
scream but instead live in our 
head accede to the believed 
in and deeply held reality not 
as imagined or experienced 
but folded under our skirts 
and dresses those boots yet 
to be waterproofed wet hands 
glove covered in snow you 
welcome the new adventure 
never subverted by their kind 
eyes and character flaws in 
another score two sing out of 
key join in uncomfortable 
liaisons bodies lined weight
less prayerful savants gleaning 
unnatural release belief held 
only in what they are told 
without question to read

the expiration date
was missing

so you licked tentative the day 
turning into evening amid the 
constant choking we carefully 
build out of their words to fortify 
the fear embraced in isolation 
refuse to answer phone voice 
mail or text block all numbers 
free ourself from pretense of 
common clear pathway your 
heart skips beat back aches the 
body always up to this moment 
our family knew nothing of our 
propensity for dresses and 
tubular vegetables pliable 
though functional made up 
swirls in their empty imagination 
the silence is never deafening 
rather an uproar of places things 
and voices their volume once 
again pliable the days resort 
shuffle into new brackets of 
darkness and light savings

yes once again
over many

nights their twenty four hour 
lip service wind awakens the 
solitary walkers who shrug 
off the litany of complaints 
sounds used to hear ourself 
at what expense those others 
whose practice learned doing 
the same while sources 
evade detection cheat in the 
rubble that remains of an 
earlier rousing party of some 
kind and the nonexistent 
masks clog the plumbing 
around town make for bad air 
quality sneezes feel good 
even when aimed at inside 
elbow at least for another few 
nights pretend you haven't 
lost us altogether make this 
look more like what it pretends 
to be wash hands again repeat 
a pleasure of those who have 
the time and where with all

endings rapid fire
up and down

the streets trees flutter their 
communal dance of sharing 
you enter into their enclosed 
safety open windows through 
out the apartment time how 
long it takes for frost to form on 
various edges those things 
once so valuable now aflame 
in frigid light we go in and out 
without effort keep forestalling 
reflection through computer 
screen name begin to vanish 
flies unseasonable dying on 
horizontal flat lines little reason 
left for italic moments of capitals 
your state of mind ground down 
only to worthless replace the c 
with an x to disappear into what 
can never be easily followed

passing by
the noon bell an

hour ahead gray birds in the 
starkly black black and white 
domain of conjoined conflict 
lies building upon lies push 
you back to bed and the wail 
of those usual broken love 
songs while lyrically diverse 
the message the same their 
bodies magical hidden as we 
will be by mirrored glass judged 
inappropriate you have never 
been prescient but understand 
the absence hours compel out 
of any context save wonder 
rereading those memories to 
ensure erasure the failure when 
using language with a known 
assumed listener reader in mind 
scrambles forms of alliterative 
translation forms of abstinence 
don't worry the operation went 
smoothly although what's 
missing remains tactile faulty

having no one
to keep us

company the days languish 
late autumn grayness around 
the base of the two new trees 
leaves burrow for warmth a 
smell of bread toasting a time 
ago shots of brandy and 
laughter talking power outages 
and strange surroundings when 
young you kept hidden beneath 
surfaces a sense of safety 
which was all along absent 
gathering groups of memorized 
thoughtless inarticulate truths 
leaving out a consonant or 
vowel feels as if we've pulled 
away from each other unnoticed 
by anyone builds to a crescendo 
where opposites join force 
restive in ourself never a melodic 
introverted caffeine synthesized 
dusk lock the off switch

©2021 gary lundy
All rights reserved


The BeZine Spring

You set out
to write narratives
Poem ©2021 gary lundy
Artwork ©2021 Michael Dickel

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Posted in interNational Poetry Month, poem, poetry, Poets/Writers, Video

The Book of Lumenations — Interview with Adeena Karasick

Introduction to Eicha—Adeena Karasick

Particularly speaking to this “Covid moment,” Eicha (איכה) comprises 5 videopoems which takes as its jumping off point, the Biblical Eicha, The Book of Lamentations, which laments the destruction of Jerusalem and through reflection, deflection, refraction and the fracturing of language, homophonically re-situates the original text to the horrors and hope of the present moment. Tracking through “the city” as a desolate weeping widow overcome with misery, and moving through desolation, ruin, prayer, and recovery, it explores ways that in rupture, there is rapture.

As transpoesis it acts not only (in General Semanticist terms) as a “time binder” but through a luminous, voluminous threading of light, it highlights how darkness is a form of light, how text itself is, in essence, black light on white light, and thus opens up new ways of seeing and the cyclic nature of meaning and being.

Text written and performed by Karasick and comprises the first section of her forthcoming book, Ærotomania: The Book of Lumenations. The music is composed and performed by world renowned Grammy Award winning composer, trumpet player and Klezmer giant, Frank London. Eicha I includes Vispo by Jim Andrews and Daniel f. Bradley with Titles by Italian filmmaker Igor Imhoff. Eicha II and III, music by Frank London and video by Igor Imhoff. Eicha IV and V are still under construction and will be launched for Tisha B’Av.


Eicha I–III

Text written and performed by Adeena Karasick
Music Composed and performed by Frank London
Eicha I: The Book of Lumenations
Adeena Karasick ©2021
Music composed and performed by Frank London
Vispo by Jim Andrews and Daniel f. Bradley
Titles by Italian filmmaker Igor Imhoff

Eicha II: The Book of Lumenations
Adeena Karasick ©2021
Music Composed and Performed by Frank London
Video by Igor Imhoff

Eicha II: The Book of Lumenations
Adeena Karasick ©2021
Music Composed and Performed by Frank London
Video by Igor Imhoff

Adeena Karasick—Interview

Michael Dickel: Your theoretical frame for this work takes us from The Book of Lamentations to General Semantics developed in the 20th C. to the present moment of pandemic. What intrigues me about this is something I have thought about for some time. Before I heard of Alfred Korzybski, I had begun to think that cultural products—specifically but not only visual arts, music / dance, and writing—formed a sort of socio-cultural DNA. The “stories” or “meanings” they convey shape socio-cultural formations much as DNA shapes life forms, but outside of the body of course. And as such, they are apparently uniquely human. This is how I understand Korzybski’s “time-binding.”

In this framework-metaphor-analogy, would you agree that “reflection, deflection, refraction and the fracturing of language” could resemble RNA / DNA dividing and recombining? Perhaps I’m asking if your work introduces and “recombines” the DNA of light (luminosity, lumen) into the sorrow of loss and darkness (lamentation)? Or is the case completely different?

Adeena Karasick: So many interesting questions, Michael. First, if we think about “time binding as a kind of recognizing of pattern recognition—how cycles emerge in conjunction with the zeitgeist, aesthetic and political and social orders of the day and bound by semantic environments and spacetime contingencies to a past which is ever  re-articulated in an ever contemporaneous present; as Korzybski might say, by abstracting nutrients, growing subsystems, which over time re-orient the narrative, language, “meaning” —  in this way it is in a sense a recombination (or in Abulafian terms, a permutation and recombination), restaged into something new.

So, yes between the layering, the looming of the lament and the lumen i’m interested in illuminating the way the present re-presented through an ever-shifting past pinned to a future that is ever-fracturing; how darkness and light are always already embedded in one another – and we see this through our very rituals. For example, on Tish B’Av, when we read the Book of Lamentations which mourns the destruction of Jerusalem, it’s followed by the kinnot, the liturgical dirges that lament the loss of the 1st Temple, the 2nd Temple, reminded of all the other major calamities, the murder of the Ten Martyrs, medieval massacres, the Holocaust. Everything gets bound in these cycles of language of time of repetition and reproduction a simulacric spiraling that bleeds into the prescience of this very moment. A moment that itself (due in part to the weight of cultural memory) fractured and re-reflected, deflected, where limerence lamentation and lumenation emanate: When life gives you laments make limnade ; )

MD:  A liminal moment. Your discussion of darkness being a form of light, or the light in the dark, reminds me of Carl Jüng and also of Robert Bly’s A Little Book of the Human Shadow. Both of course metaphorically could be seen as responses to the concept of yetzer hara (יצר הרע). However, the quantum optician Arthur Zajonc perhaps more literally addresses this light in the dark idea in his book, Catching the Light: The Entwined History of Light and Mind.

Zajonc points out that the night on Earth is not an absence of light. The sun’s light is still in the sky, as can be seen by its reflection from the moon. He describes a demonstration he uses to show this of a box that has a vacuum inside—no dust, nothing. The inside is all painted flat black that is totally non-reflecting. There is an eyehole on one side to look into. There is also a light that shines from a side 90-degrees to that. And a mirror or flat object inside that is black on the back but can be rotated. The box looks “dark,” that is pitch-black, until the object is revolved and reflects the light. Then it is clear there was light in the box all along.

It seems that what you are doing is showing us that the dark / night / shadow always contains light. That darkness or shadow provide the contrast and form to reflected light. And that the light we see, as Zajonc points out, is only the reflected light. Even the sky reflects dust to become blue.

With this other, different framework-metaphor-analogy, does this seem a reasonable way to understand your hybrid title, “Lumenations”, which of course plays homophonically with illuminations…?

AK: So important particularly in these troubled times to shift the perspective, change the channel, shift the diorama, “peepholes, eyestreams” and recognize the light in the darkness; to revel in the white space, between the letters, the long silences, the emptiness, the shudders / shutters, suspensions and remember that as in the Zohar, the darkness contains the light.  Or the absence contains the presence – thinking about maybe Heidegger’s translation of Heraclitus preserved by Hippolytus (which i quote in another section of The Book of Lumenations), that even in the presencing of all things present, itself remains concealed from being present, “not as presence presently absent or an absence absently present but as the absent present that continually withdraws in the spectacle of its present absence”[i] Acknowledging how it’s so important to complicate these dichotomies, uncover its fabrication, and analyze the violence this initiates and sustains.

And like the flash of primordial letters clothed in the nothingness of being enshrouded in the disquiet of dissembling – letters, like desire itself, embodies all that is to come; comes and keeps coming in an ever-arriving future. So yes, it’s both a reflection defection, deflection, confection ; ) playing with ways all is simulacric and thereby produces a kind of co-sanguinity mirroring how like in the 2nd C. Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Creation), primordial creation is ever re-created through the articulation of each letter – which contains all the future within it[ii]

MD:  Now, how does all of this fit in your thinking with the Time of Coronavirus / “Covid moment” we find ourselves living in?

AK: Well, we’re living in dark times. And in many ways like the word COVID itself which homophonically can be transliterated in Hebrew as Kavod כבוד, which (as you know), means glory, honor and respect; ie when we congratulate someone we say Kol HaKavod, ‘all the honour’ (Good job!), or close a letter with the word V’Kavod (‘with respect’) Yet — ironically, COVID kaved is also “heavy. And throughout Exodus, the presence of God in the tabernacle is symbolised by the word ‘Kavod’ ((which is also represented by a cloud!)) So, like The Book of Lamentations itself which is mired in darkness, heaviness and cloudiness – a masking of the light, like you mentioned earlier, with reference to Zajonc, it’s so important especially now to recalibrate how we see, what we see; displace our usual systems of spectrality. Through this homophonic translation, this transpoeisis, it displaces a sense of language belonging to a particular moment but marked by chasms, folds,  paradoxes, turbulence and desire, highlights the Other in language, coveting and foregrounding its caveats.


[i]. Elliot R. Wolfson, Heidegger and Kabbalah: Hidden Gnosis and the Path of Poiesis, Indiana University Press, 2019, p.5.

[ii]. See Sefer Yetzirah, 2:2. Wesier Edition, Trans. Aryeh Kaplan, San Francisco, 1997.


©2021 Adeena Karasick and The BeZine
All rights reserved


The BeZine Spring

Posted in interNational Poetry Month, poem, poetry

~ The Will of the Quill ~

(( wrote this after an extended blog conversation with another talented poet friend of mine about the limits of the written word and language. As good/succinct/clear as a writer strives to be, there always exists the possibility of misunderstanding, and that can be very frustrating! She inspired it (Thanks again, E!), and rather than use an image for this one, I think it's more appropriate to let the words do the talking this time...)
Thick as the speed of clotted thoughts,
This language suffices;
A cumbersome tool.
Experience sought (and bought)
The sacrifices
That made wiser men
From ignorant fools.

Words escape.

You. Me.
They cannot be caught,
Yet aren’t quite free,
For every one comes attached to a thought,
And for every action,
It was birthed in naught but
Electrical energy --
Brain waves of….what?

Symbols understood, with meaning,
But none can accurately catch the dreaming,
Teeming shores of what it means to live.
Sensation lingers in the mind’s mouth,
Tasting phrases.
Sifting variations of description,
Through this medium’s sieve.

It still lacks
The richness of the moment’s impact.
In fact,
It’s amazing communication takes place.
Limited as we are,
By our lack
Of (understanding)
The rigidity of moving back
And forth,
Through
Time
and
Space.

Seeking to capture a feeling,
A sight,
To explain human nature --
Thus, stealing it, right?
We take from experience,
And categorize.
We label our labors,
And ceaselessly prize the “Hows“,
And “Whys”,

But Language,
The bridge of the written word…

*sighs*

Though inadequate,
Sometimes succeeds,
And we’re “heard”.

©2009 C.L.R.
All rights reserved


The BeZine Spring

Posted in Art, interNational Poetry Month, poem, poetry

Somewhere a Whirring Fan

                         “With this beginning, the unknown concealed one created
                           the palace. This palace is called אלוהים (Elohim), God.
                           The secret is: בראשית ברא אלוהים (Bereshit bara Elohim),
                           With beginning, _______ created God (Genesis 1:1).”
Zohar (I:15a)
                         “…She knows that her beloved is searching for her;
                          so what does she do?  She opens the portal to her
                          hidden room [in the palace] slightly and reveals
                          her face for a moment, and then hides it again.”
Zohar  (II.99a)
 Somewhere, a whirring fan
 in an open window spins
 possibilities into threads.
 I heard a rumor that the
 Oleander flowers shed
 their pink and white grace
 for poisonous reason.
 A car slinks down traces
 of a melted tar road.

You like to stand by the window,
 and want him to see you there,
 behind a curtain. He doesn’t
 know you or you him. He walks
 the span of street, infrequently
 catching a glimpse of blue
 eyes, a reflection in cracks
 of the cotton-hued skies.

The crow calls from a tree.
 Another day, green parrots
 screech louder than the
 traffic flees. The heat lays
 like a corpse upon our city.
 Bougainvillea bracts spot
 gardens with false hope,
 colorful arrays of forgotten
 pain turned to sweet honey.

He forgets you, though you
 never meet. And you, also,
 forget—window, curtains,
 the desire for a stranger's
 glad glance. Someone wants
 this to be autobiography, a
 short recollection of moments
 actually lived. That person never
 dreamed, does not exist anymore.

 And I never existed because I
 don’t stop dreaming. Poetry, like
 a god, provides code for an image,
 keying it to suggest a revelation-lode
 from your past. You want it to be
 my past. Parrots screech.
 A crow calls. A beautiful Other
 by the window waits. This all
 happens to you while I write

 these scenes tangled in dreams,
 whirring fans—the poem unable
 to light any form, your reading,
 this page; unable to discover more
 than bare wisps of  meaning in the
 vibrations of words—your song longing
 for someone in the infinite void. Wanting
 a mortal to read you into this, to see you
 alive, you seek a new beginning—genesis.
Asemic Writing Crab / Self-portrait
©2021 Michael Dickel

Note: Zohar refers to The Book of Splendor, one of the main texts of Kabbalah. Translations are from Daniel Matt’s work.

Somewhere a Whirring Fan is from Michael Dickel’s collection, Nothing Remembers.


©2019 Michael Dickel
All rights reserved


The BeZine Spring

Posted in COVID-19/Pandemic, poem, Poems/Poetry

Two poems by Linda Chown

A Time for God

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.

© 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. Linda’s Amazon Page is HERE.

Posted in Culture/History, General Interest, Internet, John Anstie, poem, poetry, Resist

Sharing, a poem by John Anstie

Googol’s simply everywhere, Mamazon’s exclusive.
Big numbers likely would impress, were they not so intrusive,

but then those folk, who insidiously degrade our hard won grace,
are constantly, annoyingly, always in our face.

When the grass can grow untainted, and multiply in foison
and healthy sustenance prevails without the need for poison

it’ll be because we can commute opinion for the better
turn greed to need across the globe with immunity unfettered

but there’ll be no hope for freedom on the highways of the net
until some point in future time, if we’re not forced to forget

that much of our entitlement, accustomed as we are,
will fall into the purses of all those who would be tzar.

The truth would like to catch ‘em out for being so damned brash
yet if we give up easily, we’ll all be turned to ash.

© 2020 John Anstie

Posted in poem, Poems/Poetry

Pride Month 2020, a poem by Carrie Magness Radna

Original gay pride flag with eight bars. First displayed at 1978 San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. / Public Domain

Rainbows,
that used to highlight Pride season,
are now painted & illuminated
on windows.

As we remain inside for protection,
many of the beloved population
are no longer hiding
in the closet—

Even in
contagion,
we are free to be
who we are.

© 2020, Carrie Magness Radna

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 CornerPolarity eMagazine, The Poetic Bond (VIII & IX), Alien Buddha PressCajun Mutt PressJerry 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

Posted in Art, poem, Poems/Poetry

Five X Two, poem and digital art by Michael Dickel

Five X Two

Who blanks out one moment
sinks away from assault of light
covers provides thin shield—

but the night wraps me anonymously
protects me from dirty living-room windows
skins garlic in neglected kitchen corners.

What leaves biting gnats disturbs
perchance calm invisibility shines spots
interrogates shadows under the bed—

but the night emphasizes this
anonymously wiping glass clean
cooks up stews of sour lemons.

When whistles wastrel wind-
tunes wordlessly lifts dust grit
wastes faucet drips clock ticks—

but the night dampens eyes
anonymous echo in ears grief
wraps too many stricken.

Where sleep wrestles waking
nightmares slip into streaming
irreality shows cracked in paint—

but the night welcomes chaos
distrusts rhetoric hugs anonymous
crumbs like fine-grained death.

Why dwells here in this dark
so many tiny organic strands
unravels nucleotide secrets—

but the night reads novels
critiques plots of anonymous despair
writes poetry for morning trash.

 

©2020 Michael Dickel (Poetry and digital artwork). All rights reserved.


Michael Dickel’s writing and art appear in print and online. His poetry won the international Reuben Rose Poetry Award and has been translated into several languages. His most recent book, Nothing Remembers, came out in 2019 (Finishing Line Press) and received 3rd place for poetry in the Feathered Quill Book Awards–2020. He is Co-Managing Editor of The BeZine.


Posted in poem

To Rise From Falling by Ann Privateer

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
Was occupied
With a young man
Didn’t give me
The time of day.
Sometimes love
Is like microbes…
They fly in
And out
your window

© 2020, 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 April 2020 Poetry Month, COVID-19/Pandemic, interNational Poetry Month, International Poetry Month April 2020, Pandemic/ COVID-19, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Before Corona by Mike Stone

Once, a long time ago,
Before Corona,
People sat together
Talking in soft voices
That only they could hear
Heads almost touching.

People held hands
While walking along
A riverbank
At sunset.
Sometimes people
Held each other so close
They could feel each other’s bodies
Underneath their clothes.
Sometimes they kissed
Tasting each other’s mouths.
Sometimes
They pleasured each other.

And sometimes
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
To someone,
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.

April 22, 2020

©2020 Mike Stone
from “The Hoopoe’s Call”

Before and After
Time of Coronavirus
Digital Landscape from Photographs
Photographs ©2007
Michael and Aviva Dekel
Artwork ©2020
Michael Dickel

Posted in April 2020 Poetry Month, COVID-19/Pandemic, interNational Poetry Month, International Poetry Month April 2020, Pandemic/ COVID-19, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Two Poems by Anjum Wasim Dar

The World Came to A Stop

Another day, another death,
another night, another sin
committed not regretted, nor repented,
routine pulled in pain, in beating
the grain for hours, sweat poured,
didn’t wash the hurt,

the baby cried, hungry, on the back
exhausted by jerky rhythmic jolts
then, the world came to a halt-
no cries sounded as bodies fell
listless without breath, awe and fear?
blood sacrifice, so near?

Take cover, take cover, unseen
strafing , women children men, free
of shades, cash or kind, Flee! Flee!
Death defies borders, barbed wires
make no sense, bullets batons guns
lose power.

Emptiness prevails on land, animals
watch caged humans, no honks for way
on roads. Yesterday what we loved to
touch, that very thing we fear, but will
life be the same again? Will there be
honest care?

The sun still shines, the moon in silver
smiles, rivers run for miles, ranges guard
birds twitter, trees remain calm and green,
fruit is plenty, clouds float in the sky, I—
alone, sigh, and cry—I hear my heart say

Now you know, why?
‘Because You would not stop for the World
It kindly stopped for you.’


The  Skean

Boomeranged, the skean slashed, unseen like phosgene on
the terrene, unforeseen unseen, it ripped smothered innocent
breathers, hundreds at once, to thousands in seconds.

Ominous signs forewarned, scary ghostly widespread happening
suspended in the blue expanses a cloudy white sinister skull trailing
horrifically, manifested across boundless, beyond measure,

unknown, space disturbed, restless undines sensed strange miracles in
ocean fathoms-staggering, half-clad, barefooted, marginalized living
bodies, swayed in dizzy drunken states,

dozing, drowning in Shebeen, for uncounted times, now fully wayward,
drifting, stepping, sinking in dunes, sliding aimlessly, what hopes
for humanity when denes destroyed by humanity itself?

Habitats erased mercilessly and clear silver streams
filled with propylene. No Hippochrine in soul and spirit awakens here,
silence the tambourines, smoke not the dudeen,

Sunk to Lethe lust and greed, oblivious of love kindness and good deeds
why to animal level have humans fallen? Believing not The One Unseen?
Now fearing this—though invisible?

The world in speed, metamorphosed  by tiny  Covid-19—enforcing equity—
knows not rank nor caste, nor color nor creed, nor walls nor wires of any
country, nor age nor gender nor family.

Humanity now on a single plane, no one to lose or gain, death is ordained
for rich or poor, dark or fair, all belong here, shrouds no pockets have, just
fabric layers—

Covid-19—with fear you conquer but one strong weapon will win over you,
Humans have faith and prayer, good deeds and Hope—
Hope is their strength—with Hope the pandemic will surely end.

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

Posted in April 2020 Poetry Month, COVID-19/Pandemic, interNational Poetry Month, Michael Dickel, Photograph, poem, poetry

Almond blossoms in the Time of Coronavirus—Jerusalem, 2020

Next to rusted bars
white blossoms promise
painting time will come.

©2020 Michael Dickel

Photograph of almond flowering through rusted fence.
Almond blossoms in Time of Coronavirus
Jerusalem, 2020
iPhone photograph ©2020 Michael Dickel
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 poem

Illness ~ Mosquito’s Gift

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Oh what shall I say about this fever of mine
in the morning it’s normal, in the evening 99

The body shudders and shivers and quivers
sweat pours out like a rushing gushing river,

the liver and spleen get  painful and enlarged
with bitter quinine mixtures one is charged,

you may forget that the mosquito net will
block the tiny insect, day or night, it flies

from cool nooks, to suck human  blood in pure
delight as it swings, sings and dances in to bite,

weak and restless drained of strength  and ease
the body is pale, enlarged are the liver and spleen,

what gender mosquito may be the cause, culprit
is the female Anopheles, that brings this disease

even if tons and tons of DDT we spray, the insects
don’t die, they breed and  grow and stay and stay,

we may say, strange is the law of nature creator, but
insects, birds, animals wild and tame, have rights-

there is a strong purpose of the tiny insect, in history though
It killed the cruel one, flying in his nose, biting the great Pharoah-

to live breathe eat kill or die, face all troubles and strife
they are inhabitants of planet Earth, and have a right to life.

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

 

Posted in poem, poetry

Sick Leave

when everything good leaves my body

my loves, my likes, my have done/s, my will do/s

when my arms are limp, my mind full of a buzzing and humming

 

when my friends are whisked away into the whirlwind of their lives

and I am the only inactive thing

I am left with your voice chipping away at my mind

 

it’s as if I had been wearing all my accomplishments like a robe

holding them close to my body 

covering the inadequacy underneath

 

when my body grinds to a halt 

and I am stripped of every ounce of my value

underneath it all, you are still here

red and raw on my naked skin

 

when the pain of my throbbing joints flood me 

my whole self circling around and around

I try to imagine that the grey aches and sharp flashes

are something beautiful

 

tonight I ask myself

what does my pain look like?

I shut my eyes and see the night sky filled with stars

 

I am the black expanse of unending nothingness

my pain appears as a million balls of light 

 

the shape of me is only visible 

by following the path of my pain

© 2020, Kella Hanna-Wayne

KELLA HANNA-WAYNE (Yopp), one of our newest Zine team members and a partner in our upcoming February series on illness and disability, is a disabled, chronically/mentally ill freelance writer who is the editor, publisher, and main writer for Yopp, a social justice blog dedicated to civil rights education, elevating voices of marginalized people, and reducing oppression; and for GlutenFreeNom.Com, a resource for learning the basics of gluten-free cooking and baking. Her work has been published in Ms. Magazine blog, Multiamory, Architrave Press and is forthcoming in a chapter of the book Twice Exceptional (2e) Beyond Learning Disabilities: Gifted Persons with Physical Disabilities. For fun, Kella organizes and DJ’s an argentine tango dancing event, bakes gluten-free masterpieces, sings loudly along with pop music, and makes cat noises. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Patreon, Medium, and Instagram.

Posted in poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Two poems by Mary Bone

Spirit of Life

The spirit moves us with creativity,
Inspiration and peace.
Our art is a gift
We give others.
Our songs can echo through
The canyons of time.
Life leads us in many directions.
Peace and love sustains our hearts
With a calmness
As we share with others
On our journey.

Hearts Pour Out Blessings

The wind moves through trees
Blowing off leaves in many directions.
Dead leaves can form into mulch
For gardens and other plants that are growing,
To help us thrive.
The Holy Spirit guides us with a bright light
Through dark tunnels and turbulent times.
Our hearts are caring vessels.
We pour out our blessings to others,
As we continue on in life.

© 2020, Mary Bone

MARY BONE’s poetry has been published at The BeZine, Best Poetry Website, The Literary Librarian, Vita Brevis Literature, The Oklahoma Today Magazine, Ink Pantry, Minute Magazine, Spillwords, Literary Yard, River Poets Journal, Duane’s Poetree Blogspot, Poetry Pacific, The Homestead Review, and Artifact Nouveau.