Posted in 000 Poets, Artists and Activists for Change, Essay, General Interest, John Anstie, justice, Meditation, Mortality, Musicians, Peace & Justice, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Politics, Treachery and… a Rose – Part 1

[Current world events have conspired to remind me recently about a post that I wrote over three years ago. My experience to date, at that time, had demonstrated to me that I don’t have complete control over the processes that steer me through life. Nobody does, however much we would like to think we do. It is also apposite that the worrying and sinister developments in talks between the European Union and the USA about what is called the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) have rather vindicated the concerns that I expressed three years ago. It may also be appropriate to mention that the theme of this essay just happens to align, I think quite well, with Corina’s last piece – “Wilful Ignorance and Some Food for Thought” as well as Jamie’s “Earthlings, Making The Compassionate Connection” ].

Since my retirement, I’ve had more time not only to reflect but also review, research and interrogate life’s processes and relate them to what’s going on ‘out there’. I’ve woken up and opened my eyes. I admit, from time to time, that I’ve allowed my mind to become infected by pessimistic thoughts, which have conspired to worsen my mood, with a concomitant fear for the futures of my children and grandchildren in a world with an increasing population, increasing greed for its limited resources, self-interest, political and corporate corruption, treachery and tyranny!

In my less cynical moments, I like to call this ‘life’s rich tapestry’ and all the more interesting for it. So not all is bad; there is still hope.

Babbacombe and the Carey Arms from Oddicombe (© 2011 John Anstie)
Babbacombe and the Carey Arms from Oddicombe (© 2011 John Anstie)

We are all self-interested, to a greater or lesser degree; we are all selfish and greedy from time to time; and, given the opportunity, I dare say there are many of us, who would be tempted to take advantage of privilege and power, if we had it in sufficient measure! I hope that I would not be one of these, but how can I say so with certainty? It is only the truly arrogant, who are unable to see how fragile and vulnerable we all are! But it takes a certain type of personality to be capable of merciless and ruthless exploitation and treachery; to be bereft of conscience – I am reminded of the ‘Morlocks’ in H G Wells’ chilling vision of the world in “The Time Machine“, published late in the 19th Century.

These personalities display all the characteristics of damaged minds that can exploit beyond a simple local selfish motive; even beyond a desire to build and run a large, successful organisation – be it commercial, charitable or social one. I’m talking here of international, corporate power mongering; a desire to exploit and control whole populations, with the end game being investment solely in the interests of a minority elite. It has happened throughout the history of the human race. It continues today, but that doesn’t make it right.

In the face of all this, it is sometimes encouraging to know that there are still some very courageous, inspiring as well as philosophically and intellectually ennobled people in the world, people with huge integrity as well as faith, who are capable of giving us great strength as well as hope for the future of humanity. They come in all shapes and sizes and you find them in the most unexpected places, not least amongst some of the free spirits that are to be found here in ‘Blogosphere’. They can be anybody, from wealthy philanthropists like the social thinker and reformer, John Ruskin, on the one hand, to the totally charitable, nay saintly, who dedicate their lives to the cause of the underprivileged, to help the truly needy of the world, whose selfish human motive seems to have been subordinated and whose spiritual conscience transcends all that is material; here I think of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

The Captain's Table nearby poetic inspiration...
The Captain’s Table nearby poetic inspiration…

Whilst we each fight our own battles to survive and thrive, to overcome whatever obstacles there may be in our competition for the world’s resources, as well as our own sanity, I am constantly reminded that there is also a vast array, a rich vein of powerful and beautiful natural phenomena that have the unquenchable capacity to ennoble our own minds, to elevate our spirits. I am speaking of the natural world; the flora, fauna and insectoids, some of which existed long before homo sapiens marched onto the scene with our unique set of biological characteristics that have enabled us to rule, dominate and change all that we see. But – and I say this with some trepidation, because I know it is controversial in some quarters – we are still animals; animals with an extraordinary ability for creative and innovative endeavour, but animals nonetheless. Look what happens, as we turn on our television screens almost every day, when law and order breaks down or when people get hungry or angry [evidence the London Riots in 2011], and tell me human beings are only capable of civilised behaviour… the fact that we are, well, hopefully a vast majority of us, capable of civilised behaviour, listening to your conscience and, above all, giving air to our compassion, is a cause for optimism; a cause for us never, and I mean never to give up the fight to maintain democracy and intelligently to vanquish those who represent the worst side of human nature (ibid) and the greatest threat to our freedoms.

Although the natural world cannot help us directly in this quest, it is in this vein that I come to the crux. Something occurred to me that I would not normally have expected, not even given my ability for creative thought. This … happening … somehow focussed my attention and led me, in that moment, to become intensely mindful.

This experience will be revealed in Part 2:

https://thebezine.com/2014/09/30/politics-treachery-and-a-rose-part-2/.

Essay (© 2014) and photographs (© 2011) John Anstie

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This post is a part of our participation in 100,000 Poets – and Musicians, Artists and Activists –  for Change. Details HERE. Our theme is Peace and Justice.We invite you to participate in this global event by linking in your work with ours. We’ll be collecting all the links in a commemorative page shortly after we close this project on October 3. You may use Mister Linky below or include your link in the comments section. Thank you!

John_in_Pose_Half_Face3

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

*****

product_thumbnail-3.php

51w-rH34dTL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_John has also been involved in the recent publication of two anthologies that are the result of online collaborations among two international groups of amateur and professional poets. One of these is The Grass Roots Poetry Group, for which he produced and edited their anthology, “Petrichor* Rising. The other group is d’Verse Poet Pub, in which John’s poetry also appears The d’Verse Anthology: Voices of Contemporary World Poetry, produced and edited by Frank Watson.

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

 

Posted in 000 Poets, Artists and Activists for Change, General Interest, Musicians, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

on the ground of battle

Swords Into Plowshares
Swords Into Plowshares

FOR 100,000 Poets for Change; please link in your own work. The info on this is below the poem. Thank you!

it’s just your old soul and mine and
this intuition we share on the ground
of battle, witnessing the foment of hate,
anger feeding disenchantment in the street,
the acquisitive tendencies of the elite,
cowardly saber-rattling, cut off from authority,
from that innate expressively honest power
of our erotic selves, our instinctive selves,
the non-rational knowing that embodies
strength, nothing weak or pornographic
in its expression, a profound antithesis
to the pornography of war and hate that,
in the end, is about impotence, about an
emboli of narrow minds, grasping politicians
stirring tribal dissents for their own ends
or dropping bombs like a child bangs pots –
to overwhelm the fear of thunder, a game
of chicken, of a hawk-hawk play toward
a mutually assured destruction, just a
matter of time . . .

as we stand the ground of one another’s
battles where peace would be radical and
the unholy alliances of conflict might
burn themselves out, find their way into
calm, but here we are, once again, in thrall
the sociopaths have us bloodied and bound ~
their eyes in the aging face of a clockwork orange,
numb to the obscenities of maim and murder …
time now for change, for new ways to be in this world

“. . .  and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Isaiah 2:4

I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, ‘Mother, what was war?‘”Eve Merriam (1916-1992), American poet

© 2013, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; illustration “Schwerter zu Pflugscharen (Swords Into Plowshares) bronze sculpture by Jewgeni Wutschetitsch, photograph by Neptuul under CC BY-SA 3.0

PEACE AND JUSTICE

is our theme for the next seven days as we participate in a global event:

100,000 Poets for Change

Please link in your own work here by using Mister Linky (just click on it) or by leaving your link in the comments section below. One of us will visit you then and we also plan to collect all the links shared with us to create a special commemorative page on this blog. You are welcome to share your work by linking in on any day or days during this event. Thank you! Let’s reimagine the world together. Our art has power …

photo-on-2012-09-19-at-19-541

RE: The Bardo Group

I have passed the administration of The Bardo Group blog to Terri Stewart (Beguine Again), effective October 4. The Beguine Again collaborative and The Bardo Group are coordinating a consolidation. The shared core value is nonviolence.

I remain as poetry liaison and member of the Core Team and with this post extend my appreciation to Terri Stewart for agreeing to take this effort on and to the rest of the Bardo Core Team and to the Beguine Again team and our many guest bloggers, contributing writers and our readers, followers and commenters for their heartfelt contributions to this effort since February 2011. You are a fabulous community of heros and saints.

Let’s continue our worthy traditions. Practice your artfullnes, live from your heart and never lose your ideals. They are real and I hope you will continue to share them here for a long time to come.

In spirit,

0991c643c4dd052a5d6609dcdbcc0086

The Poet by Day.

Posted in General Interest, Guest Writer, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry, Video

Do Not Judge Me, As My Sin Deserves

imagephoto-1.phpThis poem was written by Noris Roberts, a Venezuelan poet educated in Commercial Law at the Universidad Santa Maria in Caracas. Her collection The Mirror of the Soul was published in limited edition with proceeds going to a healthcare foundation for at-risk children. You will find her complete bio HERE.

The work is read by Victor David Santiago, poet, writer, musician and founder/editor of Subprimal Poetry Art.

© 2014 portrait, poem and video, Noris Roberts, All rights reserved

Posted in Jamie Dedes, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

In Other Words, Love

Scan“call me if you need anything,” you say ~
then the sweet swift chatter of the keyboard
birthing words into evergreen poet-trees,
my thoughts and your face, sometimes the
word is love, other times the word is love,
ubiquitous, omnipotent, found in the heart,
in the dictionary, in the mind of the child,
in the child’s mind that lives in the adult,
love everywhere, i see it written on your lips
as we talk of everyday things, i hear the word
with my heart when you say “good bye , Mom~
next week, we’ll go out for lunch…and a drive ~
along the scenic route,” … that says love too

© 2012, poem and photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

Photo on 2014-03-31 at 17.16 #3unnamed-18JAMIE DEDES (The Poet by Day)~ I started blogging shortly after I retired as a way to maintain my sanity and to stay connected to the arts and the artful despite being mostly homebound. My Facebook pages are: Jamie Dedes (Arts and Humanities) and Simply Living, Living Simply.

With the help and support of talented bloggers and readers, I founded The Bardo Group because I feel that blogging offers a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters and not as “other.” I am the poetry liaison and a member of the Core Team. Terri Stewart (Beguine Again) is in the lead position and the Beguine Again collaborative and The Bardo Group are coordinating a consolidation of the two groups.

“Good work, like good talk or any other form of worthwhile human relationship, depends upon being able to assume an extended shared world.” Stefan Collini (b. 1947), English Literary Critic and Professor of English Literature at Cambridge

Posted in Charles W Martin, Photography/Photographer, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

super lotto…

super lotto

with hesitating steps
i entered
aunt bea’s home
after weeks
of speculation
and
unwarranted certainty
i had to admit
to her
that i had failed
in my endeavor
but
she smiled
and
said
a dream
isn’t
a lottery ticket
to be drawn
on some
certain date
to declare
the winner
a dream
is a promise
that one makes
to self
to be sought
and
kept

.
678ad505453d5a3ff2fcb744f13dedc7-1product_thumbnail.phpCHARLES W. MARTIN (Reading Between the Minds) — earned his Ph.D. in Speech and Language Pathology with an emphasis in statistics.  Throughout Charlie’s career, he maintained a devotion to the arts (literature/poetry, the theater, music and photography).  Since his retirement in 2010, he has turned his full attention to poetry and photography. He publishes a poem and a photographic art piece each day at Read Between the Minds, Poetry, Photograph and Random Thoughts of Life. He is noted as a poet of social conscience. Charlie has been blogging since January 31, 2010. He has self-41V9d9sj5nL-1._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_published a book of poetry entitled The Hawk Chronicles  and will soon publish another book called A Bea in Your Bonnet: First Sting, featuring the renown Aunt Bea. In The Hawk Chronicles, Charlie provides a personification of his resident hawk with poems and photos taken over a two-year period. The newly published When Spirits Touch recently became available on Amazon.

Posted in General Interest, Guest Writer, Nature, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

The Wild

640px-Adult_Florida_scrub_jayWhite foam rides the churning
river and a Red-Shouldered Hawk
cries out as he drifts overhead;
a meadow vole takes cover.

In an ancient, towering pine,
lies an enormous aerie, home
to a Bald Eagle couple and their
two fledglings who take turns
flapping wildly, strengthening
their wings before take-off.

A feeding herd of White-Tailed
deer wander calm through the
open forest, several fawns
leap and kick in play and sometimes
bleat for their mothers when they
wander too far.

The armor-plated armadillo can be seen
snuffling through low brush and dirt
searching for grubs, worms and beetles.
Berries, nuts and seeds are the choice
of food for the Florida Scrub Jay seen
flitting through the low, spindly oaks,
and hiding in the scrub when feeling shy.
Their lives lived in extended-family colonies
helps assure them survival even while
their habitat is being threatened.

A dirt colored and plain patterned
garter snakes through the underbrush
before coming to rest in a sunny patch
on the forest’s floor…taking time to
absorb some warmth before moving on;
a gopher turtle stirs from his day’s nap.

All the animals hear when the humans
approach and they watch with
curiosity and then fear as monstrous
machines can be heard revving their
engines preparing once again for
their encroaching.

– Gayle Walters Rose

© 2014, poem, Gayle Walters Rose, All rights reserved; photo credit ~ Florida Scrub Jay by VvAndromedavV under CC BY-SA 3.0

unnamed-2GAYLE WALTERS ROSE (Bodhirose’s Blog) ~ has contributed to The Bardo Group blog several times since its founding in 2011. Gayle has actively blogged since 2010, writing about family life, things of the spirit, and her ashram-life experiences. In this relatively short time, her sincerity and authenticity has earned her quite a large and loyal following. Gayle is a regular participant in d’Verse Poets Pub. This poem was written in response to Victoria’s Wilderness Week writing prompt posted on Wednesday.

Posted in Charles W Martin, First Peoples, Nature, Photography/Photographer, Poems/Poetry, poetry

younger brother’s blindness…

younger brother's blindness

dry grass burns
like a funeral pyre
in the river bed
the river
is dead
cattle kneel
as if in prayer
bowing a parched head
the river
is dead
it flows not
nor holds any life
older brother said
the river
is dead
mother earth
will shed no more tears
filling river beds
the river
is dead
man hears not
wealth’s his only thought
a thirst for silver
but death’s
the river

678ad505453d5a3ff2fcb744f13dedc7-1CHARLES W. MARTIN (Reading Between the Minds) — earned his Ph.D. in Speech and Language Pathology with an emphasis in statistics. Throughout Charlie’s career, he maintained a devotion to the arts (literature/poetry, the theater, music and photography). Since his retirement in 2010, he has turned his full attention to poetry and photography. He publishes a poem and a photographic art piece each day at Read Between the Minds, Poetry, Photograph and Random Thoughts of Life. He is noted as a poet of social conscience. Charlie has been blogging since January 31, 2010. He has self-published a book of poetry entitled The Hawk Chronicles and will soon publish another book called A Bea in Your Bonnet: First Sting, featuring the renown Aunt Bea. In The Hawk Chronicles, Charlie provides a personification of his resident hawk with poems and photos taken over a two-year period. Charlie’s lastest book, When Spirits Touch, Dual Poetry, a collaboration with River Urke, is available through Amazon now.

product_thumbnail.phpCharlie’s long awaited Aunt Bea Collection is out. He says, “Bea In Your Bonnet: First Sting is a collection of germinal poems featuring Aunt Bea. Aunt Bea’s voice is one I’ve heard almost every day of my life. Family observations, lessons, and advice given to me and every other family member who had the good sense to listen. Her homespun philosophy most likely will not be found in any collegiate textbooks or for that matter in any local town crier newspaper catering to city dwellers. Indeed, she has a different way of viewing the world; a bit old fashion, sassy, and steely at times but a viewpoint which has engaged my imagination and heart. I sincerely hope you too will find some morsel of wisdom in her personal observations and interpretations of life’s events, but do watch out for her stingers.”

Posted in General Interest, John Anstie, meditative, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry, religious practice

… Chalice

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

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

if so
are
w e
m e r e
a t o m i c
p a r t i c l e s
inside a temporal chalice?

© 2014 John Anstie

[ The chalice comes in many iconic forms, none more so than the Holy Chalice, or Holy Grail, said to have been used to dispense its sacred content at the Last Supper. Whether the above title prompts this as your first thought or whether it is the ‘poisoned’ variety, it is for you to decide how you interpret its meaning. You can then preface the title, ‘Chalice’, with the missing word.  It has to be said that the above shape represents a chalice with proportions that are rather slim compared to the traditionally chubby looking vessel, which better defines the name. Perhaps this is a good thing, making it as easier to read, like the narrow columns of a newspaper, perhaps ..? ]

John_in_Pose_Half_Face3

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

*****

product_thumbnail-3.php

51w-rH34dTL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_John has also been involved in the recent publication of two anthologies that are the result of online collaborations among two international groups of amateur and professional poets. One of these is The Grass Roots Poetry Group, for which he produced and edited their anthology, “Petrichor* Rising. The other group is d’Verse Poet Pub, in which John’s poetry also appears The d’Verse Anthology: Voices of Contemporary World Poetry, produced and edited by Frank Watson.

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

Posted in grief, Joseph Hesch, Mortality, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

In the Room

Here in the room the breaths come
maybe every ten seconds apart,
snoring sounds from a mouth agape,
now voiceless, beneath eyes mostly closed,
but probably unseeing.
She doesn’t hear the talk in the room.
We think. We hope.

Above the bed, a little plastic bag
of morphine perches like blessed fruit
from a swirly silver branch atop
the six-wheeled tree they’ll roll
out of the room whenever her spirit does.

Here in the room we watch, we wait,
hearing only the sounds of the family,
of the bubbling O2 humidifier,
the beeps of monitors and machines,
the murmurs and shoe-squeaks from staff
in the hallway on the fifth floor
as the hospital awakens this morning.

And punctuating it all come
the snorting gasps of a life dwindling away
every ten–no, fifteen–seconds.
We think. God help her, we hope.

– Joseph Hesch
© 2014, All rights reserved

Hesch Profileproduct_thumbnail-3.phpJOSEPH HESCH (A Thing for Words) is a writer and poet from Albany, New York , an old friend of Bardo and a new core team member. Joe’s work is published in journals and anthologies coast-to-coast and worldwide. He posts poems and stories-in-progress on his blog, A Thing for Words.  An original staff member at dVerse Poets Pub website, Joe was named one of Writers Digest Editor Robert Lee Brewer’s “2011 Best Tweeps for Writers to Follow.” He is also a member of the Grass Roots Poetry Group and featured in their 2013 poetry anthology Petrichor Rising.

Posted in General Interest, Guest Writer, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Making for Home

Originally published in ARTEMISpoetry, Issue 12, May 2014 and posted here with the permission of the poet, Anne Stewart, and the publisher, Second Light, network of women poets

photo-156


Will you be taking the dark path?
The one that doesn’t feel right?

Where mostly you meet no-one
but, once, a man with bounding dogs
who race at you, only to collapse
in snuffles and wags when you drop
to greet them, knowing a friendly hand
is the best way to test or bridge a gap.

And do you still see the huddled man,
who breaks from shadows ahead?

He stops short, fumbling with his clothes.
A man you’ll set light to if he races at you,
but he doesn’t. He’s just caught short and cowed
to find a woman knows. He nods, moves on.
You welcome the swathe of safety he cuts.

Why do you take the dark path, knowing
its silences and hiding places?

Its voices of men in the underpass
where running wouldn’t serve you,
forward or back?

But on the long way of the rat-run roads
are men in cars who screech past; men in cars
who stop and park ahead then don’t get out
and drunken men in packs, looking for more,
long after chucking out.

And who would race outdoors on hearing
nothing more than a muffled shout?

But the path is only a path. And the dark
is only time and time of year. So you take
the dark path, listening and ready,
not ready to cut your life to fit
the ‘what if?’ embrace of fear.

– Anne Stewart
© 2014, poem, Anne Stewart, all rights reserved; ©2014, photograph, Jamie Dedes, all rights reserved

unnamed-1the-janus-hourANNE STEWART (poetry p f page) ~ Anne’s poetry is much published in anthologies/magazines. Her awards include the Bridport Prize and Poetry on the Lake’s Silver Wyvern (Italy, 2014). Her first collection is The Janus Hour (Oversteps Books, 2010). “ … varied, dominated by its music and a sense of quest for survival, for the light behind the clouds. Mercurial, like a Fellini film.” Katherine Gallagher. A review of the book is HERE.

Anne is the founder of poetry p f and she’s the Poetry Society’s ‘Kent North West’ Stanza Rep, a Past President (2011 – 2013) of Shortlands Poetry Circle and Administrator for Second Light Network, whose website, Second Light Live, she designed and runs. She co-edited (with Dilys Wood) the pre-launch issue, Issues 1 to 4, 8 and 11 of ARTEMISpoetry, a biannual journal devoted to women’s poetry, and contributes reviews/articles on a regular basis. She was the visiting poet at a London care-centre for two and a half years.

Posted in grief, Jamie Dedes, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry, Video

Done . . . and not done yet . . .

photo-37-1I watched it all over my friend’s dear shoulder,
that time of living while dying and celebrating ~
like a garden snake ~ the shedding of the skin,
the detritus of material man with its hungers and
wild, woody creative soul, sketching ruby-jeweled
memories in sand to be blown like a Tibetan mandala
across Timelessness . . .

while he,

lone monk,

gripped

by systems on systems of hospital wiring, billing,
approvals, and laws around funerals and burials,
estates, plans, and proposals for headstones and
the where, when, and how of a memorial service,
the left-overs of his life to be sorted, stashed, stored
or sent to the right people in the right places.

Done!

… as though there had been nothing. No one.

– Jamie Dedes

♥♥♥♥

NOT DONE YET

Dedicated to everyone who is living with dying. That would be all of us.

A Taiwanese advertisement based on a true story.
Inspiring. Give it a chance. It will make you smile … and maybe shed a tear or two.

© 2014, poem and photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

Photo on 2014-03-31 at 17.16 #3unnamed-18JAMIE DEDES (The Poet by Day)~I am a medically retired (disabled) elder and the mother of married son who is very dear. I started blogging shortly after I retired as a way to maintain my sanity and to stay connected to the arts and the artful despite being mostly homebound. My Facebook pages are: Jamie Dedes (Arts and Humanities) and Simply Living, Living Simply.

With the help and support of talented bloggers and readers, I founded The Bardo Group because I feel that blogging offers a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters and not as “other.” I am the poetry liaison and a member of the Core Team. Terri Stewart (Beguine Again) is in the lead position and the Beguine Again collaborative and The Bardo Group are coordinating a consolidation of the two groups.

“Good work, like good talk or any other form of worthwhile human relationship, depends upon being able to assume an extended shared world.” Stefan Collini (b. 1947), English Literary Critic and Professor of English Literature at Cambridge

Posted in find yourself, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry, Video

How To Be Alone!

The video was uploaded to YouTube by tomasisms and is the work of Andrea Dorfman. The poem was written by Tanya Davis, poet, writer, musician. Thank you to Michael Yost (Michael’s Lair) for sharing this one with us.

Posted in Buddhism, General Interest, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Encounter with Te-Shan

cold winter winds
carry the voice of Te-Shan
intruding on my solitude
free yourself, he says ~
while working, work
while resting, rest
….buji*

the birch outside my window
waves her leaves in the wind
celebrating her emptiness,
free of all anxiety

*buji ~ free of anxiety (no mind in work, no work in mind; that is, not self-conscious)

660px-diamond_sutra

Te-Shan was an eighth century Chinese Chen (Zen) Buddhist teacher and scholar of the Diamond Cutter Sutra (aphorism), known as Case #4 of the Pi-yen-lu koans (riddles). Case #4 is “Te-Shan carrying his bundle.”  As the story goes, the Master Te-Shan left his monastery in the north of China and headed south to challenge some teaching that he deemed incorrect. He was dedicated in both his scholarship and his tradition. On his journey, he carried with him his treasured bundle, the Commentaries on the Diamond Cutter Sutra.

Along the way he met a merchant selling rice cakes by the side of the road. She was an old woman and we all know how dangerous old women can be. The old woman asked him what scriptures he carried that were so precious to him. When he told her the Diamond Cutter Sutra, she asked, “Doesn’t the sutra say ‘past mind cannot be held, present mind cannot be held, future mind cannot be held? Which mind is it that the Master would wish to revive?” The old woman’s pointed questioning left Te-Shan speechless.

Shamed  and defeated by this uneducated old woman with her street wisdom, Te-Shan returned to his monastery. It is said that he was unable to resume his teaching and spent the next days immersed in meditation. He soon achieved enlightenment and, as a result, burned all his writing and books saying:

“To plumb the greatest depth of knowledge would be no more than a piece of hair lost in the vastness of the great Void.  However important your experience of worldly things, it is nothing – it is even less than a single drop of water cast into the Void.”

The Diamond Sutra or the Vajra Cutter Perfection Wisdom Sutra emphasizes the Mahāyāna Buddhist practices of non-attachment and non-abiding

© 2012, poem and story adaption, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved
Illustration ~ the frontispiece piece of the Diamond Sutra “the oldest known printed book in the world” via Wikipedia and in the public domain

Photo on 2014-03-31 at 17.16 #3unnamed-18JAMIE DEDES (The Poet by Day)~I am a medically retired (disabled) elder and the mother of married son who is very dear. I started blogging shortly after I retired as a way to maintain my sanity and to stay connected to the arts and the artful despite being mostly homebound. My Facebook pages are: Jamie Dedes (Arts and Humanities) and Simply Living, Living Simply.

With the help and support of talented bloggers and readers, I founded The Bardo Group because I feel that blogging offers a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters and not as “other.” I am the poetry liaison and a member of the Core Team. Terri Stewart (Beguine Again) is in the lead position and the Beguine Again collabrative and The Bardo Group are coordinating a consolidation of the two groups.

“Good work, like good talk or any other form of worthwhile human relationship, depends upon being able to assume an extended shared world.” Stefan Collini (b. 1947), English Literary Critic and Professor of English Literature at Cambridge

Posted in grief, Joseph Hesch, Mortality, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Rules of the Game

The rules of the game
are set in stone.
You can read them
written on each slab
out there on the field.
The great game is summed up
in four numbers on one side,
and four on the other,
of a grooved hyphen.
Funny how those hyphens,
from end to end,
are the width of an N or M,
but a life may be wider
than a thousand thousand alphabets
or as narrow as an I.

You think of these things,
the unwritten,
the randomly ordered
string of letters,
of words, of stories,
of a life lived in
what seems like a hyphen,
a momentary there to here,
then to now,
once to once,
when you sit by a deathbed,
in front of a casket, or
at a graveside.
That’s where they post
the rules for all to see
and no one’s ever broken.

– Joseph Hesch
© 2014, All rights reserved

Hesch Profileproduct_thumbnail-3.phpJOSEPH HESCH (A Thing for Words) is a writer and poet from Albany, New York , an old friend of Bardo and a new core team member. Joe’s work is published in journals and anthologies coast-to-coast and worldwide. He posts poems and stories-in-progress on his blog, A Thing for Words.  An original staff member at dVerse Poets Pub website, Joe was named one of Writers Digest Editor Robert Lee Brewer’s “2011 Best Tweeps for Writers to Follow.” He is also a member of the Grass Roots Poetry Group and featured in their 2013 poetry anthology Petrichor Rising.

Posted in Poems/Poetry, poetry, Spiritual Practice, Terri Stewart

Sacred Space in Community

I am currently away at a retreat. While here, I have been reminded of the importance of community. This community is working together towards a goal of having an imagination emporium. A physical space where the community gathers to imagine ways to transform the world to a more just society.

I thought, “We have that!

The Bardo Group imagines peace and justice every  day. And we walk with each other even with our diverse geographies.

That is Sacred Space.

by Lynda flickr.com/just1snap (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
by Lynda flickr.com/just1snap
(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Today, I would like to invite us all to build something together.  Words that imagine justice for the lost, the least and the lonely. I am sure there is an official name for what I am proposing, but I am going to call it “communal haiku.” I will start us out with a haiku and I invite each reader to respond in their own way. Each of us building on the gift of one another. Sacred Space in community, building a gift together that imagines a transformed world.

This is inspired by a reading from on Hebrew scripture, Isaiah 25:6-10. Reaching back and including another community!

Celebrated wines poured
into cut-crystal goblets.
Prisoner’s freedom.

What comes next?

Shalom,
Terri Stewart

terrisignoffblog

Posted in  Mya Schneider, General Interest, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

The Real Mrs. Beeton

Isabella Beeton (1836-1865), known as the first and "best" cookbook author
Isabella Beeton (1836-1865), known as the first and “best” cookbook author

 Originally published by Second Light Live in ARTEMISpoetry  and shared here with the permission of both publisher and poet.

Heaving her enormous bulk onto a bookshelf high
above my bed, then pushing until she was out of sight
took all my strength and it didn’t dislodge her from my mind.

But I rebelled against the weight of her disapproval,
shut myself away every morning in that small room
of my own, the room which is me, to let imagination

run wild as brambles and grasses in an untended garden,
coaxed visions into scribblings on paper until desk
and floor were littered, until unblinking as owl eyes,

words stared from my screen. Of course, the moment
I emerged I came face to face with her large a life
on the landing. For years this matron, large-bosomed

and with a voluminous knowledge gathered from decades
of managing a household, followed me around tutting
because I hadn’t blanched or basted, couldn’t pluck a duck.

She snorted at unruly children sliding down the stairs,
at dust rollicking along skirting boards, rounded on me
for failing to keep a properly stocked linen cupboard.

Then the day I found out this paragon was Isabella Beeton,
a young woman who instead of devoting her life to home
and family like other Victorian wives, travelled by train

with her publisher husband to his London office, wrote
books fat with information, mostly magpied from other books,
about household management, became a money-spinner,

an authority for later generations. I also learnt she’d suffered
several miscarriages, bore two children who died in infancy,
two who survived, died herself after the second –

thanks to Mr Beeton’s syphilis. Yet for years books
in her name continued to appear. The matron’s ghost
still persists in my mind but what troubles me is Isabella.

For all the thousands of pages this woman produced
in her short life, the real Mrs Beeton didn’t leave
a single word about what she thought, felt, endured.

.

– Myra Schneider

© 2014, poem and poet’s portrait (below), Myra Schneider, All rights reserved, posted here with Myra’s permission; Mrs. Beeton’s photograph is in the public domain.

.

IMG_0032-1circling_the_coreMYRA SCHNEIDER (Myra Schneider’s Poetry Website) ~ Myra’s long poems have been featured in Long Poem Magazine and Domestic Cherry. She co-edited with Dilys WoodParents, an anthology of poems by 114 women about their own parents. Myra started out writing fiction for children and teens. We first discovered Myra through her much-loved poem about an experience with cancer, The Red Dresswhich she generously shared with readers here in our Perspectives on Cancer series in 2011.

Currently Myra lives in North London, but she grew up in Scotland and in other parts of England. She lives with her husband and they have one son. Myra tutors through Poetry School, London. Her schedule of poetry readings is HERE. A video of Myra’s interview at Poetry East in London is HERE. The sound leaves something to be desired, so ear-buds or earphones are helpful. Other videos are of poems: The Red Dress and Goulash. Myra’s Amazon UK page is HERE and US is HERE.

Myra’s eleventh poetry collection, The Door to Color, will launch this September by Enitharmon Press, UK at their gallery in London.

Posted in Liliana Negoi, Meditation, meditative, Mortality, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

once upon a time we were

the things that were never said
still hibernate like some embryos
inside my voice.
the sounds that i never heard
are already perverted with ether
by the time they reach my hearing,
but everything can wait.
nine zero one.
the world doesn’t yet ask me to be alive,
the world doesn’t yet need my eyes searching,
raking through layers of light for the purpose of movement,
the world can still postpone the infusion of quotidian
which i can have,
acid,
next to the coffee cup.
the world is still far away,
at about the moment when it chose to be held in arms of sand,
not knowing other ways to protect its smallness –
and my words struggle between silence and burning,
hiding me yet from light,
protecting me yet from sand.
but too many things strive to enter my eyes all at once,
too many wasted lives flow their unlivingness
just a brick away,
and the wooden pillars of citadels feel their capillaries rotting.
“once upon a time we were”
but what if we weren’t?
what if the “once” is truer than what the story says?
once i believed that each of us
lives only in someone else’s dream,
and when that someone wakes up, we die,
and our life is suddenly cut by the blink of the eye of a random person –
and i wonder,
how many lives have i ended myself by waking up in the morning?
and how would it be to spend all our lives
searching for the one dreaming of us,
and then, in our last moments, to beg that one
to not wake up?
and why wouldn’t he wake up?
what dream so beautiful would we offer to him
so that he would sleep some more?
nine zero two.
the clock screams green at me
while at the tip of my foot the tango born in the evening
pulsates residually,
just like the dirty pearly taste of shadows
walked upon on the asphalt of a random street.
in tones of crème brulée
morning invades my senses, ignoring them,
and i open my eyes and end some more lives.

– Liliana Negoi
© 2014, All rights reserved

IMG_7667LILIANA NEGOI  (Endless Journey and in Romanian curcubee în alb şi negru) ~ is a member of our core team on Into the Bardo. She is the author of three published volumes of poetry in English, which is not her mother tongue but one that she came to love especially because of writing: Sands and Shadows, Footsteps on the San – tanka collection and The Hidden Well.  The last one can also be heard in audio version, read by the author herself on her SoundCloud site HERE.  She is also the author of a novel, Solo-Chess, available for free reading HERE. Many of her creations, both poetry and prose, have been published in various literary magazines.

 

Posted in General Interest, Nature, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Summer Dreams

photo-24Seasons for all themselves don’t mean
What they once did. I’ve not grown
Out of them, rather more into and a part
Of them with a deepening I’ve not had.
Not to be dramatic, only matter of fact.
A time when each season meant differences
In things needing to be done is done for me.

Those needings now need to be hired out
To those whose labor is not tenuous
But filled with stamina and a resilience
More nimble than my unsteady willingness
To mount a ladder and repair a rotted soffit.
I am not enfeebled by a long way yet. It’s just
My work’s more now a tooled thought inside.

I.

Autumn is my season of perfect cadences.
In it the heart and mind are at peace.
The slender line of equinox orchestrates
In harmony circumspect participation
Of the four elements that make us part of
An earth fully aware the year is growing late.
Each day a ballet full of import in the air.
Walking, my feet in step with my breathing.

The feel of the first chill-quicken’d bite
In my lungs, holds my concentration close
To what matters. – The wideness of the sky,
The attitudes of clouds, the ‘V’ of flocks flowing
Rather than just in flight, how trees enflamed
Allow a lone evergreen among them to be seen,
The moment, at sunset, when the countryside
Gives the day over to night in sighs
And all the secret names of things are revealed
Then quickly forgotten by the feel of a world
About to relax and make itself ready.

II.

Winter has become a year all its own.
It tastes on my tongue of a cello
Playing cascades of suites by Bach,
Continuing one after another without stop,
Each deep lowing expresses the joy
Of a universe still expanding in awe.
Yet, still I’m rooted firm to earth’s orbit,
Knowing it would be simple to only let go
And suddenly traveling at light’s speed,
Leave all fears behind, bound by gravity.

I think it’s what it must have been like
To be Einstein embraced in his reveries,
Questioning the knowns and doubts,
Accepting the unknown and finally,
Having no doubt about coming back,
Slipped the thin atmosphere surrounding
The world delicately drifting in space.

III.

Spring’s a flowery mutation all primed up;
A glandular mix of the sacred, the profane
And the pagan; Mardi gras madness—beads
Thrown out to bearing breasts with drunken ease;
Carnival gluttony stumbling into Lenten ash, and
Sacrifice. Ending lined up for the confessional
Ritual of Good Friday, still hungry yet, for more.

Yes, the rest’s more like a note left by winter,
The ground saturated with meltdown, into mud;
For me a season of cynics and sarcastic smiling.
When I was young in the sixties and it was all
For politics and sex, love bruising imaginations
Cut to the heart with the hot knife of living,
All caught up in the under currents of renewal
Expecting the world would change by our love.

Though, too, to be honest, my appreciation of
This season, is how it binds the rest with promise.
Always, some part of its fertile dance is woven
Into the cloth of days unfolding of what’s to be;
Always, with the thread of hopes to come.

IV.

Summer’s world is seen from the pitcher’s mound
Long before the crowd arrives. Slightly raised,
Closer to Home than any base, surrounded
By the green grass and raked red clay of possibility.
It is warm roundness and all light rolled out
Into lengths of days. An awakening of all there is;
Opens with clear fields of vision, mowed wind gusts
And dark thunder. A dry in your throat that is not
Thirst, but unquenchable anticipation.

Summer is body time – inside, outside, under
The fingernails dirty. It is Walt Whitman singing
America, while imagining the sweating bodies
Of young men, watching them swim naked,
Diving off a Brooklyn pier. It is a season
Demanding no quarter and giving none back
Except the secrets of Pleasure’s alchemy
Turning spun gold into the smell of memories.

It is a world of short close nights tipping
On a horizon’s infinity, gentle and tender. Full
Of all one can take from this earth if one chose
To leave it– more than, much more than that.
It is the season we first learn how dreams
Become the things they are, books opening,
Revealing every page at once; all the things
We can do and cannot do and can do them anyway.
Above all other importants. Above all else,
Summer dreams it is summer; it dreams itself.
What it is about, with a great consciousness
—All of its sinews, bones, muscles and blood in focus,
To see the object of all its exertions at night’s end
And the next day’s beginning; deep breaths filling
The heart, mind and soul with a pure, deep sleep;
The un-desperate, quiet sleep of summer dreams.

Mr. K.A. Brace
Excerpt from: To Travel Without a Map: Poems; Mr. K. A. Brace, 9781493643004: Amazon.com: Books

© 2014, poem, portrait (below) and bookcover art, K.A. Brace, All rights reserved; flower photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

annotating_1390673386_98Unknown-3K.A. BRACE (The Mirror Obscura) ~ With this work we introduce a new guest poet. K.B. (as he is popularly know among bloggers) is 61, lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his three dogs and four cats. He is a graduate of The State University of New York at Buffalo where he received both a Bachelor and Masters of Arts degree in English. While at the University he worked with Mac Hammond and Irving Feldman and was winner of The Arthur Axlerod Award for Poetry. After graduating he entered the hospitality industry and did not write for the next 35 years during which time he never considered himself not a poet stating that “a poet is one who has written a poem and may never write another.” Coinciding with his turning 60 he suddenly began writing again and is in the midst of finishing his eighth collection of poetry. He works assiduously for at least 10-12 hours 7 days a week at his writing. To Travel Without a Map is his first publication of a book length collection. His style is eclectic and his interest in modern myths and the tiny filaments of our humanity that connects us to one another are the centerpieces of his work. His poems are always surprising both in their crafting and their messages. He considers himself a ‘readers’ poet.

To Travel Without a Map: Poems; Mr. K. A. Brace, 9781493643004: Amazon.com: Books

Posted in Liliana Negoi, meditative, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

all aboard the jasmine train

metallic trails carry along them
the afterlife scent
of knowledge and will

no need to pull the emergency brake –
we’re all just
a splendid soup of souls
from which sometimes drops
creep within the spoon of god
and he feeds the earth with us

sanctity overdue –
once in a while
(or more than once in a while)
expired souls
find their way by accident
on the shelves of reality,
and we blame god because
we forgot to read the labels
and we hurt…

but in the end
the thorns on which we prick our fingers
could be nothing else but
the pins and needles from god’s palm…

© 2014 Liliana Negoi; “all aboard the jasmine train” is included in Liliana’s latest poetry collection, “cream of wordflakes”, available for free reading HERE

IMG_7667LILIANA NEGOI  (Endless Journey and in Romanian curcubee în alb şi negru) ~ is a member of our core team on Into the Bardo. She is the author of three published volumes of poetry in English, which is not her mother tongue but one that she came to love especially because of writing: Sands and Shadows, Footsteps on the San – tanka collection and The Hidden Well.  The last one can also be heard in audio version, read by the author herself on her SoundCloud site HERE.  She is also the author of a novel, Solo-Chess, available for free reading HERE. Many of her creations, both poetry and prose, have been published in various literary magazines.

Posted in General Interest, Jamie Dedes, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

swallowed whole

“I suspect there will never be a requiem for a dream, simply because it will destroy us before we have the opportunity to mourn its passing.” Hubert Sibley, Jr., Requiem for a Dream

we of the blue work-a-day Mondays,
stale “Pastor says” Sundays
and Veterans’ Day at the mall
where manufactured dreams are sold
they’ve fitted us with iron lungs
the muscle we use is not our own
our scripts are poorly written
our poems stillborn, our music silenced
by Madison Avenue, by financiers
and politicians, some teachers,
some preachers too
and entertainment news …
like carnival barkers, they hawk their wares
material addictions, stoked jingoism …
……for this …
we barter our minds, betray our souls
……Chumped!
we are swallowed whole.

© 2010, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; Illustration courtesy of Frits Ahlefeldt, Public Domain Pictures.net