your eye for an eye…

your eye for an eye

there are no brave souls
only those who seek vengeance
so death’s army grows

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.”

Our Sighs Ride the Ebb-tides of Eternity …

 

On May 28, our group for people with life-threatening illnesses celebrated the lives of those who have already passed on. I was unable to attend the memorial service due to bronchitis, but I celebrate them, two of my family, and this wonderful group here today.

Our group is composed of people from several different religious traditions and is hosted by our local Insight Meditation Center. The group was founded and is run by a Buddhist chaplain who has been very kind and is a stalwart friend to each of us.

I no longer attend meetings. By some surely unearned grace, I am now considered “chronic and stable” and I’ve grown to the point that the news of death no longer disturbs me. The major take-away for me from this experience is that the only difference between having a medically predicted expiration date and not knowing when our time will come is that with a diagnosis, we no longer fall into those moments of denial. That’s a huge gift. Huge! The result is that we become present in each moment. 

Today, is my loving celebration of: Ann, Deborah, Dick, Ernie, Hilda, Mary, Parvathy, Robert, Mary Kate, Steve, Victor and to family lost in recent years: my former husband, Kirby (the most decent man I’ve ever known), and my cousin, Christopher, with whom I grew-up and who was like a brother … 

Each moment and every person is precious and beautiful and the only thing that really matters is how much we have loved and been loved and that – as survivors – we continue to live in the service of our families and those in need. In the end it would seem that’s the best way to honor the family and friends whose memory we treasure .

IMG_20140525_103644407Eternity flowed deftly through the last eight years
enfolding in her stream eleven with whom we
contemplated Knowledge and Mortality
Looking back, we ponder amazed at love among friends,
……….it blossoms fragrant, as gentle
……….as a dewy rose among thorns and thistles
We thrash and crawl and climb
……….puzzling
……….over the sea and fire that stalks us
Our hearts, cupped in one another’s hands
……….like castanets, beat in unison
Our measured moments grave lines in phantom fears,
……….they float like storm clouds above us
In words of jade, we speak elegies and encomiums
Our smiles mask our sorrows and yearning
Our laughter is love grown wild
We see each other in a thousand shapes and dreams
……….and in nameless names
Our sighs ride the ebb tides of Eternity
…..Another moment:
…..and even the sun will die
…..but our lotus song will echo on ….
……….We have lived! We have loved!

© 2014, poem and photograph (yellow roses traditionally symbolize friendship), 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, 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 and host The Bardo Group because I feel that blogging offers a means to see one another – no matter our tribe – in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters and not as “other.”

“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

The First Lady of Mandolin, her poem and her music

me-261let’s make peace and give it a chance
make dinner and serve it up hot
let’s make love and marry or not
make some babies teach them to dance
make good music a grand entrance
make time without asking what for
make art make dreams come true and more
make mistakes make amends make tea
make someone laugh make them happy
let’s make a better world not war

– Marylinn Mair

I have been trying to write a poem about peace for my friend  Jamie’s  Poets Against War. Everything came out so stilted– no point trying to force the muse– until I was in the airport in Rio thinking about my family and events of the past few weeks, and this decima just popped out. A bit late but heartfelt. M. M.

© 2013, poem and photographs, Marilynn Mair, All rights reserved

Enigmatica_Blue-House_cover-150x150MARILYNN MAIR (Celebrating a Year, blog and marilynn mair mandolin, website) ~ is a contributor to Into the Bardo.  She is a Professor of Music at Roger Williams University and internationally recognized as the “First Lady of the Mandolin”. Marilynn spends part of the year in Rio de Janeiro, where she researches and performs Choro music, a post-colonial Brazilian instrumental style dating back to the mid-19th century. She’s written two books on mandolin and has several albums out.  Here she is – for those new to the Bardo – with Água no Feijão in Brazil.

Marilynn’s Amazon page is HERE. I have written more extensively about Marilynn and choro HERE.  J. D.

The Evolution Shall Be Blogged: Our “Poets Against War” Wrap-up and Collection

White Doves at Blue Mosque
White Doves at Blue Mosque

There are people for whom poetry exists almost exclusively as an aid to social change – not as some sort of didacticism – but as a discussion, a wake up call, a way of approaching some truth, finding some meaning, encouraging resolution. Most of the folks who participated in this Bardo community event aren’t among them. They are as likely to write about the beautiful flowers that have just popped on their orchid as they are to write a poem calling for change, peace and justice. But it does happen and quite often:  a horrific war photo, a news report of an injustice, a homeless person outside the grocery, a friend in pain that can be traced to some social issues, and the words start to flow. There’s the urge to respond, to do something . . .

As I make my way around the blogosphere, I am touched to see how many people blog for causes – “worthy” causes as my mom would say – and I know that “worthy” is in the eye of the reader. War is big. For those bloggers who are pacifists, this medium offers one means of passive resistance. Perhaps passivism is the strongest form of resistance and poetry the conscience of the collective soul.

I can’t help but think that the peace and justice so many of us seek is rooted in transforming values. Hence, it is more evolutionary than revolutionary. It is perhaps so gradual but pervasive that it is more evident in our blogosphere than it is in the sensationalism of mainstream media. Perhaps it is more evident in the heart-born prose and poems of simple folk like you and me with nary a pundit or politician among us. Maybe it’s a bottom-up thing, more likely to be blogged than broadcast, rising from homespun poetry – outsider literary art – sometimes rudimentary and awkward, but always quiet and true and slow like a secret whispered from one person to the next. Maybe it is something stewing even as we write, read, and encourage one another. It could be there is some bone and muscle in what we do. Individually we have miniscule “audiences.” Collectively we speak to enormous and geographically diverse populations. Or perhaps it just that poetic fancy has caught my spirit tonight and all is dream …I hope not.  Poem  on … And thank you for your participation.

So let some impact from my words echo resonance and 
lend impulse to the bright looming dawn
Dennis Brutus (1924 – 2009), South African Poet/Activist

– © 2013 Jamie Dedes (The Poet by Day)

Featured Poem #1:

No mother’s arms shall cradle you
Nor gentle voice shall ease your heart
Nor call to you, through smoke and gun
Though you are lost, war-torn apart

Your mother’s eyes are filled with fear
They shall not weep, not shed a tear
For you, might one day come to gloat
And slice your blade across her throat

You devilled child of generation
Lost, forgotten by a nation.
Eyes of stone that cannot feel
Go crazed beneath a general’s heel

You play with guns, the Russian grades
In school of steel and AKA’s
And fall where shot, unfriended lie
On burning ground, but none shall cry

To moisten fire of barren earth
Or plant a stick to mark your birth

When tiny body finds its grave
Bones are bleached and none can save
Your soul, that cries to scorching sky ~
Where is my home, why did I die?

– © 2013 Niamh Clune (On the Plum Tree)

Featured Poem #2

Each one came, soldier, marine, airman, frogwalking quietly as if wrapped from within
the cocoon of his own world.War’s sad energy like a gray
heavy mist lay upon the shoulders of each,
reality spiking their dull black piercing shadows.Each man sat at the table abandoned.
“Just a word”?
“Coffee please”.“May we write yet?”
And then he stood.
A large and heavy presence, poorly balanced.He shouted …
“Don’t you see them?
There, in the corners … one in each corner.”“How dare they come here?
I ought-a know,
I was with the CIA.”Then he sat down defeated again.
He seemed to relax until another
Stream of madness crept out of his throat.“I will NOT be giving you a sample today!
There will be no writing samples.
THEY … are here for that reason you know, to collect them.”And I thought to myself,
Does the madness hide the pain?
Or perhaps this pain drives one mad.2008 © Liz Rice-Sosne (noh where)

Poets Against War Poetry Collection

These are listed in the order that I received them. Please visit one another: read, comment, encourage. I think I’ve captured all the links, but if I missed someone, I’m sorry. Please just put the link in again in the comments below and I will add it here. Thank you! J.D.

I Consider Myself by Renee Espriu, Turtle Flight, My Muse & Angels

Peace, always by Blaga Todorova, Between the Shadows and the Soul

the magic wand by Sharmishtha Basu, Sharmishtha Basu’s poetries

War by Reena Presad, Butterflies of Time

Wake up by Reena Presad, Butteflies of Time

Peace Embrace by Rev. Terri Stewar, CloakedMonk

The Irony of War by Victoria C. Slotto, Victoria C. Slotto, Author: Fiction, Poetry and Writing Prompts

Peace and War and Pieces of Human Beings on the Ground, Amy Barlow Liberato, Sharp Little Pencil

peace would be radical by Jamie Dedes, The Poet by Day, the journey in poem

Let’s merge our voices by Nadira Fromkannur, Dreaming Through the Night

Poems for Peace by Liz Rice-Stone, noh where

Think by John Anstie, My Poetry Library

In the Name of Love, A Poem to All World Leaders by T. J. Therien, Liars, Hypocrites & The Development of Human Emotions

Unite for Peace by Sue Dreamwalker, Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary

The Last Horseman Is the One Who Counts by Corina L. Ravenscraft, Dragon’s Dreams

Price Check by Corina L. Ravenscraft, Dragon’s Dreams

again by Charles W. Martin, Reading Between the Minds

Twenty Nine by John Anstie, My Poetry Library

conjugating wars by Liliana Negoi, Endless Journey and in Romanian curcubee în alb şi negru

For the kindness of reblogging the original announcement of this event, thanks to Reena Prasad, Renee EspirituTerri Stewart, George-b, Paula Kuitenbrouwer, Nadira Fromkannur, and John Anstie. (Please let me know if I left you out. J.D.)

And in closing, here is John Anstie’s re-articulation of our mission:

“. . . at its core is a spiritual aspiration for the moral (and perhaps literary) high ground – and that is not, in any shape or form, intended to be an arrogant position – it is, above all, the fact that it is the mission of ‘Into The Bardo’ to present a pan-religious, non-partisan, de-polarised, maybe even universal picture of humanity and the challenges we face . . .” John Anstie (My Poetry Library and 42)

BARDO NEWS: Follow-up on Poets Against War and Call for Contributors

White Doves at Blue Mosque
White Doves at Blue Mosque

POETS AGAINST WAR: Our profound appreciation to all those who read, wrote and contributed poems, links to poems and comments of such quality that they enrich this site for all. We are busy now preparing a summary and compiling the links and later this week everything will be delivered to you in a special post, which will also be loaded in as a page for easy access anytime.  

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTORS/CONTRIBUTIONS: We are also deeply appreciative of the people and talents offered in response to our most recent outreach. Three volunteers from the Core Team are handling this project and we will get back to everyone shortly. 

– Jamie Dedes

Photo credit ~ Peretz Partensky via Wikipedia under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike Generic 2.0 license

POETS AGAINST THE WAR, #4: The Last Horseman Is the One Who Counts by Corina L. Ravenscraft

gas-mask-dollar
There is no profit in peace, you know.
White Horse or Red, the blood must flow.
Human constructs, like Conquest or War,
Benefit the rich and bury the poor.
I think the Draft should be reinstated;
So that ALL might witness the horror created.

Send the war-mongers’ sons first,
To hold the Front Line’s Hell.
Watch them die, or even worse,
Return home, as a shell.
If politician’s kids are killed or maimed,
Will war then taste as good as they claimed?

Tell me:

What’s the magic, almighty dollar amount?
To make endless war worth the body count?
If Corporations are people, now, too,
Let’s send them to war, and see if it’s true.
Will those corporations scream in pain as they bleed?
Will they writhe in agony for a rich man’s greed?
Will they lose their limbs, and maybe their minds?
Does the Machine care about the bones, the bodies it grinds?

In the end:

There is no prophet of peace, you know.
The love of money is Greed: War’s C.E.O.
The wars will continue, the innocents will still fall.
And the Pale Horse’s rider will someday claim all.

– Corina L. Ravenscraft

ch6-4horsemen

Invitation: We’d like you to join us – not only as readers – but as writers by putting links to your own anti-war or pro-peace poems in the comment sections. Next week we’ll gather the links together in one post and put them up as a single page headed “Poets  Against War.”  Thank you!

© 2013, poem and portrait (below), Corina L. Ravenscraft, All rights reserved
Photo credits ~ dollar bill with gas mask via edgecast on Tumbler, second illustration is of a painting by Vallejo

Corina-1992414_511233302297487_1031742058_nCORINA L. RAVENSCRAFT (Dragon’s Dreams) ~ is a guest writer on Into the Bardo. She is a poet and writer, artist and librarian who has been charming us through her blog since 2000, longer than any blogger in our little blogging community. She tends to keep herself in the background, but in a 2011 Jingle Poetry interview with Blaga Todorova (Between the Shadows and the Soul) she revealed, “Dragon’s Dreams ~ The name comes from my love-affairs with both Dragons and Dreams (capital Ds). It’s another extension of who I am, a facet for expression; a place and way to reach other like-minded, creative individuals. I post a lot of poetry and images that fascinate or move me, because that’s my favorite way to view the world. I post about 1372843_511233305630820_2079635591_nthings important to me and the world in which we live, try to champion extra important political, societal and environmental issues, etc. Sometimes I wax philosophical, because it’s also a place where I always seem to learn about myself, too, by interacting with some of the brightest minds, souls and hearts out there. It’s all about ‘connection(s)’ and I don’t mean “net-working” with people for personal gain, but the expansion of the 4 L’s: Light, Love, Laughter, Learning.”  The samples of Cornina’s art work, her popular Infinity-Möbius dragon, is copyright”Möbius Ouroboros.” If you click on them, you can view enlarged versions.

 

 

POETS AGAINST WAR, #1: The Irony of War by Victoria C. Slotto

smiley

Smile, Jesus Loves You

He wore no smile. Square jaw, set firm,
taut muscles. Skin like latte, stubble-covered,
(more like fuzz.)
Skin too soft for who he was,
who he pretended to be.
Salvadoran sun backlit the scene
set on the borders of insanity.

elsalvador

Not a game he played that day,
a game his peers in other lands
and other times still play.
This was a game of war.

He stared at us, each one, with eyes
too full of sadness for an almost-child.
Compared our passport photos with reality.

And there, upon the submachine gun’s butt—
a smiley face, a message, too.

I wonder–can he smile today,
and can he still believe?

Earthquake--El Salvador1986
Earthquake–El Salvador
1986

At the height of the civil war in El Salvador, the country suffered a massive earthquake that resulted in much loss of life and many injuries. I spent close to a month there, helping to nurse the wounded not requiring hospitalization. We flew into Guatemala and drove to San Salvador, the capital. On the way, we had to pass through numerous military checkpoints. At one of these stops I observed a young soldier. I’d guess he wasn’t much older than 15 or 16, perhaps younger. There on the butt of his huge machine gun was a smiley face sticker with the words in English that I’ve chosen for the title of this poem.

When will we ever learn?

– Victoria C. Slotto

Invitation: We’d like you to join us – not only as readers – but as writers by putting links to your own anti-war or pro-peace poems in the comment sections. Next week we’ll gather the links together in one post and put them up as a single page headed “Poets  Against War.”  Thank you!

Victoria at the Palm Springs Writer's Expo March 2012
Victoria at the Palm Springs Writer’s Expo March 2012

jr-cover-2VICTORIA C. SLOTTO (Victoria C. Slotto, Author: Fiction, Poetry and Writing Prompts) ~  is an accomplished writer and poet. Winter is Past, published by Lucky Bat Books in 2012is Victoria’s first novel.  A second novel is in process.  Jacaranda Rain — Collected poems, 2012 is available on Amazon, as is the hot-off-the-press nonfiction, Beating the Odds: Support for Persons with Early Stage Dementia. Victoria’s poetry collection and non-fiction book are free to Amazon Prime Members.  Link HERE for Victoria’s Amazon page.

Peace Give I to Thee

Wow, the first in the series of Poets Against War or Poets for Peace. Hopefully I can do it justice! In riffing on peace and war, several things came together in my mind – or rather, many things came hopping through it! I hope the resulting series of images, words, and music will act as a meditation for you on this first day of Poets Against War. This will be synchro-posted at my blog, http://www.cloakedmonk.com. Feel free to reblog or synchropost elsewhere just link back to here.

First, a meme (my new favorite weird thing to do – make memes)…

wonka

Second, I have been noodling this around and the predominant thought I had was to sing a duet with my son, Colin Stewart. Colin is 17 and much more talented than I! But we held it together in order to sing an old church song, Peace Give I to Thee. Colin is playing the ukelele and singing. I confess that our sound system is not wonderful, so we both tempered ourselves to not blow out the microphones. It is accompanied by photos I took in the Bellevue Botanical Garden which bring me incredible peace.

Finally, the nature of the quest: Poets Against War or Poets for Peace. So black and white, it begs a reflection.

dichotomy

war destroys peace

hate destroys love

butterfly destroys chrysalis

child destroys dandelion

lion destroys lamb

lamb redeems lion

dandelion redeems child

chrysalis redeems butterfly

love redeems hate

peace redeems war

unity

 butterfly

And another old favorite, “Breathe Deep” by the Lost Dogs which speaks to the unity of all-even when we are uncomfortable with that unity.

Peace Out!

Terri

© 2013, post and photos, Terri Stewart, All rights reserved

terriREV. TERRI STEWART is Into the Bardo’s  Sunday chaplain, senior content editor, and site co-administrator. She comes from an eclectic background and considers herself to be grounded in contemplation and justice. She is the Director and Founder of the Youth Chaplaincy Coalition that serves youth affected by the justice system. As a graduate of Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry, she earned her Master’s of Divinity and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Spiritual Direction. She is a contributing author to the Abingdon Worship Annual. (The 2014 issue just released!)

Her online presence is “Cloaked Monk.” This speaks to her grounding in contemplative arts and the need to live it out in the world. The cloak is the disguise of normalcy as she advocates for justice and peace. You can find her at www.cloakedmonk.com, www.twitter.com/cloakedmonk, and www.facebook.com/cloakedmonk.

BARDO NEWS: Poets Against War, Poets for Peace

file000513414694Please unite with us on Into the Bardo for Poets Against War, which is really saying Poets for Peace. 

We will start with something special tomorrow (it may or may not include a poem, Terri Stewart will surprise us) and then each of the next six days we’ll host poems from six different poets. Throughout the week, we’d like you to join us – not only as readers – but as writers by putting links to your own anti-war or pro-peace poems in the comment sections. We’ll gather the links together in one post and put them up as a single special page. Please don’t worry about questions like whether you’ve been published or whether you think the work is good. These questions are irrelevant. It’s your heart in the work that counts. That’s where the power is.   So please unite with us in this one thing. Let’s put that energy out into the world. If you are so inclined, please also reblog this post and help us get the word out about our week of Poets Against War. Thank you!

Photo courtesy of morgueFile.