Summer 2022

Volume 9       Waging Peace: personal & global      Issue 2

Contents V9N2

The  BeZine

Volume 9       Summer 2022       Issue 2

Waging Peace

balancing personal & global crises & needs 

Cover art: Extinction
Digital Art
©2022 Dean Pasch


Waging Peace: balancing personal & global crises & needs 

“We can never obtain 
peace in the outer world 
until we make peace 
with ourselves…”

Not for more than a generation has the word ‘Peace’ held so much meaning and poignancy as it does now. The unjustified and inhumane attack by massed Russian Military Forces on Ukraine in February this year, is the largest scale act of aggression by any European country since Nazi Germany started its Blitzkrieg on Europe in 1939…and it does feel like the Russians have taken a leaf out of the Nazi book of waging war whilst making it look like a mercy mission.

Fear and anxiety are often referred to by Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, as the source of all human conflict. They lead to a defensive attitude, deception, division, jealousy, greed, territorial conflict ultimately the relentless pursuit of wealth and power. 

When the individual pursuit of wealth engages with other individuals in that pursuit and is scaled to an organisational and political level, then a culture develops, which engages with and infuses itself into a nation’s conscience on a social, cultural and even religious level to help achieve political approval. When this point is reached, national borders can no longer contain our ambitions. 

It feels awkward to admit that, as a member of the human race, but I understand that desire to keep on gaining money and all that it can buy, like the very first and most important task of securing the first roof over your head, a dry and warm space to call your own home, followed by some material comforts. In certain parts of the world, the so called First World, symbols of status will often start at a very much more humble level, then follow in all their variety. The means of securing them will then inevitably be needed and so on and so relentlessly forth we go. The more of all these things we have, the more we feel entitled to, the more we want. The more we have, the more we fear its loss. The more threatened we feel for the loss of these things, the greater the insecurity, the greater our anxiety, the greater we feel threatened, the greater the risk of extreme reactions. 

“People exist to be loved
Objects exist to be used.
The World is in chaos
…because these things
are the other way round.”

In the mind of an independent individual this cycle of cause and effect will eventually give rise to conflict. If it occurs in the mind of an already powerful political leader, then it has the potential to cause conflict on a massive scale. Whether we like it or not, we are all to a greater or lesser extent bound into this human process, because we are too small as individuals and dependant on the authorities that rule…until we discover the way to influence by ‘waging’ peace on a irresistible scale.

There can be no true peace in the minds of those, who have allowed themselves to be caught up in this vicious circle of cause and effect, of being driven by the desire for things and led by the providers of things…not love.

“If you wish 
to experience peace, 
provide peace 
for another…”

The challenge we face with our desire for peace in the World is that it has at its root the state of peace inside our minds. Seeking happiness may seem like a worth while cause, but it isn’t a guarantee of a peaceful life. Only by finding peace inside ourself, inside our unique and individual selves, in a way that will preserve our ego and nourish our soul, would you be able to contribute to peace for others. We are all trying every day, but it is always made the more difficult by the actions of those, whose goals may conflict with our own, who do things outside our control that make us uncomfortable, unhappy and stressed, that, worst of all, make us feel angry! 

Waging Peace—what we are striving to do right now at the BeZine – will speak to you of all this, but so much better. Such thoughts, writings, works of art and performance have been telling the same stories, in all their different ways, throughout the history of humanity.

If you think we as individuals can make no difference to the huge challenges that face us, even if only by allowing the thoughts of others to help you, I heartily recommend you to take in the many perspectives that our contemporary creative and talented poets, writers and artistic contributors can cast on the way of the human world and the many variety of ways in which they find they can commit their thoughts to the greatest challenges that humanity faces.

“If you think you are 
too small to make a difference 
try sleeping with a mosquito 
in the room…”

All quotations: Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

— John Anstie, Associate Editor


Table of Contents



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The BeZine

Be Inspired…Be Creative…Be Peace…Be 




Art: Yin Yang Earth, Isaac Wilfond (age 11) ©2022


Coffee | Artemis

digital art from photograph
Michael Dickel ©2022


I’m sorry, she said. Fuck you, zey said. I made a mistake, she said. You make a lot of mistakes, zey snapped. She hid away under a widow’s veil of tears. Zey hiked the Bahamas and found forgiveness.
	She tried to contact zem a month later: hope you’re doing well.
	Apparently, zeir forgiveness only extended so far.
	It had been two years, three months, eight days. Like planets orbiting the same sun, they once again aligned: they walked into the same coffee shop. They froze, stared. You dyed your hair, zey said. You gained weight, she said. Zey smiled; coffee--on me?

©2022 Artemis
All rights reserved


…is a high school student pursuing writing. Their favorite elements of writing are clever word plays and irony. They have been published in the anthology The Sky’s the Limit as a result of winning a writing competition, and the The Thread, their school’s art and writing anthology, for three years in a row. When they’re not writing, they spend their days creating resin dolls and sewing clothes.

Website / Reedsy

Regrets | Holly Day


I feel I have failed my children
Because they’ve never been on safari
I’ve never taken them to the ocean
They’ve barely left this state. I comfort myself

With thoughts of children crying in airplanes
Getting seasick, carsick, memories
Of how poorly I traveled when I was a child. 
I’m saving them from having these memories themselves. 

Years from now, they’ll hate me
For not introducing them to elephants
Or whales, or seals in their natural habitat
Never get to see herds of giraffes or horses or antelopes
Loping across far-off arid plains.

©2022 Holly Day
All rights reserved

Holly Day…

…has worked as a freelance writer for over 30 years, with over 7,000 published articles, poems, and short stories and 40 books and chapbooks—most recently, the nonfiction books, Music Theory for Dummies, Walking Twin CitiesTattoo FAQ,  and History Lover’s Guide to Minneapolis, and the poetry books A Wall to Protect Your Eyes (Pski’s Porch Publishing),  In This Place, She Is Her Own (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press), I’m in a Place Where Reason Went Missing (Main Street Press), Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing), Folios of Dried Flowers and Pressed Birds (Cyberwit), and Into the Cracks (Golden Antelope Press). Her writing has been nominated for a National Magazine Award, a 49th Parallel Prize, an Isaac Asimov Award, eleven Pushcart awards, three Dzanc Book’s Best of the Web awards, a Rhysling Award, and two Best of the Net awards, and she has received two Midwest Writer’s Grants, a Plainsongs Award, a Sam Ragan Prize for Poetry, and a Dwarf Star Award from the Science Fiction Poetry Association.

Pandemic Learning | Linda Chown

Pandemic Learning

Dylan Thomas wrote "Death Shall Have No Dominion"
And we are learning how near it is, how uncertain life is now.
We need to stipple our moment,
Make every second resound with deepest glory,
tell that story double time.
Perhaps the fear will bring us nearer to writing a new story
To love each other obsessively and newly
With the desire of new hearts,  
undominated souls.

©2022 Linda Chown
All rights reserved

Linda Chown…

…is a poet professor musician who now lives in Michigan although her past is coastal: Spain and California. Author of four books of poems and currently finishing her next book, Sunfishing, Linda is a life-long activist, sun lover and dreamer. A hopeless romantic, sometimes inequities everywhere drive her to despair and to writing action.

There Destiny Twirling | Judy DeCroce & Antoni Ooto

On the Way There

In sunlight with a backward wave,
I cross the street I know so well.

Leaving gossip
back there on our shared stoop…
continuing the ordinary, my every day,
and in five steps…I disappear.


Joan, you left your face in that mirror—
a warm scent, a draft.

Anyway, it didn’t seem the last time until
his pickup plowed through that summer morning—
plowed through sunshine, sparkle…into you.

Time slipped away, though hope was possible,
and time stayed closed against his roar.

Now in this quieter year, answers don't come,
but your absence does.

What’s left?
Only memories that wrap themselves away
       when it shouldn’t have been the last time.

By the Sea…
Miroslava Panayotova ©2022


Above my chair pigeons shuffle,
ticking the skylights.

In that reel, birds stare
into an examining room.

My wait is usual, routine,
each time longer.

And fear, full of imagination,
begins to cloud my mind.

life consumes time
time consumes life

This child will be examined
but not explained—
that is for adults.

Answers are being searched for
and I’m only the subject
left to watch pigeons.

and finally, an unsettling quiet—
an intersection where chance meets destiny
in a room at the edge of summer

they’ll try…again,
I’ll wait—worry,
never imagining
50 years later…
                      she would be me.

Some Skirts are Made for Twirling

for Mom
and she hummed her dance
in canvas sneakers 

a gyroscope of movement
measured steps

basement, attic, back yard,
chores always in play

filling the ever-possible days of “hunky-dory”
chasing the task, moving along;

cooking, shopping,
years of nursing,
all while humming,

then confusion cut in
and she couldn’t remember those practiced steps,
stumbling till the dance was over.

Collaborative Poems ©2022 Judy DeCroce and Antoni Ooto
All rights reserved

Judy DeCroce and Antoni Ooto

Poet/professional storyteller/educator Judy DeCroce, and poet/ abstract expressionist artist Antoni Ooto are based in Upstate New York. Married and sharing a love of poetry, they spend their mornings imaging, discussing, and refining their poems. Judy DeCroce and Antoni Ooto have been published globally in print, online, and in anthologies.

Remember Me and Return | Isadora De La Vega

Darkness Together
digital landscape from photographs
Michael Dickel ©2022

Remember Me and Return

Darkness covers me like a blanket
Shadows surround my thoughts
My arms wrap tightly around me
Deserted, no one home

You keep me isolated 
My only friend, just you
Smiles ne’er intrude our space
With you, I’m safe and whole

The thorns of my emotions
Keep rising from deep inside
Always in your shadows
Always in your arms

I cannot see the rose
Only thorns of pain
Madness all around me
It keeps me huddled tight

Tomorrow won’t be different
It will always be the same
Fear keeps me shaking
My spirit is tattered, worn

Darkness gives me comfort
Forever, all alone
My prayer is you’ll 
Remember me and return home

©2022 Isadora De La Vega
All rights reserved

Isadora De La Vega…

…biography goes here, with ellipses in front. Link to known social media accounts, website, and / or blog. Delete the words if no links. Edit the Find the The BeZine button link to include the names where it says FirstName and LastName. If there are more than two names, add a plus-sign (+) and additional names, in order. Add Social Media links if we have (do not need to, but can delete the social media block if none). Replace art to the left with a photo. (Use the NO photo block if there isn’t one, not this block).

Website / Blog

When I Lift My Eyes to the Sky | Tamam Tracy Moncur

When I Lift My Eyes to the Sky

When I lift my eyes to the sky the magnificence of colors in creation soothe my troubled soul. I swim in turmoil through turbulent waters navigating the human condition…wiping away the dilemma of days lost in the rapid passing of time.  Hours devoured pursuing a flat line of self-serving deeds…combative aggressive types intensify the hype vicious in their pursuit of power. Greed the cataclysmic seed to success reigns…yet the fortissimo sound of unified voices harmonize in hope.

When I lift my eyes to the sky the magnificence of colors in creation soothe my troubled soul.  News of the day rocks reason in a season taunted by hostility.  Demonic voices destroy tenuous threads of sanity.  The rata tat tat of assault rifles signifies the right to bear arms and declare war.  Babies cry with fear wanting mother love…papa love…family love…wailing and weeping… drowning in a sea of retribution…yet resilient gurgling musical tones supersede the sound of terror singing “Joy Cometh in the Morning!”

When I lift my eyes to the sky the magnificence of colors in creation soothe my troubled soul. War ravages the earth.  Cultures clash…civil war erupts…ideologies abruptly declare the right to eradicate with hate ideals of difference. Poison toxins contaminate breath…bombs explode…bullets mock life laughing at resistance mowed down in the name of dogma…yet a peace encompasses the universe tolling a bell of love that cuts through strife heralding the fragility of life.

When I lift my eyes to the sky the magnificence of colors in creation soothe my troubled soul.

Photograph: Waterbird, Michael Dickel ©2017


Mitosis in the Burial Mounds | Ester Karen Aida

Mitosis in the Burial Mounds

In my body rattle the dead
like beads shook-up with longing
in Rachel’s ovaries. 

Oleander, calendula or olive,
Only the living sow memory,
open their eyes each dawn

to scan the fields.
I buried a tooth for every
kindness I recall.

In the days between Yizkor
and Yom haZikaron, some being
of smoke fills my throat.

Is an organ implanted in a
body, a tree’s grafted limb?
What is your heart’s fruition?

Ima from Kafr Qassem,
where exactly are you now,
Neshama sheli?

I think I should ask your 
home-town Sheikh, who wrote, 
organ donation will be halal.

I ask my heart: do you hold 
two souls? We’ve cradled one 
another, not months, but years;

should time condense to tissue,
This, then?  —a culture unfolding,
beating its wings, in another. 

—and we all hold our parents.
Do I contain four souls—
No, her parents—six?

My heart is splitting 
And living. 

This heart—what does it mean to you?
Shireen’s question
like rain pelting earth

When that had done rattling
in my head, I asked my heart
how do you feel?

She burst into streaks of water,
throat of smoke: my kids—
How old are you now?

What have the years been for you?
Who has cared for you?

We used to tell 
the younger ones, stay together 
and take care of each other

But our children begin 
by scanning the fields 
for a few stalks of kindness.

Sukkah Spirits
Digital Landscape from photographs
Michael Dickel ©2020

Poem ©2022 Ester Karen Aida
All rights reserved

Ester Karen Aida…

…is a writer, poet, and peace activist residing in Jerusalem, Israel. Her writing and art frequently appear in The BeZine.

Sunday | John Anstie


Walking home from church.

Like seeing the sun rise
over the week ahead,
mind full of penitence
a righteous child, wrapped
in reverential warmth and
a sense of duty fulfilled.

That place of comfort,
as short lived as chocolate
such pleasure lies in this
some selfless, priceless
kind of self-indulgence
in your own kind of God.

Who can resist that path
to an easier peace where,
one day a week, the ad-man
cannot get to you; where
you miss nothing; where
those urges play no part.

Where has Sunday gone?

About Flowers
Digital Art
Miroslava Panayotova ©2022

©2018 John Anstie
All rights reserved

This poem was previously published in The BeZine in March 2018. The author thought it timely to present again because of its poignancy in the light of how children might be dealing with the change to their lives in Ukraine … far more violent than we have had to cope with in the West in the past two generations, by simply growing up. He is currently an Associate Editor of The BeZine.

John Anstie …

… Qualified as a Metallurgical Engineer, for the first quarter of his working life he worked as a scientist and engineer, for the second quarter, as a Marketing and Export Sales Manager, both in the Steel Industry; in the third quarter he held a variety of roles in IT and Project Management and was Master of his own company. The last quarter could well be his most fulfilling, if of least financial advantage, as a writer and singer in a small local chamber choir and with one of the UK’s finest barbershop choruses. Married with three children and six grandchildren. He is currently an Associate Editor of the BeZine.

Two Poems on the Middle East | Bruce Black

Smoke rises

Smoke rises on both sides
of the border.

Plumes of smoke unfurl
into a blue sky over Gaza.

Ribbons of smoke curl upward
over Tel Aviv.

The sound of sirens blare, 
hearts pounding seek safety
before the next bomb falls.

Where did peace go?
Wasn’t it here a moment ago?

Moses Intervening in a Beating
Karen Ester Aida ©2022

Brothers at War

My Israeli brother, 		
why can’t you			
see me?			

After the smoke clears	
and the bombs stop		
falling, I will still		
be your brother,		
my hatred of you		
for not seeing me		
only deepening.		

You are still			
stealing my			
bowl of			
God won’t			
see your			

Have you 			
the word			
for peace—			

Why do I feel			
like I’m talking		
to the wind,			
that no one 			
is listening,			
that you			
cannot hear			
my words			
than I can 			
hear yours			
over the sound			
of bombs			
that you don’t			
you are killing			
your own brother?		

How do you spell		
love, brother? Can		
you tell me? Or		
doesn’t the word		
exist in your			
My Palestinian brother,
why can’t you
see me?

After the sirens
fall silent and
your rockets stop
hitting our homes,
I will still be
your brother,
wishing you
had never
been born.

You are
still murdering
my brother,
no one will
see, not
even God.

Have you
the word
for peace—

Why can’t you hear
what I’m saying?
Is it too much
to ask for you
to open your
ears and hear
my words, my
wish that one
day we might
talk to each
other like a
normal family,
like normal
brothers, if there is
such a thing.
That one day
we might stop
trying to kill each
other and listen
to what each of us
has to say?

How do you spell
trust, brother?
Can you tell me?
Will we ever learn
to trust each other
long enough to see
the love in each
other’s heart?

Poems ©2022 Bruce Black
All rights reserved

Bruce Black…

is the author of Writing Yoga (Rodmell Press/Shambhala) and editorial director of The Jewish Writing Project. He received his BA from Columbia University and his MFA from Vermont College. His poems and personal narratives have appeared in Soul-Lit, Poetry Super Highway, Atherton Review, Elephant Journal, Blue Lyra Review, Tiferet Journal, Hevria, Poetica, Jewthink, The Jewish Literary Journal, Mindbodygreen, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and elsewhere. He lives in Sarasota, FL.

Children’s Eyes, Across the Border | Faruk Buzhala

Children’s eyes

When children play the game of war,
The ground quakes under foot,
The air smells like gunpowder,
The water turns to a hue of colors.

When children play the game of war,
They dig pits,  they dig graves,
They smile quietly, cry out loud,
Intuition keeps them hanging in the sky.

When children play the game of war,
Hearts beat at a fast pace,
The weakened bodies require rest,
The eyes look there, where hopefulness breathes.

Across the border

Persecuted on all sides
with grounded hopes deep in our souls
with the question almost dissolved on our lips
will we meet again?

Mother, brother, sisters, cousins and friends,
The war adds  meaning to life,
comparable with nothing else.

I fled the border that separates
the buzz of war with a false calm;
I look forward to doing something,
Freedom to leak out of  the sky!

Petro Stolyarenko
Ukrainian (1925-2018)

©2022 Faruk Buzhala
All rights reserved

Faruk Buzhala…

is a well-known poet from Ferizaj, Kosovo, writing in his mother-tongue, Albanian. He was born in 9 March 1968 in Pristina. He is the former manager and leader of “De Rada,” a literary association, from 2012 until 2018, and also the representative of Kosovo to the 100 TPC organization. In addition to poems, he also writes short stories, essays, literary reviews, traveltales, etc. Faruk Buzhala is an organizer and manager of many events in Ferizaj. His poems have been translated to English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Croatian and Chinese, and are published in anthologies.

Afghan Roses | Leah Callen

Roses and Sun
Digital Art
Miroslava Panayotova

Afghan Roses

For the rose farmers of Afghanistan
Some plant bombs 
or exploding, bloody
poppies. But you 

sow slowly opening
prayers, you sow 
roses, you grow 

soul. Lovers, you 
pluck Beloved, petals 
sweating, heavy with 

holy odours, you pack
pink kisses of peace 
on your backs, a peace 

so volatile, so sweet, you 
make acres of rose oil 
near Kabul and wash away 

screams, wash away
war from its streets, wash
away horror with your

rosewater, you 
perfume your homeland 
like a mosque.

©2022 Leah Callen
All rights reserved

Leah Callen…

…is a Canadian poet living on the prairies in Saskatchewan. Her verse has appeared in various lit mags including EVENT, The Malahat Review, Contrary, Vallum, CV2, Sequestrum, and Barren. She was longlisted for the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize.


Life Songs | Shira Chai

Painting / poem (click on image to zoom)
Shira Chai ©2015

Let the wall climb…

Let the wall climb.
Let it rise.
Let it cling to the sky.

Let us keep them out,
keep us in,
them and us
us and them.

Let us divide kin from kin,
neighbor from neighbor
village from village.

Call it the wall of lament,
of wrath,
of greed.

Call it the senseless wall,
the aching wall,
the burning wall.

Make it a wall that can be seen through without being seen,
a wall that can be listened through without listening.

Make it a wall of ignorance that cannot be ignored.

Now is the moment…

Now is the moment
             the moment before the dawn
             the moment that belongs to us.

The moment before
                                    the warm sunlight filters
                                    through shutter slats,
                                   spread wide like fingers.
The moment before pillars of smoke
                        before the reek of burning rubber, 
                        before the shriek of sirens.

The moment of intimacy,
The moment when your body spoons mine,
                       when your arms strengthen me,
                       when your hands cradle my breasts. 

The moment before the dawn
The moment of reverence,
                        of stillness.

Oh yes, my love 
                     this is our supreme moment.

Almond Trees
Painting / poem (click on image to zoom)
Shira Chai ©2020

Shall give you amazing almond orchards…

Shall give you amazing almond orchards,
                                         in full bloom.
                                                   row after row,
                                                   tree after tree,
                                                   white on white.

Shall give you this and also my heart
                                                        blooming white.

Shall give you endless terrain,
                                           petals on petals,
                                           sweet fragrance
                                           almond blossoms.

Shall give you this and also my heart
                                                       surrendering white.
A distant billow of smoke, 
the crackle of gunfire,

Shall give you,
                        my hand
                        as we wander between trees  
                                                  between almond blossoms
                                                  between confidential kisses.

Beyond the Horizon
Painting / poem (click on image to zoom)
Shira Chai ©2012

©2022 Shira Chai
All rights reserved

Shira Chai…

…is a painter, teacher and artist who writes poetry. From an early age she began journaling. The words soon became poetry and part of her paintings. She embosses the words into the paint. Ms. Chai has exhibited in Detroit, New York, Tel Aviv and various Kibbutzim, in group and solo exhibitions. Shira has been a member of Kibbutz Ein Dor since 1983. She has recently published poetry in ARC 25 and 26, journals of IAWE (Israeli Association of Writers in English).

Website / Her Studio

…pieces of history… | Linda Chown

Peace #11
Dean Pasch ©2022

Crossing Over

The Strait of Gibraltar
Is all a glisten this Veterans Day morning 
Sunlit pieces of history
Matriculate and spin in holy flatness 
Sun surge cups my heart in praise of 
All that came here before.
The wars that surged the coasts 
that impinged like furtive eyes 
The blood rich battles, the hurry
for winning in this tight radiant channel 
This light could dissolve  me in my room 
Looking at painting floating on the wall 
Being nearby this way to Miguel de Cervantes
Maiming his left arm at Trafalgar
In a night smile I touch Miguel de  Cervantes 
Fighting here and Lord Nelson, caps, 
swords and daring Emma Hamilton with a flair
Their ships flaunting the air in zealous lust 
pushing madly through, 
pushing through fervor war hysteria 
aligned in light, bare blood and bones 
In this wild thin space, earth enclosed
To win more in the sea and the sun 
Floating in this straight strait 
To be up to this glorious moment 
Wild living in this brooding loud and dazzling glory
While I drift sorely trying to get earthly
Balance back.

Quote here—add return / line break
only if more than half-way across page.
Make regular block when adding this.
—Attribution (source)

How War Kills Silence

Skews the words buried 
There. How in the Valley of the Fallen,
the skins of Franco’s  Murdered stink war and shriek 
Deja me estar let me be me
In a silent light which welters
Peaceful living in a bright sky
My soul springs a strange hardiness 
To accost the noise of the killers whose rampant madness 
stifles the splendid sound of soundless Beethoven

I say no pasarán

Today is like waiting on
the Titanic for rising
water to eclipse us. 
Visions of Marcelino Peñuelas 
telling of fascist censorship with the great 
charm of the Spanish language full of lips and dips.
I hear Malvina Reynolds singing in the back seat, 
her spirit constant and believing.
I see all these fighters who would not back down ever.
No pasarán
And me facing a siege of ice
darkening when I want to
read and write. Primeval. Humbling. 
Pegging about with flashlights. 
Rose and Jack faced inevitable waters 
but they had each other. 
Robert Frost knew the terror of ice 
"But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice."
Tonight the taps will resound 
like thunder claps and I will
memorize my words and see the great ones
fighting for a promised land.

For A New House
Before the Election Poem

It was a military mob, 
as a hive might, quite.
A concave movement. 
A kind of cleaving.
The rotten pieces hanging 
as a gang would 
in that shining 
knot of pain evil brings 
ready to bite and cling and stick to.

We the people must leave our dens 
and walk to forever to cut them out 
to let our strong peace beauty spread.
She said I’ll blow your house down.
She said this evil has lit too many fires.
I’ll blow your house down, she said.

Poems ©2022 Linda Chown
All rights reserved

Peace #22
Digital Art
Dean Pasch ©2022

Linda Chown…

…is a poet professor musician who now lives in Michigan although her past is coastal: Spain and California. Author of four books of poems and currently finishing her next book, Sunfishing, Linda is a life-long activist, sun lover and dreamer. A hopeless romantic, sometimes inequities everywhere drive her to despair and to writing action.

Good Trouble | Chella Courington

Good Trouble

John Lewis at the Edmund Pettus Bridge
Screen grab from CNN video — ©CNN.
I was fifteen
in a small Alabama town
when I first heard your name
John Lewis   
Edmund Pettus Bridge. 
Their clubs cracked your bones.
Their tear gas clogged your lungs. 
Their iron pipe almost ended your life. 
But you stood up. 
You walked on 
for fifty years plus more
modeling resilience.

When you died 
the earth slowed 
the sun dimmed
the air thinned. 
The world would never be the same. 
Full smile   baritone voice

Yet we are not alone. 
You left us with your words

Walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, 
and let the spirit of peace and the power 
of everlasting love be your guide.

Thanks to Robin Jonathan Deutsch @rodeutsch for making this photo available freely on Unsplash.

This poem was previously published in Valiant Scribe, July 17 2021
and is the title poem of the chapbook Good Trouble.

©2022 Chella Courington
All rights reserved

Chella Courington…

…raised in the Appalachian South and now living in Southern California with another writer and two feline boys, is a writer/teacher whose poetry and fiction appear in numerous anthologies and journals including DMQ Review, The Los Angeles Review, and New World Writing. Her recent collections of poetry are Good Trouble, Origami Poems Project, and Hell Hath, Maverick Duck Press. Lynette’s War, a micro-chapbook, will be issued by Ghost City Press this month.

Other books by Chella Courington: Adele and Tom: The Portrait of a Marriage and In Their Own Way.

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