Spring 2023

Volume 10     sustainABILITY     Issue 1
climate crisis and eco-economics

Contents V10N1

The BeZine

Volume 10       Spring 2023       Issue 1


climate crisis and eco-economics

Cover art: Digital Art, ©2023 Miroslava Panayatova



Our economic system, especially its increasingly unsustainable reliance on fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution, caused the climate crisis that threatens us today (not tomorrow). The fossil fuel-military-industrial complex binds itself so inextricably through Western cultural societies (and other, see Russia for no-longer quite- and China for non- Western examples), tightening its grip to strangle serious attempts at addressing the existential crisis that greed fuels (literally). Russia’s invasion of Ukraine demonstrates this, as we see it used as an excuse to increase production of fossil fuels; to raise prices, leading to record high-profits for global oil companies; and to paradoxically reduce investment in alternative energies, often while shifting those resources into more fossil fuel production instead.

We know this. We can read about it in mainstream media, if we cut through the “rising prices due to the war” rhetoric used to explain the record high-profits of the oil giants as though it were an inevitable natural law and see through it to what really caused the record profits: war-time profiteering to increase the wealth of the oil-igarchs. If price rises had increases of costs, profits would have not been higher than before. They could have been the same as last year or the year before, or on the same growth path possibly, but not record-high profits. As in the highest profits ever.

The company’s prices rose more than the costs rose and this and this alone gave companies higher profits. Period. That was done out of greed. The money didn’t go to workers. That would have been an “expense” before profits. Even those super-high salaries for the lords and ladies at the top of the companies are expenses before profits. Profits went to stockholders. Major stockholders made major gains. (Yes, those include the lords and ladies heading the companies.) The rich get richer while inflation, largely driven by higher petroleum-related costs, strangles the poor.

And so it continues. We use more fossil fuels not because we need to, but because the companies want us to spend our money for their profit. The companies lobby against alternative energy, deny climate change publicly while worrying about it privately, and continue to feed economic inequity.

We have to detangle oil, industry, and militarization from our economies, because those rich people with the money and power to affect government policies don’t want to end the climate crisis. They want to profit from it.

—Michael Dickel, editor


As always, The BeZine presents in our issues work related to our social themes, this spring sustainABILITY: climate crisis and eco-economics. We also have a broad range of other work related to peace (and sustainability, for some), social justice (and economics or sustainability or both, for some of this group, too), and life of the spirit (in several dimensions). It is a large issue with a diversity of perspectives. We hope that it will energize you and encourage your own creativity and activism in these areas and all areas of your lives.

In addition to our usual sections—BeATTITUDES, Poetry, Prose, Music & Video—we are introducing a new section as of this issue, ReCollection. Volume 1 Number 1 of The BeZine came out on October 31, 2014. This issue, Volume 10 Number 1, begins our tenth year. In preparation for celebrating our tenth anniversary in 2024, we will look back through the archives to find work from the past and re-collect them into this new section.

This Spring, we have focused mainly on material from the first issue. As you read through our first ReCollection, you will find work on the themes we continue to bring forward in rotation for our quarterly issues: sustainABILITY, Waging Peace, Social Justice, and Life of the Spirit (and activism). You will see that some of our editorial team and contributors wrote for the first issue, and continue with The BeZine: John Anstie, Joe Hesch, and Corina Ravenscraft. Our founding editor, Jamie Dedes of Blessed Memory, bookends this first ReCollection, opening with her last BeZine Blog post, which looked back to the zine’s beginnings and forward to what could be in the future, and closing with a poem of hers from the first issue.

We invite you to nominate any favorite past work from The BeZine that you recollect fondly, for us to include in future ReCollection sections. Search for it on our site or browse our archives. Please include the title and, if possible, the link. Email to: Editor@TheBeZine.com.

Table of Contents




Music & Video


Art: Garden Sequence, Gerry Shepherd ©2023


Tavor at Sunset | Shira Chai

We found monument hope
in the comfort of call to prayer,
in the villages ‘round your gentle slope.
We concert our scrawl to the soothsayer.

Poem ©2014 & Painting ©2016 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 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 is a member of Kibbutz Ein Dor since 1983. In 1980 Shira made Aliyah with her husband, Michael and a group of Americans to Ein Dor ‘Garin Ein Dor’.  She is the mother of two daughters and a proud grandmother.

In 1982 the kibbutz divided an old chicken coop into studios for the resident artists. The kibbutz renamed the building the ‘Artists Chicken Coop’. There among the cows, horses and chickens is her studio for 40 years.

Between 1972 and75, she participated in the Writers Workshop of Judith McCombs (a published author and poet, ‘The Habit of Fire’).

Shira Chai published poetry in ARC 25 and 26 journals of IAWE (Israeli Association of Writers in English.


Website / Studio

Dream Mystique | Linda Chown

Tyre Nichols

Last night when I should have been sleeping 
I be waking and wondering after that long video of
     sound and pain 
They say I woke confused, woke with questions.
No wonder when we keep descending deeper 
Into blind thuggery.
No wonder my soul was restless 
me like a newly skinned one
Crying, gaping open to this  collective hurt.

And We Come to Dream of Great Fights

Sometimes the bark 
of that chokecherry tree
bites all that is ripe in you
because that alien growth 
growing pushes you far inside all
delicate. and we come to dream of great fights 
Achilles, Susan B Anthony, Mohammed Ali
and we want to know 
how they did it,
how they held on to win.
Chinese parchment paper 
inscribed with your names
their flourishes
delicious aftertastes of
a commitment greater 
than what the sky could ever say

The Puritan Mystique

We are a people still of Puritan stock 
Who learned to belittle the body.
All the great warriors Anne Bradstreet, the sweet
Jonathan Edwards, Roger Williams and Anne Hutchison
among them fought to
Be with things as they are, not as they ought to be.
One of the main fights was the flesh. They engulfed
themselves in dull  clothes covers.
Now, centuries later, many believe it fine
to throttle the flesh, to degrade it into a mass
in behalf of some principle or other.
It enrages me to read of Tyre Nichols
The disrespect of body, of his self.
We are still in Salem ostracizing and beating others.
Let’s grow up.

©2022 Linda Chown
All rights reserved

Linda Chown…

…is long time advocate for peace and freedom. Her criticism  and poetry are highly published  nationally and internationally. Her latest book Sunfishing is available at Amazon. She wants to do everything she can to save this world and its people.

Tough Heart Someday | Martina Teeny Collender

Tough Boys

Imagine if you please,
A little tiny boy of 4 years,
4 years young,
With a wise and old heart,
Who falls a scrapes his knee,
While chasing a flutter by,
And he cries. 

You wouldn't tell him,
To pull himself together,
Dry up his tears,
Boys don't cry,
I hope you wouldn't anyway,
You might hold him tight,
Till all his feelings spill out in tears.

So why do we,
Tell with certainty,
For men,
To become tough Boys,
And not to cry?

We leave them to drown there broken hearts,
In bottles of whiskey alone,
In the shadows of the night,
When there mother's die,
We expect them to carry the coffin of grief,
With quiet dignity,
And not break down,
Not break out,
Because that's not polite,
Or quiet,
Or comfortable.

When there sisters are raped,
We demand there emotions,
To be shown in violence,
And violence alone,
Not tears,
Or fears,
Because the tears,
And fears belong,
To women alone. 

When the final act of the lives,
Is being played,
We demand they say the lines,
We wrote from them,
And all those lines are brave,
We demand them to be brave,
Not shed a tear.

All the tough boys,
Going around with broken hearts,
All the tough boys,
Are going down to the river,
Down to the river,
Down to the river,
To find an answer,
An escape.

My heart breaks for all the tough boys,
Who were told so very young,
Dry up your tears,
Be a man, my son.

It will mean nothing,
But I see the tears in your eyes,
And you find the courage to let them fall,
I love you all the more.
I love you all the more.
I love you all the more.

All my tough boys.

A Whore’s Heart

No one sends flowers to a whores grave,
Her womb is cobwebbed,
No child will grow there,
A whores heart gets no I Love Yous,
A whores heart gets I'm Fond Of Yous,
Prince charming doesn't want her hand,
But will gladly take her mouth,
Bruised knees on her,
Bruised throat on her,
Sucking cock since 8 years of age,
She's a god damn fucking expert,
A whores heart has no particular poison,
Any drink will do,
Cheers to liver for handling,
What the heart can't,
A whores heart will do ANYTHING,
Except kiss on the mouth,
Not since his tongue,
Infected with the taste of whiskey,
And stale smoke,
Pushed his way in,
One faithful night,
When she was 19,
A whores heart is bitter,
And used up,
By 31,
She's done,
A whores heart knows the price we pay,
After 3am
And a whores heart doesn't die,
It's been decaying for years,
A whores heart knows her place,
Knows her part,
Long before you ignored her,
Rejected her,
Forgot about her,
And traded her for a pint and a fucking session.

In the Park
Digital Art
©2023 Miroslava Panayotova


I don't ever want to get married,
But if I do,
And who knows,
I'd like to marry when I'm 92,
To a gentleman,
Or a gentlewoman,
And we'll tend to our garden,
And drink tea,
And laugh at our dog.
And we'll get married on August 18th. 
And it will rain. 
And we'll run to cover under the trees,
And laugh and the cracking sound of our knees,
And we'll order take aways,
And we'll drink cans,
Play old music,
New music now,
But it will be old by then,
And give advice to children,
That they will ignore,
And go to doctor,
Until one of us is called to God's door,
And we'll have plain gold wedding bands,
And we'll watch TV and read,
And sip champagne just to toast the ordinary days,
And we'll have cake for breakfast,
And when people ask,
Because they will ask,
Why did I wait so long to get married,
I'll simply say,
I was waiting for them to come along.

©2023 Martina Teeny Collender
All rights reserved

Martina Teeny Collender…

…is a Queer, Disabled, Award Winning, Playwright, Poet and Writer living and working in Waterford City and County with her beloved Ellie.

She’s been commissioned to write plays for Loose Screw Theatre Company, Red Kettle Theatre Company, RigOut Productions, Trinity Players, Comeragh Wilds Festival, Imagine Arts Festival, The Drama Circle, Brothers Of Charity, Rehab Care, Waterford Youth Arts and Garter Lane Arts Centre.

She’s been published in The Waxed Lemon, The Munster Express, The Lonely Voice run by the Irish Writer’s Centre, Pride Of The Deise Supplement, Shallot Journal of Mental Health, Art and Literature and The News and Star.

Two of her plays Crotty The Highway Man and Pettiecoat Loose have been published by Suirdzign. Her play Still, We Sing has been published by Beir Bua Press.

She’s been awarded Best New Play three times by Liam Murphy at The Munster Express and was shortlisted for Best Play at the Billy Roche International Play Competition for her play Visiting The Grave.

Circumstance Defining | Douglas Colston

The Birth of a Sage? Circumstance.
Real change? Defining.

Justice, relationships, good conduct and intent
determining, stabilizing, establishing and resolving
refreshed aims, standard, criteria, integrity and temperance?

Giving birth 
to the propitious, efficacious, favourable and protective.

The noble, venerable, holy or sacred?

Being born.

Backbone, spirit, integrity, drive, ambition and temperance?

The aim, standard and criterion –
bindu (बिंदु [the optimal potential in each emerging moment]).


True, genuine and honest 
intent, good conduct, relationships and justice.


A celebration.

The optimal potential?

Renewal, explanation, action, clarity,
precision, deciding, expressing our essential nature
and sharp demarcation of outer limits.

(Food for those that are good and their minds)

Some ancient texts 
are more difficult to decipher 
than others. 

One relevant factor is that, 
varying meanings may be applied 
to words or phrases 
that can radically alter a ‘reading’. 

There is, 
the matter of the influence 
of prevailing expectations—
including those that might be reasonably ascribed 
to dogma.

To illustrate those points, 
when reading a traditional English translation 
of Martial (XI: 56), 
it would be easy to receive that material 
as a satirical epigram 
of the male Alexandrian Stoic, 

Reading the Latin, 
particularly appreciating how Koine Greek terms 
were rendered by authors writing in Latin 
might well turn such a translation on its head.

For starters, 
many relevant terms used by Martial 
are set with a feminine inflection—
indicating that the action 
relates to a woman. 

That is reinforced 
by the use of the term hanc 
(an accusative feminine singular construction 
meaning ‘her’) 
in respect of Chaeremon. 

A little later on, 
the term nigrō is used—
which could imply 
the intended communication is, 
“I am black”, 
but it is also—
substituted by “wan”, “bad”, “evil” or “ill-omened”. 

One might also observe 
that ‘Chaeremon’ 
could be a Latinised variation 
of an ancient Greek word—
that can be read 
as “The Χαίρω” 
(“The Joyful”) … 
and perhaps even ☧.

the closing passage—
at least as far as my translation goes—
seems eternally relevant:

	The good-natured, yielding and courteous 
	feed on deeds 
	against constriction and fore-shortened lives … 
	they disparage and humble—
	strongly, powerfully, bravely and boldly—
	those seeking to facilitate 
	what is wretched, worthless, tragic, sick or tormented.

©2022 Douglas Colston
All rights reserved

Douglas Colston…

…has played in Ska bands, picked up university degrees, supported his parents during terminal  illnesses, experienced chronic mental and physical illnesses consequential to workplace harassment, married  his love, transitioned into Counselling as a vocation, fathered two great children and had his inheritance embezzled. Now, among other things, he is pursuing a PhD.


My Aspirations | Irene Emanuel

Grant me the freedom to speak to my GOD
Grant me the grace to accept
Grant me the knowledge to realize my strengths
Grant me the power to use them
Grant me the capacity to accept my frailties
Grant me the expertise to deal with them
Grant me the awareness of Nature’s bounty
Grant me the insight to appreciate all the
       perfection around me
Grant me humility in all that I do
Grant me the flair to bestow compassion without pity
Grant me generosity towards those around me
Grant me the strength to have enough to give
Grant me the right to be who I am
Grant me the independence of self
Grant me unconditional love.

©2023 Irene Emanuel
All rights reserved

Irene Emanuel…

…was born in Johannesburg, lived in Durban, and now lives in Port Elizabeth. She won of the “Hilde Slinger” cup for poetry in 2009 and again in 2013, and the “Fay Goldie” cup for General Success in the World of Publishing in 2011, both from the South African Writers” Circle. Nine of her poems were published in “Signatures” an anthology of Women’s poetry (2008), and shre represented “Live Poets’ Society” in “Poetry Africa” that same year. In 2006, “A Scorpion Sings,” her first anthology, appeared. Other anthologies published between 2006 and 2015 are: “Count Catula of Shadoland & Friends,” “A Peace of Me.” and  “A Scorpion Sings Again.”

Willing to Receive | Joseph Hesch

Such strange vessels, you and I, 
with more than enough inside 
to pour, if not overflow, but only 
the smallest of openings with which to fill.
I know this because we’ve each tried 
to fill others, even one another, 
yet hunch our shoulders when such blessings 
fall upon us, as if shrinking 
from some fearsome storm.
Perhaps it’s best that we’ve always 
gently shared these feelings with each other.
Not wasting what we hold so dear
in some great rush, but with the tenderness 
of a mist caressing our cheeks. 
And now free to feel the soft joys 
of receiving as well as giving each other's love.

©2023 Joseph Hesch
All rights reserved

Joseph Hesch…

…is a writer and poet from Albany, New York. His work appears or is forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including Cossack Review, Frontier Tales Magazine, Pine Hills Review, the 2017 Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Anthology, as well as the anthologies Petrichor Rising and For the Love of Christmas. His poetry collections, “Penumbra: The Space Between” and “One Hundred Beats a Minute” are available on Amazon.com. He’s currently working on his first collection of stories, all based on his fascination with the American frontier, whether it’s upstate New York in the 17th and 18th Centuries or the Nebraska plains and Arizona deserts of the 19th.


The Rhythm of Mundane Liturgy | Rev. Dr. Krystal Leedy

On my worst days,
I forget what I sound like
I don’t know my own voice.
I look in the mirror 
And stare
I have never seen that stranger before.

On my worst days,
You are my enemy,
Your olive branch is a nightstick
Your words are 
Like dust
And I live in a ghost town
With a swinging door the only noise.

On my worst days,
It is cold outside
And my second toe on my left foot is bright
From all the blood
Going toward my heart
Just to keep it beating.
On my worst days,
I pray I am not numb,
I hope for a tear,
A flutter,
A furrowed brow
So I know I am still alive.

The song is always being sung.
The rhythm is always beckoning.
But still I choose the drone
Because the drone pays my bills
The drone is annoyingly steady.

I choose the white noise
Of doom scrolling
Awareness causing me to go numb
I care so much
And feel so helpless

It is only when a rhythm breaks my trance
When my eyes move to what my ears receive. 
When I am breathing to live
In abundance
And I am finally free.
Digital Art 2-29-23
©2023 Miroslava Panayotova
On my best days,
I am human,
I am glorious,
I am kind.

On my best days,
I breathe fire to light candles
I sing songs into spatulas
I fly to the next task
I breathe in.

On my best days,
I can see you
I listen. 
I hold you in my arms.
And invite you to dance with me.

On my best days,
I can give and receive.
I author my own story.
Thoughts are like clouds.
I can hold all paradox.

On my best days,
Justice is my drink of choice.
And mercy is my cup.
I can keep time
And don’t want to at all.
I feel each step move through me.

And there are days somewhere in the middle
The every-days:
Where the bubbles from my dish-washing are rainbows
And the fabric of my quilt sings history
Where the trees are cheering in sign language
And I am a buoy for my friends,
Never sinking, but still being tossed a bit.

We call these days mundane,
And they are
Of the world, deeply human,
Dipping upward to the songs of angels,
As humans are prone to do.

The every-days drone
With stabilizing force
For a moving and changing lyric
Of creation.
Which is still twirling when I sleep
And my deep breathing joins the refrain.

I see the world in hues
Rather than binaries
My sight is synesthetic.
And there are moments of stillness.
And the every-day is redeemed
Like I am.

If you continue to play your toxic positivity at 120 decibels,
Let me dive down deep
Where the bass notes 
Fill my chest,
And my heartbeat wakes me up
To the liturgical rhythm
Of life.

©2023 Rev. Dr. Krystal Leedy
All rights reserved

Rev. Dr. Krystal Leedy…

…is an ordained Minister in the PC (USA) from Austin, Texas. Her Doctor of Ministry dissertation is O Christ Surround Me: A Study in Mundane Liturgy. Krystal has worked as a campus minister and pastoral fellow for social justice and advocacy. She is currently the Assistant Director at the Hope Children’s Center, directing an after-school program. She loves spending time with her husband and daughters, and writing her own everyday liturgies.


Deepest Music | P. C. Moorehead

The Deepest Sound

The deepest sound is the sound of myself,
the sound that has no words,
a writer without the written word,
a singer with no lyrics to sing.

That is who I am, a wordless one,
lost in the echoes of silence
reverberating from the depths of myself
out into a universe of sound.

Meteors rush, galaxies rise, stars implode.
In this space, I lie silent.
My soul intact, my spirit high,
I reach to the sky and sing.

My song of silence embraces all, encircles all.
Being inside the sound of life,
creation, chaos, and order,
I, soundless one, hear.

The Music of You

O You, who blew the notes of my being into existence,
trumpet into my ear and teach me.
Blow Your word into my brain, into my body,
until I become suffused
with divine energy,
with the music of Your being.

I hear Your syncopated jazz rendition.
It reaches out from quiet house to noisy street.
I stand on the sidewalk and listen.
The tune is You.  I want it to be me.
O make of me that rendition of Your love,
that creates music here.

Trilled, thrilled, spilled and filled,
willed, the music wafts from me.
I hear its sound and stand in awe. 
Can this be me?
Of course, it can be.
You are the master music maker.

The Music of Myself

The music of myself sings.
There is no rest.
Note—upon note—upon note,
there is no rest.

Myself sings.
I sing,
You sing,
we sing,

the music of ourself,
the music of You,
O universal self,
the music of You.

©2023 P. C. Moorehead
All rights reserved

P. C. Moorehead…

…now appreciates the peace and silence of the rural Wisconsin woods after living in California’s busy Silicon Valley for many years. The trees provide an inspiring environment for her writing and reflection. Nature images appear frequently in her writing. Her poetry and prose have been published in many journals, anthologies, and other publications.

Meditation | Susannah Rose Rogers

I have to be strong for a lot of people

I have to be strong for a lot of people. But a lot of times I do not feel strong within myself. Most of my inner thoughts are positive self-talk, to make myself feel stronger and encourage myself through really hard situations. The more I do it, the more energy I seem to have and the things that used to scare or exhaust me don’t seem that bad anymore. To solve a problem you must address the root. But it is a daily practice. I hope in the future someone else can read these positive statements and believe in them the way I have, for clarity and mental peace when life seems really shitty. These statements have many times saved my life. They can be read as little or as much as needed, but should be used by the reader’s inner voice, and directed toward themself only. Only our own minds have the power to believe good things about ourselves—no one can force a mantra on anyone, for each person’s own voice is the one they listen to the most. 

I honor myself
I honor the voice inside me
I honor the way I think
I honor who I am
I honor ME for ME

I honor my body
I honor every cell within me
I honor every organ, every limb, all my blood, all my skin, all the fats that make my body’s physique
I honor my muscular and skeletal structure, and how tall I stand
I honor my feet and every step I have ever taken
I honor my hands and everything I have ever made
I honor my eyes and everything I have ever seen
I honor my mind and every thought I have ever had
I honor my existence and the fact that my body came from the earth

I honor how unique I am
I honor how different I am
I honor my good intentions and also the ways I thought I failed
I honor my truth and my foresight
I honor my past and everything I have gone through
I honor everything I have learned and what I have worked hard to commit to memory

I honor the hard things I have lived through
I honor every single time I felt successful at something
I honor the times I have tried to do good for others, and also the times I struggled to do the right thing
I honor who I used to be, and I honor who I am today

I honor my hopes and dreams
I honor the things I am looking forward to in my future
I honor the light in me, and also the dark
I honor my voice, how my voice sounds, and the words I choose to speak
I honor my mouth, how it is shaped, what I have eaten, and what I have nourished myself with

I honor my smile, exactly how it curves, and the times I have shown friendliness to others
I honor my frown and the times I have been upset or in pain
I honor every whisper, scream, and song that has sprung out of me

I honor every tear that has fallen from my eyes, and for every reason I have cried
I honor every emotion I have ever had
I honor how I think about myself
I honor every time I have closed my eyes to rest
I honor every time I have opened my eyes wide to become awakened and to see more clearly

I honor my journey and my life
I honor everything I believe in
I honor my health as it is today, and also the areas of me that need healing

I honor my Power
I honor my generosity
I honor my wisdom and also the times I have been naive
I honor every lie I’ve told and the reason I felt I needed to
I honor every mistake I have ever made because they have all helped me grow
I honor my desire to be stronger inside, for me

I honor my place in the Universe
I honor the date I was born, the name I was given, and the name I call myself
I honor everything I want to be, and I honor the parts of me that I wish were different
I honor everything that brings me pride, and everything that brings me sorrow
I honor all my fears and anxieties
I honor every time I have impressed myself and inspired myself

I honor my personalities and the ways in which I express myself
I honor my humor and what makes me laugh
I honor myself for the times I have gotten overwhelmed, overreacted, and angry
I honor my joy and my pain

I honor what I believe about God and why I see it that way
I honor the truths I cling to and also the times I have made errors
I honor my efforts to make the world a better place, and also the ways I feel I have failed
I honor the spirit inside me, my soul, my being
I honor myself for who I am in this moment, and what it took to get me here
I honor every mile I have driven, every minute I have flown, every inch I have hiked or biked, and every trip I have taken

I honor the ways I have tried to understand cultures much different than my own
I honor every language I have ever heard or tried to learn
I honor myself for visiting every country or new place I have ever gone
I honor every different cuisine and spice I have tasted
I honor the beauty I have seen in different places

I honor every song I have ever listened to
I honor the sounds that relax me, and the ones that stress me out
I honor every feeling, emotion, thought, perception, premonition, problem, and solution in my life
I honor who I love, how I love them, and also the ways I don’t feel ready to love

I honor my tenderness
I honor my thorns

I honor the fact that there are people out there who don’t like me, and that’s okay
I honor the fact that right now I’m listening to myself and processing what I need to, and letting the rest go

I honor every season in my life, and every season in Nature
I honor every constellation I have admired in the sky, the wind I have felt during a storm, the water I have felt wash over me, the earth in between my toes, and the fire that lights the way
I honor all Life because I am a part of that Life

I honor every single day I will walk the Earth
I honor my time and what I do with it
I honor all of my intentions and the energy I have put out
I also honor the energy inside of me that fills me up, makes my heart beat, excites me, and drives me forward

I honor myself for the times I have listened to sound reasoning, and also when I have protected myself from untruths
I honor everything about me, and the fact that I’m choosing to listen to my own voice

I honor all of my flaws, my diseases and conditions, my imperfections, my struggles, my pain
I honor all of my mistakes and own up to each of them, for they have taught me many things
I honor all of my embarrassments, and also all of my excellence

I honor the ways I have hurt people, perhaps not meaning to, and the fact that right now I can fully forgive myself and let the past go
In this moment, I honor all of me for who I am and who I’m not
I honor all of my divine gifts, skills, intelligence, abilities, wisdom, grace, and everything good in my heart

I honor everything from the core of my being, to the outermost distances that my essence has reached

The reason I focus on the word honor first is because it suggests that something is truly seen for what it is. There is honor in us when we acknowledge ourselves. You. Me. There is honor in us when we not only see, but also accept everything that makes us who we are. Owning up to something means we accept it as fact.

The next step is not only noticing and accepting, but furthermore valuing ourselves. To do this, I reread the above mantra, but insert the word [RESPECT] every time you see [HONOR]. Now that you see yourself for who you are, it’s time to put stock in it. It’s time to know your value, to know your worth, to believe that you mean something in this world. Because you do! Respect is not something given away flippantly, it is earned. Today you have earned your respect. I hope you can read this again, and feel your own self-respect, deeply and unapologetically.

The final phase of this reassuring mantra is to appreciate all of you for who you are. It means that you rejoice in being YOU, and that you no longer need to be ashamed about it. You not only see, but you understand deeply, and become victorious in your own complex mind. So, the third and final read-through of the above mantra can be inserted with the word [LOVE] in the place of [HONOR] and [RESPECT]. When we tell ourselves that we love who we are, the mind can relax into a state of appreciation and peace. A tranquil calm.  It’s the same chemical network in the brain as when someone is “in love” …except this time it’s deep enjoyment within. Like a roaring river never to dry up. Like winds that will never quell. Like a fortress of peace about our lives and who we are inside. Like we can bask in our own GLORY. And no one can ever take it away. Your love is eternal.

  1. [HONOR] = Acknowledge & Accept
  2. [RESPECT] = Value
  3. [LOVE] = Appreciate & Enjoy

Thank you, whoever you are, for hearing yourself today. 
And for listening to your own voice.

©2023 Susannah Rose Rogers
All rights reserved

Finding Steps | Dessy Tsvetkova

Finding the colors back

it seems
as if the molder of the clay people
paints everything in gray
and sends the flowers somewhere in the land above…
It looks like he has forgotten to
breathe the light into the souls…
But actually
it just looks like this
the colors are there
but everything is shrouded in mystery
it's actually crystal…
There is no loneliness
there is no gray
if we are still expecting something
and someone…

I Read Fairy Tales
Digital Art
©2023 Miroslava Panayotova


The routine may slowly kill
all imagination.
The circle can become vicious
in a moment
the intuition is lost,
the motivation is not instigated...
We all need a feedback,
and even more
if we are doing it right...
They are so small,
the first steps of the change,
recovering the hope,
we start to believe again…
The change is possible,
and yes, our little efforts
are important…
We only need to focus
deep there
to find
to the God's voice
in our hearts…

©2023 Dessy Tsvetkova
All rights reserved

Dessy Tsvetkova…

…is Bulgarian and writes poems in Bulgarian and English. She lived in Luxembourg and currently lives and works in Belgium. Dessy has publications in many Bulgarian magazines and newspapers, also in Romania, Belgium, USA, India, Peru, Philippines. She has 4 books in Bulgarian, 1 in English, and she has also compiled a book as translator from Bulgarian into English, an anthology of Bulgarian top authors. She writes about nature, love and God, and her accent is the positive message at the final. Member of Flemish Party for Poetry. Editor in Homagi International Web literature magazine.

Divides Time | Daniel Weiss

That Which Divides

As I wended my way on the winding, wooded Highway One,  
Towards Jerusalem , while light was shining from the sun. 
Triumviral in belief, the City of Gold,  
Which just happens to be a few thousand years old.   

I arrived at my college and gazed upon the quad, a 
     sea of color. 
At least it makes life a little less duller.  
Attire in various forms, all red, blue, black and white. 
At the very least nobody is thinking about who to smite.  

Milling around and convening, together but separate.  
Acting out of true nature, and not as some replicate. 
Learning the lessons of life, 
In order to lead others without strife.   

Hijab or turban. Kufi or kipah. 
Some spotlight divergence, others to the obsession, 
Until it becomes a woebegone regression. 
I, for that matter, prefer to concentrate not on
     ‘that which divides’,  
But rather focus my energy where commonplace resides.       

Spirit of a Place
©2021 Gerry Shepherd

Time is the Final Currency

Dedicated to the late David Crosby.
A line by David Crosby, 
That isn’t meant to be somewhat frosty, 
Who sang about a voice too distant, eyes too blue. 
Laughing in the sun, living a life so true. 

If only I could remember my name,  
And all my fellow travelers, what are THEIR names? 
I can recollect flying eight miles high, 
As it inspired me to let my freak flag fly. 

If you find yourself in the shadow or the shade, 
The message is out there, if only it could be conveyed. 
‘If the blue tones make you lonely, and lonely leaves
     you scared’,  
Sing out loud till the light shines on you, till everything
     is repaired. 

Time is the final currency. 
So, shouldn’t we spend it a little more frugally? 

Fear echoing her anguish cries,  
Singing on a blue moon, ‘behind blue eyes’. 
And somehow she knew… 
And the Hero, he just knew… 

Lights in my mirror, increase my paranoia,  
Towering like a giant Sequoia,  
It’s something suspicious, something we cannot ignore. 
We’ll intuitively think, ‘we’ve all been here before…’ 

We’ve all met a man who said he knew what was going on. 
How it’s gone forever and been a long time gone. 
Time is the final currency. 
So, shouldn’t we live life with a little more
      sense of urgency? 

Audio ℗1971, 2021 Atlantic Recording Studio
Music and Words ©1971 David Crosby

©2023 Daniel Weiss
All rights reserved

Daniel Weiss…

…Daniel Weiss was born in Hollywood, CA, graduated as a psychology major from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Received his PhD at the Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet, Kiel Germany in linguistics. He has been a community organizer, musician and Waldorf teacher.

Art: Winter Rose, Miroslava Panayotova @2023


Poems from Unveilings | Gary Beck

Rank Corruption

I learned at an early age
not everything was as it seemed.
Our leaders praised democracy,
professed to serve the people,
but were hired by capitalists
to benefit the wealthy.
We always had poverty,
crime, violence, disorder,
only slightly better
than other countries.
These conditions continue
year after year without change.
Why is there no improvement?
Why does each generation
include the disadvantaged
whose children are denied
equal opportunity?
In a dumbing down country
all children should be valued
for potential contributions
to an endangered future.

Michael, Boston Subway Station
©2018 Matt Collamer via Unsplash

Frightened Faces

I go to the hospital.
They take my temperature
before letting me in.
I fill out forms,
although I already did it 

The worker disinfecting chairs
in the tense waiting room
does not distance.
Everyone looks tired, stressed,
yet they are pleasant, polite
to the apprehensive patients.

I wait a long time,
but don’t think they’re playing golf.
They take vitals, draw blood,
I wait again.

The doctor appears,
moving slowly,
does everything carefully,
studies my chart,
kindles a smile.
“You don’t have Covid 19.”

I heave a sigh of relief,
thank him, leave,
try to forget scared patients
waiting to learn their fate.


Like other important events
we are already forgetting
invasion of the Capital
that wasn’t quite as dramatic
as the storming of the Bastille.
But what if the invaders
captured and executed
senators, representatives.

Of course some Americans
think it would be small loss,
other ambitious members
replacing them overnight
and not making a difference,
as long as the ship of state,
as leaky as it may be,
continues to sail on.

Unlike the memorable
July 14th holiday
that reminds the French people
of Liberté...
that only materialized
for the few, as in our land,
where there won’t be fond remembrance
of the assault on democracy.

These poems are from Unveilings (manuscript)
©2023 Gary Beck
All rights reserved

Gary Beck…

…has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn’t earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and his published books include 35 poetry collections, 14 novels, 3 short story collections, 1 collection of essays and 7 books of plays. Gary lives in New York City.


Roll on | Paul Brucker

for Jennie Jones
Roll on, dark blue sea
Dash along surfaces of the deep
Browse upon verges of pasture

From the quiet intensity of the inaugural harp
to the energetic finale of the horn

Dancers take hands, go round twice,
then back again
Now turn, now repeat, arms and all,
leading forward, then leading back

Roll on until loud voices go soft,
until silence descends
on the organ grinder, the street preacher,
the medicine man

Roll on as the mouth is pursed,
the tongue is shown
and one or both lips are drawn over the teeth

Roll, as another noun phrase is born from a noun
and leaves re-arrange themselves on plant stems
based on this equation or that equation
despite vague movements to the contrary

Continue to roll on though a man falls
into a cranny and finds there’s nothing he can do
to help himself

©2023 Paul Brucker
All rights reserved

Paul Brucker…

…is a marketing communications writer who lives in Mt. Prospect, IL, “Where “Friendliness is a Way of Life.” He put a lid on poetry writing when he went to the Northwestern University grad ad school in a questionable attempt to learn how to think like a businessman and secure a decent income. Nevertheless, he has succumbed to writing poetry again. He has been published recently in Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Wink, The Literary Nest, Otherwise Engaged, The Beautiful Space, Prachya Review, The Bangalore Review, monthstoyears and The Pagan’s Muse: Words of Ritual, Invocation and Inspiration.

Time & Space | Faruk Buzhala

From Prehistory to Futurism

Writing about people’s hardship
living in primitive conditions
dealing with the lack of drinking water
here somewhere on the planet
or for people’s sorrow
and their replacement by robots
those serving in a Tea Ceremony
somewhere on the planet.

I find myself in the middle
that the first is being forgotten
whilst for the second,
I dare not to think for now
they (robots) dance in my head.

I play here on the computer
the game “AGE OF EMPIRE”
imagining myself
The creator of humanity!

Cartoon by Agron Sejdiu

Black Hole

According to Stephen Hawking
Out of nowhere a black hole appeared,
Sucked everything in itself,
Then remained a stain in nowhere!

The time when people believed they could fly!

One man woke up from sleep
And said
I can fly!
Believed him did a lot of others who said
We can fly too!
Then one who was rubbing his eyes
so why aren't you flying?

Text ©2023 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.