Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry

Unicorn Diasporic Birdwatching | Gili Haimovich


latent love
contrived happiness
kindness that can’t be helped
excluded from my own language

how can one be mad at a unicorn
for its rarity?

Unicorn 3
Digital art ©2023 Michael Dickel

Diasporic Nostalgia

We don’t feel shame when
we share memories
of when being in love was a novelty.
We’re nostalgic once a year
and hug a bit more often.
When we do reminisce
it’s not due to our deserted country
but because of the calendar
showing us one of our anniversaries.
Recently we started to hug a bit more frequently
and it is because of our frantic deserted country.
We love like we forgot it ever had a beginning.
and we continue to love like it will have no end.
We acknowledge eventually we’ll die
and discuss, almost negotiate,
how many marks we want to leave behind us.
We’re sick and merry, healthy and sad, we’re sad 
     and sick and merry and married.

Yes, we do like better
who we are
but not enough
not to the degree we’d want you to stare at it.


Our world begged for existence.
We carried our valor secretly
no witnesses for our triumphs
for overcoming another day.
Not being able to save even ourselves,
we dropped on the bed
as if we’d lost a battle.

In the mornings we melted back
from sleeping like rocks
into floating bodies in a void.
We watched the birds
from our square-foot lawn and cherished
not just their movement –
their gift of coming from different worlds –
but our own growing ability,
while standing up, standing still
to notice them.


Written before the Jewish New Year’s Eve of
the year 5782,
 2022 by the Gregorian calendar
I want to write something with the word foliage
but need a better language than this one,
one that will allow it to breathe in a poem
and won’t be florid.
Perhaps in Estonian
where it’s possible to love quietly
and to hate
and then grief.
Perhaps there,
where it’s okay to die every winter and remain naked.
Where it’s really unknown where a sentence will end.
Where you can breathe deeply
all the way down to bring foliage,
or even autumn’s fall, on the body,
but not rain like the desert here pleads for.
Where you can secrete miracles
without desecrating respect,
with no void to cross over forty years of desert
and then what?
Me, reduced of the desert’s wandering,
at the age of a girl starting the second grade.
May she have an ameliorated year,
a year that saturates, sprouts,
a year in which twigs are ignited into buds,
a preceding year before the winters of her life
that will bless her with the fluttering foliage of clear breath,
a sweet one,
a breath,
no more than an exhale of fresh breath that will ease
the severance every end brings


Armored by slumber
I cross the flaming oceans
of the un-dared dreams.
Only the ones I didn’t dream
have been fulfilled.

Like a prime number
I am a core
in search for oneness.
Unable to divide into any other kernels
I multiply and withdraw
like waves coming and going — 
a pendulum movement
between the coarse golden ash of sand
to the silver moon-color of the waves.

Within their foam dissolving beauty
hides repetitive abandonment.
Roar at the winter
with nothing
to be hindered by.

The sand is just another foam
in a different consistency
engulfs, embraces
and yet forsakes as well,
but in slower motion.

Now I’m hushing oceans
into the fall of dusk,
searching ways
to turn into an islet
so there’s less of me
needing to be loved.

©2023 Gili Haimovich
All rights reserved

Gili Haimovich

…is a prizewinning bilingual Israeli poet with a Canadian background. She is the author of ten poetry books, four in English and six in Hebrew as well as a multilingual book of her poem ‘Note’. She was awarded prizes for best foreign poet at the international Italian poetry competitions I colori dell’anima (2020) and Ossi di Seppia (2019), a grant for excellency by the Ministry of Culture of Israel (2015) a fellowship residency at the International Writers’ Workshop Hong Kong (2021) and more, including several grants for her Hebrew books from The Pais Committee for Arts and Culture, The Acum Association of Authors and The Goldberg Grant  for Culture and Literature. She has full length books translated into French, Serbian and Estonian and more are forthcoming. Her poems are translated into 33 languages and featured worldwide in numerous anthologies and journals. Gili participates in festivals and literary events across the globe such as in Canada, France, Mexico, Italy, India, Romania, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Kosovo, Chile, Kenya, Mongolia and more. Gili also engages in photography and poetry translation as well as facilitating groups and individuals in creative writing in Israel, Canada and more.

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry, poetry

When The Queen Came to Tea | John Anstie

A little boy in awe, aged six, perhaps more
…or thereabouts, it matters little or less.
Four years had passed since She had been
proclaimed our Queen, our first coronation for 
a Queen Elizabeth in nearly four hundred years. 
So young. So pretty. So popular and pure. 

Around my age there was another little boy
her son and heir apparent, but not quite so excited.
He wasn’t by her side at her glorious crowning.
Now, whilst in my retirement, he bears the burdens of 
the decease of his darling mother, whom he had to 
share with us. So close. So secure. So family. So far.

Meanwhile, at the family picnic, they were 
serving us all, by the loch, among the trees
copious fresh air, inspiration, love and fun
the children, renewing family ties, learning their
duty to serve us. With such stamina, She, so young 
with such a burden, accepted with such grace. 

Our friends’ lonely house lay by that same road 
the Royal planners decreed they should follow
to their next tour venue…that evening in 1956.
As she was passing through, after a busy day
She said “I think we should stop for a cup of tea”  
as She is wont to do, with such instinctive inspiration. 

So willing was She to walk about and meet us all
on the streets or in our places, we came to expect it.
It seemed so normal. It should have come as no surprise.
Our teacher to the class: “who saw the Queen, yesterday?” 
Me, in total belief: “ Yes, Miss, yes, she came to tea with us! ” 
Her response, dismissed my heart-felt truth with just one look.

In her younger days, poignantly, Lillibet once declared…

				“…we are all just passing through ”

Landscape in a Landscape
Painting ©2023 Gerry Shepherd

©2022 John Anstie
All rights reserved

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Outcasts Gate Grieving | Linda Chown

Photograph ©2023 Linda Chown

Outcasts have a way of touching

When I start the night
I think Eskimo’s and seashells:
Places of open abandon
Like black sheep and the wild ones-
Outcasts have a way of touching
Those forlorn places that you hide
Beside the beauty of your mind

Sather Gate

Taking me higher than I was
Pairing with my pals

To fight the Knowland police
gone hard metallic-tight

The nation had, it seems, landed in Berkeley
     to see what happened

So we had to stand
up for the prize of freedom

in this small oak-saturated space.
In a small sunny circle we were

ready to face them with the side of our eyes with our 
     cavities even,
with anything.

It was just too important 
to not let them own
our souls their way.

So we leased our 
strength into music

We rejoiced in our togetherness,
In our language, which that day more than meant 

it was,
it really was

Versions of grieving

Grief is about a whole new trip that just keeps on 
     getting older.
Grief is how it feels to have two left feet.
Grief is how it feels to be dehydrated in your arms
Grief is how it feels to be lost
in always
Grief is though how it feels 
to be perpetually free.
Grief is the birth of a new beauty only you can see.
Red peonies and orange daisies on a spree
What a feast for the likes of me.

Vietnamese Faces

It seemed a day of decay
where my eyes kept 
seeing Vietnamese faces
human expression raw in dark sun
abstract fingers bleeding light
my eyes went into a past
where feeling curves wide, 
not this gray without birds
this quiet without singing

©2023 Linda Chown
All rights reserved

Linda Chown…

…is a longtime contributor to the Bezine,and defends its commitment to justice and peace and equality. She has participated in social movements throughout the West Coast and internationally. She writes both poetry, and what used to be called criticism, that is a close reading of how a piece of writing works, or doesn’t work. She has five books of poems and multiple publications of her many writings. She likes to keep her writing and her living new. As the weeks go by and disasters and worries grow, she hopes her writing grows and changes. Her latest book, sunfishing, is for sale on Amazon.

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Assuage with pen ye troubadours | Lorraine Caputo


I had awakened
my hand aching
from words yet
to be expressed

& foretelling
an all-day rain
that spilled into
the courtyard
outside my door

It felt like an 
autumn day,
dried palm fronds
blown groundward
by the wind

This all-night rain
continues to flow
across the patio
outside my door

Assuage with pen ye troubadours
Digital landscape with Joy Harjo, from photographs
©2023 Michael Dickel

With Pen

With pen 
in hand, I write
one thought…after one thought
creating images, music
with these words, rhythmic scribbles on this page…
clearing my soul of memories
that eat away at my
peace…write, write, sing
with pen


Like mediaeval troubadours
we are keeping vigil
in these hours,
I awaiting the matins
& ye reciting your lauds.

Through this silence
your poem sails
to me…

& another…

I write,
So you’re having one of those
middle-of-the-night visits
by the Muses

I drift away
to other sites.…

& when I return,
four more messages
from your keyboard-pen
on screen-vellum glowing
in the darkness.
I read them,
stepping a bit further
back in time
with each.

You are right, you
understand, you
overstand as well,
says the third…
& the fourth
a laud
for me, for us
poets who own the Moon.…

I spill my tears to ye,
Oh brother wandering
careful not to
my pen.

There are those who envy
my travelling-writing life,
errant through these
southern tropics, verdant
jungles, snowy
towering heights, breathless

& there is I who envy
your life, devoted troubadour, the
World Poet,
traversing continents, across
able to survive
with your words
created like prayers,
lauds & laments
prickling the souls, the
hearts, the minds.…

How, I do not know.…
I want to ask ye,
brother troubadour,
How do ye do it?

…but I don’t…

I don’t want to stop,
I confess to ye,
my matins arriving
with the dawn’s twilight,
hours before yours. . . .
I want to continue
to do this work the
Creator has given me to do
in this lifetime
(the same as ye…
we, troubadours
of this XXIst century…)
I want to continue a-wandering
& a-writing, performing
like our mediaeval brethren.

But, nay, they who
I entertain don’t want
to pay, to tip even,
nor a bed nor a meal. . . .

I want to ask ye,
there in the land
from which I am exiled,
ye, a strange stranger in a strange land,
Can ye teach me?

©2023 Lorraine Caputo
All rights reserved

Lorraine Caputo…

…is poet-translator-travel writer who has works appearing in over 400 journals worldwide and 23 collections of poetry–including the upcoming In the Jaguar Valley (dancing girl press, 2022) and Caribbean Interludes (Origami Poems Project, 2022). Her writing has been nominated for the Best of the Net. She journeys through Latin America, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth.

Latin American Wanderer

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry, Poets/Writers

Memories and Musings | Urmi Chakravorty

Digital Rose
©2023 Miroslava Panayotova

The Legacy of Longing

The diaphanous
sheets susurrate against the onyx parchment
As I gently turn the dog-eared pages of our mothballed 
The treasured cache of moments and memories of 
     bygone days
Conserved, before the scythe of Time mows us down.

As I gently turn the dog-eared pages of our mothballed 
I chance upon ‘him’—self-assured, charismatic, 
The 2 a.m. buddy and confidant to my nerdy, antsy, 
     teenaged self.
Cupid struck, but with a slanted dart…and he, forever,
     remained unscathed.

The treasured cache of moments and memories of
     bygone days
Enshrouds the wringing, wrenching, carmine landscape 
     of my heart,
Crisscrossed by a breadcrumb trail of wistful longing,
Glossed over by the voguish masquerade of marital bliss!

Conserved, before the scythe of Time mows us down,
These metaphors of yesterday blend with my fragile todays
And gossamer tomorrows; and together, they help 
     me weave
The warp and weft of my soul’s fractured tapestry.
First published on Penmancy in November, 2022.

Oil Painting ©2021 Miroslava Panayotova

April Blessings

Flashes of lightning streaking the skies,
Taking the fissured, sapless earth by surprise,
Drops of pure love, thy name is April showers!

Drenched leaves and stems waltz in glee,
Their rustling whispers are music to me,
Tiny prismatic droplets dangle on the bowers!

Purged of dust and grime, terra firma breathes easy again
My parched soul inhales the redolence of summer rain
Glens and vales come alive with fresh, iridescent flowers!
First published on ArtoonsInn Poetry Parlour in January, 2023.

Blue Rose
Mixed Media / Digital Art ©2023 Miroslava Panayotova

I Am

Sometimes I am Hope—
Weaving roseate, virile dreams in hoary, nebulous eyes
And heaving hearts, yearning for a fillip;
I play hide-and-seek with ennui, by the day
At night, I hum a plaintive lullaby of moth-eaten desires
Interred in the caverns of the infecund, impotent mind.

Sometimes I am Light—
Glinting off the Chardonnay in a crystal stein
Held by star-crossed lovers traipsing a parallel universe,
Immured within a prism of perennial passion,
Kissing the full-bodied, carmine lips of eternal youth, today
Only to be eclipsed by the penumbra of transience, 

Sometimes I am a Star—
Tucking my pearly corners into the moire duvet
Of the onyx sky, one spark at a time—
A luminous metaphor for waxing wishes,
Until I explode on the milky way of destiny,
Sprinkling confetti of crushed novalunosis and 
     half-kept promises.

I am a memory, I am a void,
I am a chuckle, I am a tear,
I am alchemy, I am Kintsugi
I am here, there, everywhere—
A celebration of life, an inventory of scars!

©2023 Urmi Chakravorty
All rights reserved

Urmi Chakravorty…

…is a former educator whose articles, stories and poems have found space in national dailies like The Hindu, The Times of India, multiple literary platforms, as well as poetry and fiction anthologies.In 2022, she won the Orange Flower Awards instituted by Women’s Web, the second position in the National Poetry Writing Competition, and several such accolades. Reviewing and editing are other areas she finds engaging

. / Blog Linked

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Invisible Fog | Eve Otto

Invisible Fog

Many years ago, people said "Radio waves are harmful"
100 years later, the list of 'waves' is rather scary
     radio, television, GPS, shortwave, WiFi, smart phones,
     computers, transmitters, smart meters, satellite dishes, 
like walking running through an invisible fog 
computer and cell phone reception on Mt. Everest.
How rare to live in a remote canyon or valley 'off the grid'
to live in a house with no TV, cell phone computer tablet 
no smart meters for electric usage bills
numbers received in a hand held device 20 feet or more away 
miniature transmitters sending number signals constantly 
no one needed to log in the numbers by hand
     Perhaps there are faraway places in jungles
     North and South Poles, remote islands 
     having considerably less amounts of media frenzy 
     no electricity for smart meters and microwave ovens
Now, in public schools with WiFi beamed in, not hard wired 
school children having headaches, difficulty concentrating 
     plus other various costs of the computer age 
     and advanced civilization…
Mt Everest with “Invisible Fog”
Drawing ©2023 jsburl

©2023 Eve Otto
All rights reserved

Eve Otto

…lives in Chichester NY. She is an artist, musician, and poet. She loves nature, and is always outside, doing gardening and lawn duties at eighty years young. She is a non-electronic gadget person, and proud of that. Books are her life, after art. She sells her artwork locally around Woodstock. She replies to all snail mail. Address is: 3 Rion Road, Chichester, NY 12416


The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Red Sap | Mykyta Ryzhykh

The Cherry Tree
Painting ©2022 Gerry Shepherd

* * *

Stiletto in the red sap of the cherry orchard birches.

The saber of the kagan shines. The clatter of hooves resounded, and a shiny dress shoe fell on the Alai carpet. Then the door of the hall opened, and the Mongol Shah himself entered. He was in festive attire; musicians and dancers followed the Shah, and all of them loudly shouted out some kind of joyful song—a song about the sea. And the sea (in the meantime) either existed separately from the land, or burned like a candle along with the night and a smooth surface, difficult to distinguish from air.

The game began. With whom? What? How the Shah would like it all to be a dream—but no, no, the pawn is already moving. And something else.

The gates of the world were opening. To whom are they open now, why? What kind of mysterious expensive shoe, what kind of feast, noise, musicians, and even the Shah himself?

Chess opened the gates of the world. The air weighed heavily on the shoulders of those present, superstition found on everyone.

Chess opened the gates of the lost world. Raya? Hell? Hey, angels, come here, come—we will give birth to children. They will become Cossacks. Those will be kamikaze. Their name will be Zuhra. Myopia of tears—their name will be eared, and above the name—the fungus of Hiroshima, and the Fuhrer, and nothing but the name of the Fuhrer.

Chess of angels opened the gates of the lost world. The machine gun was baptized along with the child. The shah knew all this, he was present at the same time, and his soul was touched by a cloud of flame.

Chess of angels opened the gates of the lost world 2.0 (Vexila regis prodeunt—stars in the sky—addresses of whores from the telegram, a sonorous voice, chatter respectful of the shah. The dog howled—who doesn’t know, this is Andreev, he still has a book "Red Laughter" .In a white corolla of roses, in front of Santa Claus, red nose). It's scary to even imagine: what will happen tomorrow? The cage went to look for the bird—Kafka (in fact, everything in the world has already been said). Fucking feminists, strange children with purple hair, an incomprehensible body—you are so afraid, they will force you to give birth, and everything, everything in the world, slurred, reflected in the pupils of the kagan. Oh, that is the check. That is, someone else. Someone special. Someone who is trying to be someone else. Superstition. We all understood everything. We don't understand. And only death calmly wandered on the shores of the strictest peace.

* * *

This word smells good
It's like a hacked account
Changed password
Passion-poisoned air
The word with which you will not be able to rhyme

The look word is dead
Our mysterious touch chat is exhausted

About your armpit hair
Oh my red fingernails
Oh my armpit hair
Oh your red fingernails

Send me attachment in pdf format
Let this be your photo
Today there are more of us than me

Where is my long hair
Where is the long hair?
cut off
Kissed the mirror of the day
Lilies of the valley placed on the table
lilies of the valley

Lilies of the valley on the old avatar
Simulacrum of air
Ice nipples on the new avatar
The ghost of the heart and the chest between the ribs screams ayy ayy
No it's not scary it's not scary
(Only between us
You have nothing more to lose)
Yesterday, Washington legalized the word queer for the 100th time.
And in your communal apartment down the street of sadness
The Mongols baptized the child
Lilies of the valley filled with water
They said that the Mongolian hands were born for the hard work of beautiful horses with shaved legs—no not shaved
When you grow up you will be Genghis Khan
Throw out the lilies of the valley ventilate the apartment paint the walls change the floor
So who are you girl? be Mary
Shulamith you are my Shulamith
From the outlet in the kitchen sparks
Hey maria bring cigarettes
_Sister or brother
Mother or father_
Nobody will know)
Bring cigarettes breathe listen
What if Jesus was gay?
Then everything would become clear
Then everything would become clear
But for now, about Allah
Mongolian child
Become Genghis Khan
He will become Genghis Khan
Horses will be whipped fiercely

/Shameless return lilies of the valley/

/Best form of silence dialogue/

He will become Genghis Khan

/ Icy nipples scars on the chest /

And he will wear wardrobes home
The horses will be whipped

/ Eyelash caught an eyelash /

Fuck the kids off
noble women

/we will never have children/

Pih pah oh oh oh

* * *

Blind is your love. Yes, it does not really exist—there is only the fear of loneliness, which at least slightly subsides when the simulacrum of love approaches. Love is also not the highest grace. After all, it is possible to love only one's neighbor, to sympathize—to any creature in the universe. And contrary to popular belief—the end of the world will never come, because the universe is an ideal geometry; the perpetual motion machine is also an ideal geometry, someone launched it at one moment, and it will never stop.

©2023 Mykyta Ryzhykh
All rights reserved

Mykyta Ryzhykh…

……is a Ukrainian poet and the winner of the international competition Art Against Drugs and Ukrainian contests Vytoky, Shoduarivska Altanka, Khortytsky dzvony; laureate of the literary competition named after Tyutyunnik, Lyceum, Twelve, named after Dragomoshchenko. Finalist of the Crimean ginger competition. Nominated for Pushcart Prize. Ryzhkykh has been published in the journals: Tipton Poetry JournalStone Poetry JournalDivot Journal, dyst journal, Superpresent MagazineAllegro Poetry MagazineAlternate RouteBetter Than Starbucks Poetry & Fiction JournalLittoral PressBook of MatchesTheNewVerse NewsAcorn Haiku JournalThe Wise OwlVerse-Virtual, ScudFevers of the Mind, LiteraryYardPlum Tree TavernIterantFleas on the DogThe Tiger Moth ReviewLothlorien Poetry JournalAngel RustNeologism Poetry JournalShot Glass JournalQLRSThe CrankChronogramThe Antonymthe6ress zineMonterey Poetry Review, and PPP Ezine.

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry, poetry

a shadow lurking—3 poems | Mitko Gogov

“…when you dream, you see the most…”
Oil Pastels ©2023 jsburl

[just a little prayer]

Translated by Tom Phillips
when you’re silent, you say the most,
when you dream, you see the most.

elephants wake to the orchestra inside you
—for the first time the hunters are scared by their own trumpets.

take a look inside yourself while you’re taking care not to
          tread on the grass.

in the room there’s the smell of all the nights
we failed to create. the stars fell asleep, waiting
on the floor. there are still traces on the stained tiles, insignificance
like a shadow lurking between outlines.

we will go without getting angry
at the flowers to the dance that turned purple to yellow.
in the night fan we missed another prayer.
—mental dust

which in the cosmos plays out the saddest dream.
winner of the Enhalon prize 2018

[само малку молитва]

кога си тивок тогаш најмногу зборуваш,
кога сонуваш тогаш најмногу гледаш.

се будат слоновите со оркестарoт во тебе
—ловџиите за прв пат се плашат од сопствените труби.

гледај во себе додека внимаваш да не ја настапнеш тревата.

во собата мирисаат сите ноќи
кои не успеавме да ги создадеме. ѕвездите заспаа чекајќи
на подот. по извалканите плочки сѐ уште траги, маленкоста
како сенка се крие помеѓу фугите.

ќе си заминеме без да се лутиме на
цвеќињата, на танцот кој го претворил виолетовото во жолто.
во вентилаторот на ноќта испуштаме уште една молитва
—ментална прашина

што во космосот го игра најтажниот сон.

.hidden scripture

Translated by Nikola Gjelincheski
don’t forget the written
words, the voices that subdued 
the joy of your voice.
unite the cities, move the
in the centre place a fighter, move 
the white capturing piece, do not worry,
the winners
write it down.

.скриено писмо

не заборавај ги напишаните
зборови, оние гласови кои ја покорија
радоста на твојот глас.
обедини ги градовите, помести ги
во средината постави борец, пушти
го белиот ловец, не грижи се,
оној кој победува

.the forgotten stool everyone should sit

Translated by Nikola Gjelincheski
proud of our past
unstable in the present
we tremble before the future
we cut down trees although we know
that a football pitch can’t be built on a hill
where the goalposts can’t be seen
we run uphill with stones in our pockets
the doors and windows don’t creak anymore, 
but behind them the same snobs throw us away
like spoiled pickled food, they don’t smell us,
they throw us in the cellar as destroyed,
invalid evidence.  
true values, right?
we/they are all managers of the office for 
lost reasonable opinions. 
one day I’ll take all the flags waving in vain
and I’ll put them in a washing machine. 
they all need to be washed—together.
with the same washing powder and the same softener. 
because that should be the new freedom!
we float in life like a plastic bag in the wind
in a full-length silent film. the ones who don’t realize it,
even more so. 
great people leave, little sweethearts come
—except for the ones found on the shore.
will they achieve greatness or will unease eat them up?
amid crudeness, stupidity and vanity galore
everyone looks for their place under the sun to scream their heart out
about everything weighing down on their soul. 
we want to be cherries, yet we’re worms, hidden inside them.
a mandala made of sand left in the storm,
until someone stops breathing 
—we’ll keep on destroying ourselves.

.заборавениот троножец на кој сите треба да седнеме

горди на минатото
нестабилни во сегашноста
се тресеме на иднината

сечеме дрвја иако знаеме
дека фудбалскиот терен не се гради на рид во кој
головите не се гледаат

трчаме по угорница со камења во џебовите
вратите и прозорците повеќе не крцкаат,
но позади нив истите снобови како расипана зимница
не фрлаат, не нѐ мирисаат,

не расфрлаат во депото како уништени,
невалидни докази.

нели вистински вредности?

сите с(м)е директори на канцеларијата за
изгубени здраворазумни ставови.

еден ден ќе ги соберам сите знамиња кои залудно се веат
и ќе ги ставам во перачка машина.
на сите им треба перење и тоа—заедно.
со ист прашок за перење и ист омекнувач.
оти тоа би требало да биде новата слобода!

лебдиме во животот како пластично ќесе на ветрот
во долгометражен нем филм. оние кои не препознаваат,
уште повеќе.

големите луѓе си одат, мали срценца доаѓаат
—освен оние најдени на брегот.

ќе станат ли и тие големи или јанѕата ќе ги изеде?

во раскошот на грубоста, глупоста, ништожноста,
секој си бара место за да си извика
сѐ она што му тежи на душичката.

сакаме да бидеме цреши, а црви сме, скриени во нив.

мандала сме од песок оставена на бура,
се додека некој не престане да дише

—ќе продолжиме да се уништуваме.

Poetry ©2018–2023 Mitko Gogov
English Translation of [just a little prayer] ©2023 Tom Phillips
English Translations of .hidden scripture and
.the forgotten stool everyone should sit on ©2023 Nikola Gjelincheski
All rights reserved

Mitko Gogov

…was born on 11 November 1983, in Skopje, Macedonia. He writes poetry, short stories, essays and journal articles. He also writes haiku, senryu, renga and publishes them on the microblogging network twitter. His works have been translated and published in numerous anthologies, poetry books and journals for art and literature in India, Pakistan, the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Egypt, USA, Argentina, Russia, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, Romania, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Serbia, Croatia, Albania, Kosovo, Greece, Bulgaria… 

He has published the poetry collections: Ice Water (BCC, Serbia 2011), Anthologist (2014), Hidden Letter Anthologist (2019), Linear. Numbers (Macabeo, 2021) and won several awards and recognitions including: Enhalon, presented by the Struga Poetry Evenings; Angelo La Vecchia Prize in Sicily, Italy; Prizes at the “Poetic Literary Sparks” Poetry Slam in Prilep; Struga Waves in Struga; and many more. 

He is the president of the Association for Cultural Development and Protection of the cultural heritage “Context – Strumuca,” an organizer of the global poetry event “100 Thousand Poets for Change,” a representative of the World Union of Poets and the School of Poetry–Macedonian Delegation, One of the founders of the Antevo Slovo and Antevo Per” Awards, and Editor of and He also is a conceptual artist and has had several exhibitions, installations, performances, scenography and multimedia projects in Norway, France, Italy, Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria… And he organizes cultural and art events, collaborates with youth, art, film and theatre festivals.

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Am Feel Month | Brittney Cotrona

I Am…

I am Strong,
I am Invincible,
I am Kind,
I am Funny.

I am Smart,
I am Loyal,
I am Happy,
I am Joyful.

Abundance of love,
Is all I have.
For those around me,
And for anyone I come in contact with.

I make others happy,
I can make,

I am a blessing,
In others lives.
I am a blessing,
In my own life.

The Rose by ©2023 Brittney Cotrona

I Feel

I feel good
Like watching a sunset during summer
I feel free
Like a bird flying in the sky
I feel calm
Like water after a storm
I feel comfortable
Something that makes me want to enjoy life
I feel happy
Like a child eating ice cream on a sunny day
I feel like me again
Like the 7 year old me playing in the backyard
This feeling needs to stay
This feeling needs to never go away
I'm me again

1 Month…

The world was gray
No colors in my life
No joy in the little things
No hope in my eyes
No harmony in music
1 month of freedom
1 month of opportunities
1 month of changes
1 month of loving myself
1 month of happiness
1 month of solitude
1 month of care-free
1 month of hope
1 month of moving forward
1 month
I did the work
God intended me to do
1 month
Here's to another day

©2023 Brittney Cotrona
All rights reserved

Brittney Cotrona

…is a poet from Connecticut. Her poetry is filled with imagery. She writes about love,self-love and mental anguish, which many readers say they can relate to. Brittney graduated from Southern New Hampshire University in 2023 with her Masters in English Literature and Creative Writing. She is currently writing her own poetry book, while publishing a few poems to get her name familiarized in the poetry world

Website / Blog Linked

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

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

Probation Plea | Pek-êng Koa

My Probation Plea Is Rejected Again

Translated by C. J. Anderson-Wu
They shouted, Democracy! Freedom!
I don’t know Democracy
And Freedom doesn’t know me
A Cockroach has climbed over mountain after mountain
Desperately, it rushes forward 
but crashes into a slipper at the gate of Freedom
A lone hawk’s wing broke
It hangs upside-down over the iron-barred window
looking inward at a corner where drafts of poems lie piled
My soul languishes a little bit
So I stew a poem to strengthen my bones and tendons
and swallow a tablet of homesickness to revitalize my spirit 
Tick Tock Tick Tock, the world is the same
Tick, Tock, the world is not the same
Needs a new battery
All right. Dreams have retreated
Friends, put away your teardrops
We are going to shop the market’s new morning dew.
My hope fell and got skinned
so a bandaid was enclosed
in a letter mailed from home
Dragging fetters, encountering
a bird feather dropped into the bars
I hear the sounds of clenching teeth
Mr. Freedom is sleeping
in a bed of clouds over heaven
It wouldn’t wake up even during a 10-magnitude earthquake
It only takes a randomly signed order on a piece of paper
to bend a prisoner’s backbone, dignity and dreams
into something unrecognizable

Bird and Flower
Drawing ©2023 jsburl

Translator's Note: Pek-êng Koa was formerly incarcerated for 16 years due to two charges of robbery. "My Probation Plea is Rejected Again" was created around 2007 and 2008.

Poetry ©2007-2008 Pek-êng Koa
English Translation ©2023 C. J. Anderson-Wu
All rights reserved

Pek-êng Koa

…is an award-winning Taiwanese poet, he is also a teacher and a campaigner for the creative writing of poetry in Taiwanese language. “My Probation Plea Is Rejected Again” was from his poetry A Firefly in the Fence(2010), published by the Tainan City’s Bureau of Culture.

C. J. Anderson-Wu

…is a writer and translator from Taiwan, her short fiction and poems can be found in Hennepin Review, Kitaab, Story Sanctum, and e-ratio, among other literary journals.

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry, Poets/Writers

We Should Respond | Terry Trowbridge

Why We Should Respond to Individual Short Texts

I’m annoyed at how writers of flash fiction, poetry, and flash nonfiction are all howling into the abyss of the internet with very few readers. I’m considering writing some kind of daily critical response to one or two pieces of literary writing that appear in online literary journals, just to prove there is an audience (even if the audience is just me).

Currently, the apparent majority of readers for online literary journals seems to be ChatGPT iterations and other attempts at generative algorithms. And they are under-equipped readers, because they lack intentionality, as demonstrated when GPT conversations go in a loop of “Goodbye!” “See you later!” “Goodbye!” “See you later!” ad infinitum. “Goodbye!” is a word you experience; a word that is defined by the intention to leave; and not definable by whatever explanation is in a dictionary, vocabulary lesson, or lexicon.

Many other examples of writing cannot be read or interpreted by generative algorithms, no matter how many iterations they pop out, because of the embodied intentions. The disembodied superficiality of generative algorithms is deeply inscribed by a human-led corporate culture that devalues literacy, but over values the production of bureaucratic paperwork. By which I mean, our online literary artwork is being turned into fodder that feed generative algorithms, as passive readers, to produce more text for the text’s corporateliability’s sake.

We should think of ourselves before we think of Silicon Valley corporations. We should be active readers for social change, creative conversation, or leisure.

We can’t afford to limit our readership to the data sets of generative algorithms. While AI labs control the legislative power that allows them to use our words without compensation and without critical consideration, we still have the power to be active readers. If we want to exercise power in the sociopolitical changes happening now, then we need to start producing critical and appreciative texts that demonstrate some kind of human reading.

©2023 Terry Trowbridge
All rights reserved

Terry Trowbridge…

…has poems appearing in The New Quarterly,Carousel, subTerrain, paperplates, The Dalhousie Review, untethered, Quail Bell, The Nashwaak Review, Orbis, Snakeskin Poetry, Literary Yard, Gray Sparrow, CV2, Brittle Star, Bombfire, American Mathematical Monthly, AoHaM, Canadian Woman Studies, The Mathematical Intelligencer, The Canadian Journal of Family and Youth, The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics,The Beatnik Cowboy, Borderless, Literary Veganism, and more. Terry is grateful to the Ontario Arts Council for his first writing grant, and their support of so many other writers during the polycrisis

. Blog Linked

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Spring Hope | jsburl

spring has come slowly

the morning sun rises in all its glory
to dusky rose colored clouds, tinting the world,
but from the west comes an ominous dark wall
high above the land, dosing fast.

rain drops begin to descend, softly, gently.
tears from heaven to cares the soul.
sultry as smoke, a wall of rain approaches
a deluge to wash away winter's last clutches.

quickly the last pockets of snow melt away.
uncovering the grey of stone walls long covered
soon will come the green of spring but all there is today
are a fow jonquils, hyacinths, and crocuses—spring's promise.

quickly the rain passes, leaving all shiny in its wake
as the swallows come out, in all there glory
to swoop and dance in the wind practicing their aeronautic prowess.

afternoon falls, darkness descends
and the snow once again begins to fall
and so i sigh, dreaming of the sun's warmth,
as i wait for the dawn anew.


so beautiful
yet so fragile
hopes are easily dreamed
but so quickly dashed

we hope for the stars
and won't accept less
we are crushed
when what we don't want happens
but aren't thankful when it does

we need hope
but we shouldn't expect
shouldn't ask for what we don't need
yet we do
we should accept the little blessings
for what they are
tiny glimmers of hope
be thankful for friends and family
he glad to be alive in this beautiful world

and the rest
the rest is negotiable…

Art and Poems ©2023 jsburl
All rights reserved

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

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

Toy Improv Play | Gerry Shepherd

Introducing the Country Boys
Painting, ©2023 Gerry Shepherd

Ah Ha, I Found Pete in a Toy Box

I had porridge for breakfast. I wore a bow tie with a map of the Martian canals.
There are no Martian canals; my bow tie was a frog and it hopped away.
While I was eating, two giraffes entered the floating room (I have the lily pad blues!).
One of the giraffes was carrying a smoking hat, the other a giant apricot.
The stone of the apricot had been removed and replaced by an embryonic neutron star.
The neutron star was orbiting a black hole – they are like brother and sister.
At the end of the world time reverses and we all have a chance to go sdrawkcab.
I am wearing a red dress with pink rose petals glued to it.

I am thinking of the future like a miner thinks of a coal dust covered cheese sandwich.
An Egyptian mummy dressed as a ballerina pulls the chain and then dances out of the toilet.
Three old ladies hadn’t reached the finish line so they couldn’t start the race.
An old man stumbles towards the start pulling a kite – the kite had grown hands.
One hand was holding the skeleton of a saintly typewriter from which issued spirit words.
These would be read by a dog headed judge singing to himself on a playground swing.
 The playground was otherwise empty as all the children had either grown up or grown down.
Venus kicks Mars and Mars kicks me; I haven’t got anyone to kick.

I photograph myself photographing myself; several pencils were sticking out of a Plasticine ox.
A veteran of the war at Woodstock doesn’t care if he paranoid as the world is a confectionery.
A senior citizen refuses the sweet offered by a young girl standing on a bass drum.
Meanwhile six hooded figures walk by, each holding a candle, only one of which was lit.
The room looked like a mangrove swamp with neon signs for trees and fish in Wellingtons.
A portrait painting on a sniggering wall hiccups; the man with hair on his hat turns round.
Behind him the secret cupboard smells of fish; who cares if the ocean is a foreign language.
I say goodbye to the manatee king using seaweed words – I forget the full stop, ha ha.

An Improbable Atlas
Painting, ©2023 Gerry Shepherd

Improvisation A1

Stanza One
I thought I had baked a dream in a cake
It had risen like a frog’s head
Blowing a trumpet in an incandescent light bulb
The bulb cracked like winter water
I saw the reflection of the back of my head
I had a Pompeii hat and Herculaneum earrings
Vesuvius jumped upon a kangaroo paw
A cathedral bell winked at a weathered gargoyle
The rain was knitting a jumper I would never wear
As the sun comes out like a bicycle in a muddy field
I dip my pen in the Somme trenches
And draw with hate on a tranquil sky
A bird the size of a coal fired power station perched on a paper clip
Will read the paper like a razor blade
A werewolf barber and a vampire tailor
Sitting in a hospital for lost socks
The lost boys were hidden in rubber gloves
Hanging from the comb of a bald man
I held my head as if it was a seashell
I heard the sound of a dried up sea.

Stanza Two
I thought I had said a prayer in a toffee wrapper
The priestess dressed in the dead leaves of Spring
With a fire in a water bottle and a puddle in a grate
I feel the warmth of space rocket footprints
As I follow a water rat executioner along a poor man’s artery
A picture of beggar veins huddled in a wren’s nest
My a hair a woodland screaming like a torn cloth
A blind painter hiding from the sound of his own name
His reflection says his name backwards
Smoke issues from a disappearing statue
A house on caterpillar tracks in a railway tunnel
Where the sun emerges from a fishnet stocking
To meet a moon goddess made from mouse cheese
A trap that catches thoughts with dreams
A nightmare in a free flowering rain
Water in the shape of a sailing boat
The horizon a rock vein in a gold wall
Hope like a smoking top hat
Bends in a wind tunnel of war
Like features that fight across an ageing face

Stanza Three
I thought I had found a bat in a ball cave

An Improbable Atlas — Rearrangement One
Painting, ©2023 Gerry Shepherd

Micro-Play 1

A sparsely furnished room, the heavily curtained window faces east. A worn faux leather sofa in a subdued orange, resplendent in the stains of a personal history; a chair in a similar material and in a similar condition; a fold up table, pushed into the corner and a coffee table pulled into the centre. Although close to midday there is not enough light to see clearly, with more light coming through the partially opened door than issuing through the floral patterned window.

A large man with bushy beard and bushy eyebrows coughs as he enters the room, looks round as if he is not sure if this is the right room and promptly leaves again.

Another man, just as tall but much thinner comes in quickly, drops a newspaper several days old on the coffee table and goes out with equal haste.

A little plump lady languidly enters, sits on the slightly less worn side of the sofa, takes out a comb from her handbag and combs her hair. After replacing the comb she gets up and walks out, saying something to herself that no one hears.

Immediately afterwards a small boy runs in, circles the sofa one way and circles the chair the other. He then runs out, getting his foot caught in a raised piece of carpet and almost tripping up as he does so.

An attractive girl enters, glances at her reflection in an ornate mirror over the Victorian fireplace and then sits in the chair with a cultivated elegance. She crosses and uncrosses her legs before standing up abruptly and after hesitantly picking up an object from the table and placing it in her pocket she leaves.

Rain can be heard falling outside and a clock chimes twelve times in another room.

Return of the Country Boys
Painting, ©2023 Gerry Shepherd

The Wait

The Wait (Man House Variant)
The wall has a large mouth
And is chewing gum
The eye in the roof looks up
The rain comes down

A giraffe climbs a step ladder and
An elephant climbs inside a cushion

The thatch is wearing a wig
Small people climb down the creepered wall
Like tears
Hahaha, large hands grasp sky like trees
As all shapes are coloured blue or green

A snake hides in a hose pipe
A kite pulls on a piece of string
The listener turns the page

While a poet holds a hod of bricks
And the bricklayer writes verse

The Wait (House Man Variant)
Specks on a bare wall
I make a crane with my Meccano hands
The chimney (bent like a broken promise) coughs

I imagine a desert in a soup bowl
The clock has four hands

Flashes of light in a bare sky
I write with lengths of licorice
A dead musician turns the music up

The chimney (straight like a laying down lie) sighs

The Wait (In A Doctor’s Surgery)
Speech like sludge
I poke mud out of my third eye
The carpet coughs
The mumbles continue from an ancestral mouth

Music like a spider's web
The chair taps it's foot
To the heartbeat of a million men

A hand emerges from the wall
And I shake it

©2023 Gerry Shepherd
All rights reserved

Gerry Shepherd…

…frequently contributes art to The BeZine.

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry, poetry

intentional attention | Lonnie Monka

denying our disdain for the loneliness of honesty 

…heaped up chaos of knowledge
which fails to have an external effect…
denying our disdain for the loneliness of honesty
we emerge in these capitalistic space-time territories
where to be courageous you must hunt
beyond the bounds of automatable actions
staying at least one step ahead of the exponential hunger
as totalities fiend to feed off our labor:
this constant conversion of potential into actions

we devise devices to combat the need
to feel grounded in any given place & any given time
we manipulate ourselves with screens
distorting our sense of presence
with far off times & far off places, as if soon
     we'll never think
(thanks to this grace of our disgraces) to be where &
     when we are
transforming "when" & "where" into all time, all places

but please, let's not deny our purpose
let us instill intention into this attention

would you perhaps pretend to bother

would you perhaps pretend to bother
now that my current has begun its seduction
(dear timbre of distracted trees) now
my mind’s continuous & chaotic river
pulls you along as driftwood wishing to be burnt:
will you perhaps pretend to bother
to be my equal, my friend, my merging water?

the chaotic & continuous river of my mind
hostile & bitter, nourishing & sweet—this river
is playful deceptive, defiant, contiguous
rivers accept all confluence but mine contains residue
from Santa Fe, Austin, & New Orleans,
stretching from Sḥem to Jerusalem
& roaring with the ambiguous sounds of musical intent
—do I dare submerge you
into the unseen world of emerging re-emergences
merging—as equals, as friends, as water?

would you perhaps pretend to bother
to prevent malicious voices of the dead
from igniting false fires of renewal—those voices
that consume all that has yet to merge
with the water?
please merge, my merging, friendly water…
my mind’s chaotic & continuous river
carries your rolling body, soaked but still separate from me,
more present than any molecule & sharper than any atom:
pretend, pretend, pretend to bother
to be my equal, my friend, my merging water

Puck’s Glen, Scotland
Photograph ©2023 jsburl

our future is not the future if we choose

It avails not, time nor place—distance avails not                     
I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever
so many generations hence.                                                
our future is not the future if we choose
to hide what we don’t choose: mortality
is not a mask we wear like relative morality
blind to its ends & aimed at exhausting what we know of
like the lifespan of a picture presenting some present
as impressive because more important than choosing
is to be chosen: seducing potentialities sings immortality

actualities! potentialities! being human & being born
into the condition of choosing choices that forget
the disdainful desire of being chosen to help
in this endless string of bearing: bear the future,
     bear the present,
bear these projected fractions of the self
presented to impress whoever might next approach:
new patterns emerge from the pain
of our having chosen & our having been chosen
because once the desire to defer presence was entertained
time & distance formed—allowing us to betray
one another, forming tears that tear out pain
of actual sadness from potential futures:
thinking of how everyone eventually will have been
we are all statisticians, analyzing time & space
for the pleasure of losing ourselves between patterns:
pattern forming—pattern finding—each pattern
      a seductive song
so go measure—measure & then deduce probable solutions

how do abstract thoughts suggest that they can affect?
whether as geometer or statistician, our wonder
ought to discover the pleasure enjoyed by those who
impart projections of future forces to imagined objects
because even abstract objects have the power to
     affect the world:
from the rivers of Babylon to the mountains of Sinai
from the cedars of Lebanon to the salt of the Dead Sea
all these times, places & songs—once measured—
     can be chosen

©2023 Lonnie Monka
All rights reserved

Lonnie Monka…

……founded Jerusalism, a non-profit organization to promote Israeli literature in English. He is a PhD student at Hebrew University, researching the intersection of modernist art and orality through a study of David Antin’s talk-poems, and is an OWL Lab Fellow.


The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, poem, poetry, Writing

The Joke | Faruk Buzhala

Books, a lot of books
Digital landscape from photo ©2023 Michael Dickel
To waste time on books while you have a lot of other tasks to do,
To read, incessantly to read, in order to gain knowledge and finally see
That time is gone, lost among the writings of the dead
Who never invented the art of being happy!

I stand in front of the shelves with hundreds of books by well-known authors
 who dealt with the portraits of controversial people,
 people with vices, and various bad habits! 
Was it worthwhile to immortalize these figures
who gave examples and examples from human relationships
and made us take life served according to their imaginative way?

Books, a lot of books.
So many books and so little time to read them. (I do not remember who said that!)

I look at the bookshelf, 
It catches my eye and I read the titles:
The Financier,
Red and Black, 
Father Goriot, 
The Blind, 
The Grass,
Tips for Life,
The Diary of the Year of the Plague, 
The Devils,
The Divine Comedy,
Farewell to Arms,
Praise of Madness, 
Love in the Time of Cholera, 
Don Quixote of La Mancha,
The most beautiful of the worlds, etc., etc.
So much time lost in writing, so little time wasted in reading!

Wow, how many written books are on the shelves, covered by the dust of time?
How many manuscripts are waiting to come to light and be published?
Will they all survive time?

It has become a trend to publish books,
If there is nothing left to do write your autobiography,
because others then will read it
and will learn from you
how life is lived the way you lived it!

What, do you need knowledge? 
When you learn it from experience 
and copy-paste to others
without knowing that the meaning of all knowledge
lies in the books!

I stand in front of bookshelves and am filled with bitterness,
I knock them all down, I throw them away from the apartment,
I gather them up and spray them with gasoline,
Then I burn them.
I warm myself in the fire coming out of the books;
Eternal fire, the fire of the gods, Universal fire that disperses ether.
I think of the library of Alexandria, The Name of the Rose, Fahrenheit 451,
The fire with which burned at the stake Giordano Bruno,
the fire in which whole cities burned, 
the fire that burned and burned whole mountains, fire, fire, fire.

I went through a spiritual crisis one more time!
I look at the books that stand on the shelves and
I’m glad they are still there!
I look at them one by one, reading the titles gradually 
until my eyes stop on one of them
as I read, letter by letter: T – H – E   J – O – K – E
Confused, I say to myself: Hey, this writer is still alive!

©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. .

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry, poetry, Poets/Writers, Writing

Whispering Vibrations | Waqas Khwaja

what is left

on a kite string you fly me
then cut me adrift
with your own hand
to float on air
in the passage of seasons
the flight of geese

carried by the breeze
spinning and sailing
ever further and away
keeling when it sags
to sink among trees

snagged by a runner
as spoils of conquest
claimed by strange hands
by right of possession
used willfully then
harnessed and tied
to unfamiliar strings

raised once more to fly
and ripple in the wind
its dance and the surge
could still entrance
but severed in a duel
swept away by the draft
i am seized yet again as bounty
straight out of a fickle sky

so captured and surrendered
in casual repetition
riding ever degraded strings
in the hands of fortune-hunters
my colors fast declining
my garments wearing thin
patched up for tears
dispirited now and dull
flickering but damply

spent and shabby
i fall at last
to a gaggle of street boys 
who brawl and bicker
over a patched-up thing
and tear it to pieces
in rivalry and spite

the one most irate
snaps the spine in two
cracks the bow
shreds and crumples what is left
tosses it on the roadside 
kicks dust over it
looks about for other game

all broken and torn
i am but scraps
of the paper kite I was
fooled by the fable
of a momentary release

it was just sport for you
but a worn piece of thread
still locked in a knot
you tied with your hand
binding spine and bow
to equip me to fly
remains as a relic
in the wreckage that is left

furnace of galaxies

	virtual in cyberspace
			a cypher and 
		a dot
				digital breath

waves of sound
			no flesh 
		no bones 
cyphers and dots 

cyphers and dots 
			across riven continents
	littered oceans

		a wilderness of black ice
phyllium forests abuzz
				stir and fuss
	of cybernetic insects 

hammer and din 
		over deserts
	of white hot sand
				over wastelands of burnt rock
	whispered vibrations
in virtual ears 
in virtual arms

		qalandar condor
wings thrashing 
			storms spectral lips
	strokes and scours

			and shreds
	with ghostly talons
			tears into phantom
		belly and entrails

			astral stones bubble
	molten in flaming lakes	

furnace of galaxies
	fizzing endlessly
			jets of heat
		seethe singing

	galactic light 
		spilling over
			babbling in concentric ripples

		clumsy wares
				a cosmic potter’s wheel
churning swirls of stars

	suns and moons
and planets fired

		glazed and burnished
celestial dregs
			candescent debris of eternity
		immeasurable space

	purgatory in perpetual dissolution

				cyphers and 
dots meeting

	and dots 
splatter in a virtual eye	
		on a virtual tongue

a virtual palm
			salted for prayer
	a virtual heart
pumping plasma

			through cyber thoroughfares
 	cyphers 		dots
burning slag
		flooding galactic highways

Puck’s Glen, Scotland
Photograph ©2023 jsburl


holding back I refuse
that gift of life
toward which I have traveled
all these long years
without knowing 
where I was headed
till ready to slip away
without regret or rancor
seeking even fondly
that state of not being
existing without 
awareness of existence
without self 
or sense of self

and this forbearance
launches us
into orbits 
far from each other
where we shall not 
cross paths
in dimensions of time 
we know
yearning incomplete lost
pulled into another world
into other worlds
until the collapse of time
in the collapse of space

that instant 
which allows us
to tear through curtains
of separating life screens
crash through spun glass
of gossamer fancies
hurtling towards a tryst
that is written into our lives
certain beyond doubt
and possible only then
at the very end
when hours are dust
and dust a flash of light

we dream the impossible
long for something 
that cannot be
and what is imagined
is rendered probable

all that has ever occurred
all that is happening
all that will transpire
converge and come together 
held all at once
in this moment 
that must be ours 
an instant that unites
and so reunites us
in a transitory gleam
in the glassworks of the imaginary 
that seizes the real
and preserves it forever
in the moment
of its obliteration

©2023 Waqas Khwaja
All rights reserved

Waqas Khwaja…

…has published four collections of poetry,a literary travelogue about his experiences as a fellow of the International Writing Program, University of Iowa, and a couple of edited anthologies of Pakistani literature. He served as translation editor and contributor for Modern Poetry from Pakistan, a Pakistan Academy of Letters project supported by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, and is the Ellen Douglass Leyburn Professor of English at Agnes Scott College, where he teaches courses in literature and creative writing.


The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Democracy | Michael Dickel

Note: If you’re viewing with a phone, we recommend landscape (sideways) for a better effect.

Turn this page

We smell the fish of state rotting from the Prime Minister.
He says he desires to throw fists against the protestors
who march for democracy; he falsely accuses them
of his own crime, this thief who fears his own guilt.

Theocrats, fascists, racists, misogynists, homophobes at his side,
pushing down the pillars that get in their way, bulldozing
the framework that holds the ceiling above our heads,
believing the columns are enemies and that their beliefs

alone can hold up the roof stones with fear and hate.
But the stones of justice will fall, and we will all struggle
to survive the unholy earthquake this evil will bring.
Yet they call us the enemies of democracy, we who cry

out to stop the bulldozers. They call us the inciters of violence,
while they remain blind to the repercussions of their rage,
the ground groaning in Huwara. We smell the smoke rising
from violent waves unleashed by the unholy desire to rule over.

Who will stop them? Who will turn this page before history
buries our book in rubble? Who will turn the page? Who…?

Huwara photos from YNet, “Palestinians wake up to mass
damage after settler riot in Huwara
,” 27 Feb. 2023 ©2023 YNet
Photos of Jerusalem protests 13 Feb, 18 Feb, and 20 Feb 2023 ©2023 Michael Dickel

The Writers Read Resistance Literature
in the Public Space
The Day of Struggle | Wednesday | 1.3 | 11:00
Jerusalem  Sigmund | Haifa 1 19 HaNasi St.
Tel Aviv  Kaplan St. 6 | Be’er Sheva  Writers Park
For 15 weeks now, Israeli’s have mounted regular protests against the government’s proposed “judicial reforms,” which many call a “judicial coup,” meaning an attempt to overthrow judicial oversight of the government. Rather than accept the tension of checks and balances, the government wants to appoint the judges by assuring they have a default majority membership on the appointments committee. They want to be able to overturn a High Court ruling (the equivalent of the Supreme Court) with a 50% plus one vote—less than 51% of the Knesset (legislature). They want to change the Basic Laws (the closest thing Israel has to a Constitution) so that the High Court cannot make rulings about government appointments or policies. With these and other proposals, the administration (which is not separate from the Knesset) would would be able to do as it pleases, even if it violated the Basic Laws or other laws. I took the photos that I took accompanying this poem at a few of these protests, which I have been participating in regularly.

And I read this poem as part of the protests at a “poetry protest” organized by the Democratic Cultural Forum. We were at a sidewalk café near Prime Minister Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem, 1 March, 2023. Most of the other poets read in Hebrew, their own or other's work. A few read other's poems in English. I read my English-language poem. The poster to the right gives the title of the event, “The Writers Read Resistance Literature in the Public Sphere.” The event was held simultaneously in the cities of Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Be'er Sheva. —MYDickel

©2023 Michael Dickel (except where otherwise noted for news photos)
All rights reserved

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry, poetry, Poets/Writers, Writing

Spring Throat | Mykyta Ryzhykh


lump in spring throat
can't hear the singing of the nightingale
vacuum of nature


absolute evil
when he stepped into the woods
on the rustle of leaves
color of ripe amber


While Judas is still killed—
Evil triumphs.

©2023 Mykyta Ryzhykh
All rights reserved

Mykyta Ryzhykh…

…is a Ukrainian poet and the winner of the international competition Art Against Drugs and Ukrainian contests Vytoky, Shoduarivska Altanka, Khortytsky dzvony; laureate of the literary competition named after Tyutyunnik, Lyceum, Twelve, named after Dragomoshchenko. Finalist of the Crimean ginger competition. Nominated for Pushcart Prize. Ryzhkykh has been published in the journals: Tipton Poetry Journal, Stone Poetry Journal, Divot Journal, dyst journal, Superpresent Magazine, Allegro Poetry Magazine, Alternate Route, Better Than Starbucks Poetry & Fiction Journal, Littoral Press, Book of Matches, TheNewVerse News, Acorn Haiku Journal, The Wise Owl, Verse-Virtual, Scud, Fevers of the Mind, LiteraryYard, Plum Tree Tavern, Iterant, Fleas on the Dog, The Tiger Moth Review, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Angel Rust, Neologism Poetry Journal, Shot Glass Journal, QLRS, The Crank, Chronogram, The Antonym, the6ress zine, Monterey Poetry Review, and PPP Ezine.

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins