Posted in 100,000 Poets, Musicians, Artists and Activists for Change, Environment/Deep Ecology/Climate Change, General Interest, Peace & Justice

Update on 100,000 Poets for Change …

Reblogged from The Poet by Day


Over on The Bardo Group blog, we’ve just finished celebrating 100,000 Poets for Change (100TPC). The founders of 100TPC have invited our much valued community (The Bardo Group and Beguine Again) to join in this event again next year. I’ve agreed to participate.

As many readers know, I’ve invited Terri Stewart to take the Bardo leadership role from me and to join our Bardo collaborative with her Beguine Again collaborative to create a powerful synergy for advocating nonviolence. We are moving in new directions. Hence, I don’t want to speak at this time for everyone else but I am personally committed to 100TPC.

Should the Group be unable to take part, I’ll host the event here at The Poet by Day for other poets who blog and for elders and disabled like me who are mostly home bound and cannot get out and pound the pavement for peace and sustainability.


…and please pass the word


poets, musicians, and artists around the world
in demonstration/celebration to promote peace and sustainability and to call for
serious social, environmental and political change.

Here are some links of interest and some more info . . . MORE

Posted in Charles W Martin, Peace & Justice, Poems/Poetry

need i say more…

aunt bea
and i
were sitting
on the front porch
a political campaigner
stopped to solicit
our vote
to which
aunt bea replied
you folks
lost your mind
promising prosperity
when there ain’t
even enough money
to pay the rent
are wearing
to school
while carrying
church sponsored lunches
just so they’ll have
to eat
you fools
are telling me
that a vote
for your candidate
will bring back
the good-old-days
the hell

– Charles W. Martin

© 2013, poem and illustration, Charles W. Martin, All rights reserved

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

Posted in Charles W Martin, Poems/Poetry

fair game…

fair game

the brown bag prophet
was sitting in the public library
trying to beat
the summer heat
he gestured for me
to come over
and said
i get confused
especially when
i attempt to think
about the government
the law
for example
when snowden
the government
it was called
a crime
when the government
an ambassador’s wife
as a cia operative
it was called
political revenge
i personally
would have called
mr rove’s actions
political revenge
sounds somehow
like she
deserved it
for serving
her country
can you see
i might
be confused
about what’s
fair game

– Charles Martin

© 2013, poem and illustration, Charles W. Martin, All rights reserved

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

Posted in Jamie Dedes, Peace & Justice, Poems/Poetry

Bodies of Their Bodies

hands-together-871294932977UgOgrateful for the backward glance of memory
to those days when life was about bottles
and diapers, walks in the park and baking
cookies for little hands and greedy mouth,
when the mornings were written in wonder,
months honey-combed with baby kisses
and the fascination of intrepid first steps …

in solidarity with other parents i will them
memories laced with gratitude, not the pain
of lost dreams, of lost bodies of their bodies,
the fragile students silenced in the corridors
of relative privilege after an insane rampage
or the everyday streets streaming blood in
Harlem and Bayview/Hunter’s Point where
uncelebrated kids live foreshortened lives

 and those are the children of democracy
there are these too, children of oppression
what of them? – tiny starved brown humans
that line the arenas of hunger and war, where
soundless tears of voiceless parents drown
the vestiges of hope while we  share our pain,
so sure the world will grieve along with us

© 2013, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved
Photo credit ~ Vera Kratochvil, Public Domain

Photo on 2012-09-19 at 20.00JAMIE DEDES ~ My worldly tags are poet and writer.  I’m in my fifth year of blogging at The Poet by Day, the journey in poem, formerly titled Musing by Moonlight.  Through the gift of poetry (mine and that of others), I enter sacred space.

Posted in Essay, Guest Writer, Peace & Justice

Mindful Steps to End Hunger

Charles W. Elliot

By Charles W. Elliot

Posted here with the permission of Buddhist Global Relief (BGW)

Hunger remains a problem and we think it is not inappropriate to post this again, an essay by Charles W. Elliot that we featured a couple of years ago. On the blog roll to the right, there is a link to BGW ‘s donation page in the event that you are inspired to make a donation. We don’t take donations or any remuneration for the work on this site; but, if you get something out of what is presented on Bardo, we encourage you to support one of the organizations we support or another worthy charity of your choosing. Let’s collaborate to keep the good works going. In gratitude, Jamie Dedes

The simplest act of eating a piece of fruit is inevitably embedded in a complex web of systems: economic, agricultural, financial, and environmental. In attending mindfully to this act, we can discern myriad interdependent phenomena: the beginningless origins of its seeds, the earth from which the fruit grew, the laboring hands that brought the food to our table. The same mindfulness will show how our own lives depend upon the efforts of others, the essential kindness of countless strangers. And in recalling this kindness, we should be ready to take steps to repay it. One such way is to carefully consider the needs of others, and where we find that basic human needs remain unmet because of injustice, we should be motivated to act.

The Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition states that “society today already possesses sufficient resources, organisational ability and technology and hence the competence to [eradicate hunger].” While food supplies are abundant, access to that food is not. In 2010, 925 million people suffered from chronic hunger, representing one in seven of a global population approaching 7 billion.

Access to adequate food, as indispensable to basic human survival, is a matter of social justice. One of the earliest pronouncements of global governance on fundamental human rights was the U.N. General Assembly’s simple declaration: “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food[.]” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25, paragraph 1, 1948.) If food has been recognized as a human right since the end of World War II, and if society has the resources and competence to end hunger, we should ask ourselves: why are so many millions still hungry?

Of course, there is no single answer to that question. Like all other phenomena, the persistence and spread of human hunger is a complex dependent-arising involving many interwoven causes. Two disturbing factors are financial speculation, which drove commodity prices sky-high in 2007-2008, and the increasing diversion of crops from food production to biofuel production. Thus, the portion of U.S. corn grown to produce corn-based ethanol rose from 15% in 2006 to an estimated 40% in 2011. Other factors include catastrophic weather conditions such as droughts and floods, and global climate change, which has an adverse impact on water supplies and land, especially in the developing world. At the same time, urban sprawl reduces available farmland, while the urban middle class consumes more meat and processed food, which in turn demands more land, water, and energy.

While resources for food dwindle, governmental policies, particularly in the West, have become increasingly hostile to the poor. The shredding of social safety nets puts at risk an ever-larger number of people who need help in the face of poor economic conditions. Last year, about 25% of the House of Representatives voted to eliminate foreign food aid. Such policies appeal to the notion that the world is a zero-sum game, that any help we offer another family will mean that we get less and that we cannot afford fairness. Here in the U.S. help for the poor is in jeopardy. In my home state of Pennsylvania, food stamp use has risen 50% from 1.2 million people in 2008 to 1.8 million today. Despite the increasing need driven by the Great Recession, the current governor proposes to disqualify anyone with assets of more than $5,500—for example, a bank account or a second car—from food stamp eligibility. As a result, it is estimated that 4,023 Pennsylvania households will lose their food stamp benefits on May 1 of this year.

Battling institutional and entrenched social injustice helps alleviate hunger because poverty is at the root of hunger, and the root cause of poverty is powerlessness: the “powerlessness of those who lack resources such as land and water to grow food, jobs to earn money to buy food, an adequate food safety net and food reserves, and adequate nutrition.” (The Downward Spiral of Hunger: Causes & Solutions)

There are many small steps we can take to end hunger, but we must be prepared to respond to the call of conscience to help others and to restore social justice. A key step is to rebuild and enhance small-scale local food systems and turn away from globally concentrated control of food production and distribution. Ultimately, we should reject the domination of agriculture by large corporate agribusiness, and confront corporate attempts to control the very seeds of life with their patented genetically-modified “single generation” seeds.

At the neighborhood scale here in the U.S., community food gardens are springing up even in major cities like New York City and Detroit. Food waste and post-harvest losses could be remedied to make more food available to those in need. Greater investment in small-scale agriculture in rural areas and urban agriculture in the cities would empower the poor and hungry.

At Buddhist Global Relief, we are taking our own small steps. For example, we provide village-scale training in intensified rice cultivation to rural farmers in Cambodia and Vietnam, helping to build their capacity and confidence in applying sustainable agriculture techniques. These techniques dramatically boost yields without expensive external inputs. BGR funds tools and seeds to impoverished families in Cambodia to grow cash crops and home vegetable gardens. Following each harvest, each family then gives the same amount of seed they received to another local family, thus establishing a community of mutual support. BGR helps train villagers in Kenya and Malawi in small-scale agricultural techniques that nurture healthy soil fertility, produce high yields, conserve resources, and meet the basic need of people to independently feed themselves.

Such small steps, taken collectively by Buddhist Global Relief and countless others, are helping to empower the poor, reduce poverty, and alleviate the suffering of hunger. Neither the complexity of the manifold causes of hunger nor the daunting statistics of global poverty should deter us from acting out of compassion and generosity. In the Buddhist tradition, the embodiment of compassion, AvalokiteshvaraGuanyin Kwannon, is often depicted not just with a thousand eyes to gaze upon the suffering in the world, but with a thousand hands to aid those who suffer. Of course, not even a thousand arms are enough to help the billion people who suffer from hunger. But if we recognize each motivated human heart as the eyes and hands of Avalokiteshvara, each of us acting in our own way, in our own communities, might yet help to end hunger in our generation.

Charles W. Ellliott, a member of the Board of Directors of Buddhist Global Relief, is a lawyer practicing environmental, land use, and human rights law.

© 2012, photo and essay, Buddhist Global Relief, All rights reserved

Posted in Essay, Guest Writer

Giulas is a thoughtful, talented South American film-maker and photographer. I have followed his blog and YouTube channel for a few years now. This post is one I particularly appreciate. Guilas gives us something to think about, which he has drawn from his refined spiritual and artistic sensibility. Thanks, Giulas. Jamie

The eternal solitude of the restless Mind

We live in a world with lots of differences. People are dying of poverty by the millions while other people are feasting in fancy hotels in Europe and Asia. People are suffering for not been able to afford dental treatment while people are spending hundreds of thousands in a new shining smile. That’s the world. I know it can get a lot better but i also know it was a lot worst. At times slavery was common. At times killing with no reason was acceptable. It sounds like the world we live in now, right? Look up in history and you will see it was a lot worst. Our life expectancy is proof of that. This is already subject for a lot of arguments but this is not the main subject here. The main subject maybe has to do with the fact things doesn’t get even better. Much better. And…

View original post 531 more words

Posted in Guest Writer, Poems/Poetry


shred the social safety nets


Marilynn Mair (Celebrating a Year)

Into the Bardo Contributing Writer 

shred the social safety nets
we cannot afford fairness
this is as good as it gets

for the future don’t make bets
poverty powerlessness
shred the social safety nets

any lingering regrets
are pointless though it’s a mess
this is as good as it gets

what ill mechanism lets
governments pleading blameless
shred the social safety nets

as the rich hide their assets
pretending with false distress
this is as good as it gets

and our silence aids abets
while willful lies egregious
shred the social safety nets

is this as good as it gets

© 2012 photograph and poem, Maryilynn Mair All rights reserved

Marilynn Mair – author, world renown mandolinist, and blogger – wrote this beautiful sympathetic villanelle in response to Charles W. Elliot’s piece HERE, “Mindful Steps to the End of Hunger.”

Posted in Buddhism, Teachers

UPDATE: Buddhist Global Relief

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, American Buddhist Monk, Theravada Tradition

Founder and Chairperson

Buddhist Global Relief

Photo ~ Ken and Visakha Kawasaki under Creative Commons Atribution-Share Alike 3.0 Uported License via Wikipedia

This is just in from the Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi. J.D.


BGR Logo
let the lotus
of compassion
enfold the world

Buddhist Global Relief came into being in June 2008, born of the conviction that Buddhists should play a more active role in helping our unseen brothers and sisters around the world emerge from the crushing weight of poverty and social neglect. Inspired by the Buddha’s great compassion, we chose chronic hunger and malnutrition as our special focus. Our programs are intended to help people escape this brutal trap by promoting more sustainable methods of food production and more equitable systems of food distribution. We also sponsor the education of poor children, especially girls, and right livelihood opportunities for poor women, enabling them to earn more to feed their families.

In only three years, we’ve already launched over twenty-five projects in Asia, Africa, Haiti, and the U.S. The most recent include:

  • regular nutritious meals for hungry children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • wells to provide water for poor families in Cambodia
  • training in employable skills for indigent girls in Sri Lanka
  • educational assistance for slum children in Nagpur, India
  • training farmers from Malawi in ecologically sustainable agriculture
  • a community garden and orchard to produce nutritious organic vegetables and herbs in Mqatsheni, South Africa
  • a greenhouse to grow produce for the poor in the Maryland-Pennsylvania region of the U.S.

Today BGR is playing a major role in representing Buddhism on the stage of global giving. Last year, we were even invited to participate in conferences on collaboration in poverty alleviation at the White House and the National Cathedral. These led to several partnerships with Oxfam America on projects in Cambodia and Vietnam. Recently Tricyleand Buddhadharma, two major American Buddhist journals, featured articles about BGR (please see Tricycle’s Feeding the world’s hungry and Buddhadharma’s Buddhist Global Relief articles). We want this Buddhist presence to flourish, visibly representing the compassionate spirit of the Dharma in ways made urgent by the terrible persistence of poverty and malnutrition.

We’re doing our utmost to turn back this tide, but we can’t achieve our goals without help from friends who share our ideals and resonate with our values, good-hearted people like you. Your donations are the key to everything we do: to combating hunger and malnutrition, to educating poor children, to helping those who cannot help themselves. And because we’re an all-volunteer organization, we use the funds we receive prudently, with care and discretion, to ensure that over 90% of every dollar goes directly to finance projects.

As we come to the end of 2011 — the time for selfless giving — please bring forth a heart of generosity for the world’s poor and hungry people, who need a helping hand in order to rise up and stand on their feet. Please give generously. When you give, you become a part of our mission, a partner in our endeavor to express compassion in action. Bear in mind that to give is to receive, to experience the joy of offering others the chance to live with dignity and hope.

May all blessings be with you and your family,

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi signature

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
Founder and Chairperson

Buddhist Global Relief is a 501(c) (3) organization. Gifts are deductible to the full extent allowable under IRS regulations. You can either donate online at the BGR website or send a check to:
Buddhist Global Relief
PO Box 1611
Sparta, New Jersey 07871 USA

If your company has a Matching Gift Program, please enclose the necessary forms as well.

Posted in Essay, Jamie Dedes



“From time immemorial, poetry has built better bridges between people than those with bricks and stones. And these bridges do not get old or obsolete … ” [Change Is Born in the Womb of Poetry]  MujeebJaihoon



Jamie Dedes

After much resistance, I finally joined Facebook under my name HERE and created a page for Into the Bardo HERE. Facebook is yet another something that can consume too much time, but it’s also a gold mine of information and introductions to talented, responsible folks from around the world. Through poet-Friend connections I recently received an invitation to participate in:

100 THOUSAND POETS OF THE WORLD (100 Thousand Poets for Change) – This puts me in mind of Sam Hamill‘s Poets Against the War, when hundreds of poets marched and read outside the White House in protest against the war in Iraq. That was a well-defined effort. In this case the first question that comes to mind is “What kind of change?” 

The first order of change is for poets, writers, artists, anybody, to actually get together to create and perform, educate and demonstrate, simultaneously, with other communities around the world. This will change how we see our local community and the global community. We have all become incredibly alienated in recent years. We hardly know our neighbors down the street let alone our creative allies who live and share our concerns in other countries. We need to feel this kind of global solidarity. I think it will be empowering.  Excerpt from the press release of March 2011 announcing the the first 100 Poets for Change global event that was held on September 24, 2011. The next global event is scheduled for September 29, 2012.

100 Thousand Poets for Change is a unified effort among activist poets, artists, photographers, and musicians working toward a sustainable world through simultaneous events held across the globe, basically consciousness raising and peaceful protest. This September under the umbrella of  100 Thousand Poets for Change, 700 events were held in 550 cities representing 95 participating countries united to promote environmental, social, and political change. That’s pretty amazing and down-right gratifying. 100 Thousand Poets for Change is not getting the press that the Occupy movement is getting, but it is striking by virtue of its size, support, and sustainability.

Bob Holman and Margery Snyder, in an article on said, “the beauty of the concept of 100 Thousand Poets for Change is that it is completely decentralized and completely inclusive.”  All those involved are hoping, through their actions and events, to seize and redirect the political and social dialogue of the day and turn the narrative of civilization towards peace and sustainability.

Throughout the year, there are also small local events. Even as you read here today, the Sharjah International Book Fair is in progress will run  through November 27. 100 Thousand Poets for Change was invited to participate and is actively doing so.

If this effort sounds like something that interests you as a poet and/or citizen of the world, check out the website HERE.

POETS AGAINST THE WAR started in 2003 by Sam Hamill is now defunct, but all the poems have been placed in a university archive. I was honored to find that two of mine are included. Sadly the web domain has been assumed by others for advertising. However, there is a bound collection of some of the original poems, Sam Hamill, Poets Against the War.


AUDRE LORDE (1934 – 1992)

Caribbean-American poet, writer, activist

trying to make power out of hatred and destruction

trying to heal my dying son with kisses

Power by Audre Lorde, The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde


“[Poetry begins] that process by which we insure the future because we know so much more than we understand. We must first examine our feelings for questions, because all the rest has been programmed. We have been taught how to understand, and in terms that will insure not creativity, but the status quo. If we are looking for something which is new and something which is vital, we must look first into the chaos within ourselves. That will help us in the directions that we need to go–that’s why our poetry is so essential, is so vital. Now whether poetry has the responsibility to effect social change . . . it doesn’t really matter. As we get in touch with the things that we feel are intolerable, in our lives, they become more and more intolerable. If we just once dealt with how much we hate most of what we do, there would be no holding us back from changing it. This is true with any kind of movement. This is the way in which the philosopher/Queen, the poet-warrior leads.” Audra Lorde in an interview Karla Hammond, American Poetry Review, March-April 1980

©  Jamie Dedes, 2011 All rights reserved

photo credit ~ Audra Lorde (1980) by K. Kendall via Wikipedia and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.