“No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.” Warsan Shire,Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth
The wandering waters, dripping
Into rising seas and land now lonely
For his human foot, which finding
No room at the inn, wanders
Like the waters, violated like a fish
On the deck of a boat, gasping
Soul bludgeoned, human skulls
And fish entrails, politicos and
Pundits examine like I Ching coins,
Accidents of birth, plight of place
A remote sliver of moon surveils
From the starless sky, unmoved
Dedicated to my friend, Mbizo Chirasha, Zimbabwean Poet in Exhile. Please connect with me if you are able or know someone / some family able to host him in Germany. Thank you! email@example.com
See a procession of young mothers chattering their way From water fountains in grenade torn sandals And blood laced bras Decade of Bullets, Mbizo Chirasha
Is fading the memory of its son,
Who for words must ride the night
Fleeing ears that hear thunder on a babies purity guggle,
Zvegona, my homestead,
Ancestors are watching
Elders on a scheming mission
Trading lies with more lies
The road to Zvegona
Your Sideroads sigh
Your song is silent
Only hiccups of mothers greet the sun
Yearning for the return of the bearded child
Who lives on the strings of truth
Truth refused a seat at the council of baboons on the lagoons
Goons settling scores on the assumptions that a boy has a price,
Well, the boy true has a price
But not one you can pay with looted coins
The boy has shaved his hair not his brains
The boy has slipped his boots on and truth has raised its flag
And the spirits of truth sing his Achilles heels on,
So Zvegona, the village of the lucky poet,
Grow thistles and thorns
Feed cattle and goats
The boy has shaved his beard
Ready for a walk back, to shave the land of all pretentious shenanigans
Uprooting the weeds and weevils
Repair the kraal too,
Where roosters shall announce light unto the land,
Currently bent double under the gargantuan weight of lying tongues.
Zvegona, you are my yesterday
Zvegona, you are my tomorrow in whatever form, shape or …….
The first New Look Brave Voices Poetry Journal will be out by the 15th of December 2019. It is a Christmas gift. Our deadline for articles [and poetry] is the 10th of December 2019. We look forward to contributions and features with a length of 1500 words. You can send these in the body of mail with photos as attachments. Please include your publishable photos and a fifteen line bio to firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve received letters of support to go in Mbizo’s applications for grants and safe harbor, but the Go-Fund-Me effort is still not to goal, which would provide for the immediate need for pantry staples, computer, and so forth. Without predictable computer access, Mbizo has not yet been able to do his interview with the Canadian radio show, though the offer still stands.
International Human Rights Festival, the entity that sponsored Mbizo’s Go-Fund-Me, has attracted $480 and raised the goal to $750. They have cut him some partial funding for now. Meanwhile, folks, I suggest that if enough of us donated the price of one morning latte, we’d make the goal. What do you say? A whole bunch of tidbits would combine for a whole lot of success. You can make your donation anonymously HERE.
If you are able and interested in helping in any way, you can contact Mbizo directly at: email@example.com
– Jamie Dedes
“We remain resilient in the quest for justice, freedom of expression and upholding of human rights through Literary Activism and Artivism. ALUTA CONTINUA.” Mbizo Chirasha
MBIZO CHIRASHA is a recipient of PEN Deutschland Exiled Writer Grant (2017), Literary Arts Projects Curator, Writer in Residence, Blogs Publisher, Arts for Human Rights/Peace Activism Catalyst, Social Media Publicist and Internationally Anthologized Writer, 2017 African Partner of the International Human Rights Arts Festival Exiled in Africa Program in New York. 2017 Grantee of the EU- Horn of Africa Defend Human Rights Defenders Protection Fund. Resident Curator of 100 Thousand Poets for Peace-Zimbabwe, Originator of Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Movement. He has published a collection of poetry, Good Morning President, and co-created another one Whispering Woes of Gangesand Zembezi with Indian poet Sweta Vikram.
John Anstie is the lead for the next issue of The BeZine, which is open for submission to its December issue through November 15. The theme is “Life of the Spirit.” Submission to firstname.lastname@example.org Please read our submission guidelines. Meanwhile, I invite you visit John’s site and get to know this fine musician, poet, grandfather, trainer of dogs for the blind, and so much more. In short, a renaissance man.
Dear Earth, you are a sacred aqueous Isle
in a dark and endless sea of universe.
You may never reveal your strategy.
We may be bound by genetic code
to the presupposing chemical destiny
of one great astrophysical master plan
for all living things. We, who represent
your malaise, your chronic infestation;
we, like a fleeting itch in your long life,
will never comprehend it. But, in truth
you know too well that we can never
understand more than one percent
of all there is to know. You contain
the knowledge that is beyond us.
We are but a rash on your skin.
One day, we know you will
raze all of our delusions,
prepare us for the day
when a blinding light
will inoculate you
and inform us of
a moment when
will, at last be
the l i e s
f r o m
a r e
m e r e
a t o m i c
p a r t i c l e s
inside a temporal chalice
With this post we close our month-long Climate Action blog-series presented in solidarity with the world’s youth and with the many organizations that held events this past month. Our gratitude to and appreciation for the contributors to this series and our readers and followers. Together we rise in support of our beautiful blue-green Earth and our ability to survive and thrive here.
In the spirit of love (respect) and community
and on behalf of The Bardo Group Beguines, Jamie Dedes
Founding and Managing Editor
Dear Earth, you are a sacred aqueous Isle in a dark and endless sea of universe. You may never reveal your strategy. We may be bound by genetic code to the presupposing chemical destiny of one great astrophysical master plan for all living things. We, who represent your malaise, your chronic infestation; we, like a fleeting itch in your long life, will never comprehend it. But, in truth you know too well that we can never understand more than one percent of all there is to know. You contain the knowledge that is beyond us. We are but a rash on your skin.
One day, we know you will raze all of our delusions, prepare us for the day when a blinding light will inoculate you and inform us of a moment when extant humans will, at last be prepared to distinguish the l i e s f r o m truth and
so we a r e m e r e a t o m i c p a r t i c l e s inside a temporal chalice
Once in a while you exceed yourself. Are you blue, because we thought no more of you as the driving force for life on Earth or potency behind the waves of bitches and whelps giving us thrilling moments or contemplative of a thriving, muddy, salty, riverine universe of life waiting for you to draw the tidal covers repeatedly over the fruits of our sustenance.
A force of nature, fully formed yet so much smaller than the mother of your birth, you hold sway, in countless ways you touch our lives and drive us through our days. Humble, unassuming, even unnoticed by those who hurtle, mindlessly, and make no time for the wisdom of our insignificance or feel the difference between our age and yours.
As necessity tramples over truth most days, we hide in fear of the darkening, of the madness that ensues. Does not the hunter choose your waning dark to spike the nervous memory, remind us of the feral wolf pack? We may not ever tame you, but your mother is dying a slow and painful death.
Oh super blood blue moon, does not your God and our God sing the same tune?
Before, no sand swept through, no water splashed—a beach at driving distance, yes, but a long, long walk away. Before the three-year old’s stories, which I only half listened to: he was born in clouds before dinosaurs were alive; he died; “But now,” he said, “I’m becoming alive again.”
I thought a story he told me one morning came from his dreams.
He knew a dinosaur, he told me, with bright blue feathers in the day. At night it turned wooly and gray, to keep warm. The dinosaur had a name, Pollaydowen.
I thought, what an amazing imagination my three-year old son has, what colorful dreams.
He had other stories, about his house in space and all of the animals that lived there with him, a farm he had at this house. He went on and on with details—listing every animal we saw at the zoo, on farm visits, in books, on videos, on the internet; listing all of the plants and flowers he had heard of; listing creatures great and small in his lakes and seas.
How did he know all of them?
He insisted we should visit his house in space.
Then changes came suddenly, not slowly, as even the most pessimistic predictions had held. One day, news report said the sea covered beaches even at the lowest tides. The next week, waves washed across roads. Houses washed away. Whole neighborhoods of people could barely evacuate before the surf swallowed the land and their belongings.
The water washed sand over everything. The ozone layer shredded. Paint bubbled and peeled on cars, houses, government buildings. Everything and everyone aged.
Soon, sand dunes blew across the road in front of our house. The house looked like fifty years of neglect had settled in on it over the past few weeks.
That last day, my wife and I heard my son speaking in his room. And we heard another voice.
We went in. A bright blue flash turned toward us.
“We have to go,” my three-year old calmly explained, “now.”
“These sands end time here, the last to flow through the hour-glass,” the blue lizard-creature, Pollaydowen, added.
As we left the house, we trekked through hills of sand.
We returned once, to see what had happened.
I left this note for you who might find it, scratched in the walls, just in case anyone remains. We have an ark.
the Amazon burns! No one
quells the fires
air; knowledge is lost in the fire.
Waters run polluted! No one
seeks to free fish
or children drinking poison.
Air spins in cyclones
destroying all under its twisting cloud
flooding the earth.
Metal is used to make war
are called predators by those who’ve only known comfort.
Are we but people
whatever language colour, creed
we came from one source?
But will expire
in our own detritus
unless we care for our planet
which will spin
into the void of extinction
unless we care for it and others.
“Because, underneath all of this is the real truth we have been avoiding: climate change isn’t an “issue” to add to the list of things to worry about, next to health care and taxes. It is a civilizational wake-up call. A powerful message—spoken in the language of fires, floods, droughts, and extinctions—telling us that we need an entirely new economic model and a new way of sharing this planet. Telling us that we need to evolve.” Naomi Klein (b. 1970) is a Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker known for her political analyses and criticism of corporate globalization and of capitalism. On a three-year appointment from September 2018, she is the Gloria Steinem Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University.
the ghosts of our parents search vainly for wildflowers near the beach at Big Sur
they were deaf to the threat in thunder,
but we were struck by lightning,
heaved in the rain and waves and
the overflow from the melting ice
the computers went down
their screens black as the wicked water,
in whirling chaos they morphed into drums
every fetus turned in the womb,
the men went to the mountain tops
and the women sheltered in caves
the souls of saints and sinners
were run through a cosmic wash cycle
after the spin dry, a new wisdom
but the shades of our parents remain,
they’re waiting for us at Big Sur,
waiting by the Santa Lucia Mountains
“What use will money and wealth be to those who possess them when the rivers and land are poisoned, the seas devoid of life and the air polluted beyond tolerance?” Luke Eastwood, The Journey: Exploring the Spiritual Truth at the Heart of the World’s Religions
Autumn falls on lids
of summer as brown kohl;
dust sticks to formica – dim
laminates – dreary clouds
not heavy enough to pour,
sun sleeps without sheets,
stars bulge like heat-wombs
ready to expel – air bites
like bugs-scratched land;
necks of trees on blade of axe,
green silky bands of crowns
shorn – barks planked, piled
with their withered parts; dry
weeds irrigate soil’s uterus,
roots stoned like cracked clay;
dusk smudges like mascara-
tears, rooms bleak from
smog – homes invaded by
carbon – moon drowns in
a sea of smouldering char.
a summer in spring confused flora and fauna,
a summer suspended early, flowers
buds deep in earth, interred as autumn reds,
gold scarred dead leaves of burnished browns
a harvest of fruit and berries unoffered
glaciered infernos, carbon foot on planet
Earth fossilised, horizons blink in wild rage as sun,
Moon and stars dip into the sea,
neither morning nor night
a midnight within a midnight.
The sad paragraphs in the paper offer
no answers but they fade a little once I’m outside
although there’s rain in the air and the sudden sun
silvering naked twigs as I enter the park
doesn’t last. I’m in the copse where rooks
are flapping in quarrel as usual, when it stops me
in my tracks: moss cushioning a fallen tree.
The green fabric is so vibrant it’s almost luminous.
It awakens grey branches and untidy brambles
emerging from clots of darkness. Hard to believe
this green is natural but no manmade process
could possibly create such soft brilliance.
It’s not water meadow green, not nettle green,
lime green, olive, not glossy laurel,
not intense Lorca green. It’s a green spawned
by the damp bedded in rotting logs and deep
leaf mush, a green that’s been so mothered
by light it banishes lightlessness, a green
more potent than the science which explains it,
a green which fills my mind, feeds my arteries,
a green that urges: never give up.
to be like Greta Thunberg
you must become yourself
completely as though there
were no prison of skin to stay inside
no ego to say don’t try
no doors to close
the kind of bravery that moves
lives is not second hand
it is the ultimate it’s like an
we can do it trip
the magic liberation of person
we’ve been dreaming for
the closeness of fish in water
pure semiosis and pre-verbal closeness
I didn’t write for sometime
Didn’t feel the urge to do it
Overwhelmed by the reality flow
The muses fainted
The cracks from the floor swallowed them
Another layer of dust lavishingly spread at my feet
Vacuum, void, nothingness
Mainly, emptied and knocked down by the atrocities of these times
The bad news are followed by more bad news
Fake or true, an instrument of manipulation
The muses got swirled under this tsunami wave called reality
No wish for survival left
In their foggy eyes I saw the doom
With the next wave poetry will leave too
The curtain of smoke from the Amazonian forests will envelope slowly our poetry buds
The lungs will succumb in desperate attempts to form a rhyme or to keep the rhythm in this intricate nightmare
The muses, already dust under our paved ways, can’t save us anymore
They donated us the last amount of oxygen
Their last breath, already
We are left intoxicated with our egoes
We will fall, one by one as the trees of that far away forest did