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
“Those trains brought me to Hemingway’s World War I minimalist opus “In Our Time.” His broken shapes and no words for them. It got all still as our train stopped. I found myself bleakly staring at eternity unbound.” Linda Chown
The Big Burn-Out
In Deusto those burnt out train husks
ETA exploded black in a rage for justice
haunt the tracks like unheard whispers
hollowed out like old love gone offstage
There was an awe in my looking
almost a respect as I was
remembering the political anger
in which I was basted all my little life.
It was a mirror of those police,
big faceless men holding their lines.
This is no self pity but a gripping knowing
how big life living is. How solemn and fervent our times.
Those trains brought me to Hemingway’s
World War I minimalist opus “In Our Time.”
His broken shapes and no words for them.
It got all still as our train stopped.
I found myself bleakly staring at eternity unbound.
LINDA E. CHOWN grew up in Berkeley, Ca. in the days of action. Civil Rights arrests at Sheraton Palace and Auto Row. BA UC Berkeley Intellectual History; MA Creative Writing SFSU; PHd Comparative Literature University of Washington. Four books of poetry. Many poems published on line at Numero Cinq, Empty Mirror, The Bezine, Dura, Poet Head and others. Many articles on Oliver Sachs, Doris Lessing, Virginia Woolf, and many others. Twenty years in Spain with friends who lived through the worst of Franco. I was in Spain (Granada, Conil and Cádiz) during Franco’s rule, there the day of his death when people took to the streets in celebration. Interviewed nine major Spanish Women Novelists, including Ana María Matute and Carmen Laforet and Carmen Martín Gaite.
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
Poetry, Music, Art
Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice
Poetry. It’s better than war! —Michael Rothenberg, co-founder of 100,000 Poets (and friends) for Change
It is time once again for The BeZine live 100TPC event, this year at the end of a week when over 7 million people around the world participated in various climate crisis strikes to demand action now, according to 350.org.
Today, under the banner of 100,000 Poets (and friends) for Change (100TPC), for the 9th year, people the world over are gathered to stand up and stand together for PEACE, SUSTAINABILITY and SOCIAL JUSTICE. There are over 700 100TPC events worldwide scheduled for 28 September 2019, and many others throughout the year. This year, a large number of these events focus on the climate crisis, the urgency of which has been well expressed by Greta Thunberg:
When our house is burning we cannot just leave it to the children to pour water on the flames – we need the grownups to take responsibility for sparking the blaze in the first place. So for once, we’re asking grownups to follow our lead: we can’t wait any longer. —Greta Thunberg, 15 March 2019 (age 16, Swedish)
Our themes for your contributions, as every year, are Peace, Social Justice, and Sustainability. As I wrote in the introduction to the September 2019 issue of The BeZine, these three issues intertwine with each other. With a month of climate actions, this week just past of focused action through 350.org, and Greta Thunberg’s #ClimateStrike, #FridaysForFuture, and #schoolstrike4climate efforts, the climate crisis has been a central focus of many this month. The BeZine blog has been running daily posts related to the climate crisis throughout September.
Even so, we welcome your work on any of the three themes. We need action and change in all of these areas, we need it now, and we need to keep calling for action and deep, cultural change, every day.
Right now, the youth are urgently calling on adults and governments to act, and especially on issues of sustainability. Thunberg boldly told the gathered world leaders at the UN:
People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you! —Great Thunberg, 23 September 2019
While Thunberg may be the most well-known youth on the issue of the climate crisis, other youth have worked on related issues, especially clean water. Clean water should be a human right—it is an issue of social justice, wars are fought over water, and sustainable practices are needed to clean our waters and keep them clean.
Autumn Peltier (age 14), an Anishinaabe living in Canada, is one of those other youth, who, as did her aunt before her, lives her life as a water protector:
No one should have to worry if the water is clean or if they will run out of water. No child should grow up not knowing what clean water is, or never know what running water is. —Autumn Peltier, 22 March 2018 (age 13 at the time, Canadian Anishinaabe)
Seventeen year-old Xiye Bastida, a Mexican American living in New York, speaks to the need for deep-rooted change:
We need to change our culture and change our narrative. For too long, the narrative has been that this is some big distant thing that will happen in the year 2100. But pollution is here. Heatwaves are here. Wildfires are here. Melting ice caps are here. Floods are here. Category 5 hurricanes are here. It’s here already. —Xiye Bastida, 19 September 2019 (age 17, Mexican-American from New York City)
Mari Copeny, a 12 y.o. African American also known as “Little Miss Flint,” at the age of 8 brought attention to (and grant money for) the water crisis in Flint, MI, by writing to then President Barack Obama. Now aged 12, she calls on us to not just act today, nor this week, nor this month:
No, our fight to save the planet didn’t start today with the #ClimateStrike and it doesn’t end today either. Many of us have been putting in the work for years to save our planet. Don’t just amplify our voices today, but every day and support our solutions to save us. —Mari Copeny on Twitter, 20 September 2019 (age 12, African-American from Flint, MI, also known as “Little Miss Flint”)
I return to Thunberg, who proclaims “change is coming”:
You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us I say we will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not. —Greta Thunberg, 23 September 2019
Last year on our 2018 Live 100TPC page, Jamie Dedes, our managing editor, wrote about 100TPC:
Think on this when you are tempted to lose all hope for our species. Remember that—not just today, but everyday—there are ripples and waves and tsunamis of faith and courage crossing borders in the form of poetry, stories, art, music, friendships and other acts of heroism. Hang tough. And do join with us—The Bardo Group Beguines—todayto share your own creative work and to enjoy the work of others. All are welcome no matter where in the world you live.
I say, think of these youth, their messages, and their leadership—”ripples and waves and tsunamis of faith and courage.” Think of these precious, perceptive youth—
—Michael Dickel, Contributing Editor
these precious perceptive youth, a poem
“Providing food, shelter, clothing and education is not enough any more, because all of this would have no meaning in the end, if your children do not have a planet to live on with health and prosperity.” —Abhijit Naskar, The Constitution of The United Peoples of Earth
this perfect blue-green planet, her youth
dream among the strains of their hope,
dream of us like our sun and moon,
coordinating … if only we would,
sowing the rich soil with right-action,
cultivating a greening of our compassion,
acting on a commonsense vision
the fruits of our being-ness plant their
ideals, shared values, a call for accountability,
for a re-visioning unencumbered by insanity,
rich fields to harvest, color, sound, textures,
rough and smooth, the deep rootedness of
their stand and stand for, their wise demands
casting a spell that we might see with one eye,
splendor hidden behind our irresponsibility,
their effervescent call, blossoming unity, vision –
bright spinning planet gently graced with these
wildflowers, these precious perceptive youth.
Dedicated to the young people of the world who teach us many lessons as they reach across borders in their stand for climate action.
TO SHARE YOUR POEMS, ART, PHOTOGRAPHY AND MUSIC VIDEOS FOR OUR “LIVE” VIRTUAL 100TPC TODAY, PLEASE USE MISTERLINKY FOR URL LINKS. JUST CLICK ON THE ICON BELOW. YOU CAN ALSO SIMPLY PASTE YOUR COMPLETE WORK OR THE URL TO IT INTO THE COMMENTS SECTION.
REMEMBER THE THEMES ARE PEACE, SUSTAINABILITY, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE.
as of OCTOBER 2, 2019, this event is closed for sharing
YOU CAN STILL READ
thank you everyone who participated
we’ll open an all-new virtual event next year, Sept. 28, 2010
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?
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.
as i left a public park following a rally on climate change i saw the brown bag prophet with a questioning look on his face so i asked if he had a problem with the event he said now don’t get me wrong i’m all for saving the planet and sustainability but nothing’s gonna change until we’ve admitted to our own history and our current complicity in environmental crimes for to change one must see what is
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