“Poetry finds you when you are broken, insists on taking you into its fold, puts your pieces together and then you never leave.” Reena Prasad
Long before we had libraries teaming with medical and psychiatric tomes, we had cave paintings, carved images, storytelling, song, musical instruments and dance. The power of artistic expression to transform both creator and consumer was assumed.
The arts bear witness to sacred space, to the spontaneous dance between the conscious and the unconscious, to the existence of a symbolic realm. It is from these liminal places that our truest art and our healing words, visions, sounds and movement are born. Through art we experience a shamanic-like world that is beyond the consensual one, a world where each spirit is free to find its own core truth.
Hence, this month, we have: a poet (Reena Prasad) finding sanctuary and rebirth by reading and writing poetry: a singer/musician/poet (John Anstie) connecting with his own joy and the people with whom he collaborates; and Corina Ravenscraft’s interview with a soldier suffering from PTSD and finding relief in building and painting hundreds of miniature figurines.
Italian journalist, Mendez Biondo, brings us an interview with and three poems by Poemedic Deborah Alma, who prescribes “emergency poetry.” Our resident storyteller Naomi Baltuck offers us a PhotoStory that suggests just how empowering it is to tell our own stories. It is an excerpt from her book Apples From Heaven: Multicultural Folk Tales About Stories and Storytellers. Michael Watson takes us for an intriguing peek into toy theatre/object theatre performance as therapy.
Our BeAttitude this month is by Priscilla Galasso, who tells it like it is, as she always does, a critical must-read.
You’ll find the poetry ranges from catharsis to confirmation. We feature the work of three emerging poets: M. Zane McClellan, new to our pages; Inger Morgan, who shares her poem, the splendor of blue, in Swedish and English and debuted last month; and Mark Heathcotte, whose work has graced several issues. Be sure to encourage them with your “Likes” and comments.
The accomplished Reena Prasad who debuted with us last month is back with two poems. Her stunningly beautiful essay Sanctuary is written from the perspective of the poet, but I’m sure other art forms offer the same potential for comfort and transformation to their own devotees.
We’re pleased to treat you to the work of regular favorites: contributing writers Charlie Martin and Lily Negoi and guest writers Renee Espiru and Carolyn O’Connell.
We have a special guest poet this month, Myra Schneider, who has been featured in these pages before. Myra is most well-known in the UK where – on turning 70 this year – she celebrated both her birthday and the publication of her fourteenth collection, Persephone in Finsbury Park. She teaches at Poetry School and is a consultant to Second Light Network.
THE JANUARY ISSUE
In January, our topic is Resist. We are piggy-backing on Michael Rothenberg’s and Alan Kaufman’s call to American poets to resist the incoming president. Our effort is not restricted to poetry or to the United States. We’re doing a global call for submissions that counter policies – no matter what country – which undermine equity, foster poverty, encourage elitism, hate and scapegoating … all those things that pit people against people, putting many people at risk of disease, homelessness, starvation and murder. Please read the submission guidelines first. Send your work to firstname.lastname@example.org. American-Isreali poet and contributing editor to The BeZine, Michael Dickel, and I will collaborate on the production of the January issue.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM ALL OF US AT THE BeZINE!
We represent the beautiful and great wealth of the world’s wisdom traditions, nationalities, races, disabled and LBGTQ.
The historic experience of our Jewish friends, the plight of our Palestinian friends, the suffering of our Syrian brothers and sisters and others who are or have been victims of social and economic injustice and human rights violations informs our effort. We know that lines must be drawn, that silence is not an option, and that scapegoating can only lead to pain. Having said that, we are “prisoners of hope*,” and our hope is founded on our faith in you and on the foundation of those values we hold in common.
In the spirit of community and
on behalf of The Bardo Group Beguines,
Founding and Managing Editor
* Rev. Doctor William J. Barber
Illustration source unknown: if it’s yours, please let me know. I’ll take it down or credit as you prefer.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
You will have to link HERE to read The BeZine. My apologies: I had some technical issues and the Zine lays out in reverse order. I know what the problem is and the next issue will be fine. I recommend that you scoot to the end and move forward to read it in the correct order. J.D.
THE HEALING POWER OF THE ARTS
Armageddon and The Art of French Cooking, Priscialla Galasso
Sanctuary, Reena Prasad
Aftermath, Michael Watson
Piece by Painted Piece, Corina Ravenscraft
The Healing Adventures of Deborah Alma, Poemedic, Mendes Biondo
Singing for the Love of It, John Anstie
Don’t Confuse Hunger for Greed, the poems of Ruth Stone, Jamie Dedes
Telling It To the Walls, Naomi Baltuck
Special Guest Poet
Mahler’s Ninth, Myra Schneider
Dark over Light Earth / Violet and Yellow in Rose, Laura Braverman
Wabi Sabi, Jamie Dedes
More Than a Gift, Renee Espiru
The Artist’s Restorative, Mark Heathcote
a poet’s prescription, Charles W. Martin
Laying on of Hands, Z. Michael McClellan
Birthing to Earthing, Z. Michael McClellan
Unfolding, Z. Michael McClellan
Writing to Stay Alive, Reena Prasad
The World in the Cracks, Reena Prasad
Special Guest Poet
The Silence in the Garden, Myra Schneider
december mail, Liliana Negoi
the was of the will be, Liliana Negoi
water, Liliana Negoi
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