Guidelines and Inspiration for Submissions to the December issue of “The BeZine,” by John Anstie

Editor’s Note:  The deadline for submissions to the December issue is November 15.  Forward submission to  Submissions via comments or Facebook will not be considered.  Details HERE. / J.D.

“How do you perceive that word, spirit? How do you measure it? What sort of entity is it? What value is it to living things? What value is it to human beings, who are perhaps most responsible for its consequences? The answers appear to be as numerous as its definitions …

Spirit – noun
1. the principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans, animating the body or mediating between body and soul.
2. the incorporeal part of humans: present in spirit though absent in body.
3. the soul regarded as separating from the body at death.
4. conscious, incorporeal being, as opposed to matter: the world of spirit.
5. a supernatural, incorporeal being, especially one inhabiting a place, object, etc., or having a particular character: evil spirits.
6. a fairy, sprite, or elf.
7. an angel or demon.
8. an attitude or principle that inspires, animates, or pervades thought, feeling, or action: the spirit of reform.
9. (initial capital letter) the divine influence as an agency working in the human heart.
10.a divine, inspiring, or animating being or influence. Num. 11:25; Is. 32:15.
11.(initial capital letter) the third person of the Trinity; Holy Spirit.
12.the soul or heart as the seat of feelings or sentiments, or as prompting to action: a man of broken spirit.
13.spirits, feelings or mood with regard to exaltation or depression: low spirits; good spirits.
14.excellent disposition or attitude in terms of vigor, courage, firmness of intent, etc.; mettle: That’s the spirit!
15.temper or disposition: meek in spirit. individual as characterized by a given attitude, disposition, character, action, etc.: A few brave spirits remained to face the danger.
17.the dominant tendency or character of anything: the spirit of the age.
18.vigorous sense of membership in a group: college spirit.
19.the general meaning or intent of a statement, document, etc. (opposed to letter ): the spirit of the law.
20.Chemistry. the essence or active principle of a substance as extracted in liquid form, especially by distillation.
21.Often, spirits. a strong distilled alcoholic liquor.
22.Chiefly British, alcohol.
23.Pharmacology. a solution in alcohol of an essential or volatile principle; essence.
24.any of certain subtle fluids formerly supposed to permeate the body.
25.the Spirit, God.

The spirit is incorporeal. It is not bound by mind, body, ‘fact’ and opinion. It is beyond simple definition. can it be beyond commercial value? I do hope so, and is it perhaps beyond measurement. For me, it is part of the individual human ‘heart’, the non-physical heart. It is that part of a human body that echos throughout our universe long after the body is dead and perhaps even long after life on Earth is extinguished.

It is called upon, like the artist’s muse, so often when the mind and body are under stress, under pressure that it cannot sustain for too long; when conflict and threat to livelihoods and even life itself, sharpens the mind. It can come into its own, when ego, pride and prejudice are dispensing their know desires for individual, selfish survival; when individuals begin to fear the loss of their survival and start thrashing about and fighting for their gene pool; when the search for truth is no longer possible by simple logic, ‘reasoning’, science, well articulated, but biased speeches … this is when we have our greatest need to resort to the spirit. Whether that spirit is your God, or an established religious faith and and its set of scriptures, prescriptions for the easement of stress and improvement of self, or whether it is music, poetry or the writings of great minds, or simply great visual art, it is, from my perspective, all very valid. Humans need a spiritual guide, wither it’s external or internal. Without this, the wayward spirit can lead us further from the truth. When our spirit is strong, we can conquer the World.

May we all be able to poem, paint and play until our hearts are healed, to help us further pursue the quest for truth, through the spirit.

P.S. You may like to consider the future of digital technology in art. Can you envisage A.I. (artificial intelligence) being as capable as the human spirit in the part it plays in its creative inspiration for art?

© 2019, John Anstie / Lead for the December 2019 “The BeZine,” Volume 6, Issue 4, themed “A Life of the Spirit”

JOHN ANSTIE (My Poetry Library and 42) ~ is a British writer, poet and musician –  a multi-talented gentleman self-described as a “Family man, Grandfather, Occasional Musician, Singer, Amateur photographer and Film-maker, Apple-MAC user, Implementation Manager, and Engineer”. He has participated in d’Verse Poet’s Pub and is a player in New World Creative Union as well as a being a ‘spoken-voice’ participant in Roger Allen Baut’s excellent ‘Blue Sky Highway‘ radio broadcasts. He’s been blogging since the beginning of 2011. He is also a member of The Poetry Society (UK).

Recent publications are anthologies resulting from online collaborations among two international groups of amateur and professional poets. One of these is The Grass Roots Poetry Group (Petrichor* Rising. The other group is d’Verse Poet Pub, in which John’s poetry also appears The d’Verse Anthology: Voices of Contemporary World Poetry, produced and edited by Frank Watson.

Petrichor – from the Greek pɛtrɨkər, the scent of rain on the dry earth.

schrodinger’s heart . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt


“May we find the language
that takes us
to the only home there is ~
one another’s hearts ….” from TAKING THE SKY: A Palestinian Childhood by the Palestinian-American poet, writer, educator and humanitarian, Ibtisam Barakat (ابتسام بركات).

Tuesday again! One of our fave days: Here are the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Heart Knowledge, October 16. The poems which form today’s collection include one from Steven Tanham, new to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt and warmly welcome.  Thanks to Steve,  Gary W. Bowers, mm brazfield, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Ben Naga, Eric Nicholson, and Pali Raj we offer a heart felt (okay – corny, but I couldn’t resist) collection.

Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, which will post tomorrow morning. All are welcome to come out and play, no matter the stage of your career: beginning, emerging, or pro.

In Heart

Found always within itself
Yet never discovered
You named me so that
I could wander the world
And be known
By what turned out
To be me
All along

© 2019, Stephen Tanham

STEPHEN TANHAM (Sun In Gemini, Steve Tanham – Writing, Mysticism, Photography, Poetry, Friends) lives in the English Lake District, where it rains all the time but is very green. He writes poems, articles and books centred around the human search for authentic love and the self’s mystical quest. He also takes a lot of photographs.

heart of the matter

i love going to the hills
atop Silver Lake
where i can see Hollywood
my home my western shore
my dusty concrete paths
winding with a promise
to all that we are alive
in the City of Illusions
and that life is no illusion after all
paradox is my goddess
and Los Angeles my church
my habit was my pope
and my grit was my curse
perhaps we all strive
to go back home to reconcile
the hemorrhaging broken vein
and that’s all we want

© 2019, mm brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken

schrodinger’s heart

with an imagined ribcage like the box
schrodinger kept his imagined cat in
let us bring to thought-experiment life
a heart that is not only both alive and dead
but also both stone and gold
both weeping and exultant
hard and soft
sleevebound and hidden
light and leaden

but instead of poison
and coinflip
there would be an unknown substance
and rheostatic delivery
perhaps love potion #9
perhaps oil of cloves uncapped in a forest glade
perhaps the memory of shunning
or the sight of a breathtaking face
and the release would not be binary all-or-nothing
but any intensity from barest hint
to full blast

the physical heart of an unborn human being
may be heard through the uterine wall
and its resting rate is quicker than that
of most of the born
if my unborn daughter was typical
and as i listened to her rapid-blessed vitality
it seemed to me that her heart not only beat
but spoke
a repeated word of yearning:

some day some ultrasoundish nanotech
may make available to us
a means to free our own schrodinger’s hearts
from their ribcage confines
and reveal to us via virtual emoji and annotation
a snapshot of the exact shape and substance
and level of toxicity
or salubrity
how alive
how free
and how
are our

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers

Gary’s site is: One With Clay, Image and Text

My Heart

Bolt upright awake at 2am.
My heart pumps
its cage door.
Asks to be let out.

Rapid breath tries
to bolster the door,
heaves and heaves
until heart calms.

Breath sighs slows
head on pillow.
The door is bruised,
sleep uneven.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Their Hearts

Their long heart stretches
from sunrise to sunset
from moonrise to moonset
arcs skies as if travels
to another world.

Their short heart blinks once
at sunrise and at sunset,
at moonrise and moonset
never arcs across skies
stays where it is.

Their great value heart,
meets their expectations,
is thoughtful of others
tells them how they’re doing,
and how they might improve
is open to suggestions and feedback,
especially when things go wrong.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Your Door Is A

valve that opens
and closes
Lets me flow round
the home of your heart.

Keeps us both in good health.
One day the door will shut
And I will not move

© 2019, Paul Brookes

FYI: Paul Brookes, a stalwart participant in The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt, is running an ongoing series on poets, Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Connect with Paul if you’d like to be considered for an interview. Visit him, enjoy the interviews, get introduced to some poets who may be new to you, and learn a few things.

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.S. HERE
  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.K. HERE

More poems by Paul at Michael Dickel’s Meta/ Phore(e) /Play

Heart To Heart ~ Dil-e Nadaan O Innocent Heart

O Heart I never saw you nor ever will,
you give me life keep me pure and strong-
do you hold me or do I keep you?
Others told me that you do,

I must be grateful
O heart you were with me, I knew that day
when I gave you away, I could hear your
sound, but felt you were not there, you
sustain me constantly without rest in the
Bony cage and give me the best-
I must be grateful
With a faint rhythmic whispering beat
I heard my inner seat of the will, speak-
I keep the epignosis for you , the intellect,
feelings and spring of all desire, you keep

me clean and tranquil , without ire
Fill me not with indigestible oily food
nor pride or deceit or sheer laziness
nor hate nor envy nor revenge or
greediness, keep me joyful and good.
You must be grateful
O heart my unseen life , keep me warm
with love and strength, fill me with care
that I may with others share, drench me in
peace that I may spread and sprinkle everywhere
O Human then use the knowledge that I
carry within, the line between life and
death is tender fine and thin….
work in time do not be late
lest loss become your final fate.

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum Ji’s sites are:

“POETRY PEACE and REFORM Go Together -Let Us All Strive for PEACE on EARTH for ALL -Let Us Make a Better World -WRITE To Make PEACE PREVAIL.” Anjum Wasim Dar heart..

my heart is quiet

i do not feel it beating yet

the rhythm is there

may heart is silent

while all comes well around

yet roused it will sound


come the other days

come the sadder ways

heart is there just there, look


i think my soul is thereabouts

where the feelings come and pain

or gain



they say it is the brain that does the thinking


we may also listen to our heart


© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


He plays the queen of hearts
She moves her castle – Check
Though she has a queen too
They play two different games

© 2019, Ben Naga

Ben Naga’s site is: Ben Naga, Gifts from the Musey Lady and Me. “Laissez-moi vous recanter ma vraie histoire.”

The Heart of John Ruskin

[part-found poem]

1. Childhood

Mr Runciman’s instruction sustains disgrace
in my long memory. He gave no indulgence
to the extraordinary gift I had of drawing delicately
with the pen-point. Yet he taught me much.
He taught me perspective and composition;
he cultivated in me the habit of looking
for the essential points in nature so as
to abstract them decisively. I find my quite first
sketchbook, an extremely inconvenient upright
small octavo in mottled and flexible cover; the paper
pure white and ribbedly gritty, filled with outlines
irregularly defaced by impulsive efforts at finish.
I have set aside for preservation the first really fine
sketch I ever made from nature being No.1
of a street in Sevenoaks for which I had no praise.

2. Art Tutor

Imagine this dialogue if you wish:

Please sir make artists of us.

I could as soon tell you how to
manufacture an ear of wheat
as to make a good artist of you.
Perfect art proceeds from the heart;
imperfect art proceeds from the grasping hand.

There are two paths; see how the lotus
is rooted in the mud. Don’t quit this living
stem; quitting root and branch
leads to death; the other dark path.

First: seize some natural facts, say
a silvery necklace-web
and the glistening jewel in its centre,
and let them lead to the life
of the crowned spirit. Make
your choice boldly and avoid seeing
your manufactured face. Learn to belong
to yourself and give the gift of a flower
to a stranger.

3. Pedagogical

Have we only to copy, and again copy,
for ever and ever, the imagery of the universe?
Not so. We have work to do upon it,
but the work is not to improve, but explain.
The infinite universe is unfathomable; every
human creature must spell out each part, extricating
it from infinity as one gathers a violet out of grass,
making the flower visible in a new way.

Here’s a painter casting his whole soul into space,
content to be quiet amongst the rustling leaves
and sparkling grass, and purple-cushioned heather;
simple-minded as a child, his brush lovingly
dropping pigment into rose-suffused clouds,
now flying with the wild wind and sifted spray,
now climbing with the purple sunset, now resting
among modest grasses and humble snails;
but always working with the passion of nature’s
freedom burning in his own heart.
® 2019, Eric Nicholson

Eric Nicholson is a retired art teacher and lives in the NE of England. He blogs at:

My heart is my heart
I opt to say
It’s is ignite only love.

© 2019, Pali Raj

I included this mantra along with my poem in the last Wednesday Writing Prompt:

Heart Mantra

gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā / gone, gone, everyone gone to the other shore, awakening, so be it

In response, Ben Naga shared this video.  If you are reading this post from an email subscription, it’s likely your’ll have to link through to the site to view this.

Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

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Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton