Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.
For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
“May there be peace in the heavens, peace in the atmosphere, peace on the earth. Let there be coolness in the water, healing in the herbs and peace radiating from the trees. Let there be harmony in the planets and in the stars, and perfection in eternal knowledge. May everything in the universe be at peace. Let peace pervade everywhere, at all times. May I experience that peace within my own heart.” Yajur Veda 36.17)
At The BeZine when we discuss Waging Peace, we mean radical peace. We mean putting down weapons and using words. We are realists. We don’t envision a utopia. We do envision compromise, an imperfect peace but peace non-the-less.
Some of our contributors rightfully see Waging Peace as a path that starts with inner peace. Others were moved to bear witness, to raise consciousness, or to imagine a world at peace and some are inspired to suggest potential solutions.
It’s quite a package we gift you with today from poets and writers representing several of the world’s wisdom traditions and about ten countries including those of the U.K., Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Indian Subcontinent, Africa, and the U.S.. Soul stirring. Thought provoking. Satisfying.
Thanks to all our contributors, to our core team members, and to the readers who are an important part of this effort. Please read, “like”, and comment. You – and your thoughts – are valued.
On behalf of The Bardo Group Begines
and in the spirit of love (respect) and community, Jamie Dedes
Founding and Managing Editor
“In every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the People.” Eugene Debbs, Canton, OH, Anti-War Speech, June 16, 1918, Voices of a People’s History of the United States
Today’s thoughtful collection is courtesy of Jane Wood, who is new to our pages and warmly welcome, and Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Tamam Tracy Moncur, Eric Nicholson, and Mike Stone
Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, which will post tomorrow morning and is being hosted this week by Mbizo Chirasha. All are welcome to come out and play, beginning poets, emerging and pro.
We are living in a time of certain doubt.
Cruel men and mean women
wielding their self-anointed power of bibles.
Piously pulling verses over our eyes.
Poisoning us with dark lies.
Wretched faces hating at me from tv screens
screeching eternal damnation screams
in the name of their gods.
Americas royal lineage of preachers and politicians.
Immersed in godly superstitions.
With every breath condemn us to a hellfire rain
on an endless trek of tears
Vengefully severed from the promised garden.
Surrounded by wailing walls of lamentation.
Rising from the volcanic mud of beasts
they prey upon us at their sin eaters feasts.
Death makes angels and devils of us all.
Made naked born to suffer for your heaven rewards.
Crucifix around my neck
‘hail mary’ on my lips.
JANE ‘SPOKENWORD”GRENIER‘s performances represent the spoken word as it is meant to be experienced, raw, uncensored and thought provoking. A poet and spoken word performer, her performances are eclectic and range from poetry reads, to slams, duos, trios, and various band formations.
Jane’s collaborations include Min Tanaka of the Butoh theatre, Mayo Yamaguchi of the No Theatre, avant-garde Maestro Cecil Taylor, Founder of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Miguel Algarin, Beat Poet John Sinclair, her son, hip hop musician/producer Nastee, and her partner in all things Albey on Bass. Her experience spans a full spectrum of venues; the Nuyorican’s Poet Cafe, the Whitney Museum, The NYC Alternative New, Year’s Day Spoken Word Extravaganza, Bowery Poetry Club, Roulettes, Blue Stockings Bookstore, Cornelia St. Cafe, A Gathering of Tribes, Evolving Voice/Evolving Music Series, Arts for Art in the Parks, The Stone, Le Poisson Rouge, the Cantab, the Lizard Lounge, the Maple Leaf Reading Series, festivals include The Vision Festival, MA Poetry Festival, Lady Fest, Dumbo Art Festival, SxSW, Porch Fest, The New Orleans Infringe Festival, libraries, slam lounges, art galleries, clubs, street corners, and living rooms everywhere.
Jane has self-published two books with cd’s and videos Tragically Hip and Word Against the Machine. Her piece I Am A Poet was recently chosen for publication in We Are Beat, National Beat Poetry Anthology, 2019. Various works have been published in Good Housekeeping, Boston Magazine, the Boston Globe, Tragically Hip – L.E.S. Publication, TV Baby – OHWOW Publications, and several anthologies: Estrellas En El Fuego (Stars in the Fire) – Rogue Scholars Express, Shadow Of The Geode, and Palabras Luminosas,
post fall disobedience
leads to destruction,
color, creed or race,
one good in grace, one in face,
a face meeting a face,
lost heaven, fate doomed,
no fear, nor lessons taken,
why still, false beguile ?
crimes committed in
conniption, subreption reigns,
gold saves savages,
a trendy Bohemian style
Ah, but for a while,
the rich may stand tall,
puppets, idols, mafia,
deception soon dies.
Resile falsehood, then,
discern truth,adapt, accept,
wait, be blessed by Light!
Editor’s note: Obreption and sobreption are Latin terms used in ancient Roman Law meaning to creep toward or against and in the Cannon Law of the Roman Catholic Church, where they refer to fraud (whether intentional, malicious, or done out of ignorance) when there is a plea for ecclesiastical dispensation. Obreption is also used in Scots law.
This a note from an irate black woman who still lives in hope despite the intolerance, the racism, the violence perpetrated against black people a direct result of the massive deception that justified the oppression of Africans forcing them into slavery using Christianity to camouflage greed and lust in a quest for money and for power…passed on through the generations to the hypocritical leaders of today still making obeisance to hate, the almighty dollar, and to avarice.
The image of Jesus changed “in the twinkling of an eye” from a brown man to a white man…a lie painted by a famous painter commissioned for this duplicity by a leader in the 15th century to paint and portray his son as Jesus another twist in the use and abuse of our Lord and Savior… Jesus the God of Love sent by the Father from heaven above to set our souls free filling our hearts with empathy for our fellow man.
Deceptive politicians and devious people hide behind the name of Jesus condoning liars pants all afire and ablaze with animosity wreaking havoc and bloodshed keeping the poor in subjugation hungry living out their lives in desolation…condoning war mongers in their insensitivity as they split up immigrant families…condoning bigotry as it destroys health care for the needy…where is mercy? where is New Testament charity in the land of plenty?
Jesus tells us to love God, love our neighbor even love our enemy. He comforts us in our deepest depression because He is our friend in the midst of feelings of isolation…He gives us a spiritual peace as we travel through the muck and the mire of this earthly existence releasing our innermost feelings to “the Creator of the ends of the earth”, to our God who sits “high and looks low”, to God the Father who is in control of this universe.
“On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”
Diary of an Inner City Teacher is a probe into the reality of teaching in our inner city school systems as seen from the front line. Over two decades in the trenches, educator Tamam Tracy Moncur exposes through her personal journal the plights, the highlights, the sadness, and the joys she has experienced as a teacher. Come to understand why the United States Department of Education and the various state departments of education must realize the teaching of academics cannot be divorced from the social issues that confront the students. Let s be innovative together and design new millennium schools that address the educational needs of the inner city students before it s too late! Our children s very existence is at stake! Laugh, cry, and become informed as you embrace the accounts of an inner city teacher.
Anthony Gormley’s Quantum Cloud
A thousand metal struts thrum
in a quantum cloud
like a giant version of pick-a-stick
as you slowly circle round
you create a human spirit after all
the world’s sages talk of an energy
body distinct from what your eyes
tell you going beyond Single Vision
you are a collaborator
with the maverick metaphysician’s
uncertainty principle and slowly
together you populate space time.
Blessed are the rich
For they shall inherit the meek
And enslave them.
Blessed are the rich
Who will inherit new worlds to suck dry
After they have sucked dry our only world.
Blessed are the rich
Who make their own blessings
And the gods to bless them.
Cursed are the poor
Who bow down to worship
The gods of the rich,
Who count the blessings of the rich
Who are sucked dry by the rich
Who are enslaved by the rich.
Cursed are the poor
Who bless the curse of meekness
For their children to inherit.
And the prophet stood among a few people.
In the marketplace of ideas, there were many prophets
But this prophet spoke quietly. He said
Hatred is not a state of mind
That one can enter and leave at will;
It is a road that starts in innocence
Leading ever downhill
And ends in unplumbed evil.
I don’t tell you turn the other cheek
When struck, as another prophet said,
But I say don’t answer hatred with hatred.
Hatred comes from ignorance of others,
Thinking they are not like us,
That they don’t love their children
Or honor their parents
Or fear for their future as we do.
Why not answer hatred with hatred?
Because it creates a circle without exit or break
And perhaps their hatred comes from
Honoring their past or fearing their future.
What should you do?
When you understand those whom you call “other”
You will know what to do, and hate
Will wither like dry tumbleweed in the desert
Because there is no other,
There is only us.
Ramses Two, Ozymandias, third king of the nineteenth dynasty,
Son of Seti One or the sun, as you would have us believe,
Conqueror of Nubia, Libya, Canaan, Syria, and the Hittites,
Enslaver of the Hebrews who carried your pyramids on their broken backs,
You built temples to forgotten gods,
Cities buried under shifting sand dunes,
And colossal statues of yourself in stone
Commemorating your colossal feats for all posterity
Striking awe and terror in your peoples’ hearts,
Intimidating those who would invade,
But all that remains are the colossal feet,
The rest resides in a British museum.
Your mummied body, five foot seven,
Hunched over ancient arthritis and abscessed teeth,
Is now in some Parisian museum viewed by
Heartless bodies with a plane to catch.
If you could see yourself as we see you now,
The submerged relics of your once and future greatness,
Would you have thought it worth your efforts
And not a waste of precious life?
Life crashes through all of us,
As through paper walls or
Trampling you and me like blades of grass
Under a careless runner’s feet
To reach some distant star.
Used to be
Evil was more personal.
You had to be there to do it.
Now just somebody doing his job
(Someone has to do it).
A small child all curled up
Hugging the floor
Because there’s nothing else to hug
Thinking maybe that will protect him
An old woman
Survived the Holocaust
The concentration camps
Peeling walled room
Filled with shiny new exercise equipment
Carrot peelers turkey stuffers satellite radios back scratchers
And other stuff she didn’t need
Because she couldn’t say no
To the nice lady on the phone.
The trees being cut down
And people cows factories and cars
Blowing carbon into the sky
Til the last one of us drops breathless
To the ground he made great again
While our world went to hell.
Used to be good
Though there always was some evil
But you could always see it coming
From a mile or two away
And the world was always greater.
Call of the Whippoorwill is Mike Stone’s fourth book of poetry, It contains all new poems covering the years from 2017 to 2019. The poetry in this book reflects the unique perspectives and experiences of an American in Israel. The book is a smorgasbord of descriptions, empathies, wonderings, and questionings. It is available on Kindle and if you have Kindle Unlimited you can download it as part of your membership. I did. Recommended. / J.D