The BeZine, Vol. 7, Issue 1, March 2020, Waging Peace

“. . . I don’t understand why our propaganda machines are always trying to teach us, to persuade us, to hate and fear other people in the same little world that we live in.” Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire



My Aunt Julie once said that it is easier to love than hate. She was a good woman, a diamond in the rough and I believe her. I believe it takes less energy to love (respect) others than it does to hate them and that honest appreciation of differences is actually our own best protection: today the hate is directed at “those people” and tomorrow it is directed at me and you. This is the way the world turns in the hands of the spin-meisters. They love nothing so much as pitting us against one another for their own gain and it is ALWAYS for their gain, not ours, make no mistake.

The BeZine is devoted to featuring the commonalities within the diversities. Our contributors and our core team of writers, artists, photographers, activists, philosophers and clerics represent a wealth of countries, cultures, religions, and first languages. We may not agree on the exact path or paths to peace but we agree that violence and hate are not the ways.  We see no reason to be threatened because someone speaks another language, enjoys a different cuisine, celebrates different holy days, dresses differently, or is seeking safe haven in our countries. We have no desire to further victimize the victims. Our hearts are open to civil discourse and our hands ready to embrace and support. I am not writing this from a position of moral superiority but from a practical position of self-concern and regard. There are profound lessons in the trauma of the 2020 pandemic. It highlights just how unified we are in our vulnerabilities and how we are only as strong as the weakest among us. This crisis also points to the fundamental amorality of many among our politicians, governments, and businesses, lest here-to-fore you’ve been inclined not to judge.

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In February 2011, I started this site and we now celebrate nine years of contributing to the Peace in our small but earnest way. The BeZine is possible thanks to the support of our core team and our contributors and readers, now approaching 7,000.

Beginning on April 1, 2020, American-Israeli poet, Michael Dickel (Meta/ Phor(e) /Play), will move from the position of contributing editor to co-managing editor with me. I am pleased and appreciate Michael’s prodigious talent, support, enthusiasm, and many contributions to the success of this effort.

We are opening the Zine blog to poetry for the entire month of April, officially Poetry Month. Womawords Literary Press, the heart-child of Zimbabwean poet in exhile, Mbizo Chirasha (Mbizo, The Black Poet), is the sponsor. Watch our Calls for Submission on The Poet by Day and The BeZine for details and our new submission email address. While we cannot compensate contributors, neither do we charge submission or subscription fees. This is labor of love.

We continue in 2020 with our quarterly publications:

  • June 15, SustainABILITY;
  • September 15, Social Justice; and
  • December 15, A Life of the Spirit.

As is our tradition, on the fourth Saturday of September we will host Virtual 100,000 Poets (and friends) for Change (100TPC) with Michael Dickel as master of ceremonies. As the year continues to unfold, we may host other events or special issues. Meanwhile, please enjoy this edition of The BeZine and don’t forget to share links on social media and to like and comment in support of our valued contributors.

In the spirit of love (respect) and community
and on behalf of The Bardo Group Beguines,
Jamie Dedes
Founding and Managing Editor


Table of Contents

To read this edition of The BeZine, link HERE to scroll through or click on the links below to view individual contributions.

BeATTITUDES

Elusive Peace, Tamam Tracy Moncur
A Palace of Bird Beaks, Naomi Baltuck
Strange Fire, Michael Dickel

“I wasn’t born for an age like this.” George Orwell

A Little Poem, George Orwell
Translations, Mbizo Chirasha

FLASH FICTION

“Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.”  Albert Camus

1919 – A Story of Peacetime, Joe Hesch

WRITING PEACE

“Poetry. It’s better than war!” Michael Rothenberg, cofounder of 100TPC

To Write A Peace Poem, Michael Dickel

POETRY

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

Together, J J Aitken
No More Numbing, J J Aitken

Big Mama Is Dancing on the Purple Tide, Mendes Biondo

Wars Whirling, Worsening World, Anjum Wasim Dar
Make a Vow, Remember, Anjum Wasim Dar
Hope and Wishes, Anjum Wasim Dar

Paper Boat, Judy DeCroce
This is not Paradise nor a Place to be Lost, Judy DeCroce
Before, Judy DeCroce

through the ache of time, Jamie Dedes
pulsing peace, Jamie Dedes
At a Peace Reading, Jamie Dedes

Another Protest Song, Michael Dickel

Drear, Anita East

Bizarre, Mike Gallagher

Search, Kakali Das Ghosh

Reprieve, Robert Gluck

the full moon’s light, Ed Higgins
refugees, Ed Higgins
Epistemology, Ed Higgins

Good Vibrations, Linda Imbler

By what right?, Magdalena Juskiewicz

The Path of Empathy, Antonia Alexandra Klimenko
Out of Sight, Antonia Alexandra Klimenko

Waging Peace, Charles W. Martin

Let Peace Be the Journey, Neelam Shah

Global Forest, Ankh Spice

“When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.”  Fred Rogers


 


The BeZine: Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be 

Daily Spiritual Practice: Beguine Again, a community of Like-Minded People

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Twitter, The Bardo Group Beguines

SUBMISSIONS:

Read Info/Mission StatementSubmission Guidelines, and at least one issue before you submit. Updates on Calls for Submissions and other activities are posted on the Zine blog and The Poet by Day.

Interview with Mbizo Chirasha, Founder and Curator of the Womawords Project and Call for Submissions to Daughters of the Earth Project, an international contest

Taken on a trip in 2016 with World Vision to Sierra Leone. Courtesy of Annie Spratt, Unsplash

I Read a Poem Today

I read a poem today and decided
I must deed it to some lost, lonely
fatherless child… to embrace her

along her stone path, invoke sanity
I want to tell her: don’t sell out your
dearest dreams or buy the social OS

Instead, let the poem play you like a
musician her viola, rewriting lonely
into sapphire solitude, silken sanctity

Let it wash you like the spray of whales
Let it drench your body in the music
of your soul, singing pure prana into

the marrow and margins of your life
Let your shaman soul name your muse,
find yourself posing poetry as power and

discover the amethyst bliss of words
woven from strands of your own DNA
Yes. I read a poem today and decided
I must deed it to a lost fatherless child

© 2011, Jamie Dedes (Written for an International Women’s Day forum and republished in 2012 for International Girl Child Day in 2012)



Womawords is a complex of efforts initiated by Zimbabwean poet activist in exile, Mbizo Chirasha (Mbizo, The Black Poet).  I was curious – and thought others might be as well – about the inspiration for this ambitious and worthy effort that is devoted to giving women and girls a platform to speak out about their concerns and experiences and to share their wisdom.  I think you’ll enjoy the interview. Perhaps some women reading here will want to consider submitting to the Daughters of the Earth  Project International Contest. There is no submission fee.

The Womawords Project comprises: Womawords Literary Press, Liberating Voices Journal, the Girl Child Creativity Project (now evolved into Womawords), and Daughters of the Earth Project International Contest (not for poetry only).

INTERVIEW

JAMIE: Why and when did you start Womawords?

MBIZO: The heart of a women is like an  ocean, thus  she must be proffered a free platform to express concerns, to speak rights, to voice against wrongs, to sing experiences and more. The world over we are blessed with an influx of  women and the girl child gifted not only physical stature but  mental beauty, endowed with wisdom to sub create and shape humanity. Womawords was birthed in  April 2019 as a complimentary initiative during my eye-opening  and life changing tenure with the International Human Right Art Festival.

JAMIE: Please tell us about the origin of the name.

MBIZO: The name pays tribute to the power and influence literary arts culture, words and poetry. The Womawords Project is a positive transformation from my initial project Girl Child Creativity Project, which was Zimbabwean based, and transitioned it into an international literary arts culture digital space exhibiting women’s voices and literature. Women are powerful trench soldiers; they experience a bundle of traumas from child birthing, forced intercourse, menstrual health issues, domestic violence, stigma and discrimination. A whole lot of hardships but also women are molders of humanity. I have always known of mother tongue not father tongue, hence Womawords – a metaphor that gives women from around the globe a space to express themselves through poetry , resistance  literature,  and resilience  arts.

JAMIE: What are the current activities Womawords is sponsoring?

MBIZO: The 2020 main project is the Daughters of the Earth Project, an international writer’s contest. The writer’s contest gives an opportunity for women to raise their voice, exchange ideas and promote dialogue on Menstrual Equity and Health through poetry, stories, flash fiction, and essays. And they are a myriad of  issues, unresolved problems, taboos and myth experienced by women globally. WOMEN must be given the chance to speak, to raise their concerns, to offer solutions and to tell their experiences through this # Daughters of the Earth Writers Contest Project. For more details follow on the submissions portal on Womawords.

Other projects include:

  • Women of Residence Profile Features: The Press is anchored by FEATURES of Prolific Poets, Writers, Socialites and Artistic Luminaries.
  • Liberating Voices: this is a quarterly collection of voices and is guided by a specific theme of every publication.

JAMIE: What are the long-term goals?

MBIZO: Womawords Literary Press is a formula of positive change and transformation in the area of exhibiting women’s artistic voices and resistance literature by the girl child.  In the next five years we are  growing  into a  reputable book and literary arts publishing republic. Going forward within 2020 we continue to restructure by placing  and appointing representatives in more than twenty countries around the globe. These  are women writers, poets, activist, and artists using their words to bring  forth transformative change, using their poetry to expose societal tumors, wielding their artistic weapons to slash perpetuators of barbarism, using their resistance literatures to shine a light on the madness.  In March  2021, we are hosting a Womawords International Symposium with editorial associates, contributing writers, women artists, and women arts cultural activists who will convene to  share and exchange experiences through symposium presentations, poetry performances, and  story readings .

ALUTA CONTINUA!!! [“The struggle continues.” It’s a rallying cry for freedom.]

THE DAUGHTERS OF THE EARTH PROJECT

Call for Submissions

The newly initiated Daughters of the Earth Project will offer a new theme each year.  The  2020 theme is Menstrual Health and Menstrual Equity

BACKGROUND AND SCOPE: The Daughters of the Project is an international writer’s contest . The writer’s contest gives an opportunity for women  to raise their voices, exchange ideas and promote dialogue on Menstrual Equity and Health through poetry, stories, flash fiction and essays. There are a  myriad  of  issues , unresolved problems, taboos and myth experienced  by women globally. Women must be given the chance to speak, to raise their concerns, to offer solutions, and to tell their experiences through this Daughters of the Earth Writers Contest Project.

TIMELINE: The Daughters of the Earth Writing Contest Project  will resume  in April  2020 and end in October  2020

April 2020- JUNE 2020( Writers Submissions and Contest Entries)

July 2020-  August 2020- ( Judging, Jury to be announced)

August 2020- September 2020 (Publicity and Awards  Gathering)

October 2020( Results and Winners Announcement)

Mbizo Chirasha

MBIZO CHIRASHA (Mbizo, The Black Poet) is one of the newest members of The BeZine core team. He is a poet from Zimbabwe who is on the run. We have been coordinating in the search for safe harbor. In part I am doing this today to remind everyone that while we’ve made progress with funding, we still need to find a host for Mbizo, preferably Germany, but England or U.S. would work too.  Open to suggestion.  Connect with me if you are able to help, have leads, or have questions. You can read more about Mbizo and his story: Zimbabwean Poet in Exile: Award-Winning Poet Mbizo Chirasha, A Life on the Run, Interview.


Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

Webby Award to The Poetry Foundation, Resource for Poets and Poetry Lovers

May 2019 issue of Poetry

“The oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world.”



The Poetry Foundation, poetry website host and publisher of publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in American culture, The Foundation was named the Best Charitable Organizations/Non-Profit Website in the 23rd Annual Webby Awards.  The Foundation was honored at a ceremony on Monday evening, May 13, in New York City. Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by the New York Times, The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet.



The first Poetry issue, October 1912 / public domain

The Poetry Foundation Website, Resource for Poets and Poetry Lovers

The Poetry Foundation website reaches a global audience of poem enthusiasts, students and educators, and the culturally curious. The website features the most robust online poem archive available, more than 4,000 poet biographies, six podcasts, and multiple newsletters. In 2018, poetryfoundation.org added 300 new poet biographies, 900 new poems to the archive, 35 feature articles, and averaged 3.9 million monthly visitors.



“Our goal is to reach and engage a broad audience with poetry,” said Harlan Wallach, Poetry Foundation chief technology officer and director of digital programs. “We’re humbled to recognize the countless contributors, poets, writers, artists, illustrators, and editors who bring new poetry content to the Internet every day.”

If you are viewing this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely have to link through to the site to view this video to senior editor James Sitar delivering the five-word (customary at the Webbly’s) acceptance speech:

IADAS, which nominates and selects the Webby Award winners, is comprised of digital industry experts, including Instagram’s head of fashion partnerships Eva Chen, director of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society Susan P. Crawford, actor and activist Jesse Williams, GE CMO Linda Boff, Pod Save the People host and activist DeRay Mckesson, Google’s head of conversation design Cathy Pearl, Fortnite designer Eric Williamson, HBO digital chief Diane Tryneski, Los Angeles Laker Isaiah Thomas, and DDB Worldwide CEO Wendy Clark.

A full list of both The Webby Awards and Webby People’s Voice winners can be found at webbyawards.com/winners.

About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs.

Follow the Poetry Foundation and Poetry on Facebook at facebook.com/poetryfoundation,  Twitter @PoetryFound and @Poetrymagazine, and Instagram @PoetryFoundation.

About The Webby Awards
Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by the New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, Video, Advertising, Media & PR, Apps, Mobile, and Voice, Social, Podcasts, and Games. Established in 1996, this year’s Webby Awards received nearly 13,000 entries from all 50 states and 70 countries worldwide. The Webby Awards is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include: Instagram, WP Engine, EY, YouGov, Vitamin T, YouTube, WNYC Studios, Fast Company, ESA, Product Hunt, and Social Media Week.

Find The Webby Awards Online:
Website: www.webbyawards.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/TheWebbyAwards
Snapchat: TheWebbyAwards
Twitter: @TheWebbyAwards
YouTube: www.youtube.com/webby

This post is courtesy of The Poetry Foundation, Poetry Magazine, and the Webbly Awards.


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poems in “I Am Not a Silent Poet”
* Remembering Mom in HerStry
* Three poems in Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
“Over His Morning Coffee,” Front Porch Review

A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, an info hub for poets and writers and am the founding/managing editor of The BeZine.


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

Words Without Borders: A Reading Challenge for 2019

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire), George R.R. Martin


The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt will return on January 16. Meanwhile, here is a reading challenge for 2019. 

The very title of Words Without Borders (WWB) suggests an exciting and elegant theme for 2019 reading, for anytime and anywhere really, but let’s concentrate on this year and challenge ourselves to read poets and writers from cultures about which we know the least. My focus is going to be Catalonia and Pakistan, inspired by Catalonian Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments) and Pakistani Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans). With regard to the later, I’ve started with An Anthology of Modern Urdu Poetry, edited and translated by M.A.R. Habib.

“And the second [is like the first], ‘ You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” The Aramaic Bible in Plain English

The injunction in the Abrahamic traditions is to love (respect) our neighbor. In tribal times our neighbors generally looked like us, spoke the same language, ate the same food, and subscribed to the same scriptures. But things change.

Today technological advances have made the world small, too small for tribalism. Too small for provincialism. Through air travel and The World Wide Web we are brought close. Visits to other parts of the world that would once have taken months by land or sea can be done in a few days by plane. Through blogging and social networking we make friends everywhere, no passports or visas needed.  Sometimes we are able to carve out the opportunity to meet with our virtual friends in person. Immigration and regional conflicts have had an impact as well. On a daily basis we rub elbows with people who are on the run in the search for safe harbor or have settled in our countries when their countries of origin are no longer viable. In our time our neighbors come in many hues and engage in diverse cultural traditions.  In this small, small world, everyone everywhere is our neighbor. Understanding not fear, books not bombs, are needed if we are to heal the crises of our day.

Words Without Borders facilitates cross-cultural understanding through the publication in English translation of works from writers representing the world’s literary wealth. As of this post, WWB reports that it has published in books and magazine some 2,200 writers from 124 countries. The site also hosts WWB Daily, a blog.

WWB’s submission guidelines for works in translation are HERE.

I appreciate World Without Borders because it helps us expand our reading, taking us beyond the familiar, obvious and/or habitual. It gives us a better quality reference than the best-seller lists.

Another engaging site – a poetry site that crosses borders – is The Poetry Translation Centre, which offers translations into English of contemporary poems from African, Asian and Latin American poets. It was founded in 2004 by English poet and translator Sarah Maguire who died in November the year before last.

Both Words Without Borders and The Poetry Translation Centre seek to expand our understanding and to celebrate the finest writers and literature from around the world. As you read the literature of the country on which you decide to focus for 2019, don’t forget to research its history and current events so that you understand the work and the author in context.

© 2019, words, Jamie Dedes; public domain airline poster Europe to South America in Three Days courtesy of the San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive


ABOUT

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Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”


The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” Ganga White, teacher and exponent of Yoga and founder of White Lotus, a Yoga center and retreat house in Santa Barbara, CA

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