Missed Moment, Mind Bumps and Locked Paddocks, a hybrid poem and essay by Mbizo Chirasha

”News is best in its absence if it’s not the birth of a child . . . ” Mbizo Chirasha



Calling the morning with a mournful urgency, sleep fell off the
routine checks of protocol and the gong silently, if urgently,
summoned a sermon of fleeting feet. A son beheld the sun’s shadow with
loving thoughts packed hurriedly into a strained back. The beauty of
smooth roads and distance hills failed dismally to tell the dreams on
a runway refusing crafts to land. Temporariness is a weed with long
tendrils as only those with healthy respect for shadows know. To part
with tomorrow’s hope to the hands of a paid Piper whose mission in
“his appointed career” is to poach livelihoods of passerby’s in quest
for a nights nest on this migratory routine is a pain bordering on a
tooth extraction without anaesthesia. That this accepted sin is
described in business lingo as lucrative is tearing off fresh from the
living and asking to be thanked.

And the revolutionary chant is not over!

Am blind and love it because that way I judge nobody.
Am deaf and trust it because that way I hear only hope from Angels from afar.
Am immune to cold and heat so the elements don’t scare me,
I am a lamp post planted by hands I can only guess at. Am a child and
a man honest enough to acknowledge God exists in the spirit of
creation and the heart of men however few.
When borderslam doors louder than an irate spouse demonstrating
disgust at an assumed slight by love, common sense stirs the soul for
an instinctive triple jump.
Am a son of the South where the sun rises with the song of the hills
and cattle calling milk to duty,
Milk is a source of life and it’s absence is a bitter song that speaks
kwashiorkor and other third rate needs unmet.
Am a product of great souls that the universe unites to clear the
morning smog with a heart’s torch.

And the struggle song is not over!

What is Man but a product of Man?
I refuse to reject humanity and I do it with humility.
Where I am is a location whose dust reminds me of my earliest form and
my final formlessness.
I am a journey on a travel and now is time to chant an old tune,
That no struggle is without cause and course if it’s the one that chose you,
And in the beauty of such times as we are living in, islands within,
Am counting thousands of breaths in gratitude for the spice that life
and living is.
For spice true, is in the variety,
Not only of terrain but of origin,
But also the hand that tended it,
The hand that picked and packed it,
As such,
Making the whole a part of the bits and vice versa.
Cycles refuse to rest, like a month in flight, a soul flies in the
night leaving a sad dream on a prodigal sons wet eyelids,

And the liberation vibe is not far!

Who can say the taste of life is anything but mysterious and hard at its best?
News is best in it’s absence if it’s not the birth of a child,
Am awake to all truths even the most banal and morbid,
Am human enough to weep at wickedness and laugh at jest,
But tell me fair men of this land that “ unlanded” me how to virtually
bury my own,
Tell me like am a three year old how to grieve with dignity this
vehicle that bore me to your shores and must now bid a silent goodbye
in my blinded monastery upon this cavernous existence,
And the redemption thunder is rumbling more closer!!!

Am flesh and flesh has demands to weep and touch it’s own in making
and unmaking,
Who will roll this mist back a day and allow a wish to plan a shared hug?
Am a child of the universe bleeding hard on the winds that make
commandments of demented bafoonery,
I fall on these weakened knees sending this mute anguish up into the
bloated clouds,
If I see tomorrow it’s all because silence has given me a route to
walk in this barren vacuum of misplaced hunger of human touch,
That voices sprout hands that feed my sanity with a purity only angels
know, am grateful,
And some day, when the grass has grown over that mound that settled unto itself,
This boy with a grey beard shall come back to plant a fruit tree on
the home square and name it “ Silver” in honor of all dawns and dusks,
And the tender hands that give me dew upon this journey at the
earliest of arrivals.
Am all that because you are all that, even as you now ride the stars
in the silence of night and the wind of days.
And the revolutionary chanters are chanting still
Its not yet uhuru . . .

Aluta Continua, the fight and chant for freedom continue.

© 2020, Mbizo Chirasha (Mbizo, The Black Poet)

MBIZO CHIRASHA (Mbizo, The Black Poet) is one of the newest members of The BeZine core team. He is the founder of Womawords Literary Press, which is dedicated to giving space to the voices of women and girls and is a partner in The BeZine International Poetry Month,a blog event. He is a multi-award winning poet from Zimbabwe who is on the run. We have been coordinating in the search for safe harbor. In part I am posting this today to remind everyone that while we’ve made progress with funding, we still need to find a host for Mbizo, preferably Germany. 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

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

“The BeZine” Call for Submissions, International Poetry Month

To mark International Poetry Month April 2020, we at The BeZine blog invite submissions of poems on the current pandemic. To paraphrase R. Buckminster, think globally but write locally. Write from your context about your experience during this Time of Coronavirus, but at the same time, reflecting to larger global contexts. Write about glimmers from within the crisis that illuminate ourselves, our world, and the world(s) possibly coming to us afterwards.

This event is co-hosted by Womawords Literary Press.

We especially look for poetry that projects changes (positive or negative) that may evolve from this crisis:

• worldwide coordination/collaboration
• resources of one sort or another—old, new, emerging; shared or fought-over
• the impact the pandemic might have on:
° women and the role they play in assuring good health and hygiene
° the poor and low-wage or middle class workers
° water and the environment
° war and conflict, and
° addressing the climate issues that contribute significantly to this and looming pandemics.

What about the communities—perhaps yours—that have no running water and are also therefor ravaged by typhoid, cholera, and dysentry?

Guidelines HERE.

Email Word files to  thezinesubmissions@gmail.com (Please not this is our new email address)

Womawords Literary Press HERE.

In the spirit of love (respect) and community,
Michael Dickel, Co-Manging Editor, The BeZine
Mbizo Chirasha, Curator of Womawords Literary Press, Co-Host of The BeZine International Poetry Month
Jamie Dedes, Founding Editor and Co-Mnaging Editor, The BeZine

In Defense of the Fourth Estate, A Landmark First Amendment Lawsuit Against President Trump Will Proceed

Il quarto stato (1901): a march of strikers in Turin, Italy / Public Domain

The term Fourth Estate or fourth power refers to the press and news media both in explicit capacity of advocacy and implicit ability to frame political issues. Though it is not formally recognized as a part of a political system, it wields significant indirect social influence.

The derivation of the term fourth estate arises from the traditional European concept of the three estates of the realm: the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners. The equivalent term “fourth power” is somewhat uncommon in English, but it is used in many European languages, including German (Vierte Gewalt), Spanish (Cuarto poder), and French (Quatrième pouvoir), to refer to a government’s separation of powers into legislative, executive, and judicial branches.



Today a federal court ruled against President Trump in a lawsuit that claims he has used government power to retaliate against media coverage and reporters he dislikes in violation of the First Amendment. Specifically, the court denied a government motion to dismiss the case and will allow it to go forward on allegations that President Trump has retaliated against the White House press corps and certain holders of security clearances who work as media commentators based on their First Amendment-protected speech.

PEN America, with counsel Protect Democracy, the Yale Law School Media Freedom of Information & Access Clinic, and Davis Wright Tremaine, filed the landmark lawsuit to stop President Trump’s campaign of censorship against the press. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected the president’s bid to dismiss the case, allowing it to proceed to the discovery phase.

Susan Nossel courtesy of PEN America Center under  CC BY-SA 4.0 license

SUZANNE NOSSEL, CEO of PEN AMERICA, the plaintiff in the case, issued the following statement:

“It’s hard to think of a moment in American history in which unvarnished, accurate news reporting has mattered more than it does now. This decision is a victory not just for PEN America and our own writers, but also for the journalists and media outlets doing the vital, risky work of keeping us all informed.  But above all, it is a win for all individuals who depend on a free press to dig out the facts and hold leadership accountable without fear of reprisal.  We sued the president because we believe the First Amendment prohibits him from retaliating against speech he dislikes. We are grateful that this essential suit can move forward, vindicating the rights of all those who rely on a free press.”  
.
JENNIFER EGAN, PRESIDENT of PEN AMERICA, issued the following statement:“PEN America is profoundly grateful for the court’s timely decision. Though we filed our lawsuit more than a year ago, the Trump administration’s punitive stance toward the press has continued unabated, with corrosive results for truth, fact, our democracy, and—most recently—public health.”

KRISTY PARKER, COUNSEL for PROTECT DEMOCRACY, one of the organizations representing PEN America in the lawsuit, issued the following statement:

“The president can take to Twitter to complain all he wants about media coverage, but he abuses his power and violates the Constitution when he uses his office to punish members of the media. This is not North Korea—we don’t allow our politicians to control what the press says or punish the media for coverage that Dear Leader doesn’t like. Just the opposite—we rely on the media to hold the powerful accountable to the people. It’s important for all Americans that the press can do their jobs freely.”

The lawsuit was filed by Protect Democracy and co-counsel on behalf of PEN America, a leading organization of writers and literary professionals. The lawsuit claims that President Trump has violated the First Amendment rights of PEN America and its members through his threats to use—and actual use of—government power to punish the speech of those he perceives as critics in the media.

The plaintiffs argued that under the First Amendment’s protection for freedom of speech, President Trump can express his own views and criticize journalists and media organizations, but he cannot issue credible threats or deploy government power to retaliate against the media for its coverage. As laid out in the complaint, the president has in at least five situations used or threatened to use the regulatory and enforcement powers of government to punish the speech of journalists. He has:

  • Initiated a government review to raise postal rates to punish the owner of the Washington Post;
  • Directed DOJ enforcement actions against media companies, including CNN’s parent company Time Warner;
  • Interfered with White House press access;
  • Threatened to revoke broadcast licenses; and
  • Revoked the White House press credentials and security clearances of media commentators.

The court granted the government’s motion to dismiss on claims related to the first four situations, finding that the plaintiffs lack standing to sue, but allowed the case to go forward on the claims related to press credentials and security clearances. The plaintiffs are asking the court to issue a declaratory judgment—a ruling that the president’s use of government power to punish the press violates the First Amendment. A ruling in favor of the plaintiffs could have far-reaching consequences for a president who has made a habit of retaliating against his media critics, and for future presidents who might seek to escalate attacks on the press.

The government had argued that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue and failed to state a legal claim. Today’s ruling held that the plaintiffs can pursue claims for declaratory relief based on allegations of retaliation against the White House press corps and holders of security clearances.

The case will now move into discovery, where plaintiffs will be able to obtain documents from the government to substantiate its claims that President Trump has sought to use the regulatory state to punish media he does not like.

Read more about the case HERE.

*****

This post is courtesy of Wikipedia and PEN America.

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. It champions the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Itsmission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.



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

Iron Wind, a poem by Mbizo Chirasha

Medico Della Peste – “plague doctor’s” mask – Beak doctor mask; Traditional Venetian Carnavale masks, including the “plague doctor’s” mask, in the window of the Ca’ del Sol mask shop in the Sestiere di Castello. Courtesy of Tracy under CC BY 2.0

“If we survive, we may have to analyze our engagement with dark matters that
that put life at risk. If we don’t, we are to blame for our end.
For now, let’s keep hygienic, keep to ourselves, bury our Dead, care for the
dying and think of how we have arrived at where we are.” Mbizo Chirasha



Editor’s Note:  This is Mbizo’s response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt.  The rest of the poems will be published tomorrow (Tuesday) as usual. Posting his poem on its own allows me to remind everyone that we still seek safe harbor for Mbizo in his exile from Zimbabwe.  If you can help with donations toward meeting immediate needs or with leads to possible host families, please let me know at bardogroup@gmail.com.  Thank you! / J.D.

The world has known divisions for as long as history can remember. From
strength that overrides others to the weakness that attracts marauding gangs
of men of ambition and cunning. Adventure has led some into what they
termed “discoveries” of Rivers and their sources, of Mountains high and
majestic, and a people so different in their cultural environments, that to
the eye of a visitor, they appeared other worldly.

The world has never run short of divisive tools and terms to keep one for
each. From the irony of heights and weights, to the delight’s and
indecency of dark humor based on foods and drinks and a people’s culture.
GOD and god’s have their roles and stamps on a people’s interpretations,
raging from waging wars to convert and dominate, to whole sale massacres
because others beliefs were less acceptable to a deity followed by a
muscular power. In the name of many known Faiths , man has suffered
immensely and continue to suffer even under the full glare of a world that
is so connected, that nothing escapes the owl eyed social Media/internet
never sleeping eyes.

If it’s not belief it’s something else that pits one man to another. Color
has played the worst card in segregation of humanity. Regimes are known to
have come up with a cultic panacea of annihilating all who were less than
their proscribed hue, height and eye color in a so called super race.

Commerce has not particularly done well to hide i’s dismal take on the
lesser endowed in terms of what the world considers GDP….Countries are
graded into first, second and third world. Countries comprise individual
human beings. Once categorized in numerical terms, they cease to have a
human quality and adopt a statistical stature.

Dehumanizing poverty by demonizing it and those suffering
the “pauper malady”. Terms like ” those who survive under
a dollar a day. A people labelled by lack. Another labelled by luck.

Divisions.

Then came weaponry and sophistication. Guns and canned Carnage. Bombs
as heroism spoke to the Sky over Nagasaki and Hiroshima. More divisions
follow. Giants with cold threats lying under silos of frozen homes awaiting
disagreements. What a time of it the world had! But like all eras, this too
came to an end with trumpets of fragmentation scattering the deadly
embers of stored caches of annihilation finding its ways into eager
markets of rogue juvenile quarters ready to tussle for positions of
“global respect” through “fire power”

Ideology made no sense. Religion was cowed. No one was immune to the future
that loomed on the human collective heads as each goon state thumped it’s
nukes chest.

How times change!

A new baby was born in the East. A baby with an attitude like a thief.
Escaping its parents unloving gloved hands, it flew first into the
neighborhood, dropping its ghastly feaces on the heads of its makers kin.
Death. Sinister death. The wind took the birdling over the boarder, across
the oceans on the comforts of cruise ships. And luxury living became a
nightmare. Right now, quarantine is not for rabid dogs or leppers in their
colonies.

It’s what no longer divides that divides us. What irony! We are faced by an
enemy of our own intellect taken over concious. Our own intelligence
exceeding common sense. Our own genius gone insane.
In it all, regardless of mitigation measures,one thing speaks a human
language. It’s no longer about class, color or Creed. it’s not even about
ideology or theology. It’s about being careful to survive the monster we
have made. And the world suddenly speaks “humanese”

How I wish we didn’t have to face such an ugly and tragic catastrophe to
bring us to the realization of the folly of excessive greed in pursuit of
glory and power over others.

If we survive, we may have to analyze our engagement with dark matters that
that put life at risk. If we don’t, we are to blame for our end.
For now, let’s keep hygienic, keep to ourselves, bury our Dead, care for the
dying and think of how we have arrived at where we are.

While at it, let’s pray. For regardless of our form of worship, days of
worship, mode of worship and the dress code in worship, we all pray to a
Higher power. He may yet hear our prayers and led a hand.

YOU SEE, praying I personal and communal if you will. Worship places are
closing fast, if not faster than bars and deli’s. Offices are closing fast,
if not faster than schools.

Only true saints are at work. Those medics and their assistants and the
guys who must fill the supermarket shelves with your basics.
If you ask me, the very deity we seek in those buildings, is inside us and
those selfless humans who take chances with their lives to take charge of
ours. They are the ones mellowing down the iron wind of a viral onslaught
on humanity right now.

© 2020, 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