MISSION STATEMENT: To foster proximity and understanding through our shared love of the arts and humanities and all things spirited and to make – however modest – a contribution toward personal healing and deference for the diverse ways people try to make moral, spiritual and intellectual sense of a world in which illness, violence, despair, loneliness and death are as prevalent as hope, friendship, reason and birth.
Our focus is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We cover these topics in the form of reviews, essays, poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction, music, art, and photography. We share work that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.”
“THE BeZINE” CALL FOR SUBMISSIONSthebezine.com is open for submissions to the upcoming March issue, deadline March 10, themed Waging Peace. This Zine is an entirely volunteer effort, a mission. We are unable to pay contributors but neither do we charge for submissions or subscriptions. We publish poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, feature articles, art, photography, and music videos and will consider anything that lends itself to online posting. There are no demographic restrictions. We do not publish work that promotes hatred or advocates for violence. All such will be immediately rejected. We’d like to see work that doesn’t just point to problems but that suggests solutions. We are also interested in initiatives happening in your community — no matter where in the world — that might be easily picked up by other communities. Please forward your submissions to email@example.com No odd formatting.Submit poems and narratives in the body of your emailalong with a BRIEF bio. Art and photography may be submissed as attachements. Work submitted via Facebook or message will not be considered for publication. We encourage you to submit work in your first language, but it must be accompanied by translation into English.
We are devoting the BLOG POSTS THROUGHOUT FEBRUARY to work addressing illness and disability. Submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, feature articles, art, photography, and music videos and anything that lends itself to online posting. There are no demographic restrictions. Please forward your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. No odd formatting.Submit poems and narrative in the body of your email along with a BRIEF bio. Art and photography may be submitted as attachements. Work submitted via Facebook or message will not be considered for publication. We encourage you to submit work in your first language, but it must be accompanied by translation into English.
John Anstie is the lead for the next issue of The BeZine, which is open for submission to its December issue through November 15. The theme is “Life of the Spirit.” Submission to email@example.com Please read our submission guidelines. Meanwhile, I invite you visit John’s site and get to know this fine musician, poet, grandfather, trainer of dogs for the blind, and so much more. In short, a renaissance man.
Dear Earth, you are a sacred aqueous Isle
in a dark and endless sea of universe.
You may never reveal your strategy.
We may be bound by genetic code
to the presupposing chemical destiny
of one great astrophysical master plan
for all living things. We, who represent
your malaise, your chronic infestation;
we, like a fleeting itch in your long life,
will never comprehend it. But, in truth
you know too well that we can never
understand more than one percent
of all there is to know. You contain
the knowledge that is beyond us.
We are but a rash on your skin.
One day, we know you will
raze all of our delusions,
prepare us for the day
when a blinding light
will inoculate you
and inform us of
a moment when
will, at last be
the l i e s
f r o m
a r e
m e r e
a t o m i c
p a r t i c l e s
inside a temporal chalice
The focus of The BeZine, a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” The BeZine is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.
Thank you for sharing your love of words. Comments will appear after moderation.
“Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it…” The Art of Living, Wilfred Peterson
December 15, 2018
A Life of the Spirit is a many-faceted jewel. Some of our contributors interpreted the theme for this month as Spirit (Being, the Ineffable, the Divine) and others more as spirited, strong. Some find Spirit and courage in the great love of their life or in their art, in their religion or spiritual practice. Others find it in an inspiring parent or grandparent. You will see that nature plays a role for nearly everyone.
I don’t think I’ve ever used as many hankies in pulling together an issue of The BeZine as I have with this issue. Contributors this quarter speak intimately from both joy and heartbreak, which is perhaps not surprising given the theme.
Our contributors have also rallied their spirits to speak out against gun violence and to speak up for the LGBTQ community. Violence and cruelty are not an absence of Spirit but a lack of awareness.
My country – America – has a gun violence history that is notorious but firearms are ubiquitous on this Earth and complicit in wars and conflicts, hate crimes, terrorism, suicide and accidental shootings. Death by fire arms is grotesquely common in South American countries, Jamaica, and Swaziland.
Gun-suicides: I’ve taken the liberty of including a poem about my big sister, Teresa Margaret, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. She was twenty-seven. I was fourteen. Fifty-four years later, the trauma remains. The questions remain: Why? Where did the gun come from? Who taught her how to use it?
“Although the USA ranked fourth in the world with 12,400 firearm-related homicides, that figure pales in comparison with its 23,800 gun suicides. None of the other 194 nations and territories [ … ] came close; India ranked second at 13,400.” USA Today HERE
Easy access to firearms is cited by experts as one reason for the prevalence of their use in suicide. Another may be that guns offer an effective means of suicide.
Since there is history, culture, identity, and ethic involved in gun ownership and use, attempts at doing away with guns are not feasible at this time. Complicated core issues need to be defined and addressed first. Will we ever come to a unified place where we agree that murder and torture are not options? How then would Spirit play in the garden of material life?
Thanks to The Bardo Group Bequines team and to our guest writers for helping us put together an issue that is honest, artful, and inspiring, one that walks “with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground.”
As you read, we hope that you will leave your “Likes” and comments behind to let each contributor know they were read and appreciated and to enrich the experience for others.
In the spirit of love (respect) and community,
and on behalf of The Bardo Group Bequines, Jamie Dedes Founding and Managing Editor
TABLE OF CONTENTS
How to read this issue of THE BeZINE:You can read each piece individually by clicking the links in the Table of Contents.
To learn more about our guests contributors, please link HERE.
To learn more about our core team members, please link HERE.
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” Elie Wiesel
In 2011, The Bardo Group Beguines (The BeZine and Beguine Again) collected poems and other works that addressed the need for, the desire for, and prospective paths toward peace. We were inspired by a global movement that was founded by poets Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion called 100,000 Poets for Change.
The following year we connected with that global movement and hosted a virtual 100,000 Poets for Change so that folks from anywhere in the world could participate in this extraordinary event even if they were homebound or if there was no event being hosted in their area. It wasn’t long before drummers, mimes, musicians, artists and clergy joined this global initiative. Followers and supporters included people who aren’t in the arts but appreciate the power of the arts to raise the collective consciousness and to foster sensible and compassionate action and policy.
SAVE THE DATES
This year The BeZine September issue (September 15) will be devoted to social justice and on Saturday, September 29, we’ll host 100,000 Poets and Friends for Change on The BeZine site in concert with off-line efforts to be sponsored by communities all over the world.
Here’s a message Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion asked me to post for you earlier today:
“100 Thousand Poets for Change began in 2011. It was an initiative that spread by word of mouth across the globe.
“Poets in nearly 100 countries around the world expressed their outrage at war, ecocide, gender inequality, police brutality and a slew of other issues that were not being addressed. Up to then, poets as a community had been fragmented and silenced by the corporatization of the arts and peer pressure that insisted poetry should not be political, that poetry and art did not matter in changing the world.
“Now, 8 years later, it has been regularly demonstrated that poetry and the rest of the arts are a powerful resource in broadcasting the need for positive change. This could be in a very small part because of the effect of 100 Thousand Poets for Change.
“However, I believe that, mostly, there was a paradigm shift in regard to the need for protest and engagement in the world. Many individuals and organizations came to the realization that silence is complicity.
“Today you can hear voices raised against injustice everywhere. It has become part of the curriculum. But sadly, it seems that these voices are not loud enough or strong enough, that although the poetry community has unified in many ways and pushed forward in expressing opposition to injustice, situations have gotten worse.
“War continues and expands, militarization continues and expands, children are gunned down in schools, neo-nazis and white supremacists are emboldened, gender inequality is still the norm, and at this very moment we are witnessing a country that professes to be the most democratic and freest country in the world, the USA, tearing children out of the arms of their parents and putting them in cages as part of their immigration policy.
“My heart is broken.
“Some days, I feel like disconnecting entirely from the horrifying news. I can hardly stand to hear it any longer. But then there are the poets and artists who keep up the fight, who continue to speak out, the beautiful souls who refuse to be broken, and go on against all odds.
“So I go on.
“September 29 is the next global 100 Thousand Poets for Change Day. I am convinced this is an initiative worth continuing. Poets and artists must continue to rally and bond, connect, create and speak out in unison against the daily horrors. For each other and for our very own sanity, we must continue and grow.
“The 100 Thousand Poets for Change initiative saves me and keeps me focused and sane.
“I invite you to join hundreds, maybe hundreds of thousands, of other poets globally on this day, September 29, to gather and unify. If you can’t organize on September 29, pick any other day in September or October and let me know where and when you will organize.
“I will spread word of your event to the global poetry community for change, and together we can be empowered to re-write the narrative of civilization to a sustainable alternative. There is strength in numbers. Together we can raise our voices for peace.