Let’s give the world to the children just for one day
like a balloon in bright and striking colours to play with
let them play singing among the stars
let’s give the world to the children
like a huge apple like a warm loaf of bread
at least for one day let them have enough
let’s give the world to the children
at least for one day let the world learn friendship
children will get the world from our hands
they’ll plant immortal trees
– Nazim Hikmet
After Nazim Hikmet
What happiness that today
I can be “open and confident”
Though normally I would hide
in the safety of feigned ignorance,
feign joy, pretend
that I can see my clear sky
in spite of his clouds
Respectfully, I provide the detail requested …
The year is 2016
The month, January
This the first Wednesday
The hour is 6 a.m.
now that i am getting to know you,
now that i am chest-high in your poesy
it’s your time that interests me ……….1902 ~
You were birthday twins, Nazim,
You and my mysterious father,
born the same year, into the same culture,
spent your youth in that turmoil
If I study you, Nazim, will I find him, my diffident father,
in the dissident roots of your Turkish sensibility ~
they said he left with a price on his head
only to be caught, chained, imprisoned
in America, between a lover and a wife, ……….strong women . . . ………………..well, at least stronger than he
I say “Hello!” gleefully ……….without a wink
I think we could have been perfect friends
that we might have understood each other ……….Hello! to you and your poetry ……………….Hello Nazim, Hello!
Note: My father and Nazim Hikmet would have come of age just as WW I (1914-1918) was ending and the Turkish War of Independence (1919-1923) was beginning. Hikmet (1902-1963) was a renown poet, playwright and novelist, a communist and a revolutionary who spent his life in and out of jail. He won the International Peace Prize in 1950. My father (1902-1977) was a furrier. I didn’t know him well and saw him only two or three times a year, always at his office, never his home. This poem is after Hikmet’s Hello Everybody from Things I Didn’t Know I Loved. I appreciate his poetry for many reasons, but not the least as one way to get to know the world of my father’s childhood and youth..
WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT
June 21 is Father’s Day in the U.S., where I live. In honor of fathers everywhere, please share poem/s about your father or about something that reminds you of your father or makes you feel connected to him and ..
please submit your poem/s by pasting them into the comments section and not by sharing a link
please submit poems only, no photos, illustrations, essays, stories, or other prose
Poems submitted on theme in the comments section here will be published in next Tuesday’s collection. Poems submitted through email or Facebook will not be published. If you are new to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, be sure to include a link to your website, blog, and/or Amazon page to be published along with your poem. Thank you!
Deadline: Monday, June 15 by 8 pm Pacific Time. If you are unsure when that would be in your time zone, check The Time Zone Converter.
Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro. It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, showcasing your work, and getting to know and befriend other poets who might be new to you.
You are welcome – encouraged – to share your poems in a language other than English but please accompany it with a translation into English.
“We need the tonic of wildness . . . At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
And this being Tuesday, it’s time to share the responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt,The Last Blue-green Spring, May 27, which invited poets to share a singular seasonal (any season) moment that for some reason (any reason) continues to pulse with life in memory. What made it so vivid an experience? What were the colors, scents, shape, encounters with nature that made such a deep impression? Thanks to Benedicta (Akosua) Boamah, Anjum Wasim Dar, Frank McMahon, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Ben Naga, Nancy Ndeke, Adrian Slonaker, and Mike Stone for this inspired collection. Enjoy! . . .
. . . and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. All are welcome: beginning, emerging, and pro poets. This is a safe place to exercise your poetic muscle, to introduce yourself to our community, and to meet other poets who may be new to you.
Nature in its outmost form
The dryness of the sunny days
Eratic in moments of seasonal outbursts,
Zealous flares of flowery blossoms
Honey from the beecomb
Witheld sounds of colors in yellow whistles; faded fallen dried leaves
Picturestic of the weather
Nature has its own turns
With photosynthesis in play
The blue green Genesis of unknown hours.
You can find more of Benedicta’s poetry using the search feature on this site.
Moon Over Makhadd in Northern Pakistan
In a flash like on angel’s wings,
smooth on the road the wheels
moving on through avenues
bordered by elegant trees
to the grandeur of Makhad,
mountains brown as pegs
head to head, conical sloping
protecting with stony strength
bordering fields of mustard
yellow, making peace in spirit and
there is The Quiet The Presence
in the mountains is the secret essence
till the Last Day,
there is no sudd of the Nile
mountains shield the land
the lifeblood of Makhad
and so we stood, protected
we felt in the valley of the North
as evening shadows lengthened
and the moon manifested itself
in glowing white, never so peaceful
a place I had seen nor been to,
when Nature raw and loving
spread its grace and held the place
a holy tapestry woven.
“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
This is where we’ve met,
where landscape offers space.
“ Quick, quick, you can’t catch me!”
Oh yes I can, with cunning.
I know where the flower beds narrow.
You’ll never escape me there.
Unless I pretend.
“ Play hide and seek? Count to ten then,
no fifteen!” They’ll find me by water,
gazing on pondweed, deadly green like Sunday
afternoons when clocks dragged their feet,
ticking the echoes of the morning’s sermon.
Wildly we emitted raw blasts of turbulence, braced
to pay the consequential price
for breaking Sunday’s peace.
Aspens whisper, braid the breeze
between their leaves, rumour rain.
Elderberries beaded with drops
of late summer’s dew. A squall of rooks
crashes from the clustered woods.
“ Sorry, I was.” Somewhere between,
somewhere between.“ Here, let me show
you this sunflower, yellow-headed diva,
admitting with grace the butterflies
to hover and partake.”
Tree house is clattering with chatter,
explosive ululations. Who is really listening
and does it really matter as
long as they can have these moments
of unguarded light?
Wren’s ostinato fades to quiet
in the stillness of the birch.
Scrolls of pure white bark, nicks, music-
-box notes, ships plotted on radar,
mid-life, pondered in currents
of easy conversation. And ours?
as we drift our hands through
lavender and rosemary.
Passion and remembrance jostle,
loss and history, the past imperfect. Old
questions niggle still, leading where?
Simpler to pick apart a teasel
piece by piece.
Hungry calls distract. “Wait, look how
they sway and bow, these reeds, courtiers
before the kingcups. Yellow is
the colour of homage today, do you wear
yellow? No but you are pardoned. Eat!”
Follow the shafts of light: scarlet
rosehips, crimson plums , dusted blue
by night moths’ wings, first blush on apples
skimped by drought.
House wall, solid but evidence
of slip and restitution,
infill and making do.
Present and future,
intertwined, pulsing together.
Let them run on and on,
this day, these days.
Except from At the Storm’s Edge (Palewell Press, 2020)
Africa is summer land, rare for degrees to dip below zero,
Unless atop the mighty Kirinyaga.
A child of the Arabica coffee terrain,
A kilometer from the forest line,
Many a man and woman from distant land and lingo,
Would hop atop the villages loaned landrovers,
Transport to the base of the mountain,
Tales of Jumbo’s and moor’s large,
Lakes with dazzling whiteness to blind,
Tricky terrain and freezing cold,
Silence to spare energy to climb,
Tales I carried in my growth,
As I, enjoyed the spectacle that the mountain was,
From the ridge where my father’s coffee crop swayed,
Teenage led a leg to schools far,
College danced the cities new flavor,
Marriage and children tending,
Career swing and switch,
Till, a visit did a rhyme,
On a soul at peace with itself,
And suddenly, my feet ached to do the climb,
And what a trek!
First was the forest unpretentious,
Mahogany and teak,
Then bamboo in all its clustered glory,
Amid careful skirting to keep wild owners at peace,
First night at camp,
Rolled onto a sleeping bag,
A fire merrily singing it’s warmth,
Cold was real, but pleasure too was,
And before sunrise, with eggs and bacons tucked,
Second leg began in earnest,
Sunrise that blinded one to the way,
Was the mood treck to great,
Expanse of whites amidst blues and purples,
God’s own mountain Eden,
The freshness of nature so real, music formed itself,
A hunter of something or other we did meet,
Keep your eyes down, the leader said,
By mid-day, a quiet did settle,
As guts got fuelled,
Then rain like ice fell in sheets,
Pushing us into a cave,
Where stones arranged like an old empires dinning room,
Afternoon merged with night as tales of the mountain rose and fell,
Sleep and aches came fast,
And soon morning popped, another wonder of nature’s splendor,
East on a fire brilliant beyond believe,
Roast rabit and smoked Salmon waiting,
Why pretend to be Ninja when muscles spoke in firely tongues,
A porter led a much needed hand,
Handing me two spikes to score the climb,
Air was getting thinner, walk was slower,
And tales subsided to grunts and the occasional curse from tripping,
A light lunch and a quick match,
Lake Nicholson we must make for the night,
Pitching tents and lighting evening fires,
Time for catch up with days events,
But up to this point, I had to reign my wits,
Yes, I loved the excussion and would love to trudge on,
But the vagaries of age were telling a different tale,
From a life of easy and untested car rides,
To go any further was a noise most unwelcome,
Watching the dark sky with it’s millions of stars,
The coward of the village took a bow ,
And the next morning,
While every one else hefted their bags up for day three up,
I, and my paid hand, took to the lower grounds with our rations,
Heaven is real, heaven is sweet to smell and spectacular to watch,
And it’s in the very nature that so far we haven’t “Tamed”
A testimony of a mountain climber who climbed a quarter way.
As the tenth month instead of the eighth-
despite its moniker-
October is pregnant with pranks,
so vivacious shades of leaves
merely mask their imminent demise,
some already crackling to arid dust under the
sneakers of backpack-burdened kids
finishing their first quarter before sniffles and flus
and Remembrance Day poppies
start to pop up.
The supermarket down the street
hawks the honeyed nuances of candy corn,
as polarizing as the pleas of political candidates-
the consummate jokers-
just weeks before
the polls open.
Mass-produced slick plastic costumes
rival the versions crafted by parents cursing over
the hum of sewing machines and the snip of
scissors while glitter scatters in a diaspora, only
to be spotted in dust-bunnies around Easter.
Jack-o’-lanterns get stabbed next door
not by Jason or Michael, but
by hands moist with mushy gourd guts
and seeds reserved for roasting and snacking
during thriller marathons thrusting screams
and sinister soundtracks out of rooms as dark
as the cats and bats plastered on pendulous paper decorations,
and, through my window, the weather wavers
between the hangover of
sweaty torpor and the promise of polar chills
that will predominate when
apples for bobbing
become apples for pies.
You can read more of Adrian’s poetry by using the search feature for this site and for The BeZine.
Raanana, June 5, 2009
Between the palm and weeping willow
It’s the sudden confrontation with beauty
That kills you every time.
The palettes from which the skies are painted
And the grasses and the seas
Must once have belonged to children.
In my country
Even the primary colors
Are mixtures of
Birds flowers and sadness.
The edges of shadows under the trees
Are sharp like a knife against your throat.
The sky is so bright it’s like
Looking into the face of God.
And the silence,
It’s the silence
That finally betrays you.
Winter rains rat-a-tat-tat
On the cold tin roofs of cars.
Cats crowd under any car
With engine warm, watching
Daisy and me with suspicious eyes.
Daisy, oblivious to my umbrella
Or the rain, looks back at them
With calculations of inbred hatred
And limits of leash length.
Back in our apartment,
Cats forgotten, if not forgiven,
Dripping Daisy unfurls her wetness
With a shivering wave.
I dry the remaining dampness from her fur
And we appreciate the lightning and thunder
Approaching our window,
As rain becomes thought
Which becomes rain again.
The first drops of winter
After a long drought,
A farmer raises eyes heavenward
Even the sandy soil,
The nibbled petals,
And the green-brown leaves
Raise themselves in silent toast –
To life, God,
The nonbelievers dreaming still
Under thick comforters,
Old men walking to the synagogue
Against the blustery rain
And a dog-walker with umbrella
Taking small slow steps
In sync with an old dog
When love is not enough
To keep her dry and warm.
I look over at the old men
Walking their God on an invisible leash
Or is He walking them?
The first rain of the new year
The drops are more like soft pinpricks
Pointillistic with a taste of dust
When you open your mouth to say something
To Daisy, but she tastes the dust too
And sniffs the warm air with wet nose.
It’s the encroaching desert
Playing with our emotions,
Not enough yet to warrant an umbrella
Or to cool the body with its wetness.
Call of the Whippoorwill is Mike Stone’s fourth book of poetry. It and other books of poetry and of science fiction by Mike are available from Amazon all over the world. Mike’s U.S. Amazon Page is HERE.
It is with outrage, grief, and solidarity that we join the voices of those worldwide condemning the heinous, racist acts of police brutality that directly resulted in the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25th, 2020.
As a literary and arts journal with staff members and readers from all over the world, and a home base in Minnesota as our Editor-in-Chief’s place of residence, we grieve for the pain not only of our reeling community in the Twin Cities, but also for all those worldwide who have lost loved ones to police brutality.
Our mission is to uplift the voices of those pursuing peace after trauma, and to provide community and calm through healing art and storytelling. We envision, one day, a world free from violence. Not only from domestic and sexual violence and child abuse, of which many of our readers and contributors have survived, but also from racism, police brutality, systemic oppression, and the sharply entrenched inequities upon which the United States is historically built.
As artists and writers, we hold both the power to bring healing, and the power to illustrate and narrate the violent acts which deny, disrupt, and prolong it. As artists and writers giving voice to other artists and writers, we refuse to remain silent in the wake of abject, intentional terror.
In 2016, in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, we brought you the Post-Election Mini Issue, a compilation of voices expressing their pain and anger at the election of a racist, ableist, misogynistic, xenophobic and homophobic individual to one of the highest offices in the United States. Make no mistake – racism is alive and well in America in 2020 because America is an inherently racist project. Racist systems and racist individuals are killing Black men, Black women, and Black transgender folks at epidemic proportions, all with the direct support of this nation’s president.
We implore you to join us in action, however that action may look. Through protest, through provision of bailout funds, through distribution of food and basic necessities to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities, to a commitment to hire and value BIPOC leadership, to challenge and actively work to dismantle, everyday, the systems that benefit white communities at the expense of BIPOC communities.
Silence in the face of this terror is in itself a violent act. We encourage you to do all of the above, in addition to donating to the following racial justice funds:
The George Floyd Memorial Fund supports George Floyd’s family with funeral and burial expenses, mental health counseling, lodging and travel for court proceedings, and basic necessities in the days, weeks, and months to come.
Minnesota Freedom Fund, a community-based nonprofit that pays criminal bail and immigration bonds for individuals arrested. Note: MFF has received a significant influx of donations and is requesting that donations be given to orgs such as Black Visions Collective and Reclaim the Block, detailed below.
Black Visions Collective, a Black, transgender, and queer-led organization committed to long-term success and transformation in Minnesota’s Black communities.
Reclaim the Block, a coalition that advocates for and invests in community-led safety initiatives in Minneapolis neighborhoods such as violence prevention, housing, and responses to opioid and mental health crises.
Campaign Zero, an organization that utilizes policy solutions to end police brutality through limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.
Northstar Health Collective, a radical healthcare initiative providing health care services and other resources to marginalized communities; currently, they are on the frontlines, safeguarding the health of protestors.
National Bail Fund Network, a compiled list of bail funds across America. Donate to your local bail fund to support protestors in your area!
For those looking to learn more about the racist bedrock of policing, here are some educational resources to get started with:
Through the decade our 100TPC poet-activist numbers have grown. We’ve expanded to include allies. These creatives from around the world share the values of peace, sustainability, and social justice. They speak out against corruption, cruelty, tyranny, and suppression through poetry, story, music, mime, art and photography, sometimes at personal risk.
If you’ve been involved before, please note the date and participate again. If you haven’t participated in 100TPC, we invite you to become a part of this worthy worldwide initiative.
By “we” I mean:
Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion, founders and organizers of Global 100TPC;
The Bardo Group, publishers of The BeZine and hosts of The BeZine Virtual 100TPC.
FROM PRIOR YEARS:
SAMPLES OF POSTERS FROM
~ Be inspired . . . Be creative . . . Be peace . . . Be ~
The second year I invited poetry against war was 2011. I put up a post on Into the Bardo (the name of the site before it became The BeZine) and invited folks to share their poems in the comments section. That was the last year for Sam Hamill’s Poets Against the War and the first year for Michael and Terri’s 100,000 Poets for Change.
Since 2012, we (The Bardo Group) have hosted an annual virtual event on the fourth Saturday of September in concert with Global 100TPC. My thought for going virtual was that there were many others who, like me, are home bound but want to have their say, want to stand for peace, sustainability and social justice. Soon Michael Dickel (Meta/ Phor(e) /Play) joined our team and a new tradition was born. Michael became our Master of Ceremonies.
This year – whether your are homebound or not – we invite you to join with us via The BeZine Virtual 100TPC on September 26. Complete instructions for sharing your work will be included in the post that day. Between us, Michael Dickel and I keep the event running for twenty-four hours or so. Mark your calendars.
Watch for more info here and at The BeZine on these initiatives and . . .
Call for Submissions to the September 15, 2020 issue of The BeZine, which is a prelude to 100TPC;
The Poet by Day 100TPC Wednesday Writing Prompt, September 16, hosted by Michael Dickel; and
In the spirit of love (respect) and community and
on behalf of The Bardo Group,
Jamie Dedes, Founding Editor and
now Co-Manager Editor with Michael Dickel
100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE: Ten years of evolution (2011-2020)
VOL 1: The Memoir
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
From Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion
In the tenth year anniversary of the movement, we are excited to invite all past and present 100TPC organizers and/or participants, to submit a three page essay to be considered for inclusion in the book 100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE [100TPC]: Ten years of evolution (2011-2020), which will be published on a date to be announced.
This book will tell the story of 100TPC from the perspective of the poets who have been a part of creating and sustaining it. Through our personal essays, the reader will learn not only about the individual stories of the hundreds of poets-organizers from all corners, reflecting on the social and cultural effects of such poetic actions, but it will also offer an enriched summary and an organized way to learn about this grassroots movement and its impact on the history of poetry. It can also be thought of as a guidebook and manual, for future generations interested in the strategy of activists engaged in manifesting positive change–peace, justice and sustainability.
You can submit a maximum of two essays, only one (1) per theme. Be sure to send each essay in a separate email (see details below).
1. FOUNDATIONAL EXPERIENCES. First experiences as organizer/ poet/ artist/ audience with 100,000 Poets for Change. 2. LOCAL EXPERIENCES. Experiences seen as a whole, after these ten years. Reflect on your achievements, or whatever you have witnessed, good and bad. You can choose to write about success or disappointments, benefits and limitations, even if you were not an organizer/participant consistently for the past ten years. 3. IMPRESSIONS: Reflections and stories on the philosophy, ideas and spirit propelling the movement. How has this movement informed your poetics? 4. SALERNO. If you participated in the 2015 Salerno conference, you can choose to write about it, as a whole experience, and/or highlighting a specific story or aspects of the conference. 5. READ A POEM TO A CHILD. If you have been part of the Read a Poem to a Child initiative, you can also choose to write about that.
Submission deadline: December 1, 2020
Format guidelines: Word document, Times New Roman, Font 12, Double Spaced.
Maximum 750 words.
Language: If you are not an English speaking writer, please send your text in its original language along with the best possible English translation (three pages max, each). At this point, the project will only include the English version, but we’re studying alternatives to the issue of language, and world accessibility.
Bio & Photos: Please send a fifty word Bio as a Word doc. attachment. Also, and this is optional, you can attach three-to-five good quality images (jpg) related to your essay, and/or the events you organized in your community. Include photo caption and credits. Do not send bio photos. We want exceptional images that offer a glimpse either of the themes or aspects we’ve mentioned above, the collective drive, or the audience reaction.
Please send your submissions and/or any questions to: email@example.com In the email’s Subject Matter, please write your essay’s theme.