The BeZine, Vol. 6, Issue 3, September 2019, Social Justice

Social Justice
as the world burns and wars rage

Global protest actions on the Climate Crisis have been scheduled for September, as fires rage from the Arctic to the Amazon [1]. Potential conflicts in the Middle East seem on the verge of flaring into their own wildfires, most prominently as I write this: Taliban-US, Iran-US, Israel-Hamas-(Hezbollah-Iran), and Pakistan-India-Kashmir. Underlying and entwined with these huge, tangled problems, the pressing need to address injustice, inequality, and huge economic disparity, which smolder or burn throughout the world. Big words cover what we wish for in place of these problems: Sustainability, Peace, and Social Justice. In order to understand the complex dimensions of each of these pressing global problems, The BeZine has focused in our first two issues of 2019 on Peace and Sustainability—and now, the Fall Issue of The BeZine focuses on Social Justice.

As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence. If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.

—Martin Luther King, Jr.
(Source: “The Most Durable Power,” Excerpt from Sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church on 6 November 1956
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford)

In this time of Orwellian language-logic and fake news (aka propaganda and lies), science denial (aka lies and distortions), nationalistic-populism, vitriolic debate, and self-serving and greedy leadership in the financial and governmental towers of power unmoored from ethics or morality (aka high crimes and misdemeanors)—with all of this, I ask you to reflect on these words of Martin Luther King, Jr.—”Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence.”

I find myself at times of despair drawn to the idea of violence as the only solution, but each time remind myself of the repulsiveness of that solution. We must find a way to bring justice into the world, to immediately address the climate crisis, and to foster peace, without contributing to the bitterness, pain, and murder so rampant now, fueled as it is by the rhetoric and actions of government and corporate powers. If we stoop to the level of those men (and women) in power, we will end up only fanning the destructive fires they have lit and spread.

As the Reverend King goes on to say: “If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.”

Sometimes I feel that we already are reaping that legacy with this reign of chaos surrounding us today. I fervently hope that, if so, it is not an endless inferno.

Glimmers of hope emerge—Greta Thunberg and her activism shines like a bright light. Her language makes clear that the climate crisis is an issue of social justice for our children and grandchildren. It is also a social justice issue for indigenous peoples, migrants, the poor, and less “developed” countries. The climate crisis and wars contribute to the issue of justice for migrants, creating a flow of refugees that other countries refuse to shelter. Racism, unfettered capitalism, gender biases all create injustice, and those oppressed in the system that produce hate are most likely to suffer in war and the climate crisis. Our contributors touch on these intersections while exploring social justice in their work.

In the end, the hope has to come from us—from our acting, responding, striking if necessary. Yes, avoiding violence. But also, demanding change now. We need to seek the abstract “social justice” through social ACTION. And we need to see and act on the links between issues, rather than dividing ourselves and fighting over which issue is more important. They are all important, and they all need to be addressed holistically.

We all need to work together, because there are no jobs on a dead planet; there is no equity without rights to decent work and social protection, no social justice without a shift in governance and ambition, and, ultimately, no peace for the peoples of the world without the guarantees of sustainability.

—Sharan Burrow
(Cited in: “To transform the world, we need a revolution in our priorities and values.”
The Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies. Aug. 24, 2019.

Michael Dickel, Contributing Editor


 With this issue of the Zine, Global 100,000 Poets and Others for Change (100TPC), Read A Poem To A Child week, and The BeZine Virtual 100TPC we share our passions and concerns across borders, we explore differences without violence or vindictiveness, and we sustain one another.  These activities endow us with hope, strength, and connection.

Our thanks to and gratitude for the members of The Bardo Group Beguines (our core team), to our contributors, and to our readers and supporters who come from every corner of the world. You are the light and the hope. You are valued.

Special thanks to Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion for the gift of 100TPC and Read A Poem To A Child week, to our resident artist Corina Ravenscraft for our beautiful 100TPC banner, and to Michael Dickel for pulling the Zine together this month, moderating Virtual 100TPC on September 28, and for his technical support and innovations.  And to Terri Stewart, much appreciation for our stellar logo, and for our ultra-fabulous name: The BeZineBe inspired … Be creative … Be peace. … Be …

Our theme for the December 15 issue is “A Life of the Spirit.”  John Anstie will take the lead and submissions will open on October 1 and close on November 15.  Look for revised submission guidelines soon.

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


The BeZine 100TPC Virtual—Live Online 28 September 2019

The global 100TPC initiative on Saturday, September 28, 2019, puts forward poetry, music, art, and more, that promote Peace, Sustainability, an Social Justice. The BeZine will again offer a virtual, online event on that date. Please stop by, leave links to your own writing, art, or music, leave comments… We welcome your participation.


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 or you can click HERE and scroll through the entire Zine.

TRANFORMATION

“There must exist a paradigm, a practical model for social change that includes an understanding of ways to transform consciousness that are linked to efforts to transform structures.” ― bell hooks, Killing Rage: Ending Racism

Poetry
Peace, Benedicta Boamah
Five from Faruk Buzhala, Faruk Buzhala
Pushing through Utopia, Linda Chown
TimeInWar, Linda Chown
Don’t Be Stupid, DeWitt Clinton
Rising Up, You Poets, Jamie Dedes
One Dark Stand, Mark Heathcote
request…, Charles W. Martin
The Long Dark Night, Tamam Tracy Moncur
Ju$t d1$$1m1l@r, Sunayna Pal
Don’t Hang the Poets, Mike Stone

Art and Photography
Social Justice, Anjum Wasim Dar
In solidarity, documentary photographs, Christopher Woods

Essay
Using Social Interactions to Create Change, Kella Hanna-Wayne

RE-MEMBERING THE PAIN

“There are times when so much talk or writing, so many ideas seem to stand in the way, to block the awareness that for the oppressed, the exploited, the dominated, domination is not just a subject for radical discourse, for books. It is about pain–the pain of hunger, the pain of over-work, the pain of degradation and dehumanization, the pain of loneliness, the pain of loss, the pain of isolation, the pain of exile… Even before the words, we remember the pain.” ― bell hooks, Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black

Poetry
Sounding Bugles, Sheikha A.
Silent Courage, Lorraine Caputo
“Nights with Ghosts,” a poem from a child in Zimbabwe, Jamie Dedes
Change, Michael Dickel
After the 2016 Election, Rachel Landrum Crumble
The Poor, Rachel Landrum Crumble
Substituting Life, Sunayna Pal
Flow Gathering Springs, Linda Shoemaker
War and Peace (Rime Royal), Clarissa Simmens
Women in Woad, Clarissa Simmens
I Never Knew I Was So Numb, Anjum Wasim Dar

Fiction
Boots, DC Diamondopolous
The Dogs of Midnight, Mike Scallan
Time Never Waits, Anjum Wasim Dar

INEQUALITY

“We live in a system that espouses merit, equality, and a level playing field, but exalts those with wealth, power, and celebrity, however gained.” ― Derrick Bell, Ethical Ambition: Living a Life of Meaning and Worth

Poetry
Control, Elvis Alves
The Long History of Genocides, Elvis Alves
dissecting the Geneva Convention, mm brazfield
Scary People and Madmen, Bill Gainer
Humanity is often a place of forgetfulness, Mark Heathcote
Chicken Little to Testify Before Congress, Rachel Landrum Crumble
Logging-Out of Bullying School, Marta Pombo Sallés
False Economy, Mantz Yorke

Essay
Dictators, Desperados, and Democracy Revisited, John Anstie
Radicals Are In Charge, Rob Moitoz

SEEKING

“In the unceasing ebb and flow of justice and oppression we must all dig channels as best we may, that at the propitious moment somewhat of the swelling tide may be conducted to the barren places of life.” ― Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House

Poetry
Embrace, Lorraine Caputo
Epistle, Lorraine Caputo
Our Evolving, Jamie Dedes
Silent Life, Jamie Dedes
How I Park My Car, Bill Gainer
Awake at Night, Leela Soma
Places I Have Never Been, Ellen Wood

 


Notes:

[1] In support of these, The BeZine blog has been posting about the Climate Crisis, and will continue to do so throughout September (2019), in addition to our Sustainability Issue this past Summer [back].


The BeZine: Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be (the subscription feature is below and to your left.)

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

Facebook, The Bardo Group Beguines

Twitter, The Bardo Group Beguines

SUBMISSIONS:

Read Info/Missions 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.



 

“Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world …”

“I remember thinking that if we were rioting in 120 countries for sure you’d see us on CNN.  It’s a sad reality in today’s world that good news doesn’t travel well or far.” Jamie Dedes, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice & Sustainability, YOPP Voice



Thanks to Kella Hanna-Wayne, Creator of YOPP!, social justice blog dedicated to civil rights education, elevating voices of marginalized people, and reducing oppression, for helping to further our goals for a better world by publishing a feature I wrote on 100TPC.

Shelly famously wrote and is frequently quoted for saying, “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.”  Activist poetry in the service of making change, of protesting war and injustice and in giving voice to the oppressed has a long and honorable recorded-history and probably started before written language. It didn’t come to me as something approaching a way of life until I was benched by a disability and forced into medical retirement.

Ruderal species of plants are the first to colonize lands disturbed by natural events or human activities. Typically, they dominate the disturbed area for a time, gradually losing ground to the competition. In extraordinary circumstances, the ruderals may become permanently established.

In 2011 poet Michael Rothenberg posed a question on Facebook: “Would you be willing to organize a day of poetry to celebrate change in your community?” That question went out into the social networking sphere like ruderal seeds in the wind.  Poets and even other artists responded enthusiastically.  READ the rest at YOPP!



ABOUT 

Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! , September * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


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

Global 100,000 Poets and Others for Change: Get Ready, Get Set …

“…we continue to encourage and support participation in the 100TPC global event, with the hopes that we can encourage poets, musicians and artists to stay vocal and engaged in these difficult times. It is so easy to feel hopeless and lose heart when it seems the world is coming apart around us. 100TPC hopes to counter despair and disillusionment, encourage and support celebration through the arts of peace, justice and sustainability. This is the good fight for us and we will continue to provide a global platform and venue.” 100TPC Cofounder Michael Rothenberg in a recent email to me.



There’s a lot going on around Global 100,000 Poets and Others for Change (100TPC.org) and this is the point each year when I like to share special updates along with a sampling of the posters for the event.

  • Yesterday Michael Rothenberg announced that there were 500 events registered for Global 100TPC (September 28) and Read a Poem To A Child Week (September 23-28).  Yes!  We’re jazzed about that news.
  • At The BeZine Michael Dickel and I are collaborating on the September 15 issue, themed social justice in honor of 100TPC. 100TPC concerns itself with Peace (our March issue theme), SustainABILITY (our June issue theme), and Social Justice (our September issue theme).
  • Over the past year and especially the past month or so, we’ve had some changes to The BeZine activities and publishing policy. Modified guidelines will be available soon … would have been sooner if I hadn’t been in-and-out of the hospital so much.  Our Mission remains the same and you can see from it why we are so partial to 100TPC. Please always read our Mission Statement, an issue of the Zine, and the guidelines before submitting work to bardogroup@gmail.com
  • Meanwhile, my feature How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice and Sustainability was shared today by Kella Hanna-Wayne on her social justice site: YoppVoice!

  • Meanwhile …

copyright Rick Frausto

The BeZine blog is hosting a month long series in solidarity with the climate action events that are taking place around the world,  These events include Greta Thunberg’s and also the U.N. Climate Change Summit 2019.

(Please note the first post on the Zine blog is always a copy of the front page of the most recent published issue of the Zine. If you scroll down, you’ll access the rest of the blog posts.)

  • And …

The BeZine 100,000 Poets and Others Banner, 2019 is by our resident artist, Corina Ravenscraft

On September 28, we’ll host our annual 24 hour Virtual The BeZine 100TPC. Everyone is invited to come read, listen, and contribute. If you want to contribute work the post that day will provide instruction for doing so. It’s easy. We encourage the sharing of art, photography, poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and music videos. Michael Dickel will moderate and I’ll be present for back-up.

Here’s a sample of the banners from events around the world.  Enjoy! 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

BECOME INVOLVED

Register your event for 100TPC and Read a Poem to a Child Week at 100tpc.org

100,000 Poets for Change Facebook CommunicationHub

The BeZine

The BeZine 100TPC Facebook Discussion Group

READ A POEM TO A CHILD WEEK

September 23rd – September 28th 2019

Download the Poetry Compilation for Readers.pdf

Download the curriculum Simple ways to make poetry engaging 2.0  and the poetry workbook.

Freely accessible Sound Cloud playlist of 100TPC Read a Poem to a Child Initiative


ABOUT 

Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! , September * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


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

 

 

 

Freely Accessible Sound-Cloud Playlist for 100TPC Read a Poem to a Child Week Initiative, courtesy Michael Dickel and Randy Thomas

READ A POEM TO A CHILD WEEK

Sep 23 at 12 PM – Sep 28 at 11 PM EDT

August 26, 2019: THANKS to Michael Dickel (Meta/ Phor(e) /Play) for putting together this post for us on behalf of The BeZine  and for his interview of Randy Thomas. This post was originally done for last year’s event, but the SoundCloud playlist is still up and has grown a bit. I’m posting it today to remind you of this charming resource. / Jamie Dedes



A SoundCloud playlist!

August 2018: Thanks to 100 Thousand Poets for Change co-founders Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion, and especially to our 100TPC friend, Voice-Over legend Randy Thomas, we have the honor of presenting a compilation of children’s poems read by master Voice Artists and created for the 100TPC community in support of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change Read A Poem To A Child initiative. / Michael Dickel


Randy Thomas and the other voice actors / voice over artists in the playlist (further down) volunteered their talent and time to Read a Poem to a Child!

Thomas started her career as a radio personality and DJ in New York, LA, Detroit, and Miami. She’s announced for the Oscars, Emmy Awards, Tony Awards, Entertainment Tonight, The Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame Inductions, The Kennedy Center Honors, and much more. You likely have heard her announce:

“You’re watching Entertainment Tonight!”

or

“Live from Hollywood, it’s the Academy Awards!”

Voice Announcer Randy Thomas
Source


The BeZine asked Randy Thomas a couple of questions about how this came to be:

The BeZineWhat inspired you to organize these wonderful readings by VO artists for Read a Poem for a Child?

Randy ThomasI am always intrigued when invited to use my voice in a positive way that gives back to the community. My dear friend Michael Rothenberg, a world-renown poet told me about his effort to share a poem with a child during one specific week. He found interest from all over the world. It’s wonderful.

The BeZine: You have inspired a number of voice artists to contribute their voices—how did that happen?

Randy ThomasThe Facebook community of voice actors and friends that I have seemed to rally behind this idea. We all have our own audio booths to record quality audio in, and they are all being so generous with their time and Voice sharing these poems. I am proud to have played a small part in this beautiful effort.

You can hear the amazing results below, in the embedded SoundCloud playlist.


Please feel free to play these recordings
for children around the world!

These may be played right here from this post or go HERE.



Thank you Randy Thomas
and brilliant VO artists
for sharing your talent for the children!



All audio ©2018 by the individual Voice Artists.
Poetry copyright belongs to the poet
or other current copyright holder.

Post text ©2018 TheBeZine.com and 100TPC.org
Link-sharing of the SoundCloud playlist is allowed.
Link-sharing or credited re-blogging of this post is allowed.
Readings in the playlist are provided for free personal use,
not for commercial purposes or paid events.
The audio may not be recorded or redistributed in any form
other than a link to SoundCloud without permission of the voice artist(s).


ABOUT 

Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


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