Guidelines and Inspiration for Submissions to the December issue of “The BeZine,” by John Anstie

Editor’s Note:  The deadline for submissions to the December issue is November 15.  Forward submission to bardogroup@gmail.com.  Submissions via comments or Facebook will not be considered.  Details HERE. / J.D.


“How do you perceive that word, spirit? How do you measure it? What sort of entity is it? What value is it to living things? What value is it to human beings, who are perhaps most responsible for its consequences? The answers appear to be as numerous as its definitions …

Spirit – noun
1. the principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans, animating the body or mediating between body and soul.
2. the incorporeal part of humans: present in spirit though absent in body.
3. the soul regarded as separating from the body at death.
4. conscious, incorporeal being, as opposed to matter: the world of spirit.
5. a supernatural, incorporeal being, especially one inhabiting a place, object, etc., or having a particular character: evil spirits.
6. a fairy, sprite, or elf.
7. an angel or demon.
8. an attitude or principle that inspires, animates, or pervades thought, feeling, or action: the spirit of reform.
9. (initial capital letter) the divine influence as an agency working in the human heart.
10.a divine, inspiring, or animating being or influence. Num. 11:25; Is. 32:15.
11.(initial capital letter) the third person of the Trinity; Holy Spirit.
12.the soul or heart as the seat of feelings or sentiments, or as prompting to action: a man of broken spirit.
13.spirits, feelings or mood with regard to exaltation or depression: low spirits; good spirits.
14.excellent disposition or attitude in terms of vigor, courage, firmness of intent, etc.; mettle: That’s the spirit!
15.temper or disposition: meek in spirit.
16.an individual as characterized by a given attitude, disposition, character, action, etc.: A few brave spirits remained to face the danger.
17.the dominant tendency or character of anything: the spirit of the age.
18.vigorous sense of membership in a group: college spirit.
19.the general meaning or intent of a statement, document, etc. (opposed to letter ): the spirit of the law.
20.Chemistry. the essence or active principle of a substance as extracted in liquid form, especially by distillation.
21.Often, spirits. a strong distilled alcoholic liquor.
22.Chiefly British, alcohol.
23.Pharmacology. a solution in alcohol of an essential or volatile principle; essence.
24.any of certain subtle fluids formerly supposed to permeate the body.
25.the Spirit, God.

The spirit is incorporeal. It is not bound by mind, body, ‘fact’ and opinion. It is beyond simple definition. can it be beyond commercial value? I do hope so, and is it perhaps beyond measurement. For me, it is part of the individual human ‘heart’, the non-physical heart. It is that part of a human body that echos throughout our universe long after the body is dead and perhaps even long after life on Earth is extinguished.

It is called upon, like the artist’s muse, so often when the mind and body are under stress, under pressure that it cannot sustain for too long; when conflict and threat to livelihoods and even life itself, sharpens the mind. It can come into its own, when ego, pride and prejudice are dispensing their know desires for individual, selfish survival; when individuals begin to fear the loss of their survival and start thrashing about and fighting for their gene pool; when the search for truth is no longer possible by simple logic, ‘reasoning’, science, well articulated, but biased speeches … this is when we have our greatest need to resort to the spirit. Whether that spirit is your God, or an established religious faith and and its set of scriptures, prescriptions for the easement of stress and improvement of self, or whether it is music, poetry or the writings of great minds, or simply great visual art, it is, from my perspective, all very valid. Humans need a spiritual guide, wither it’s external or internal. Without this, the wayward spirit can lead us further from the truth. When our spirit is strong, we can conquer the World.

May we all be able to poem, paint and play until our hearts are healed, to help us further pursue the quest for truth, through the spirit.

P.S. You may like to consider the future of digital technology in art. Can you envisage A.I. (artificial intelligence) being as capable as the human spirit in the part it plays in its creative inspiration for art?

© 2019, John Anstie / Lead for the December 2019 “The BeZine,” Volume 6, Issue 4, themed “A Life of the Spirit”

JOHN ANSTIE (My Poetry Library and 42) ~ is a British writer, poet and musician –  a multi-talented gentleman self-described as a “Family man, Grandfather, Occasional Musician, Singer, Amateur photographer and Film-maker, Apple-MAC user, Implementation Manager, and Engineer”. He has participated in d’Verse Poet’s Pub and is a player in New World Creative Union as well as a being a ‘spoken-voice’ participant in Roger Allen Baut’s excellent ‘Blue Sky Highway‘ radio broadcasts. He’s been blogging since the beginning of 2011. He is also a member of The Poetry Society (UK).

Recent publications are anthologies resulting from online collaborations among two international groups of amateur and professional poets. One of these is The Grass Roots Poetry Group (Petrichor* Rising. The other group is d’Verse Poet Pub, in which John’s poetry also appears The d’Verse Anthology: Voices of Contemporary World Poetry, produced and edited by Frank Watson.

Petrichor – from the Greek pɛtrɨkər, the scent of rain on the dry earth.

Introducing John Anstie, the lead team-member for the December issue of “The BeZine”; The Chalice, a poem by John

copyright – The BeZine

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 bardogroup@gmail.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.



You can read an interview with John HERE.

The Chalice, a poem by John Anstie

The Chalice

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
extant humans
will, at last be
prepared to
distinguish
the  l i e s
f r o m
truth
and

so
we
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

© 2014 John Anstie
All rights reserved


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.

Soul Food . . . and other poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”  Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar



Here are this week’s responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, A Beautiful Place for Mortal Beings, October 2. After September’s justified global focus on climate change and climate action, we turn our attention to the beauty and peace that is still available and to our deeply sensed connection with the source of our being through nature.

The many gifts bequeathed to us by Nature are celebrated today with poems from John Anstie, mm brazfield, Paul Brookes, Anjum Wasim Dar, Irma Do, Sheila Jacob, and Sonja Benskin Mesher. We welcome, Ben Naga, new to our pages but a stellar poet with a considerable body of fine work available to sample via his blog.

Enjoy! and do join us for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt, which will post tomorrow morning. All are welcome to come out and play, no matter the stage of your career: beginning, emerging, or pro.


Soul Food

Planted splat firm atop this green hill
Taking time to return to the source
A cloud or two, the occasional bird
Higher peaks a shadowed backdrop
Thankful miles from the muscle bustle

(Raw cells, fibres dancing a frenzied jig
Cringing under the whip of urgency
Mad underlying insistence on arrival
At all cost – lest the unthinkable …
Their journey demoted to annoyance)

Breathing, inhaling the plenitude
Mere presence the sole attainment
Destination attained and time to
Inhale … relax … exhale …
Enjoy the sumptuous display

© 2019, Ben Naga

Welcome, Ben Naga!
Ben’s site is: Ben Naga, Gifts from the Musey Lady and Me. “Laissez-moi vous recanter ma vraie histoire.” Read his ABOUT. It is delivered in a poem and well worth your time to visit.


Unlike the rose, whose life
is all too short;
whose beauty, transient,
strikes the heart
olfactory refrain,
melancholic pang,
intoxicating ache,
caressing right brain

you … you resist the tides,
whose rhythms try to change,
but never seem to wear you down;
you bear them easily.
The temporal perspective
that measures your sojourn
belittles our lives
to appear as nought.

You draw out the time
to more than long,
so barnacles and limpets
can confidently cling
to your immense foundation;
testament to your solidity;
our permanence is relative
as it sits beside you, Rock.

But how significant are we
considering the Universe?
By how much mega-time is
it’s longevity, beside ours?
And yet neither you, Rock
nor Universe can judge,

because

there is no poetry
in the cosmos
without a human soul.

© 2011, John Anstie

John . . .


Ryan Mountain

a young girl i was
when i drove to the desert
i took what Allen dropped
when he was young
like i was
the Joshua Trees
imperial yes they were
tall a strong dark green
some with arms bent up at the sky
which by the way Sky did rain on me
a supple velvety soothing rain
i slipped a little higher
the rocks they opened their slate stained eyes
and the he snake slithered from their underneath
the rain she smelled like new born clay
the vitality of her holy droplets
caused the birds and lizards to come alive
in a jubilant resurrection
at which time i had ten hands
but i could still see my cut up shirt
doused in the liquid of the day
me thinks Dylan Thomas and i could have made love
in dream of mercy a girl laughing with the crimson ants
and the ashy grasshoppers orchestrated with their legs
auditory melodious delight
the horizon a throne
golden
filled with blue angels
as i tilted my face toward the west
the Queen Sun released me into sedation

© m m brazfield

mm’s site is: Words Less Spoken: Gen X’er chronicles the art form of living in the Angelino metropolitan environment through poetry, creative writing, art, photography, and culture.


A Dawn Chorus (Vacana 11)

O, Lady of the Breath.
how to arc in your air?

A dozen or more tiny caves
sing you into the world

from the trillbudded barkskin
volume and delivery

a root that connects with
its origin tree,

broadcasts to my ears,
territory songs,

and chat up lines, a Saturday
night on the town played out

on a morning before the wormshop,
home repair, teach bairns how to fly

© 2019, Paul Brookes

Inhale Dappled, A Perfumed Air

step through cast
illuminated windows
of tree crowns,

birdsong lilts blossom fall.
Key all senses keener.
See claw hunt feather.

Feathered mams rescue bairns
from hungry talons. Bigger birds
snatch fluffy kids from nests

to feed their young. Beetles battle
over territory. All fend, forage
in this vision of quiet.

© 2019, Paul Brookes

NEWS TODAY! –  There’s a lovely photo of Paul HERE for Wombwell’s Pride of Place Project and HERE is a link to a poetry reading Paul did that was recorded and posted on YouTube.

Paul Brookes, a stalwart participant in The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt, is running an ongoing series on poets, Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Connect with Paul if you’d like to be considered for an interview. Visit him, enjoy the interviews, get introduced to some poets who may be new to you, and learn a few things.

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

  •  Paul’s Amazon Page U.S. HERE
  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.K. HERE

More poems by Paul at Michael Dickel’s Meta/ Phore(e) /Play


A beautiful place for  mortal beings would be
the forests, let us for a while be nemophilists
and haunt the woods, step on pine needles,
hear nature’s soft rustling crunch  of love

let the sunshine seep down from entwined
embracing eternal friends of the verdant sea
rooted to the inner essences of fertile Mother
Earth’s endless riches of black gold firm holds’

at the foliage edge, divinity reveals the unseen
dome, its twinkling silver studded umbrella,epic
unmoved  whirling,unnoticed dissolving darkness-
Komorebi  awakens ferns to whisper prayers

so mortal brings can walk through a rainbow
with  feet on velvet green, breathe freshness
feed on fruit,hear  soft soothing sithurisms
no hate or conflict or curfew or cutting bonds

our mortal life  is love and beauty mystified
infirmity overtakes desire, our werifesteria
goes unsolved but in spirit we exist,witness
miracles, alive in soul we succumb to eternity

© 2019, Anjum Wasim Dar

Anjum’s sites are:

“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


The Maple at the End of My Street

The setting sun filters
Through your leaves
Highlighting the new
Yellows and oranges and reds
I see you
As I drive away
Every morning going
Through the motions
That life is ok
Even when it’s not
You filter the beauty
Back in my life
© 2019, Irma Do
.

Church Window In Trefriw

We’ve heard the Crafnant
since daybreak.
It’s chimed across pebbles,
gurgled under the bridge
beside the Woollen Mill
and now, it won’t leave us.

We’re learning its tune,
transcribing it to memory
while we explore
beneath wooden rafters:
stand in sudden stillness,
before a small window.

A small window
stained with poppy red
and summer-sky blue,
its figures so graceful,
and translucent
we wonder

if water rose up
from the nearby river,
held Mary and her Child
in its flowing mantle
and set them, smiling,
into their warm stone niche.

© 2019, Sheila Jacob

To purchase Sheila’s little gem of a volume, Through My Father’s Eyes (review, interview, and a sampling of poems HERE), contact Sheila directly at she1jac@yahoo.com


..no word..

that feeling, that

arrives unexpected from darkness, some winters’ mornings,

opening the door to the sound of one black bran bird calling.

track four repeated. that

comes on waking finding peace and comfort bound in clean
linen.

arises with perfume, an uncertain memory.

it may be chemicals, peptides in the brain as love, what
ever the germ or warfare

I find no word to describe, no random feather nor dust on
my plate. pass a finger.

that feeling of trimmed nails upon the keys pounding
words and silences.

while music plays. that feeling. that.

syrup stings my tongue.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

..wonder..

rhythms of black birds ; black jack ; flap jack stream of consciousness

these recollections ; another time eighteen hundred eighteen hundred …

i wish i wrote like others with words of wonder full syllables, bells ringing, you know.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

Sonja’s sites are:


Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZineand 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.

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * 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

Congratulations to Hallmark of Harmony, a premier men’s barbershop, a cappella chorus in Britain, for achievement in Chorus of Champions Competition

c Hallmark of Harmony, 2019

“We are back up in Sheffield now after one of the best weekends in this chorus’ history. We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed with the messages of love and support that we have received over the last couple of days. The British barbershop community is a truly wonderful thing and we are so proud to be part of it. There are far too many groups and individuals to thank but to everyone that has helped us on our journey, to everyone who stopped one of our members at convention to say congratulations and to everyone that has taken the time to send us a message since the weekend; we are eternally grateful and hugely humbled.” Hallmark of Harmony



We’re proud of and absolutely delighted for our friend and member of The BeZine core team, John Anstie (My Poetry Library and 42), and his friends and colleagues in Sheffield’s Hallmark of Harmony (HH) , a premier men’s barbershop, a cappella chorus in Britain.

Hallmark of Harmony logo (posted under Fair Use)

As part of a British Association of of Barbershop Singers 2019 Chorus of Champions Competition, HH just achieved best score of 83.2% under the musical direction of Tim Briggs.

John Anstie

Here is a sampling of HH in action. If you are viewing this from an email subscription, you’ll probably need to link through to the site to view the entire post. John is the gentleman on your left, second row, with hand over heart. The Hallmark of Harmony website is HERE.



ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poems in “I Am Not a Silent Poet”
* Three poems in Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
“Remembering Mom,” HerStry
“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