The BeZine, June 2019, Vol 6, Issue2: SustainABILITY

“Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own – indeed to embrace the whole of creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder. Recognizing that sustainable development, democracy and peace are indivisible is an idea whose time has come.”  Wangari Maathai


We are awash in righteous – and not so righteous – concerns and obsessions: race-and-gender-based inequities, war, greed, hunger, religious and ideological differences, displacement and migration, and leadership that is too often vapid, ignorant and unspeakably cruel. We think of the times as being dark and suffocating, light obscured by dense and low-hanging clouds, but maybe – just maybe – there is a ray of sunshine, a breath of fresh air. And maybe, just maybe, that’s all we need. Let’s take that sliver of light, that breath of fresh air, and build a future. This is a battle for the world in which our children will grow old and our grandchildren will grow up.

Perhaps, Wangari Maathai (1940-2011), Kenyan social, environmental and political activist and the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, is right. The solutions are all of a piece: in the process of addressing our most immediate and pressing concern, the concern that is universal, environmental sustainability, we will mitigate hunger, migration, war, division, and greed. SustainABILITY requires that we work together. We’re not talking Utopia here.  We’re talking collaboration and compromise, imperfect but functional.

SustainABILITY is rooted in the People (that would be you and me) who pull together to successfully tackle environmental concerns as the people have in efforts like Wangari’s Green Belt Movement in Africa, the tree-planting and intensive agriculture programs in China (including China’s Three North Shelter Forest Program) and in India.


Wangari Maathai speaking at the World Social Forum courtesy of The-time-line under CC BY-SA 3.0


“A tree has roots in the soil yet reaches to the sky. It tells us that in order to aspire we need to be grounded and that no matter how high we go it is from our roots that we draw sustenance. It is a reminder . . .  that we cannot forget where we came from . . . our power and strength and our ability to reach our goals depend on the people, those whose work remains unseen, who are the soil out of which we grow, the shoulders on which we stand.”  Wangari Maathai



This quarter we bring you work by talented, responsible, inspired, and sometimes discouraged artists. We also bring you fact-based hope, proven ideals and ideas, and a fair number of resources.

On behalf of The Bardo Group Beguines,
and in the spirit of love (respect) and community,
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 or you can click HERE and scroll through the entire Zine.

BeATTITUDES

In Infinitum Terrae, Corina Ravenscraft
Bird Brains, Naomi Baltuck
Three Pillars of Just and Stable Societies, Wangari Maathai
Two Reminders, Mary Bone
Fiqoo, the Farmer, and the March of the Water Drops/a fable, Anjum Wasim Dar

THE GREENING OF THE PLANET

“The planting of a tree, especially one of the long-living hardwood trees, is a gift which you can make to posterity at almost no cost and with almost no trouble, and if the tree takes root it will far outlive the visible effect of any of your other actions, good or evil.”  George Orwell

China and India Lead the Way in Greening, Abby Tabor, NASA Ames Research Center with Mike Carlowicz, Earth Observatory
The Great Green Wall of Africa, BBC
Wangari’s Trees of Peace, A True Story from Africa, Jeanette Winter
Planet: Safe, Healthy, and Green, Anjum Wasim Dar
UNESCO’S Man and the Biosphere Programme to designate new Biosphere Reserves, International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere

THE MEMORY

“Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.” Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Box, Anne Stewart
Thinking green would just be there, Linda Chown
The Smell of Wood, The Scorch of Fire, Jamie Dedes

THE PLEASURES

“It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility. ” Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder

Brother Francis and Sister Moon, Sheila Jacob
Head Over Heals, John Anstie
my eyes are deaf, my eyes hear a song, Jamie Dedes

THE HEARTACHE

“. . . there’s no such thing as perfect despair.” Haruki Murakami, Hear the Wind Sing

The Crab, Michael Dickel
A Climate of Change, Joseph Hesch
From the Butcher’s Blade, Jamie Dedes


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.


 


 

Turning Pain Into Beauty … Deena Metzger, a triumph of tattoo and poetry over mastectomy

c Jamie Dedes

My mom had her first mastectomy in 1949 when she was pregnant with me.  Things were different then. Mom and her contemporaries had no support after mastectomy. They had the surgery, were sent to get fitted for prostheses … and that was that. There were no hospital or clinic classes in art and poetry for healing. There were no support groups, no talk therapy. Perhaps worst of all, there was no privacy about medical records. My mother actually turned down a promising job opportunity because the firm’s board members wanted to review her medical records before hire.

Things have improved since Mom’s day, thank goodness. Privacy and rights are better protected. There’s patient support available before, during and after mastectomy. There are more options after recovery then chosing between having or not having prostheses. I’m artsy enough myself, I guess, that I love – and am touched – that some women choose to cover their scars with gorgeous, colorful and creative designs like the one below, which triggered this post. Allegedly Facebook kept taking this photograph down, seeing it as offensive. Who knows? Maybe they do. Maybe they don’t. I can’t image why they would. This is a brave and beautiful thing. There’s nothing obscene about it.
11156334_10153170849803886_8901359381613103_n-1

Tattoos over breast-surgery scars started – as far as I know – with a poet and writer, Deena Metzger:

c photo by Hella Hammid

c photo by Hella Hammid

Deena (b. 1936), the proud Amazon. This photograph of her is iconic and became – with the addition of the verse below – “The Poster,” which was designed by Sheila Levrant de Bretteville.

I am no longer afraid of mirrors where I see the sign of the amazon, the one who shoots arrows.
There was a fine red line across my chest where a knife entered,
but now a branch winds about the scar and travels from arm to heart.
Green leaves cover the branch, grapes hang there and a bird appears.
What grows in me now is vital and does not cause me harm. I think the bird is singing.
I have relinquished some of the scars.
I have designed my chest with the care given to an illuminated manuscript.
I am no longer ashamed to make love. Love is a battle I can win.
I have the body of a warrior who does not kill or wound.
On the book of my body, I have permanently inscribed a tree.

© Deena Metzger

If The Poster had come out when my mother was alive, I’d have bought it and had it framed for her.

*****

Deena Metzger is a American writer and poet, essayist and screenwriter, an advocate and counselor. Her book Writing for Your Life: A Guide and Companion to the Inner World (Harper One, 1992), is ideally suited for those of us who see writing as a spiritual practice. Her website is HERE.

Appropo our upcoming June issue of The BeZine, I particularly appreciate Deena’s essay, The Language and Literature of Restoration..  I think the quotation (below) is relevant to our concerns for our earthly environment, which is the focus of the June issue.  Deena is holding us – lovers of nature, writers, poets,  and lovers of the arts – accountable for our part in what comes next, extinction or survival.

“Extinction stalks us. Not an act of God, but a consequence of how we have chosen to live our lives. Such choices are handed to us by language and literature. Literature that is reduced to media, obsessed with violence, conflict, sensationalism, nationalism and speciesism. We are each responsible – we participate – no exceptions. The antidote for extinction is restoration. Languages and literatures that lead toward restoration are essential. So we have to try ….” MORE

Note: The BeZine is a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines.

© 2016, words and mother/daughter photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; © Deena’s photograph and poem Deena Metzger.


“THE BeZINE” CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS thebezine.com is open for the upcoming June edition to be published on June 15, deadline June 10. This is an entirely volunteer effort, a mission. We are unable to pay contributors but neither do we charge for submissions or subscriptions. The theme is sustainability. We publish poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, feature articles, art and 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 bardogroup@gmail.com No odd formatting. Submit work in the body of your email along with a BRIEF bio. 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.

– Jamie Dedes 

“The BeZine” Call for Submissions; Sundress Publications, Editorial Internship; Reminders

“Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.”
Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach and Other Poems



“THE BeZINE” CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS thebezine.com is open for the upcoming June edition to be published on June 15, deadline June 10. This is an entirely volunteer effort, a mission. We are unable to pay contributors but neither do we charge for submissions or subscriptions. The theme is sustainability. We publish poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, feature articles, art and 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 bardogroup@gmail.com No odd formatting. Submit work in the body of your email along with a BRIEF bio. 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.

SUNDRESS PUBLICATIONS seeks an Editorial Intern. The application deadline is June 1, 2019.

REMINDERS:

  • THE RAYMOND CARVER SHORT STORY CONTEST closes in just two days, May 15. Entry fees. Cash award. Details HERE.
  • THE MASTERS REVIEW, A Platform for Emerging Writers flash fiction contest closes on May 31. Entry fees. Cash awards. Details HERE.
  • THE MASTERS REVIEW, A Platform for Emerging Writers New Voices call for submissions is open year round and there is no submission fee. Fiction and narrative non-fiction to 7,000 words. Paying market. Details HERE.
  • ELECTRIC LIT call for submissions to The Commuter closes this evening. Details HERE.

ABOUT

CELEBRATING MOTHERS EVERYWHERE: A Special Mini Edition of The BeZine

“My mother: She is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her.” Judi Picoult


Dedicated  to moms everywhere and in every time

I live in the United States where we traditionally celebrate Mothers’ Day in May, but the acknowledgment of mothers, mothering, and maternal bonds is not unique to this time and place. Simply put, Mothers’ Day in the U.S. reminds me to do something special and always this recognition includes all those fathers and grandfathers, aunts and uncles, older siblings and family friends … sometimes even teachers or neighbors … who fulfill the role of mother for those children who have lost theirs.

Truth to tell, this is an accidental edition of The BeZine, totally spontaneous. I asked our core team if anyone had mom material at the ready. I was thinking in terms of one or two blog posts. Some did and, as though my mind was read, a couple of writers coincidentally contacted me asking if I would publish a poem they’d written for their mother or for Mothers’ Day.  Why not? I put out a call to a few other gracious people and voilà! … an unexpected delight.

These are largely poems of love and gratitude (grab a hankie) including a sweet and well-written poem from Kennedy Stewart, our youngest contributor yet. Please enjoy this charming and thoughtful compilation and forgive me for making a quick and casual job of it.

Thanks to all our devoted, generous, and prescient contributors.

Illustration courtesy of Mohamed Mohamed Mahmoud Hassan, Public Domain Pictures.net

On behalf of The Bardo Group Beguines,
and in the spirit of love (respect) and community,
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 or you can click HERE and scroll through the entire zine.

The Ballad of Stabat Mater, John Anstie

His Mother Bellows, Paul Brookes

Magnum Opus, Natalie Baltuck

Disjunction (in English and Albanian), Frank Buzhala

Your Magic, Loving, Linda Chown

Out of the Womb of Time, Jamie Dedes

A Separate Peace, Jamie Dedes

Tribute, Sharon Frye

Those Before Me, Sharon Frye

Letter to My Mother: The Only Inhabitant of Heaven, Iulia Gherghei

Conflict, Silva Zanoyan Merjanian

“Broken Homes” … Single Moms, Remarkable Son, Gil Scott-Heron

The Apple and the Tree, Kennedy Stewart

Mothers’ Day, Different Thoughts, Anjum Wasim Dar


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.