But who will forgive God …

"The Apotheosis of War" 1871, Vasily Vereshchagin
“The Apotheosis of War” 1871, Vasily Vereshchagin

God is on our side …
without a shadow of a doubt
she said
no nay-saying her parents
her husband
the politicos and demigods
their war-mongering

her eyes hidden behind lashes,
hidden like a cat behind a couch,
watching them as they cut a swath
across the fields of the enemy
through the bully dust and mold
their stomp and posturing

no light shining on dark disorder
no joy in parting a sea of blood

they cut a swath …
like nature’s swath between her
breasts, where shadows of doubt
live behind the cleavage, captives
packed in a too-small cage,
specters beating at the bars




they know not what they do

God forgives them all, she thought
But who will forgive God

“O thou, who Man of baser Earth didst make,
And ev’n with Paradise devised the Snake:
For all the sin wherewith the Face of Man
Is blacken’d — Man’s forgiveness give — and take!”
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

Note: The photograph of The Apotheosis of War is in the public domain. Vasily Vereshchagin (1842-1904), Russian artist, dedicated this painting and one other – Left Behind  (a wounded Russian soldier abandoned by his comrades in arms) – “to all conquerors, past, present and to come ..”

© 2014, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

FRIDAY PHOTO FINISH: Scarlet Homilies, Snowy Lessons

photo 1-13Rose, heaven’s flower versed in grace,
from your subtle censers you dispense
on beauty, scarlet homilies,
snowy lessons in loveliness.
Frail emblem of our human framing,
prophetess of cultivation’s ruin,
in whose chambers nature beds
the cradle’s joys in sepulchral gloom.
So haughty in your youth,
presumptuous bloom,
so archly death’s approaches you disdained.
Yet even as blossoms soon fade and fray
to the tattered copes of our noon’s collapse -
so through life’s low masquerades and death’s high craft,
your living veils all your dying unmasks.

- Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

This post is dedicated to Imelda (My Wall), the queen of growing and photographing roses and other flowers.

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© 2014, photographs, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; poem in the public domain/source of translation unknown 

BARDO NEWS: The Bardo Group blog is merging with Beguine Again and transitioning to Terri Stewart’s leadership

Photo on 2014-03-31 at 17.16 #3I am pleased to announce today that I am passing the batton to Terri Stewart. The Bardo Group blog is in transition, but it will continue to post all work as usual and to host the scheduled special events. Terri has been a stalwart supporter and active contributor to and coordinator of and with The Bardo Group for several years now. She’s young, energetic, enthusiastic and smart and has the wherewithal to move forward to facilitate greater inclusion and encourage real social change.

Recently Terri was awarded a grant for the community blog, Beguine Again, which she founded. The two blogs will merge, creating a larger and more diverse venue. Your ideas and input to this process are welcome and Terri will tell you more about that and more about what promise our future as a community might hold.

I am pleased that Terri has agreed to take charge since I find I am no longer able to give the blog and the community the attention and nurturing they deserve and need to continue to evolve and grow. I’ve appreciated your support, encouragement and contributions over the years and I’m confident you will offer the same to Terri.

I’ll remain as a member of the core team. The blog will move forward with Victoria’s Writers’ Fourth Wednesday as usual and with plans for Wilderness Week at the end of this month and 100,000 Poets, Musicians and Artists for Change event scheduled to begin on September 27.

In the spirit of peace, love and community,





terri2Hi all! I am delighted that Jamie asked me to envision a joining of our two communities. I don’t know what this will look like in its entirety, but I am excited about the prospect of joining the ethos that each community brings. I know The Bardo Group to be a place that focuses on the arts as a path to greater communication and peace. Beguine Again is a community that focuses on spiritual practices upholding the core value of nonviolence through the observance of mindfulness, prayer, joy, thoughtfulness, gratitude, sabbath, and inspiration

I have received a grant to take BeguineAgain.com to the next level by incorporating more thoughtful and personal practices. That will be incorporated throughout the next year by offering a series of classes and personal/private discussion groups that will be available through a subscription model. However, the basic structure of BeguineAgain.com will still be one of free & open blog posts that encourage the core practices that so many of us hold dear.

I am so grateful for the work that Jamie and the incredible team she assembled has done to bring The Bardo Group to the point of being a thriving, creative community. I was delighted when she asked me to be the Sunday Chaplain. It was a great opportunity to focus on creating sacred space in our midst. Sacred space – a place that offers healing and holding – is a goal in all that I do. And I am hopeful that you will all gather around as we co-create a new future together!

I look forward to incorporating the traditions of The Bardo Group with the traditions that have started at BeguineAgain.com. I believe there is a lot of synergy between the two communities and that we can grow and learn together.

Please contact me with any thoughts, concerns, or questions you may have!





TERRI STEWART has served for several years as The Bardo Group Sunday chaplain, senior content editor, and site co-administrator. She comes from an eclectic background and considers herself to be grounded in contemplation and justice. Terri is the founder of the online spiritual community for nonviolence, Beguine Again. She is the Director and Founder of the Youth Chaplaincy Coalition that serves youth affected by the justice system. As a graduate of Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry, she earned her Master’s of Divinity and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Spiritual Direction. with honors and is a rare United Methodist student in the Jesuit Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Nu. She is a contributing author to the Abingdon Worship Annual. (The 2014 issue just released!)

Terri’s online presence is “Cloaked Monk.” This speaks to her grounding in contemplative arts and the need to live it out in the world. The cloak is the disguise of normalcy as she advocates for justice and peace. You can find her at http://www.cloakedmonk.com, http://www.twitter.com/cloakedmonk, and http://www.facebook.com/cloakedmonk. To Terri for conversation, send a note to terris@beguineagain.com.