Posted in The Sunday Poesy

THE SUNDAY POESEY: Opportunities, Events and Other Information and News

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CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Opportunity Knocks

TIN HOUSE Portland – Brooklyn is an American literary magazine and book publisher based in Portland, Oregon, and New York City. Unsolicited manuscripts for the book division are not accepted; but, the magazine reads unsolicited submission twice yearly: September and March. Some issues are themed. They do publish poetry.  Details HERE.

TINY TEXT was on hiatus but it’s back know. This is a Twitter published “LittleLit: Twitter-length fiction and memoir as well as Twitter-serials,” perhaps a different sort of challenge some of you might enjoy taking on. Twitter (@Tiny_Text). Email submissions/inquiries to teeny.tiny.text@gmail.com. You can sent up to three stories or memoirs. Include your name and contact information . Only publish prose of 140 characters or less including space. “Please allow four weeks to get back to you before sending more work or inquiring.”

THE NEWVERSE.NEWS “presents politically progressive poetry on current events and topical issues.” Details HERE.

EVENTS

14045622_1189093691143009_1003592093223782719_nPOETRY FLASH (Oakland, CA) alerts us that there “is still time exhibit your press, magazine, or organization at Watershed Poetry Festival on Saturday, Oct. 1, at Berkeley’s Civic Center Park. See exhibit info on the Watershed page, Poetryflash.org, or email info@poetryflash.org. Deadline: Sept. 24.

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100,000 AUTHORS FOR CHANGE (Cairo, Egypt), runs from Sep 24 at 6 PM to Sep 25 at 9 PM in UTC+02 مركز الجزيرة للفنون, Details: Facebook Page for this event.

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100,000 MIMES OR CHANGE (Cairo, Egypt) started on the first and continues through the 15th of September. Details: Facebook Page for this event.

NEWS from Big Bridge Press

Dear Friends of Big Bridge,

We are pleased to announce that our 20th Anniversary Issue of Big Bridge is up and ready for perusing and sharing. A big thanks to all the great contributors for making BB Volume 5 No. 4 such an awesome issue! Visit Big Bridge,  and check it out!

Some FEATURES for the current issue include:
A collaborative chapbook, Riddling by Lyn Hejinian and Jack Collom
Silliman Feature: Disappearing WYSIWYG Poetics and “From Universe”
“Poems and Other Myths”: A collection of spoken word poetry by women from Asia edited by Aditi Angiras, Elaine Foster, and Illya Sumanto
Greek Avant Garde Poetry collected and edited by Panos Bosnakis
An Anthology of Contemporary Nepali Poetry, compiled and edited by Keshab Sigdel
“Following Valente: An interview with poet-translator Peter Valente” by Neeli Cherkovski
Poems by Daniel Bănulescu translated from Romanian by Adam J. Sorkin and Lidia Vianu
from Fluid Fables by Hervé Le Tellier translated by Cole Swensen
“Silhouettes: A Random Collection of Italian Translations” by Dennis Formento
John Ashbery: The One of Fictive Music by Geoff Bouvier

We also have ART:
“Mathematical Constructions”: 17 Images by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen
“Detroit Proper”: A Photo Essay by Michelle Brooks
Jay Snodgrass brings us “Asemic Writing.”

We have REVIEWS:
Eliot Katz’ The Poetry and Politics of Allen Ginsberg reviewed by Jim Cohn
Disrupting Space, review by Andrew Houwen, Bearded Cones and Pleasure Blades: The Collected Poems by Torii Shōzō, Translated by Taylor Mignon
Down At The Deep End by Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore, The Ecstatic Exchange-2012 reviewed by Louise Landes Levi
Anarchy for a Rainy Day -Poems and collage by Valery Oisteanu, A Review by Allan Graubard
Mary Child’s review of translation of Shota Rustaveli’s The Knight in the Panther Skin by Lyn Coffin with Dodona Kiziria

And wonderful POETRY by Antonia Alexandra Klimenko, Arpine Konyalian Grenier, Art Beck, Dan Encarnacion, Daniel Y. Harris, Gabor Gyukics, Jameela Nishat, Jeff Harrison, Jeffery Cyphers Wright, John Swain, Kat Copeland, Liz Durand Goytia, Mark DuCharme, Mark Young, Maw Shein Win, Menka Shivdasani, Michael Castro, Mitko Gogov, Norman Dubie, Norman Fischer, Susan Lively, Ted Jean, Tisa Walden, Tom Hibbard, Tomas Sanchez Hidalgo, and Zazil Alaíde Collins

FICTION by Abigail Allen, J.R. Campbell, William Locke Hauser, Zak Block,
Ellis Hastings, Camille Meyer, Jim Meirose, S.C. Whaleyre and Mike Hogan

LITTLE MAGS features F(r)iction and Rivet magazines.

We hope you enjoy the 20th Anniversary Issue of Big Bridge. Please share it around.

Thank you again for your continued support!

Peace and love,

Michael Rothenberg
Terri Carrion
http://www.bigbridge.org

Kudos to Michael and Terri and to all the contributors featured in this issue.

HONORING THE ANNIVERSARY

THE POET BY DAY SUNDAY POESY

Submit your event, book launch and other announcements at least fourteen days in advance to thepoetbyday@gmail.com. Publication is subject to editorial discretion.

Posted in 100 000 Poets for Change, 100TPC

WAGING THE PEACE, a quick update …

13626573_529074297282475_2494432385093980550_nWaging the Peace, driving productive conversation and connection: Michael Rothenberg, co-founder of 100,000 Poets for Change,  just sent us the link to The BeZine’s page on the official 100TPC site. Our thanks to Michael, for doing this and for all that he and Co-Founder Terri Carrion are doing. They both rock big time!

People if you want to organize a gathering it’s not too late to register at 100TPC. You can do something as simple as having a small intimate group around you kitchen table, share your poetry, art and music and plan for a larger more visible event next year. As Michael Dickel says, “May peace prevail.”

Don’t forget Terri Stewart’s gathering, 100,000 Peacemakers for Change, at her church in the Seattle area. Notable: I think thanks to Terri this may be the first church to officially take up the banner. Hooray!

In the spirit of peace, love and community and
on behalf of The Bardo Group Bequines,
Jamie Dedes
Founding and Managing Editor, The BeZine

Posted in 100 000 Poets for Change, 100TPC

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Calls for Submissions

img_1061The gremlins (Priscilla Galasso, Steve and me) are busy behind the scenes, getting ready to bring you the September issue of “The BeZine,” which is focused on Environment/Environmental Justice as it is part of our 100TPC effort. Deadline is looming, so if it is your intention to submit, please send in your work on theme to bardogroup@gmail.com – today would be great as we are reading … let us know your status in the comments here. Thanks!

Note: Since I am working under two heavy-duty deadlines these next few days, I won’t post here again until Sunday.  J.D.

RELATED:

Posted in Poem/Poetry, Wednesday Writing Prompt, writing prompt

THAT WHITE WATCHUNG HOME, a poem … and your Wednesday writing prompt

img_1167I wonder if that old Watchung home still stands
or has it been demolished by developers building
rows on rows of barracks-like housing where
big maples used to rise to line the roadway
·
Driving up to that sprawling place, soundly built
and well-loved, a kaleidoscope of colors greeted us –
The burnished bronze of our uncle’s skin and the
brown-black of his doe eyes and dense curly hair
The azure sky and snowy clouds tumbling down to
top the perfect juicy purple of ripe Italian plums
and the brisk reds of beefsteak and plum tomatoes
The true-green of the too-long grass feathering the
rich chocolaty shades of the well-mulched earth
·
That antique home was pristine white with green trim
and such a busy, welcoming, wrap-around porch,
often with bushels of fruit and vegetables standing
in the company of freshly cut flowers piled and tossed
All waiting . . . for what and for whom?
The airy rooms were waiting too with windows
and doors thrown open to children like me breezing
in from the The City with our pallid skin and eyes
burning to see our uncle and some untouched nature
·
Well-worn carpets, Persian and Arabian, brushed bare feet
as searching room-to-room for hidden treasures and history
I marveled at the accoutrements of other decades –
the water pump, the dumb-waiter, the pull-chain water closet
Each room was a marvel of furnishings, fine wood and hand-turned
Drawers lined with newspapers, yellow and dissolving with age,
advertising corsets, questionable cures, and other ephemera of this
same place in times mostly forgotten except for stale news
telling its stories to the silence in chests mostly empty and untouched
The mammoth tables in the large white high-ceilinged kitchen and
the stately dining room with its chandelier and heavy drapes spoke of
more formal multi-generational dinners before these days of greater
mobility and the tech distractions of i-This and smart-That

The peaceable, sturdy safe-haven of that white Watchung home
matched the steady embrace of its woods and orchards
where a child like me could lie on the hardy ground,
sun blinding bright, browning spindly arms and legs, small body
soaking in rich damp earth, mind yawning, stretching, awakening
Imagination rising in mists of violet-grey shot with silver stories
and flaxen poems finding their way into the pages of a notebook
Such plum-sweet visions set free by that mystical place –
I wonder if it still stands in Watchung, if it remembers me
And how I loved it – I still do

WRITING PROMPT

I think a lot about houses and housing these days. Here in Silicon Valley there’s a critical shortage of housing in general and especially of affordable housing. I know several families who lost their homes when the housing bubble burst in the later part of the last decade. I have a neighbor who ended up on the street for two years . There are too many folks who make their way by couch-surfing or living out of their cars or trucks. We read in the papers about homeless children here and abroad and think and pray and do what we can for all those people sleeping in the rough, escaping violence in their homelands. I’ve always appreciated our homes, never anything fancy but definitely safe, clean and functional, and I remember warmly the homes and hospitality of friends and relatives with whom I stayed at different times when I was a child.

I’m sure you too have memories of the houses or apartments in which you grew-up or stayed when you were young. Maybe those memories are good. Maybe not. Either way, they probably remain vivid in your mind. Perhaps there was one thing – like the tree in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – that had special meaning or gave you hope. Outside the complex where my mother lived there were two berry trees, Mulberry perhaps, that I thought of as guardians of the building.

Write a poem or creative nonfiction piece about the house or apartment that most stands out in your memories of childhood and tell us what it meant to you, what was special or loathsome, what dreams you may have nurtured there, or how it might have fixed your vision of the home you’d have as an adult. Take your time and enjoy the process.

© 2016, words and photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

Posted in Poem/Poetry

the sun is in love with me, a poem

Morning Glory
Morning Glory

what a morning, good morning
burst of apricot, showering light
drizzling glee, a child’s laughter
if I had to live for just one day
it would be this one, morning-glory
nodding her bright-eyed blue head
and i know, there’s no such thing
no such thing as a death star
there’s only life, over hill and field
shining into windows, on warm grass
Look! the daisies are smiling
and the California poppies are
popping yellow like corn in a pot
the moon was muse last night
today the sun is in love with me

© 2013, poem and photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

Posted in The Sunday Poesy

THE SUNDAY POSEY: Opportunities, Events and Other Information and News

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CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS

Opportunity Knocks

INKITT, Story Peak Novel Contest: “Win one of three publishing offers from Inkitt! No submission fees!

“Submit your finished novel, 40,000 words or more – no fan fiction, no other limitations on genre! It’s time to bring your manuscripts into the light and show them off to the world. We are once again looking for three novels to publish!

“The three winners of the StoryPeak² Novel Contest will be determined by Inkitt based on how their novels perform amongst their readership. All authors will be given 100 copies of their novel to distribute to their readers. Authors have a dashboard where they can see how many people have ‘reserved’ their novel and the current level of their readers’ satisfaction.”  Details including terms HERE.  Deadline October 2. 

However: there have been some complaints: Inkitt spam.

THE CITY QUILL celebrates “new writers from all walks of life, no matter their age, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, ability, income, weight, height, education level, favorite color, or whatever. If you’re an unpublished writer, we want to hear from you. If you have been published before, we love you, but please don’t send us your work. Your submission will not be read.” Accepts poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Details HERE.

THE BROKEN CITY “is currently accepting submissions for its winter 2016 edition: Life of the Party. We’re looking for work that revolves around parties and celebrations, from the sophisticated to the debaucherous: soirées, shindigs, galas, cotillion balls, beer busts at The Moontower—if someone’s raising a glass, we want to know about it.”  The Broken City (Toronto) publishes poetry, fiction, essays, illustrations and photography. Deadline is: November 1, 2016. Details HERE.

HEADLAND, Literary Frontiers & Emerging Voices accepts submissions year-round. Deadline for Issue 8, closes on 7 October 2016. Publishes short fiction and creative non-fiction, not poetry. Details HERE.

THE McGUFFIN, a publication of Schoolcraft College, accepts poetry, fiction, nonfiction and images. Poetry may be “traditional, formal, free verse, and experimental poetry. Poems can be up to 400 lines. There are no subject biases.” Details HEREInfo on their call for art HERE.

SCHOLARSHIP

Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship established by the American poet Amy Lowell in her will is an annual scholarship to support travel abroad for gifted American-born poets. Deadline October 15. Details HERE.

EVENTS

THE FRENCH CONNECTION 2016, Friday, October 7th, 12:00 PM–1:00 PM, Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street, Chicago. Free admission: “To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the relationship between Chicago and Paris, the Chicago Sister Cities Paris Committee invites Chicago Slam Works to showcase the work of Collective 129H, poets/performers Rouda, Neobled, and Lyor. Together with Marc Smith, founder of the poetry slam, and Chicago Slam Works poets, they create a dynamic interpretive performance which can be easily understood, in real time, by both French and English speakers.” Details HERE.

POETRY IN DOWNTOWN BAY SHORE, Long Island, NY, September 10, 7 p.mJoin posts Matt Pasca (The Raven’s Wire) and Terri Muuss (Over Exposed) when they host every second Saturday at Cyrus’ for the kind of poetry, coffee, treats and open mic experience you’ve been looking for!!! Our features will move and inspire you with their honesty and scintillating presence. Open mic follows features, so bring your ukulele, cello, double bass, guitar, sonnets, spoken word, villanelles and more! This gathering will feature LIV MAMMONE and RICHARD JEFFREY NEWMAN. Details HERE.

PAUMANOK POETRY POW WOW, Long Island, New York Saturday, September 17, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m“The Nassau County Poet Laureate Society and the WWBA invite all the “poetry tribes” from the city’s five boroughs and Long Island for an afternoon of poetry readings from the tribes. There will be music, readings, workshops and refreshments ($10 admission fee).”  Details HERE.

NEIL STEINBERG “A Box Full of Darkness: Poetry, Addiction and Family.”  Thursday, September 8th, 7:00 PM, Steinber reads from his latest book, Out of the Wreck I Rise: A Literary Companion to Recovery Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street, Chicago. Free admission. Details HERE.

13TH ANNUAL PALM BEACH POETRY FESTIVAL is scheduled for January 16-21. (Sounds fabulous!) Details HERE.

PHOTOGRAPHY:

STANFORD PROFESSOR PUTS HIS ENTIRE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE ONLINE FOR FREE, D/Y Photography

PHOTOGRAPHS, COPYRIGHT GUIDELINES, U.K.

PHOTOGRAPHS, COPYRIGHT GUIDELINES, U.S.

PHOTOGRAPHS, COPYRIGHT GUIDELINES, CANADA

TIDBITS:

VOICES ABOVE THE CHOAS: FEMALE WAR POETS FROM THE MIDDLE EAST, The Guardian

Happy Holiday to everyone celebrating Labor Day and to those in Kerala celebrating Onam.

When Maveli ruled the land,
All the people were equal-
Times when people were joyful and merry;
They were all free from harm.
There was neither anxiety nor sickness,
Deaths of children were unheard of,
No wicked person was in sight anywhere
All the people on the land were good.
There was neither theft nor deceit,
And no false words or promises.
Measures and weights were right;
There were no lies,
No one cheated or wronged his neighbor.
When Maveli ruled the land,
All the people formed one casteless race

Thiruvathira_Kali_During_Onam

Photograph in the pubic domain. Photo and poem courtesy of Wikipedia.

THE POET BY DAY SUNDAY POESY

Submit your event, book launch and other announcements at least fourteen days in advance to thepoetbyday@gmail.com. Publication is subject to editorial discretion.

Posted in American She-Poets, Writers/Poets

POET, PLAYWRIGHT AND AUTHOR, Joyce Carol Thomas died

Joyce Carol Thomas, (1938-2016), poet, playwright and the author of more than 30 books for children and youth
Joyce Carol Thomas, (1938-2016), poet, playwright and the author of more than 30 books for children and youth

Joyce Carol Thomas was one of nine children born into a cotton-picking family in rural Oklahoma. She died last month on the 16th in Berkeley, California.

Ms. Thomas started out writing poetry and plays and then moved on to young adult fiction. Her first young adult novel,  Marked by Fire, was published in 1982 and won the National Book Award in 1983.

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She said in one interview, “I know of black boys and girls who squirm uncomfortably in their desks at the two-dimensional, unrelenting portrayal of young people as either victims of slavery or perennial do-rag wearers hanging out on a stoop next to a garbage can. There are black American stories somewhere between slavery and ghetto that also deserve telling.” Her work explored issues of identity and the experience of black lives in rural areas.

In addition to the National Book Award, she won the American Book Award, the New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year Award, Outstanding Woman of the 20th Century Award, three Coretta Scott King Honor Awards, the Center for Poets and Writers’ Poet Laureate Award, Kirkus Reviews Editors’ Choice, the American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, Book of the Month Club Selection, and others.  She received her undergraduate degree from San Jose State and a master’s from Stanford University and taught at several colleges.

Because I am dark, the moon and stars shine brighter.”

Her poetry collections included The Blacker the Berry and Brown Honey in Broom Wheat Tea, which both received the Coretta Scott King Book Award.

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When the berries in the jar
Are biscuit ready
I fix a cup of tea
Then spoon out biscuit jelly
For biscuit brown me
Joyce Carol Thomas

With the holiday’s coming sooner than we’d like to think: her books make great gifts for children and youth. Her board books are charming.

Photograph, courtesy of Ms. Thomas’ Amazon page.

Posted in Environment, Nature, Photograph/iPhoneography, Poem/Poetry

Monsters Rose, a poem

IMG_3835Monsters rose from scenes gone by
And things once green lie down and die
While hoary sighs from glaciers stream
Mountains shiver in warming steam
Bays, gulfs and oceans wealth abort
As oil spills spew, smother and thwart
And man leaves earth in sad deface
His husbandry a vast disgrace

“…the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.”
Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

Note: I generally dislike rhymed poetry and don’t particularly care for this. No idea why it came out this way but it does say what I want it to say. 

© 2016, poem and illustration, Jamie Dedes, All right reserved

Posted in Celebrating American She-Poets, Poem/Poetry, She-Poets, Writers/Poets

CELEBRATING AMERICAN SHE POETS (26): May Sarton … when poet becomes woman, “Sisters, My Sisters”

May Sarton (1912-1995), American poet, memoirist and novelist
May Sarton (1912-1995), American poet, memoirist and novelist

“The creative person, the person who moves from an irrational source of power, has to face the fact that this power antagonizes. Under all the superficial praise of the “creative” is the desire to kill. It is the old war between the mystic and the nonmystic, a war to the death.”  May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing

Eleanore Marie Sarton – nom de plume, May Sarton – was born in Ghent in Belgium to an English portrait-artist and interior-designer mother, Mabel Eleanor Elwes, and George Alfred Leon Sarton, a chemist and historian renown as the father of science history.

When the German invasion of Belgium began in August 1914 the family escaped to Mabel Sarton’s mother’s home in Ipswich, England. From there they traveled to America and settled in Boston so George Sarton could teach at Harvard University. May came from a family of gentle nonconformists and her maternal grandfather was among the original Fabians.

“Perhaps every true poem is a dialogue with God … when we are able to write a poem we become for a few hours part of Creation itself.” May Sarton in The Practice of Two Crafts, Christian Science Monitor (1974)

51ryhQbcxtL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_May Sarton’s parents did not belong to any church but she seemed to feel that her parent’s views were not inconsistent with those of the Unitarian Church.

Interviewed in The World in 1987, she told Michael Finley, “My father and mother believed that, though Jesus was not God, he was a mighty leader, and the spirit of Jesus, the logos of him, is the worship of God and the spirit of man.

“At the age of ten May was introduced to the Unitarian church by her neighborhood friend Barbara Runkle, whose family attended the First Parish in Cambridge. May was impressed by the minister, Samuel McChord Crothers, whose sermons she thought “full of quiet wisdom.” One sermon in particular, she recalled in her memoir At Seventy, 1984, “made a great impression on me—and really marked me for life. I can hear him saying, ‘Go into the inner chamber of your soul—and shut the door.’ The slight pause after ‘soul’ did it. A revelation to the child who heard it and who never has forgotten it.” The Encyclopedia of Unitarian and Universalist Biography

May began writing early and her first poems – sonnets – were published in Poetry magazine in 1930. Her other love was theatre and she abandoned a scholarship to Vassar to study theatre and to eventually found  a theatre company. However, in I Knew a Phoenix, Sketches for an Autobiography she wrote that when her first collection was published she focused on writing and “never looked back.”

Her novel Mrs. Stevens Hears Mermaids Singing is considered a “coming out” book and her work was then labeled lesbian and featured in women’s studies classes. She regretted the label seeing it as limiting, which it is.  May Sarton wrote about the experiences, fears and other emotions that are part of being human. Journal of Solitude, for example, is a meditation on aging and the changes aging brings to life, on solitude ( a frequent theme in her work), on love affairs and creativity. May Sarton’s true gifts are poetry and memoir and not to be missed. Her novels – as she knew and admitted – were good but not top-notch.

“Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is richness of self.”  May Sarton, Journey of Solitude

The following poem, Sisters, My Sisters, is one of May Sarton’s most well know poems. She reads it herself in this video. It was originally published in Kenyon Review in 1943 and is in Selected Poems of May Sarton.

If you are reading this in email, you’ll likely have to link through to the site to view it.

cover57866-medium“Nous que voulions poser, image ineffaceable
Comme un delta divin notre main sur le sable”
– Anna de Noaille

Dorothy Wordsworth, dying, did not want to read,
“I am too busy with my own feelings,” she said.

And all women who have wanted to break out
Of the prison of consciousness to sing or shout

Are strange monsters who renounce the measure
Of their silence for a curious devouring pleasure.

Dickinson, Rossetti, Sappho — they all know it,
Something is lost, strained, unforgiven in the poet.

She abducts from life or like George Sand
Suffers from mortality in an immortal hand,

Loves too much, spends a whole life to discover
She was born a good grandmother, not a good lover.

Too powerful for men: Madame de Stael. Too sensitive:
Madame de Sevigne, who burned where she meant to give

Delicate as that burden was and so supremely lovely,
It was too heavy for her daughter, much too heavy.

Only when she built inward in a fearful isolation
Did any one succeed or learn to fuse emotion

– May Sarton, excerpt from Selected Poems of May Sarton (recommended)

***

“Does anything in nature despair except man? An animal with a foot caught in a trap does not seem to despair. It is too busy trying to survive. It is all closed in, to a kind of still, intense waiting. Is this a key? Keep busy with survival. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.”
― May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude 

© portrait, Don Cadoret; poem, Sarton estate

Posted in 100 000 Poets for Change, 100TPC, Nature, Poem/Poetry, Wednesday Writing Prompt

the smell of wood, the scorch of fire, a poem … and Your Wednesday Writing Prompt

stumpsthis rough-barked sequoia stump, sitting in majesty
in its coastal home, victim of wildfire, burned down
to its gnarly roots, its nicks, holes and char, eons
of scars, life seemingly cut off, goddess snake alive
inside the concentric circles, the smell of wood and
scorch of fire, at the verge of our infinity, in its truth ~

pristine

rugged

pulsing

haunted by the geometry of limbs, the calculus of green,
the algebraic eloquence of a world within a world  ~

So present.

So essential.

So primal.

it sings to itself in the marrow of our bones

– Jamie Dedes

WRITING PROMPT

In preparation for The BeZine 100,000 Poets (and Friends) for Change

Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016

Theme: Environment/Environmental Injustice

This poem was originally written in 2014 for Wilderness Week. There were then and are now a number of fires raging in the western United States. Wildfires are a natural occurrence but since the 1980s they’ve been increasing due to human-caused climate change. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists . . .

Wildfires in the western United States have been . . . occurring nearly four times more often, burning more than six times the land area, and lasting almost five times as long (comparisons are between 1970-1986 and 1986-2003) ….. many of the areas that have seen these increases—such as Yosemite National Park and the Northern Rockies—are protected from or relatively unaffected by human land-use and behaviors. This suggests that climate change is a major factor driving the increase in wildfires.” MORE

We tend to look at these fires in terms of the expense incurred fighting them and the cost of lives, homes, habitat, wild life and so forth. However, there’s one consideration we may forget: Nature teaches us, comforts us, feeds us and is the ebb and flow of our spiritual and physical lives. The loss – the environmental injustice – is profound on more than a material level. This is what the smell of wood, the scorch of fire seeks to illustrate. “Nature” is who we are. Nature is us.

Write a poem or creative nonfiction piece on what the natural environment means to you and perhaps the sense of loss you feel as you note plants, animals, insects and wilderness that you’ve seen damaged or destroyed by climate, industry, overpopulation and whatever else has effected the area in which you live.

© 2014, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reservedPhoto credit ~Bay Nature.org: “The Bay Nature Institute, based in Berkeley, California, is dedicated to educating the people of the San Francisco Bay Area about, and celebrating the beauty of, the surrounding natural world. We do so with the aim of inspiring residents to explore and preserve the diverse and unique natural heritage of the region, and of nurturing productive relationships among the many organizations and individuals working towards these same goals.” Read more HERE.

You are invited to join The Bardo Group Beguines at The BeZine blog on Saturday, September 24 for 100,000 Poets (and friends) for Change.  Below is a list of more features to provide you with information. We hope you’ll join us.

RELATED:

Posted in 100 000 Poets for Change, 100TPC

SHAHEEN WOMEN’S RESOURCE AND WELFARE ASSOCIATION (India) organized a program for 100TPC with American Poet Dr Neal Hall

100TPC2014Logo8-27-16-full

To view the video if you are reading from email, please link through to the site.

Poet Neal Hall’s website is HERE.

Δ

A reminder to join us –  The Bardo Group Bequines – at The BeZine for 100,000 Poets (and other artists and friends) for Change (100TPC): on September 15th for the Zine and on September 24th for the 100TPC virtual event, which is celebrated from our blog.  The themes for both are Environment and Environmental Justice. Since this is a virtual event, you can participate from anywhere in the world.

Priscilla Galasso is the lead for the Zine in September.

Michael Dickel is the Master of Ceremonies for our 100TPC virtual event.

These are worthy efforts to:

  • help steer public discourse in a productive direction,
  • define issues and suggest possible solutions,
  • encourage consensus for the environmental and social good, and
  • connect people and raise the general consciousness.

Please do participate. All work will be archived on site and at Stanford University.

Zine submissions should be sent to bardogroup@gmail.com. Please read submission guidelines first. The deadline is September 10th.

Reader participation on the 24th for the virtual event is by way of the comments section or Mister Linkey. Michael will provide direction in his blog-post that day.

More detail is included in: If We Were Rioting in 120 Countries, You’d See Us on the 6 P.M. news: We’re not, so here’s everything you need to know about 100TPC.

Also of note, Michael Rothenberg, cofounder of the 100TPC global initiative, reminds everyone today that it is not too late to register as an organizer of an event.  While ours is a virtual event, people all over the world in 120 countries are sponsoring 500+ events to be held in homes, schools, places of worship, cafés and restaurants, parks, community centers and other sites where people gather. Link HERE to register.

By way of warm-up, this Wednesday, I’ll post a prompt on The Poet by Day related to the themes. 

In the Spirit of Peace, Love and Community
and on behalf of The Bardo Group Beguines,
Jamie

Posted in Art/Artists/Phographers, Poem/Poetry

On Regetting Its Death by Drowning, a poem

It’s always interesting, this business of feeding each other with our art and poetry . . . 

Paula Kuitenbrouwer (Mindful Drawing), a Dutch nature artist, told a story one day, a sweet tale of the near-death of a beetle at her home in the Netherlands.

The tranquil garden-drawing Paula completed to commemorate the day is lovely and the first line of her post is both an homage to her unutterable respect for life and absolute poetry filled with the promise of story.

“I found a Carabidae beetle in a bucket with water and regretted its death by drowning . . . “

The line put me in mind of Isak Dinesen‘s unforgettable opening for Out of Africa,

“I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills . . . “

Something about those perfect sentences lets you know there’s a good story to come. And there was.

“It lay there for at least an hour and I hoped so much it would give a sign of life. Then I did the most crazy thing imaginable; I turned it on its back, squeezed it gently, and gave it heart massage (don’t ask). Three drops of water came out. I have no clue why I did such a weird thing. Would somebody tell me he or she had given cardiac massage to a beetle, I would have laughed out loud.” Paula Kuitenbrouwer

And so the inspiration for this poem ~

the garden floating in violet and ruby hues,
by the side of the house, a beetle floats too,
so jewel-like, amethyst and brilliant against
the dull gray water, it does not move

it lies there still as the dead of noon across
a bone-colored desert, and her hand so white,
wing-like flutters against its rigor, laying it
on the table, by a pad to sketch with pencils

that minuscule life, no will to release it
into whatever beetle heaven there might be,
laying tender finger to knead a tube-like heart
holding her breath, willing air into spiracles

wishful thinking? a flicker from the antennae?
slight movement of a leg? perhaps, perhaps
some healing pressure, one gentle push,
three drops of water, success in late hours

to heal a beetle, to sketch in varied colors
with time to hug the child and sip hot tea …
a creature saved from a sad death by drowning
and cherish the mindful drawing for a memory

© 2012, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; Photo credit ~ David Wagner, Public Domain Pictures.net