International Poetry Month, Co-hosted by Womawords Literary Press

Interview with Exiled Zimbabwean Poet on the Womawords Project, and …

Call for submissions to Daughters of the Earth Project, an international contest

Taken on a trip in 2016 with World Vision to Sierra Leone. Courtesy of Annie Spratt, Unsplash

I Read a Poem Today

I read a poem today and decided
I must deed it to some lost, lonely
fatherless child… to embrace her

along her stone path, invoke sanity
I want to tell her: don’t sell out your
dearest dreams or buy the social OS

Instead, let the poem play you like a
musician her viola, rewriting lonely
into sapphire solitude, silken sanctity

Let it wash you like the spray of whales
Let it drench your body in the music
of your soul, singing pure prana into

the marrow and margins of your life
Let your shaman soul name your muse,
find yourself posing poetry…

courtesy of Christine Wehrmeier, Unsplash

“They have the guns, we have the poets. Therefore, we will win.” Howard Zinn

……………. these
the quiet afternoons pulsing peace,
Bach on the radio, sustenance simmering
on the stove of my tranquility, the days
chasing night, the nights chasing day,
rhythms caressing my face, love-bites
armouring the leg of my being, heart
beating at one with the sighing Pacific
and only gratitude for the gift of life,
no more scandalized by the news of
death, baptism into heaven, whatever
that means
, but the reports center on
conflict, Palestine, Ukraine, Maghreb

easy to foment flash-points for horror,
even easier to forget…

A man evacuates a young bombing casualty after a reported air strike by regime forces and their allies in the rebel-held Syrian town of Maaret al-Noman in southern Idlib province, on 26 May 2019

what must it be like for you in your part of the world?
there is only silence, i don’t know your name, i know only
that the fire of Life makes us one in this, the human journey,
trudging through mud, by land and by sea, reaching for the sun
like entering a ritual river without a blessing or a prayer
on the street where you lived, your friends are all gone
the houses are crushed and the doves have flown
there is only silence, no children playing, no laughter
here and there a light remains to speak to us of loneliness,
yet our eyes meet in secret, our…

“I would go home in the evening and write short stories and mail them to magazine editors in New York. The stories, no matter how many times I rewrote them, were always returned, usually without comment, with unfailing promptness. I received so many rejection slips, and such an interesting variety, that I passed them neatly into a stamp collector’s album. The only consolation I ever got out of them for many years was in visualizing how big a celebration bonfire I could make with them when I had my first short story accepted and published in a magazine.” …

Growing Strong at the Broken Places

Courtesy of Philippe Leone, Unsplash

“Authors, like coins, grow dear as they grow old; It is the rust we value, not the gold.” — Alexander Pope

I come to this place of Elder Power through a cascade of chronic catastrophic illnesses and disabilities, which — like life — are ultimately fatal. Some have encouraged me to write from a clinical perspective. It would seem, however, that the clinical lessons have less significance than the life lessons. It is the life lessons that give us the strength to keep going, that are the true value to be shared, and that…


Courtesy of Tiago Moisés under CC0 Public Domain license via

“My disability exists not because I use a wheelchair, but because the broader environment isn’t accessible.” Stella Young, was an Australian comedian, journalist and disability rights activist. She was born with osteogenesis imperfecta and used a wheelchair for most of her life. When she was fourteen she audited the accessibility of the main street businesses of her hometown.

Throughout the month of February 2020 The BeZine blog [I’m the managing editor] is featuring a range of material on illness and disability in concert with Kella Hanna-Wayne’s YOPP!, a social justice blog dedicated to civil rights…

‘We should never have claimed that it was a novel that defined the migrant experience; we should not have said that Jeanine’s husband was an undocumented immigrant while not specifying that he was from Ireland …” Bob Miller (MORE), President & Publisher, Flatiron Books

“The fact that we [Flatiron Publishing] were surprised is indicative of a problem, which is that in positioning this novel, we failed to acknowledge our own limits. The discussion around this book has exposed deep inadequacies in how we at Flatiron Books address issues of representation, both in the books we publish and in the teams…

And in the darkness of that night, / he came to know himself as blight / Born upside-down and on a tether

Ryder-Waite Tarot Card / Public Domain

One iced night mom took his hand
and led the boy to a no man’s land
And in the darkness of that night,
he came to know himself as blight

Born upside-down and on a tether,
no turned up way to make him clever
Both heart and memory came away
with jilted mom on that crazed day

Excess baggage he seemed to be,
surviving much-grudged care you see
Imagined poems filled his dreams,
soulful skimming of raw life’s…

Jamie Dedes

A freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I manage The BeZine and The Poet by Day, an info hub for poets and writers.

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