The BeZine, June 2017, Vol. 3, Issue 9


June 15, 2017

The environmental  challenges are complex, an understatement I know.

  • Big Ag pollutes our waterways and groundwater, air and soil. Some wetlands, rivers and their tributaries can no longer sustain life. Much pastureland is befouled with pesticides, animal waste, phosphates and nitrates and other toxic residue from unsustainable farming practices.
  • Sudan Relief Fund, World Food Program, Oxfam, Catholic Relief Fund, Buddhist Global Relief, the World Food Program and many other organizations are working to mitigate widespread  hunger, which is a problem of economic injustice as well as environmental degradation and environmental injustice.
  • Drought and resulting famine are devastating the Sudan, the West Upper Nile and Yemen.
  • In many areas of the world, access to potable water is sorely lacking.
  • Lack of access to clean water is exacerbated by a want of toilets for some 4.2 billion people, which has a  huge impact on public health.  The result of…

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Posted on June 14, 2017 by The Bardo Group Beguines Remembering the Farm

I remember a farm where grasses grew
wild flowers scattered over their jewels
enriching the meadows where cattle grazed
and every August with horses we made hay.

The land was productive and the cattle thrived
and gentle the rain that watered the soil:
the summers were long and the children swam
in the waves lapping beaches of silvered sand,

for the cattle provided pure milk by the gallon
that was milked every morning and collected
in churns, it tasted so sweet fresh from the udder.

The grasses provided sweet hay for both horse cattle.
I remember the haymaking, pitching grass on the fork;
the haycocks rising their mounds on the fields
to dry in the long days of summer’s sure sun,

but that was before the farms turned to spreading
chemicals promising ever increasing production
the flowers vanished together with the bees and
the meadows no longer held cattle and horses,
for the cattle are housed in great lines of production

and their milk is pumped into vats for pasteurisation.
Its delivered in plastic that needs recycling or lands
in the sea we once swam in so freely but now is awash
with fish that are dying and fishermen’s catches grow

ever smaller as the boats that caught mackerel no longer
tie-up at the jetty we walked to on Sundays, to buy mackerel
for dinner – they’re gone with the summer and the pure spring
water we drank by the bucket from the clear mountain stream.

© 2017, Carolyn O’Connell

Best Places to Submit Poetry: A Ranking of Literary Magazines by John Fox + updated with payment/submission fees

Best Places to Submit Poetry: A Ranking of Literary Magazines by John Fox + updated with payment/submission fees

Trish Hopkinson

Thanks to John Fox for putting together this amazing list of Best Places to Submit Poetry. He actually went through 5 years worth (2011 – 2015) of the anthology The Best American Poetry to see where the poems had been originally published. The result was a list of 147 literary magazines. I took this list a step further–made sure the lit mag was still around, checked their payment level, and whether or not they charge submission fees. My updated table is below.

Definitely check out John Fox’s web site Bookfox. He tells his story on the About page and offers some incredible resources for writers, such as the Best Places to Submit Poetry list and other rankings like 100 Best Literary Magazines for Fiction. You can subscribe to his monthly email newsletter here:

“Bookfox is my gift back to the literary community that supported me through my…

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The Silence of Shock by Maggie Mackay

I am not a silent poet

Students, all women in our freshest years,

we settled on landings with mugs of tea,

never thought to lock our doors,

and, late into the night as Sweet Baby James

floated up the stairwell, we gossiped, fell out,

time -shared bedrooms for lover trysts.

Then she disappeared,

that girl of the fiery perm and Scouser sound.

We wondered in the silence.

Her space filled over

like a river after extreme rainfall.

I imagined her walking back after drinks at the Union,

in her silk halter neck and corduroy flares,

humming Joni Mitchell in her head,

caught in a clutch, dragged into a flowerbed,

calling for her Mum.

We stopped walking alone.

We avoided the garden. Then we forgot.


Maggie Mackay is a brave-hearted Scot and a final year MA Poetry student at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has work in various print and online publications, including A New Manchester Alphabet

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Alone, not alone by Bethany Rivers

I am not a silent poet

What is this lonely life where

things come at you from all sides?

Children killed in a bomber’s wake

families keen & weep,

homes full of heartbreak.

Only the night before, I was standing

on a bridge over the canal, just another

one of nature’s daughters; streetlamps

reflected in long halos in the dark night

held in the dark water.

An alone moment after social nibbles

in a local pub, after a celebration of words,

poetry, humanity.  This morning, I’m alone

and I hear all the news all over the net:

ice cracks a lake open, winds

creak in the star reaching pines,

a deep silence of solidarity.


Bethany Rivers (M.A.)
Debut pamphlet due out 22nd July, OFF THE WALL from Indigo Dreams Publishing

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This is not about the children by Bethany Rivers

I am not a silent poet

The children go to bed each night

afraid for morning to come

tomorrow might be the day

when they’re thrown out

left to die on the streets

The children wake early each morning

afraid there won’t be enough

food in the house

not enough money

to buy milk and bread

The children fall ill from school

where they’re told everyday

they’re no good, they’re lazy,

they’re only good as sweepers

for other people’s shit

The children are dying

ignorant of arts, sciences,

history, philosophy, self-esteem,

but we can’t prosecute the parent –

we voted them in

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