Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Wandering Peace Corp Pilgrim & Contemplative Poet

not often

he made love, he remembered
each instance:
once as a cold cloud moving through
rhododendron branches.
once as a sea of warm moonlight
casting stark shadows below the limbs of a budding cherry.
once as a heartbeat, steady.

One of the things I enjoy about Tom BeeBe's blog and emails is that he shares an open heart directly from his travels. There is wisdom, humor and an unpretentious grace than comes from both direct exposure to the plight of humanity and from the humility of realizing how interconnected our lives really are.

All of the photos featured here were shot by Tom during his travels. Please refer to his blogspot for more delights:  Tom Beebe

my wishes

are like the legs of a giraffe
reaching impossibly
wobbling about in their steady gait
sometimes running, sometimes walking
all elbows and knees

it started as trousers
that he simply outgrew.
He reused every thread and
made himself a coat.
Then summer came
and with what was left of his coat
he made a shirt.
He wore it every day
until it became rags,
and from the rags he
wove a hat.

and finally, mercifully,
the wind took the hat away, it was gone.

The Best Teachers.... by Tom BeeBe

...sometimes appear for us in unexpected places.

I love this picture.  It was taken at a mosquito net distribution event in a rural part of Senegal, the event  is supported by StompOutMalaria and the current President's Malaria Initiative. Malaria is one of the leading killers of children on the continent of Africa and worldwide.  2,000 children per day, or one child every 45 seconds or so, die of malaria.  The PMI has the ambitious goal of achieving universal coverage of all malaria-effected areas with mosquito nets, to protect people in the places that they sleep and prevent the spread of the disease by mosquitos from person to person.  StompOutMalaria is the signature 50-year-anniversary Peace Corps initiative to support the PMI.  Some of the community programming models of Senegal have become showcase examples for other African countries to consider in implementing their own strategies.  

Kids like this guy could teach us all an important lesson, don't you think? "

For Tom's insights and comments on Human Trafficking Prevention go here:

Tom Beebe on Human Trafficking Prevention

Thank you Tom for your service to others through the Peace Corps!

About the author:

Tom Beebe has worked for the Peace Corps as a volunteer for 5 terms of service spanning 25 years in the following countries: 

West Africa - Niger - 1986-1988
East Africa - Kenya - 2001
USA - Gulf Region - Katrina Response - 2005
Southeast Asia - Philippines - 2010
East Africa - Tanzania - 2011. 

He has also worked for FEMA, US Crisis Corps, League of Conservation Voters, Citizen Action.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Three Poems & Villanelle by Jim Dunlap

        for Aerie

With winds awhistling through the trees
and air sprites dancing on the breeze,
you'll hear the pipes from Éirinn’s lands -
mayhap a leprechaun might sneeze
at swirling faery dust - like bees
that swarm in clouds of floating strands.
Minutest drops of molten gold
soon fill the air a thousand fold -
and glittering, these tiny specks
may whisk you high and break your hold
on gravity - these tiny flecks
may still your breath till you grow cold.
Will O’ the Wisp, slight airborne grams
dance to the tunes of faerie bands -
and when it’s done you’ll fall asleep
while counting reams of golden sheep.

Nary an Accolade

If leaves in summer failed to fade,
they'd garner nary an accolade 
when autumn brushed the hills and dales,
and Jack Frost whistled storms and gales.
Ice Kings would genuflect in awe,
while vainly winter's storms would claw,
and flowers withering would fold
in anguish from the bitter cold -
yet all the while and all the when
the earth would tuck its bowers in,
embellishing this brilliant scene
with landscapes swathed in Irish green.

Bon Soir au Château de Chillon

Isolated on an island it sits:
Le Château de Chillon quite subtly preens,
former dark dungeon of dank cells and pits.

Maudlin gloom closes in these tainted scenes.
Some say the castle’s haunted, imbuing
phantasmagoric phantoms; history* leans

back toward murky primal forests, fleeting
glimpses of helmed Crusaders, bronze age men
encamped on this very site, their being

frozen by the mists of time; every hillock
and outcrop of stone embellishes flame
burnishing these walls, seeming to mock

sunset, whose beauteous hues, whose frame
personates this stone-mortar haughty dame.

A Hard Sell is the Villanelle

Of all the forms I’m wont to peruse,
the villanelle is the dastardly worst--
they're still, after the sonnet, the one I most use.

Sometimes writing them gives me the blues;
I only write them if I’m vilely coerced--
of all the forms I’m wont to peruse ...

they don’t lend themselves to idle shmooze,
or incite me to write with fiery thirst--
but after the sonnet, the one I most use,

and the villanelle is least loved by my muse,
while no doubt foolish--I still plunge headfirst--
of all the forms I’m wont to peruse--

in contests, they usually help me to loose.
Sometimes I even feel that I’m cursed--
but after the sonnet, the one I most use

is the villanelle.  I suffer many a bruise
with the villanelle; though I’m well versed--
in all the forms I’m wont to peruse,
they’re, after the sonnet, the one I most use.

Jim Dunlap was  born in Keokuk, Iowa, Jan. 3, 1945.  He is a poet who has been published extensively in American small press magazines, in England, France, India, Australia, New Zealand, and online in Switzerland, England, Australia, New Zealand, and overall in many U.S. journals.  

Jim is currently a Controller on Poetry Life & Times’ Facebook page,  is a seven year past Newsletter Editor for the Des Moines Area Writers' Network, Book Editor for The New Pleiades Poetry Anthology (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada/ Las Vegas, NV, USA),  co-author (with 5 others) of Five Gates of Poetry, author of "Entwined In Wonder" (by himself), and co-author (with 3 others), of The MysticEast Poetry Anthology (India).  co-Editor of Sonnetto Poesia, and he has been published in over 90 publications, including Potpourri (Prairie Village Kansas), Candelabrum (Wisbeck, England), Mobius, the Paris/ Atlantic (Paris, France), Plainsongs (Nebraska), and online in Poetry Life and Times, Poetry Repair Shop, and many others.  He has been in the Writer's Digest top 100 in 3 categories, rhymed verse, unrhymed verse and the literary short story. He is listed in the Marquis Who's Who In America, the Marquis Who's Who In The World, and in the Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers which is a publication of Poets and Writers Magazine.

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Journey Into the Mystical Feminine with Raine

 The Last Letter 
   by Raine © Inner Voice Art

Raine's digital art collages are pure magic! There are such rich images with a glorious display of the femme in all of her many shapes, colors and shades of's completely irresistible!

Please enjoy her art and visit her web page where you can purchase cards, arts prints.  Also, "like" her on Facebook!

Inner Voice Art Facebook Page
Inner Voice Art Website

 When Hearts Are Trumps 
    by Raine © Inner Voice Art

"She Knew it Was Time To

by Raine © Inner Voice Art

Smoldering Passion from the Heart of a Woman - Tara Evonne Trudell

Poetry by Tara Evonne Trudell

I told you
how I felt
about being
a woman
on her path
my love
for earth
my emotions
with storms
my essence
of dirt
my passion
in landscapes
my taste
for falling
I shared
how I knew
my life
to be
the healing
and the hurt
making me
what you see
before you
baring soul
and skin
loving connecting
broken bits
of me
unafraid revealing
in the telling
showing you
how briefly
we are


Tara Evonne Trudell, a mother of four, is full-time student at NMHU
working on her BFA in Media Arts with an emphasis in film, audio, and
photography. It is through this expression of art, combined with her
passion for poetry that she is able to express fearlessness of spirit for her
family, people, community, social awareness, and most importantly her
love of earth.

and the poet
each other
our way
with words
trading poetry
off the heart
me feeling
like Neruda
his soul
to Matilde
spoken thoughts
of love
I stood
so still
just to feel
his words
have their way
with me.

tara evonne trudell c/s

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Whispers of a Celestial Treat with Ashok K. Bhargava

Dew drops form
then fall
only to gradually form again
deep in the dark woods.

Fireflies flash their lights
then hide to shine again.

Dreams, embroidered in
silk-thread designs
shimmer like fireflies
sweet memories
                                                                           revoke to evoke again

Celestial Treat

Your thumbs
hard pressed on my neck
move down
kneading my spine
skillfully relieving
With a firm grasp
and a sudden jerk
you weed
the tough roots
of my knuckles
to a painful relief.
Your palms
rub my soles delicately
stimulating sensations
as I lie down on the floor.
The moon gleams
through the window
your shadow falls on me
bigger than you are today
or you would ever be.

Ashok Bhargava is a multilingual poet and essayist. He has published 4 books of poetry in English. He has been featured on CBC Radio and Chanel M TV as well as Word On The Street, Explorasian and Chapter’s Under The Cherry Tree. He has been published in many literary magazines and anthologies. He is recipient of Pot Ambassador Award, Lifetime Achievement and Empowered Speaker awards. Recently he was honored by University of British Columbia with a Humanitarian award. He is an avid volunteer, supporter & organizer of various social and artistic activities. He is a founder of Writers International Network Canada.  He believes that volunteering enriches us spiritually. He finds living between cultures and languages very intriguing and stimulating.

Click here to Ashok Bhargava!