foothills publishing

Journey to the Beloved by nur alima schieBeare

journey
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By g emil reutter
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nur alima schieBeare is a poet who is spiritual, reflective, a true believer with a dash of radical thought. schieBear has studied meditation and religions most of her life, a seeker of the answer. Journey to the Beloved is a weave of religion, music, love, nature, politics and jazz. These poems are not naïve as schieBeare has been around the block a few times as they say. An activist her plate is always full. Yet this poet brings us poems such as the first two stanzas of Birth Place:
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how beautiful to live beyond the earth
to stream through darkest reach of space
a trail of luminous particles
a comet of sweeping light
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to dance with planets
and whirl with suns
pausing to turn in the pulsing orbit
of sonorous elder beings
singing their harmonies for eons
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These outstanding images bring the reader into the poem and at some points you can actually see schieBeare dancing with the planets above. Her musicality comes through in the first stanza of Autumn Sounds:
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today the warmth of summer’s in the air
insects singing, dancing
in the golden mist
but quietly in the background
the voice autumn
sounds its warning
whispering ending…ending
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It is evident again in the two stanzas of Poem of Life:
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an interactive interweaving tapestry
of movement voices
cacophony of existence
we sing our heart songs
to one another
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we soar
our wings brush the stars
the winds from our sky dance
an ocean of movement
a cloud cradle
in which the earth spins
turning on it’s axis
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In the poem, To Genius Lost and Found, schieBeare jazzes things up- sounds of wholeness/soulness/descend into soulless/ half realms/of white powder dreams/glimpses of bliss/ warm love at blood speed. There is a rawness in her political poems such as this from Occupy- …I remember how much rage/I used to feel. but I’m not feeling that now,/just a desire to love and create beauty/bring light into the world/
where I feel a curtain descending,/a curtain of darkness,/ and it feels like the veil/ that descended across Europe in the  1930’s…
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Deeply spiritual, the first three stanzas of the poem Bhakti Yoga defines her commitment to belief:
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what can I say
I looked up at the crescent moon tonight
and I fell in love
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I was driving home
after sitting with the lord of light
the lord’s fountain of living water
flowing from my heart
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I looked up at that sliver of moon
and I fell
             and I fell
                          and I fell
                                       into love
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nur alima schieBeare brings us on a journey through her life, her faith, her activism, her love for life always seeking the truth. nur alima schieBeare is a true believer in love and peace.

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g emil reutter can be found at: https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/

 

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the labors of our fingertips: poems from manufacturing history in berks county – Vol. 3 by Jennifer Hetrick

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By Marian Frances Wolbers

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FootHills Publishing released the third and final volume of the labors of our fingertips: poems from manufacturing history in berks county by Jennifer Hetrick this past autumn. Swimming within these tender memory-poems are the jagged edges and startlingly soulful snatches of remembered machine work in the factories and businesses of Berks County decades ago. Faithful to the worker-narrators’ storytelling, Hetrick braids honorable, dignified word-portraits on her lyrical image-loom, whether a worker affixed left-hand side doors on military trucks or spent every day “securing strong stitches” on endless bottoms of belt loops. The detailed troubles and trials of men and women in stanzas that—short or long—perfectly match each person are juxtaposed with unabashed pride in the unique parts each individual played in the workplace, using hands and minds to produce not just hosiery, paint, or smoked meats but the totality of community, economy, opportunity, and familial necessity. Each alliteration, phrasing, and turn of thread in the line displays a range of emotion and circumstance: wry humor (“masking tape, a rare few worked with it as i did”); awareness of war; bodily stresses (“every night, i came home, felt fuzzy / wads of sweater aftermath in the creases of my neck, elbows”); and philosophical recall (“nestled in an italian neighborhood. / we were the only black family there. my neighbors / used to give us tomatoes from their backyards. i didn’t know / prejudice”). Generous and vivid are the pictures of the way things were, as well as the way folks speak and see themselves in their own mind’s eye. This is a gem on multiple levels in its sweet artistry, thoughtful voice, documentation of the past, and revelatory extraordinariness of ordinary men and women.

As a fellow writer and documenter of days, I am very holistically aware of how this work stretched well back across time and place and memory-worlds of these workers. It’s always been my impression that people record every silly little ant that crosses their picnic table at a birthday event, while ending life with virtually NO record of their long, long, much-longer-than-home-life hours spent in life’s labors under the thumb of a supervisor.

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Marian Frances Wolbers is a self-confessed fan of interstices and author of novels (including Rider, St. Martin’s Press), short stories (The Southampton Review, Westview, Remarkable Doorways), drama (Return of the Sun Goddess, Holding the World, American Beauties) and poetry (Juked).