Friday, August 26, 2016

When we were ignorant…

Out of the blue, I started to reflect on my primary education through to high school and how educators taught about Africa, and what was available in school books. 

Africa was a homogeneous “country” instead of a continent that comprised a multitude of countries, cultures, and ethnicities rich in socio-economic, religious, and health maintenance beliefs.  Back then, “Africans” (everyone was an African and not a citizen of a specific country) were savages with bones through their noses and scantily clad or half-naked women instead of a region marked by kingdoms, scholars, dynasties, complex civilizations, and lasting gifts to world knowledge.  Africa was dark, the land of Tarzan, King Kong, pygmies, apes, and the breeding ground for popular world-wide racist attitudes.  “Go back to Africa” is a phrase that many African-Americans of a certain age heard incessantly by people who were raised in ignorance and misplaced privilege based on white skin. 

Anyway, I will figure out why these thoughts entered my world while I thought about how to introduce you to Nzekwe Favour-bell, a contributor to aadunas summer 2016 issue.

Nzekwe Favour-bell (photo provided)



Favour-bell hails from Nigeria and brings a critical voice to the genre of fiction. Maybe his work and country triggered my thoughts. Dunno…especially since he illuminates the diverse richness of Nigerian culture and adds his embryonic voice to the expanding and strong literary scene in his country.

Nonetheless, here is the opening to his story, “Dead End:

I rub my chin.  It is the third time I do this. I am becoming drowsy and light headed. I need to go home right now despite beckoning calls from my playmates.  I will ignore them I decide. I put my head on the pale orange desk in front of me. I listen to my pulse.  It reverberates against the nape of my neck, my head has this reoccurring thud, thud, thud!!! It rings louder.  Doors are jammed, a crowd in stampede.  Girls are chattering and laughing wildly. I am in a stadium where the spectators chant “Ola!!! Ola!!!” that rises and drifts across the four directions of the wind. Then it is my first day in the museum and I am on a roller coaster.  Its wheels round. I am wheezing alongside the rushing gust of wind. Without hesitation, I grab the legs of the desk for support. Someone taps me. These girls wouldn’t let me be.  I hiss inwardly but contrastingly I see a warmer face which suddenly turns cold, alarmed. I guess.

“Sick?

“Yes,” I reply wearingly.

“Then you should go home.”

His words pumps adrenaline into my system, but it is short lived because as I lift myself up, I fall back again.
             


Finish reading this story when we launch aaduna's summer issue…coming at you soon!


And please stay mindful of the contemporary illusions, misconceptions, distortions and falsehoods regarding cultures and ethnicities that may be different from yours. Years from now, we do not want our children and others throughout the world to regard our global generation as ignorant. 








 *   *   *
aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.





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Thursday, August 25, 2016

When was the last time you were left speechless?

Routinely, at aaduna, we have something to say either via the blog, Twitter, Facebook or the available or pending issues.  However, I do remember when the cavalcade of words became an erupting volcano with superlatives cascading all over the place and then an unexpected silence.  You do become speechless when words no longer convey what you want or need to say.  The reason for this stupefying silence was when a young photographer submitted her work to us. 

Eleanor Leonne Bennett, (Photo on file/aaduna contributor Summer 2012)

In 2012, Eleanor Leonne Bennett was an award winning photographer and a wunderkind for her age (16).  aaduna, at that point, was an embryonic online journal trying to manifest our mission to be multi-cultural, diverse, multi-generational, edgy, and somewhat traditional.  Eleanor grabbed our attention and we presented her work in  aaduna's summer 2012 issue/The Kuta Gallery.  We recently re-visited with Ms. Bennett and once again words cannot readily convey her accomplishments.  So, we will not try.  However…
We strongly encourage you to take the time and visit her links ESPECIALLY www.eleanorleonnebennett.com  Bennett’s site tells you more about her then we can.
She is a jewel and you do want to be able to say you knew her and her work.
 Here is some additional information on Eleanor.
Joined as the Content Executive for Agency @magnafication
Eleanor’s twitter: @artandcontent


Eleanor Leonne Bennett is an early aaduna contributor and we still value what she does to make the world of visual arts that much more exciting and stimulating!






 *   *   *
aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.





Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks !  


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Monday, August 22, 2016

When you are ready to give up…think that there is no hope left…need a bridge over troubled waters?

Along comes…

Gregg Dotoli, a beacon of guiding light, a burst of heart thumping thunder, a bolt of vibrant lightning (and we are not talking about Usain Bolt,) a reflective  thinker, a masterful poet, the calm after the storm.

Gregg Dotoli, artist rendering provided

Gregg Dotoli…Just when I was beginning to despair, along came Dotoli with his gentle songs, lines that do sing, that endure long after they ring.

In the summer 2016 issue of aaduna, Gregg will present a body of work, “Ice Storm Art,” “That Rain,” “Day Dreamer,” “Leafspring,” and “Flashback.”

We are tempted to give you a teaser from each poem.  But isn’t that like going to a wine/beer/champagne/distilled spirits/apple cider or food tasting; trying several items; loving each one and wanting more?  And then you are denied...maybe another round of tastings, but not a full glass.  You are disappointed.  Saddened.

Guess what?

We will not deny you. 

However, we are only providing one teaser, a full glass though…that’s it.  You are strong enough to wait for the summer issue to be launched at the end of this month! 




So for you, our tasting is the complete poem “That Rain.”  Here is Gregg Dotoli, albeit in a limited dose.  








That Rain

crushing rain woke me
hours after midnight
each drop a flat note
pinged off this leaf or that stone
earths white noise
caused a natural claustrophobia
shrinking my mind space
inducing fear
knowing I can't escape
until it wanes



Catch all of Gregg’s poems in aaduna’s coming summer 2016 issue.  

 





 *   *   *
aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.





Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks !  


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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Grab a hold of Life. Bend it, shake it, embrace it, meld it the way you need to…stretch your creative thoughts…don’t lose the summer!

It is easy to sit, rest, and ignore all that we WANT to do.  I just wonder how many dance or yoga classes, gym memberships, workshops, pursuing a creative aspiration, hobby or volunteering lay dormant at our spot of sitting and resting.  And we say, “I am going to get into….”  Is this an example of a dream deferred?!

Let’s hug the example of Phylise Smith, aaduna contributor for the  spring 2016 sixth anniversary issue.  
Phyllis Smith, Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA (photo provided)

Phyllis took and completed an advanced poetry workshop with Martha Rhodes at the Fine Arts Work Center located in Provincetown, Massachusetts from July 24-30, 2016.  During this experience, Phylise read “Halloween,” a poem which was published in aaduna's spring 2016 issue.

What you may not know, is that Phylise lives in California on the west coast of the USA.  Massachusetts is on the east coast or actually considered a Mid-Atlantic state.  It is no way near California!!!

We just say, “Where there is the will, there is a way.”

Grab Life and make it yours!!! Do not wait.

If you missed the winter/spring 2016 issue or Phylise Smith, here are the links:

http://aaduna.org/spring2016/
http://aaduna.org/spring2016/poetry/phylise-smith/





 *   *   *
aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.





Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks !  


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Saturday, August 20, 2016

THINK about this simple notion…some of us desire to live in the skin of others

OK.  Let’s get real.  We all (well, at least a significant number of us) have fantasized about living the life that some celebrity, friend, or family member enjoys. While these desires probably do not approach coveting under biblical strictures, we project and then try to keep those thoughts or actions as private as we can.

So, here is the question for the day.  How many of us fantasize about the life of a writer?  Gotcha on that one, heh.

We enjoy the words, the creativity, the manner in which writers bob and weave, intersect and juxtapose words, sentences, paragraphs and meld those characteristics into a piece that changes our life.

And there is Tara L. Marta.

Scranton, in northeastern Pennsylvania, United States, is a city “at the center of the Lackawanna River Valley…nestled between the Pocono and Endless Mountains.”  Scranton exhumes nature as evidenced by “Nay Aug Park designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, and [the park] includes a zoo, museum, two Olympic sized swimming pools and a great gorge topped with a treehouse.” 

Creativity juxtaposed with nature.  There is a symbiosis. 

Tara L. Marta (photo provided)



Tara L. Marta is tempered by the urban dynamics associated with residing in Scranton, and it may be safe to suggest that she has been affected by that city’s ambiance. More importantly to aaduna, she is a testament to understanding the life of a writer, the life many of us will never experience in actuality or elect to visit in fantasy.





Here is the opening salvo to Marta’s story, “A Writer’s Life.”

          The white screen stared back at me in an antagonizing manner; its soft glow illuminating my oval face, as I drifted into oblivion. My fingers lingered on the alphabet waiting for the signal to move at a steady pace, yet I had nothing to offer. Fragmented thoughts had become my nemesis, and I sat in my new leather chair waiting for something enigmatic to happen – nothing did! Behind me, a bookshelf – physical proof that it can be done if one is daring enough to dive headfirst into a wading pool filled with hundreds of others who share the same ideas. To my right, framed posters of Mark Twain basking in the glory of success, a complacent look etched upon his face. On my left, a paperweight bearing a quotation from Benjamin Franklin: “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” They were all against me; I felt their presence surrounding me as I searched for the words – words that likely poured from their pens readily and easily, with hardly any effort at all. I leaned back in my chair, resting my head against the palm of my hand. And I waited. . .



You can finish reading her story in the summer 2016 issue of aaduna!




 *   *   *
aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.





Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks !  


aaduna-Inc aaduna-Inc  Visit regularly for updates !




Friday, August 19, 2016

Being home in the throngs of creative restlessness and peace

When do you read poetry? 

I suspect many of us read fiction on the beach, riding on public transportation, before falling asleep with the novel on our chest or lap, or with morning coffee instead of the morning’s delivered newspaper thrown haphazardly towards our doorsteps.


I may be wrong, but poetry brings forth images of sitting in a rocker with a multi-colored designed throw or blanket covering part of our body.  Enjoying a cup of herbal tea with the tea ball resting on a side plate, maybe a plate of cookies to nimble on, or the warmth of a sifter of brandy with recessed low lighting to reflect shadows in the room.  Of whispering the words of the poem infused with the cadences of soft speak to a loved one as that person seeks solace in our embrace, the sweetness of the spoken word.    

When do you read poetry?

Identify that ambiance setting for yourself, and when the next issue of aaduna comes out, nestle into your “spot” and read Ayendy Bonifacio’s poems.  In my mind, he brings forth imagery that enthralls and makes one sit back and reflect on possibilities.   

Ayendy Bonifacio  (photo provided)

 

Here is a very brief teaser from Ayendy’s poem “A Chance Encounter with Kanye”



The effigy of stars now settles; my retina focuses on these luminaries.
This cannot be truth; how can nature make itself so accessible to this particulate body?
It is as if I’ve never looked up before, witnessed their light in my eyes.


You will be able to read the full “Kanye” poem, as well as his “Black Matters,” and “The Old Cat” in the soon to be launched aaduna summer 2016 issue!





 *   *   *
aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.





Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks !  


aaduna-Inc aaduna-Inc  Visit regularly for updates !


 







Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Of Bahurupis, Us, and “Afghan Girl”

So what does a Bengali author who is currently based in Columbus, Ohio do?

She does what she is destined to do…learn, discover, broaden her creative horizons, stretch her intellectual capabilities, and grace aaduna’s pages with her poetry.
Torsa Ghosal (photo provided)

Torsa Ghosal weaves thematic stories in the poetic tradition to captivate and embrace her readers.  She brings a sense of intrigue and subtle mystery to the interactions of her characters.  And I know you are wondering about the term “Bahurupi.”  Ms. Ghosal states, “Bahurupis are quick-change folk artists who beg on the streets of Bengal, India.”  

To whet your appetite for what is to come, enjoy the first few opening stanzas of “Bahurupi or Polymorphous:”


When the bus brakes on National Highway 34 between
Calcutta & Berhampore I decide to worship Lakshmi
because I would have the owl, her mount, bring wealth.

Running long hauls that stray dogs out of breath
I long to sit cross-legged on a lotus in a eutrophic lake.
From the goddess, I will learn poise.

But he comes dressed as Shiva, as always sour blue
paint streams along the jute sideburns pasted on his
face, sun-bitten I imagine like a stone fruit.

His arm stretched as a kingdom on the river peak
breaks at the elbow under the weight of alms. 
Noon sounds his ankle bells.


We are excited that Torsa Ghosal is now a part of the aaduna community!

Look for her poetry in the summer 2016 issue coming to you at the end of the month.



 *   *   *
aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.





Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks !  


aaduna-Inc aaduna-Inc  Visit regularly for updates !