Monday, 28 July 2014


"I got a pile of about 500 submissions and cutting it down to 46 was merely time consuming, relatively easy. But I had headaches and hesitation every step of the way cutting those down to my best 15, and when 15 each came in as well from Kgafela and Joanne Arnott, it was almost as if some special gravitational field had stayed my scroll-read-appraise-delete functions. Choosing the very best 5 poems called up all the strength I had, for it takes strength to be brutal, to decide which is the fine poem of a lot of fine poems, which possesses the slimmest space between word and emotion, which should make it in because it better turns out the fresher metaphor, the more intriguing image, the pure emotion--to pick five of these from such a rich hoard . . . I wondered, at times, if God would forgive me!"
~ Richard Ali (Nigeria)

"Chopping down was hard. But I had to stop the heart from bleeding for my darlings and chop."
~ Kgafela oa Magogodi (South Africa)

Follow link to read short-listed poems:

THE CARPENTER by El Lazim Elbasha (Sudan)

L’ARUGE (PROMOTION) by Saka Aliyu (Nigeria)

insane living by Dorothie Ayebazibwe (Uganda)

Under the Guava Tree by Annetjie van Wynegaard (South Africa) 


THE NIGHT SANGO CAME TO UJAGBE by Suleiman Agbonkhianmen Buhari (Nigeria) 
THINGS THAT WERE LOST IN OUR VAGINAS by Nyachiro Lydia Kasese (Tanzania)     

DIALOGUE OVER THE TWILIGHT ZONE (Ebony & Ivory) by Moses Muyanja Kyeyune (Uganda)

Blood and Water by Elizabeth Muchemwa (Zimbabwe)

Orukoro Dancer by Benstowe Fubaraibi Anari (Nigeria)  


1. Blood and Water and Celebration (2 in 1) by Elizabeth Muchemwa  Zimbabwe

2. After The Rain by Moses Muyanja Kyeyune from Uganda

3. The Crumpled Up paper and The Smooth Elegant One by Willie Ng'ang'a from Kenya.

4. Insane Living by Dorothie Ayebazibwe from Uganda

5. Reborn by Brenda Kanani from Kenya

6. The Carpenter by Saba El Laziri from Sudan

7. Sun Visit  by Edzordzi Agbozo from Ghana

8. Piano and Gongs by Kelvin Opeoluwa Kellman from Nigeria

9. Our Oiled Rusty Shores by Attah John Ojonugwa from Nigeria

10. Beware by Richard Quaz Roodt from South Africa

11. Time Zones by Kyle Allan of South Africa

12. Dear Asabi by Mof'oluwawo Mojolaoluwa from Nigeria

13. Dialogue Over The Twilight Zone ( Ebony & Ivory) by Moses Kyeyune Muyanja, Uganda

14. The Things That were Lost In Our Vaginas by Nyachiro Lydia Kasese, Tanzania

15. There Was Once Something Special Here by Tom Jalio, Kenya

16. I am Still Here by Chiugo Veronica Akaolisa, Nigeria

17. L'aruge/Promotion by Saka Aliyu, Nigeria

18. She Could Hear God by Jennie Marima, Kenya

19. Smarty Phone by Nassolo Marjorie, Uganda

20. Biriwa was My Home by Kojo Turkson, Ghana

21. A Place Called Home by Dela Nyamuame, Ghana

22. If I Was by Achieng Odhiambo, Kenya

23. I am The Beginning by Oladele Noah, Nigeria

24. Greater Enemy by Emiru David Patrick, Uganda

25. The Conversation (2) by Tumelo Thekisho, South Africa

26. Why Must African men Not Cry

27. Between God and Man 1 and 11 by Oladele Noah, Nigeria

28. Half Filled Graves by Okwudili Nebeolisa, Nigeria

29. Orukoro Dancer by Benstowe Fubaraibi Anari, Nigeria

30. Moonlight or No Light by Nana Nyarko Boateng, Ghana

31. Under The Guava Tree by Annetjie van Wynegaard, South Africa

32. Two Sides of A Window by Damilola Michael Aderibigbe, Nigeria

33. It Happened to me too by James Yeku, Nigeria

34. A Weekend in Lagos by Isoje Chou, Nigeria

35. Paranoia by Oluwaloni Olowookere, Nigeria

36. Autshumato by Celeste Fritze, South Africa

37. Children Also Grow by Rasaq Malik Gbolahan, Nigeria

38. A Sudden Time by Solagbade Oyefara, Nigeria

39. Different Forms of Slaughter by Asante Lucy Mtenje, Malawi

40. The Night Sango Came to Ujagbe by Suleiman Agbonkhianmen Buhari, Nigeria

41. What Poetry Means to Me by Rasaq Malik Gbolahan, Nigeria

42. Mama Talks by Valerie Awo-Dede Okaiteh, Ghana

43. Indeed Beauty Full by Oludami Yomi-Alliyu, Nigeria

44. Celestial Sprouts (Twin-Tomato-Tree) by Moses Muyanja Kyeyune, Uganda

 With thanks for the +1000 submissions, and congratulations to the poets whose poems arrived on the long list, and the short list. Final prize-winners (first, second, third) will be announced at the awards ceremony, in September.

Sunday, 27 July 2014


HOMĀY ČEHRZĀD (or Čehrāzād), a Kayānid queen; she was daughter, wife, and successor to the throne of Bahman, son of Esfandiār (qq.v.), according to the Iranian traditional history. The length of her reign is given as thirty years in theBundahišn (ed. Ankelsaria, 36.8; tr., p. 308) and historical sources, and as thirty-two years in the Šāh-nāma (ed. Khaleghi, V, p. 511, v. 312) and Bahman-nāma (p. 603, v. 10,437). Only one Pahlavi source, the Bundahišn (ed. Ankelsaria 33. 8; tr., p. 275) has a report on her: during the reign of Vohuman (Bahman) “there was scarcity, the Iranians fought among themselves, and there was no man of the ruling dynasty who could rule; they seated Vohuman’s daughter Humāé [Homāy] on the throne of sovereignty.” She reigned for thirty years (ibid., 33.8; tr. p. 307). Islamic sources (collected and discussed by Christensen, 1932, pp. 149-51; Yarshater, 1983, pp. 471-72) agree in general with this report but vary in some details. Thus her name appeared as Ḵomāni (Biruni, p. 121; Ṭabari, I, p. 687; Dinavari, pp. 27-28), Ḵomāy (Ṯaʿālebi, Ḡorar, p. 389), and Ḥomāya (Masʿudi, Moruj, ed. Pellat, sec. 553), all various transcriptions of the Mid. Pers. Humāg (Yarshater, p. 471; cf. Arm. Hmayeak: Hübschmann, Armenische Grammatik I, p. 47), which derives from Old Ir. *Humāya- attested in Av. Humāiiā- (the name of a daughter of Vištāspa in Yt.13.139), Elamite (from OPers.) ú-ma-ya (Mayrhofer and Schmitt, 1977, p. 51). The meaning of the name is disputed (E. Benveniste interpreted it as “fortunate,” R. Schmitt as “possessing good thought,” and M. Mayrhofer as “with good skills”; see with literature Hinz, p. 125). Her epithet is given as Čehrzād (Šāh-nāma, ed. Khaleghi, V, p. 483, vv. 140, 146), which is a shortened form of Čehrāzād “of noble birth,” given by most authorities (Ṭabari, I, p. 689; Biruni, pp. 121, 123; Ṯaʿālebi,Ḡorar, p. 389; Ebn Balḵi, p. 15; Mojmal, ed. Bahār, p. 54). The form Šehrāzād in Ṭabari, I, p. 688 and Fārs-nāma, p. 15, represents a Parthian variation; see Christensen, 1932, p. 149, n. 2). According to Masʿudi (Moruj, ed. Pellat, sec. 553) and Yaʿqubi (Tāriḵ I, p. 179), Šehrāzād was the epithet of her mother, while Ḥamza Eṣfahāni (p. 38) gives her the additional name Šemirān (cf. Semiramis; Eilers, p. 59). (source/more)

Homai of Kianian was a legendary queen of Iran from Kayanian dynasty. She was daughter and perhaps also wife (sources vary) of Kai Bahman. She ruled Iran after the death of Kai Bahman until her son Kai Darab took the throne. (source)

Scheherazade /ʃəˌhɛrəˈzɑːd(ə)/, Šeherzada, Persian transliteration Šahrzâd or Shahrzād (Persianشهرزاد‎, šahr + zâd) (Arabic: شهرزاد ) is a legendary Persian queen and the storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights. (source/more)

A counter report:
One can not consider the storyteller of the Thousand and One Nights the same as the queen Homāy/Čehrāzād (cf. J. von Hammer, in JA, 1839, pp. 171-76), and one must reject as well the hypothesis of M. Buisson (Le secret de Shéhérazade, Paris, 1961, pp. 15-16), for whom she is none other than the Šīrīn of Neẓāmī (d. 599/1203), who also recounted tales to entertain Parvīz. The wisest position is that adopted by Mme. Laly-Hollebecque (Le féminisme de Schéhérazade, Paris, 1927, pp. 10-11), who denies all real existence to the storyteller and compares her with Plato’s Diotime or Dante’s Beatrice.
~Ch. Pellat, “Alf Layla Wa Layla,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/8, pp. 831-835; an updated version is available online at (accessed on 18 May 2014). [source/more]

[I ran into some html trouble, so had to split the day's post into 2 parts: first part of this post immediately precedes this one: ]


Prince Humay Arriving at Princess Humayun's Palace. signed Junayud. from a Divan (collection of poems) by Khwaju Kirmani. 1396. illustrated manuscript
In follow up to my first post on this subject:

The main female character is named with a common male name, perhaps named after: 


, NĀṢER-AL-DIN MOḤAMMAD, (1508–56), second Mughal emperor in Kabul (1530–56) and northern India (1530–40 and 1555–56). succesor to Bābor. 
HOMĀYUN PĀDEŠĀH, NĀṢER-AL-DIN MOḤAMMAD, posthumously known as Jahānbāni Jannat-āšiāni (1508–56), second Mughal emperor in Kabul (1530–56) and northern India (1530–40 and 1555–56). The eldest son of Bābor (q.v.), the founder of the Mughal empire, born of Mahïm Begim (Begom) on 4 Ḏu’l-qaʿda 913/ 6 March 1508 in Kabul, he succeeded to the throne on 9 Jomādā I 937/29 December 1530 after Bābor’s death (Abu’l-Fażl ʿAllāmi, I, p. 121; Golbadan, fol. 20b). (source/more)

Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun (Persianنصیر الدین محمد همایون‎; OS 7 March 1508 AD – OS 17 January 1556 AD) was the second Mughal Emperor who ruled a large territory consisting of what is now Afghanistan,Pakistan, and parts of northern India from 1531–1540 and again from 1555–1556. Like his father, Babur, he lost his kingdom early, but with Persian aid, he eventually regained an even larger one. On the eve of his death in 1556, the Mughal empire spanned almost one million square kilometers. (source/more)

[Emperor] Humayun Receives the 
Head of Qaracha Khan
Ascribed to Burah, Indian, active 1580 - 1590.
 Faces ascribed to Miskin, India, active 1582 - 1596.

The main male character, of course, is named with a womanly name, perhaps after: 


according to Iranian traditional history, a Kayānid queen; she was daughter, wife, and successor to the throne of Bahman, son of Esfandiār. [more in next post]

Saturday, 19 July 2014

karma + genetics

Nancy Andreasen's reflections on her career choices
the realms of tech change unfolding in recent decades,
in the realms of neuroscience:

the patterns of recurrence racing through famillies
where curiosity led
a few favourite writers

creativity, genius, madness

Secrets of the Creative Brain

karma genetics
family fitness

creative responses
variations on a theme
the lot of fortune

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Dick DeShaw: a few thoughts in passing

1) Brings a part from the Whole of Truth & gives it life – my birth
2) Gives me guides to Truth: books with stories of searches for Truth
3) Finds me a companion to share Truth – my wife, Rose
4) Brings me children to share Truth – my sons & daughter
5) Teaches me that IT is my life – gifts me with PTSD
6) Helps my understanding how IT is my life – Spinoza & the 12 Steps
7) Tells me to share Truth with family/neighbours in talk, writing, example
8) Restores my part back into the Whole of Truth – my death
Beyond this I cannot go.

Baruch de Spinoza says the duty of a philosopher is to
1) Taste union with nature
2) Produce true ideas in himself
3) Makes these ideas known to his neighbours
*This is a paraphrase from God Man & His Well Being,  Curley trans
Chp XXVI Collected Works, Princeton, NJ 1985
       ‘Bud the Brain Explores The Question Of Existence’. When I was young I tried to find the answer to why we exist, in religion. Now that I am 72, nearing the end of my journey, my questions are more modest. I am content with ‘how we exist, asking science and philosophy. The finite cannot explain the infinite but only stand in awe & gratitude.  After years of academic frustration, I found that graphics can free me somewhat from the tyranny of language.
1) Energy: The work things do in the universe (first law of thermodynamics)
2) Entropy: Information or things (bits) in the universe
3) Entanglement: Quantum state of things in the universe (i.e. 1 (yes) or 0 (No). Generates information in the universe.
4) Eternity (Now): The point at which things give us information. (Buddist Nirvana)

Nature sings. Life is an infinite YES!

Above Selections from Dick DeShaw's blog, 
Spinoza on Science and Stress



A Vastly Simplified History of a Higher Power

HERE'S a page from "Bud the Brain Explores the Universe" Rose & Dick DeShaw (2012)


" Lovely man, never sick, sailed into the cosmos that sunny afternoon "

Dick Deshaw

DESHAW, Dick - Joining hands with Descartes, 
Spinoza and Euclid, Dick DeShaw died Wednesday, 
July 9 of a heart attack on the 3rd hole at Belle Park 
Golf Course. ... His wife Rose and children Rell 
and Andrew DeShaw, (Cyndi) along with grandchildren 
Blair MacDonald, Alex and Ryan DeShaw, and sister 
Patsey Parson (Bill) of Idaho, survive him. Son, Louis 
died in 2010. Grateful for donations to Kingston 
Community House For Self-Reliance (99 York).

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Arbor Aboriginal Artists Collective Literary Festival

Thursday July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
6 to 9 p.m.

An art festival running weekly from now till the end of July will feature workshops and performances by prominent Aboriginal authors, musicians and mixed media artists.

The Arbor Aboriginal Artists Collective supports the creation and dissemination of work from Aboriginal, Inuit and Métis artists from all Indigenous Nations living in the Kamloops area and working in all artistic disciplines.

“It involves participants in creating artwork that confronts and challenges stereotypes, hidden histories and stolen voices and works to inspire and empower individuals through creativity,” said Kamloops Art Gallery’s education and public programs coordinator Emily Hope in a media release today.

“Throughout July, join the Collective in the Tricia Sellmer and Ken Lepin studios for free all-ages performances and workshops with prominent Aboriginal authors, musicians and mixed media artists.”

Secwepemc poet Garry Gottfriedson kicked off the festival (July 3) with a poetry reading and question and answer session.

On July 10, Metis performer and poet Joanne Arnott will read her work and conduct a question and answer session.

Niska Napoleon, a Cree singer-songwriter, brings her debut album tour to the gallery on July 17 for an acoustic performance.

Artists Bracken Hanuse Corlett and Dean Hunt join forces on July 24 for a mixed media and music workshop.

Rounding out the month is Victoria’s poet laureate and host of CBC’s Tribal Clefs, Janet Rogers. She’ll read from her poetry and conduct a workshop on July 31.

July 10:
Starting at 6:00 pm the Arbor Aboriginal Artists Collective present a Poetry Reading and Workshop with Métis writer Joanne Arnott in our studios.

At 7:00 pm local artist Tricia Sellmer will be leading a Community Perspectives Tour in our summer exhibitions, Ted Smith: A Retrospective and Jack Shadbolt: Seven Decades of Works on Paper.

Both events are free AND admission to the Gallery will be free all day, sponsored by BCLC.

Clear your Thursday evening schedule, Kamloops!
No registration is required.

various sources, including here (images), here and here 

Sunday, 6 July 2014

thank goodness for my back-up house!

Collaborative comic made by 6 people ages 11-59: an excercise in creative problem-making and problem-solving!

here it is in story form: 

first panel: i created a house, with a person approaching, and a landscape, maybe a road or maybe a stream between person and house

second: blew up my house!!!

third (below): engaged figure's face with audience (what do we think of this?)

fourth: added emotional reaction and sound

fifth: allowed for escape

sixth: resolved all with humour: "thank goodness for my back-up house!"

also, either added new danger or clarified the earlier danger, as this panel indicates a meteor nearby

Each person created a single panel on six pages, initiating one comic and contributing to five others, with six distinct comics emerging from the sitting.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Brainstorm Quarterly Vol 2: (In)Sanity

What "Crazy" Looks Like