Your diligently baked poetic lines transcending from biblical allusions, patriotism, spirituality, ideology and reason. All these thus the essence of a true poet. Lyrical Dexter, Isabel Bermudez, you roast diction into soul -fulfilling verse, the same way Xhosa women diligently make frikkadels out of sunflower oil and dough. In those Xhosa homes, when every dawn you hear frying pans hissing with cooking oil from caressing torment of wood-fire baking frikkadels. Your poems are fulfilling and your lines are fat with reason and rich with consciousness. Your imagery is profoundly vivid and is deliciously sumptuous like beef -roast in Masai kitchens. As a willing reader, a keen consumer of your excellent art of words like we do to well-matured red wines and road runner-village chicken roast. Am contended with the extent of artistic prowess and amount of creative excellence. And I have no doubt that a host of other readers share the same positive reader conclusion with me. TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC continues to maintain its artistic relationship with Colombian Literary Arts Community by featuring the prolific educator, internationally adored artist, film maker, widely published poet and multi-award-winning author Isabel Bermudez- (Blurb by Mbizo CHIRASHA).
The Roads of La Candelaria
How do you call a road, if not by its name?
So, the Calle del Silencio, the Calle de la Agonía,
The Calle del Afán and the Calle de la Alegría,
a plethora of roads, higgledy-piggledy on the hill
where the capital was founded. And which one was it where
I tripped and fell, nearly took you with me, down its sharp incline?
La Rosa, el Triunfo, El Suspiro…What of all the other roads
I’ve gone down with you? Calle de la. Fatiga and Calle del Fantasma,
each road bleached to a whiteness,
carrying hawkers and dealers to their lost purpose…
Or Calle de la Honestidad and Calle de la Esperanza,
all the neglected streets below a shanty tangle,
whose plaques spell out love’s many names,
wait for the cover of dusk to exchange its closest secrets.
(from the collection, Sanctuary, Rockingham Press, Ware, 2018)
Master of Works
Poem composed from an original bill, held in the Portuguese National Archive of Torre do Tombo, which a Master of Works (mestre de obras) presented in 1853 for repairs which were made to the Capela do Bom Jesus de Braga.
For correcting the ten commandments, embellishing Our Lord
and changing the cords around his tunic;
for 1 new cockerel for St Peter and for painting his crest;
for gold paint and new feathers on the Guardian Angel’s right wing
and for washing the son of Our Lord and painting him;
for removing all stains from Tobias’s son
and giving earrings to Abraham’s invisible daughter;
for brightening up the flames of hell;
a Devil’s tail and various adjustments to the sinners;
for a new infant to hang at the neck of Our Lady
and for all the work to the sky –
for decorating it with stars and washing the moon –
for composing Herod’s hair and costume;
for retouching Purgatory and putting in new souls;
a stone at the base of David, as well as thickening Saul’s hair
(and lengthening Tobias’s feet);
for decorating Noah’s Ark, modelling the belly of the Prodigal Son
and cleaning S. Tinoco’s left ear;
for nailing a star which had fallen from the foot of the Heavenly Choir;
for giving St Michael new boots and cleaning his sword,
and, last but not least, for cleaning the devil’s fingernails and horns,
the sum total of 2545 reales.
(from the collection, Serenade (Paekakariki Press, Walthamstow, 2020).
First published in the New European Newspaper, 2019)
Sunlight makes a home here, turns these tall stalks
to a May haze. Intricate,
after dull warty dock, white foam
appearing year on year
like half-remembered lines in sleep.
Gnats, furious after the mild winter
swarm above its whiteness,
brush my face and hair
hoverflies settle on upturned parasols of flower-heads
-dipping, quivering details.
And I’m alive to its white noise, a cloud
which barely stirs in river-breeze,
a lightness that won’t be cut or kept in vases
swathing each side of the towpath on the Thames.
I want to run a hand through it, this thickened air.
Grasp what it is that makes of love
a weed so ordinary and rare.
First published in Small Disturbances (Rockingham Press, Ware, 2016) and in the same year as part of the Poems in the Waiting Room Project (and also in the anthology Quartet: the four seasons (Ed. D. Gaye, Avalanche Books, England, 2018.)
Isabel Bermudez is a poet and teacher. Born in Colombia she was raised from the age of three by her Colombian mother and English step-father. On graduating from Cambridge University, she spent two years in Sri Lanka working in educational television and then undertook an MA in Documentary Production and Television Features at Salford University. Awarded a European Young Journalists’ scholarship by the Finnish Government in 1996, she spent six weeks in Finland. She returned to Colombia to live and work in 1998 . She planned to stay six months, to make what turned out to be her documentary film ‘El Corazon de la Basura’/On the dustheap, set in a settlement of rubbish recyclers known as ‘Comuneros’, consisting largely of persons displaced by the long civil war in Colombia, who made a home in the industrial zone in Bogota and who, in 1998, faced imminent eviction. In the end she remained in Colombia for three years, employed at Bogota’s City TV as a producer/director and at Citurna Productions as camera and director for the film ‘Mujeres Comprometidas con Colombia’ . She also undertook independent archive research on human rights abuses in Colombia, viewing archive footage held at CINEP. Then, completely disillusioned with video as a medium and in need of another way to earn a living, she returned to the UK and retrained as a secondary school teacher of French and Spanish. She has spent the last fifteen years writing poetry and teaching languages (first as a schoolteacher, then as a private tutor) and has published five collections of poems since 2015, when her debut chapbook Extranjeros, was published by Flarestack Poets: www.flarestack.co.uk She has published several collections with Rockingham Press www.rockinghampress.co.uk , the prizewinning Madonna Moon, with Coast to Coast to Coast a and a new collection, Serenade (Paekakariki Press, 2020), poems evoking Spain and the New World, is illustrated by her husband Simon Turvey. It is available to buy from www. paekakarikipress.com
MEET THE TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC CURATOR
Mbizo CHIRASHA, UNESCO-RILA Affiliate Artist. Freedom of Speech Fellow to PEN- Zentrum Deutschland,Germany. Alumni of the International Human Rights Arts Festival in New-York, USA. Literary Arts Activism Diplomatie. Globally Certified Arts Mediums Curator and Influencer. Internationally Published Page and Spoken Word Poet. Writer in Residence. Arts for Human Rights Catalyst. Core Team Member of the Bezine Arts and Humanities Project. His illustrious poetry, hybrid writings, political commentary, short fiction, book reviews and Arts Features are published in more than 400 spaces notably the Monk Arts and Soul in Magazine in United Kingdom. Atunis Poetry.com in Belgium. Demer press poetry series in Netherlands. World Poetry Almanac in Mongolia. Poesia journal in Slovenia. Bezine Arts and Humanities Webzine in USA. The Poet a Day in Brooklyn, USA. Litnet Writers Journal in South Africa. African Crayons in Nigeria. Poetry Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. Pulp-pit USA. The FictionalCafe international Journal, Texas USA. Best New African Poetry series in Zimbabwe, Zimbolicious Poetry Collections in Zimbabwe. Co-edited Street Voices International Publications with Andreas Weiland in Germany. Co-Edited Silent Voices Anthology, a Tribute to Chinua Achebe. Co-Edited the Corpses of Unity, solidarity collection to victimized Cameroonians with Nsah Mala. Curated and Edited the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry, Inside Digraceland speaking poetic truth to the Mugabe regime and other bad regimes. He owns the Time of the Poet blog zine, MIOMBOPUBLISHING that published the #GlobalCallforPeaceProject titled the Second of EARTH is Peace. A LETTER to the PRESIDENT his experimental resistance poetry collection was released in August 2019 by Mwanaka and Media Publishing. Co- Authored Whispering Woes of Ganges and Zambezi with Sweta Vikram in India. Good Morning President his first poetry collection was published in 2011 by Zimbabwean published based in United Kingdom, Diaspora Publishers.COVID 19 Satansdeadly fart is forthcoming. Chirasha is Founder and the Chief Editor of Brave Voices Poetry Journal, https://bravevoicespress.home.blog/ and WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS,https://womawordsliterarypress.home.blog/
MORE INFORMATION visit, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mbizo_Chirasha
TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC- An Internet based Writers Center, Archiving Theme based Digital Poetry Anthologies and publishing Iconic Poets ,Writers and Artists from around the globe. TIME OF POET REPUBLIC was founded by UNESCO-RILA Affiliate ARTIST. Freedom of SPEECH Fellow PEN-Zentrum Deutschland.2019 African FELLOW ihraf.org and Acclaimed Literary Arts Diplomatie,Mbizo CHIRASHA