Existential Ponders – The End

A huge thank you to all the artists who shared their Existential Ponders for this series!

Sometimes to feel alive we have to take a look at the darker sides of our existence. And boy we had some inspiring artists to help us do just that!

If you haven’t already done so, go ahead and give the artists some love by liking, commenting, and checking out more of their work!

I hope you all enjoyed the series as much as I did and it enhanced your Halloween experience this year.

Resistance Reading Fundraiser for RAICES by HanaLena Fennel & Nadia Alamah

Come out for a fundraiser event happening this Wednesday in Orange, CA. These artists have put together something quite special and if you have the opportunity, will be well worth your time.

All details below!

For questions, interviews and more contact: HanaLena Fennel hanalenafennelpoetry@gmail.com   To participate virtually in this fundraiser, donate at: https://www.classy.org/team/250297 Facebook event link containing author bios: https:// http://www.facebook.com/events/490334835101516/?ti=icl Author webpages: https://www.rarasaur.com/ Art and photos by exhibiting artist Nadia Alamah: https://www.nadiaalamah.com/  


THIS WEDNESDAY: Resistance Reading Fundaiser for RAICES and Open Mic

When: THIS WEDNESDAY, September 4th from 8-10pm
Where: UGLY MUG Café in Orange (261 N Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866) Parking is available on some streets and parking lots close to the venue Open Mic Signup begins at 7:45pm  

by Nadia Alamah

ORANGE, CA—If you’ve been following what’s happening at the border and with immigrants and refugees across the country, or have questions and want to learn more, join us this Wednesday, Sept. 4 at the Ugly Mug Café from 8-10 pm for the Resistance Readings fundraiser, which will highlight performances by two featured poets, provide additional resources for information, and display a mini-bazaar of art and collected works, including those from Moon Tide Press.

Proceeds from the features, and sales of art and poetry will go towards the support of RAICES, a legal-based organization dedicated to supporting and assisting immigrants and refugees at the border. There will also be a creative open mic for all to participate in, with a cover charge of $3 which goes directly to local café The Ugly Mug, as the fundraiser is presented by the Two Idiots Peddling Poetry weekly series.

Of the two featured poets, Mexican-Indian American poet Ra Avis, will share a new poem and some from her works Dinosaur-Hearted and Sack Nasty, speaking to both her experiences as a first generation American and her time in incarceration.

“The immigrant and refugee experience, asylum seekers—when you try to get from one country to another, there is a journey and a story there. Because of language [barriers], those stories don’t always get translated. And because of systemic racism, and sexism, and all these other issues in the publishing and media world, they don’t get highlighted,” Avis said. “So people like myself who grew up in close proximity to those who came from another country, we have heard these struggles, and we know these

struggles. But all of their stories are filled with pain and grief and trauma, leaving behind everything you know, starting over on a much smaller scale.”

The other feature and event organizer, HanaLena Fennel, a Jewish-Hawaiian American poet, will be performing poetry from her book Letters to the Leader, poems published by Moon Tide in response to the numerous executive orders issued during Trump’s term in office. “I think that the best thing I can do is amplify the voice [of a refugee] if it’s there—but I can speak to my own family’s history, and to the history

of the atrocities that human beings can commit on each other, and what that looks like, and what those steps are, and how we end up in those places, and how to stop those things,” Fennel said.

Fennel’s main reasons for choosing RAICES as the main beneficiary from this fundraiser include its structural capacity and willingness to assist as many cases as possible in all demographics and age ranges. Its structure is largely impacted by location independence, as the organization can contact law offices to volunteer across the country.

“Two Idiots Peddling Poetry believes the work RAICES is doing is among the most important things any organization is doing right now. Protecting the rights of immigrants is vital to preserving who we should be as a people,” co-founder/host Ben Trigg said, when reached for comment.

Moon Tide Press founder Eric Morago also had something to say: “Moon Tide is happy and grateful to support HanaLena in her fundraising for such a noble cause,” Morago said. “It’s a privilege to get to support my authors in the work they do beyond the page.”

Fennel’s other reason for supporting RAICES through this fundraiser – that they take on as many cases as possible—also stems from her empathy derived from being a mother herself. “We have two year-olds who are expected to represent themselves as their own attorneys in immigration court without an interpreter. That’s obscene,” Fennel said. “I have children. I have toddlers. They couldn’t represent themselves answering my front door, let alone in front of a judge trying to explain why their life is in danger if they were to leave this country.”

This fundraiser is intended to raise community awareness and inspire us to take action. “I don’t like it when people speak hyperbolically, but there are currently people dying in ICE custody right now— because they’re not receiving the health care services they need,” Fennel said. “They don’t have basic hygiene, they don’t have basic care. And one of the very small things we can deal with that is to help RAICES pay somebody’s bail so they can go and pick up their kid out of these containment centers/

internment camps.”

Avis connects to what refugees and immigrants are going through given her experiences with incarceration: “I can only imagine myself that the camps are so much worse because there isn’t any kind of illusion of fairness or justice protecting you,” Avis said. “You put people in cages, you take away basic humanities, you tell them over and over again that they are not worth basic dignities, and then you expect them to be okay when you let them go, and that’s just not likely. Nor does it solve any problems. It doesn’t at all address the actual problem you locked them up for. Especially not in the case of immigration.”

There will be resources available at the fundraiser to provide more information about the border crisis and provide suggestions for ways to take action in our everyday lives. “[We want] to remind everybody in our community that we’re not alone in the face of learning all of this terrible information and that there are things we can do—in our lives, in our art, in our day-to-day communication with each other—there are ways to make sure that we are not looking away from this horror, but also not paralyzed

by it,” Fennel said.

“I want to be available to people as another resource. If they have questions, if acceptance of this is a question of ignorance, I want to make myself available for a conversation,” Avis adds. “As much as you may understand at a conscious level—how locking people up is detrimental to them and to our society—it’s much different when you’re sitting with someone who was locked up. Someone who isn’t necessarily how you imagine, doesn’t necessarily speak how you imagine, or even someone who does.”

While she is supportive of the many other events happening to support and connect community in the face of these tragedies, Fennel also encourages you to come out to this or another fundraiser to make an impact: “There’s more of an added drive. Not only do I feel like I could do something tomorrow, I know I did something today.”

To participate virtually in this fundraiser, donate at: https://www.classy.org/team/250297
Want to be involved but can’t make it to the fundraiser? Here are some things you can do to make a difference:
– Write a letter to your representatives, senate, and local political officials.
– Contact your governor, who can aid in establishing sanctuary cities and preventing state level guard from being used as a resource by ICE
– Encourage your city officials to prevent local enforcement from cooperating with ICE
– Donate to an organization of your choice that you trust is doing their utmost to help refugees and immigrants who are adversely affected by this targeting
– Use your voice however you speak the loudest—through art, music, writing, conversation—to keep awareness spreading in your community
– Share posts on social media. Keep sharing. Don’t let this conversation drop.  

Jupiter Prime by Laura Minning

About the Artist

Laura Minning began writing creatively at the tender age of nine. Her first poem was published by her Alma-matter in 1989, and her second received an Editor’s Choice Award by the National Library of Poetry in 1993. Laura’s work has been featured both in hard copy and on-line, via publications like “Literature Today”, “Amulet” and “Stanzaic Stylings”.

Laura received her first International Merritt of Poetry Award in 1995 and her second in 1998. Both were presented to her by the National Library of Poetry. Her outstanding achievements in poetry were internationally recognized again in 2005 by Poetry.com, who was kind enough to bestow the title of International Poet of the Year on to her.

Laura’s first collection of poetry, “dear diary” was published by Vantage Press in 2003. Her second book, “sunburst” was published by Xlibris a year and a half later.

Laura’s artistic accomplishments have been equally impressive. She’s been creating and exhibiting abstract work since 2013. Her pieces have been displayed at venues like the Iowa Children’s Museum, the Trenton Free Public Library and Barcode. Her artwork, as well as her original photography, has also obtained publication status both in hard copy and on-line.

The Barcode exhibit was held in 2016. It featured thirty-six pieces of Laura’s original abstract artwork. Four of those pieces were sold over the course of the exhibition’s opening weekend, and the entire event was sponsored by Bacardi.

In 2018, Laura produced a chapbook, entitled “fusion”, which featured photographic images of her artwork.

As a person with legal blindness, Laura hopes to inspire other creative people with disabilities to never allow anything to hinder them from reaching for the stars and accomplishing their dreams. If you were to ask her about her creative successes, she would tell you that the difficult is but the work of the moment, and the impossible takes a little longer.

Laura Minning’s Artist Statement

“My creative passions began with poetry. I started writing at the tender age of nine as a means of expressing my own thoughts and feelings. A few years later, I developed a desire to share my work with others. This not only aided me in strengthening the bonds that I had with friends and family, it was also instrumental in helping me to come out of my shell and become less timid.

Toward the end of 2013, my attentions shifted from poetry to art. I immediately decided to fan the flames of my new passion by applying the methods that I had used for my old one. I subsequently found this to be rather effective in developing my artistic skills and techniques.

I began by utilizing acrylic paints. Next, I tried my hand at combining the paint with candle wax, crayons, nail polish, sidewalk chalk and glitter glue. I’d additionally affix original poetry or Imax film strips to the canvas board and incorporate the acrylic or wax based mediums around them. These techniques created some exceedingly colorful tactile and three-dimensional effects.”

Follow Her Work

For more information about Laura and her work, please feel free to log onto her web-site at https://brcartandpoetry.wordpress.com/

or any of the following sites:





Love Thy Neighbor -ing Country/Call For Submission

Calling for submissions of art in all forms: Poetry, songs, video links, pictures, paintings, etc.

In this series, I am joining together people’s art as a form of peaceful protest against the recent attack on immigrants and refugees in the U.S. I want to combat the inhumane treatment and hateful speech by creating a space where people can express the greatness that comes from loving other countries and cultures. People are people no matter which country they come from and all deserve to be treated with compassion and respect.

Together, let’s make the sounds of love cry out so loudly that the hate cannot be heard in its midst.

Submissions ~

Subject: Art in regards to protests against the recent inhumane treatment of refugees in the U.S., fighting against racism, embracing immigrants, and finding the love and joy in surrounding countries and cultures.

About your Art: Please include a brief summary as to the meaning behind your submission or what is on your heart about the subject.

Picture: Please submit a picture of yourself or one that represents your work.

Links: Lastly, if you have any links that you would like to be shared, feel free to include any social media or website links to be attached to your feature.

Submit To~

Mia Savant – pondersavant@gmail.com. Please type: ‘Love Thy Neighbor-ing Country Submission’ in the subject line.


I intend for this to be an ongoing series, so as of right now, no deadline is set.

The Art of Depression: Evan Hall


Evan Hall

“Return of King Melancholia”





Bleak the blackened gates open

King melancholia rides home

On his dread horse Morose.  

The misanthropes are at their old games,

Murdering pheasants in the once mirthful meadows,

Their howls drowning out the coo of the doves.

Bleak, bleak

This bittersweet day

Starless every night  

Lightless every day.  

Have loose  

The ghouls will play,





Siphoning my well of endless love

How I wished the vampiress  

Would have stayed.  

For it was her fangs I betrayed.  

The Art of Depression: Marc Cid


Marc Cid

Follow His Work:


Things You Can Say About Depression

That You Can’t Say About Bronchitis


I have bronchitis, I told them,

so I’ll be keeping quiet,

and to myself, if I go out at all.

Sorry in advance for all the coughing.

Let me help you, they said.


said I fixed my bronchitis

when I quit cigarettes.

I told her I didn’t smoke.

Then you don’t have



said everybody gets bronchitis

every now and then, you just need

to stop thinking about your lungs,

find a way to distract yourself

from breathing. How ‘bout

you pick up a night shift

at the bar I’m working at?

I’ll put in a good word

if you just stop coughing

all the time. Every time

you let yourself cough,

you’re making it worse.


said bronchitis is a symptom

of modernity, the manifestation

of the misalignment between

your bronchial tubes

and your invalid attitude.

You should try doing yoga.


the record, I was too busy

doubling over from clusterfrag

coughs detonating behind

my ribcage to respond.

They patted me on the back

and nodded sagely.

My point exactly. See?

I know what I’m talking about.

The Art of Depression: Kirsty Niven


Kirsty Niven

Follow Her Work:



I have become utterly numb.
My skin has hardened to cement,
a statuesque shell of dissociation.
Blood streaks my skin, bruises blossom,
but no pain can get in.
This cocoon has petrified itself around me,
solidifying under every slight,
every glancing blow, every slice.
I watch the cigar burn down
until the embers graze my calloused fingers,
just to see if I can still burn.
The singed scent fills my nostrils
and yet coldly I only look on.
A laceration, a punch, a kiss from the whip –
and still nothing is all I feel.
Each nerve is dead, stillborn in my veins.
Love ricochets against me, unrecognised –
too foreign a concept to a fossilised soul.
Only the nectar drips of wine seep through
the stone of my scar tissue;
a red tear leaking through my mask.