Dykes on Bikes!

From the 1996 San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Pride Parade

Dykes on Bikes 1
It’s my first time here so I don’t know quite what to expect for the opening salvo, but all the other photographers are really jazzed up. Suddenly the crowd lining an empty Market Street breaks into a cheer at the tiger growl of motorcycles approaching in low gear. The parade has begun…

Death and the Modern Pagan

The Earth-Based, Goddess-Centered Pagan traditions, including Wicca, have a very different attitude toward death in general. Most of the Pagans I have spoken to over the years believe in reincarnation in some form, so that death is seen as a change, a “shedding of the skin”, rather than the end. For this reason the snake that sheds its skin is viewed as a symbol of rebirth rather than as a symbol of evil.

The Long Good-Bye

The “Disappearing Indians” Myth Lingers On

It didn’t take a “melting pot” of settlers from other parts of the world to create diversity in North America. The native peoples who lived here already represented an enormous variety of cultures, and they had something in common that would help them survive centuries of misfortune without losing that culture.

Grandfather’s Dream

Native American Indian spiritual practices are not the glamourous and easily-digested catchphrases of wisdom portrayed by Hollywood or the New Age movement. As the following short story by this Canadian Metis author illustrates, walking the “Red Road” can be a challenging, even embarrasing, ordeal. – The Editor


(The surreal world of a teenager stuck working at a fast-food joint)

hamburger - from wikimedia commonsJenna hated him, the garish tricolored hat, the white powdered curls fat as sausages, the tiny American flag clutched in his wooden hand. Her mother had bought the minuteman jack-in-the-box as a memento of the Bicentennial, placed it next to the miniature spinning wheel on top of the piano.

When West Meets East: A Chicken in China

My daughter, Vanessa, is a genuine pigeon. She began her life in China two years ago, is living in the second city she has called home here, and has warned her Chinese friends not to plan surprises in front of her anymore because she understands everything they say.
Photo by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Feather River Singers: Native American Drum

Feather River Singers. Photo by Mark Eyre
Feather River Singers is a Native American Indian Women’s Northern style contemporary pow wow drum that performs in both the Cherokee and English languages. They recently released Daughters of the Earth, a CD of original music, which includes healing songs for the Earth, pow wow dances and songs that honor warriors.


(a fantasy poem)

Photo by Andy Morffew.

The One Who Stayed

I warned her
blood of mine
blood spilt
I warn them
  few listen…

Eye of the tiger: Anti-goth backlash after Columbine

There was a group of people at my high school who were known as The People Under the Stairs. They were very nice, mostly suburban white kids who dressed in black and hung out underneath the main set of stairs. The People Under the Stairs were the misfits and the Goths of our school.
Goth Legs. Photo by Bryan Ledgard.

Shalom, y’all! | Jewish in the Bible Belt

Image by David Arv Bragi
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know that I was Jewish, and that it made me a teensy minority in my hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Aside from being the capital of country music, Nashville also functions as the unofficial Baptist Vatican.

Recipes for Cherokee Bean Bread and Pepper Pot Soup

Is it okay to add more spices? Of course, my grandmother did and I do all the time! Traditionally this bread is very mild, but grandma loved to spice things up. As long as the red beans are fresh, not canned, your bread will have enough drama to enhance any seasoning you include.

Bread & Soup. Photo by Joy Donnell.

The Culture of Cousin Jacks: Cornwall during WWII

About 1937, a Spanish ship laden with casks of sherry and carboys of Canary wine ran ashore during a gale and broke up on a rocky beach near my home. The news spread rapidly, as it still does in Cornwall. My Uncle Bob, with his little Austin 7 car, was one of the first to the rescue – not of the ship’s crew, but of its cargo.
Land's End. Photo by Brian C. Coad

Three Poems of Exile from Zimbabawe

Tears of sorrows never vanish from their long faces
Thousands like zebra jumping out in search of long denied grass
Crossing rivers contaminated with crocodiles
South Africa seems to sweeten their sorrow
To them, Zimbabwe is just a zombie to flee
Image courtesy of Sokwanele - Zvakwana

Native American Elders and their Children

Annette Biggart with mother
For as long as I can remember, I always knew that I was Indian, but I also knew that we could never talk about it in front of my Grandmother. For whatever reason, she would have a fit of rage if anyone asked her about it. She would say that she was NOT Indian and that she didn’t want to hear any of us say otherwise. We never knew why she denied it.

Cry Africa Girl

Dankali girl in festival dress
Up in the azure sky
Shoots the sun’s rays
Rises to meet another day
Another promise
To me its not yet any hope
As each day brings more problems
Which trouble a thirteen year old girl

The Saga of my Hair

When womanhood came, my hair awoke
Heeding some inner genetic calling,
To a life of its own.

It framed my face like a cloud of blackness
Wild curls reaching in every direction
Armed with combs, with clips and barrettes.

My horrified mother
(Born a white Southerner and Never Forgetting It)
Attempted to tame it and failed.

Melissa Pinol - photo by David Arv Bragi

The End

(A short story inspired by the tragic 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire)

She is worthless, cloth legs and arms, sooty grey and smudged, grey as newsprint, or a spider, Little Miss Muffit sat on her tuffit, eating her curds and whey. Too poor for a printed face, no high buttoned shoes or jet beads small as gnats. Instead someone stitched her a round open mouth, two spiked lashed eyes and a flattened French knot for a nose…