Friday, June 15, 2018

Guest Blog Post by Obey Mapuranga, member of the Apostolic Church in Zimbabwe, South Africa . . .

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Guest Blog Post by Obey Mapuranga, Chairman & Executive Director of the Apostolic Product Certification in Zimbabwe and Africa.
“Dare To Be A Daniel”

The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.   Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.   The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.   But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.   Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel,   10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c] food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”  11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah,   12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.   13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.”   14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.   15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.   16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.   17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.   18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar.   19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service.    20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.   21 And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.
Daniel Chapter 1: 3-21

I, Prophet Obey Mapuranga of the Johanne Maswoe Apostolic Church founded The Apostolic Product Certification Zimbabwe and Africa in 2017.  (Right:  Johanne Maswoe) 

The Apostolic Product Certification in Zimbabwe and Africa is a religious food certification organization that represents the southern Africa region, which has ahuge membership of African Independent Zionists Apostolic Sects in the countries of Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia Mozambique, Botswana and etc.

The Apostolic Product Certification Zimbabwe and Africa has millions of people from other sect churches, which are Zionists Christian Churches in Africa and other sects, which believe that our roots are from Israel and our God is the God of Israelites and our food Laws are from the Pentateuch Laws. 

There are more than 5 million apostolic sect members in Zimbabwe and 5 million apostolic sect members in South Africa.  These are also called white garment churches, which believe in the Levitical Laws in their food consumption and food laws.  We believe in the Bible but we use Levitical laws in our food requirements and dietary laws

The huge spread of Halal certified food in the Southern Africa non-Muslim communities have made the apostolic sect members view this spread of Halal certified food as a way to violate their religious safety in their communities.  They fear that this is a well-calculated form of Islamization into millions of non-Muslims apostolic sects members in Southern Africa.
I, Prophet Obey Mapuranga, want to say this loudly to the whole world and food companies who intend to sell their products in Southern Africa non-Muslim communities that our millions of people cannot be enveloped by Islam as we are not an Islamic society.  We do not want to be forced to eat meat that has gone through ritual slaughters to other gods that is not the God of Israelites. (Right:  Obey Mapuranga earns a living working in the furniture business)

We are not promoting regionalism or Islamophobia or elevating Zionism but we are articulating what we stand for - our religious healthy life style and rejecting the enveloping of our communities with other religion as a way to dilute and weaken us religiously. (Left:  Obey's church does not meet in buildings but in the great outdoors)

The momentum of our presence in Southern Africa has grown and become understood. We announce to the world that we are comfortable to share our Logo with Kosher (Jews certification) in all food products because our roots are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob  (Right) and the God of Israel.

We are inviting Zimbabwean Companies and Southern African Companies to get our food certification LOGO (Left) on their products to give confidence to our millions of people in the consumer demographics so that we know these products have not gone through other religion rituals and this will make other Christian Denominations to follow us.

We believe one day the all Christians and Apostolic Christian denominations in the whole world will come together and form a one food certification body that will guides us from getting unhealthy food from other gods.

We are inviting willing people globally who would want to join us one way or the other to support an idea that is worthy. We are also willing to join other Zionist religious seminars, workshops or business to strengthen our roots with them and the reason that we are African Independent Zionist Sects. 

In a period to come we shall have our own certified butcheries, abattoirs, eateries, restaurants and certified manufacturers.  Our objectives are food certification, accreditation, monitoring, inspection, and food storage.  We are looking for generous well-wishers who can offer our staff with education in food science and Theological aspects and our administrative demands which includes website construction. (Right:  Obey Mapuranga in the act of worship)

Saturday, June 9, 2018

#19 Backstory of the poem "Stiletto Killer . . .A Surmise" by Alexis Rhone Fancher

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***This is the nineteenth in a never-ending series called BACKSTORY OF THE POEM where the Chris Rice Cooper Blog (CRC) focuses on one specific poem and how the poet wrote that specific poem.  All BACKSTORY OF THE POEM links are at the end of this piece. 

Backstory of the Poem
by Alexis Rhone Fancher

Can you go through the step-by-step process of writing this poem from the moment the idea was first conceived in your brain until final form?  I read about the murder in an online newspaper, shortly after it occurred. The story intrigued me and kept bouncing around in my head. I wrote several pages of notes, many of which ended up in some form in the final poem.  There were six drafts of this poem, written over several months, before I was satisfied.  (Above Left, Title Photo - Self portrait of Alexis Rhone Fancher in March of 2018)
Above Right:  Photo of of a news clip of Ana Trujillo)

Where were you when you started to actually write the poem?  And please describe the place in great detail. 99% of the time I am writing at my desktop computer in my studio. This poem was no exception. I also do all revisions on the computer.
What month and year did you start writing this poem? March, 2014 (Right:  Self-portrait of Alexis Rhone Fancher in November of 2014)

What do you want readers of this poem to take from this poem? That 1.) under the right circumstances, anyone can murder, and that 2.) Women are always losers in Texas.

Which part of the poem was the most emotional of you to write and why? "In that green dress she looked like Christmas.” I kept seeing Ana, covered in Alf’s blood, all red and green - Christmas colors. Chilling. (Left:  Ana Trujillo in custody.  Photo attributed to the Harris County Sheriff's Office)

Has this poem been published before?  And if so where? “Stiletto Killer” was first published in 13 Myna Birds, http://13myna. in 2014. It also appears in my most recent, full-length collection, ENTER HERE, (KYSO Flash Press, 2017).

Anything you would like to add? This poem is my interpretation of actual events. Not what actually occurred. The only people who know that are Ana and Alf, and Alf’s not talking...
I am a news junkie. Human interest. Murder stories especially fascinate me. And this one, in which a tiny, Hispanic woman in Houston Texas stabbed her Swedish professor boyfriend to death with one of her stiletto heels, stabbing him 30 times, was as dramatic as they come. 
I do research for my poems, especially the ones about actual events. Often I have pages and pages of notes and quotes. The poem is lurking within them, a distillation. Facts become commentary in my hands. And commentary becomes, in this case, outrage. “Women are always losers in Texas” is an observation, not only about Ana Trujillo, but about how the court system in Texas favors men. (I watched a friend go through a divorce in Texas, and witnessed her getting royally screwed, first hand.) That’s the line in the poem that gets the most attention. Maybe because it has the ring of truth. 
The poem weaves “facts” about the murder with my “fantasy” about how it went down. When I read “Stiletto Killer” at poetry events, it always gets an intense response. 


“She told me if anybody screwed with her they’d get a stiletto heel in the eye,”
 - her former apartment manager told the TV news.

Alf and Ana drank tequila at the club until closing.

Ana wore a tight, green dress. Alf said she looked like a whore. 

Back at the apartment, the neighbors heard screams.

“The defense will prove she was a battered woman,” her lawyer told the press. 

She was too short when the stilettos came off but her feet ached.

She had to stand on tiptoe to reach him, for Christ’s sake.

Women are always losers in Texas.

Ana alleged: “He cursed in Swedish when he beat me.” 

She’d read Swedes beat their women in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

In the early morning hours, Ana stabbed her lover thirty one times.

The stiletto heel fused to her fist.

When the police arrived Ana was covered in blood. 

In that green dress she looked like Christmas.

(CNN) -- It may have been a vicious murder or the unintentional result of a 
lover's quarrel. Either way, the death of a Texas college professor stands 
out for the weapon the killer allegedly used: one of her own stilettos.

First published in The Mas Tequila Review, 2015

Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in Best American Poetry 2016, Verse Daily, Plume, Rattle, Diode, Pirene’s Fountain, Tinderbox, Nashville Review, Wide Awake, Poets of Los Angeles and elsewhere. She’s the author of four poetry collections; How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and other heart stab poems, (2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, (2015), Enter Here, (2017), and Junkie Wife, (2018). Her photographs are published worldwide. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly. (Right:  Alexis Rhone Fancher in December of 2017.  Photo attributed to Angela Cohan)

001  December 29, 2017
Margo Berdeshevksy’s “12-24”

002  January 08, 2018
Alexis Rhone Fancher’s “82 Miles From the Beach, We Order The Lobster At Clear Lake Café”

003 January 12, 2018
Barbara Crooker’s “Orange”

004 January 22, 2018
Sonia Saikaley’s “Modern Matsushima”

005 January 29, 2018
Ellen Foos’s “Side Yard”

006 February 03, 2018
Susan Sundwall’s “The Ringmaster”

007 February 09, 2018
Leslea Newman’s “That Night”

008 February 17, 2018
Alexis Rhone Fancher “June Fairchild Isn’t Dead”

009 February 24, 2018
Charles Clifford Brooks III “The Gift of the Year With Granny”

010 March 03, 2018
Scott Thomas Outlar’s “The Natural Reflection of Your Palms”

011 March 10, 2018
Anya Francesca Jenkins’s “After Diane Beatty’s Photograph “History Abandoned”

012  March 17, 2018
Angela Narciso Torres’s “What I Learned This Week”

013 March 24, 2018
Jan Steckel’s “Holiday On ICE”

014 March 31, 2018
Ibrahim Honjo’s “Colors”

015 April 14, 2018
Marilyn Kallett’s “Ode to Disappointment”

016  April 27, 2018
Beth Copeland’s “Reliquary”

017  May 12, 2018
Marlon L Fick’s “The Swallows of Barcelona”

018  May 25, 2018