Tuesday, July 16, 2019

full moon: The moon rises full tanka


La luna sale llena.
No hay briza que agite las campanillas de bambú,
sólo la luz las toca.
El silencio nocturno es un canto
en las harmonías de luz.

------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2019

Hasui Kawase 川瀬巴水 (1883 – 1957)

The moon rises full.
No breeze stirs the bamboo chimes;
only light plays them.
The night silence is a song
in the harmonics of light.

------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2019


Saturday, July 13, 2019

City of Berkeley rally to protest separated families, tortured, dead children in U.S. Detention Centers, July 13



----------------Se me pide como poeta

Se me pide como poeta laureado de la ciudad
que recite un poema sobre l@s niñ@s,
madres, padres separados, encarcelados,
enjaulados, torturados en centros
de concentración en la frontera del sur.
¿Cómo poner en canto el sufrir, el llanto,
el terror, el espanto de los niños arrebatados
de l@s braz@s de sus madres, sus padres
por manos bruscas, en voces rudas
en lengua que no comprenden?
¿Cómo decir su dormir de pesadillas
exhaustos de llorar, no envueltos
en cobijas de algodón y lana oliendo a consuelo
sino en mantas isotérmicas metálicas y frías
en el suelo de una jaula? ¿Cómo cantar sus muertes?
¿Cómo cantar la angustia de las madres,
los padres por sus hijitos, hijitas?
¿Cómo gritar el dolor y la rabia, protestar
la crueldad de los canallas en la Casa Blanca,
el Congreso, la Corte Suprema del país?
Enmudecen las musas; aquí los límites
de la poesía. Sólo servirá la resistencia,
revolución — esta será nuestro poema.
No hay otro.

---------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2019


--------------------I am asked as Poet

I am asked as Poet Laureate of the city
to recite a poem on the children,
mothers, fathers separated, jailed,
caged, tortured in concentration camps
on the southern border.
How to put into song the suffering, the cries,
the terror, the fright of the children snatched
from their mothers', their fathers' arms
by rough hands, in harsh voices
in a tongue they do not understand?
How to tell their sleep of nightmares
exhausted by crying, not wrapped
in blankets of cotton & wool smelling of comfort
but in space blankets metallic & cold on the floor
of a cage? How to sing their deaths?
How to sing the anguish of the mothers,
the fathers for their little sons, little daughters?
How cry the pain & rage, protest
the cruelty of the villains in the White House,
the Congress, the Supreme Court of the land?
The muses grow mute; here the limits
of poetry. Only resistance will do,
revolution — that will be our poem.
There is no other.

                © Rafael Jesús González 2019


Saturday, July 6, 2019

Lights for Liberty National Day of Action to close the Federal Migrant Deterntion Centers July 12 & 13


On our border
families are being torn apart,
children are suffering & dying —
join the National (International) Day(s) of Action
to close the detention camps now.

(scroll down the webpage 
to find the action nearest you.)

If you find no event near you, organize one yourself;

perhaps invite family, friends, neighbors 
to meet and talk about it.


In Berkeley, California:

PRESS RELEASE: Berkeley Rally for Children in Federal Migrant Detention Centers, Sat., July 13th, 12-2 p.m., Berkeley Civic Center Park

The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to hold a community rally on Saturday afternoon to protest the mass detention of children and adults in torturous conditions at our southern border.

The event will feature Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, City of Berkeley Poet Laureate Rafael Jesús González, DREAMers and immigrant rights activists, protest songs by Musicians Action Group and Occupella, faith leaders, and others. The event will also include representatives from immigrant rights organizations, sanctuary congregations, and other groups so protest attendees can learn more about how they can get involved.

The City of Berkeley was the first U.S. city to declare itself a sanctuary nearly 50 years ago—in 1971 in response to the Vietnam War. Then, the Berkeley City Council passed a resolution to provide sanctuary to 1,000 crew members of the U.S.S. Coral Sea who had signed a petition to stop the ship’s journey back to Vietnam from the San Francisco Bay.

Now, the Berkeley community will come together—in solidarity with the Lights for Liberty National Day of Action—to declare that no human being is illegal and demand that all people are treated humanely. 

Please join us to send a message to Close the Camps Now!

Our event will take place from 12 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 13th at Berkeley Civic Center Park, accessible from the Downtown Berkeley BART station. Attendees are encouraged to take public transportation, walk, bike, or carpool.


Friday, July 5, 2019

riverbabble 35, summer 2019


Berkeley Marina
by Christopher Novak

riverbabble 35
Summer, Bloomsday Issue

Wayne F. Burke:
           A Better Place

Elizabeth Dolan:
           How to Fix a Second FloorClothes Line
           Great Expectations

Rafael Jesús González:
           Standing Rock / Standing Rock
           Nubes al los límites/Clouds on the threshold

Kathleen McClung:
           The Nine of Doubt: Cento for Michelle Bitting
           Glosa for Those Who Pretend

Anne Whitehouse:
           Smoke and Fog

Glenn Ingersoll:    Eleven Haiku

William Doreski:    Max and Son

Mark A. Fisher:    taco trucks

Peter D. Goodwin:    Winter Sculptures

Grace Marie Grafton:    Muse and I: Trip

John Grey:    Thin Ice

Mathew Harrison:    The Catchment

Majella Haugh:    Traveler

Raluca Ioanid:    Target, I Love You

James Croal Jackson:    That Summer I Still Believed in Everything

Daniela Kantorová:    The Ship

Miriam N. Kotzin:    Fidgets and Fantods

Kathleen Listman:    The Water Clock

Richard Loranger:    Rain

MJ Moore:    Journey

Edward Mycue:    Seven Days in a Week

Carl "Papa" Palmer:    Waiting

Jay Samuels:    Remember

B.L.P. Simmons:    April on Jupiter

Elizabeth Spencer Spragins:    Cloaked

Miranda Sun:    Fox Magic

Denise Utt:    The Caregiver

Rebecca Watts:    Becoming the Lady of the Lake

Yuan Changming:    Sonneting in Infinitives


Anna Bradley:    Minor Intelicity

David Butler:    Looking-glass

Arthur Carey:    Until Death Us Do Part--A Triptych

KJ Hannah Greenberg:    Jase and the Sister of the Two Blue Dragons

Flash Fiction & Prose Poems

Bear Jack Gebhardt:
          Dangerous Books
          Basic Training

William Cass:    Tit for Tat

Jeannette DesBoine:    Merry Xmas--2018--El Paso, Tx

Robin Wyatt Dunn:    We Shouldn't Care

KJ Hannah Greenberg:    Sea Glass

Jim Ross:    Twizzler


Edward Mycue:    The Tapestry I Wove and I Now Sink Back Into

Timo Parfitt:    Grim Reaper Bong

Tom Sheehan:    A Bit of Correspondence Caused by Place

Photo Essay

Jim Ross: Thursday Market: Villefranche-de-Rouergue

Christopher Novak: Berkeley Marina (cover photo)

She crosses the threshold. He hesitates. She turns and, holding out her hands, draws him over. He hops. On the antlered rack of the hall hang a man’s hat and waterproof. Bloom uncovers himself but, seeing them, frowns, then smiles, preoccupied. A door on the return landing is flung open. A man in purple shirt and grey trousers, brownsocked, passes with an ape’s gait, his bald head and goatee beard upheld, hugging a full waterjugjar, his twotailed black braces dangling at heels.

                                                    JAMES JOYCE, Ulysses, Circe, 22064-22070.


| Submissions | Contact Us | Archives | BLOGS

Pandemonium Press
2nd printing available 
the publisher: pandemoniumpress@gmail.com

Leila Rae, editor


Thursday, July 4, 2019

U. S. of A. Independence Day

Oh, Say Can You See?

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate
the growth of private power to a point where it becomes
stronger than their democratic State itself. That, in essence
is Fascism — ownership of government by an individual,
by a group, or by any controlling private power.

---------------------------------President Franklin D. Roosevelt

----A Declaration Revisited
We hold these truths 
to be self-evident, they said,
that all men (provided they be 
of European descent, not women, 
& of a certain wealth
are created equal, 
that they are endowed 
by their Creator 
with certain unalienable rights 
(such as to enslave others, 
take their lands, 
& to trash the Earth), 
that among these are 
life (for the so privileged), 
Liberty (for those who can afford it)
& the pursuit (if they are able
of Happiness (measured 
by how much they consume.

To this pronouncement they pledged
their lives (?), their fortunes (that part 
not stowed away in foreign banks 
& sheltered by tax breaks). 
& their "Sacred Honor"(?) 

-------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2019

La libertad de una democracia no es salva si el pueblo tolera
el crecimiento del poder privado hasta al punto en que se hace
más fuerte que su estado democrático mismo. Eso en esencia
es el Fascismo — posesión del gobierno por un individuo,
por un grupo, o por un partido privado dominante.

 ---------------------------- Presidente Franklin D. Roosevelt

------------Declaración repasada


Tenemos estas verdades 
de por si evidentes, dijeron, 
que todos hombres (con tal que sean 
de ascendencia Europea, no mujeres, 
y de ciertos bienes
son creados iguales,
que son dotados 
por su Creador 
con ciertos derechos inalienables 
(tales como los de esclavizar a otros, 
quitarles sus terrenos, 
y de destrozar la Tierra), 
que entre ellos son 
la vida (para los tales privilegiados), 
la libertad (para cuales la puedan
y la búsqueda (si pueden
de la felicidad (medida 
por cuanto sonsuman.)

A esta declaración comprometieron 
sus vidas (?), sus fortunas (esa parte 
no metida en bancos extranjeros 
y protegida de impuestos), 
y su "honor Sagrado." (?)

--------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2019



Friday, June 28, 2019

50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, LGBT month


Gay means joyful

To all my brothers and sisters who on this day celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and human sexuality in all its diversity and joy with provocative abandon and scandalous good humor. (And in these fascist times, with justifiable fear and anger.)

---So Much for Sex

You have a dong
or you have a ding;
---at various times
------& different places
you may ding-ding
or you may ding-dong
or you may dong-dong.

Anyway, the music is lovely
& you can’t go wrong.

------© Rafael Jesús González 2019

May justice and universal human rights, respect, compassion, peace prevail under the universal flag of the rainbow.

Gay significa alegre

A mis hermanos y hermanas que en este día celebran el 50 aniversario de los disturbios de Stonewall y la sexualidad humana en toda su diversidad y alegría con provocante abandono y escandaloso buen humor. (Y en estos tiempos fascistas con justificable temor y furia.)

---Tanto por el sexo

Tienes un don
o tienes una doña;
---en varias ocasiones
------y en distintos lugares
harás doña-doña
o harás doña-don
o harás don-don.

De todos modos la música es linda
y no necesitas perdón.

----------© Rafael Jesús González 2019

Que la justicia, los derechos humanos universales, el respeto, la compasión, la paz prevalezcan bajo la bandera universal del arco iris.


Friday, June 21, 2019

Summer Solstice; Cancer


Our prayer for the Summer Solstice is for our healing. The very worst in the U.S. national character holds sway: contempt for justice, for the democracy of which we boast, for the truth itself, for the Earth. Racism, sheer cruelty, madness governs us. The nation suffers an illness of the soul that threatens life itself.

But also there is hope in the resistance that rises from what is best in the people: compassion, respect for justice, for democracy, a reverence for truth, for the Earth, for life. Herein lie our hopes for healing. The light of love must prevail.

 *     *    *  

Nuesto rezo para el solsticio veraniego es por nuestro sanar. Lo peor en el carácter nacional estadounidense domina: desprecio por la justicia, por la democracia de la cual hacemos alarde, por la verdad mera, por la Tierra. El racismo, la absoluta crueldad, la locura nos gobiernan. La nación sufre una enfermedad del alma que amenaza a la vida misma. 

Pero también hay esperanza en la resistencia que surge de lo que es lo mejor en el pueblo: la compasión, el respeto a la justicia, veneración por la verdad, por la Tierra, la vida. En esto están nuestras esperanzas de sanar. La luz del amar tiene que tiunfar.

Summer Solstice & Cancer




El cangrejo anhela,
después del largo día,
arrancar del cielo
esa moneda de plata fría
que es la luna.
---Sus ojos son cuentas de rubí
---y en las entrañas
---guarda un perla sensitiva
que anhela llevar muy hondo,
---------------------muy hondo
al punto cardinal del agua,
---al fondo primordial del mar.

--------------© Rafael Jesús González 2019


The crab longs,
after the long day,
to tear from the sky
that coin of cold silver
that is the moon.
-----Its eyes are ruby beads
-----& in its entrails
-----it keeps a sensitive pearl
which it longs to carry very deep,
----------------------------very deep
to the cardinal point of the waters,
---the primordial depths of the sea.

----------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2019