Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April, National Poetry Month

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-----------Loco Poeta


El poeta, loco que es
camina a la orilla
del precipicio del significado
buscando una verdad más elevada
esperando que las palabras
como abejas rumbo a la colmena
lo guié a ella. 
El cosal que lleva en una vara
está lleno de palabras y trucos
más de lo que jamás usará. 
La rosa no es sólo una rosa
sino metáfora de ¿qué?
Lilas a la puerta son abril.
Soñador, visionario, loco
el perro del hecho mundano
le muerde los talones,
le desgarra los calzones, 
le expone el culo al aire
recordándole de que para lo que
busca no hay palabra que le cuadre. 


--------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2020







---------Fool Poet


The poet, fool that he is
walks the edge
of the precipice of meaning 
looking for a higher truth
hoping that words
like homing bees 
will lead him to it. 
The bag he carries on a stick
is full of words & tricks
more than he will ever use.
The rose is not just a rose
but a metaphor for what?
Lilacs by the door is April. 
Dreamer, visionary, fool,
the dog of mundane fact
snaps at his heels,
tears his pants,
exposes his butt to the air
reminding him that for what
he seeks no word can fit.


--------------© Rafael Jesús González 2020




 

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

César E. Chávez (March 31, 1927 – April 23, 1993)

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Oración del campesino en la lucha


Enséñame el sufrimiento de los más desafortunados;
así conoceré el dolor de mi pueblo.
Líbrame a orar por los demás
porque estás presente en cada persona.
Ayúdame a tomar responsabilidad de mi propia vida;
sólo así, seré libre al fin.
Concédeme valentía para servir al prójimo
porque en la entrega hay vida verdadera.
Concédeme honradez y paciencia
para que yo pueda trabajar junto con otros trabajadores.
Alúmbranos con el canto y la celebración
para que se eleve el espíritu entre nosotros.
Que el espíritu florezca y crezca
para que no nos cansemos de la lucha.
Acordémonos de los que han caído por la justicia
porque a nosotros han entregado la vida.
Ayúdanos a amar aun a los que nos odian;
así podremos cambiar el mundo.
--------------------------------------------------Amen.




------------------------------César E. Chávez

------------------------------Fundador del UFW




by Robert Lentz



-----Prayer of the Farm Workers' Struggle


Show me the suffering of the most miserable;
thus I will know my people's plight.
Free me to pray for others,
for you are present in every person.
Help me take responsibility for my own life
so that I can be free at last.
Grant me courage to serve my neighbor
for in surrender is there truly life.
Grant me honesty and patience
so that I can work with other workers.
Enlighten us with song and celebration
so that the spirit will be alive among us.
Let the spirit flourish and grow
so that we will never tire of the struggle.
Let us remember those who have died for justice
for they have given us life.
Help us love even those who hate us;
thus we can change the world.
-------------------------------------Amen.


--------------------------César E. Chávez

----------------------------------UFW Founder


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Farm_Workers


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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Crowned Virus

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---------------Virus coronado


Caballo pálido, pálido jinete 
de las alucinaciones
del trastornado Juan 
galopa por las calles desiertas.
Aislados en nuestras casas
espiamos por detrás de las persianas
temerosos de que aun el polvito de sol 
nos pueda contagiar. 
Acabados los besos y los abrazos
y aun el tomarnos de la mano. 
Corre la peste por el mundo entero.
Derribará lo que sea preciso derribar
y derribará mucho de lo que no —
de lo que quede 
hagamos un mundo mejor.



-----------© Rafael Jesús González 2020



Vision of John of Patmos


-------------Crowned Virus


Pale horse, pale rider
from the hallucinations
of mad John 
gallops through the deserted streets.
Sequestered in our houses 
we peer from behind the shutter
fearful that even the sun motes
would infect us.
Gone are the kisses & the hugs 
& even the shaking of hands. 
The plague runs through the world. 
It will destroy what needs to be destroyed
& will destroy much of what does not —
From what will remain 
let us make a better world.



-------------© Rafael Jesús González 2020


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A changed world

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Ha cambiado el mundo de repente; es otro ya el que habitamos. Estamos aislados en estos tiempos de peste. Por las calles desiertas galopa el jinete pálido en su caballo pálido de las alucinaciones de Juan de Patmos. Si tú y yo nos encontráranos en la calle no nos pudiéramos besar, ni abrazar ni aun tomarnos de la mano y lo más cerca que pudiéramos juntarnos sería a una distancia de no menos de dos metros Ya es otro mundo.

En la soledad de mi aislamiento hay días en que se me hincha el corazón de amor por la Tierra, por la vida, por mis hermanos, hermanas que me han iluminado la vida. Hay otros en que me llena una tristeza tan grande que me forma un nudo en la garganta y lágrimas en los ojos. En otros domina el terror. Otros días siento una gran furia con el presidente 45 de los EE.UU., centro del imperio, un ignorante canalla imbécil cuya visión no va más allá de su vanidad, su nombre en edificios y campos de golf, sus obscenas ganancias. Y con él su índole. Su negar de lo serio de la pandemia, su dilato en hacer aun lo mínimo para contenerla, su irresponsabilidad nos pone a todos en gran peligro no solamente aquí sino por el mundo entero.

Pienso que Tonantzin, Pachamama, Gaia, Madre Tierra en su fiebre y delirio de los cuales somos culpables haya creado este virus como anticuerpo para curarse del cancer maligno, nosotros, en su cuerpo sagrado. Este virus será prueba de nuestra evolución si la sobrevivimos. Tenemos que hacer un mundo nuevo que acuerde con la salud de la Tierra, dejar de consumirla como bichos que devoran a su propia madre. Se tiene que derribar la economía de imperio, el capitalismo que valora la ganancia más que todo, trata a la Tierra sólo como materia prima para que el trabajador, trabajadora esclavizados la conviertan en productos consumibles para la ganancia de los pocos. Tal vez este virus es la dura lección necesaria para que aprendamos de una vez que a pesar de nuestro aislamiento todos estamos juntos en este doloroso reto, que el mundo nuevo que tenemos que hacer tiene que ser uno arrigado en un amor feroz por la Tierra, por la vida, por uno al otro, un mundo de justicia y paz. Que así sea, si no no sobrevivimos. 

Haz lo que puedas por la Tierra, la justicia, la paz; se sanador, sanadora en la esfera de tu poder, tu influencia. Seamos compañeros, compañeras en nuestra revolución que tenemos que hacer.

Rafael Jesús González


Vision of John of Patmos


The world has suddenly changed; it is already another world in which we live. We are isolated in these times of plague. Through the deserted streets gallops the pale horseman on his pale horse from the hallucinations of John of Patmos. If you and I met on the street we could not kiss, nor hug, and not even shake hands, and the nearest we could be to one another would be a minimum of six feet. It is already another world.

In the aloneness of my isolation there are days when my heart swells with love of the Earth, of life, of my brothers and sisters who have lit my life. There are others in which such a great sadness fills me that it forms a knot in my throat and tears in my eyes. On others, terror dominates. Other days I feel a great rage toward the 45th president of the U.S., center of  the empire, an ignorant scoundrel imbecile whose vision goes no further than his vanity, his name on buildings and golf courses, his obscene profits. And with him his ilk. His denial of the seriousness of the pandemic, his delay in doing even the minimum to contain it, his irresponsibility puts everyone in danger not only here but the entire world.

I think that Tonantzin, Pachamama, Gaia, Mother Earth in her fever and delirium for which we are to blame has created this crowned virus as an antibody to cure herself of the malignant cancer, us, on her sacred body. This virus will be the test of our evolution if we survive. We have to make a new world that accords with the health of the Earth, stop consuming her like bugs that devour their own mother. The economy of empire, capitalism that values profit more than anything, treats the Earth as merely a raw resource for the enslaved worker to convert into consumable products for the profit of the few must come down. Perhaps this virus is the hard lesson necessary for us to learn once and for all that in spite of our isolation we are all together in this painful challenge, that the new world we have to make has to be one rooted in a fierce love for the Earth, for life, for one another, a world of justice and peace. So be it, if not, we will not survive.

Do what you can for the Earth, justice, peace; be a healer in the sphere of your power, your influence. Let us be companions in our revolution that we must make.

Rafael Jesús González




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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Saint Óscar A. Romero G. 8/15/1917 - 3/24/1980

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40 years later

Recordemos y honremos de corazón la memoria del Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero Galdámez, Arzobispo de San Salvador asesinado mientras decía misa en la capilla de un hospital el 24 de marzo de 1980, El Salvador. Fue muerto por su oposición a la injusticia, a la crueldad de un gobierno derechista apoyado por los EE.UU; fue muerto por amar y tratar de proteger a los que amaba. Fue muerto por ser buen pastor. El poema fue escrito cuando nos interamos de su muerte.
 
Let us remember and honor in our hearts the memory of Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero Galdámez, Archbishop of San Salvador murdered while he said mass in the chapel of a hospital March 24, 1980, El Salvador. He was killed because of his opposition to the injustice, the cruelty of a rightist government supported by the U.S.; he was killed because he loved and tried to protect those he loved. He was killed for being a good shepherd. The poem was written when we learned of his death. 




------La Consagración Del Cafe

-----------------al monseñor Óscar A. Romero


Un día de dios
en mi patio tomando café
nada es normal —
------ni el alcatraz
------con su pene dorado
------ni el iris
------como lava morada
------que derrama un volcán.
Encuentro en el fondo de la taza
casullas bordadas
de mariposas negras
y guindas manchas —
-----el sol dispara
-----centellas de balas plateadas
-----y de cirios ahogados —
----------hay sangre en su brillar.
Pongo la burda taza en su platillo
con un tierno cuidado
como si fuera cáliz
y digo la letanía:
-------Guatemala
-------Nicaragua
-------El Salvador.
Y un lado del corazón
me sabe blanco y dulce
como la caña
------y el otro,
-----------como el café,
------------------negro y amargo.




------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2020


(Siete escritores comprometidos: obra y perfil; Fausto Avendaño, director;
Explicación de Textos Literarios vol. 34 anejo 1; diciembre 2007;
Dept. of Foreign Languages; California State University Sacramento;
derechos reservados del autor.)









------The Consecration Of Coffee

----------------------to Archbishop Óscar A. Romero


One day of god
drinking coffee in my patio
nothing is normal —
------not the calla
------with its penis of gold
------nor the iris
------like purple lava
------a volcano spills.
I find in the depths of the cup
chasubles embroidered
with black moths
& red stains —
-----the sun fires
-----a scintillation of silver bullets
-----& of candles drowned —
-----------there is blood in its shine.
I place the cup on its saucer
with a most tender care
as if it were a chalice
& say the litany:
-------Guatemala
-------Nicaragua
-------El Salvador
& one side of my heart
tastes white & sweet
like cane sugar
-----& the other,
----------like coffee,
---------------bitter & black.




----------------© Rafael Jesús González 2020


( Visions-International, no. 44, 1994;
author’s copyrights)


On this day, Oscar Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador, was assassinated, sparking El Salvador's 12-year civil war.

 
Romero was appointed San Salvador's archbishop three years before, in 1977, at a time when violence in El Salvador was rapidly escalating. The conflict was largely one of class warfare: the landed wealthy — who were aligned with the rightist government and paramilitary death squads (supported by the U.S.) — against the impoverished farm workers and other laborers who had begun to ally themselves with leftist guerrilla groups looking to overthrow the government.

Romero had a reputation for being bookish, conservative, and even for discouraging priests from getting involved in political activism. But within weeks of becoming bishop, one of his good friends was killed by the death squads. His friend was an activist Jesuit priest named Rutilio Grande, who had been devoted to educating peasants and trying to bring about economic reforms. He was gunned down on his way to a rural church, along with a young boy and elderly man he had been traveling with. It was a clear moment of conversion for the previously apolitical Oscar Romero, who suddenly felt that he needed to take up the work his friend had been interrupted from doing.

Romero canceled Masses all around the country that week, and invited all to attend the funeral Mass on the steps of the National Cathedral, which he presided over along with 100 other priests. One hundred thousand people showed up at the cathedral for the funeral. He also broadcast his sermon over the radio, so that it could be heard throughout the country. He called for government investigation of the murders going on in rural areas, and he spoke of the reforms that needed to happen in El Salvador: an end to human rights violations, to the regime of terror, and to the huge disparity in wealth, with the landed classes getting rich from the labor of the poor. He announced to his congregation that he wanted to be a good pastor, but he needed everyone's help to lead.

He was called to Rome. The Vatican did not approve of his activism. Romero had become a proponent of liberation theology, a way of viewing the teachings of the Christ from the perspective of the poor. Poverty and oppression came from sin, it argued — institutional sin or structural sin, such as an authoritarian regime or unjust government. In liberation theology, the Gospels are not so much a call to peace or social order; instead they are a call to action, even unrest, to eradicate the sin that is causing poverty and widespread suffering. 

 
On March 23, 1980, the day before he was shot, Oscar Romero gave a sermon in which he pleaded with low-level soldiers and policemen carrying out murderous orders to choose God's command over their government's. The very next day, March 24, 1980, Romero was killed by a paid assassin while consecrating bread at the altar during Mass. A single bullet from an M-16 assault rifle was fired down the center aisle of the hospital chapel, striking him in the heart.

Romero's funeral was attended by a quarter million people from around the world. The events galvanized many previously apolitical poor people, who then supported leftist guerrilla fighters trying to overthrow the Salvadoran regime. The 12-year civil war resulted in more than 75,000 deaths and more than a million displaced people. In 1992, peace accords negotiated by the government and leftist rebels were signed in Mexico, with the United Nations and Catholic Church looking on. It included a 70 percent reduction in armed forces, programs for economic growth and to alleviate poverty, and an outside observing system to monitor elections. The accord included a nine-month cease-fire, which began February 1, 1992. That cease-fire has never since been broken. 


The way to Archbishop Óscar A. Romero's canonization, held up by the two previous popes who called him a communist, was cleared by Pope Francis who declared that Archbishop Romero had died a martyr.







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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Spring Equinox and Aries


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Spring Equinox and Aries


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--------------------Aries

Al morueco de los comienzos
lo impulsa la estrella roja
que relumbra en sus ojos de diamante
y se refleja en sus cuernos de heliotropo,
sus pesuñas de hierro.
----- 

----Guarda el fuego cardinal del anhelo----- 
----y sobre su cabeza-------------- 
------------giran el día y la noche--------------------- 
------------------la noche y el día-------------- 
------------en el baile simétrico 
------------------del tiempo.




-----------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2020





 

---------------Aries

The ram of beginnings
is driven by the red star
which shines in its diamond eyes,
reflects in its bloodstone horns,
its iron hoofs.
 

----It guards the cardinal fire
 -- -of ambition
 ----and above its head
 -------turn day and night 
--------night and day---- 
-----in the symmetrical dance 
------------of time.



----------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2020



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Thursday, March 12, 2020

Cichuei tecpatl xihuitl: Year Eight Flint

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Chicuei tecpatl xihuitl: Año ocho pedernal

---------------------------(al modo nahua)


Que el pedernal del tiempo
corte los mecates que nos atan
liberando flor y canto,
adornando con plumas y oro,
sacándonos chispas de alegría
en el corazón haciéndolo 
-------de piedra verde.


-------© Rafael Jesús González 2020


 



Chicuei tecpatl xihuitl: Year Eight Flint

----------------------(in the Nahua mode)


May the flint of time
cut the cords that bind us 
freeing flower & song,
adorning with feathers & gold,
striking sparks of joy
in the heart making it 
--------of green stone.



--------© Rafael Jesús González 2020



 

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