Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Richmond Anthology of Poetry reading Thursday, December 15


You are most cordially invited to an event

Thursday, December 15, 2016

7:00 - 9:00 PM

Richmond Progressive Alliance

2540 Macdonald Ave.

Richmond, California

at which Rafael Jesús González
& other contributors will read from

The Richmond Anthology of Poetry

Daniel Ari, editor

just released


Monday, November 28, 2016

Standing Rock action, San Francisco, Wed. Nov. 20


On Wednesday November 30th, 8:00-11:00 AM PST, Justin Herman Plaza, 1 Market St., San Francisco, California, we gather together to support water protectors on the front-line at STANDING ROCK. This is one of many national actions Nov. 30th to Dec. 2nd to encourage divestment from financial institutions funding the pipeline. 

The morning will begin with prayers for the water led by the women of Idle No More SF Bay. A teach-in will be conducted on why everyone needs to divest from the financial institutions funding the Dakota Access Pipeline. This will be followed by a prayer walk to several banking institutions funding the DAPL. Educational hand-outs will be available to pass out.

We ask that you close your accounts to protect the water and let us know when you do! Financial institutions listed here::'s-banking-dakota-access-pipeline

We are calling on all women to join us and use your voices to either collectively withdraw your money from the banks funding DAPL or support your sisters in action.

While this is a woman-led action, everyone is invited to join us!

Come prepared with signs and artwork (Standing Rock and Wells Fargo Divesting) that will visually spread the message loudly! Here is a link to artwork you can download:

If you can't make it to the SF event, we'll be sharing through Facebook Live via @Farewellsfargo facebook page. Please check back to see how the events are unfolding.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Fidel Castro (August 13, 1926 – November 25, 2016)


---------------------Ay Cuba

-------Los derechos se toman, no se piden;
-----------se arrancan, no se mendigan.
      ----------------------------------------José Martí

---------------a Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz 

Le llegó la muerte al viejo revolucionario
extinguiendo lo que le quedaba del puro
dejándole la cachucha militar
para  que no le pusieran laureles
que le molestaran.
No es cosa chica enfrentarse al imperio
y sobrevivir su furia de perro rabioso
del cual se le quita un hueso.
Ay Cuba de la historia amarga,
de palmas, bailes, canciones,
de los tambores de Alegba y Yemayá,
de la caña hecha dulce por sangre y sudor
enlútate y recuerda, canta, baila, 
obra por la justicia y jamás 
vuelvas a la esclavitud.

----------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2016

---------------------Oh Cuba

------Los derechos se toman, no se piden;
----------se arrancan, no se mendigan.
      ----------------------------------------José Martí

-----------------a Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz 

Death came to the old revolutionary
put out what was left of his cigar
leaving him his military cap
so they would not place laurels
that would bother him.
It is no little thing to confront the empire
& survive its rage of a mad dog
from which a bone is taken.
Oh Cuba of the bitter history,
of palms, dances, songs,
of the drums of Alegba & Yamayá,
of the cane made sweet by blood & sweat
mourn & remember, sing, dance, 
work for justice & never 
return to slavery.

-----------------© Rafael Jesús González 2016


Thursday, November 24, 2016




Gracias y benditos sean
el Sol y la Tierra
por este pan y este vino,
-----esta fruta, esta carne, esta sal,
----------------este alimento;
gracias y bendiciones
a quienes lo preparan, lo sirven;
gracias y bendiciones
a quienes lo comparten
(y también a los ausentes y a los difuntos.)
Gracias y bendiciones a quienes lo traen
--------(que no les falte),
a quienes lo siembran y cultivan,
lo cosechan y lo recogen
-------(que no les falte);
gracias y bendiciones a los que trabajan
-------y bendiciones a los que no puedan;
que no les falte — su hambre
-----hace agrio el vino
-----------y le roba el gusto a la sal.
Gracias por el sustento y la fuerza
para nuestro bailar y nuestra labor
--------por la justicia y la paz.

----------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2016

(The Montserrat Review, no. 6, primavera 2003
[postulado para el Premio de la Poesía por la Paz Hobblestock;
derechos reservados del autor.)

---------------- Grace

Thanks and blessing be
to the Sun and the Earth
for this bread and this wine,

this fruit, this meat, this salt, 
---------------this food;
thanks be
and blessing to them
who prepare it, who serve it;
and blessing to them
who share it
and also the absent and the dead.)
and blessing to them who bring it
--------(may they not want),
to them who plant
and tend it,
and gather it
--------(may they not want);
and blessing to them who work
and blessing to them who cannot;
may they not want — for their hunger
------sours the wine
and robs the salt of its taste.
Thanks be for the sustenance
and strength
for our dance
and the work of justice, of peace.

-------------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2016

(The Montserrat Review, Issue 6, Spring 2003
[nominated for the Hobblestock Peace Poetry Award];
author’s copyrights.)

--- ---


Monday, November 21, 2016




El arquero apunta a Júpiter,
----planeta de tantas lunas,
cuya luz se refleja en sus ancas,
y en la punta de topacio de su saeta
brota la llama inconstante del anhelo.
------En cadena de estaño
------lleva pectoral de turquesa
------bruñida de ensueños
---------y apunta
-------------------y apunta
---------y anhela herir al cielo.

-------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2016


The archer points at Jupiter,
-----planet of many moons
whose light reflects on his haunches,
and on the topaz point of his arrow
bursts the inconstant flame of his desire.
------On a chain of tin
------he wears a medallion of turquoise
------polished by dreams
---------and he points
----------------------and he points
------and desires to wound the sky. 

----------             ------© Rafael Jesús González 2016


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thanksgiving Day — A U. S. Holiday


Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863-1930)


Preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving, favorite U.S. holiday (for we must always be thankful for blessings), it is well for us to recall the history and myth in which it is clothed and reflect upon it.

If in 1621 "Tisquantum" or "Squanto" of the Wampanoag nation, who as a boy or youth was taken as a slave to England fifteen years before the “Pilgrims” came to America, helped the ill-provided colonists and with his tribe celebrated thanksgiving with Miles Standish and the colonists of Plymouth Plantation, it was because the Algonkian tribes were generous and held six thanks-giving festivals during the year (that one being their 5th one of the year.) They brought most of the food, including four wild turkeys, for the feasting.

But it seems that, as William B. Newell, a Penobscot Indian and former chairman of the Anthropology department at the University of Connecticut, points out, the first officially declared Thanksgiving Day by the Governor of the then Massachusetts Bay Colony was the day following the slaughtering of a Pequot village of 700 men, women, and children who were celebrating their annual Green Corn Dance, in June 1637 executed under the command of one John Underhill and documented by William Branford.

In fact, a proclamation of such a holiday recorded in Charlestown, Massachusetts, thirty-nine years later, June 20, 1676, refers to the indigenous peoples of this land as “the Enemy” in “the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land.” And the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts set June 29 to thank the god of the Puritan “pilgrims” for “giving us especially of late with many of our Confederates many signal Advantages against them [the indigenous people],” thankful “when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed.”

It first became a national holiday declared such by George Washington in 1789 for November 26. Abraham Lincoln revived the custom in 1863, and Congress decreed the holiday should fall on the fourth Thursday of November in 1941. And so it is, a holiday with antecedents in the remotest times of human history and burdened with national myth and fact, piety and villainy more often than not inextricably intertwined.

Since 1969 or 70 on San Francisco Bay, the day is begun at sunrise with American Indian ceremony at the gathering of the tribes on the island of Alcatraz as reminder of the history of this land — and as rededication to changing its course for the better.

Feasting with family and friends in thanks for the blessings of life, Thanksgiving is a holiday of celebration whose joy is marred by a consciousness of our nation in continual war and destruction of the Earth. The government (we, if we tolerate it) not only wages war unjustly, unlawfully, justifying itself through lies and deceit, but violates the U. S. Constitution and Bill of Rights so that our civil rights and liberties are less and less guaranteed. The wealth of the nation is concentrated in the hands of the one per cent rich and powerful, and most of our people will celebrate this day with less wealth, less security, less freedom, less learning, than thirty-four years ago. And the struggle to create a democracy continues. Now under even more difficult conditions.

In the midst of this pain and exasperation, we must give thanks for the gifts of life and the sustenance of the great Mother the Earth. And for each other, and all our relations the other animals, the plants, the minerals. We give thanks mindful that in our gratitude we must also raise our voices in the name of justice and peace resolved to make amends and undertake healing knowing that gratitude for that which we enjoy at the expense and suffering of our brothers and sisters is blasphemous and unacceptable.

© Rafael Jesús González 2016
Alta California


Monday, November 14, 2016

full moon: Two Ominous Views of the Full Moon 

Dos vistas ominosas de la luna llena


La inmensa luna llena
baña de luz blanca y fría
a la Señora de los mares
-----Dama del puerto
que parece en desesperación
alzar su antorcha
que aun despide más humo
que luz y parece
a punto de extinguirse,
lo que representa ahogarse
en las oleadas de luz
indiferentes y frías
para luego caer en la oscuridad.


La luz de la luna inmensa y brillante
parece hacer aun más fría la noche
cubriendo como escarcha luminosa
el campamento de los defensores
del agua sagrada, de la Tierra.
E igual cubre a los destructores,
los guardias, soldados en sus cascos
con sus garrotes y perros.
Y las piedras siguen de pie
cubiertas de escarcha de luz
silenciosas cual centinelas impotentes,
testigos imparciales.

--------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2016

---Two Ominous Views of the Moon


The immense full moon
bathes in white, cold light
the Lady of the Seas,
----Dame of the Port
who in desperation seems
to raise her torch
that even now sends more smoke
than light & seems
about to go out,
what it stands for to drown
in the waves of light
Indifferent & cold
to then fall into darkness.


The light of the immense, brilliant moon
seems to make the night even colder
covering with luminous frost
the encampment of the defenders
of the sacred water, of the Earth.
And equally covers the destroyers,
the guards, soldiers in their helmets
with their clubs & their dogs.
And the rocks stand 
covered with hoarfrost of light
silent as powerless sentinels,
impartial witnesses.

----------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2016