Sunday, May 21, 2017





Los gemelos,
él con collar de esmeraldas,
ella con collar de perlas,
arrullan en sus brazos
------al aire inconstante
y en sus manos llevan
puños de azogue inquieto.
Miden la dualidad
y en su intelecto brillan
las luces lejanas de Mercurio.

---------© Rafael Jesús González 2017


The twins,
he with a collar of emeralds,
she with a collar of pearls,
rock in their arms
------the inconstant air
& carry in their hands
fistfuls of restless quicksilver.
They measure duality
& in their intellect shine
the faraway lights of Mercury.

-----------© Rafael Jesús González 2017


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mothers Day U.S.A.


Mothers' Day is celebrated in the United States the second Sunday of May, and throughout the world on various dates. But in them all, this day in which reverence from the heart is rendered to the mother, is at the same time pretext for a cloying sentimentality that commerce foments to sell saccharin cards, odorless carnations, and expensive trinkets to increase profits.

We forget the origins of this relatively modern holiday. Mother's Day was started after the U.S. Civil War as a protest to the carnage of that war by women who had lost their sons to war. Such was the beginning of an annual Mothers' Day proposed by a mother. Let us render with a full heart our homage to our mothers and the mothers of everyone and let us not fall into facile sentimentality but dedicate ourselves to preventing the suffering of all mothers (and their children): poverty, hunger, abandonment, lack of shelter, lack of education, violence, war.

Rafael Jesús González

Here is the original Mother's Day Proclamation from 1870, followed by a a reminder of what the original intent of Mother's Day was from 'A history of Mother's Day' by a UC Davis historian:

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of fears! Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says "Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."

Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.

Mother's Day for Peace - by Ruth Rosen:

Honor Mother with Rallies in the Streets.

The holiday began in activism; it needs rescuing from commercialism and platitudes.

Every year, people snipe at the shallow commercialism of Mother's Day. But to ignore your mother on this holy holiday is unthinkable. And if you are a mother, you're supposed to be devastated if your ingrates fail to honor you at least one day of the year.

Mother's Day wasn't always like this... because Mother's Day began as a holiday that commemorated women's public activism, not as a celebration of a mother's devotion to her family.

The story begins in 1858 when a community activist named Anna Reeves Jarvis organized Mothers' Works Days in West Virginia. Her immediate goal was to improve sanitation in Appalachian communities. During the Civil War, Jarvis pried women from their families to care for the wounded on both sides. Afterward she convened meetings to persuade men to lay aside their hostilities.

In 1872, Julia Ward Howe, author of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic", proposed an annual Mother's Day for Peace. Committed to abolishing war, Howe wrote: "Our husbands shall not come to us reeking with carnage.. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs".

Julia Ward Howe
For the next 30 years, Americans celebrated Mothers' Day for Peace on June 2.

Many middle-class women in the 19th century believed that they bore a special responsibility as actual or potential mothers to care for the casualties of society and to turn America into a more civilized nation. They played a leading role in the abolitionist movement to end slavery. In the following decades, they launched successful campaigns against lynching and consumer fraud and battled for improved working conditions for women and protection for children, public health services and social welfare assistance to the poor. To the activists, the connection between motherhood and the fight for social and economic justice seemed self-evident.

In 1913, Congress declared the second Sunday in May to be Mother's Day. By then, the growing consumer culture had successfully redefined women as consumers for their families. Politicians and businessmen eagerly embraced the idea of celebrating the private sacrifices made by individual mothers. As the Florists' Review, the industry's trade journal, bluntly put it, " This was a holiday that could be exploited."... Since then, Mother's Day has ballooned into a billion-dollar industry.

Americans may revere the idea of motherhood and love their own mothers, but not all mothers. Poor, unemployed mothers may enjoy flowers, but they also need child care, job training, health care, a higher minimum wage and paid parental leave. Working mothers may enjoy breakfast in bed, but they also need the kind of governmental assistance provided by every other industrialized society.

With a little imagination, we could restore Mother's Day as a holiday that celebrates women's political engagement in society. During the 1980's, some peace groups gathered at nuclear test sites on Mother's Day to protest the arms race. Today, our greatest threat is not from missiles but from our indifference toward human welfare and the health of our planet.

Imagine, if you can, an annual Million Mother March in the nation's capital. Imagine a Mother's Day filled with voices demanding social and economic justice and a sustainable future,....public activism does not preclude private expressions of love and gratitude. (Nor does it prevent people from expressing their appreciation all year round.)

Ruth Rosen is a professor of history at UC Davis.

El Día de madres se celebra en los Estados Unidos el segundo domingo de mayo, y por el mundo entero en distintas fechas. Pero en todas, este día en el cual se le rinde veneración de corazón a la madre es a la vez pretexto para un sentimentalismo empalagoso que el comercio fomenta para vender tarjetas sacarinas, claveles sin aroma, y chucherías para aumentar las ganancias.

Olvidamos el origen de esta fiesta relativamente moderna. El Día de Madres empezó después de la guerra civil de los Estados Unidos como protesta a la mortandad en esa guerra por las mujeres que habían perdido a sus hijos a la guerra. Tal fue el principio del Día de Madres anual propuesto por una madre. Brindemos de todo corazón nuestros homenajes a todas nuestras madres y las madres de todos y no caigamos en el sentimentalismo fácil sino dediquémonos a evitar el sufrimiento de toda madre (y sus hij@s): la pobreza, el hambre, el abandono, el desamparo, falta de educación, violencia, la guerra.

Rafael Jesús González


Aquí la proclamación de 1870:

¡Levantémonos, entonces, mujeres de este día! ¡Levantémonos todas las mujeres que tengamos corazones, sea nuestro bautismo de agua o de temores! Digamos firmemente: “No permitiremos que las grandes cuestiones sean decididas por agencias que no vienen al caso. Nuestros esposos no vendrán hediendo a carnicería a nosotras por caricias y aplauso. No se nos quitarán a nuestros hijos para que desaprendan todo lo que les hemos podido enseñar de la caridad, la piedad y la paciencia.Nosotras las mujeres de un país seremos demasiadas tiernas de las de otro país para permitir que nuestros hijos sean entrenados a dañar a los suyos. Del pecho de la Tierra devastada una voz se alzará con la nuestra. Dice, “¡Desarmad, desarmad! La espada del homicidio no es la balanza de la justicia.”

La sangre no limpia nuestra deshonra ni la violencia indica posesión. Como los hombres han a menudo abandonado el arado y el yunque a la citación de la guerra, que las mujeres ahora dejen todo lo que se pueda dejar del hogar para un gran y fervoroso día de deliberación. Que se encuentren primero, como mujeres, para llorar y conmemorar a los muertos.

Que entonces solemnemente se aconsejen unas con la otras de modo que la gran familia humana pueda vivir en paz, cada quien llevando a su propio tiempo la empresa sagrada, no la de César, sino la de Dios.

En el nombre de la mujer y de la humanidad, fervorosamente pido que un congreso general de mujeres sin limites de nacionalidad sea designado y convocado en algún lugar determinado más conveniente y en el más cercano periodo consistente con sus objetivos, promover la alianza de las distintas nacionalidades, la resolución amigable de cuestiones internacionales, los grandes y generales intereses de la paz.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Full Moon on Mothers Day


-----------Luna llena en Día de Madres

La luz de la luna llena por la ventana
cae sobre los arcos iris que me tejió mi madre
escasamente desteñidos por los años,
lo cual no puedo decir de mi cabello.
Las rayas ondulantes de las cobijas
arrullan mis sueños como una vez
me arrullaron sus brazos.
Ya hace mucho bajo tierra,
desnudos sus pobres huesos,
no hay día en que no piense
en mi madre que de su propio cuerpo
me hizo y con su cuidado
me hizo el corazón tal como sea.
La luna, pobre estéril hermana 
de la Tierra, con su luz fría
alumbra los arcos iris de las cobijas
y enciende sueños de mi madre.

-------------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2017


Full Moon on Mothers Day

The light of the full moon through the window
falls on the rainbows my mother knit for me
scarcely faded by the years,
which I cannot say of my hair.
The ripply bands of the blankets
rock my dream as at one time
her arms rocked me.
Now long beneath the earth,
naked her poor bones,
there is no day in which I do not think
of my mother who of her own body
made me and with her care
made my heart such as it be.
The moon, poor sterile sister
of the Earth, with her cold light
lights up the rainbows of the blankets
and kindles dreams of my mother.

---------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2017


Monday, May 1, 2017

International Day of the Worker


International Day of the Worker
without whom nothing that we have would be.

“Capitalism is the astonishing belief
that the nastiest motives of the nastiest men
somehow or other work for the best results
in the best of all possible worlds.”

----------------------------------------—  attributed to John Maynard Keynes

-------------------------------------------------------  ---Economist (1883 – 1946)

"We can either have democracy in this country
or we can have great wealth concentrated 
in the hands of a few,
but we can't have both."

-------------------------------------------------------------Louis Brandeis

------------------------------------------------------------------Supreme Court Justice (1916 to 1939)


Día internacional del/la trabajador(a)
sin quien nada de lo que tenemos hubiera.

“El capitalismo es la creencia asombrosa
que los motivos más repugnantes 
de los hombres más indecentes
de algún modo u otro obran para obtener 
los mejores resultados
en el mejor de todos los mundos posibles.”

-----------------------------------------—  atribuido a John Maynard Keynes

-----------------------------------------------------------  ---Economista (1883 – 1946)

“Podemos tener en este país o democracia
o grande riqueza concentrada en manos de pocos
pero no ambos.” 

-------------------------------------------------------Louis Brandeis

---------------------------------------------Juez de la Corte Suprema EE.UU. (1916 a 1939)


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earth Day 2017


-----------Madre Nuestra

Madre nuestra que aquí eres,
santos sean todos tus nombres,
aquí es tu rein,
se hace tu voluntad,
el cielo se cuida de si mismo.
Danos nuestro pan de cada día,
y perdona nuestras ofensas
un rato más hasta que aprendamos
a no ofendernos unos a los otros.
Hacemos nuestras propias tentaciones
y sólo nosotros podremos librarnos del mal.

Pues tuyo es el reino,
y el poder y la gloria
por cuanto existamos para alabarte.


------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2017

---------------Our Mother

Our Mother who here is,
holy be all your names,
here be your reign,
your will is done,
heaven takes care of itself.
Give us our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
a while longer until we learn
not to trespass against one another.
We make our own temptations
and only we can free ourselves of evil.

For yours is the reign,
the power, and the glory
for as long as we exist to praise you.


------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2017


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Sunday


------------Ha resucitado

Cuentan que un hombre
tan amoroso y justo 
que muchos lo toman 
por benévolo dios 
fue muerto porque su enseñanza

tan amorosa y justa amenazaba
los meros cimientos del imperio
y que contra toda ley de la vida
tres días después resucitó,
cosa no inaudita en el mito
pero asombrosa aun.

Su enseñanza aun amenaza imperios
y muchos que atreven seguirla
son perseguidos y muertos
y la resurrección de él es nada
menos que revolución.

------------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2017

En un mundo de odio el amar es revolucionario

In a world of hate, to love is revolutionary 

------------He Is Risen

They tell that a man
so loving & just
that many take him
for benevolent god
was killed because his teaching
so loving & just threatened
the very foundations of empire
& that against all law of life
three days later resurrected,
not unheard of in myth
but wondrous still.

His teaching still threatens empires
& many who dare follow it
are persecuted & killed,
& his resurrection is nothing
less than revolution.

----------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2017



Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday



La luna asoma  

por entre las ramas de los olivos,
sube sobre la cercana loma
donde los vergonzosos sucesos
ocurrieron hace ya un buen tiempo.
Hablando sin pelos en la lengua,
debía haberse casado, tenido familia,
practicado su honesta artesanía,
haber hecho algo de si mismo.
Un tipo guapo y listo,
prodigio, dicen algunos,
de mero muchachito presumía
discutir con sabios.
Pero aun joven salió
en alguna búsqueda de visiones o se perdió,
vaya a saber, en la anonimia de la ciudad.
Le gustaba la juerga y en una fiesta una vez
logró encontrar vino donde no lo había
causando lenguas contar chismes exagerados.
Recogía gente en alguna colina
y les hablaba — revolvía la plebe, si gusta.
Una vez se metió con los banqueros
y vendedores de palomas y borreguitos
en la casa santa. ¿Para qué?
Las casillas de cambio y puestos de animales
estaban allí al día siguiente.
Nada mas disgustó a las autoridades
y mire como paró  —
--------------------------estirado y colgando.
-------Y las cosas sin cambiar una pepita.

----------------------------------------------- © Rafael Jesús González 2017'hon

-----------Gone Wrong

The moon peers
from among the olive branches,
rises over the nearby hill
where the shameful happenings
took place a good while back.
Bluntly speaking,
he should have married, had a family,
practiced his honest craft,
made something of himself.
A handsome fellow and bright,
a prodigy, some say,
a mere boy he presumed
to discuss with scholars.
But a young man still he went off
on some vision quest or lost himself,
for all we know, in the anonymity of the city.
He liked a good time and at a party once
managed to find wine where there was none
setting some tongues to tell tall tales about it.
He would gather folk on some small hill
and talk to them — rabble rouse, if you will.
Once, he messed with the bankers
and sellers of pigeons and small sheep
in the holy-house. For what?
The exchange booths and animal stalls
were back up the next day.
It just upset the authorities,
and look how he ended up —
---------------------stretched out and hanging.
-----And things not changed a pip.

 ----------------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2017