Friday, June 26, 2015

riverbabble 27 - Summer 2015


Locke, CA by Christopher Novak

riverbabble 27


Dee Allen.: Wooden Cello

Felice Aull:
         I Dreamed My Husband Drove
         This June the Rains

Fred Dodsworth:
          A path to heaven without questions
          Trojan Horses

Liz Dolan:
          Praying Twice
          In My Dream

Nancy Flynn:
          Present Tense Love Poem
          Pulling the Rope

Rafael Jesús González:
         Espacio Mixtura / Mixed Space;
         Preguntan / You Ask

JB Mulligan:
          two musics

Suzanne Nielsen:
          Identify Yourself
          Never Forget a Face

Anne Whitehouse:
          Fires of Youth
          An Afternoon Nap

Jeff Bernstein:   Some Dreams

Suzanne Bruce:   Coda

Stuart Dodds:   Urging his friend Jan Doets to listen to a sonata by Franz Schubert

Luisa M. Giulianetti:   Rupture

KJ Hannah Greenberg:   Snowing in Austin

Katherine Hastings:   First Music, Last Music

Miriam N. Kotzin:   The Letter "C"

Peggy Morrison:   When Grandpa Heard Angels Sing

David Shaddock:   Symphony

d.n.simmers:   Splitting Reality

John Swain:   Follow Caldwell, Livingston

David Welper:   Mingus-Tea

Maw Shein Win:   Time machine


Anna Bálint:   Unpacking

Larry Lefkowitz:   Rachel

James Shaffer:   Know Your Limitations

Tom Sheehan:   The Soul of Shiloh Two

Flash Fiction

Janet Buck:
           Cape Canaveral, June 2099m Landing on the Missing Moon
           The Coma

Chella Courington:
           Aren’t You Interested in Boys?
           Looking Inside

Fernando Meisenhalter:   Weed Genie

Peggy Morrison:   Mom is keeping him away from the kids

Myron L. Pulier:   Two Women

David Spicer:   She Sang the Blues All Night Long

Deborah Steinberg:   Verlan

Jerry Vilhotti:   Poverty for Sale

Lester L. Weil:   Driving Your Daughter To College


Barry Ebner:  Bay Area Poets & Writers Photo Essay

Christopher Novak:  Locke, CA

When, lo, there came about them all a great brightness and they beheld the chariot wherein He stood ascend to heaven. And they beheld Him in the chariot, clothed upon the glory of the brightness, having raiment as of the sun, fair as the moon and terrible that for awe they durst not look upon Him.

                                                                    JAMES JOYCE, Ulysses, p.284. 12, 1910-1914.

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Solstice & Cancer

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 2015


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 2015


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Flag Day (U.S.A.)


--------The Flag

At our best
we show our true colors,
fly the flag that stands
for our deepest, broadest
allegiance to each other,
to the Earth holy & diverse.

These are my colors:

red of my love that colors all
& is the root & flower & fruit,
the heart of my belief
& what I know of truth.

of my abandon, my surrender
to my living, mindless of laws
that would fetter the steps
of my wildest dances.


yellow of my joy that tastes
of the sun, exultation in the
wealth of the senses,
root of my power & my love.

of my hopes that wing
my desires & lend will
to my acts, that inform
even my opposition
to outrage.

of my memories
that make my history of wings
that soar to the mountains
& drop to the ravines,
complex topography of myself.

of my sorrows, my remorse,
my shame for betrayals of the heart,
most often of omission,
through weariness or fear.

This is my flag;
its colors run,
diffuse at the edges,
blend, shade
into hues, half-tones
difficult to name.

The tongues that praise it
are so many, so varied, & so sweet
their chorus rivals the birds’
& silences the angels in their flight.

Known everywhere
as sign of peace & joy,
let this be our flag;
its colors dance.

---------© Rafael Jesús González 2015

(Arabesques Review, vol. 3 no . 3, 2007; author’s copyrights) 

The Flag of Peace

When the earth is ravaged and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people shall come unto the earth from many colors, classes, creeds, and who by their actions and deeds shall make the earth green again. They will be known as the warriors [peace-makers] of the Rainbow.

Old Native American Prophecy

It has been several centuries that Samuel Johnson said that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels. It is true today as much as ever and the scoundrels are fond of waving flags of various stripes and colors to hide or flaunt their villainy.
All flags are beautiful, but association often makes them ugly. However, there is one flag, universal enough that even nature flies, which inspires me and I do not hesitate to raise. It is the rainbow flag of peace .

For good reason have the colors of the prism been sign of peace and joy. It was the rainbow that appeared to Noah as a sign of peace, and in almost all cultures I have studied or heard of, the rainbow is an auspicious sign of hope, promise, joy.

Justly so, the peace movement throughout Europe, Latin America, and throughout the world, has flown the rainbow flag as the flag of peace.

It is also the flag of the Rainbow Family (or Tribe) flown at Rainbow Gatherings that since 1969 convene yearly in the name of sister/brotherhood to celebrate life and the Earth in peace and joy. (According to an Old Native American Prophecy, When the earth is ravaged and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people shall come unto the earth from many colors, classes, creeds, and who by their actions and deeds shall make the earth green again. They will be known as the warriors [peace-makers] of the Rainbow.)It is as well the flag of diversity, tolerance, dignity, respect, celebration first flown in 1979 by those who refuse to have human sexuality narrowly sanctioned and defined, its variants persecuted.

In a somewhat healthier democracy in 1984, it was the Rainbow Coalition that attempted to represent and empower all the diverse elements of the nation.

These colors contain all others our human perceptions can discern. Offered the full pallet of the spectrum from which to pick my colors, I refuse to choose; I’ll have them all, thank you.

All are my colors and this my flag of choice. It now hangs, with my prisms, in my window as sign of my allegiance to the Earth, to my fellow creatures, to justice, to peace.

I pass it on to you. Under these colors let us heal the nation and make peace with the world, create it anew in reverence for the Earth, in justice and sister/brotherhood.

© Rafael Jesús González 2014

(universal Justice & Peace Flag)

Creative Commons License
Universal Justice & Peace Flag is licensed under a 

-----------------La bandera

En nuestro óptimo
mostramos nuestros verdaderos colores,
volamos la bandera que señala
nuestra más profunda, más amplia
devoción uno al otro,
a la Tierra bendita y diversa.

Son estos mis colores:

rojo de mi amor que ilumina todo
y es la raíz y la flor y el fruto,
el corazón de mi creer
y de lo que sé de la verdad.

anaranjado de mi abandono, entrega
a mi vivir , despreocupado de leyes
que encadenaran los pasos
de mis más extravagantes bailes.

amarillo de mis regocijo que sabe
a sol, exaltación
en la riqueza de los sentidos,
raíz de mi poder y mi amar.

verde de mi esperanza que da alas
a mis deseos y presta voluntad
a mis actos, que informa
aun mi oposición
al ultraje.

azul de mis memorias
que forman mi historia de alas
que suben a las montañas
y caen a las barrancas,
compleja topografía de mi ser.

purpúreo de mi tristeza, remordimiento,
mi pena por las traiciones del corazón,
más bien de omisión,
por motivos de cansancio o temor.

Es esta mi bandera;
se corren sus colores,
se difunden en sus bordes,
se mezclan, se matizan
en tonos, medios tonos
difíciles de nombrar.

Las lenguas que la alaban
son tantas, tan variadas y tan dulces
que su coro rivaliza con el de las aves
y silencia a los ángeles en sus vuelos.

Reconocida dondequiera
como signo de paz y regocijo,
sea este nuestro pabellón;
bailan sus colores.

-------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2015

La Bandera de la Paz

Cuando la Tierra sea violada y los animales muriendo, llegará al mundo una nueva tribu de gente de muchos colores, clases, creencias y quienes por sus actos y hechos harán otra vez verde a la Tierra. Serán conocidos como los guerreros [pacificadores] del arco iris.

antigua profecía indígena norteamericana

Hace varios siglos que Samuel Johnson dijo que el patriotismo es el último refugio de canallas. Es cierto hoy tanto como siempre y estos canallas gustan blandir banderas de varias rayas y colores para pavonear o esconder sus villanadas.
Todas banderas son hermosas pero la asociación frecuentemente las hace feas. Pero hay una bandera suficientemente universal que aun la naturaleza vuela, que me inspira y no vacilo en alzar. Es la bandera arco iris de la paz.

Por buena razón han sido los colores del prisma signo de la paz y regocijo. Fue el arco iris que le apareció a Noé como seña de paz y en casi toda cultura que he estudiado y de cual he oído el arco iris es seña auspiciosa de esperanza, promesa, alegría.

Justamente, el movimiento de paz por toda Europa, América Latina, y por el mundo entero, ha alzado la bandera arco iris como la bandera de la paz.

Es también la bandera de la Familia (o Tribu) Arco Iris (Rainbow Family or Tribe) portada en todas las Reuniones Arco Iris (Rainbow Gatherings) que desde 1969 se reúnen cada año en nombre de la hermandad para celebrar la vida y la Tierra en paz y alegría. (Según una profecía de los indios de Norte América, Cuando la Tierra sea violada y los animales muriendo, llegará al mundo una nueva tribu de gente de muchos colores, clases, creencias y quien por sus actos y hechos harán otra vez verde a la Tierra. Serán conocidos como los guerreros [pacificadores] del arco iris.)

También es la bandera de la diversidad, tolerancia, dignidad, respeto, celebración portada por primera vez en 1978 por quienes se rehusan que la sexualidad humana sea estrechamente sancionada y definida, sus variantes perseguidos.

En 1984, en una democracia algo más sana en los Estados Unidos, fue la Coalición Arco Iris (
Rainbow Coalition) que intentó representar y habilitar todos los elementos diversos de la nación.

Estos colores contienen todos los demás que nuestra percepción humana puede discernir. Ofrecido la paleta completa del espectro de la cual escoger mis colores, me niego a escoger; los tomo todos, gracias.

Todos son mis colores y esta mi bandera por preferencia. Ahora cuelga, con mis prismas, en mi ventana como signo de mi devoción a la Tierra, a mis prójimos, a la justicia, a la paz.

Te la paso. Bajo estos colores sanemos a la nación y hagamos paz con el mundo, creámoslo de nuevo en veneración a la Tierra, en justicia y hermandad.

© Rafael Jesús González 2015


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Ronnie Gilbert (Sept. 7, 1926 – June 6, 2015)

Yesterday, my dear friend Ronnie Gilbert left us. Many knew her by her art, her songs. A big voice for justice and what's right is stilled, but its echoes will resonate in our hearts long after.

--------Song Weaver

-----------------------for Ronnie Gilbert

“Good night, Irene,”
she sang, “Good night, Irene,
I'll see you in my dreams.”
And with her pals
belted out other songs
wishing for a hammer
enough to scare a paranoid
government to black-list them.
Fear was not one of her fears — 
her sense of outrage at injustice
was too great — & also was her hope.
When she came on stage 
there was no doubt who filled it
& her voice was strong for those
who had none. When she was born,
they say, she was put into a red diaper;
perhaps it was that she turned into a flag
to frighten the bulls that shat
upon the tatters of what
they call “our democracy.”
She was not to be taken in
by “Freedom Acts” that tainted
not a bit her unfettered laughter;
she was too big for that as was her heart.

So Long, dear friend, it's been good
to know yuh & I know when you get
to that other place you'll teach the angels
some songs worth their singing.

-------------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2015

 Ronnie Gilbert & Rafael Jesús González


What we must know — Ayotzinapa


-----------Alzamos las manos

Alzamos las manos no en súplica
sino desesperación, en rábia, en demanda,
en protesta contra las manos sangrientas
de los criminales y del gobierno
 imposible distinguir los unos del otro.
“Ya estoy cansado de tantos regaños,”
dijo el procurador. Pues cánsese más,
Sr. Procurador que queremos
a nuestros hijos, nuestros del pueblo
que vivos se los llevaron
y vivos los queremos.
Seguiremos alzando las manos
con el “43” ya un lema de la injusticia
que sufrimos y ya no es tolerable
que suframos más.

Mientras tanto el presidente
visita los EE. UU. para discutir
la seguridad y la economía.
¿Seguridad y economía de quien?
¿Pedir más armas para el crimen
y la represión? ¿Seguridad de los ricos?
¿Asegurarles ganancias a costo nuestro?
¿Entregar la economía a empresas extranjeras
del “libre comercio”? No nos confundan
con banderas ya manchadas, sucias de injuria.
Cansados estamos nosotros y alzamos las manos
clamando como la Llorona por nuestros hijos
que vivos se los llevaron y vivos los queremos.

-------------------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2015

-------------We Raise Our Hands

We raise our hands not in suplication
but desperation, rage, demand,
protest against the bloody hands
of the criminals & the government
 impossible to distinguish the ones from the other.
“I am tired of so many scoldings,”
said the prosecutor. Well, be more tired yet,
Mr. Prosecutor for we want
our children, ours of the people
that alive were taken
& live we want them back.
We will go on raising our hands
with the “43” now a motto of the injustice
that we suffer & is no longer tolerable
that we suffer any longer.

Meanwhile the president
visits the U. S. of A. to discuss
security & the economy.
Whose security & economy?
Ask for more weapons for crime
& repression? The security of the rich?
Assuring them profits at our cost?
Surrender the economy to foreign enterprises
of “Free trade”? Do not confuse us
with flags now stained, dirtied with outrage.
Tired are we & we raise out hands
crying like la Llorona for our children
who alive were taken & alive we want them back.

-----------------------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2015


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

full moon: Birds in the Hair


---------Pájaros en el pelo

---No puedes evitar que pájaros vuelen sobre tu cabeza
---pero puedes no dejarles hacer nido en tu cabello.

-------------------------------==----------Martín Lutero

Viendo pájaros cruzar la luna llena
recuerdo la advertencia que no debemos
permitirles anidar en el cabello.
Sin embargo soñamos
en que nos llegue alguno.
Pero pasa que cuando un día
por la bondad del dios
uno se nos enmaraña en el cabello
por miedo y susto lo espantamos.
Ese remordimiento y su causa
hace la vida bendición maldita.

-----------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2015


-----------Birds in the Hair

------You can't keep the birds from flying over your head,
------but you can prevent them from building a nest in your hair.

------------------------------------------------------Martin Luther

Seeing birds cross the full moon
I recall the warning that we must
not let them nest in our hair.
Nonetheless we dream
of having one come.
But it happens that when one day
through the generosity of the god
one gets entangled in our hair
through fear & fright we scare it away.
That regret & its cause
makes life a cursèd blessing.

----------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2015