Sunday, January 31, 2016

riverbabble 28, Winter 2016


Subway Floor, Buenos Aires by Christopher Novak

riverbabble 28


Sharon Coleman:

Liz Dolan:
         Taking the New York State Writing Test (January 28, 1986)
         After the Second Shift

Richard Fein:
          A Cacophony of Drummers

Casey FitzSimons:
          Skara Brae

Nancy Flynn:
          Same As It Ever Was
          Before the chainsaw and the chain-link and the backhoe

Rafael Jesús González:
         Volviendo a casa / Coming Home
         Una voz perdida / A Lost Voice

Eileen Malone:
          Wild Lilac
          All Right

Suzanne Nielsen:
          There is no There There
          Dough Rising

Barbara Ruth:
          Cityscape #1
          Dead Dads Conversation

John Oliver Simon:

Sandra Storey:
          Time has to be thick
          On the Verge Haikus

Anne Whitehouse:
          The "E-E-E-E-E-E"

Virginia Barrett:   Black

Gary Beck:   Art for the People

Maia Cornish:   The Lipstick

Suzanne Bruce:   The Rain Will Come

Patricia Bulitt:   Sometimes she thinks this

jd daniels:   Lavished

Colin Dardis:   Why the Great Ones Wrote

William Doreski:   To the Other

KJ Hannah Greenberg:   The Elusiveness of a Royal Title

Jennifer Hernandez:   Campsite wild berries

James Croal Jackson:   Golden Gate

Oonah V. Joslin:   Another Launch

Marie Kilroy:   The Fair

Maureen Kingston:   How Practice Makes Perfect

Miriam Kotzin:   Moth Wings. Memory

W. F. Lantry:   This is How a Person Becomes a Flowering Orchard

Larry Lefkowitz:   Completion / Incompletion

Joseph Lisowski:   Quick Winter Thaw

Lisa Ludden:   Books, Bicycles

Suchoon Mo:   Dance of a Fly

Janell Moon:   Distraction

Sharon Lask Munson:   Mystery of the Missing Billfold

Edward Mycue:   From a Faded Sepia Photograph

James B. Nicola:   Menhir

Anthony Adrian Xavier Pino:   Ocean City, July 2013

Ruth Sabath Rosenthal:   Escaping Winter's Chill (haiku)

David Shaddock:    November, Tilden

d. n. simmers:    Last Night

John Swain:   Behind the Hill

Phibby Venable:   Considering the Horses

David Welper:   The Ends of Things

Yuan Changming:   Another Snowfall


Anna Bálint:   The Girl on the Pay Phone

Liz Dolan:   Bless Me, Father

Roger Leatherwood:   Dan in the San Diego Rain

Doug McBride:   Wants and Needs

Tom Sheehan:   The Last of the Roses

Clinton Siegle:   Jack saves a Princess in modern era

Flash Fiction

Maureen Kingston:   Swing Shift at Fallen Oaks Care Center

Joseph Lisowski:   Lost in Transit

Robert McPeak:   Dad's Watch

James Shaffer:   The Gift

Sandy Steinman:   The Ladies'

David Spicer:
           Girl in the Neon Green Rubber Rain Boots
           Night of the Long Trucks


Joan Bailey:   Guests of an Indifferent Host

Jim Ross:   The Pit

He had come nearer the edge of the sea and wet sand slapped his boots. The new air greeted him, harping in wild nerves, wind of wild air of seeds of brightness. Here, I am not walking out to the Kish lightship, am I? He stood suddenly, his feet beginning to sink slowly in the quaking soil. Turn back.

                                                                    JAMES JOYCE, Ulysses,
p.37. 265-269, 1910-1914

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

full moon: The Moon Blesses the Land


La luna bendice la tierra 


El humo perfumado se alza

hacia la luna llena

para empezar el andar

en tierra sagrada,

protegerla del abuso,

dejarla ser

o cultivarla tiernamente.

Somos de ella,

     es nuestro sanar.

La luna bendice la tierra.

                    © Rafael Jesús González 2016

 The Moon Blesses the Land

The perfumed smoke rises

toward the full moon

to begin the walk

on sacred land,

protect it from abuse,

let it be

or cultivate it tenderly.

We are of it,

-----It is our healing.

The moon blesses the land.

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


Thursday, January 21, 2016





A Acuario,
---el airoso,
------fijo en su servicio,
lo vigila Urano desde lejos;
Saturno le pesa como plomo
y su luz como granate ardiente
destella en el cántaro de amatista
que carga Acuario,
----sus tobillos, sus pantorrillas
----bañados en el aire fijo
----de sus ideales luminosos.


---------© Rafael Jesús González 2016



---the graceful,
------at ease in his service,
is watched by Uranus from afar;
Saturn weighs on him like lead
& its light like a burning garnet
bounces sparks on the amethyst jar
that Aquarius carries,
----his ankles, his calves
----bathed in the fixed air
----of his luminous ideals.

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

Friday, January 15, 2016

Francisco X. Alarcón (2/21/54-1/15/16)


Tanka for Francisco X. Alarcón


The wise old ones said

only flower and song lasts,

that all that lives dies.

My poet friend lived fully;

the words he wrote will go on.

                                                        ---          © Rafael Jesús González 2016

Francisco X. Alarcón (2/21/54-1/15/16)

Tanka para Francisco X. Alarcón


Los viejos sabios decían

Que sólo la flor y canto perdura,

Que todo lo que vive muere.

Mi amigo poeta vivió plenamente,

las palabras que escribió seguirán.

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


Martin Luther King Jr. (1/15/29 - 4/4/68)


----------After the Lecture

---------------------------for Martin Luther King Jr.
A woman said I was not polite
to the opposition,
that I was harsh
and did not encourage

Perhaps if I were Christ,
I could say, “Forgive them
----for they know not what they do.”
Or the queen, and apologize
for stubbing my executioner’s toes.

But only if I knew
the executioners
----were mine only.

What courtesy have I the right to give
to them who break the bones,
----the souls of my brothers,
------------------my sisters;
deny bread, books
----to the hungry,
----the children;
--------medicine, healing
--------to the sick;
roofs to the homeless;

who spoil the oceans,
----lay waste the forests
--------and the deserts,
violate the land?

Affability on the lips
of outrage
is a sin and blasphemy
----I’ll not be guilty of.

----------© Rafael Jesús González 2016,_Jr.

--------Después del Discurso

------------------------a Martin Luther King Jr.

Una mujer me dijo que no fui cortés
con la oposición,
que fui duro
y que no animé

Tal vez si fuera Cristo,
pudiera decir — Perdónalos
----que no saben lo que hacen. —
O la reina, y disculparme
por haber pisarle el pie a mi verdugo.

Pero solamente si supiera
que los verdugos
fueran solamente míos.

¿Qué cortesía tengo el derecho a darles
a los que quiebran los huesos
----y las almas de mis hermanos,
--------------------mis hermanas;
les niegan el pan, los libros
----a los hambrientos,
----a los niños;
--------la medicina, el sanar
--------a los enfermos;
techos a los desamparados;

que estropean los mares,
----que destruyen los bosques
--------y los desiertos,
violan la tierra?

Afabilidad en los labios
de la furia justa
es pecado y blasfemia
----de la cual no seré culpable.

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


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Stay Amazed reading Thursday January 14


You are invited to a reading 
from the poetry anthology

Thursday, January 14, 2016,
at 7:30 PM

2476 Telegraph Ave.
Berkeley, California

Contributing poets reading include:

Avi Duhan, Jack and Adelle Foley,
Rafael Jesús González, Gary Lapow, Zigi Lowenberg,
Kim McMillon, Jerry Ratch, Nancy Schimmel

In 2013, one year after the death of her husband, poet Morton Felix,
acclaimed ceramic artist Susan Duhan Felix, Berkeley's Arts Ambassador,
asked friends in her far-flung art and literary circles to write a poem
for her birthday.Thirty friends and family rose to the occasion
and the poems were then publishedby Poetry Flash
in the anthology Stay Amazed 


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Epiphany - 12th Night

- -

------------------ Magos

Pensar que yo, Baltasar de Caldea,
------tenedor de las cosas sacras,
------dejé los observatorios,
------cargado de incienso,
------para llegar allí.
Aun hasta al punto de encuentro fue largo;
para Melchor de Nubia cargado de oro,
para Gaspar de Tarso cargado de mirra,
fue aun más largo.
-----Y de allí a Judea
-----y más allá condujo el lucero —
-----------a la morada de animales,
-----------lugar natal del infante mendigo.
Si era dios,
---como todo dios,
---------ha de haber llegado a mal fin.
¿Qué significaban los agüeros?
-----Tal vez sería el viaje mismo,
---------oír de los leones de Nubia,
---------de los ríos de Tarso;
y sobre todo,
-----sí, tal vez sobre todo,
---------- el ofrendar.

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

Adoration of the Magi, Andrea Mantegna 1495-1505


To think that I, Balthazar of Chaldea,
----keeper of the sacred things,
----left the observatories,
----laden with frankincense,
----to come there.
Even to the point of meeting it was long;
for Melchior of Nubia laden with gold,
for Gaspar of Tarshish laden with myrrh,
it was longer.
---And from there to Judea
---and the star led on —
--------to the abode of animals,
--------birthplace of the infant beggar.
If he was a god,
-----like all gods,
-----he must have come to a bad end.
What meant the auguries?
----Perhaps it was the trip itself,
-------to hear of the lions of Nubia,
-------of the rivers of Tarshish;
and above all,
----yes, perhaps above all,
-----------the gifting.

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

(Dear Winter: Poems for the Solstice;
Marie Harris, Ed.; Northwood Press, Thomaston, Maine 1984;
Author’s © copyrights)

Anonymous, Mexico 19th century


Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year 2016

- श्रीगणेश

Invocación a Ganesh

Om Shri Ganeshaaya Namah

Sentado en el centro
(rodeado de calaveras)
donde el lazo de los años se anuda,
goloso señor cabeza de elefante,
levántate y baila la cuenta nueva;
con tu hacha derrumba
los obstáculos
a nuestro vivir,
pisotea los obstáculos
a nuestro amar,
y haz dulce el camino nuevo.
Que tus familiares
el ratón y la rata roen
al almacén de las bendiciones;
que tu serpiente hable.
Con tu colmillo
en el libro de lo que fue
escribe lo que pueda ser
y de tu caracol sopla
el sonido primordial de lo que es.

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

(Spillway 17, ontoño 2011,
derechos reservados del autor)

[De los muchos dioses hindú, Ganesh, dios de dharma y del buen agüero, es el más popularmente amado y venerado. Sus características son su cabeza de elefante y su barriga gorda que metafísicamente se dice contiene todo el cosmos. Sus familiares son el ratón y la rata porque roen por los obstáculos y frecuentan los almacenes de abundancia. Generoso donador de beneficios y derribador de obstáculos, él es el patrón de los comienzos, del desarrollo, de la liberación, de las empresas, tanto físicas como espirituales. Como tal, él es el primero de todos los dioses en ser invocado y se le pide su bendición al comienzo de un día, de una carta, de un rito, de cualquier empresa. Amable guía por las alturas y los abismos de la vida, se dice que él es la buena fortuna manifiesta, la sabiduría descubierta, el tiempo encarnado y la abundancia desbordante. Hay 1008 nombres para describir sus poderes divinos y su bendición es un verdadero don.]

Invocation to Ganesh
Om Shri Ganeshaaya Namah

Seated in the center
(ringed with skulls)
where the noose of years is tied,
sweet-toothed, elephant-headed lord,
rise and dance the new count;
ax down the obstacles
to our living,
trample the obstacles
to our loving,
and make sweet the new path.
Let your familiars
the mouse & the rat
gnaw through
to the storehouse of blessings;
let your snake speak.
With your tusk,
in your book of what was,
write what may be
and from your conch blow
the primordial sound of what is.

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

(Spillway 17, Fall 2011;
author's copyrights)

[Of the many Hindu gods, Ganesh, god of dharma and good portent, is the most widely loved and revered. His distinctive traits are his elephant head and his fat belly metaphysically said to contain the entire cosmos. His familiars are the mouse and the rat because they gnaw through obstacles and frequent larders of plenty. Generous Boon-Giver and Remover of Obstacles, he is patron of beginnings, of growth, of liberation, enterprises, both physical and spiritual. As such, he is the first of all the gods to be invoked and his blessing asked at the start of a day, a letter, a ritual, any undertaking. Gentle guide through the ups and downs of life, he is said to be good fortune manifest, wisdom revealed, time embodied, and abundance over-flowing. There are 1008 names to describe his divine powers and his blessing is a gift indeed.]