Monday, September 24, 2018

full moon: Communication


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-----------------------------Comunicación


Mensajera es la luna
inconstante que se crea
aunque previstos y regulares sean sus cambios.
Son nuestras señales de humo que se esfuman
arrebatadas por los vientos.
Llegamos al puerto con vela negra en vez de blanca
por equívoco o descuido
con consecuencia trágica o banal.
Nuestros son recados en botellas lanzadas al mar
que si a algún lado llegan
se han hechas ilegibles
por la humedad colada por el corcho.
Cartas dan en la oficina de cartas muertas
que no llegan a su destino por causa de señas
ilegibles o equivocadas haciendo loco al escribano.
Llamamos a aparatos que se pierden o se descomponen,
las palabras confusas o extraviadas en el espacio —
todo intento sea de alarma, reproche, consuelo,
maldición, celebración, pidiendo auxilio,
ultimadamente se arraigan en la primordial
clara, confusa, alabada, frustrada, sublime
necesidad humana de amar.



-----------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2018




                   



------------------------Communication


Messenger is the moon
though she be believed inconstant
however foreseen & regular are her changes.
Our signals are of smoke that vanish
snatched by the winds,
We come to port with black sail instead of white
by mistake or neglect
with consequence tragic or banal,
Ours are notes in bottles cast to the sea
which if they reach somewhere
have been made illegible
by the wetness seeping through the cork,
Letters land in the office of dead letters
that do not reach their destination for addresses
illegible or mistaken driving the scrivener mad.
We call devices that are lost or out of order,
the words garbled or lost in space —
all intent be it alarm, reproach, comfort,
curse, celebration, call for help,
are ultimately rooted in the primordial
clear, confused, praised, frustrated, sublime
human necessity to love.



-------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2018



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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Gathering of California's Poets Laureate October 6, 2018

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Featured Event


Gathering of California's Poets Laureate

Join California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia for a special 
statewide gathering of city, regional, and county laureates 
from across California, featuring an historic group reading 
by more than 60 poet laureates and special guestreadings 
from renowned California laureates, past and present.

Saturday, October 6, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.


(Public Reading Events from 2:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.)

McGroarty Arts Center


7570 McGroarty Terrace, Los Angeles, CA



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Libra




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--------------------Libra



Alumbran a la balanza del día y la noche,
el zafiro temprano del amanecer
y el ópalo tardío del atardecer.
Se alza en obelisco de jade, de nefrita
al punto cardinal del aire,
el apoyo del viento,
----y en cada platillo de cobre
se miden el arte y las consecuencias
---(el amor pesa en la ijada
----de la indecisión,
----en los lomos del deseo.)
La alzaprima del otoño
sostiene sobre el caos,
trémulos y vacilantes
----el sentir, el pensar —
-----------amor, belleza, verdad —
sueños, siempre sueños, justos sueños.
 



-----------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2018




----------------Libra


 

The balance of day and night
is lit by the early sapphire of dawn
-----and the late opal of dusk.
It rises on obelisk of nephrite, of jade
to the cardinal point of the air,
the lever of the wind,
----and on each copper plate
----are measured art and consequences
--------(love weighs on the back
---------of indecision,
---------on the loins of desire.)
The fulcrum of autumn
holds over chaos
tremulous and irresolute
----feeling, thought —
--------love, beauty, truth —
dreams, always dreams, just dreams.




---          ----------© Rafael Jesús González 2018


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Friday, September 21, 2018

Autumnal Equinox


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Consejo para el Equinoccio Otoñal


Andar en equilibrio no es fácil —
       pisar tan ligeramente
       que la hierba no se doble,
       pisar tan firmemente
       que nuestra huella señale
       el camino por la maleza.

En verdad nuestra naturaleza parece
ser sin balance,
       un pie pisando tan ligeramente
       el otro tan firme
              que perdidos en el desierto
              siempre caminamos en círculo.

Hay peores destinos; entonces
aprendamos a caminar el círculo en gozo.
Las estaciones voltean y vuelven
y no hay a donde ir;
       la Tierra es hogar suficiente;
       el camino, demasiado breve,
       a nada nos lleva.

       Para aprender a andar en balance
              practica el baile.



              © Rafael Jesús González 2018


(Raven Chronicles, Vol. 25, 2017;derechos reservados del autor)


                                                                  




Advice For The Fall Equinox


Walking in balance is not easy —
       to step so lightly
       the grasses are not bent,
       to step so firmly
       one’s track points
       a way through the thicket.

Indeed it seems our nature to be
off balance,
       one foot stepping so lightly
       one so firmly
              that lost in the desert
              we always walk in a circle.

There are worse fates; let us then
learn to walk the circle in joy.
The seasons turn & return
one upon the other
& there is nowhere to go;
       the Earth is Home enough;
       the walk, all too brief,
       leads Nowhere.

       To learn to walk in balance
              practice the dance.



             © Rafael Jesús González 2018



(Raven Chronicles, Vol. 25, 2017; author's copyrights)


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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

RISE & Play for the Planet, Sept, 12

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As part of the RISE for the Climate actions, The Climate Music Project organized an arts action on Wednesday, September 12, beginning at noon in front of the Main Branch of the San Francisco Public Library, Civic Center.

Among the participants were Rafael Jesús González, Poet Laureate of the City of Berkeley, reading accompanied on the conch and flute by Gerardo Omar Marín, and interpretative dance by Guillermo Ortiz, members of Xochipilli, Indigenous/Latino Men's Circle

¿Cómo sonaría el futuro? me preguntan


No puedo imaginar que sane tan pronto la Tierra,
que vuelva el frío a los polos Norte y Sur,
ni que vuelvan las lluvias a las regiones en sequía,
ni que mengüen las tormentas o dejen de subir las aguas.
Ya demasiado hemos herido a la Tierra.
Lo que sí imagino es que despertemos
y encontremos la voluntad para sanarnos a si mismos
y dejar de herir a la Tierra y a unos a los otros
y que el amor a la vida nos encienda la voluntad.
Sabemos como canalizar los poderosos dones
del Sol y de los vientos para nuestra necesidad —
distinguemos entre la necesidad verdadera y la falsa.
Lo preciso es amar, abrir ampliamente el corazón.
¿Cómo sonaría el futuro? me preguntan —
Sonaría con el canto polífono de la aves, de los vientos,
del trueno, del canto variado de las aguas;
sonaría con nuestros propios cantos de amor y de alabanza,
nos veríamos en los rostros de cada uno
y veríamos la Tierra como el paraíso que es,
el paraíso del cual jamás fuimos expulsados
dañado que sea por nuestro error y locura.
Nuestra canción cantaría del olor del mar y de la tierra,
de las perfumes de las flores y de sus colores, matices
del amanecer y de la puesta del sol, cantaría
del gusto de los frutos y de la sal, cantaría del tacto,
de la caricia, de la tierra misma, de la ola y la brisa.
Sonaría el futuro con el festejo de la compasión y la justicia
marcando los pasos de nuestros bailes por la calles y los senderos,
pues no habría guerras ni crueldades y nuestras ambiciones
serían sólo el vivir, el amar, el celebrar la vida luz y oscuridad.
Sueño es este canto imaginario compuesto de grande anhelo
pero de nuestros sueños, o pesadillas, formamos nuestro mundo.



© Rafael Jesús González 2018 


What could the future sound like? I was asked


I cannot imagine that the Earth would heal so soon,
that the cold would return to the North & South poles,
nor the rains to the regions of drought,
nor the storms lessen nor the waters cease rising.
We have already too much wounded the Earth.
What I do imagine is that we wake
& stop wounding the Earth & one another
& that love of life would light our will.
We know how to channel the powerful gifts
of the Sun & of the winds for our need —
let us distinguish between the true needs & the false.
The precise need is to love, to open widely the heart.
What could the future sound like? I was asked—
It would sound like the polyphonic song of the birds, the winds,
the thunder, the varied song of the water;
it would sound with our own songs of love & of praise;
we would see ourselves in each other's faces
& see the Earth for the paradise that it is,
the paradise from which we were never expelled
damaged as it be through our error & our madness.
Our song would sing of the smell of the sea & of earth,
of the perfume of flowers & of their colors, hues
of dawn & of the setting of sun, it would sing
of the taste of fruit & of salt, it would sing of touch,
of the caress. of earth itself, of the wave & the breeze.
The future would sound with the celebration of compassion & justice
marking the steps of our dances through the streets & paths,
for there would be no wars nor cruelties & our ambitions
would be only to live, to love, to celebrate life light & dark.
Dream is this imaginary song composed of great yearning
but of our dreams, or nightmares, we make our world.



© Rafael Jesús González 2018 





Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Petaluma Poetry Walk, Sunday Sept. 16

(For Spanish, please click on the orange tab below.)

September 16th, 2018

We will have readings from 11 AM to 8 PM around downtown Petaluma. 

Schedule

11:00 AM

Hotel Petaluma Ballroom

205 Kentucky St.


Fran Claggett-Holland, an English and Humanities teacher and consultant, currently teaches poetry and memoir writing. Fran, with Les Bernstein, co-edited Phoenix, poetry from Sonoma County, for Redwood Writers. She is also currently lecturing on how poetry and painting have influenced both of the arts. In addition to a number of books for both teachers and students, Fran has published three books of poetry: Black Birds and Other Birds (Taurean Horn Press); Crow Crossings (RiskPress); and, most recently, Moments with Madge: Lux Aeterna, in honor and memory of Madge Holland, her spouse and colleague (White Crow Press).

Maya Khosla is serving as the Poet Laureate of Sonoma County, California (2018-2019). Her collections include Web of Water (nonfiction), Keel Bone and Heart of the Tearing (poems). Her new poetry collection, Unknown World on Fire, is forthcoming from Sixteen Rivers Press. She has received writing awards from Bear Star Press and Flyway, filming awards from Audubon Society, and Patagonia. Maya has taught writing workshops at Stanford University, Sonoma State University, California Poets in the schools (San Francisco), and in Nagaland, India.

Before founding Bear Star Press (www.bearstarpress.com) in 1996, Beth Spencer worked as a maid, waitress, file clerk, poker dealer, zookeeper, clinic administrator, code enforcement officer, bookstore clerk, college professor, and freelance grant-writer. She much prefers editing and designing books. Her poetry and fiction have appeared on- and offline (Winning Writers, Litro, Tin House, Split This Rock, Lodestone Journal, and elsewhere) and she lives with her husband and dog in a pine forest safely north of the Oroville Dam. She wishes everyone would boycott Amazon and buy their books directly from independent bookstores and presses.

Noon

Bump City Bakery

122 American Alley, B

Sashana Kane Proctor is a Cazadero hillside dweller. She has been writing all her life but been gifted with the company of poets and immersion in poetry only in more recent years. In addition to her first book, Cave of the Casting Bones, her work has appeared in Sonoma State University's literary magazine, Flight, Women's Voices, Harlots' Sauce, The Scream Online's anthology, "Heaven and Hell," and in the past year was awarded Honorable Mention publication in New Millennium Writings. She hosts a monthly open mic each in Guerneville and "Come to Know the Poets", a yearly poetry event featuring local poets.

Chris Olander, bio-educator with California Poets in Schools articulates meanings of words, phrases, ideas and emotions in sound rhythm patterns. His poetry arises from land-based ethics rooted in science, observation and reflection; an action art poetry: musical image phrasing to dramatize
relative experiences.  Olander teaches/reads his poetry throughout the west coast and Hawaii; helps organize poetry readings and festivals; collaborates with jazz, ballet, modern and belly dancers, musicians, and painters; a state champion Poetry Coach with Poetry Out Loud program.  He has published seven CD's, three with musicians; four chapbooks and his newest full-length poetry book, River Light by Poetic Matrix Press.

Kate Peper grew up in Minnesota and moved to California in 1994 to work as a free-lance animator in the then-thriving educational games industry. She later went back to school to learn fabric design and for a time designed high-end carpets in San Francisco. Though poetry is a constant preoccupation, she also works on honing her watercolor technique and indulges an unhealthy fascination with gardening. She has taught creative writing as part of California Poets in the Schools as well as to older adults in retirement communities. She lives in Marin County with her husband Bruce and semi-feral dog Hannah.

1:00 PM

River Front Cafe

224 "B" St.

Donna L Emerson’s recent poetry publications include CALYX, the Denver Quarterly, the London Magazine, Weber: the Contemporary West, and the Paterson Literary Review. She has published four chapbooks: This Water (2007), Body Rhymes (2009), Wild Mercy (2011), and Following Hay (2013). Her photographs are paired with her poetry in journals such as the Healing Muse, Lumina, Passager, and Stone Canoe. Her first book was published in 2018, a second is in the process for 2019. Recent awards include nominations for a Pushcart, Best of the Net, two Allen Ginsberg (2015, 2017) awards. Donna divides her time between Sonoma County, California and her homestead in western New York.

Jackie Huss Hallerberg is a Sonoma County Poet-Teacher and Board President of California Poets in the Schools. She holds degrees in science, business and elementary education. She teaches poetry in an experiential manner in public and private schools, Valley of the Moon Children’s Home and summer arts camps. Jackie’s poetry has been featured in anthologies of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Marin Poetry Center and local firestorm publications. Her chapbook, Along Poetic Lines, and cd, Poems of Motherhood, were self-published. She can often be seen hiking with Billy, her black Labrador, along Sonoma County trails where she draws inspiration. https://www.jackiehuss.com/

Carolyn Miller lives on the Hyde Street cable-car line in San Francisco, where she writes, paints, and works as a freelance writer/editor. Her books of poetry are After Cocteau and Light, Moving, both from Sixteen Rivers Press, and four limited-edition letter-press chapbooks from Protean Press. Her poems have been featured on Poetry Daily, The Writer’s Almanac, and American Life in Poetry, and have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, and The Georgia Review. Her honors include the James Boatwright Award for Poetry from Shenandoah and the Rainmaker Award from Zone 3.

2:00 PM

North Bay Café

25 Petaluma Blvd., So.



Avotcja has been published in English & Spanish in the USA, Mexico & Europe, and in more anthologies than she remembers.   As a poet, radio producer, playwright, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, and invaluable DJ on KPOO (89.5) and KPFA (94.1FM), she’s connected with a vast and varied array of artists.  She is a Bay Area icon with her award-winning jazz group, Avotcja & Modúpue. Her most recent book is With Every Step I Take (Taurean Horn Press).  She has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from Berkeley Poetry Festival (2014) & Pen Oakland (2015).   www.avotcja.org.

Rafael Jesús González, Prof. Emeritus of literature and creative writing, born and raised biculturally/bilingually in El Paso, Texas/Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, taught at various universities before settling at Laney College, Oakland, California where he founded the Dept. of Mexican & Latin-American Studies. Also, a visual artist, he has exhibited in various museums in the U.S. and Mexico. His collection La musa lunática/The Lunatic Muse was published in 2009. Nominated thrice for a Pushcart prize, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the City of Berkeley in 2015 and named Berkeley's first Poet Laureate in 2017. His work may be read at http://rjgonzalez.blogspot.com/

Jabez (Bill) Churchill, Bilingual California Poet in the Public Schools since 1998, primarily with Spanish-speaking students and youth at risk. Contributing member of Poets Responding to SB 1070. Member of Ina Coolbrith Poetry Circle. Poet laureate emeritus of Ukiah, 2014-2016. Most recently published in Deep Valley: Poets Laureate of Ukiah, 2001-2018.

3:00 PM

Copperfield’s Bookstore

140 Kentucky St.


Jodi Hottel’s most recent chapbook is Voyeur from WordTech Press in 2017. Heart Mountain, her first chapbook, was winner of the 2012 Blue Light Press Poetry Prize. Jodi’s been published in Nimrod International, Spillway, Ekphrasis, and anthologies from the University of Iowa Press, Tebot Bach, and the Marin Poetry Center. Her work’s been nominated for a Pushcart prize. Jodi lives in Santa Rosa.

Prartho Sereno is author of three prize-winning poetry collections: Indian Rope TrickElephant Raga, and Call from Paris, and author/illustrator of the award-winning gift-book, Causing a Stir: The Secret Lives & Loves of Kitchen Utensils. She has an MFA from Syracuse University and was the 4th Poet Laureate of Marin County. A long-time California Poet in the Schools, Prartho was awarded a Radio Disney Super Teacher Award in 2005. She also teaches a writing series at the College of Marin: "The Poetic Pilgrimage: Poem-Making as Spiritual Practice” and offers creativity workshops for all ages & stripes.

Andrena Zawinski, a veteran teacher of writing and activist poet, is a mainstay in the San Francisco Bay Area poetry community. Her latest collection is Landings from Kelsay Books. She has two previous books: Something About from Blue Light Press, a PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award recipient and Traveling in Reflected Light from Pig Iron Press, a Kenneth Patchen Prize. She also compiled and edited Turning a Train of Thought Upside Down: An Anthology of Women’s Poetry from Scarlet Tanager Books. Her poetry has earned accolades for free verse, form, lyricism, spirituality, and social concern. She is Features Editor at PoetryMagazine.com and founder of the Women’s Poetry Salon.

4:00 PM

Phoenix Theater

201 Washington St.

phoenixtheater

A celebration of Red Indian Road West, Native American Poetry from California, edited by Kurt Schweigman and Lucille Lang Day (Scarlet Tanager Books)

Dave Holt, born in Toronto, Canada, of Irish, English, and Anishinaabe/Ojibwe Indian ancestry, graduated from SFSU’s Creative Writing program (’95). His book, Voyages to Ancestral Islands, won a Cultural Literary Award from Artists Embassy International (2013). His poems are included in three anthologies, Red Indian Road WestNative American Poetry from CaliforniaDescansos, Words from the Wayside, where his poem received a Pushcart Prize nomination; and Shaped by Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry from California. Beginning with his founding at Wells Fargo Bank of a Native Peoples employees group for California Indians, he’s done community service for the American Indian community since 2005.

Linda Noel is a California native of the Koyunkowi (Konkow) people from the northern Sierra.  She has published one chapbook titled “Where You First Saw the Eyes of Coyote” and has been published in a variety of anthologies and magazines. She has a poem included in the permanent collection at the Autry Museum of the West and another has been adapted and performed by the Pasadena Choir.  She has read her work throughout the country including Princeton University.  She was the Poet Laureate of Ukiah from 2003-2005.

Kurt Schweigman is co-editor of Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry from California (Scarlet Tanager Books, 2016). He was a featured poet at the prestigious Geraldine R. Dodge 12th Biennial Poetry Festival and recipient of various literature grants. Kurt is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

5:00 PM

Petaluma Historical Library & Museum

20 Fourth St.
Petaluma Museum

Phyllis Meshulam will be reading with Sonoma County California Poetry in the Schools students who write poetry in English and Spanish.

Phyllis Meshulam is the author of Land of My Father’s War from Cherry Grove Collections, and several chapbooks. Her work has appeared in magazines from Ars Medica to Teachers & Writers.  She’s a teacher for California Poets in the Schools and coordinator for Poetry Out Loud, and was a finalist in The Dickens contest judged by Billy Collins and Robert Haas.  She has been a presenter at the AWP and Split this Rock conferences. Meshulam has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. For CalPoets’ 50th anniversary, she edited, Poetry Crossing, a joyful collection of lessons and poems.

6:00-8:00 PM

Aqus Café 

Foundry Wharf, 189 H St.  

Q.R. Hand, Jr originally published in the 1968 classic, Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro American Writing, edited by Amiri Baraka (Leroy Jones) and Larry Neal, is the author of three poetry books, i speak to the poet in man(jukebox press), how sweet it is(Zeitgeist Press) and whose really blues, new & selected poems (Taurean Horn Press).  He is a member of the Wordwind Chorus, a Bay Area quartet, now trio, that performs poetry with jazz.  Wordwind Chorus has a cd, we are of the saying, recorded in 2000.  He received the Pen Oakland Reginald Lockett Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

E.K. Keith enjoys the lively poetry scene in San Francisco where you can find lots of places to hear from poets from the curmudgeonly to the rant-tastic to the sublime. She is a Latinx poet whose work can be enjoyed in print, on the radio, online, and in person. She organizes San Francisco’s annual open mic celebration of poetry inside City Hall, Poems Under the Dome. Nomadic Press will publish E.K.’s first book of poetry, Ordinary Villains, in Fall 2018.

Originally from San Francisco, Tongo Eisen-Martin is a movement worker and educator who has organized against mass incarceration and extra-judicial killing of Black people throughout the United States. His latest curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people, We Charge Genocide Again, has been used as an educational and organizing tool throughout the country. His poems have been published in Harper’s Magazine and the New York Times Magazine. His book of poems titled, Someone's Dead Already was nominated for a California Book Award. His latest book "Heaven Is All Goodbyes" was published by the City Lights Pocket Poets series, won the California Book Award and is currently shortlisted for the upcoming Griffin Poetry Prize.

Kim Shuck always wants to make these bios funny but is concerned that people will find jokes disrespectful to the craft of writing. Kim Shuck has an MFA not in writing,  but in studio art, textiles. She has had many poems and essays published in periodicals, anthologies and online publications of various descriptions. Her latest solo book is Clouds Running In. She has won various awards her two favorites being the Diane Decorah Award and the Mary Tall Mountain Awards. Kim is the 7th Poet Laureate of San Francisco.

Link to 2017 Schedule

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Take the Train to the Petaluma Poetry Walk!




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Monday, September 10, 2018

Rosh Hashanah - Tashlich - L'shonah Tovah-

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May we learn justice 
without which there is no peace;
may we learn compassion 
without which there is no justice.


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------------Tashlich


 

These are the days of awe —
time of inventory
----- 
-----and a new beginning
when harvest of what we sowed
-----
----- comes in.
(What have we sown
 
------of discord and terror?
Where have we fallen short
 
------of justice?)

The scales dip and teeter;
there is so much
to discard,
so much to atone.

When our temples stood
we loaded a goat

 -----with our transgressions
 ----------and sent it to the wild.
Now we must search our pockets
for crumbs of our trespasses,
our sins to cast upon the rivers.

The days are upon us

 -----to take stock of our hearts.
 ----------It is time to dust
the images of our household gods,
 
-----our teraphim,-
---------------------our lares.




------------© Rafael Jesús González 2018


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





 
Que aprendamos justicia 
sin la cual no hay paz;
que aprendamos compasión 
sin la cual no hay justicia.


 --------------- 

-------------Tashlij


 

Estos son los días de temor —
tiempo del inventario

 -----y un nuevo comienzo
cuando la cosecha de lo que sembramos

 -----entra.
(¿Qué hemos sembrado
 
------de discordia y terror?
¿Dónde hemos fallado

 -------en la justicia?)

Las balanzas se inclinan y columpian;
hay tanto de que deshacerse,
tanto por lo cual expiar.

Cuando estaban en pie nuestros templos
cargábamos a una cabra

 -----con nuestros pecados 
----------y la echábamos al desierto.
Ahora tenemos que buscar en los bolsillos
las migas de nuestras faltas,
nuestros pecados para echarlos a los ríos.

Están sobre nosotros los días

 -----para hacer inventario del corazón. 
----------Es tiempo de sacudir
las imagines de nuestros dioses domésticos,
 
------nuestros térafines,
 ---------------------------nuestros lares.




---------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2018





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Saturday, September 1, 2018

RISE for Climate actions Saturday, September 8

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For too long have we violated sacred Earth of whom we are part and now we suffer the pain of her wounds. The hour has come for the healing or we perish.

Rafael Jesús González 

https://riseforclimate.org/



Por demasiado tiempo hemos violado la sagrada Tierra de quien somos parte y ahora sufrimos el dolor de sus heridas. Ha llegado la hora del sanar o morimos.

Rafael Jesús González

https://riseforclimate.org/ 


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