Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April, National Poetry Month

 -

-----------Loco Poeta


El poeta, loco que es
camina a la orilla
del precipicio del significado
buscando una verdad más elevada
esperando que las palabras
como abejas rumbo a la colmena
lo guié a ella. 
El cosal que lleva en una vara
está lleno de palabras y trucos
más de lo que jamás usará. 
La rosa no es sólo una rosa
sino metáfora de ¿qué?
Lilas a la puerta son abril.
Soñador, visionario, loco
el perro del hecho mundano
le muerde los talones,
le desgarra los calzones, 
le expone el culo al aire
recordándole de que para lo que
busca no hay palabra que le cuadre. 


--------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2020







---------Fool Poet


The poet, fool that he is
walks the edge
of the precipice of meaning 
looking for a higher truth
hoping that words
like homing bees 
will lead him to it. 
The bag he carries on a stick
is full of words & tricks
more than he will ever use.
The rose is not just a rose
but a metaphor for what?
Lilacs by the door is April. 
Dreamer, visionary, fool,
the dog of mundane fact
snaps at his heels,
tears his pants,
exposes his butt to the air
reminding him that for what
he seeks no word can fit.


--------------© Rafael Jesús González 2020






 
-

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

César E. Chávez (March 31, 1927 – April 23, 1993)

-





Oración del campesino en la lucha


Enséñame el sufrimiento de los más desafortunados;
así conoceré el dolor de mi pueblo.
Líbrame a orar por los demás
porque estás presente en cada persona.
Ayúdame a tomar responsabilidad de mi propia vida;
sólo así, seré libre al fin.
Concédeme valentía para servir al prójimo
porque en la entrega hay vida verdadera.
Concédeme honradez y paciencia
para que yo pueda trabajar junto con otros trabajadores.
Alúmbranos con el canto y la celebración
para que se eleve el espíritu entre nosotros.
Que el espíritu florezca y crezca
para que no nos cansemos de la lucha.
Acordémonos de los que han caído por la justicia
porque a nosotros han entregado la vida.
Ayúdanos a amar aun a los que nos odian;
así podremos cambiar el mundo.
--------------------------------------------------Amen.




------------------------------César E. Chávez

------------------------------Fundador del UFW




by Robert Lentz



-----Prayer of the Farm Workers' Struggle


Show me the suffering of the most miserable;
thus I will know my people's plight.
Free me to pray for others,
for you are present in every person.
Help me take responsibility for my own life
so that I can be free at last.
Grant me courage to serve my neighbor
for in surrender is there truly life.
Grant me honesty and patience
so that I can work with other workers.
Enlighten us with song and celebration
so that the spirit will be alive among us.
Let the spirit flourish and grow
so that we will never tire of the struggle.
Let us remember those who have died for justice
for they have given us life.
Help us love even those who hate us;
thus we can change the world.
-------------------------------------Amen.


--------------------------César E. Chávez

----------------------------------UFW Founder


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Farm_Workers


-

-

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Crowned Virus

-



---------------Virus coronado


Caballo pálido, pálido jinete 
de las alucinaciones
del trastornado Juan 
galopa por las calles desiertas.
Aislados en nuestras casas
espiamos por detrás de las persianas
temerosos de que aun el polvito de sol 
nos pueda contagiar. 
Acabados los besos y los abrazos
y aun el tomarnos de la mano. 
Corre la peste por el mundo entero.
Derribará lo que sea preciso derribar
y derribará mucho de lo que no —
de lo que quede 
hagamos un mundo mejor.



-----------© Rafael Jesús González 2020



Vision of John of Patmos


-------------Crowned Virus


Pale horse, pale rider
from the hallucinations
of mad John 
gallops through the deserted streets.
Sequestered in our houses 
we peer from behind the shutter
fearful that even the sun motes
would infect us.
Gone are the kisses & the hugs 
& even the shaking of hands. 
The plague runs through the world. 
It will destroy what needs to be destroyed
& will destroy much of what does not —
From what will remain 
let us make a better world.



-------------© Rafael Jesús González 2020


-

A changed world

-


Ha cambiado el mundo de repente; es otro ya el que habitamos. Estamos aislados en estos tiempos de peste. Por las calles desiertas galopa el jinete pálido en su caballo pálido de las alucinaciones de Juan de Patmos. Si tú y yo nos encontráranos en la calle no nos pudiéramos besar, ni abrazar ni aun tomarnos de la mano y lo más cerca que pudiéramos juntarnos sería a una distancia de no menos de dos metros Ya es otro mundo.

En la soledad de mi aislamiento hay días en que se me hincha el corazón de amor por la Tierra, por la vida, por mis hermanos, hermanas que me han iluminado la vida. Hay otros en que me llena una tristeza tan grande que me forma un nudo en la garganta y lágrimas en los ojos. En otros domina el terror. Otros días siento una gran furia con el presidente 45 de los EE.UU., centro del imperio, un ignorante canalla imbécil cuya visión no va más allá de su vanidad, su nombre en edificios y campos de golf, sus obscenas ganancias. Y con él su índole. Su negar de lo serio de la pandemia, su dilato en hacer aun lo mínimo para contenerla, su irresponsabilidad nos pone a todos en gran peligro no solamente aquí sino por el mundo entero.

Pienso que Tonantzin, Pachamama, Gaia, Madre Tierra en su fiebre y delirio de los cuales somos culpables haya creado este virus como anticuerpo para curarse del cancer maligno, nosotros, en su cuerpo sagrado. Este virus será prueba de nuestra evolución si la sobrevivimos. Tenemos que hacer un mundo nuevo que acuerde con la salud de la Tierra, dejar de consumirla como bichos que devoran a su propia madre. Se tiene que derribar la economía de imperio, el capitalismo que valora la ganancia más que todo, trata a la Tierra sólo como materia prima para que el trabajador, trabajadora esclavizados la conviertan en productos consumibles para la ganancia de los pocos. Tal vez este virus es la dura lección necesaria para que aprendamos de una vez que a pesar de nuestro aislamiento todos estamos juntos en este doloroso reto, que el mundo nuevo que tenemos que hacer tiene que ser uno arrigado en un amor feroz por la Tierra, por la vida, por uno al otro, un mundo de justicia y paz. Que así sea, si no no sobrevivimos. 

Haz lo que puedas por la Tierra, la justicia, la paz; se sanador, sanadora en la esfera de tu poder, tu influencia. Seamos compañeros, compañeras en nuestra revolución que tenemos que hacer.

Rafael Jesús González


Vision of John of Patmos


The world has suddenly changed; it is already another world in which we live. We are isolated in these times of plague. Through the deserted streets gallops the pale horseman on his pale horse from the hallucinations of John of Patmos. If you and I met on the street we could not kiss, nor hug, and not even shake hands, and the nearest we could be to one another would be a minimum of six feet. It is already another world.

In the aloneness of my isolation there are days when my heart swells with love of the Earth, of life, of my brothers and sisters who have lit my life. There are others in which such a great sadness fills me that it forms a knot in my throat and tears in my eyes. On others, terror dominates. Other days I feel a great rage toward the 45th president of the U.S., center of  the empire, an ignorant scoundrel imbecile whose vision goes no further than his vanity, his name on buildings and golf courses, his obscene profits. And with him his ilk. His denial of the seriousness of the pandemic, his delay in doing even the minimum to contain it, his irresponsibility puts everyone in danger not only here but the entire world.

I think that Tonantzin, Pachamama, Gaia, Mother Earth in her fever and delirium for which we are to blame has created this crowned virus as an antibody to cure herself of the malignant cancer, us, on her sacred body. This virus will be the test of our evolution if we survive. We have to make a new world that accords with the health of the Earth, stop consuming her like bugs that devour their own mother. The economy of empire, capitalism that values profit more than anything, treats the Earth as merely a raw resource for the enslaved worker to convert into consumable products for the profit of the few must come down. Perhaps this virus is the hard lesson necessary for us to learn once and for all that in spite of our isolation we are all together in this painful challenge, that the new world we have to make has to be one rooted in a fierce love for the Earth, for life, for one another, a world of justice and peace. So be it, if not, we will not survive.

Do what you can for the Earth, justice, peace; be a healer in the sphere of your power, your influence. Let us be companions in our revolution that we must make.

Rafael Jesús González




-

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Saint Óscar A. Romero G. 8/15/1917 - 3/24/1980

-
--
40 years later

Recordemos y honremos de corazón la memoria del Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero Galdámez, Arzobispo de San Salvador asesinado mientras decía misa en la capilla de un hospital el 24 de marzo de 1980, El Salvador. Fue muerto por su oposición a la injusticia, a la crueldad de un gobierno derechista apoyado por los EE.UU; fue muerto por amar y tratar de proteger a los que amaba. Fue muerto por ser buen pastor. El poema fue escrito cuando nos interamos de su muerte.
 
Let us remember and honor in our hearts the memory of Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero Galdámez, Archbishop of San Salvador murdered while he said mass in the chapel of a hospital March 24, 1980, El Salvador. He was killed because of his opposition to the injustice, the cruelty of a rightist government supported by the U.S.; he was killed because he loved and tried to protect those he loved. He was killed for being a good shepherd. The poem was written when we learned of his death. 




------La Consagración Del Cafe

-----------------al monseñor Óscar A. Romero


Un día de dios
en mi patio tomando café
nada es normal —
------ni el alcatraz
------con su pene dorado
------ni el iris
------como lava morada
------que derrama un volcán.
Encuentro en el fondo de la taza
casullas bordadas
de mariposas negras
y guindas manchas —
-----el sol dispara
-----centellas de balas plateadas
-----y de cirios ahogados —
----------hay sangre en su brillar.
Pongo la burda taza en su platillo
con un tierno cuidado
como si fuera cáliz
y digo la letanía:
-------Guatemala
-------Nicaragua
-------El Salvador.
Y un lado del corazón
me sabe blanco y dulce
como la caña
------y el otro,
-----------como el café,
------------------negro y amargo.




------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2020


(Siete escritores comprometidos: obra y perfil; Fausto Avendaño, director;
Explicación de Textos Literarios vol. 34 anejo 1; diciembre 2007;
Dept. of Foreign Languages; California State University Sacramento;
derechos reservados del autor.)









------The Consecration Of Coffee

----------------------to Archbishop Óscar A. Romero


One day of god
drinking coffee in my patio
nothing is normal —
------not the calla
------with its penis of gold
------nor the iris
------like purple lava
------a volcano spills.
I find in the depths of the cup
chasubles embroidered
with black moths
& red stains —
-----the sun fires
-----a scintillation of silver bullets
-----& of candles drowned —
-----------there is blood in its shine.
I place the cup on its saucer
with a most tender care
as if it were a chalice
& say the litany:
-------Guatemala
-------Nicaragua
-------El Salvador
& one side of my heart
tastes white & sweet
like cane sugar
-----& the other,
----------like coffee,
---------------bitter & black.




----------------© Rafael Jesús González 2020


( Visions-International, no. 44, 1994;
author’s copyrights)


On this day, Oscar Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador, was assassinated, sparking El Salvador's 12-year civil war.

 
Romero was appointed San Salvador's archbishop three years before, in 1977, at a time when violence in El Salvador was rapidly escalating. The conflict was largely one of class warfare: the landed wealthy — who were aligned with the rightist government and paramilitary death squads (supported by the U.S.) — against the impoverished farm workers and other laborers who had begun to ally themselves with leftist guerrilla groups looking to overthrow the government.

Romero had a reputation for being bookish, conservative, and even for discouraging priests from getting involved in political activism. But within weeks of becoming bishop, one of his good friends was killed by the death squads. His friend was an activist Jesuit priest named Rutilio Grande, who had been devoted to educating peasants and trying to bring about economic reforms. He was gunned down on his way to a rural church, along with a young boy and elderly man he had been traveling with. It was a clear moment of conversion for the previously apolitical Oscar Romero, who suddenly felt that he needed to take up the work his friend had been interrupted from doing.

Romero canceled Masses all around the country that week, and invited all to attend the funeral Mass on the steps of the National Cathedral, which he presided over along with 100 other priests. One hundred thousand people showed up at the cathedral for the funeral. He also broadcast his sermon over the radio, so that it could be heard throughout the country. He called for government investigation of the murders going on in rural areas, and he spoke of the reforms that needed to happen in El Salvador: an end to human rights violations, to the regime of terror, and to the huge disparity in wealth, with the landed classes getting rich from the labor of the poor. He announced to his congregation that he wanted to be a good pastor, but he needed everyone's help to lead.

He was called to Rome. The Vatican did not approve of his activism. Romero had become a proponent of liberation theology, a way of viewing the teachings of the Christ from the perspective of the poor. Poverty and oppression came from sin, it argued — institutional sin or structural sin, such as an authoritarian regime or unjust government. In liberation theology, the Gospels are not so much a call to peace or social order; instead they are a call to action, even unrest, to eradicate the sin that is causing poverty and widespread suffering. 

 
On March 23, 1980, the day before he was shot, Oscar Romero gave a sermon in which he pleaded with low-level soldiers and policemen carrying out murderous orders to choose God's command over their government's. The very next day, March 24, 1980, Romero was killed by a paid assassin while consecrating bread at the altar during Mass. A single bullet from an M-16 assault rifle was fired down the center aisle of the hospital chapel, striking him in the heart.

Romero's funeral was attended by a quarter million people from around the world. The events galvanized many previously apolitical poor people, who then supported leftist guerrilla fighters trying to overthrow the Salvadoran regime. The 12-year civil war resulted in more than 75,000 deaths and more than a million displaced people. In 1992, peace accords negotiated by the government and leftist rebels were signed in Mexico, with the United Nations and Catholic Church looking on. It included a 70 percent reduction in armed forces, programs for economic growth and to alleviate poverty, and an outside observing system to monitor elections. The accord included a nine-month cease-fire, which began February 1, 1992. That cease-fire has never since been broken. 


The way to Archbishop Óscar A. Romero's canonization, held up by the two previous popes who called him a communist, was cleared by Pope Francis who declared that Archbishop Romero had died a martyr.







-
 -

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Spring Equinox and Aries


-

Spring Equinox and Aries


-



--------------------Aries

Al morueco de los comienzos
lo impulsa la estrella roja
que relumbra en sus ojos de diamante
y se refleja en sus cuernos de heliotropo,
sus pesuñas de hierro.
----- 

----Guarda el fuego cardinal del anhelo----- 
----y sobre su cabeza-------------- 
------------giran el día y la noche--------------------- 
------------------la noche y el día-------------- 
------------en el baile simétrico 
------------------del tiempo.




-----------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2020





 

---------------Aries

The ram of beginnings
is driven by the red star
which shines in its diamond eyes,
reflects in its bloodstone horns,
its iron hoofs.
 

----It guards the cardinal fire
 -- -of ambition
 ----and above its head
 -------turn day and night 
--------night and day---- 
-----in the symmetrical dance 
------------of time.



----------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2020



-
--
-
--

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Cichuei tecpatl xihuitl: Year Eight Flint

 -


Chicuei tecpatl xihuitl: Año ocho pedernal

---------------------------(al modo nahua)


Que el pedernal del tiempo
corte los mecates que nos atan
liberando flor y canto,
adornando con plumas y oro,
sacándonos chispas de alegría
en el corazón haciéndolo 
-------de piedra verde.


-------© Rafael Jesús González 2020


 



Chicuei tecpatl xihuitl: Year Eight Flint

----------------------(in the Nahua mode)


May the flint of time
cut the cords that bind us 
freeing flower & song,
adorning with feathers & gold,
striking sparks of joy
in the heart making it 
--------of green stone.



--------© Rafael Jesús González 2020



 

-

Monday, March 9, 2020

full moon: Pray to What God?

 -


-----¿Rezarle a que dios?



¿A que dios rezarle?

¿Al dios coyote

del más grande truco

que es la vida

que crece consciencia

y el gran truco del amar

en cuyas adujas

se enmarañan los destinos

compuestos de dichas y pecados?

Dicen que los dictan las estrellas

pero es la luna que los mide

----------paso a paso.
 


----© Rafael Jesús González 2020

  








-------Pray to What God?


Pray to what god?
To god coyote
of the greatest trick
that is life
which grows consciousness
and the great trick of loving
in whose fakes
are tangled desinies
made of joys and of sins?
They say the stars dictate them
but it is the moon that measure them
----------step by step.


--------© Rafael Jesús González 2020


-

Sunday, March 8, 2020

International Women's Day

-

 -
Día Internacional de la Mujer 2020


Mi amor, mi respeto, mi apoyo, mis esperanzas por las mujeres en este día. No haré sino repetir lo que dije en el día de la Marcha de las Mujeres el 18 de enero:


Debemos ser muy agradecidos por las marchas de las mujeres en los Estados Unidos, por todas las Américas, por el mundo entero el 18 de enero 2020 contra el presidente 45 de los Estados Unidos y en resistencia al fascismo que nos amenaza a todos. Gracias, gracias, hermanas nuestras, por ser mujeres, por su poder, por su gracia. Esperemos que sus acciones hagan patente la mera esencia de lo que debe ser nuestra revolución contra el patriarcado de milenios que nos ha llevado a este punto, un patriarcado que nos ha herido a todos y afligido a la Tierra misma a tal punto que su mera habilidad de dar y sostener vida tal como la conocemos está por perderse.

Tal vez deberíamos estar agradecidos al presidente estadounidense 45, caricatura encarnada del masculino herido, deformado y pervertido por el patriarcado tóxico por aterrorizarnos de nuestra pesadilla.

Gracias y por favor, hermanas nuestras; lleguen a su poder y hagan entrar la era del/la sanador(a) que la edad del guerrero no nos ha servido bien y debe acabar. Por favor y gracias, hermanos, por honorar a las mujeres y liberar lo femenino en nosotros. Se trata de la liberación de la mujer y de la liberación del hombre también de un patriarcado que nos mutila a todos. O nos liberamos todos juntos o ningunos somos. El mundo y la Tierra depende en ello.


© Rafael Jesús González 2020



https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/1/d/1xa0iLqYKz8x9Yc_rfhtmSOJQ2EGgeUVjvV4A8LsIaxY/htmlview


International Women's Day 2020

My love, my respect, my support, my hopes of women on this day. I will not but reiterate what I said on the day of the Women's March of January 18th:
 

We must be very grateful for the Women's marches in the United States, throughout the Americas, throughout the world January 18, 2020, against the 45th president of the United States and in resistance to the fascism that menaces us all. Thank you, thank you, our sisters, for your womanhood, your power, your grace. Let us hope that your actions make patent the very essence of what must be our revolution against the patriarchy of millennia that has brought us to this juncture, a patriarchy that has wounded us all and distressed the Earth itself to the point where her very ability to bear and sustain life as we know it is at stake.

Perhaps we should be grateful to the 45th U.S. president, embodied caricature of the masculine, wounded, distorted, and perverted by a toxic patriarchy, to terrify us from our nightmare.

Thank you and please, our sisters; come into your power and bring in the age of the healer, for the age of the warrior has not served us well and must come to an end. Please and thank you, brothers, for honoring women and liberating the feminine within ourselves. It is a matter of women's liberation and of men's liberation as well from a patriarchy that maims us all. We are all liberated together or none of us are. The world and the Earth depend upon it.


© Rafael Jesús González 2020




 -
-

Sunday, March 1, 2020

SUPER TUESDAY, March 3, 2020

-

AND LET US MAKE OUR REVOLUTION!
¡HAGAMOS NUESTRA REVOLUCIÓN!

In spite of the establishment, political elite Democrats, the neo-liberals, centrists, moderates beholden to big money who think that only a candidate not too frightenly different from Trmp can trounce Trmp, all indications show that Sen. Bernie Sanders is the best candidate positioned to trounce Trmp in a general election. And it scares the establishment Democrats as much as it does the Republicans. (Had Bernie Sanders been permitted to be the Democratic presidential candidate in the last election, he would have defeated Trmp and we would not be dealing with the disastrous results of a fascist administration.)


It is up to us — we need real, fundamental change to confront the crises that face us (climate change, an impending pandemic, torture on our southern border, a grievous inequity in wealth, civil and women's rights at stake, many without health care, perpetual war) and Sen. Bernie Sanders is that only candidate who is addressing the issues as part of a dysfunctional systemic whole. Bernie Sanders must be our choice.



-

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Ash Wednesday

-







--------Miércoles de Ceniza


De la iglesia daltoniana
dándole un dedo al cielo
con resaca,
vienen los devotos
con símbolos de estado
en las frentes.
Las nubes derraman lenguas de agua
en calles que no llevan a nada.
Un carro se ahoga —
un gorrión cae —
nadie realmente cree en la muerte.





--------------© Rafael Jesús González 2020



(Above Us Only Sky, Michelle Rhea, Anita M. Barnard, Eds.;
Incarnate Muse Press, Santa Bárbara, CA. 2003; author's copyrights.)










------Ash Wednesday


From the color-blind church
thrusting a finger to a sky
with a hangover,
the worshippers come
bearing celestial status-symbols
on their foreheads.
Clouds spill water tongues
on streets leading to nowhere.
A car chokes —
a sparrow falls —
no one really believes in death




------------© Rafael Jesús González 2020



(RiverSedge, Vol. IV no. 2;
Author's copyrights.)




-

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Carnival, Mardi Gras

-
Carnaval

Antigua fiesta pagana, griega, romana, la dionisíaca, las saturnales, las bacanales celebrando la igualdad entre los hombres, las mujeres, celebrando la embriaguez del estar vivos, el festejo del cuerpo y del alma.

Ahora se le llama carnaval (carne vale) porque es despedida a la carne antes de que se le mortifique durante la cuaresma. Se celebra la carne, los apetitos del cuerpo, sensuales, libres de mandamientos y prohibiciones.

Por eso el antifaz, la máscara que tras el anonimato da licencia para romper las reglas, por un momento vivir fantasías. Tras el antifaz, la máscara, una persona aun puede desnudarse y bailar por las calles. Persona, del latín significando máscara, especialmente cuando se lleva en la escena. Y ¿qué es la vida sino diversión de los dioses?

Entonces quitémonos las máscaras del corazón y pongámonos máscaras sobre la cara si tal es preciso para ser libre, y en vez del rosario, digamos las cuentas de carnaval.

Carnival

Ancient, pagan, Greek, Roman feast, the Dionysia, the Saturnalia, the Bacchanalia celebrating the equality among men, women, celebrating the intoxication of being alive, the celebration of the body and the soul.

Now it is called carnival (carne vale), Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), because it is the farewell to flesh before it is mortified during lent. Flesh is celebrated, the appetites of the body, sensual, free of commandments and prohibitions.

Thus the mask which behind anonymity gives license to break the rules, live fantasies for a moment. Behind the mask a person may even undress and dance naked in the streets. Person from the Latin meaning mask, especially when worn on the stage. And what is life but the diversion of the gods?

Let us take the masks from the heart and put masks on the face if such is needed to be free, and instead of the rosary, let us say the carnival beads.



(Escrito hace ya tiempo cuando en esta temporada del año
las lluvias todavía llegaban a la Bahía de San Francisco.
Ahora el día amanece como si fuera mayo.)



-----Cuentas de carnaval


De las calles
de Nueva Orleáns 
--------en pleno carnaval,
me llamaste;
tu voz un hilo
 
de cuentas lustrosas
----verdes,

 ------------doradas, 
-----------------------púrpuras
me engalanó de encanto
y me hizo bailar el corazón.

Sobre la Bahía
de San Francisco
el cielo amanece
color de cenizas,
pero mañana en vez del rosario,
diré esas cuentas de carnaval.




----------------© Rafael Jesús González 20207




(Written some time ago when at this time of the year
rains still used to come to San Francisco Bay. 
Now the day dawns as if it were May.)



-----------Carnival Beads


From the streets of New Orleans

-------in full Mardi Gras,
you called;
your words, a string
of lustrous beads,
---green,
-----------gold,

-----------------purple
adorned me with joy
and made my heart dance.

Over
San Francisco Bay
the sky dawns
the color of ashes,
but tomorrow instead of the rosary,
I will say those carnival beads.





----------------© Rafael Jesús González 20207





(bueno, pa' algunos ni la máscara sirve/
well, for some not even the mask helps)



 ---

Monday, February 17, 2020

Revolution Books 40th Anniversary


-


An invitation:
February 29th, 6 p.m. Join Sahar Delijani, Rafael Jesús González, Julia Scheeres and Andy Zee to Celebrate Revolution Books' 40th Anniversary. 

Reception with wine and light refreshments $25-50, which includes program. 
7p.m. Program & champagne toast $5-up.

This is a celebration - as well as a renewed and urgent call for people to support the bookstore. Right as now we face a moment of stark contrast between our hopes and dreams for a better world and the stark reality that great catastrophe looms as fascist regimes rise, and as we confront environmental disaster--Revolution Books embodies the potential bright future for humanity.  Buy tickets at  Facebook, Eventbrite or at Revolution Books. For more info go to revolutionbooks.org or call 510-848-1196.



-

Friday, February 14, 2020

St. Valentine's

-
 
Today is set aside by tradition to express love and friendship, and so I send love, be it that spontaneous flash of affection upon a first meeting which in Spanish we call simpatía or the love and friendship of years and shared memories. And that love that embraces all humankind. You are loved.

But now is not the time for coy cupids of dimpled rumps and silly smiles aiming their little arrows at red or pink hearts across a frilly page. We are ruled by fascists; villainy is normalized. Sick with power and greed, for profit they deal in misery and pain. Liars and scoundrels all, for them there is no truth, no justice, no compassion, no decency. In their hearts there seems to be but hatred and cruelty, and to them 'patriotism' is but a synonym for domination.

So on this day of love, let us dedicate ourselves to our revolution of the heart and of the mind to defend the Earth and strive for justice rooted in compassion and for peace. We are on the brink and nothing will save us but a fierce love.


Rafael Jesús González



Por tradición hoy se reserva para expresar amor y amistad, y entonces mando amor sea ese destello de afecto espontáneo en el primer encuentro que en español llamamos simpatía o el amor y amistad de años y memorias compartidos. Y ese amor que abraza a toda la humanidad. Eres amad@.

Pero no es el tiempo para cupidos coquetones de hoyuelos en las nalgas y sonrisas bobas apuntando sus flechitas hacia corazónes rojos o color rosa en la página de encajes. Nos gobiernan fascistas; se normaliza la villanía. Enfermos de poder y de codicia por la ganancia trafican en la misera y el dolor. Mentirosos y canallas todos, para ellos el 'patriotismo' es sino sinónimo para la dominación.

Entonces en este día de amor dediquémonos a nuestra revolución del corazón y de la mente para defender a la Tierra y luchar por la justicia arraigada en la compasión y por la paz. Estamos al borde y nada nos salvará mas un amor feroz.


Rafael Jesús González





-

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Full moon of the Rat year 4718


-


Ohara Koson 1877–1945




Full Moon of the Rat Year 4718



In the star-rich sky,
a lone gray rat of a cloud
grasps at the full moon,
sweet ball of honey and cheese
for her Lord of Beginnings.



© Rafael Jesús González 2020


                                           





Luna llena del Año de la Rata 4718


En el cielo rico de estrellas
una nube rata gris solitaria
trata de coger la luna llena
dulce globo de queso y de miel
para su Señor de los comienzos.



 © Rafael Jesús González 2020



 



-

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Year of the Rat 4718


-
 -

Katsushika Hokusai, Edo period




Year of the Rat 4718


 
The rat travels with
the good Lord of Beginnings, 
remover of obstacles,
He will need her to gnaw through
the walls of greed and of fear.


       
---------------------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2020






Año de la rata 4718


 
La rata viaja
con el buen Señor de los comienzos
derribador de obstáculos.
La necesitará para que roe a través
de los muros de la codicia y el temor.


       
------  ------------------------------------------© Rafael Jesús González 2020





Wanatabe Shotei 1851 – 1918





-

Monday, January 20, 2020

on Martin Luther King Jr.'s Day





To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr Day, I read the "Letter from Birmingham Jail," the "I have a Dream" speech, the "Beyond Vietnam" speech, see the video of his last speech in Memphis shortly before he was killed. It is about our revolution, continuation of what he inspired: Civil Rights, the Anti-War Movement, the Farm Workers Movement, the Counter Culture, the Poor People's campaign, the Chicano and Black movements, Women's Liberation/Men's Liberation, the Environmental Movement, and much more. Contemporaries, I read and saw, heard broadcasts of his words as soon as they were published or said — and I took them to heart. It was clear: our revolution was non-violent, rooted in love, anxious for justice, for peace, the Earth, inexorable.

We know the story; the back-lash came soon, the "conservative revolution" of the far right, neo-conservative with a smattering of neo-liberal (often difficult to distinguish one from the other) presidents and administrations increasingly neo-fascistic, criminal — until full-blown POTUS 45, a fascist Senate to back him, and a fascist-compromised Supreme Court with only the House of Representatives to resist a fully authoritarian fascist state. And all we had gained for justice now at stake. Let us call things for what they are.

And now our revolution surges and it is we, our voice Senator Bernie Sanders who has never wavered in the cause of justice, reason, compassion in all the years that he has held office and who would have defeated POTUS 45 in the last election had he been permitted by the establishment to be the democratic candidate.

We saw the Democratic debate on CNN last week January 14 for the charade it was, pitting Elizabeth Warren against Bernie Sanders, the two best candidates who offer any really significant change (though Warren, admitted "Capitalist to [her] bones" less likely) over nothing of substance, an obvious ploy to divide and undermine the progressive Democrats. And when Sanders spoke of health care for all, free public higher education, a green new deal to do something concrete to curb climate change, Biden and Buttigieg (both beholden to corporate donations and darlings of the "establishment" Democratic Party) objected, "How are you going to pay for it? We can't afford it," a question they would never ask of the obscene billions wasted on "defense," the Orwellian term for perpetual war benefitting only the ruling 1%.

It was the eve of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and in Sander's assertion "it's not about me; it's about us, our revolution," I caught echoes of what King had said. I thought of the children at our southern border torn from their mothers', fathers' arms, put in cages, dispersed. I think of so many suffering illness, unable to afford a doctor or medicine, about the homeless in tents under our freeways, of constant war. The seas grow hot, Brazil and Australia burn, Mont Blanc melts, ready to come down, the poles are melting as are the glaciers everywhere, hurricanes and tornadoes grow  in intensity and frequency, islands disappear in the rising waters, species daily become extinct.

Business as usual is no longer an option. The revolution is now, not of guns and violence, but of a fierce love, of consciousness, a change of heart. I think of Martin Luther King, our revolution.


Rafael Jesús González


For us with the technology, 
make our revolution 
and download the Bernie 2020 App.





-