Sunday, December 3, 2017

Full moon: Fake News


On the Advent Moon: False News

The moon rises full, round and bright, just as the grandmothers and the scientists told us, the almanacs announced.

"Fake news," tweets the guy in the white house. "The Chinese made the moon all up to dim my own incredible brilliance. Li Po, I think, a really, really bad guy. A drunk, weak and stupid too; he fell in the river and drowned. A loser. And science, I don't believe in science; it's all fake news, politically correct out of control and dangerous, believe me. They're lightweight, any moron will tell you, zero. But we know better; we're a smart, tough, terrific country, this alt white U.S. of A., amazing. Believe me, with a classy president like me, we'll win huge, tremendous."

The moon rises and rolls in these Post-Truth times; hard put to rein in the tides gone crazy with fever, her cool light a consolation still. 

© Rafael Jesús González 2017

En Luna de Advento: Noticias Falsas

La luna sale llena, redonda y brillante tal como nos dijeron las abuelas y los científicos, anunciaron los almanaques.

"Noticias falsas," tuitea el tipo en la casa blanca. "Los chinos la inventaron para opacar mi propia brillantez increíble. Li Bai creo, un tipo muy, muy malo. Un borracho, flaco y estúpido también; se cayó en el río y se ahogó. Un perdedor. Y la ciencia, no creo en la ciencia; es toda noticia falsa, políticamente correcta fuera de control y peligrosa, créanmelo. Son de poco peso, cualquier idiota te lo dirá, cero. Pero nosotros sabemos mejor; somos un pueblo listo, fuerte, tremendo este país de los EE.UU, alt blanco, maravilloso. Créanmelo, con un presidente de tan buen tono como yo tendremos un éxito grandote, estupendo."

La luna se alza y rueda en estos tiempos Post-Verdad, casi incapaz de enfrenar las mareas vueltas locas con fiebre, su luz fresca un consuelo aun.

© Rafael Jesús González 2017



Saturday, December 2, 2017

Resilience Fair, Berkeley, Dec. 2



Es lo que el carrizo, la caña,
el zacate muestran ante la tormenta —
se doblan pero no se quiebran.
Es lo que hacemos cuando el huracán
se ha llevado la casa, o el incendio
la ha dejado en cenizas,
es lo que hace el migrante
cuando en su tierra ya no pueda vivir.
Tiene que ver con la esperanza
y la fuerza y ante todo el amor a la vida.
Es la capacidad de reír después de llorar,
cantar al sudar la gota gorda, bailar
en la protesta ante la injuria. Es más
que todo el amar, romper las puertas,
derribar los muros entre nosotros,
tomarnos de la mano y crear un mundo
nuevo que sea justo y se ajuste a la Tierra.
Es vivir con y del corazón.

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


It is what the reed, the cane,
the grass show before the storm—
they bend but do not break.
It is what we do when the hurricane
has taken the house or the fire
has left it in ashes,
it is what the migrant does
when he can no longer live in his land.
It has to do with hope
& strength & above all love of life.
It is the ability to laugh after crying,
to sing as we sweat the fat drop, to dance
in the protest against outrage. It is more
than anything loving, to break the doors,
bring down the walls between us,
take each other by hand & create a new
world that is just & adjusts to the Earth.
It is to live with & from the heart.

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


Thursday, November 23, 2017




Gracias y benditos sean
el Sol y la Tierra
por este pan y este vino,
-----esta fruta, esta carne, esta sal,
----------------este alimento;
gracias y bendiciones
a quienes lo preparan, lo sirven;
gracias y bendiciones
a quienes lo comparten
(y también a los ausentes y a los difuntos.)
Gracias y bendiciones a quienes lo traen
--------(que no les falte),
a quienes lo siembran y cultivan,
lo cosechan y lo recogen
-------(que no les falte);
gracias y bendiciones a los que trabajan
-------y bendiciones a los que no puedan;
que no les falte — su hambre
-----hace agrio el vino
-----------y le roba el gusto a la sal.
Gracias por el sustento y la fuerza
para nuestro bailar y nuestra labor
--------por la justicia y la paz.

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

(The Montserrat Review, no. 6, primavera 2003
[postulado para el Premio de la Poesía por la Paz Hobblestock;
derechos reservados del autor.)

---------------- Grace

Thanks and blessing be
to the Sun and the Earth
for this bread and this wine,

this fruit, this meat, this salt, 
---------------this food;
thanks be
and blessing to them
who prepare it, who serve it;
and blessing to them
who share it
and also the absent and the dead.)
and blessing to them who bring it
--------(may they not want),
to them who plant
and tend it,
and gather it
--------(may they not want);
and blessing to them who work
and blessing to them who cannot;
may they not want — for their hunger
------sours the wine
and robs the salt of its taste.
Thanks be for the sustenance
and strength
for our dance
and the work of justice, of peace.

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

(The Montserrat Review, Issue 6, Spring 2003
[nominated for the Hobblestock Peace Poetry Award];
author’s copyrights.)

--- ---


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving Day — a U.S.A. holiday


Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863-1930)


Preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving, favorite U.S. holiday (for we must always be thankful for blessings), it is well for us to recall the history and myth in which it is clothed and reflect upon it.

If in 1621 "Tisquantum" or "Squanto" of the Wampanoag nation, who as a boy or youth was taken as a slave to England fifteen years before the “Pilgrims” came to America, helped the ill-provided colonists and with his tribe celebrated thanksgiving with Miles Standish and the colonists of Plymouth Plantation, it was because the Algonkian tribes were generous and held six thanks-giving festivals during the year (that one being their 5th one of the year.) They brought most of the food, including four wild turkeys, for the feasting.

But it seems that, as William B. Newell, a Penobscot Indian and former chairman of the Anthropology department at the University of Connecticut, points out, the first officially declared Thanksgiving Day by the Governor of the then Massachusetts Bay Colony was the day following the slaughtering of a Pequot village of 700 men, women, and children who were celebrating their annual Green Corn Dance, in June 1637 executed under the command of one John Underhill and documented by William Branford.

In fact, a proclamation of such a holiday recorded in Charlestown, Massachusetts, thirty-nine years later, June 20, 1676, refers to the indigenous peoples of this land as “the Enemy” in “the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land.” And the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts set June 29 to thank the god of the Puritan “pilgrims” for “giving us especially of late with many of our Confederates many signal Advantages against them [the indigenous people],” thankful “when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed.”

It first became a national holiday declared such by George Washington in 1789 for November 26. Abraham Lincoln revived the custom in 1863, and Congress decreed the holiday should fall on the fourth Thursday of November in 1941. And so it is, a holiday with antecedents in the remotest times of human history and burdened with national myth and fact, piety and villainy more often than not inextricably intertwined.

Since 1969 or 70 on San Francisco Bay, the day is begun at sunrise with American Indian ceremony at the gathering of the tribes on the island of Alcatraz as reminder of the history of this land — and as rededication to changing its course for the better.

Feasting with family and friends in thanks for the blessings of life, Thanksgiving is a holiday of celebration whose joy is marred by a consciousness of our nation in continual war and destruction of the Earth. The government (we, if we tolerate it) not only wages war unjustly, unlawfully, justifying itself through lies and deceit, but violates the U. S. Constitution and Bill of Rights so that our civil rights and liberties are less and less guaranteed. The wealth of the nation is concentrated in the hands of the one per cent rich and powerful, and most of our people will celebrate this day with less wealth, less security, less freedom, less learning, than thirty-four years ago. And the struggle to create a democracy continues. Now under even more difficult conditions.

In the midst of this pain and exasperation, we must give thanks for the gifts of life and the sustenance of the great Mother the Earth. And for each other, and all our relations the other animals, the plants, the minerals. We give thanks mindful that in our gratitude we must also raise our voices in the name of justice and peace resolved to make amends and undertake healing knowing that gratitude for that which we enjoy at the expense and suffering of our brothers and sisters is blasphemous and unacceptable.

© Rafael Jesús González 2017
Alta California