Thursday, August 11, 2022

full moon: Kind Moon


                            Luna benévola



La luna sale con luz benévola y compasiva

y yo pecador en mi noche oscura del alma 

me hinco ante ella, frente al suelo

de la Madre Tierra y le pido a la Madre 

que me perdone, pido perdón 

de tod@s a quienes he ofendido.


Pero aun alzo la voz por la justicia. 

Si sólo l@s sin pecado puedan alzarla,

débil sería el clamor por la justicia.


Tanto que perdonar, tanto que sanar;

la luna calla y baña todo con su luz.


                                © Rafael Jesús González 2022



                                        Kind Moon



The moon rises with light kind and compassionate

and I sinner in my dark night of the soul

bow before her, forehead to the ground

of holy Mother Earth and ask the Mother 

to forgive me, I ask forgiveness 

of all whom I have offended.


But even so I raise my voice for justice. 

If only the sinless can raise it

weak would be the cry for justice.


So much to forgive, so much to heal;

the moon is silent and bathes all with her light.


                                            © Rafael Jesús González 2022


Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Nagasaki Day 77 years later


It was on August 6, 1945, seventy-sis years ago, that the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, August 9, another on Nagasaki. We must never let it happen again; let us work for complete nuclear disarmament throughout the world.


Fue en el 6 de agosto 1945, hace setenta y cuatro años que los Estados Unidos dejó caer una bomba atómica en la ciudad de Hiroshima en el Japón. Tres días más tarde. 9 de agosto, otra en Nagasaki. Debemos asegurar que jamás pase otra vez; trabajemos por desarmamento nuclear completo en el mundo entero.

It's said that if you
fold one-thousand paper cranes
your wish will come true. 
For peace I would gladly spend 
the rest of my days folding. 

                                                                © Rafael Jesús González 2022


translation into Japanese and calligraphy 
-by Prof. Naoshi Koriyama

Se dice que si 
doblas mil grullas de papel 
se cumplirá tu deseo. 
Por la paz felizmente me pasaría 
el resto de mis días doblando.

----------------------         -------           --------© Rafael Jesús González 2022

Summer Solstice of 1983, about a thousand of us imprisoned in Santa Rita Prison because of blocking the entrance to the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, California, where nuclear arms are designed, occupied ourselves folding cranes from old newspapers; among us all, we made many more than a thousand to send to Japan. 

El Solsticio de Verano de 1983, cerca de mil de nosotr@s pres@s en la Prisión Santa Rita a causa de haber bloqueado la entrada a los Laboratorios Lawrence Livermore en California donde las armas nucleares son diseñadas, nos ocupamos doblando grullas del papel de periódicos viejos; entre tod@s hicimos mucho más de mil para enviar al Japón. 


Saturday, August 6, 2022

Hiroshima Day 77 years later


The Atom Bomb & I

In 1945 two months short of my turning ten, my mother celebrated her saint’s day, July 16 in Southwestern General Hospital, El Paso, Texas for some reason that I can’t remember. We visited her with flowers and she told of waking very early dawn to a brilliant glare out the window. Others also talked of the phenomenon. The next day, on page 6 of the El Paso Herold Post appeared a brief notice that a large arsenal in the army base of Alamo Gordo, New Mexico, not far away, had accidentally blown up.

Short of a month later, on August 6 the U.S. dropped the first atom bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. We had hardly news of the devastation when three days later another was dropped on Nagasaki. 

The shock of the horror of it was covered by the air of festivity at the family gathering at our home shortly after to celebrate the defeat of Japan and the end of the Second World War; my uncles Tío Pana and Tío Kiki were coming home from the far Pacific and Europe. 

But the war did not end; it just turned cold. The enemy was no longer fascist Germany, Italy, Japan, but a former ally, communist Russia. The atomic bomb was a threat hanging over the world. At school, the regular fire drills orderly vacating the building to the shrill buzzing of alarms were interspersed with “duck & cover” atomic-bombing drills that had us face away from the windows, cover our heads, and duck under our desks from which some times came contagious giggles that exasperated the teachers. 

We became more and more aware of the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and fears (and hate of Russia) were stoked by the military-industrial complex that the post-war Republican president, a general, had warned us about. Private “bomb-shelters” were widely talked about and built in home backyards. In Junior High school, school mates of more well-to-do families talked about their fathers building “shelters,” their mothers stocking them with canned food. I came home from school one day and asked my father when we were going to build ours. He looked at me and asked: Do you know what an atomic bomb does? Would you want to live in a world destroyed by atom bombs? I was fifteen years old then. His question stuck with me ever since. 

Many years of atomic war crises later, in 1983, teaching at Laney College, Oakland, California, I took leave of absence to help organize the First International Day of Nuclear Disarmament and take part in direct actions (civil disobedience) against nuclear weapons. A second-rate cowboy actor from California was president who dropped the mask of “defense” and turned to “first-strike” missiles and was set on taking the cold war to the stars. The beginning of that year, in Lompoc Federal Prison for trying to block the test of the MX missile, I wrote:

                    Here for Life

(Vandenberg Air Force Base, January 1983;
first blockade of MX Missile testing)

I am here — 
I wear the old-ones’ jade —
it’s life, they said & precious;
turquoise I’ve sought to hone my visions;
& coral to cultivate the heart;
mother of pearl for purity.

I have put on what power I could
to tell you there are mountains
where the stones sleep —
        hawks nest there
& lichens older than the ice is cold.

The sea is vast & deep
keeping secrets
darker than the rocks are hard.

I am here to tell you
the Earth is made of things
so much themselves
they make the angels kneel.
We walk among them
& they are certain as the rain is wet
& they are fragile as the pine is tall.

        We, too, belong to them;
they count upon our singing,
the footfalls of our dance,
our children’s shouts, their laughter.

I am here for the unfinished song,
the uncompleted dance,
the healing,
the dreadful fakes of love.
        I am here for life
                & I will not go away.

                    Rafael Jesús González

(Voices for Peace Anthology, Barbara Nestor Davis, Ed.; 
Rochester, N.Y. 1983. 

DNA ezine, Dragonfly Press, August 2020
Author’s copyrights.) 

It is 77 years since the first atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the second one on Nagasaki. Again, we gather at the gates of Livermore Nuclear Laboratories in direct action to protest the production and proliferation of nuclear weapons that threaten the world even more. Now grown old, I am still here for life and for as long as I have the voice, I will raise it for the Earth, for justice without which there can be no peace, for Life.

Rafael Jesús González

Berkeley, California; August 6, 2022

La Bomba Atómica y Yo

En 1945 dos meses cortos de cumplir diez, mi madre celebró su día de santo el 16 de julio en el Hospital General Southwestern, El Paso, Texas por alguna razón que no recuerdo. La visitamos con flores y nos contó haber despertado muy temprano en la madrugada a un resplandor brillante por la ventana. Otros también hablaban del fenómeno. El día siguiente en la página 6 del diario El Paso Herold Post apareció una breve noticia que un arsenal grande en la base militar de Álamo Gordo, Nuevo México no lejos había estallado accidentalmente.

Corto de un mes después, el 6 de agosto los EE.UU. dejaron caer la primera bomba nuclear sobre Hiroshima, Japón. Apenas teníamos noticia de la calamidad cuando tres días después otra fue dejada caer en Nagasaki. 

El choque del horror de esto se cubrió por el aire de festejo en la reunión familiar en nuestra casa poco después para celebrar el derrote de Japón y el fin de la Segunda Guerra Mundial; mis tíos, tío Pana y tío Kiki vendrían a casa del Pacífico lejano y de Europa. 

Pero la guerra no acabó; solamente se volvió fría. El enemigo ya no era Alemania, Italia, Japón fascistas sino un ex aliado, Rusia comunista. La bomba atómica era amenaza sobre el mundo. En la escuela los simulacros de incendio regulares que ordenadamente vaciaban el edificio al estridente zumbar de las alarmas se intercalaban con simulacros de bombardeo atómico de “agacharse y taparse” que nos tenían de espaldas a las ventanas, taparnos la cabeza y agacharnos debajo de nuestros escritorios de los cuales a veces salían risitas contagiosas que exasperaban a las maestras. 

Nos hicimos más y más conscientes de los horrores de Hiroshima y Nagasaki y temores (y odio a Rusia) se atizaban por el complejo miliar-industrial del que el presidente republicano de la posguerra, un general nos advertía. Se hablaba mucho de “refugios antiaéreos” privados y se construían detrás de las casas. En la escuela secundaria los compañeros de escuela de familias más acomodadas hablaban de sus padres construyendo “refugios” y sus madres llenándolos de comida en lata. Un día vine a casa y le pregunté a mi padre cuando íbamos a construir la nuestra. Me miró y me pregunto — ¿Sabes lo que hace una bomba atómica? ¿Quisieras vivir en un mundo destruido por bombas atómicas? Tenía yo quince años. Su pregunta se me quedó grabada desde entonces. 

Muchos años de crisis de guerra atómica después, en 1983, enseñando en el Colegio Laney en Oakland, California, tomé permiso de ausencia para ayudar organizar el Primer Día Internacional del Desarme Nuclear y participar en acciones directas (desobediencia civil) contra las armas nucleares. Un actor de vaqueros de segunda clase era presidente que dejó la máscara de “defensa” y se volvió hacia misiles de “primer ataque” y estaba decido llevar la guerra fría a las estrellas. A principios de ese año, en la Prisión Federal de Lompoc por intentar bloquear la prueba del misil MX, escribí:

                    Aquí por vida

(Base de Fuerza Aérea de Vandenberg, enero 1983;
primer bloqueo de la prueba del proyectil nuclear MX)

Aquí estoy — 
llevo el jade de los ancianos —
es la vida, decían, y preciosa;
turquesa que he buscado 
para darles filo a mis visiones;
y coral para cultivar el corazón;
madreperla para la pureza.

Me he puesto el poder que pude
para decirles que hay montañas
donde duermen las piedras —
        halcones anidan allí
y liquen más viejo 
de lo que el hielo es frío.

El mar es vasto y profundo
guardando secretos
más oscuros 
de lo que las rocas son duras.

Aquí estoy para decirles
que la Tierra es hecha de cosas
tan suyas mismas
que hacen a los ángeles arrodillarse.
Caminamos entre ellas
y son ciertas como la lluvia es húmeda
y son frágiles como el pino es alto.

Nosotros también les pertenecemos;
cuentan con nuestro cantar,
los pasos de nuestro bailar,
los gritos de nuestros hijos, su risa.

Aquí estoy por la canción no acabada,
el baile incompleto,
el sanar,
las terribles adujas del amor.
        Aquí estoy por vida
                 y no me iré.

                    Rafael Jesús González 

(DNA ezine, Dragonfly Press, agosto 2020
derechos reservados del autor)

Hace 77 años que la primera bomba atómica se dejó caer en Hiroshima, la segunda en Nagasaki. Otra vez nos reunimos a la puertas de los Laboratorios Nucleares Livermore en acción directa para protestar contra la producción e incremento de las armas nucleares que amenazan aun más al mundo. Ya viejo, sigo aquí por vida y mientras tenga la voz, la alzaré por la Tierra, por la justicia sin la cual no puede haber paz, por la Vida.

Rafael Jesús González

Berkeley, California; 6 de agosto 2022


Thursday, August 4, 2022

Hiroshima Day rally at the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory



Hiroshima-Nagasaki virtual rally from the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab; additional speakers filmed in CA, NY and Russia 


Sat., Aug. 6, 9:00 am PDT and rebroadcast Tues., Aug. 9, 9:00 am PDT










WHAT:  “Making the Unthinkable Impossible” a rally filmed at the gates of the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab and beyond. Speakers include a former Pentagon war planner, a Russian physicist-engineer joining virtually from St. Petersburg, a survivor of the Nagasaki bomb, and more (short bios follow). Program highlights include up-to-the-minute nuclear weapons reports at the gates of the Lab and key experts and advocates drawing important connections from the first atomic bomb used in war to the urgent nuclear challenges of our day. 


WHEN:  Hiroshima Day, Saturday, August 6, beginning at 9 am Pacific Time. Nagasaki Day, Tuesday, August 9, beginning at 9 am Pacific Time. 


WHERE: The in-person segment of the rally will be filmed at the West Gate of the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory. Other segments will be filmed remotely. The rally will be viewed virtually (due to Covid/Omicron) at  The footage will be archived.


WHY/BACKGROUND: During the 1980s fear of nuclear war was on most everyone’s mind. Then, when the Cold War appeared to end, many people breathed a sigh of relief, believing that the danger of nuclear war had vanished. But the U.S. nuclear weapons juggernaut rolled on, substantially unchanged, and the Livermore Lab continues to develop new and modified nuclear warheads to this day. Now, with Russia’s illegal war of aggression on Ukraine, which could eventually draw the militaries of the U.S., its NATO allies and Russia into direct conflict, and Russia’s repeated threats to use nuclear weapons, the specter of nuclear war has risen to the highest level since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Nuclear weapons are back on the public radar.  Now, on this 77th anniversary of the use of atomic bombs in war, we act in this historical moment to mobilize for the abolition of all such weapons. 

Rally speakers will help the public understand why action is urgently needed now to change the course of nuclear policy locally, nationally, and globally. Positive alternatives, including actions for the abolition of nuclear weapons, will also be highlighted.    


Brief bios for event speakers and musicians

• Daniel Ellsberg speaks on U.S. nuclear policy and war planning. He is perhaps best known as the whistleblower who released “The Pentagon Papers” to hasten an end to the war in Vietnam. Ellsberg was an analyst at RAND Corp. and a consultant to the Defense Dept. Ellsberg’s acclaimed autobiography is titled, Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. He recently released papers detailing the 1958 risk of nuclear war over Taiwan.  

• Nobuaki Hanaoka is a Hibakusha and the rally’s special guest speaker. Hanaoka was an infant when the bomb fell on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. His mother and sister died from illnesses linked to radiation poisoning and his brother died at age 39 from premature aging associated with fallout from the bomb. Rev. Hanaoka is a retired minister in the United Methodist Church who came to the U.S. following seminary training in Japan. 

• Marylia Kelley addresses Livermore Lab’s role in developing new nuclear warheads, and speaks from the Livermore Lab’s West Gate. She is Executive Director at the Livermore-based Tri-Valley CAREs and brings nearly 40 years of research, writing and facilitating public participation in nuclear policy decisions. Kelley has testified before the House Armed Services Committee of the U.S. Congress and the California Legislature, among other deliberative bodies. 

• Oleg Bodrov is an engineer-physicist and graduate of the Leningrad Polytechnic University. After visiting the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, he left his position in the nuclear industry and became an environmentalist and safe energy specialist. Bodrov serves as Coordinator for the Northwest Russia Peace movement He lives in St. Petersburg, Russia. His father-in-law is from Mariupol, Ukraine.

• Mari Inoue is an attorney and co-founder of the Manhattan Project for a Nuclear-Free World, a grassroots group in New York City. She is a longtime leader in grassroots movements to educate policymakers and elected officials on nuclear weapons and nuclear energy's costs, risks, and humanitarian consequences.

• Sara Shor is the Organizing Director at GreenFaith, a global multi-faith climate justice organization. Previously she served as US Campaigns Director at Shor has played a leadership role during the last 15 years in climate, food, and environmental justice campaigns in Washington, DC, Ohio, and California. 

• Tova Fuller, MD, PhD, serves as the board Vice-President at San Francisco Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility and Chairs the group’s Nuclear Weapons Abolition committee. She also serves on PSR’s national board of directors and conducts advocacy on the twin existential threats of climate change and nuclear proliferation. Fuller is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF.

• Benjamin Mertz is a composer, performer, and song leader who specializes in music of the Black Spiritual tradition. He leads music at benefit concerts, vigils, protests, sacred services, and workshops. When not performing, he writes and speaks on issues of racial and economic justice and Black History. Mertz's most recent album of Black Spiritual music is called "Climbing Up the Mountain." 

• Emma’s Revolution is comprised of singer-songwriters Pat Humphries and Sandy O. The globally popular duo has been performing socially relevant music for more than 20 years. Among the group’s awards, Emma’s Revolution won the John Lennon Songwriting Grand Prize and received the first Phil Ochs Award.   

• Patricia St. Onge, a Six Nations/Haudenosaune and Quebecois, offers the land blessing at the Livermore Lab West Gate. She is a Partner in Seven Generations Consulting, specializing in all aspects of community organizing for social change. 

• Wilson Riles, Jr. provides the rally’s welcome. Riles is a politician and community activist who served as a member on the Oakland City Council from 1979 to 1992.  He was a leader in the anti-apartheid movement as well as in the Oakland nuclear free zone ordinance. Riles serves on the board of directors for the Oakland-based Western States Legal Foundation. 

• Andrew Kodama emcees the rally, introducing speakers from the West Gate at Livermore Lab as well as those who are being recorded from locations ranging from California to New York to Russia. He is the Executive Director at the Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center in Contra Costa County. 



Thursday, July 21, 2022






El león, ojos de carnalina,
colmillos, garras de sardónice,
lleva en el pecho corazón de rubí
que guarda el fuego fijo del valor.
    Anhela devorar al sol
    y mudarlo en oro
que surgiera por sus venas
como río caliente de luz.

                    © Rafael Jesús González 2022


 The lion, carnelian eyes,
fangs, claws of sardonyx,
carries in his breast a ruby heart
that holds the steadfast fires of courage.
    It desires to devour the sun
    and turn it into gold
that would run in his veins
like a hot river of light.

                                  © Rafael Jesús González 2022



Wednesday, July 13, 2022

full moon: Clear Moon in Dark Night


Luna clara en noche oscura

La luna se eleva
como bola de cristal 
clara y trasparente 
con la cual los ángeles
dicen la fortuna. 
Su trasparencia se enturbia
por sombras oscuras;
se perturban los ángeles.
Nuestra suerte
no parece ser buena

        © Rafael Jesús González 2022 


Clear Moon in Dark Night 

The moon rises
like a crystal ball
clear & transparent
with which the angels 
tell fortune. 
Its transparency is clouded
by dark shadows;
the angels are disturbed. 
Our fortune
does not appear to be good.

            © Rafael Jesús González 2022  


Monday, July 4, 2022

U. S. of A. Independence Day


Oh, Say Can You See?

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate 
the growth of private power to a point where it becomes 
stronger than their democratic State itself. That, in essence
is Fascism — ownership of government by an individual,
by a group, or by any controlling private power.

                                                President Franklin D. Roosevelt

        A Declaration Revisited
We hold these truths 
to be self-evident, they said,
that all men (provided they be 
of European descent, not women, 
& of a certain wealth
are created equal, 
that they are endowed 
by their Creator 
with certain unalienable rights 
(such as to enslave others, 
take their lands, 
& to trash the Earth), 
that among these are 
life (for the so privileged), 
Liberty (for those who can afford it)
& the pursuit (if they are able
of Happiness (measured 
by how much they consume.

To this pronouncement they pledged
their lives (?), their fortunes (that part 
not stowed away in foreign banks 
& sheltered by tax breaks). 
& their "Sacred Honor"(?)  

                                        © Rafael Jesús González 2022

La libertad de una democracia no es salva si el pueblo tolera
el crecimiento del poder privado hasta al punto en que se hace
más fuerte que su estado democrático mismo. Eso en esencia
es el Fascismo — posesión del gobierno por un individuo,
por un grupo, o por un partido privado dominante.

                                                    Presidente Franklin D. Roosevelt

                    Declaración repasada 


Tenemos estas verdades 
de por si evidentes, dijeron, 
que todos hombres (con tal que sean 
de ascendencia Europea, no mujeres, 
y de ciertos bienes
son creados iguales,
que son dotados 
por su Creador 
con ciertos derechos inalienables 
(tales como los de esclavizar a otros, 
quitarles sus terrenos, 
y de destrozar la Tierra), 
que entre ellos son 
la vida (para los tales privilegiados), 
la libertad (para cuales la puedan
y la búsqueda (si pueden
de la felicidad (medida 
por cuanto sonsuman.)

A esta declaración comprometieron 
sus vidas (?), sus fortunas (esa parte 
no metida en bancos extranjeros 
y protegida de impuestos), 
y su "honor Sagrado." (?)

                            © Rafael Jesús González 2022