Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On-Line Floricanto December 14

La Bloga welcomes today five poets and six titles selected by the moderators of the Facebook group Poets Responding to SB 1070. This popular virtual assembly of poets and others keeps a lens on intolerance, but not solely the brand practiced in the state of Arizona. With SB1070-like symptoms infecting legislators elsewhere, let us trust that our poets are honing their protreptic quills and artistry like that displayed in today's La Bloga On-Line Floricanto.

When you read a poem you enjoy, please leave a Comment, or a poem of your own. Click on the Comments counter at the bottom of today's column to begin.

And here's an idea! Click that envelope icon by the Comments counter, and email today's On-Line Floricanto to friends.

1. "All That Is" by Carmen Calatayud

2. “Liberty" by Terry Tereso Hurst

3. "SB 1070" por Manuel Ceja

4. "The Many Voices Not Heard" and “Power” by Luis Ascencio-Cortez

5. "Re-bloom Yourself Take Back Your Day" by Scott Maurer

1. "All That Is" by Carmen Calatayud

All That Is
by Carmen Calatayud

There is misery by the busload. Mothers scrounge
for bits of bread. Children lose the race with flames.
We can’t make sense of paper, rock or scissors
or velvet political games. We lose a day each night,
tending to the problems of the world in our dreams.
We can’t help but contemplate this sinking earth.
We bulge with stories that don’t belong to us.
But they are ours as much as they are theirs. The tribe
that is kicked & the tribe that does the kicking.
We seek escape with every refugee. Everywhere we turn
the border wall is a waste and the trails are overgrown.
We pick our own pockets & chew on chunks of grief.
So if a cleaning woman is run down by the bus on 17th,
awaken again. She is us & them & all that is.
There’s no telling how much time we have. Really.
Despite the end, there is still a new beginning. This
is your chance to run head-on into angels & salvage
some wings. There might be a saving grace, yes.
A bus ride to peace. A way to put the fire to rest.

2. “Liberty" by Terry Tereso Hurst


by Terry Tereso Hurst

To whom shall I thank
for my liberty,
the black man noosed
swinging from a tree,
the Mexican dead
holding his deed,
or the woman and child
buried at wounded knee?

Yes, soldiers have fought
and died it is true,
but so have mothers and potters
and innocents too.

For freedom and country
many have given their life.
Some died in battle.
Others.... sacrificed.

Speak to me of no honor
nor command my respect
when you call me to remember
yet demand I forget!

3. "SB 1070" por Manuel Ceja


SB1070, me han dicho
que estas aquí para hundirme,
desarraigarme como yerba mala
nos ven como yedra que se expande
y se duplica, nos tienen miedo

Ahorita serás un muro
pero el tiempo dictará que seas
nuevamente otra muralla de Berlín,
destrozada, aniquilada, y derrumbada

Eres la llorona y se te exige
que recojas a tus hijos, que aquí,
Se explotan y desprecian por gente
Ignorante ante la igualdad humana,
de forma que al otro lado del rio
te los tienes que llevar

Si por tu rumbo persistes,
este estado, al igual que en los demás
donde te aparezcas,
flaquearan y decaerán de anorexia
porque si la nutrición
de nuestras manos mestizas escasea
la tierra entristecerá porque fuimos los primeros en en ella
y ya somos parte de ella

Ahorita escucharemos tus aullidos
y quizás en otras partes, tus murmuros
aún así sólo nos bastará crear
el martillo que te desplazará al destierro
de lo más despreciado

4. "The Many Voices Not Heard" and “Power” by Luis Ascencio-Cortez


by Luis Ascencio-Cortez

There are many of our youth voices
Screaming out and not heard
Tossed back into their throats
Forcefully made to think, that it is useless to speak their mind,
So instead they say, what they are told to say,
To say what they are forced to say

We are told of things, like freedom of speech,
I believe it is a myth, a fairy tale
“Long, long ago, in a land far away, a person spoke their mind”
If it exists, where is it?
Is it still in a land far away?
NO, it is in our souls, but we choose to ignore it,
The fire inside that will never extinguish,
An island or words cast away unsaid,
A tornado of creativity, locked away in a chamber,

What is the point of being able to speak?
If we will not speak what we will?
Just like ordering food, that you will throw away,
Well then give it to the needy,
The so deprived of free language,
So they too can be heard not ignored,
The hands that push it back will tremble,
Tremble with fear,
Our voices are more powerful that we think,
But many don’t believe that,
And leave it out of subject.

By: Luis Ascencio-Cortez


by Luis Ascencio-Cortez

There is yelling
Coming from next door,
It sounds like a lady,
The nice lady that lives on the 2nd floor

The next day, no one sees her,
But her husband is smiling,
He said she was inside,
But I know he was lying

I keep asking him where she is,
He keeps saying she is sick
I see through his lies,
He smiles and walks away on a stick

He has a broken leg,
How did he do it?
How did he break his leg?
He has problems trying to sit

I sneaked out early one day,
Went to the second floor
To look for the nice lady,
I knocked on the door

No answer, but my heart was pounding,
Hitting my chest like bomb explosions
Pumping blood like car pistons
The ideas of what happened, causing my mind implosions

So I climbed, the fire escape
And to my surprise
The nice lady staring out the window
She was not dead, I knew the man lies

But, what do I see?
Fear filled eyes, caressed with bruised skin
He had beat her, beat her soul,
Beat what pride she had inside.

She looked at me and smiled
I smiled as well
The window shattered, her bruises healed
And we walked away with a story to tell

By: Luis Ascencio-Cortez

5. "Re-bloom Yourself Take Back Your Day" by Scott Maurer

Re-Bloom Yourself
Take Back Your Day


Learned Helplessness


brutal soul murders
cheap shots for advantage

they manipulated you
it's not your fault

you need you

we need you

your job now
unlearn helplessness

how may we help

re-bloom yourself

take back your day

1. "All That Is" by Carmen Calatayud
2. “Liberty" by Terry Tereso Hurst
3. "SB 1070" por Manuel Ceja
4. "The Many Voices Not Heard" and “Power” by Luis Ascencio-Cortez
5. "Re-bloom Yourself Take Back Your Day" by Scott Maurer

Carmen Calatayud is a poet and psychotherapist in Washington, DC. Born to a Spanish father and Irish mother, her poetry has appeared in journals such as Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts, Red River Review and PALABRA: A Magazine of Chicano and Latino Literary Art. Her poems are anthologized in various collections, including DC Poets Against the War: An Anthology. Her poetry manuscript Cave Walk was a runner-up for the 2010 Walt Whitman Award and a finalist for the 2010 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. Calatayud won a Larry Neal Poetry Award in 2003. She lived and wrote in Tucson in the 1990s, where she worked as a literacy advocate, and is a moderator for the Poets Responding to SB 1070 Facebook page.

Terry 'Tereso' Hurst is a writer/poet and film-maker. With his partner, artist/muralist Ruby Chacón, he created Mestizo Institute of Culture and Arts (MICA) in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is father to musician, Orion Chacón-Hurst. He is a cultural bastard and a national reject. Currently, he lives in South Korea where he is completing a book and preparing for a national fundraiser for MICA - please watch for it.

Manuel Ceja is a 4th year Spanish/Chicano Studies double Major also obtaining a minor in Education. I hope to graduate this coming up June. I plan to go to graduate school, I do not know where yet. My family and I migrated from Michoacán, Mexico in 1997. My parents are farm workers and I have worked with them many times; picking grapes, olives, peaches, cherries and a lot of other fruits. I have been involved with HERMANOS MACEHUAL from UC DAVIS, which is a non-profit community organization. I love to write because it’s a way to express my feelings and thoughts. I feel that writing is important because a pen, imagination, creativity, and an object to write on can turn writing into a powerful weapon. We say in Spanish que las palabras habeces duelen mas que los golpes (words can sometimes hurt more than blows).

Luis Ascencio-Cortez will be 14 years old next month. He is caring and passionate about his beliefs, he likes to help people, he loves his siblings, which includes 3 brothers and 2 sisters, he looks at things different than many kids his age, he wants a better place for humanity and is willing to fight for it, he is respectful, playful and he has a beautiful smile, he is a good son, and like any other kids his age, he also loves video games, but also enjoys reading and writing poems and stories.

Dedicated to photo artist Alejandro Cisneros, y efforts to overcome passive acquiescence of oppression, “Re-Bloom Yourself Take Back Your Day”

-Scott Maurer

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These poems illuminate our path during this time of crisis. May many more poems be written in defense of justice and freedom.

Esmeralda Bernal