Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Spring At Last. April songs

Spring At Last
Michael Sedano

First snowfall morning in Admin Area B 7/5 1969

So that’s what they mean by “Winter.” I reeled for months in shock until the yellow Forsythia began spotting the Korean hillsides and I knew finally, Winter was over. Spring at last.

World's Highest Anti-aircraft Missile Site, B 7/5 1969
As a native Californian I had no information for the fact of cold. The debate team in college visited wintry places like Idaho, New York, and Vermont. But walking across an icy Dartmouth campus to a warm classroom is nothing like commuting semiweekly to the world’s highest missile site. Heat or cold, rain, shine, blizzard. Despite passage of 48 years now, that 1969 Winter permanently struck me witless.

Spring in California happens overnight. One morning I wake and get the fireplace going. The next morning I’m wondering if the kindling and firewood I’d gathered should go back out to the woodpile until November’s fireplace season?

A morning’s examination of the garden brings the excitement of incipient wonder. Epiphyllum cacti, sitting dormant in their clay pots, overnight grew buds. Flowers in another two months or sooner.

The Casa Sedano Epiphyllum Collection originates with my grandmother and her sister. The familia migrated from Michoacan to Texas, Kansas, Nebraska before settling in Colton, San Bernardino, East Highlands, and Redlands. Stuck in coffee cans, draping from the eaves, planted in soil, epiphyllums were favorites and willingly shared.

Natives of Mexico and points south, epiphyte cactus blooming season doesn’t respect a calendar. This year, a pink-hearted beauty debuted in January. In past years, I’ve had specimens for Guadalupe Day in December. Juan Diego presented the Archbishopric with epiphyllum blossoms. The gachupín had no name for these wonders, so he called the miraculous blossoms rosas.

Epiphytes have been hybridized to produce a breath-taking variety of colors, sizes, and shapes. In Arcadia, the epiphyllum society holds annual sales of cuttings for a few dollars, and plants for up to hundreds of dollars.

Plum Purple-bordered spray a week before opening.
My collection sprouted less from the Arcadia botanical gardens and more from a penca here, a penca there from plants happened upon at San Diego’s Presidio, a Point Loma landscape, or some other old-time California garden my mother happened to visit.

Plum Purple-bordered bud opening late afternoon
Plum Purple-bordered fully opened next morning

Break off a penca. Cuidado, most have subtle espinitas. Let the cutting heal for a week. Prepare a pot of dirt, pebbles, and peat. Push the healed penca into moist dirt and set the pot aside. In a few weeks, new growth appears and your new epi has joined the collection. They like small tight pots and moderate water and fertilizer. They do better in open shade than full sun.

Plum Purple-bordered spray first flower (above).

This year, close friends left California for the Pacific Northwest. Owners of a spectacular epiphyllum collection, the Giffen family left their plants in my care. They are mine now, though should the family migrate back to warmer climes, I’ve already started cuttings.

This Spring’s first spectacular bloomer is a Giffen collection. Plum red with purple fluorescent bordered petals, the plant produced a penca with a wondrous spray of flowers that are opening now.

Plum Purple-bordered spray third day openings.
Spring! The epiphyllum blossom season announces the best time of year. Yet, abundance means more than one species. Echinopsis and Echinocactus, trumpet shaped flowers in multiple, follow the peak Epiphyllum blooming.

Pink Echinopsis Bouquet

Dateline: Houston
Pretending To Be Arizona

Librotraficante and cultural accelerator Tony Diaz is raising alarms that Texass legislators are pulling dirty movidas out of a ten-gallon John B. MAGA hat.

Diaz has an extended essay (link) investigating the evil and offers ways to innoculate classrooms against the ICE-like disease promulgated in certain despicable Texass minds. With recent approval of an ethnic studies née C/S component for Texas schooling, Diaz aims to head off diabolical schemes. Help by clicking the link, picking up the issue, and GOTV in your locale.

Dateline:Los Angeles
UNAM in Los Angeles

On-line Floricanto Gives April A Send-off
Donny JacksonOlga García Echeverría, George WallaceVanessa B. Becerra-BautistaJosé Chapa

what you hear is not a test By Donny Jackson
Moody Thunder By Olga García Echeverría
Wake Up By Vanessa B. Becerra-Bautista
Anchor By José Chapa

what you hear is not a test
By Donny Jackson

this is a game of taboo where you can say black boy but not bullets

they hit the body after someone says freeze even though sometimes he was already
stopped in time that is
how quickly you know what i’m talking about because

often entering from the back because echoes have a cruel sense of humor

and when they hit the body they make a sound and a sound
we’re taught
is the beginning of a note
the beginning of music therefore
as his chest cavity expands the sound
into note into music and
the black boy is for the first time
an opera house
where they don’t speak the play but
they make a sound and so then note and so then music and
an opera house he is now and
arias through his body
is the way the story is told
which what they sing written down is called
a libretto
which means small book in a country
in europe
to review
a black boy’s story isn’t even a big book in his own language
when he’s ringing with arias inside
remember the joke
how do you get to carnegie hall
practice practice practice
and oh
arias were named in a different country in europe after a goddess
who married the god of poetry
and music and
how fucked up is it that his name was
but anyway the ones who release arias into him
get to be elevated
to musician
another version of artist
you know
the people who turn reality back to you in their own voice so you can hear it

the black boy full of song is a loud thing to us now

no wonder we crave
less melody
more beats
which sound less like singing
more like
running yeah
beats sound like
beats sound like
beats sound like
beats sound like
beats sound like running from how black boys die in perfect pitch

Moody Thunder
By Olga García Echeverría

In her
the river’s pull
a frozen lake
a soft tide
a high tide
a red turbulent tide
a dried up stream
a polluted lake
murky mirror
in her tears
a quiet love
a stormy love
a deep ocean ridge opening love

By George Wallace

le monde ancien strikes again, a ritual sparagmos, disfiguring the innocents, blood sacrifice
on the hillside or in the schoolhouse, it is all the same -- shot in the back, slaughtered like a
ram or hiding in a broom closet, cut off from the others -- body from body, part from part, friend from friend and love from love, strewn for the crows and fresh for the crop -- you
preach in the name of god you preach in the name of the people, you preach in the name of country – country country country – home, hearth, hunt, male dominion -- you preach in the name of a power that does not reside in your cold dead hands, but in the young hearts shaken or combed out of existence, in the young lives lying bloodfresh in the parking lot sun

and you hold your weapons sacred as a golden fleece over your head, stolen from a savage
land and shook at the sky

but no fleece will save or succor you, saviors, you will die miserable, not as you have lived, arrogant, influential, rich and already dead, (yes dead, because you have always been dead, you've been dead for centuries, dead to humanity, dead as human sacrifice, dead even now, your hearts are cold and your hands are dead, and it is not in your power to ward off death
with death, it is not in your power to play the protector, innocent and religious, no not in
your power to lay low under the righteous wind which judges you, to survive, to live to kill again)
because your power derives from the country of death, not life

and you will die like jason died, rotting in his rotted hull, hiding your eyes -- like jason in his dying ship, powerless to rule even himself, struck in the head by a beam of ruin, grasping at
the tattered sails like lifeshreds -- and you will die as you have lived, grasping at the lives of
the people, wrapped in false and murderous righteousness, clothed to the last in the raimants of blood you have placed diligent as death over the eyes of our children

Wake Up
By Vanessa B. Becerra-Bautista

So many shifts
In the environment
It’s the moment
To wake up
Shake shake shake
Rain rain rain
People going
But insanity
Is living on
A living organism
That we believe
Is inanimate
To the pollution
Please tell me
We are the solution
I'll shake shake shake
Until I wake you up
Like a mother
Waking up her children
To go to school
There are no fools here
Only people
Who have not persevered
In acknowledging
There's something
We need to hear
Mother Earth tells no lies
How deep can she go
On the outside
Are coming too soon
Will #humanity #wake up?

By José Chapa

The truly solitary
don’t know what to say to their mothers
in the sky´s cold rooms.

Secretly they tire of their own kids:
laughing water birds
that crash into walls and keep laughing.
They sacrifice everything to move away,
to the beaches and peaks and the quarries.

The solitary have lovers who ruin themselves
of reasons they should be together,
of nude selfies
sent nervously.
They don’t promise anything, but they feel a certain
warm emptiness.

The lone wolves show respect:
nod to police,
curse with coworkers,
look away from the beautiful.

they only wish
to be truly alone.
Their hair starts to fade
and their family,
they are afraid
to be truly alone.

Perhaps their eyes move rapidly
in that dark electricity magenta and green,
towering visions.
Or perhaps they don’t sleep.

But the swollen hours of night
are their only freedom.
White noise
reverberates in their bones.
Wine or true mescal
defuse them.
Daybreak catches them biting
a hard coin.

They are the ones who think about crying
at funerals. Who become teachers, firefighters,
keepers of open land, dieticians and bankers.
Who only wish they were smart enough
for space exploration.
They’d strand themselves out there
but no further than the moon;
what would be life without view of the ocean?

Meet the Poets Giving April A Send-off
what you hear is not a test By Donny Jackson
Moody Thunder By Olga García Echeverría
Wake Up By Vanessa B. Becerra-Bautista
Anchor By José Chapa

Dr. Donny Jackson is a lifelong poet, clinical psychologist, and Emmy-winning producer in documentary television.

Born and raised in East LA, Olga García Echeverría is the author of Falling Angels: Cuentos y Poemas (Calaca Press and Chibcha Press 2008) She lives, teaches, and shape shifts in Los Angeles. She also writes for La Bloga.

George Wallace is writer in residence at the Walt Whitman Birthplace, first poet laureate of the National Beat Poetry Festival, and author of 33 chapbooks of poetry. A writer of celebration and witness, he has contributed his voice to human rights issues since the 1960s, when he was an outspoken generational critic of the Vietnam war. Since that time he has been active in a range of social justice issues, and interfaced with such figures as Cindy Sheehan, Germaine Greer, Aaron Kramer, Jesus-Papoleto Melendez, Martin Espada and Naomi Shihab Nye. In 2016 George's poem May Day Is Not The Day was included in the SB 1070 anthology Poetry of Resistance.

Vanessa B. Becerra-Bautista, MS, NCC, CPC-I is a Mexican-American philanthropist, National Certified Counselor, inspirational writer and speaker and is currently working on becoming a Neurotherapist and author. Vanessa graduated from California State University Sacramento with a Bachelors degree in Psychology, then pursued her Masters in Science from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Vanessa recently specialized in Neurofeedback at New Mind Academy and is working on her certification and therapist license. In August 2017 Vanessa became a mentor of the book “The Hidden Spark” where she collaborated with international writers around the world to inspire the human mind. Vanessa has traveled to different Universities talking to students about the power they hold on their perspective about themselves, their culture and our multicultural society. Vanessa strives to culturally empower individuals to see the strengths in their heritage. Vanessa incorporates interventions in creative outlets such as poetry, speeches, and inspirational messages to empower the human Mind and Spirit.

1 comment:

Daniel Cano said...

A beautiful way to weave flowers, history, and culture together. A breath of fresh air.