Solar Eclipse by Francisco X. Alarcón (click here for full poem)

Solar Eclipse

I

Mother Moon embraces
Father Sun above the clouds –
we, their children, rejoice!

Mamá Luna abraza
a Papá Sol sobre las nubes –
sus hijos nos regocijamos

Tugann an Mháthair, an Ghealach,
Barróg don Athair, an Ghrian, os cionn na néalta –
Déanaimidne, a gcuid páistí, gairdeas dóibh!

II

the Moon eats the Sun
with kisses and caresses –
they’re making celestial love!

la Luna se come
al Sol a besos y caricias –
¡hacen amor celestial!

baineann an Ghealach plaic as an nGrian!
gona bpóga is gona mbarróga –
comhriachtain na spéire!

III

the Moon, the Sun impart
the lesson of Spring –
a wedding ring for all!

la Luna, el Sol dan
la lección primaveral –
¡a todos anillo nupcial!

insíonn an Ghealach is an Ghrian
ceacht earraigh an lae seo –
fáinne pósta do chách!

IV

when the Lady and
Lord of Duality made love –
primordial Big Bang!

la Señora y el Señor
de la Dualidad al amarse –
¡Big Bang primordial!

Ometecuhtli = Lord of Duality
Omecihuatl = Lady of Duality
Ometeotl = Deity of Duality

V

Earth, Moon, Sun
Serpent, Quetzal bird, Soul –
a blessing at hand!

Tlalticpactli, Metztli, Tonatiuh
Coatl, Quetzalli, Tonalli –
nahuatlatolli in matl

Tierra, Luna, Sol
Serpiente, Quetzal, Tonal –
¡bendición en mano!

an Domhan, an Ghealach, an Ghrian
an Nathair, an Quetzal, an tAnam –
ár mbeannú!

May 27, 2013

Irish (Gaelic) translations by Gabriel Rosenstock

from Francisco X. Alarcón’s new book published  by Poetic Matrix Press

Borderless Butterflies: Earth Haikus and Other Poems /
Mariposas sin fronteras: Haikus terrenales y otros poemas

Ashley Pinkerton

Spiraling Forward

Let the dance of the sacred Spiral carry you on a journey through the cycles of Life.

Ashley Pinkerton

This is an invitation to support Ashley Pinkerton and Poetic Matrix Press in publishing her new book Spiraling Forward. Check out her Indiegogo campaign page, see what she is about and contribute to help this project.  Go to:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/spiraling-forward#/

“Spiraling Forward will take the reader on a journey through the cycles of Life, as the dance of the sacred Spiral carries the reader to places of deep reflection, realization and discovery.”

Sandeep Kumar Mishra, India

Morning

Reluctant night after a brooding duty, slowly retreating

The earth in gray, some dim shades still hovering

Dawn strides out leisurely to wake every farm

The sleepy sun, in liquid light, making the sand warm

Morning nymph rising from the ocean of pearls

Wearing magic mist mantle if the wind swirls

Her gleaming bracelet borrowed from the sun rays

Swiftly up to the hilltop her glory sways

Her fragrance wakes up the slumbers of mortals

The crowing birds but break the silence acetals

I am eager to rise early than the bee,

Perhaps to feel the divine power if it be

Every home kindles its necessary fires

Sense morning incense, listen far sounding lyres

The soul feels fresh and rejuvenated

Healing light exhaled here, a divine incarnated

The bunches of roses, lily awaken

The wind hides in the trees, make them shaken

Shy maid advances with pitcher to fill in river

The peasants and herdsmen on their way as ever

All creatures must toilsome courses run hard

Because untrodden the path, bright is the reward

 

My City

My city has dazzling appearance

Its days are sweating labours

The nights are stiffly precarious

Malls, palaces, shops, skyscrapers

All things are but only a granite museum

People came from unknown places

Growing day by day like a mushroom

Horns, siren, music, pollution, buzz, silence

It never stops but crawl like a worm

Ten to five, nonstop work culture

To live here to live on term

Race to stay alive, no stop for nature

Morning walker and evening walker

As late sleepers, late risers, all machine made

Sofa, carpet, TV, air conditioner

There is light but no relief or shade

High ways are death ride way

I strive for a peaceful lee

Has city ruined me in any way?

No, it has marred better men than me

I stand alone amid a millions crowd

God was silent when I was suffering fast

I am ready to die unnoticed, but

I will build a new city before I breathe last

 

Romantic Dream

My love! My dream girl! Come with me,

We will go over the lea, beyond the sea.

Let’s build a palace among the stars

Far away from earthly strife and wars,

Look our rainbow friends -white rivers,

Slaty mountains, red roses, brown sparrows,

Bright glow worms, golden eagles, black bees,

Yellow sunflowers, scarlet macaw, green trees.

Showers drench the morning, nights glow with dew

Posy noon to dose, then evening linnets in the view,

Winter with warm sun, summer of moonlit nights,

I admire thy grace, your touch diminish all my frights.

When your shiny raven hair shade my head,

I repose in your lap, Night comes, and day becomes fade.

Your smiling glance and hazel eyes keep me at ease,

We will love till there are the seas and the skies.

 

Sandeep Kumar Mishra, India

BIO- He is a stage artist, painter, writer and a lecturer in English with Masters in English Literature and Political Science. He is in creative field since 1992 and has published poems both in Hindi and English languages. His first article published in 1992, first poem in 2003.He also worked as Sub-editor for a collection of poems (Pearls) 2003,which have many reputed poets

 

Clifford Browder

Use This Day

Use this day
For love, for friendship, for rage,
For justice, for hope,
For worship, if your gods are worthy of it.
Use it
To build, to create,
To bring meaning,
To fight the void and navigate the flux.
Don’t shirk, don’t slouch.
Use it.
It will never come again.

 

Earth

I love the smell of it
The black oozy thick of it
Wormy and rich
Harboring seeds and roots and bones
Graveyards and spores
In my next existence I will grow things
Coax them out of her hot muggy thighs
Into joy and exuberance
Into sustenance and life.

Of the other elements
I can’t relate to air
Too flimsy, too vague
And I’m scared of fire
That leaps and darts and scorches
Having seen whole buildings
Flame up in a blaze
And know that water wants to drown me
Learning to swim
I splashed and sputtered, hated it
And once saw the body of a woman
Washed up on the shore of a lake
So lost, so cold, so still.

Yes, I’ll stick with earth
Don’t think
You can wiggle out of the Old Girl’s embrace
You cannot
She’s in your blood and bone
We came out of her
We’ll go back into her
The vast, messy, loving
Ruthless and inescapable
Big Mama of us all.

 

My Wild, My Calm

There’s something wild in me
That wants to shake things up
A demonic spring that wants to pump
The green fire of his seed
Into multitudes of rapturous virgins
Who wants to break windows of snug little homes
To shout, to run, to fly
To leap over gaping chasms
And scale vertiginous cliffs
Who wants to slay dragons or better still become one
Who wants to eat rare earths, speak in tongues
And annex the secrets of the universe.

There’s something calm in me
That smiles at my demon
Like a loving mother
At the antics of her raucous little boy,
A seeker who needs no
Rare earths, strange tongues, gaping chasms
Who walks gently, looks and listens
Finds wisdom in silence
Strength in grasses
Truth in trees
Who relaxes into the rhythms
The mysteries
And daily ecstasies of life.

 

Love Better, Love Deeper

Love better, love deeper.
Cut the frills,
The gaudy promises, the tinsel.

The best love is simple, quiet, undemanding
Like a mountain or a seed.

Its beauty lies under the surface
Like a submarine reef of red coral
Jutting spires and candelabras
While blue fish drift and dart.

The best love grows silently
Like mushrooms in the woods,
Like ferns, like roots
And blooms mysteriously
Like white flowers opening in the night.

The best love thrives
Where least expected
Like green sprouts
In the rotten wood of piers
Or molds on ancient stumps.

Though it toughens with time, in the beginning
It is soft, not hard and jagged,
Easily hurt.

When you love,
Love with caution and quiet,
With wisdom, no razzmatazz.
Love with calm and care.

 

Sadness

Sadness
Is the adagios and mellow gray of twilight
A loving touch.

I have seen it
In smiles of resignation
In muted yearnings for the unattainable
In shattered loves, futile hopes, quiet defeats
Final good-byes.

It is the landscape of our living
Time’s music
The price of our awareness of transience.
Don’t fight it, accept it
Ease into it, I’d almost say
Enjoy it.
It is our essence, our aura
The mark of our humanity
The measure of our loss.

 

Clifford Browder

Bio: I am a writer living in New York City. I have published two biographies, a novel, and a selection of posts from my blog (see link below) that has won two awards. My poetry has appeared in numerous small reviews. cliffbrowder@verizon.net

 

 

The Bay Area Bookfair

 

BABF

 

Here is our table at The Bay Area Bookfair in Berkeley this past weekend (June 4 & 5). The weather was beautiful and I met many good people.  Grace Grafton, Gail & Charles Entrekin came by as did Devon and Catherine.  It was a good 2 days.

Gail recently won first place in the Women’s National Book Association awards for “Before Making Love” from The Art of Healing and was interviews on PBS Newshour. Read here.

The Art of Healing got a nice intro by Judy Woodruff.

Many folks came by all weekend to send blessings to Francisco.

 

Joe Bisicchia

Born

Some of this is make believe.
Or at least, it starts that way,
as a faraway dream,
a dream of all that we can be.
So it is inside every me.

Life ain’t always easy.
In fact, it’s often quite stinky
heartbreakingly.
Rhymes often fail at the line,
and the splendid sounds
often drift far out of bounds.

But, let this reality be—
win or lose,
now is now.

Let us feel the glory of purpose,
of worth,
of team.
This is far more than just sport.
Or, so it can seem.

Maybe it strikes deep at our core,
underneath our seams.
Maybe it’s love of life.
That pure.
Simple as life shared,
you and me.

Run

I am speed.

I want
to run

as if all I could do
is make earth move,
and all of its breeze
be what I breathe
down the street
toward home.

Catch Daddy!

We see each other.
Ball bounces.

Busy world
hard to hold,
hard to let go.

Me to him,
him to me,
again and again.

Again and again,
him to me,
me to him.

Hard to let go,
hard to hold
busy world.

Ball bounces.
We see each other.

Monte Carlo

In the mirage,
in sun’s bending of street,
when the racing stripe

warps wrinkled
as clouds pass as do all images,
as all ephemeral messages,

as all invitations do to inspire us to
look through penetrable haze
on the way to the sun and beyond,

we shield our face,
see our way,
and race.

Of Regret

If only this.
If only that.
If only
no regret.

Our errors,
our mistakes,
dreams,
mount the cold fact.

Game never stays still.
Such is life.
It goes as it will.
And we react.

It goes.
And we make.
We overcome.
And we make.

 
Joe Bisicchia writes of our shared spiritual dynamic. An Honorable Mention recipient for the Fernando Rielo XXXII World Prize for Mystical Poetry, his works have appeared in The Poet’s Haven, Sheepshead Review, Balloons Lit. Journal, The Inflectionist Review, Black Heart Magazine, Dark Matter Journal, Poets Collectives Anthologies, and others. The current public affairs professional in New Jersey is a former award winning television host who also taught high school English. His website is www.widewide.world and he is on Twitter @TheB_Line https://twitter.com/theb_line.

John Grey

NOW THAT I’VE MADE IT HERE

Pink sheets of pleasure
open like petals,
float across bare knees.

My head adrift in pillow,
yours warming my naked chest,
serenity keeps us in mind
for moments like this.

Love-making over,
I taste the wine of the results,
mouth the word “heaven”
to the lingering desire.

Can a moment be too iridescent?
Can it overtake, become the all-over mood?

I’ve heard that too much of a good thing
is as toxic as belladonna berries.
So if I grow too happy,
can sadness be my only cure?
If I have everything,
should I hold out for nothing?

They’d have me pray for an ache or two
to worry my smugness.
Or a lightning strike, an earthquake,
anything to singe or rumble
my contentment.

So have I need of disappointment, upset,
unwanted intrusion, disaster, grief, bitterness,
sickness, anger, disgrace, dementia or dread?
Quite frankly, no.
But thanks for never asking.

 

LANDLADY

Her apartment doesn’t pull rank.
It’s on the ground floor
hut, from what I’ve seen of it,
it’s no bigger, no smaller,
than mine at the top of the stairs.

She always complains
that she has no one to help her
and the handymen she hires
to fix a leaking tap.
to patch dry wall,
charge prices near to extortion.
I’m always cleaning, she says.
And when I’m done,
it’s time to start over.

She’s always up when I come home,
no matter the time of night.
And she leaves her door open.
The doings of her tenants
are her only joy.

Her couch is where she collapses
at the end of another tiring day.
Her favorite programs
keep watch over her
as she eats whatever’s handy
from crackers and cheese
to frosting straight from the can.

Tonight
on my way downstairs
I catch a glimpse of her
in the parlor, munching on potato chips.
the crumbs sticking to her robe like lint.

She sees me, says “this is the first chance
I’ve had to sit down all day.”
Her eyes are red, her moustache brown.
The blue glow of the television
unmasks her double chin.

 

YOUR JEANS

You’re comfortable in those jeans,
faded blue, coffee stained,
ragged at the knees,
frayed at the ankles.

You figure you can get
another year out of them at least.

It’s different with men.
When the shininess wears off,
there’s nothing keeping you
from tossing them in the garbage.

Not that you’re delusional.
You follow the abrading, tattering,
of your face, your body,
in the mirror.

You wear the inevitable well
but how many more years
do you give it?

And those men,
picking themselves up out
of the breakfast scraps
and stumbling for the door…
how long before you whisper
that dreaded word, “Stay.”

But, for now, those jeans
make for a body-hugging denim comfort zone.
They slip over your knees, your hips.
And they don’t give you away.

 

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Gargoyle and Silkworm work upcoming in Big Muddy Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.

 

 

Traveling and Events

AWP

We have been on the road for a few weeks.  We went to the Associated Writing Programs (AWP) Conference and Book Fair April 1 & 2 in Los Angeles, my daughter Kiirsti joined me and we met a lot of good people.  Kim Shuck, Joe Milosch and Brandon Cesmat came by; Shadab Hashmi was on a panel and she stopped by to sign books.  We had a poster and some videos of Francisco Alarcon reading from his book Borderless Butterflies/Mariposa sin fronteras. So many people came by who knew and loved Francisco; many old friends, ex-students of his and folks who heard about his passing. Really this was the highlight of the event, just knowing how much people cared for this amazing man.

I went from there to San Diego to visit family and my 2 grandsons Connor, turning 4, and Logan 9 months.  Stayed with Tomas Gayton my dear friend, met up with Art Campbell, Joe Milosch, Brandon Cesmat; Jack, James and Ed, wonderful old friends and Chris Vannoy, master of Facebook and great poet.  Listened to Jazz, ate good food, had good lattes at Rebecca’s Coffee House every morning, listened to some good poetry.  All a good time.

 

Coming up in the SF Bay Area 2 great book events:

Oakland Book Festival Sunday May 22, 11am to 6pm

www.oaklandbookfestival.org

Downtown Oakland at City Hall and Frank Ogawa Plaza (in front of City Hall)

We’ll be there with a Booth and our books, come by and say hello if you in the area.

 

Also in the Bay Area:

Bay Area Book Festival June 4 & 5, 10am to 6pm both days (this is a big event)

www.baybookfest.org

Downtown Berkeley streets (I’ll send out more information on where we will have our booth).

We’ll be there with a Booth and our books, come by and say hello if you’re in the area.

Silvia Marijuan

Bilingual hearts
In memory of Francisco X. Alarcónimage
 
From the East to the West
From the snow to the hills
where life becomes
a fairy tale
Your gentle eyes gave me peace
Your light kindled my voice
on a night when fatigue
rained down on me shamelessly
A scientist and a poet
laughing across the table
The wine is friendship,
Time, a burning sip
A few hours frozen in a marbled snapshot
Hoy descubro que has muerto
and I create images of dialogues that will never exist
I look closely at the desert behind your picture
and the arch of your subtle smile
the same smile you gave me on the night
when I felt most vulnerable
Bilingual hearts
You and I,
Chicano Orfeus
You would never have imagined
that you could tear a poem
from the heart of someone
who used to love them
No clogged spaces
No boundaries
Death has no wings
But love whispers
in all unimaginable languages

Silvia Marijuan

Silvia Marijuan is an applied linguist and an Assistant Professor at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, who enjoys connecting to language through both science and poetry. 
 

 

 

Francisco Memorial Reading

On Thursday Feb. 18th a large group gathered at the John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis to celebrate the life and work of Francisco X Alarcon

who on Jan. 16th Untitled-1 passed from this place to that on his journey.  So many souls that he has touched and so they came to honor him and to honor  Javier and Francisco’s family.  Love to you brother!

The following featured poets read poetry at Canto Hondo: A Memorial Reading for Francisco X. Alarcon:
JoAnn Anglin
Paul Aponte
Francisco Aragón
Lucha Corpi
Luz Maria Gama
Marta Garcia
Nancy Aidé Gonzalez
Xico Gonzalez
Nicole Henares
Zheyla Henriksen
Suzy Huerta
Dr. Andy Jones
Arturo Mantecon
Gerardo Pacheco Matus
Adela Najarro
Rosie Ochoa
William O’Daly
Graciela B. Ramirez
Betty Sanchez                                                                                                                                                    Allegra Siberstein
Bob Stanley

Special Guests :
Javier Pinzon
Members of the Alarcon Family
Kalpulli Xihuacoatl Danzante Group
Mariachi Cielito Lindo

James Downs

Here are two poems that have similar subjects enough to be connected.

 

Speak it into being

I didn’t believe but
…….I spoke it into being

and ever infinitesimal
…….I became what I am

and that is what I was meant
…….to be

all this journeying time

 

Wait

long enough
and something will undo your certainty
the spectacular places
life itself

James Downs