New chapbook: Poets against War & Racism | Poetas contra la guerra y el racismo

Can’t wait to get my copy! Looking forward. Saludos y gracias.

Artofthecommune's Blog

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March Senryū 2016

we visit you here | in this place we can’t fathom | with beautiful flowers

grand love
fathers \ daughters.
some, almost perfect, no . . .
there are those who could tell you truths —
to shame

when you’re proud to know | the boy you raised who grew wise | way beyond his years

that kiss was kismet | some past life holdover | now to get over it

wild blackbird warning | then car’s back door flies open | wallet on the ground | Good Samaritan noticed | comes to your rescue saves day

old Havana | has her secrets hidden deep | in layers of paint
mysticwoman | she who sees beyond eyes | who hears the longtime voices

there are don’t ride trains | ones that are going down wrong | sidetracked forever

the eyes have it | true windows to the heart/soul | what do yours say

she works in the dark | hands need no light to create | smooth and soothe the lines

people block the hate | with their bodies and prayers | close down the clown’s cars | until the streets can be safe | once more from this war on us

ancestral knowledge | sure as sunshine and moon rise | we are all welcomed

my dream peeps | are keepers and are not me | have their own lives to live

in shackles and chained | no respect for human beings | illegal they’re not

kindness of strangers | takes you by the arm | welcomes you like family

sad for that hurt feeling | don’t know why people hate | ocean bottom deep

in the morning | she will give thanks for being | for one more day | to become a better human | to pray for health and kindness

tongues for justice | will never be silenced | from ashes rises fire

we geography | the maps and myths of our lives | places and people

beauty of the blush | of new flower bud just born | of sacred promise

new flood warnings | morning woke late and foggy | turned off her alarm

thunder beings roar | gulf waters jump up the shore | downpour on the brink

going inward | to reflect on no reflection | mirror the darkness | seeking out those specks of stars | your love that’s become so small

hair clip
on the sidewalk~
rusty as the years long,
held up some beautiful tresses
back when.

so we dis-agree | about presidents and such | aren’t we family | we’re not that divided | we both want peace and justice

land where you were made | where ancestors lived and died | a full life circle | you piece together the songs | the wrongs no longer matter

a book is a world | enter its doors and go | journeying the unknown

the mother in her | makes them feel comfortable | is what makes them talk | they open up like windows | on a bright sunny day

so much love is soup | simmered steamy with good will | veggies and chicken

hunger food for thought | and a quiet place in woods | where the raven calls

denial does no good | in friendship one must see | their own shortcomings


Copyright © 2016 Odilia Galván Rodríguez. All Rights Reserved.

Journey Home

For FXA,  February 21, 1954 – January 15, 2015


our mother water | cleared this day a greener path | came down in thick ropes


ayer rituales | from that cradle where you grew | all your traditions


rooted in some strong | long ago red earth pregnant | possibilities


of that son you are | true to all you have become | in this world of spines


that would sooner pierce | than heal soul bodies with food | sacrificed from flesh


and the heart of it | is that life is just like that | thorny to shield soft


and vulnerable | though we mimic the strongest | ones rooted firme


deep in the forest | of our lives that don’t last long | we make our own way


don’t regret the turns | taken to get to ends | that always come too soon


watch you breathe ragged | breaths from their shallow nests | you eye me and see


my soul reaching out | to soothe you hermano | as you struggle through


a warriors death | you are present for it all | strong in your resolve


to experience | your passing like your life | to the fullest


now you have taught me | one more thing eye didn’t know | to die with courage


worn out your machine | called a body a temple | and you want to dream


we demand dreaming | to take you into next world | light to guide your way


we pray for comfort | want no fear for your journey | in that place that calls you


near or far not gone | now the people want to flock | to your side to touch


that flame before it goes out | but not everyone | can be invited


to witness your flight | only the very dearest | for it’s your journey


eye am close but far | or a little distant | for fear of trampling


yesterday as you slept | eye read you Snake Poems | your eyes flew open


you recognized | your own incantations | spilling into the room


like watercolors | of our mother blue | splashing the walls


with our laughter | we chased away the shadows | tears became happy


eye am writing this | how we communicate | curando con palabra


changing their lead | into spun golden prayers | showers of pollen


to sprinkle hope | onto the heads of this world | some so hard can’t see


you take your book | out of my hands and recite | you channel from there


body in flames | a different sort of burning | you down to ashes
| waiting to fly out of them | resplendent in your journey


eye can’t imagine | a world without you in it | brother born of word


you a love warrior | fighting to stay present | to your last breath


eye struggle to know | what to say now that words | no longer matter
| except as prayers | except as incantations


we communicate by breaths | each one marks pain and promise | you still here with us


when eye read your words | tears spring to my eyes and fall | silently streaming


we are about the word | a business that is not one | blessings upon all


you’ve left Francisco | body that housed your spirit | now you’re all angel


beyond borders | you fly home to ancestors | who wait with open arms


Davis, CA 12 – 15, Enero


Copyright © 2016 Odilia Galván Rodríguez.  All Rights Reserved.


Black_Chinned_Hummingbird_PatGaines_FlickrCC_1Pat Gaines/Flickr Creative Commons

August Senryū 2015

For all life’s ups and downs

dream and dance | the blues remind us of joy | life is a see-saw

he says he is next | to go with the ancestors | there’s resignation | in his voice so full of tears | at the last loss of loved ones

his family gone | mother father brother gone | only he remains

there is beauty | in surviving past thirty | in growing older |
in knowing you are knowing | life gives you grays and wisdom

love is better | than bitterness or hate | even when you lose |
you win having had the joy | tremendous in all its pain

she would rather see | instead of be blinded | by sweet talk all lies

be blinded sometimes | revel in the fortune | of his love for you

on her walk today | the crows called not in warning | more of a heads up

in love and war | love is the high road | leads to the heart of what matters

the enemy camp | lonely when you don’t know why | it’s time to escape

the grandest love of all | lasts for eternity | nothing can crush it

eye release you | as you are not mine to bind | free as a bird

she lied to herself | easier than facing truth | which hurts more sometimes

tasting her tears he feels | her heart trembles for him | in echos of time

we sing to the stars | in gratitude for our lives | we sing for life

we are pollen blessed | take flight for our lives | blessed in earth mother’s beauty

she has a broken heart | for the world that bleeds | from being eaten alive

painful regrets | of an unrequited love | misdirected

those who’ve crossed lines | too many times to return | to sanity or love

thunder beings walk | loudly announce the rain | brighten blackest night

extreme pain and joy | two sides of the same love | better to have had both

tries to say with heart | what she knows with her whole being | though mouth wants to scream

she dreams she drinks his tears | dreams his grief as ashes | the wind carries them far

life’s uncertainty | balanced by waking up | healthy and in love

she will wish upon stars | the way her grandmothers have | fire streaking skies

his life seems over | reaching final chapters | but it’s beginning

a story of lost | and found love that won’t die | trying to find balance

an ache for his loss | while feeling her own inside | outcomes uncertain

we should take care | the nature is important | creeks become rivers

six year old wisdom | compassion before judgment | love counts the most

she was in between | here – there mostly there | now she’s gone to ancestors

Copyright © 2015 Odilia Galván Rodríguez. All Rights Reserved.


July Senryū 2015

for the sweet circle of life

calabash of life | whisper your secrets in breath | of birth and of death

Clover turns over | summersaults in her belly | she’s getting ready

your son grows tired | of you moving on | without saying goodbye

now you dwell mainly there | just one foot in this world | here people wait

she is in between | worlds that call to her to wait | the seen and unseen

be-at-ti-tude | supremely blessed is she | with every heart-beat

in complex shedding | of bird’s finery we see | the simplicity

he won’t let her go | no matter how hard she tries | to pull away

citrus and terracotta | jasmine stars explode | their scent’s earth and sky

she is still here | sometimes she opens her eyes | as if she’s only slept |
not in that way when one’s self | travels to the unseen

the nature of things | being in the moment | a dance between raindrops

preparing to live | parents make nests for their egg | swollen with pride

moving through the aperture | of life and death | a love labor

union in sound | drum voices thunder singers | spiral in motion

pastel skies that pass | days fly by fast flapping wings | as time moves on

sensuous pieces | that fit together | an elaborate puzzle

an almost baby | sleeps dreams and swims inside her | she prays for the best |
all life has to offer | a blue child being born green

madrugada calls | sleep talk she thinks is a dream | it’s him from afar

new moon intentions | a wish and invocation | your heart’s desires

sun breaks through to find | brain fog that refuses to | burn off

baby overwhelm | a child trying to raise one | young woman alone

silly assumptions | about appearances | a game of all wrong

Clover dreams color | sees the world through mother’s eyes | visions the future

his mom’s on her journey | he saw E on the corner | dressed in red and black |
sharp and dapper lookin’ | all pied piperish | but he don’t want her to go |
not even with E | who’s showin’ the road | no she was the first woman |
who ever loved him | though like BB say | she could be jivin’ too

niño Fidencio | de agave espadín | medicina viva

the last was the first | on his mind he closed/opened | listened with his heart

watery spirit | now you see there now you don’t | moving between worlds

a molehill sometimes | a mountain to be climbed | feelings magnified

another run | a chance at a different life | beginning again

Bree because you’re free | you climb and tear down their hate | decry their limp rag | symbol of supremacy | of cowards that have no hearts

Poems copyright © 2015 Odilia Galván Rodríguez. All Rights Reserved.