Sunday, July 13, 2014

June Senryū 2014


for summer and for love

one place at a time | she stands center | the place of beginnings

the yard is full | of weeds and overgrown trees | everyday tomorrow

how can you love | so many beautiful people | and still feel alone

misses her daughters | ones she never birthed | those made by blood and spirit

little white dog barks | hello goodbye don’t leave me | a familiar voice

we miss the rain’s voice | joined with winds sweet symphony | we pray your return

our city has voice | sings in tires on pavement | sirens in distance

a voice that hurts | your ears cannot hear beauty | in caterwauling

a map of dreams | thirteen moons on turtle’s back | day count twenty-eight

so vulnerable | without her padding | she seeks out protection

whales tell of water | song lines of deepest ocean | great great grandmother

webbed spidery | her skin doesn’t seem hers | not her body

the road home windy | surprising in its beauty | cherished past places

waiting to go | wishing to stay where you are | beam me over

people too quick | to judge one another | but claim to believe in peace

grow into a man | we need your strength as equals | no more little boy

journeys full circle | remembering when we were | so young in spirit

everyday challenge | walk in the ways of ancestors | survive bravely

easy to take care | of others loved and cherished | not so much ourselves

don't be downed by life | beauty is all around us | despite all the waste

listen messages | of all our relatives | sent from the beyond
in every stem and flower | every leaf of every tree

aging can be hard | you said not for the weak | I give thanks for life

voices never leave | my head is filled with wisdom | yours and ancestors

hope you're dancin' | this honey moon’s just for you | your first not here birthday

move past the fear | of embracing what you know | deep in your heart

the blood of my blood | does not yet exist | may never be

life's flow slowed down | a month that seemed like a year | healing emotions

she of earth and spice | lights one hundred candles | lends her voice for peace

her little girl songs | overflow with happiness | waterfall lyrics

total denial | is in command of the ship | she's gone off course

poems copyright © 2014 Odilia Galván Rodríguez. 
All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 02, 2014

May Senryū 2014

dreams don’t have borders | they soar on the wings of hope | we make destiny

only poetry | or high speech fit to say | your god-given name

offer love and light | for your beautiful spirit | will shine forever
                                                                                                    Rest in power.

support warriors | who fight with their hearts and minds | for future

poisons hide | in our water air and food | we reclaim our earth

her gray hair marks her | an elder of the people | wisdom highlights

teach in the garden | plants have so much to say | about nature ways

symbols of pride | knowing where you come from | lead you where you must go

never forget | those brave enough to stand | for future generations

converted boxcars | farmworker homes in long lines |  straight as row crops

what is a wild woman | if not one who knows | her nature is free

we have the right | to know what we put into | our bodies are our own

you don’t have | to believe in possessing | nothing posses  you

the truth is | that many don’t want to know | ignorance kills slow

the nature of things | alive on this planet | is their power

vision yourself strong | just like mountains live long | it’s not your time to go

healing ourselves | when everything says | you are getting too old |
not needed anymore | is an act ofcourage

not so strong | as standing ones that see far | our days fly swiftly by | 
we must not fear ending | it’s another beginning

we pray for all those | assailed by illness | struck down by life’s lightning 

teach compassion | to the littlest beings | they crave learning

this train carries me | back to one of my heart homes | this train...

muddy Misi-ziibi | trees imbued with voices | along the Tear Trail

what can cold rain teach | some days it's better to stay | indoors where it's warm

there's more to see | just beyond the horizon | rain gives way to sunshine

ancient seas flowed here | chiseled away life's layers | left their distinct marks

everyday love | our mother's never forget | we are sown to their souls

twilight between trees | feathery cypress sway | birds go off to sleep

roots travel deep | their feet deeply entrenched | in rich red earth

flat fertile prairies | small towns surround lands bounty | must bloom sunshine seeds

our sun is shining | somewhere on the blue planet | go there in your mind

your mind on Springtime | trees and flowers blooming | with so much beauty

all our relations | imbued with living power | the colors of life

poems copyright © 2014 Odilia Galván Rodríguez. 
All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

March Senryū 2014

still confused just talk | you want to know the facts ask | I will tell you all

regret won’t let go | like you got what you deserve | loss and confusion

find inner courage | channel it outward for change | fire burns deep down

mezcalito | habla en tu oído | susurra hondo |
tu nombre en el aire | un pájaro que vuela

cloud-walker whispers | to four winds about trances | she finds herself in |
satiable dreaming tricks her | out on the ledge once again

rainy and cold | today her smile becomes the sun | tomorrow's flowers

strong light inside | hearts that pay love forward | a beacon for rainy days

he was her country | but now she is an exile | looking for new roots

one who lost | someone they loved then found | past catches up to present

what you question | may be a good thing or not | where you go is key

moving slow slow-mo | bullets returned every gun | holstered forever | every spirit enters life | again there can be sweet peace

For Lo ॐ
your bright eyes good luck | charms a bunch of cilantro | into a pot we cook good | never forget those we love | together beautiful heart

wildblue agave | people hear your sound wisdom | in a jaguar cup

come up to my house | la casa azul so blue | without you I'm lost

does he think of her | when voices of trains call him | down those lonely tracks | or in the full light of once | upon a time a blue moon

laying down track | to forget yesterdays | going towards tomorrows

coatl querido | your beautiful shed skin | to wear with pride

arms and legs flailing | whipping up spirals of love | twist and shout

false Spring blanketed | frosty by late-winter snows | as daffodils dance

veils of other worlds | blessing us with their presence | sheer skirts of angels

magic a woman | luminescent | with boundless incantations |
her core sunk deep in the earth | from there she rises like fire

fresh day sun comes out | to play with people of earth | smiling ✿

didn't know how to act | now that they were back being | twenty at sixty

when we become hollow bones | spirit enters | makes itself at home |
we speak words of home | the place we were before here | and shall return once more

many masks worn | to slog through black/white worlds | where grey matters most

mouths of mine open | snap at ridiculousness | on how people act |
without the slightest thinking | new provocateurs

moving a house | doesn't fold in on itself | like a circus tent

in the orchard | bones percolate messages | that reaches beyond

scary how you push | people away with your past | a master at it

starry skies the eyes | of my ancestars smiling | keep watch over me

she rolls poetry | incantations into love | to help change the world

bella Havana | I miss you | hasta siempre

poems copyright © 2014 Odilia Galván Rodríguez. 
All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014



a woman


with boundless incantations

her core sunk deep in earth

from there she rises ~ fire

Copyright © 2014 Odilia Galván Rodríguez. 
All Rights Reserved.

February Senryū 2014

coal crows descended | on a mass of carrion | plantain green cornfield 

copper colored dogs | so small but fierce in their charge | stand proud and loyal

her spine a taut wire | not for sale at any cost | upright convictions

mango tree budding  | flowers fragrant and spicy  | visions of chutney

four-year-old visits | her tropical winter dreams | says it’s time to dance

released  | for lack of evidence | by the music 

the potato line | stretched the entire block | no one pulled a knife

lettuce treasure hunt  | at the agro-mercado | people cheered the chard

today shelves are bare | our money no good here | we wait on tomorrow

mice dance in cupboards | claiming them as their own home | possession 9/10ths

songs for grandmothers | gone long into the ether | flowery

today more dancing | a rumba’s on the corner | everyone shakes it

adopted country | island that lives lost in time | for a new orphan

flowering hearts | bloom love as if it were spring | solidarity

love such a small word | indescribable feelings | to birth new flowers 

wee ones eyeing | birds nest in her mango tree | fruit that’s a mirage

more potato lines | husband asks what’s the fuss | people want mashed and fried

do the angels know | you are not just visiting | we miss you

hope you’re dancing | to all those songs you loved | tango in the light

embrace your sorrow | all you truly feel | it’s yours to swim in

ritual bath | take them into river’s mouth | to be spit out clean

crowned with your name | a new life is born to live | from here to ever

drums tell truth-tales  | mid-day presentations | new initiates 

sixteen teeth thrown down | hit the mat in formation | their bitter-sweet sound

summer breezes | in mid-winter seem so wrong |  a wrap around shawl

salt and sorrow | jewels that unbind us from death | help new ghosts move on

air scented with mint | basil peppery pungent | herbs spread their magic

lattice of twigs | small dove’s palace | a delicate home

thorn trees grow to form | impenetrable fortress | the end of the world

she wakes slowly | from a tangle of sleep | in the book of life

rain blesses them | their ceremony complete | onto a new day

Copyright © 2014 Odilia Galván Rodríguez. All Rights Reserved.

January Senryū ~ 2014


scaling high borders | walls that still exist within | now break them all down

at times you live | in a thick shell you've built | without knowing

in order to live | one must dream impossible | dreams of love and life

crows still caw at her | perched in judgment on pine trees | she laughs and gives thanks | 
their warnings acknowledged | takes the wild ride anyway

beautiful maguey | its milky sap | transforms to honey |
nectar of the Gods | and four hundred rabbits

hermosa maguey | su savia lechosa | transforma en miel |
néctar de los Dioses | y cuatrocientos conejos

cold questions from our past | long gone answers telegraphed | who's listening

remembering | we did matter even then | when we thought small |
were never good enough | for the big world around us

Somos de Maíz

nací del maíz | con cada grano de mi | distinto como |
gotas de agua santa | no transgénico

born from maíz | every grain of me | unique |
like drops of scared water | not transgenic

a circle dance | life's brilliant ceremony | in a jingle-dress

what keys of memory | unlock life long mysteries | a shot in the dark

sun absorbs each sigh | troubles washed away by tides | beautiful our earth

Standing people | watchover underground creeks | they speak the same language

albino spiders | sleep sound in succulents | until morning showers

they thought if they pressed | buttons displaying their dis- | approval it stops |
but no  streets must be taken | people must lift their voices

moon illusionist | shapeshifts under cloud cover | dreams will be sweet |
tonight she will timetravel | to the other side of night

the seer sees | invisible visible | worlds that await us

stopper of time | my messenger-guide | lead me to happiness |
offer me direction | always compassionate

oracle speaks through | shiny teeth thrown down on mats | rat a tat comes truth

he studies the wind | whistling through piñon trees | colors appear | 
in the moonlight he forgets | trouble's left for tomorrow

our big clunky skates | helped us fly down summer streets | fit with the right key

her religion | guardian of all life's web | what lives relatives |
in a world so abandoned | open your heart let love shine

sometimes hope breaks apart | in heartache's boil/hiss | wishing to turn clocks | 
back to beginnings not these | endings happier 

La Calaca rides | down fogged-over streets searching | see who will join him

we live on razors | edge of highwires we balance | trying not to fall

thirteen shades of blue | your face in every hue | she prays in indigo

she time travels back | doesn't want to relive past | we'll talk tomorrow

foreign landscape | manmade volcanoes smolder | at their molten core | 
dangerous poison silent | a David and Goliath

dreams are made of life | real or imagined | an elegant time machine

daily she struggles | for positivity | grasps at life's beauty | 
in devastation's wake | never saying yes to death

in shades of violet | her spirit danced in shadows | sure of nothing

ghost town's gone down | in seeds of man's destruction | planted as progress

from a whispering basket | spirit-saints murmured | truths from the other side

first day | of this appointed New Year | another marker | 
to continue to do right | fight the goodfight for justice

Poems copyright © 2014 Odilia Galván Rodríguez. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Xoxoctli ~ Little Green


for RL
verde como nosotros
when we met in that
long ago yoliztli
cuando éramos
tiernos como el maíz
verde as our love we thought
would last siempre
but forever is a long time
y los verdecitos no saben
nada del tiempo ni como
se mueve mas rápido
the older people get
pero un yolotli no se olvida
el teteyollocuicatl de su amante
a heart that flowers
in yuh (así como) tu y yo
cuando creíamos que éramos
todo lo necesario
to live a life in love
and together always
y lo vivimos así hasta que no
you went your path y yo el mio
but always you had temactli
ipan no (poder sobre mi) and
I was only safe
when I didn’t know
where tu corazón latía
couldn’t feel it calling me
from so far away
now I hear it
dondequiera que voy
lo oigo
y me persigue
me llama
tú, corazón
your heart
Copyright © 2014 Odilia Galván Rodríguez.
All Rights Reserved.

Notes on the Nahuatl words ~
teteyollocuicatl: heart beat
yoliztli: life
yolotli: heart
xoxoctli: little green

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

December Senryū 2013

December Senryū  2013

there are no borders | for butterflies know freedom | ignore barriers
a better world | possible with faith and love | struggle for freedom
you who brought laughter | your leaving left tears | will always be remembered
creativity | bring beauty into the world | for the joy of all
a sense of purpose | caring for more than ourselves | for the greater good
support our own | vendors and businesses | cooperate to win
responsibility | for self and community | collective love
from the whispering basket | spirit-saints whispered | truths from the other side
listen to your heart | think with your own mind | for self-determination
in unity | we are stronger than enemies | we hold together
she believes in angels | that show themselves in many | forms of love
winter's day and sun | stands still waiting to reverse | in its celestial tracks
the place of lost voice | memories claw at her throat | tears form a knot there
ancient sea stars melt | into oceans on fire | we bury our heads
if we save the earth | we save ourselves and future | generations
I remember | my first love a smiling man | tender as a sapling
my love north wind | leans on me to show love | unruly and tussled
Butterfly Virgin | you patron saint of dreamers | who fly for freedom
US adores zombies | vampires their obsession too | those living dead
icy cold whispers | winter sweeps in through the house | on a sunny day
she dreams in all blues | frozen mid-sleep wishing | for early Spring
nights have grown endless | she only sleeps during days | napping at the edge
all mother's souls | melt into their children's  | growing into their own |
persons full and realized | pass love along in their blood
arctic cold fingers | grip the Bay in its grey fists | refuse to let go
a rock of a man | always loved more than hated | beacon for freedom
I give thanks for grief, which teaches me gratitude for life, and always for love...
the day born gray skies | sun elbowed its way out | smiling in triumph
grey fog stretches | arms around hills I live on | today sun sleeps in
petals fall to earth | they turn into fragrant clay | sweet-scented our cups
crows no longer caw | warnings about her at you | now that she's at peace
winter the inward | time of introspection | reflection on life’s pond

Copyright © 2013 Odilia Galván Rodríguez. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, December 20, 2013

November Senryū ~ 2013

November Senryū


mizquitl tree | her place to sit | write letters to the future

this morning I wake | hearing jazz from your last room | know you are here

cuando dice un beso | siento miles | por todo el cuerpo

for survival | The People danced | all evil away

untangle this mess | we've made of Turtle Island | for children’s future

dance the balance | dance back clouds and rain |dance dance dance

we pray for the world | we are tiny bits of light | in the mother's web | 
born powerful in word | our deeds should be for right 

Georgia we miss you | secret smiles tucked in brush strokes | what a legacy

though innocent | our babies learn early | they are presumed guilty

sometimes praying | for loss of ones who've not loved | enough to deserve us

frosty autumn moon | full winter forecast | icy wind her companion

crows calling warnings | telling cars to quiet down | listen to the wind | 
they say on the avenue | we so need to free ourselves

we traded places | you love my Great Lake city | I fell for the Bay

in the thickest rind of night | when moon-void-of-course | sky a thick inky soup | 
she dances in the dark | wanting loved ones to return

a bigger purpose | our lives a journey to live | leave a legacy

your mighty voices | the sea's roar crying out | for all those now silenced 
they void green worlds |turn them sacrifice zones | non-places where rivers burn

sand paper scorched | heart bleeding for a sure loss | mind guilty of hope

we are born and sprout | grow into lanky wild weeds | then one day we go | 
with luck we sent out shoots | that bloomed brilliant as the stars

mornings I hear her | voice muffled through glass calling | I'm still here on the path | 
of a destiny foretold | zigzagging trouble

mother tree a legacy | elders passing life |to the next of kin 
death leaves a hole | we try to fill with living | and love an answer

misunderstanding | heartache wanting to be healed | when words aren't enough

smooth wooden boxes | relics from days before | cardboard became home

she is from this place | her blood mixed with rainwater | red earth in her skin

puny in comparison | to that which rises | a natural son | 
or stardust and light daughters | not needful of false fingers

she flies away | always returns home | to her city by the bay

our ancestors die | pass away into the light | in time we follow

Copyright © 2013 Odilia Galván Rodríguez. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, November 01, 2013

October Senryū ~ 2013

our ancestors die | pass away into the light | in time we follow

you sometimes lose | to people who don't deserve | the universe decides

bought a goodbye pie | for her loved ones to savor | and think of life's sweetness

her voice resonates | across time and space she laughs | while singing heart songs

tender the knickknacks | our love not bank balances | we cherish memories | not material trifles | in the end love is what counts

nine days to journey | to earthly places | you loved and cherished | to say fare-well familia | say hello to ancestors

tomorrow she cuts her hair | power sacrificed | for future heals loss | sign of endings beginnings | ancestors return again

a little one puzzles | learns to decipher | letters into words

she is traveling | to that emerald green light | which cradles the stars | ancestors smiling | down from the Milky Way

tears flow to release | this vigil of life and death | a slow dance

oftentimes there's fear | in taking that unknown path | but not if you trust | your ancestors will guide you | into the light

knitting memories | into scarves to be worn long | in to the future

days turn to weeks | wait almost unbearable | every door open

it is a good day | trees changing their hair color | for this life transition

life we took as fact | in the end we remember | is so precious

leaving this world | has it's own time and labor | a lot like coming in

Sunday, October 06, 2013

March through September Senryū ~ 2013


though violins cry  | your name still lights up the room | your smile remembered

a new song playing | you hear it calling you there | in that unknown place

a birthday blessing | no one you know passed on | today we celebrate

it is a journey | to be at your side | one last turn around dance floor

when your name is called | towards the sound of shining light | no turning back time

you a flower song | with heart to change minds and worlds | living in the truth

when you go | you are not gone | you are forever my heart

she's on her crossroads journey | an end beginning | searching for the moon

truth sets you free | if you know the difference | between that and lies

it was a red day | seven sisters bound by love | a rite of passage

what you plant with heart | is what you harvest in love | oh beauty of life

words do their work | shake worlds to the core | they enchant and live

believe in beauty | it's all around us to share | war is no answer


clouds welcome flight | even those with clipped wings | feel the freedom

rain keeps falling | as if all the world's grief was | trying to be healed

grounded on account of rain | sun keeps shining through | rainbows of trouble

the sky broke open | poured its life out in buckets | some stranded rejoiced


most nights she stares up | into the celestial | cemetery | of long ago extinguished | stars she's wished upon since birth

she longs to visit | your starry land and stay there | searching for the moon

she remembers childhood things | the way red earth smells | ancient before rains | like chaparral and copper | the flashing of thunder beings

today rain fell in | ropes lashing the windows | penetrating dreams

her mind travels there | land of palms and teal ocean | where time flows slower | 
people seem happier | for the natural world

now their gaze | doesn't worry me much | but how it creeped inside me | young and almost defenseless | I feel their cruel eyes chewing | at how I see | others like myself | the rule I use to measure | my kin whisper in my ears | it is all a big lie

heat bakes its way in | concrete construction ovens | retain its fire | 
the people lie in hammocks | trying to capture cool sleep

winds wear cruel heat | a shawl whipped around shoulders | its fringe shimmering

rose moon the color | of strawberry fields | forevermore the goddess | 
returns for summer solstice | reflected infields of light

raindrops land spirals | on newly formed pond's surface | lights flicker and fail

across time and space | your resplendent heart's | sparkling love still reaches us | 
and heals the abyss of loss | no more grief of your passing

a year of heartbreak | of uncertain certainties | yet to be revealed

she wants to shed light | in the darkness that prevails | nine candles shine bright

sunny day hides clouds | perched on deftwings of rain birds | call forth a downpour


everyday a rose | of a promise that is this | our beautiful lives

she has been shattered | but beauty shines from the shards | she will be made whole


family is not | only about DNA | it's about love

she's always known | who she is cien por ciento | ignores the doubters

no party to cover ups | she shares what rings true | no limitations

first day on the job | inserts holy foot in mouth | insults half the world

if there were only darkness | thoughts of you would light | up to shadows that turn ash | then deep purple that births dawn