Friday, November 21, 2008

All of a Sudden

all of a sudden
her tongue's tied tight with stuck tears
life's right in her face

past decisions loaded
not locked, but she's a stray
bullet off target

always in the wrong
place at the right time waiting
for just the moment

to spring at a feast
like a Venus fly trap grabs
for its existence

internal bleeding
for a country and people
a daily headline

align yourself fine
in fields of your own planting
chanting for new days

for peace

© Odilia Galvan Rodriguez,
Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

going North for Winter

winds scoured the earth
rains followed their fierce footfalls
floods drenched deep drank towns

ancestors sent signs
rounding out nature's warnings
with storytellers

oracles in bones
shells rocks and seeds read in them
those stories of life

worth living fully
free from the fear of losing
not bullied by want

leaves are turning birds
flying south for the winter
we Heyokas north

©Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008


Friday, October 10, 2008

A Poet and a Patriot

Chris Matthews 1946 - 2008

photo from: Patzok's blog - A Poet and A Patriot - Chris Matthews

I borrowed this picture, hope that's alright, I love it because it so captures Chris' beautiful smile and his eyes - the window to the soul of someone who loved life even as crazy as it can get sometimes.

Chris was a quintessential friend, someone you'd want to have in your corner in the good times and especially in the bad. He always had time to listen to people, a great trait for an owner of a Irish pub lol! But even before that, when I first met Chris in 1978 and he reminded me of a lot of those "bad boys" I grew up with on the south side of Chicago - who had a veneer of toughness but inside were big hearted like their dedicated steel mill working fathers or factory working moms - he impressed me with his ability to listen.

Chris understood about allies, not only about how the poor and people of color needed to unite but all people in the United States who believe in the struggle for equality and social justice. When we met I had just left the United Farm Workers Union and was working in the library of a K-3 Bi-lingual/Multicultural School in Watsonville. I was also active is Santa Cruz County politics, especially south county, which is where I was living at the time, because it was wrought with the same problems all migrant farm worker communities have and I wanted to continue to make a difference.

Chris lived in Watsonville too, in a home that he and TECHO, a group designed to help low-income people build their own homes in a collective setting, built. In January 1979, then-Governor Jerry Brown appointed him to the Board of Supervisors to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Supervisor Cecil Smith Jr. that is when Chris asked me to serve in an advisory capacity to him and his aides. In 1986 I moved to the Bay Area and we only saw each other on my occasional trips to Santa Cruz. The few times I did drop in to see him we never tired of talking about the "good old days" and of current events.

I am linking several other articles to this blog that tell more of Chris' life, but the most important thing I can tell you about Chris Matthews is that he was a person who counted, who made a difference in his 61 years on the planet. He was definitely a Poet and a Patriot but he was also much more: a loving father, husband, playwright, actor, activist and an ally and friend to all those who cared to dig beyond what they saw with their eyes to see the fiercely shining spirit that was Chris.

You will be sorely missed hermano.

Hasta la Victoria Siempre!


The Poet and the Patriot Irish Pub

A Poet and A Patriot: Chris Matthews (1946-2008) by Geoffrey Dunn

Chris Matthews, former supervisor who owned the Poet and the Patriot Pub, dead at 61

Remembering Ernesto 'Che' Guevara


Thursday 9 October, 2008

Yesterday was the 41st anniversary of Ernesto 'Che' Guevara's death, Iba 'e, and as I was looking for this letter to republish here I learned the shocking news of the death of an old friend of mine, Chris Matthews, owner of the Poet and Patriot Pub, long time social justice activist, and former member of the County Board of Supervisors in Santa Cruz, California. It is befitting that I would receive the news on the anniversary of the passing of one of my heroes, as Chris too was a person whom I always admired as a forthright person who said what he thought, who cared deeply for others, and stood for what is right with little thought of how it might effect him. I will write more on Chris' life in another post but for now here are Che's words in his farewell letter to his comrade Fidel Castro Ruz.

The words of Che, in his many reflections throughout his short life are almost like a channeling of the things that we are experiencing today as the world goes into this phase of great upheaval and change.

paz y r/evolucion!


"Year of Agriculture"
Havana, April 1, 1965


At this moment I remember many things -- when I met you in Maria Antonia's house, when you suggested my coming, all the tensions involved in the preparations.

One day they asked who should be notified in case of death, and the real possibility of that fact affected us all. Later we knew that it was true, that in revolution one wins or dies (if it is a real one). Many comrades fell along the way to victory.

Today everything is less dramatic, because we are more mature. But the fact is repeated. I feel that I have fulfilled the part of my duty that tied me to the Cuban Revolution in its territory, and I say good-bye to you, the comrades, your people, who are already mine.

I formally renounce my positions in the national leadership of the party, my post as minister, my rank of major, and my Cuban citizenship. Nothing legal binds me to Cuba. The only ties are of another nature -- those which cannot be broken as appointments can.

Recalling my past life, I believe I have worked with sufficient honor and dedication to consolidate the revolutionary triumph. My only serious failing was not having confided more in you from the first moments in the Sierra Maestra, and not having understood quickly enough your qualities as a leader and a revolutionary.

I have lived magnificent days, and I felt at your side the pride of belonging to our people in the brilliant yet sad days of the Caribbean crisis.

Seldom has a statesman been more brilliant than you in those days. I am also proud of having followed you without hesitation, identified with your way of thinking and of seeing and appraising dangers and principles. Other nations of the world call for my modest efforts. I can do that which is denied you because of your responsibility as the head of Cuba, and the time has come for us to part.

I want it known that I do it with mixed feelings of joy and sorrow: I leave here the purest of my hopes as a builder, and the dearest of those I love. And I leave a people who received me as a son. That wounds me deeply. I carry to new battlefronts the faith that you taught me, the revolutionary spirit of my people, the feeling of fulfilling the most sacred of duties: to fight against imperialism wherever it may be. This comforts and heals the deepest wounds.

I state once more that I free Cuba from any responsibility, except that which stems from its example. If my final hour finds me under other skies, my last thought will be of this people and especially of you. I am thankful for your teaching, your example, and I will try to be faithful to the final consequences of my acts.

I have always been identified with the foreign policy of our revolution, and I will continue to be. Wherever I am, I will feel the responsibility of being a Cuban revolutionary, and as such I shall behave. I am not sorry that I leave my children and my wife nothing material. I am happy it is that way. I ask nothing for them, as I know the state will provide enough for their expenses and education.

I would like to say much to you and to our people, but I feel it is not necessary. Words cannot express what I would want them to, and I don't think it's worth while to banter phrases.

Hasta la victoria siempre. ¡Patria o Muerte!

che_underskrift.gif (1265 bytes)
I embrace you with all my revolutionary fervor.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Havana hurricane journal pages


yo soñe la Habana
con una nueva cara
toda pintadita
como una novia
saliendo con su primer pretendiente
radiante con una esperanza
de gran amor

I dreamed Havana
with a new face
all made up
like a sweetheart
going out on her first date
radiant with hope
for a grand love

Sunday 7 September

All last night and all day today the television continues to broadcast all the civil defense plans to save lives first and then secure material holdings such as foodstuffs, hospitals, homes, schools, workplaces etc. There will be no work or school until the danger is passed.

Hurricane Ike is threatening to hit Guantanamo first and then it looks as though it will sweep across the entire island until it crosses us and goes back out into the gulf or heads towards the Atlantic. It's predicted to hit areas than no hurricanes have ever touched on the island and places that haven't seen a hurricane since long before the triumph of the Revolution in 1959, and unfortunately it will most probably hit places like Pinar del Rio and La Isla de la Juventud that were just devastated only 8 or so days ago. Places like Granma, Holguin, and Las Tunas that are not used to these threats are fastening down their cities and getting ready for what will be unleashed.

Everyone here is battening down the hatches too, we brought in the stove from the outside kitchen and put it into the tiny indoor kitchen. We bought some food, we were low since we haven't been here for two months, and other provisions like candles and have filled up lots of plastic bottles with fresh drinking water. People all over the neighborhood are cutting down branches, nailing and tying down anything that could fly into windows or doors or cause major damage. People are putting X's of tape over their windows, buying candles, food and preparing for the worst. People seem very calm but definitely determined to not be caught off guard. The neighborhood CDR (Committee in Defense of the Revolution) has organized who will stay inside and guard the grammar school on the corner and workers of the different markets in the area have secured their work places.

I thought Angel was going to bring the dogs inside but he says they have their secure area in the outdoor kitchen. My god daughter who is here from California, and who's never been in a hurricane says that when she gets back home she is going to tell her spoiled dog Pepsi, the next time he does something naughty like pee in the house, that he should be glad he wasn't born in Cuba where dogs don't even get to come in during a natural disaster! To which I thought yes, here most people do not have the luxury to treat their dogs like people and at the same time I feel worried for Johnny and Casey our dachshund and stafford but I am sure if the storm gets too bad Angel will let them inside...

I want Gavilan to get here safely he is supposed to arrive tomorrow and the way things are looking he will be stuck in Mexico, and who knows for how long. He is coming with Charley so they can keep each other company until this storm blows over.

8 September

Getting ready for the passing of Hurricane Ike. It's passed Guantanamo, Santiago, Holguin, Las Tunas, Granma, Camnaguey and it's headed towards Sancti Espiritu, and Santa Clara before heading here...

According to the news bulletins it should be hitting Havana anytime in the early eveing. Gavilan's plane takes off from SFO tonight and he's scheduled to arrive in the p.m. tomorrow but that looks impossible now, I just hope that the damage here is mild compared to other places so that he will not get stuck for too many days in Mexico. I just want him to call so that he can call mom and let her know we are okay here...

We are in official hurricane alert - the highest. I already mentioned the things we did to get prepared... the winds and water have already begun. Next the electricity will go and hopefully the gas won't be shut off but we brought in the small propane tank and have a hose to hook the stove up to it-just in case. I'm going to make tea even though it is hotter than heck in here.

My nerves are jangly.

9 September

consuming darkness
pierced by howling..winds blind birds
lashing night with rain

fierce machete winds
lashing dark green the drenched streets
deep quiet howling

modern noises cut
void of electricity
buzzing bees broken


All night the wind whipped the dark green canopy of trees on streets drowned by the hurricane droning past with its blades of sharpened wind. Sleep was illusive and fear gripped me deep in my guts low enough to seem non-existent, but there all the same, like when one has to be up early so as not to miss an important event or a flight, there is anxiety while at the same time one has to act against the preoccupation or the fear of that thing happening that is undesirable. I slept but it was not a worthy sleep.

The windows seemed they would rattle out of their frames and the streets filled with murky waters coming in ropes, too fast to be drunk by the street's drainage system.

I am worried about my son.

Iyawo Ibis called this a.m., the phone is still working, we talked to Orbelito for about 20 minutes which is incredible for a child that is not even three years old yet and he got very angry when his grandmother tried to take the phone from him. He was talking about a crocodile, Nemo, spaghetti, batman etc. He is talking like crazy and even says, "oye" and "coño", words he hears from the adults no doubt. When he said "oye!" to me I said, "Love, my name is madrina, not "oye". So then he said "madrina" and kept jabbering away, very everyday in the middle of this disaster. They still have electricity over in their neighborhood and Ibis gave us more details on the sad news about Celia and Abel Hart Santa Maria's fatal car accident on Sunday night. What a terrible tragedy and loss two young people with a lot to offer this country. How strange - I was supposed to finish a translation of one of her articles that Walter gave me before I left Mexico, now it will have to wait until this is over and I can get to a working computer.

Ibis also tells us that Ike is going to pass Pinar Del Rio at around 11 a.m. so the heaviest rains and winds should hit us then...

Hawk was to have arrived today, I just hope he calls.

Angel has made some coffee, I can smell it brewing in there, I should get out of this bed. I was listening to an audio book, "Killing Che" and it makes me hate the cia - even more than I already did - if that is possible...

10 September

Wet, windy, still no electricity. Talked to Walter about the death of Celia Hart and her brother it happened on Sunday night. A State funeral was held in their honor on Monday, so sad. Walter says to go over to JR to work if I want. I still have Celia's article to finish. Apparently Arlene performed the official eulogy since she studied with both of them. Both Celia and Abel leave children. I remember when I was little I always thought that mothers couldn't die when their children were young, of course at the time I didn't know that my own grandmother died when dad was only 5 and her other three children were 10, 8 and 7! Death is inevitable but its affects ripple out hard and long in some cases.

Doesn't look like they will open the airport today.

bright clothes on washropes
strung from battered balconies

hoping for no rain

troubled waters churn

agitated sky kicking

up a new windstorm

new rains drown the crops

weakened from the savage winds

that thin..the peoples..hope

reportando de la isla de las posibilidades

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bleu Estui or The Long and Short of a Tall Tale


as bad news
I was stewed
in her blues and
creator smacked me
with a Mongolian tattoo
right on the backside
to let me know who
I was
even before
I'd cried

torn in two
my mama
with a big shout
finally shoved me out
with a noose
of our own knots
(that I can't seem to lose)
tied tightly round
my cyanic neck

me....a tiny eight-month baby
crazy to sing but my cries were
all blue notes..and doc...worried
about a code....says to the nurse
let that baby loose
moms..hung on to his every word
trying to find out..what she'd had
then..when I finally cried she
just glad...I'd lived

pops was out working
on the railroad...layin down track
so moms was all alone..with her first brat
they wrapped me in an indigo shawl
to take me on home and since
they thought I was a boy what
should all my clothes be
but cornflower blue
to match everything
about...the brand new me

I grew up on the south side of Chicago
steel mill's smoking blues in my front yard
it wasn't hard to be poor because
kids don't know much from rich
all we cared about
was if we were loved
but that was in short supply too
like money and food
and clothes and shoes
those things hard to get by

but my motto was
you can't hurt steel
that was my groove
and as I grew I forged
a shiny blue shield so
everything that happened
after that was a breeze
I drove around

in my first car
a '57 Chevy
and I was

©/s Odilia Galvan Rodriguez, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

dancing for life

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cool wind at sunrise
loosed the light fog from dark claws
undressing the day

danced dreams-visioning
chokecherry flesh blossoming
thick the tree of life

humble offerings
our prayers twisted tight
flown in multi-colors

day undressed...sun merciless
on the altar....of my flesh

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

a sprinkling of flor y canto

freshly felt

squeezed accordions
bellowing out emotions
a pleated release

La Conquista

we mourned...captive the
earth..cried..vilified virgins
prayed for the future

but Spring never did arrive
for many..many winters


spurs skittering..lightly these
tiny telling bells

el horno de barro

bread rises...the sun
brother of clay
oven..of blessings

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

a wrongful death case

the darkness of eternity
swallows up a drop of life

doors and windows
a contact shot
a gunpowder star
not far from his heart
and his hand
locked around
the weapon



no note
but suicide

in families

death is final

a sign
a behavior

cracked paint
cold floors
wanting more
wanting 1963
when he could be
could change

vermilion flowers

spread across his chest

may he rest

born under
a lethal star

blown into a galaxy


© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Declaration of Affirmation of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 with Recommendations to the United States of America

We affirm that the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 was enacted in 1868 as an international agreement between the Sioux: Brule, Oglala, Miniconjou, Yanktonai, Hunkpapa, Blackfeet, Cuthead, Two Kettle, Sans Arcs, and Santee, and Arapaho and the United States of America. We affirm that the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 was enacted and ratified by the Congress of the United States of America under Article VI (2) of the Constitution of the United States which states:

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereon; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

We affirm that the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 was further protected by United States federal law, Statutes at Large, 16:566, the March 3rd Act of 1871 which states: "Provided, further, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to invalidate or impair the obligation of any treaty heretofore lawfully made and ratified with any such Indian nation or tribe…"

We affirm that the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 was not a treaty of land cession but was a treaty of peace, and that no land within the Treaty Territory as delineated within the 1868 Treaty and stated in Article 2: "…commencing on the east bank of the Missouri River where the forty-sixth parallel of north latitude crosses the same, thence along low water mark down said east bank to a point opposite where the northern line of the State of Nebraska strikes the river, thence west across said river, and along the northern line of Nebraska to the one hundred and fourth degree of longitude west from Greenwich, thence north on said meridian to a point where the forty-sixth parallel of north latitude intercepts the same, thence due east along said parallel to the place of beginning;…" has ever been ceded to the United States or any other government.

We affirm that the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 also did not cede any water, forests, minerals, air, animals, or other 'natural resources' to the government of the United States of America or any other government.

We affirm that the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 did not give to the United States of America the unilateral authority to make any laws regarding any aspect of the Indian tribes so named.

We affirm that the land, water, forests, minerals, air, animals and all other 'natural resources' within the boundaries of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 according to Article 2, were and are "set apart for the absolute and undisturbed use and occupation of the Indians herein named…"

We affirm that any use, abuse, sale, or exchange of the land, water, forests, minerals, air, animals or other 'natural resources' within the confines of the territory as delineated in the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 is illegal, trespass, and theft.

We affirm that the environment of the 1868 Treaty Territory has been almost completely destroyed under the illegal occupation of the United States of America.

We strongly recommend that the United States begin an awareness process to educate all of the people living in the American states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Nebraska that they are illegally trespassing within the confines of the 1868 Treaty Territory.

We strongly recommend that the United States begin a process to compensate their citizens for any losses they sustain as a consequence of their believing they were able to live legally within the confines of the Treaty Territory, and also to provide assistance to relocate said citizens to other places.

We strongly recommend that the United States develop a plan for the return of the 1868 Treaty Territory to the Indian tribes so named, and that such plan shall also include compensation for the repair of all environmental damage including damage to the land, water, forests, minerals, air, animals or other 'natural resources.'

We strongly recommend that the United States develop a plan with enough appropriations for the repair of the societal structures of the Indians named for a period of at least 10 years.

We strongly recommend that the United States cease blocking the Great Sioux Nation and other Indigenous nations of the North American continent from participation at the same level as other Nation-States in the United Nations and other International Forums by the practice of the United States declaring that such Indigenous nations are domestic nations when in reality the United States is illegally occupying Treaty territories and destroying the economies of once independent Indigenous nations.


This Declaration was duly discussed and consensus reached at the 140th Anniversary of the signing of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 at Mni Luzahan within the confines of the Great Sioux Reservation on April 12, 2008.

Charmaine White Face, Spokesperson
Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council
Clifford V. White Eyes, Sr. Witness
John W. Long, Sr. Witness
Garvard Good Plume Witness
Vincent Brings Plenty Witness

I was made aware of this declaration only today, after I had posted the poem
"palavering" and it struck me as very profound how the image of the coming together of the Chiefs who met with Gen. Sheridan to sign this treaty kept coming to mind periodically for the last few months. I kept thinking that I would like to write a poem about that image but my creative process doesn't work that way.

I have to be given a poem or a story, it has to come to me in a dream
or while I am in the shower or driving a car or right when I wake up or before falling asleep. There are other times I am inspired to write but these seem to be the most prominent. That is why there is always a journal next to my bed, and when I drive, which is not often, there is always a journal in my purse.

I write a lot of poems which
later are paired up with images, not usually the other way around. I'd say that 99.9% of the time I go looking for the image afterwards. I see it in my minds eye for the piece I have written or am working on and then go looking for the one that best fits what I see, then pair it with my work.

Of course this image of the Fort Laramie meeting is one that is burned into my brain as are so many others like ones from Wounded Knee and photos of the captured "Apache" Tinde warriors being taken in a box car far from their homelands into forced relocation. There are other images, that never let go in ones life, like that of Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Ðức, who died June 11, 1963 when he burned himself to death at a busy Saigon intersection in protest of the persecution of Buddhists by South Vietnam's Ngô Đình Diệm administration.

There are too many horrific images of man's inhumanity to (hu)man, to mention but I know there are certain ones that have affected my life in very profound ways not only because of what they depict but also because of the historical facts leading up to and the aftermath of these incidents. In the image of the Laramie, Wyoming meeting I get the feeling of great sorrow and resignation on the part of the Chiefs who are assembled and at the same time I know that there is great strength in what they are doing not only because they are sitting on the earth, on the mother, but also because 'N'dn people have survived.

We are still here despite the broken treaties, promises, and lies. Despite the disunity that is perpetrated by US gvmnt infiltrators against Native Nations - especially when they are trying to defend what is legally and rightfully theirs. This blog could go on for pages, but I just wanted to post this document as an addendum to the poem I posted a few days ago which deals with the same topic.


star gazing

Hubble: Magnificant Details in a Dusty Spiral, 1999

contemplating nebulae
amber stars winding

future's seeds..our DNA

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008


palaver..a talk between tribes people
and traders...who bring words
in exchange for understanding
random acts (of kindness) not the other
which further the rift...split and halve
the peace...fleeced so easily by the greedy
who don't deserve mention..but they're
always the shadows gathering
new ways to twist and's a game
for them..they do it well because they can
so easily

palaver..a talk between tribes people and
most folk who are born good..and shouldn't
they be? they're's that palavering
- esa platica - they hear from the cradle..that starts
the poison pin pricking them into thinking that
this one or that is bad because of the color
of their skin..or the size of their bank account
which amounts to nothing on the grand scale of
things..but it's what we are taught to use
to measure up people..those lenses to see in
the blindness of bigotry..unless we set our sight free
by looking beyond

palaver..a talk between tribes people and
strangers..who may appear to be dangerous
at first glance but given the chance may
turn out to be allies to embrace and together
chase out those shadows of doubt..though
history has taught us trust is troublesome
when zealously thrust upon the wrong
persons or situations..just because
we'd like to believe they are true...and
then..there are still all those treaties
to think about

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008


"Council of Indian Chiefs and Gen. William T. Sherman and commissioners
at Ft. Laramie, Wyo. ca. 1867-68".

Thursday, August 14, 2008

beating heat

..flames lick thick
the day..shimmering solar
begging ice water


ice water wets..parched
lips..licking cracked its petals
pressed tight against heat

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

original photo is ©

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

to the naked eye

eye always want a beautiful wrap my words

around...a song..sight..or

sound...a round flat stone

from my favorite green river

smooth as glass...classy

because it talks

in hushed tones..about all

it's seen..lying close to the


knows what can't be said

words can be twisted


people disappear

not like a river

or the sea

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

her words ~ someday

for women who risk
losing ~

their heart

there'll be faded
photographs of a girl
who thought she could help save the world
with words

her words will be
read aloud for children
of her child's children's children

wide-eyeing her
words .disbelieving descendants
marvel at grandmother's


through pen flowing
across time her mind splayed
wide open for all to see
her heart


creating heart
while walking in beauty
won't be fantasy but a way
of life

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008




tall ..white ..naked ..walls

I walk through my sleep


©/s Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

original photo is ©:

Friday, August 08, 2008

a kingdom of dreams


the empress of India
a kingdom of dreams

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

orig. photo:

we never close


few dew kissed flowers
a four-o-clock never closed
moon bathing at midnight

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008


Thursday, August 07, 2008

shadows of doubt

dark butterflies
undress purple onions
closing in on wicked circles
the doubt

it's bad
loving the ones
who rule...who fool you
into forgetting who you are
that you're free

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

little black dress on the green

beneath green ~ bamboos
little yellow leaves shower
carressing the ground

free of her stern black dress
expressing herself fiercely

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008





meteor shoot down

terrible tattoos ~ eat earth

dinosaur's...death song

an interplanetary


©Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

*the devil's tail

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

watermelon moon


sliced open and freed
splayed bright an arc of hammock
summer night's vibrant

while savoring a blood moon
falling deliciously sleep

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008


Monday, August 04, 2008

Let it Rain!

Wow! well it is so hot here in the Yucatan that you could cook a hefty pot roast right out on the sidewalk in front of my house! I kid you not. It was just NOT this hot here last year, the year before, the year we moved here from Rosarito, (horrible place close to the border with California, town right south of Tijuana) it was pretty bad but I don't believe it was even this hot - at least it would rain in the afternoons almost every day. This puny rain, as I refer to it, did one of two things, either cool down the day some or, cause so much vapor you'd feel like you were in a lobster pot. This summer we are getting zero rain though every day rain is in the forecast.

I do not own a car, haven't now for about 2 years, decided I should literally walk my talk - about what cars do to the environment. The US uses over 18.5 million barrels of oil per day, = 777 million gallons to keep up with our gasoline demands etc.* but that is not this discussion...

I don't own a car and try to walk to as many places as I can or take public transportation. Today, it was so hot that I had to call this guy who works as a taxi with his own personal vehicle, to take me to all the various and sundry places I had to go. Wished I hadn't gone at all as I sweat so much it was embarrassing, and I am one who normally does not sweat hardly at all.

After my excursion I am sitting at my computer with a fan turned on me and the computer - a fan is useless - just having the same hot air that's filling up this house blown all over me... Don't ask why I don't have air conditioning, because that goes along with the same reason I don't own cars anymore.

People here are very worried, the heat has become unbearable and we all keep praying for rain - what no one wants is this:


and every last person who complains about the heat, who is native to this area says the same thing, I am praying for rain but not exaggerating. I don't want a hurricane coming our way. That is what Yucatecans have in the back of their minds. This is hurricane weather and it feels as though this heat is gearing up for a big one, and they are worried. The last hurricane to hit the Yucatan peninsula was in 2007 - hurricane Dean and every year as we enter hurricane season this is a real possibility.

At this point, the only thing I want is a big rainstorm that dumps lots and lots of rain on us without causing too much damage - like major flooding or other things associated with those kinds of storm. I had a dream once about making it rain and this poem came out of that:

rain dance

air deep
with desert
ancient sea
kissed hard
by eternal sun
and searing heat
new terracotta plain
that fruits
only primeval
seaplant's perfume

barely showing
its teeth
the sun lingers
in the east
already hot
the road
stomped red
kick up furious

rain my heart
lush prickly pear
palpitate amaranth
quench my spiny
nopal flesh
keeper of all
cloud's essence
dance here
on this ancient
ocean floor

let me plant
these lips
so that it might
rain before
my hand aims
flash of light
high in the blue
thunder beings
round dance

booming voices
in the east
in the south
in the west
in the north

from my shiny
steel bucket
I splash water
into the wind

drink flowers
drink earth
drink creatures
drink sky

in big drops
in big drops
the big life

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 1990

and of course no one is going to believe this, because I hardly do, but as I was writing this blog, it started to thunder...

I wasn't that impressed, since it does that a lot around here and it doesn't end up meaning rain, just a little coughing by the power(s) that be. But, as I was copying the poem into the peice and reading it over - it started to rain! Rain in big, big drops, yes RAIN! :D

Saturday, August 02, 2008



the young at heart
seeking youth's bright lifeboat
resisting the chains of aging

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

*[e-mahn'] Spanish for:
1. Loadstone, the magnet. (m)
2. The mariner's compass. (m)
3. Charm, attraction. (m)
4. Electromagnet. (m)

Blues for Saxophone


blue .midnight
before, after and 'round
sax soundz shimmer down sorry stairwells

no one
was home to care
delicious the solitude
of condemned buildings waiting
to hear

and haunting high
the blue notes colliding
in the emptiness of times past

out breath
breeding bellows
sounding like cries delight
the space between pleasure and pain

of sound sighing
through brassy pipe calling
ancients their music mimicking

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

drinking in silences


moon slices the night
icy cold and indigo
we drink in..silence

©/s Apaxicana, 2008


our lives in the blues

.......... for my bro, the no. 1 son
cracked clean...beached white bones
ground down to the finest sand
blown into the blues

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008


Friday, August 01, 2008



little poison blue
darting 'round
..nothing to do
no one will kiss you

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Huixtocihuatl and the coyolli

she wore tiny golden bells,
the coyolli, round her
ankles so that when
she would hear them
sounding as she walked
she'd remember to hold
her head up to the sky and
smile for her son..give thanks
and ask the gods for blessings
for his safe return.

her son Metzli
was off planet, in the
war zone, yes, the war zone...
she used to shudder
when she thought of how young
he'd been when he'd first left home
to join the alliance's peace keeping force.
he was only seventeen then
and some thought he was already too
old, way past the age of leaving home
to carry out his duties for the alliance.
they believed he had been given special
treatment because he was the son
of an elder priest and Huixtocihuatl's only one.
Her husband has other wives and children but
their son is the first one, and was born special...

Metzli is also a priest, but
a warrior priest, that might be hard
to understand if you are not aware
of the Mexica culture, that used to be governed
solely by a warrior cult, now, all these millennia later,
it is headed by priests who seek the peace. Metzli had
to be given the necessary training to be able to
live in the hostile areas and venerate
all life at the same time,
to be a model of the new human.

a warrior priest does not intentionally kill,
only in self defense, and only in rare cases
after all other powers have been exhausted
to try and convince or subdue an adversary.
this has rarely happened in the years since the
blue children began to come into their own and
caused the fall of the last empire, with their
psychic powers.

the people living in the outworlds are those who fled
during the worst of the crisis, of the war and destruction
that followed as the empire sought to end the world instead
of allowing it to change. some of those who left earth
are still very damaged with the greed illness,
some are sympathizers with the old empire
and would like to have that old system back again.
but above all they are
life, beings whom we want
to co-exist peacefully with
and not harm.

she was told by her sisters not
to worry but rather to
imagine her son enveloped
in golden light - in a
protective egg of gold light -
gold like her bells...

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008


Wednesday, July 23, 2008


they prayed
rain would not come.
he piled hardwood high and sat
when flame’s tongues rose licking his feet
rains came

when full
moon wears an aura
children sing frog songs
calling along with village gifts

thinking mans god
masters mother nature
seeding clouds with silver dry ice

warm clouds
fooled formations circling
hitting a cold spoon in skyspace

body’s smoke
signals ancestors sending
winds against rain shadows sipping

to implore the rain venerate Chac
to implore the rain venerate Tlaloc
to implore the rain

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fleurs de sel


accept this offering

of dried fish and birds

salted with bitter tears

I harvested.

your passing

did not turn grand

cities into crystallized seas

though your family still

feels the curse of another

disappeared before his time

but like the Mary Celeste

you’ve refused to go down.

we pour thin white lines

at the windows and doors

hoping to keep you at bay

some say it keeps you trapped

inside with us the living

conjuring more of the same.

no there is no blame for pouring

salt into our wounds we accepted

that sentence from the womb

as part of us being born yours

we came out briny

as if direct from the ooze

moody to the blues

like those storms at sea

that brew up quick

lashing at the shores

with towering tongues

of brackish water

© Odilia Galvan Rodriguez, 2008

Blues 9

Monday, July 21, 2008

prescription: drugs

part of the web of
life series

before the shining
glass beads dangled and
called bright the colored cloth and
hammered iron pots strung up alongside our
white shells the sugar and flour and whiskey flowed
down the ancestors throats
now the plastic money and
shiny fast cars
and foods
computers and the
latest flat screens blinking loud
with their lies called the news
a prescription:
drugs to numb the senses
to keep a people defenseless
entertained mindless
while we are traded like pelts
the land raped and stripped
like our warrior's scalps stretched
a nick for someone's belt
our children bent and stooped
in fields
carved by cruel knives
clearing ancient trees
whose roots talked
and told the crops to grow
to cover up the crime of all time
sown in our people's blood that
flowed in rivers across the burnt land
fertilizing bitter the fruit
poisoned by greed but heeding
the call to survive we eat while
these people force feed us
their trinkets

©/Odilia Galvan Rodriguez, 2008

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Mama Luna


Grandma Luna would hold my hand
all the way home from school
when we'd pass through the lush
green forest she would say esto es el corazon
del mundo/this is the heart of the
she taught me the earth ways
about the trees that talk if you listen
of the plants who are our allies
who heal us and the creation when
we are ill

in the forests and in the jungles
we can find the answers
all the remedios for what ails us
physically mentally and spiritually
but we must be humble for what stunts
the spiritual guerriller@'s growth is pride
and all that comes with self aggrandizement
greed is worst of all but what did I know
at seven about greed

Mama Luna was a slight women barely five feet
tall and less than ninety pounds but she was strong
the people of the surrounding ranches feared and adored her
some called her bruja/witch out of ignorance or what the
church teaches which is mixed up with fear of people taking
their own power and not being afraid to live fully lest
they die

she would say there is no devil only evil people
who hurt and want others to hurt as much or worse
those are the ones we must watch out for and they
are sly as foxes people who smile in your face
the worst enemies are usually old friends remember that
and I would but my good heart would make
me go soft so often and that is where the hard lessons
would have to be learned again and again

Mama Luna was the first person people would come and find
when a baby was about to be born or someone was sick even
when a colt or calf was trying to be born turned in the
wrong direction she could set bones and massage sprains
she even put people's brains straight by counseling them
in low hushed tones soothing their madness

she taught me about the plant allies how one must sing
to them and leave offerings while asking for permission
to take some of them back home to help heal ourselves or
others plants want respect
as does the whole creation we must only take what we need
and more is not better the essence is sacred

she loved wild horses her prized bees that gave sweet
honey because she sung to them too her dogs where good
they knew who to let on the property and who to hold
at the gates her black dog Oso was the fiercest of all
the one who was always with her

Mama Luna you guide my hands as I write these words
I miss you and at the same time know you are in my
heart ~ siempre...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


for Hawk

He was seven then
when we visited South Dakota
together for the very first time
he had been on planes before
but on this trip he realized
it might be a dangerous

that despite his name
people really couldn't fly
and what goes up eventually
must come down and we were
up very high as he noticed
while asking nervously
if those were clouds
below us as he stared out the
plane's window but that worry
passed quickly he was more
concerned with finding Michaelangelo
his teenage mutant ninja turtle
that he hadn't seen since we'd
had a bite to eat in the airport

he asked me again if I thought there
would be graffiti in the town we were
going I said there probably wasn't too much
on the rez but maybe some in
Rapid City we would be staying there for a day
or two before going on to the Sun Dance
he said he wanted to see what kind
of graffiti they had in other towns
besides Berkeley and Oakland

Michaelangelo mysteriously turned up
in the trunk of the rental car as we were
taking out our bags at the motel
he kept looking around for the writing on walls
of that cowboy city but I couldn't spot any either

that night as we were reading a bedtime story
he stopped and asked mom do you think there
is no graffiti because there are mostly old people
living here and I said no I think it's probably
because they have strict laws against it and
young people are scared of what will happen
if they are caught doing it

he looked at me confused as if street art were the
most natural thing in the world and why would
anyone be punished for expressing themselves
in this way and then said they would go to jail
I said yes I think so

the next morning we visited a few shops and
the local amusement park with a Flinstone theme
in the afternoon we were scheduled to visit Mount
Rushmore so at lunch I explained about the
Black Hills and how sacred they are to the Lakota
people and how we should take the camera because
we might see some eagles on the way he fell asleep
and I kept feeling like there was something I had
forgotten to say about our trip and I worried about
him being so small with just me to be everything to him
he woke up just as we pulled into the parking lot
at Mount Rushmore he was still a little sleepy as we
walked along to get up to the place where one views
the monument...he held my hand tight and I said
look there that's what they did to the Black Hills
he looked and looked and was very quiet
I thought he must still be very sleepy from his

he suddenly pulled me close looked up at me and
said in a solemn voice mom mom those are the Black Hills
and that pointing at the monument
is the white man's graffiti

©/s Odilia Galvan Rodriguez, 2008

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Sun's Going Down on the West

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the best part
of falling down
is getting back up
or catching that branch
right before sliding fast
all the way down
the hillside
and who knew that
jazz could flood one
with such emotion
that afterwards you'd
know the song flew
by too fast those steel
brushes against the
skins of the drum
still making that cool
sound in your head
makes one humble
music does
and if you don't care
about jerusalem
think of it's history
it's name means
legacy of peace
a good inheritance
something to hold
onto like hope
the sun is going down
on the west
a golden blood orange

©Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

photo is ©Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2007

incisor sized insomnia...

she embraced sharp teeth
of her sleep hoping to dream
bit into nightmares

©Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

forbidden fruit

there's moonshine next time
tonight there's dandelion wine
fine like bathtub gin

during prohibition
best love was made in the kitchen

©Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

Mood Indigo

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my mood indigo
blues that go and this third eye
believes no deceit

©Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

Winged Divinity

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our divinity
illusive as butterflies
winged hearts in full flight

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

Our Graphemes

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scarlet glyph my heart
escaped in a word..flying
landed in your hands

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

breaking glass is a blast

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blown glass shattered sharp
colors a corner
minus martinis

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

photo © cesare g

history repeating itself

glass from a past
reflecting history
repeating itself forgetting

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

original photo is ©

Thursday, April 17, 2008

a dream ~ see you next lifetime

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por mi monstruo

what if ...
is a dream a different life

but it's still...dreaming

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

photo: © Stefan Mendelsohn


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some days slippery

the sun goes down on sun up
we slide into love

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2008

photo: © Prescott ~