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

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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