Friday, December 02, 2011

November Senryū

November Senryū

wars so far from home | their casualties wear death masks | the truth buried deep

in fine white mist | fog creeped up the hillsides | cold, a thin blanket

words bite and strangle | a tangle of tongues turned | knots hard to untie

there is nothing black | about today, if you just stay | away from the lies

food cooked with big love | those aromas that remind | tastes that can't compare

fusion | 
color and sound | 
rounding out atmosphere | 
so dear to me the taste of new |

shadows gather | for winter's blanket covers | in gray rainy days

we give thanks all days | for our people's survival | that we are still here

this dream called life | no way to awaken from | a sometime nightmare

sometimes haunted | those precious given moments | indelible past

invisible ties | that bind us all together | across this planet

yearning the long road | a return home to no place | she dreams the river

a golden angel | greets the masses moving | along the boulevard

midnight mariachis | meet us upon arrival | D.F. never sleeps

bella Oaxaca | flor de las naciones | casa de todos

desire | such a weak word to describe | a famished mouth

child's shadow follows | it's sleep walking body | thinking it's awake

Oaxaca's foothills | this rich red earth's sentinels | surround the morning

poems ©Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2011

September and October Senryū

October Senryū

beautiful and brown | nation of people who stand | proud to be alive

summer's flowers swim | in a pool of fall |  their colors ever hopeful

wind carries the taste | of sweet promise on her lips | praying steadily

millions dispossessed | plastic dreams beyond our means | sold to the highest bidder

she wants to be paid | for painting dreams on paper | folded into cranes

roots of oppression | when not acknowledged | strangle flowering struggles

Know your history - decolonize Wall Street!

because we stand | on their shoulders looking out | a new day is coming

pure white lilies | lie about their nature | having yellow hearts 

sunshine on the edge | burns off the dredged memories | mired in should'ves

the place of knowing | is oftentimes filled with doubt | about the journey

you were not a dream | flesh and blood mixed with fire | the wind blew away

Summer's melted into Fall | daylight shrinks further | shadows bring spirits

her heart a flower | opening to the sweetness | life a sacred gift

her prickly pear heart | loved you and lost | crushed margarita 

my mind tips over | into dreams and other worlds | sleep eludes morning

five miles to ride | one more day of spinning | into the purple sky

down watery streets | lights reflect their living souls | spirits scissor kick

la sirena | siren of the seven seas | underwater queen 

she’s a heart bleeding | a wounded bird since you left | one drop at a time 

la luna luna | quienes ojos consuma | con su belleza ~
the moon, moon | whose eyes does she consume | with her beauty ~

young man, old man - thee | look, look, what do you see? | people, people living ~

September Senryū

missing tomorrows | that never came and yesterdays | waiting to be born

his shattered sky | a million blue splinters | azure butterflies

golden harvest moon | pregnant abundance | wanes into the equinox

gray light is burning | off hillsides holding the Bay | we pray for better days

what minds forget | our young hearts remember | tender as new shoots

stared in disbelief | indelible images | saying, we did this

the pool of sorrow | is too deep to swim in long | burst out of the blues

counting blessings | best belief in the now | calming turbulence

Summer is Falling | humming birds fly backwards | bejeweled hearts flutter

to breathe easy | without the stress of confined | spaces and minds open

middle children | though tucked snugly in-between | sometimes the most alone

she is all of this | calm sunny days | the rain and deadly winds stirring

beautiful unions | opposites that fit like puzzle's | pieces of dreams

one never knows | the *whole* truth is slippery | but the sun shines through

poems ©Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2011

Saturday, November 05, 2011

August Senryu

new day premonition | lights up and goes out | a firefly flicker

a cold blue lake | holds secrets of lost youth | where she soaks in the past

orange light this sunset | color of keeping the world | safe in its brilliance

like the weather, she | no longer follows patterns | unpredictable

these special kisses | wishes for a happy day | she gives thanks for love

I have been this | exquisite color ~ of earth | and sky so purple
begging to be embraced | seared into mind's eternal eye

a fearsome surge of wind | corrals mountains of clouds | and rain falls like stones

she will not go down | to the bottom of dark | prayer keeps her afloat

asking questions | to riddles with no answers | a waste of time

from the other side | came the light of her life | an always happiness

and hearts break, harden | to the possibilities, | love's many lessons

she deprives herself | of thinking about his kiss | of the ways he walks

who's to blame | for the mean and deranged | we all have choices

this incredible | journey from first breath forward | life a cherished dance

traveling reminds us | of homes we've had and lost | of people we love

our blue world | humming on the power grid | a collective dream

she keeps blame at bay | all the ways our world knocks us | days are spent laughing

her ancestors flowers | bloomed into the world | left future seeds

stories come to life | positive or negative | strive to become flesh

almost impossible | to take back horrible | we pray forgiveness

woven together | our roots forever | entwined in love

slow flowing river | a memory of calm | striving for stillness

yesterday's rainclouds | linger on jade river's edge | ripe for the blooming

Mercury's in retrograde | try chains on tongues or | conversing in smiles

morning hints of rain | leaves green river flowing slow | beauty soothes the soul

today you're ready | pack your bags and walk away | it's easier said...

©Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2011

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

July Senryū


you again in my dreams | telling me you still love me | sorry you’re gone

purple dawn leaks through | sleep soaked curtains covering | night frosted windows

shattered illusions | no way out imagining | lost is sometimes found

doors open and close | for us daily - most times | without our knowledge

racing sky river | clouds a riptide of currents | flowing in blue air

tiny sigh of breeze | the wind picks up on the wings | of new things to come

purples skies give way | to a new day waking | red cardinals fly

Lake Michigan | ocean of a lake breaking | my childhood heart

for you're just waiting to die | no joy for future | is no way to live

these doors | deceiving of reason | why we enter

doors to other worlds | where we live fantastic lives | real or imagined

red moon eclipse | ellipsis to words I’ve missed | saying I love you

blue are we that feel | how the past casts long shadows on | our present days

Grandmother’s twinkle | her eyes from the other side | helps heal us, our world

prayers for cool rain | to wash away the fire | of heat without end

fireflies welcome me | back to my childhood | balmy night freedom

feel with your heart | what your head cannot say | love is the answer

the memories of you | fleeting and fading | back into the past

was hazy all day | our Bay Area praying | for more summer

ripe corn moon | sends you a kiss before sleep | while wishing on stars

sure enough their tough | cactus blooms and prickly pears | but tender at heart

morning gloom in gray | sun still not up for a fight | smiles must suffice

may cooling waters | refresh the people’s spirits | heal burning brush-lands

flowery words fly | out the mouth instead of dread | something good to say

when you shoot the messengers | voices continue | their truth does not fade

this mud earth-water | a swirling of life | una mescla sagrada

copper teeth of wind | electric scent after lightning | biting the sun

wind’s first breath so sweet | sweeps into our new bodies | to waken us fresh |
breathed deep after the long sleep | keeps us safe ‘til we go home

green lizard heart | red in his swelling throat | croaking out a call

our poems called songs | our words flowers sent skyward | arrows to sow love

estranged arrangements | trying to keep harmony | alive in our hearts

©Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

June Senryū 2011

~ young man, old man - thee | look, look, what do you see? | people, people living ~

the sacred mothers | fly overhead taking in | everything in sight

some still dreaming it | a bad dream unfurled | a dream that is just a dream

~ from this prayer room | we came out of the ground | singing ancestor songs ~

~ blue stairs to midnight | lead to stars and new moons | doors to other worlds ~

~ we are wild flowers | spring up anywhere we like | leave in our season ~

~tlaloc brings the rain | that the green tree frogs prayed for | it floods the house blue~

we write | our obsessions | ever present, and stuck | to the farthest edges within | our reach

shattered eggshells | so stark these beginnings | an end to a story

~ southwest of Shiprock | an ancient dried-up sea longs | to open water ~

it’s so difficult | to be the middle | Wednesday’s so green | a child of mercury | something to get over

~ la sirena | siren of the seven seas | underwater queen ~

in the new darkness | let us be unafraid | speak light into the world

waiting is a way | of testing patience | of practicing calm

~ she’s a heart bleeding | a wounded bird since you left | one drop at a time ~

ambushed by thunder | lightening walks, nightlights the sky | looking for a way

this shining morning | instead of soft boiled | we eat egg salad

Xolotl ~ O evil twin | our sins accompany me | in lightening and death ~

~ la luna luna | quienes ojos consuma | con su belleza ~
~ the moon, moon | whose eyes does she consume | with her beauty ~

rushed on a river | traveling down breakneck speed | until the calm bend

aqueous extracts | crystalline drops of the divine | ancients are we

oh the forth and back | the details of this and that | sometimes just too much!

yes, you are still here | in the ancient heart rhythms | of birds flapping wings | of train whistles in morning | in everything that is me

sometimes we feel so | like grieving all the world’s loss | deeply left behind

the blood red moon | was meant for you a heaven’s | sign of things to come

ones map of life | from red womb to resting place | a celestial web

you can’t kill your way out | of hate that you created | peace the answer

when you’re suffering | and it’s caused by your own head | time for a change

little people voice | infectious their happiness | joy in every note

loss comes in waves | some days it seems endless | then the sun breaks through

Tucson an ancient | ocean floor extending to | Shiprock and beyond

great muddy river | cradles a crescent city | swallows of moontides

Purple’s favorite | color is pink today | she says she sees seeds grow

little hands planting | learning of earth’s mystery| you give and grow more

his war was worn deep | no one knew his troubles ‘til | one day explosion

our stunted Summer | a Spring that circled backward | now winter in June

morning flowers | glorious possibilities | one more day

The dreaded dead | flowers those unkept promises | bereft of color

first light created | shone for thirty-six hours | then the rains came down

doorways between worlds | rattle and hum, cracks visible | soon to open

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2011

Saturday, June 04, 2011

May Senryū 2011

May Senryū 2011

sharp tongues lash out strong | word projectiles penetrate | souls leaving deep scars

we remember | those never to be forgotten | warriors all

we remember | our ancestors and martyrs | blood does not forget

so many your words | though too few to describe you | poet of our times /

the pain of your passing now | lives in the clearest of blues

little black widow | your clan and I had a pact | you in your corners /
we humans stand back | then no one gets hurt

adobe walls | warm arms extending 'round them | earth, straw and sweet sweat

blue lotus flower | captured in cobalt calmness | waiting for sunrise

oh our little feet | grow into men's or women's | to take that stepped path

my son gifted me | some bluebells to remember | never to worry

they made their last stand | brave at the stronghold | dancing true for the people

our new border | is that you are no longer | allowed to cross us

the rapture of minds | longing for the end | of tech-no-logic life

she loved fandangos | tangos her favorite trance | dances with teeth

trying to touch heart | summon up compassion | when suspicion runs high

icy winds swoop up | flowers confused a | sudden return of winter

la lluvia | la mañana de mañanas | y tu sonrisa

putting on a new facade | the house is brighter | rouge on an old face

unburied in disdain | sacred bones, our ancestors | stolen legacy /
we would not dare desecrate | the bones of your forebears

moon when leaves are green | bees bringing in the pollen | Spring in full bloom

obsidian crows | caw in the translucent dawn | dancing in shadows

dreaming nasturtiums | the red empress on fire | lavishing in bed

we rise above hate | embrace solidarity | soar into love

the road ~ a doorway | beginning and end | our destiny ~ a spiral

the best race is | to everyday become | a better human

where is empathy | people are slaughtered | yet most care more for their pets

her door is painted | the color of his tattoos | deep dark indigo

muses sing praises | of those tuned in poets | their heavenly voices

for your gypsy self | on the move again | home is so many places

mourning the knowledge | of hatred and hardened hearts | we pray for blessings

war does not achieve | human understanding | peace ~ is the answer

genetic warfare | these demons seek to destroy | nature, its people

Sunday, May 29, 2011

April Senryū

April Senryū 2011

day at the beach | she seeks sand solace | a balance of sun and breeze

no time for Royal weddings | while people die | in dirty wars |
or starve to death | all that money spent for show

full of sun | a day for ceremony | people smile brightly

terracotta dreams | a desert vessel full | of pure crystalline rain

indelible | that tattoo of you on me | indigo

chiles poblanos | roasted on a hot comal | smoke out the house green
tonight after scorched day cools | there'll be rajas con crema

sidewalk skillets | sun shines down it's merciless | smile of bleached white bite

indigo birds sing | new flowers into being | love into the world

decisions of heart | not reasoned with ones head | must be felt inward

predestined to bloom | her road was not too rocky | when she stayed on path

Milky Way vision | starfish in deepest sky sea | cloudy waves dancing

all roads lead homeward | a bowl of sky filled with stars | maps, our heads and hearts

desecrate no more | the bones of our ancestors | buried in red earth

if we united | what a force we could be | for justice and peace ♥

nuclear power | unclean for eternity | equals death not light

a delicate map | indelible indigo | on butterfly wings

no one stops Pink Moon | she grows ripe mirroring us | as seasons flow past

grackle cantata | early morning car alarms | summoning the sun

canto un tango | sueño bailar contigo | en las sombras

I sing a tango | and dream of dancing with you | in the shadows

stars shine through pin holes | comfort in the mesh of dreams | night's velvet fabric

sun seared sidewalks | bones bleached similarly | desirous of dusk

hammock dreams | up in the air feeling grounded | bare feet on smooth tiles

ancient books of fate | helped reveal destinies | remedy bad fortune

estranged arrangements | some distances can heal hearts | letting it all go

milky bathwater | dye tracing a path of death | this ocean once life

thunder beings ring | indigo sky in the arbor | waiting to dance

this is not water | burning, or a mushroom cloud... | it is a beautiful rose |
trying to make sense | of all the madness

flurry fever dreams | to right wrongs of centuries | when chickens come home

with Spring comes sorrow | borrowed from Winter's storms | that lingered too long

wheel of the world turns | what is coming has been cast | a day in and out

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

- Pulchritude - (beauty)

⁃ Pulchritude (beauty) ⁃

• translucent
⁃ the cobalt night
• poppy's orange
• caught in river's
⁃ reflection
• stars rushing
• sonorously over
• ancestor's bones,
• those rocks
• smooth for their song

• while in cities
• barren horizons
• of urban misery
• a people tattooed
• with the scourge
• of daily life
• the hate of haves
• for those have nots

• no beauty?
• in constant
• asphalt
• though humans
• adaptable
• to surroundings
• find the occasional
• grandeur

• those rogue flowers
• deviant in color
• but stronger
• bursting forth
• in garbage heaps
• or up through
• shimmering
• summer sidewalks

• neo-code talkers
• read the codices
• dispute tales of
• the Rapture's
• empty
• end-of-the-world scenarios
• our world has and
⁃ will continue
• to transmute

• seizing
• tabloid tidbits
• people's fear
• of loss
• masticated
• and spit out
• as seeds
• of new hope

© Odilia Galván Rodríguez

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

National Poetry Month ~ Write a Poem a Day for 30! Poems 7-11

Poem 7 - A tribute to sun

sun shoos off clouds
no room for shade or rains
cool air ribbons slip in slyly

sun rays

Poem 8 ~ grief
deep grief
sadness, a lake
place swampy with tendrils
a specific coordinate
you touch

Poem 9 ~ downfall

great roads
left in ruin
while thieves fan dancing
to tunes of billions pillfered while
poor - wait

Poem 10 ~ Power of Earth

we knelt
in your fields yet
we were not your slaves
we knew earth's power at the root
and prayed

Poem 11 ~ Sin Pistas (Clueless)

She leaves
Him a new kiss
under rumpled pillows ~
faeries leave no clues to future

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

National Poetry Month ~ Write a Poem a Day for 30!

Here are my Poems 1-6! If you haven't taken up the NaPoWriMo challenge there is still time to catch up.

Poem 1 ~ The Women In My Life

the women in my life
are forces of nature

with words, paint and drums
they know how to run out the liars

they are poets, musicians, painters
dancers, singers and drummers


bringing the world more life
through their vibrant colors

their melodies and music
their words and dances

their medicine

chances are you've seen them
on stages, or scaffolding and maybe

even street corners with signs
talkin about injustice, about peace

or how they don't believe in hate
its great how they envision

the world a better place
for the whole human race

the women in my life
are my muses of future

Poem 2 ~ Ruby Slippers

trying to ride

the tides of reality

as presented by this material world

that has no hold on it

but merely presents a plausible view

it's nice to know that this is not it,

that there is something else that lives

on the edge of this technologic world

chock full of strip malls and strip clubs-

doesn't every new movie show one -

women taking off their clothes for money

or out of boredom,

or to show a truth not told

it gets old this wanting

to see what's behind

door number one or the iron curtain

or is it the great computer

the greatest wizard

of the Outer Zone that still lurks

waiting for us to ask

the right riddle to his answer and

Dorothys everywhere wake

with that urge to click their

ruby heels together

to go who knows where

but we are not in Kansas anymore and

more than Toto know this

though many piss on the knowledge of that and

continue to be contented

with their Iphones and Ipads instead

of realizing that the world as we've known it

IS really coming to and end

it's okay, the r/evolution really won't be televised

or even tweeted

whatever that means

who knows,

we thought we did

we were wrong

now we only know we are not buying the bullshit

of being happy with the latest toy

we are merely waiting for a sign and

we look for them daily

in purple skies and unusual weather patterns -

that have become more normal than not

We await 2012 and hope

it is not the letdown of Y2K


did we forget that farce fast? ...

alas, we forget how gullible we are,

just waiting for a sign

of a new beginning or ending

we could start ourselves.

ruby slippers

Poem 3 ~ Destiny

embracing your destiny

should be painless

as morning being birthed

through the aperture

of consecutive indigo

nights that pass through

the sieve of sky and amber

stars rolling on low boil

it is not a TV drama

or the nightly done rightly

news though it may be stranger

than any writ down fiction

because most modern day

humans act so hastily

yes, so often times stupidly

thinking tomorrows won't

catch up to them in an eye-

blink and disaster has struck

people wail and weep but keep on

doing the same unquestioning

things over and over again

just like our sunrise blooms

into another day

we expect to live just fine but

A Nation can't sleep knowing

that Japan is going down and

no one in power ever said

let's stop the obvious threat

while daily we spend billions

on war

more people are dying

from tech-no-logic insanity

can't we help fix this now

In California we swim

the same sea that washes up

thousands of miles away

from the radiated shores

just off of Fukushima and

our nuclear power plants

San Onofre and Diablo Canyon

- the Saint and Devil twins -

sit waiting on the fault line

for a destruction sure and

all we hear is tongue wagging

the same lies of yesteryear

it will never happen here...

fukushima #3 blacksmoke

Poem 4 ~ A blessing of blue corn

she plucks twelve kernels

of purple-blue corn from its husk

to have a future divined for her

she is nervous about the past

anxious for a future cast, yet

she is trying to decide

her path which seems to crash

down around her whenever she thinks

she knows all the answers

From each Direction

she asks for guidance

then enters inside and

opens herself up thirsting

for possibilities

wondering what will be foretold

in which direction

she will ultimately go

Blue Corn

Poem 5 ~ Going Home

She's says she's going

home? her friend asks

because she's a gypsy and

spends time in many places

it only takes a beat

for her to form a response

home is not a place...

certainly not a house

with a collected life inside

even if they are beautiful

things, carefully selected

over lifetimes

she knows, most of her

worldly goods

have been given, sacrificed

or thrown to the four winds

home is people

who love her

when she's there or when

she's just a spark of memory

those whose heart beats

are syncopated with hers

locked in this back and forth

dance called a life

The Gypsy Woman

Poem 6 ~ Being A Border

I've been here all of my life

on the edge of this or that

a bridge between my people

crossing people

come to me

to enter more worlds

than I can even fathom

I am is a border

something of a fence sitter

except in my case I am not neutral

I take both sides, I am from and for

both sides, yes

I live the in-betwixt and in-between

I am the center and the balance

I see good and bad

at every turn

at every crossroads

and every crossing is a ritual

what do you offer to enter?

seven shiny dimes to the mother

of all mothers, of the salty waters

or nine pennies to the wind whisperer

the keeper of the last door we enter...

I've been here all of my life and

all I want to do is cross that line

myself, want to pass the torch

having been now totally scorched

by this playing at blind justice

is there really such a thing?

I think not.

someone always has to win

and someone loses

even if I know the secret

that losing you win

still, that's because I'm

a different kind of thinker

having the luxury or curse

of being from the middle

living on that fine line

between this or that

here or there

it's a fact

being a border is no fun

you have to let some in

and keep some out

and then all those

convoluted routes

people take to get there --

even when they know in their heart

it's not for them, and

they should've stayed put

they figure that out later

sometimes when it's too damn late

but wait, why'd I let them in

if it wasn't for them?

oh yes, because it was a lesson...

lofty this job of mediator

border deity

job seems too big

too pretentious

somehow playing god

when all I am is an idea

I am a border
a door
a hoarder of hopes
of injustices
tucked inside promises
of new lives,
lives really not new or better
simply different
I am a border
a line
a big lie.

"Wall of Crosses ..."

The Big Poetry Giveaway!

The Big Poetry Giveaway! 2011

Kelli Russell Agodon started this project where poetry bloggers get together and give away poetry books for National Poetry Month and in the spirit of the "give away" and poetry I decided to participate.

How this works:

I'm giving away two books. If you want to win these books, please leave a comment on this post with a link back to your blog/website OR leave your email address (if you don't have a blog/website). The giveaway runs from now until April 30. On May 1, 2, or 3, I will be randomly drawing one name from the list of people who commented and that person will be the winner! I will mail two poetry books to you for free!

Here are the two books I'm giving away, "Migratory Birds: New and Noted Poems," my first full-length collection of poetry, and Joy Harjo's wonderful collection, "In Mad Love and War."

A little note about myself: I identify as poet/activist and educator. In my "day jobs" I've literally worked in many fields, from farm worker to labor organizer, cultural worker/teacher, Human Resources director to editor. I've been writing since my early teens and can say in all honesty that my favorite "work" has been facilitating creative writing workshops for people of all ages. I believe that we all came to this earth with a purpose and it is our responsibility to honor ourselves and our ancestors by being the best we can be at all we endeavor to do.

Good luck!

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿


Link to the List of Participating Blogs...

And the guidelines on how to participate further, via Kelli's site ~ Book of Kells ~

"The goal is to share our favorite poets with others as well as to visit different blogs and see who others are reading. There is also a benefit for those who participate as it will bring people to your blog and share your work and/or the work of a favorite poet with them."

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

undone by sunsets | destiny calls us home | down a winding red road

with soul freed he rides | winter winds journeying home | to the other side

flowers for the dead | cheer the living with beauty | their message, live

boy swings in hammock | too rainy outside to play | brings the wind inside

we awaken spirits | with our everyday dance | then stop - acknowledge

down this street | the sun playing hide-and-seek | a whole world happens

scarlet flamingos | unfurling ruddy feathers | kissed by sunset

prickly pear heart | your center is the best part | past the thorns there’s mad love

mythical ones speak in tongues | forever tattoos on rock | faces that tell us

I miss you dark haired | lost to moonlight and stars | still afire

gaps in memory | jelled realities floating | timed out synapses

a cloak of distance | enfolds you but cannot hide | your light shining through

time and water | liquid that freezes or flows | rivers we go down

you are my other | me seen clear in your black eyes | twin souls divided

pounded gold for the fifth sun | silver strung for moon | offerings to god

earth’s broken rudder | twisted axel to the core | righted by the stars

if the poets were to stop | writing with their hearts | there would be chaos

morphing metaphors | to sooth our life’s obsessions | beauty can’t be beat

colonial snare | forced vision’s epicenter | everything crumbles

purple-red rimmed rock | calls from winter deep canyons | in your own soft voice

a conger woman | turned the color of sun, maiz | flesh offerings

©Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2011