Tornillo

On Sunday May 12, 2019 I was honored to present this and other poetry at the El Paso Mother’s Day Rally to End Family Separation and Child Detention.

Tornillo

Life is short for children detained in cages.
Just like livestock was one ill-considered defense.
Children housed in tents under a fierce desert sun,
small protection from the equally chilling desert night.
Like summer camp was another deplorable explanation.
Lacking only the toxic showers rained on los antepasados
who crossed bridges looking for work. Someone whispered
about los tios, buried in an unmarked grave in South Texas.

Life is short for children who never heard of Nazi death camps,
with showers also fitted to spray poison on the heads of innocents
then buried in other unmarked graves somewhere across the sea.
And now children’s names fly through the air on soccer balls
kicked over fences, like butterflies bound for oblivion, they fly
over walls of el corralon, a corral for humans in a hostile land
where life is short for stolen children, and the land is blackened
with the blood and bones of working people yearning to be free.

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Clay, not bone published in Original Resistance anthology

Clay, Not Bone by Donna Snyder

An Eden of unnecessary
women who worship Lilith,
the goddess of the other place,
where a woman can eat apples,
serpents twined around her arms
like jeweled bands. A matching crown
caresses a brimming head empty of guilt,
full of knowledge, her fist just as filled
as her head, with both autonomy and life.

An excerpt from the upcoming Girl God Anthology, Original Resistance: Reclaiming Lilith, Reclaiming Ourselves.

To mark another year since his death: The cruelest month by Donna Snyder

via The cruelest month by Donna Snyder

The cruelest month
In memory of Jesús Guzmán
April winds rage in with a renegade posse of dust,
weather’s bad boys intent on stealing a body’s air.
And one cruel April, Jesús was killed on Easter Monday.
Day after resurrection Sunday, he fell from Jacob’s Ladder.
It was the sudden stop that killed him.
Undoubtedly ¡Ay cabrón! frozen on his lips when he hit the ground,
a tiny blood red rose quivering alone in the wind-blasted dirt.
Jesús killed, an angel fallen from the heavens.
Declared dead on the scene, mad scientists shocked him
until his heart resumed its beat, like all fallen angels
determined to return to lost paradise.
Declared dead at the scene on Easter Monday.
Declared dead in ICU on Tuesday afternoon.
Then on the third day they took away his tubes and wires,
and his heart beat for another hour.

He fought Miss Death until they declared him dead
all over again.
No resurrection,
except in the memories of children he taught to be poets,
or the minds of workers who crossed the borders
from there to here.
He crossed over from this life to the next one,
neither from here nor from over there.
And the mesas crashed onto the freeway like waves.
The spring night bled teardrops like falling stars
because he’s still cheated of air.
Cheated of words.
Cheated of life.
The world cheated of him and his corazón, too soon.
Jesús was killed on Easter Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday.
His heart tan fuerte it took three times to kill him.

His death scene punctuated by the street’s beat
and the lullabies of the bereft.
Now the world is so cold and lonely in April,
when the winds carry the spirits of dead vatos to remind us
just how cruel a month can really be.

Published in Poemas ante el Catafalco: Grief and Renewal (Chimbarazu Press, New York 2014)

Poem published in Fearless

page 8 of the newest issue

Fearless Poetry ‘zine # 67

Reality of flesh and chair

Patterns of organic energy on a sub-atomic level

not ruled by cause and effect-

by looking we change the outcome.

Change is inherent in observing.  The closer

we look the less precise we become.

Light bumps against flesh, moves backward

to mark where flesh was.

I try to define the reality of flesh and chairs,

become distracted by the buzz and bounce.

Newtonian physics.  Einstein’s theories on relativity.

The more we try to comprehend the less they have meaning.

The theory of everything implies that we don’t exist.

The chair is new today but the wood is ancient.

Light bounces from tree to retina and I say chair,

but chair is nothing more than an artificial construct,

an approximation of a limited mind’s effort to name a reality

seeming to exist.  Our orbits exceed experience of finite flesh.

By merely looking I have changed chair.

A non-existent mover makes me think tree.

I am lost in a forest of holes that leads me nowhere.

Out of nothing, everything.

Out of dying flesh, I find never ending,

the most vast nothing,

free of who I was.

Free of flesh.

Free of table.

Free of chair.

Free of words

 

 

 

Nothing is never nothing published in Setu

Setu is a bilingual Hindi and English monthly journal of of Pittsburgh. This poem and two others were included 8n a special issue called Western Voices, selected by guest editor, Scott Thomas Outlar.

 

Re post

poetry from the frontera

Nothing is never nothing

A message

written for a bottle with no ocean

The body atremble, the mouth a desert

Sirens so far away but still the jaws grind

Not even the dogs know what dogs always know

Hands thrust into what becomes a salivating mouth

Birds fall, frozen, from the sky to unyielding ground

Words without meaning

Ask the women, they all will tell you

An utterance shuts out objective meaning

Oxygen sucks the life out of a lying mouth

Not even the shadow knits truth from facts

The first page missing, the first line begins

. . . but that was long after Night arose from nothing

Chaos,

Dark void of space

counter-intuitively comprising Earth, Wind,

Water, and Fire, the gods both spirit and being,

but their answers illusory, begging the question

Something from nothing, they say

yet nothing was ever made of something

Chaos,

the first something…

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