Monday, October 16, 2017

Me Too. Yo Tambien.

Me Too. Yo Tambien.
What have we taught our young men?
It starts when they are young,
When their lives have just begun.
“Stop crying like a girl!
You’ve got to grow up and twirl
The world on your finger.
Don’t be weak like a girl and linger
In tears that only bring fears forcing me to switch gears
And beat real manhood into you.
Don’t let me catch you playing house.
And don’t you dare complain or grouse
When I take away your soft cuddly toys.
Those things are for sissy girls not for boys.
Men grab the world by the balls.
While girls look pretty like horses in stalls.
Men fight in wars because they are strong.
Showing your feelings is nothing but wrong.
Bite you lip, stuff your feelings in.
Expressing them shows you’ve given in.
And a real man, you can never be.
You need to grow up and be like me.”
But this is not who we are.
Becoming that will produce a scar
Over our ears and our eyes
So that we will believe the lies
That girls are ours for the taking.
What kind of world are we making?
No more! I say. No more! I demand.
We will not teach our sons that they can command
Any girl, any woman to do his bidding.
He shall respect, be kind and be loving
To every girl and every woman.
For each and every one is a reflection
Of his sister, of his mother, of his daughter.
And he must treat them all
As if he were their son, their brother or their father.
We must teach our sons to nurture.
Without that, we’ll have a painful future.
We must teach them to be kind and to share.
When they grow up, they will care.
They’ll be protective of every living thing.
Making Mother Earth safe for every human being.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Flying Note



When I was eight years old
I was too young to be told
Too young to understand
That I was not wanted in this land.
A note carrying rock
From somewhere along our block
Came crashing through our front room window.
It landed on the floor.
I ran to the door
Hoping that I could score
A view of who had thrown it.
No one was there
As I stood and stared
Up and down our block.
I came back in and picked up the rock
And tried very hard to take stock
Of what had just happened.
I read the words on the note
“Get back on your boat.
Go back to where you came from.
You fucking wetbacks aren’t welcome.”
I didn’t know that it meant
Someone on our block was hell bent
To force us to move away
Right now! Not on some future day.
Tears flowed down my mother’s face
As she wrapped me in her protective embrace.
“They do not want us living here.
We have nothing for them to fear?
We are just like them. Don’t they know?
Where do they think that we will go?
We can’t just pack our bags and leave.
O Dios Mio! It’s hard to believe
That people, who we don’t know,
Could throw this rock to make us go.”
My mother stood up and glared
At the note from one who dared.
“We are going stay right here.
We won’t let racism or unfounded fear
Chase us away from our rightful home.
We’ll stand right here and be strong
Because this is where we belong.”

Friday, October 13, 2017

GENTE

     Gente is an important word in my culture (nothern New Mexico). Gente is pronounced hen te.
     We always went into Tia Lucia's house through the back door because the front door was reserved for Gente. The front room had to be clean and ready for Gente. When she baked something special she would warn us, wagging her finger, “This is for Gente. Don’t touch it.”
We all knew the importance of that special word.
     One day, after Denise and I had become adults and we were married, we flew to Salt Lake City to visit Tia Lucia. To my surprise she greeted Denise and I at the front door. I wondered if something was wrong. She told us to sit in the front room. I started to worry. She went into the kitchen and brought us some cookies and something to drink.
A huge smile spread across my face as I turned to Denise and said, "Hey! We are Gente now."

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Being In The Present Moment

     Mauri Wade was a dear friend of mine. In the 1930s a Japanese monk invited her to go to Japan and attend his monastery. He was so surprised when Mauri showed up at his door. He accepted her as  the first non-Japanese female to enter his monastery. 
     Mauri was a cigarette smoker. Whenever she was supposed to be meditating and she chose to also smoke, she would immediately snuff out her cigarette when the head monk would come by her room. One day, she was so caught up in the act of smoking that she did not put out her cigarette.
     "Good," the monk said, "You are learning to be present. If you are going to smoke, smoke."
     Being in the present moment is so important. Try being in the present moment when someone is talking to you. If you are going to listen, then really listen. It is not easy in our fast and future oriented society. If you can listen, you will be surprised by not only what you hear, but by what you sense as well.

     When we can be in the moment, our awareness expands. When our senses  adsorb information, our present awareness allows us to enjoy what we are receiving.

Friday, October 06, 2017

What If We Actually Chose?

Today, someone said,
"I didn't choose this life,
With all its trouble
And all its strife."
But what if we did?
What if we actually chose?
Wow! Could it be
That the reason I am here
Is because of me?
What if, in the time before we were born,
The Creator  handed us a horn
And said, "Go ahead and blow.
Blow with all your might.
Blow the life that is right
Just for you.
Blow from the depths of your soul
And I will create the bowl
That will hold what you choose
To be and do
In this lifetime."
A glistening smile
I beam
Hoping my wishes won't seam
That I feel unworthy.
I breathe in deep.
I blow out a song so sweet
That the Creator smiles.
"I want to be born there,"
I say pointing to a location
And then I point to a vocation
And then another.
I point to people I will love
And to spirits from above
And ask for them to guide me.
To the Creator I hand the horn
And bow my head and listen.
"As you wish," the Creator says.
"But wait," I say.
"A couple more things,
If you please.
Provide people
and clues 
to remind me 
that this life I choose
Is for my own good
.
Have them help me
Remember that I am
A divine being
Having an earthly experience."
The Creator nods
And says,"I shall
and I won't forget to call
you

And say I love you
Over and over and over 
in so many beautiful ways."

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

ON EVERY OCTOBER DAY

On every October day,
October slithers up
Behind my back.
She whispers at first,
Barely audible,
“Jeremy’s dead.”
I stop.
I turn.
I die.
I cry.
My shoulders drop.
My breath comes
To a sudden stop.
I clamp my eyes 
tight,
Wishing 
with all my might,
That I could just fight
The urge to scream
And kick
At anything,
Anything,
Anything that could stop
The bite,
The fright,
The blinding light,
That illuminates the fact
That our son is dead.
Dead.
Dead.
On this October day,
As on every October day
I cry,
I hurt,
I die,
On every October day.