WARS

APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!!!
Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets throughout the United States band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.www.poets.org/npm/

WARS
Everyone I know is at war
Some with themselves
Some with others
Wars are ensuing all around
Wars of the will
Wars of the aged
Wars of the youth-against an all corrupt machine
Wars of the mind
Battle of wits
Leave you feeling empty
Devoid of feeling
Dejected-rejected
From time immemorial
We’ve been at war
Yes, this little sphere of green and blue
We all call home has known nothing but war:
2 brothers fought
Cain murdered Abel in cold blood
Only because he was jealous
Father against son
Son against father
That was King David’s plight
Then David warred after a wife not his own
Killing a innocent man on account of his lust

I wonder if the earth ever weeps
When all it’s known is war

This group against that one
It all starts out small
Then it’s no longer brother against brother
Soon the conflict turns neighbor against neighbor
Town against town
City against city
Pretty soon it becomes nation against nation
Until it blows up in to a full fledged world war
And what has all this accomplished?
Are we really better off?
Do we have more oil?
Do we have more land?
Do we have more of whatever the hell we went to war for?
Are we richer for it?
Of course not!

Because think of it:
Very seldom does war bring LOVE

Now a days an unborn baby has to war to exist
A young woman conceives
Then she’s cast into an arena of ideas and notions
Demanding she end that precious live God gave her
In ancient Rome people went before hungry lions
When they opposed the status quo
To oppose the status quo of our day-Is to be fed lies by the starving lions
Who seek to kill, steal and destroy

So where are we today?
Are we better off than the old Roman empire?
We may not be viewing their bloody sports in blood drenched arenas
But they’re destroying others who think differently
Who dare to stand alone
Just dare to not conform
Try it one time
You’ll quickly find yourself out in the cold
Alone and ostracized
By the greater majority
Don’t be fooled
Though the ancient blood spattered arenas have long since vanished
Today we have:
Churches
Public schools
Corporations
Hospitals
Don’t conform in those modern day arenas
Voice your unique thoughts
And you’ll end up in the lion’s den
We are at war!
Wars have never stopped
We are at war
When did war usher in true peace?

Think on this:
Very seldom does war bring LOVE

EVA SANTIAGO copyright 2014

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April is National Poetry Month: Day 30

Well friends, April draws to a close and so does National Poetry Month. I went to a poetry event last Friday where I participated as a judge in a poetry contest for seniors at the Heritage Senior Park, here in Henderson. As a guest poet, I had the opportunity to read excerpts from my new book, Salsa! The Taste of Life. Other guest poets in attendance were, Jo Wilkins, Andres Fragoso Jr, and Toni Pacini. We picked the following poem as the winner .  Lorraine Anderson is 85 years old, she has been writing poetry all of her life and this was her first time sharing her work with a group. Congratulations Lorraine!!!

The Changing Times

 

I think of days that have gone by when mother baked her bread.

Back in those days one didn’t buy, but made such things instead.

I could smell the rich aroma from the oven that was hot.

And I’ll not forget the homemade bread that Dad and I once got.

There was something in its flavor, in its added bit of zest.

That made you feel, beyond a doubt that homemade bread was best.

 

But times have changed, the women folk no longer seem to bake.

They buy from the stores that stock the things commercial bakers make.

The cakes and pies and other things no longer have the touch.

Of homemade things that man once said he liked so much.

Those good old days when homemade bread was wholesome, fresh and plain,

Will forever outlive those things today all wrapped in cellophane.

 

Yes, times have changed and in a way I think that it is best.

The woman who once baked her bread has now more time to rest.

She need not watch an oven with an ever watchful eye.

All this has passed and now belongs to days that have gone by.

But I, for one, remember and more than often said,

The better days were back in the days when men had homemade bread!

-Lorraine Anderson copyright 2013

 

 

 

 

 

I am including this poem, that came in the top 3 picks; I enjoyed it so much when I first read it because of its universal theme of  how we evolve in our lives.

 

And The Mountain Moved

I am the little child full of love and laughter and family

And the mountain was huge and scary and far away

I am the teenager scared and scarred

And the mountain is still huge and far away

I am the young adult with stars in my eyes, love in my life,marriage and children.

And the mountain seems remote and far away from my life.

I am the middle aged woman who worked all of her married life, her children are gone,  and it’s time to find out who she is.

And the mountain appears closer.

I am the wise old woman who knows who she is and where she belongs and what her legacy is.

And the mountain is within me.

-Helene Moore copyright 2013

April is National Poetry Month: DAY 1

Hello!!! I am glad to announce that April is National Poetry Month! I will post a favorite poem, one either written by another poet or me. I look forward to your comments and I hope you’re enjoying this beautiful Spring season!

EXCERPT from SALSA! The  Taste of Life

Alhambra

Dulce, sweet, lovely Lucia

with gorgeous brunette locks,

her body made for flamenco dance,

she hailed from the province of Andalucia.

Where the bull fighting is fierce,

where the sunsets put you in a trance,

as the bull dies everyone cheers.

 

Lucia loved Alejandro;

the owner of her heart was he;

he lived in the Alhambra,

ALHAMBRA

a member of Castilian nobility.

His ancestors had built the grand palace,

christened Alhambra—Arabic for red castle.

Built first as an alcazar with high walls

to protect, defend, and keep enemies out.

Inside, a lovely medina with fragrant gardens and a mall,

where people lived and enjoyed life no doubt.


Oh how Lucia loved the Alhambra,

built by the light of flaming torches,

atop the hill of Sabica.

With numberless towers and wrap around porches,

Alhambra at night bathed in moonlight is silver.

By daylight she looks awash in gold.

The heart of Alhambra: The Generalife

Gardens of passion and seduction is where our story begins,

with its endless labyrinths of tamarisk

intoxicating the senses with orange blossoms.

The place where our two young lovers take a life-altering risk,

opposite worlds collide, breaking with tradition they did,

only to end up exiled and running for their lives.

Friends since childhood,

the two had run and played hide and seek

atop the mountains of the Sierra Nevada,

a breath taking view if the majestic peak.

 

Neither Lucia nor Alejandro were aware

that all of their childhood play

would turn from love for fun,

into two hearts beating and giving way

to the passion that would awaken in them.

Not too far away, watching all that was unfolding

was general Fernandez: Lucia’s father.

He ran his troops with great discipline

and commanded great respect.

Feared by many and heralded as a hero by others,

General Fernandez’s character was circumspect;

his enemies he held close, the rest of the world,

he held at arm’s length…

Except for his Lucia that is.

To the young señorita, her Papi was her strength,

her hero, and her all knowing sage.

All that was about to change

as the girl matured and grew with age,

and her heart’s emotions would intensify in range,

to include her beloved…Alejandro.

General Fernandez, with eyes of an eagle,

saw the changes in Lucia’s heart

even before she was aware of them.

He’d have none of it,

He’d devise a clever plan

to pull those two young hearts apart.

No one was good enough for his Lucia,

who in his eyes would always be his dulce, sweet girl;

unbeknownst to him, Lucia was about to shake his world.

The crusaders would be going back soon.

The general decided to enlist new warriors;

he’d send Alejandro with them.

He’d send him far away, even to the moon!

The two young lovers met by moonlight

in the gardens of seduction.

They’d heard the decree; they had to fight.

Something had to be done.

Generalife-Gardens of Seduction

Alejandro decided to be bold and speak to the general;

having been taught from a boy

the truth will set you free,

he would tell her father of his heart’s joy

and oppose the general’s decree.

Alejandro met with the general in Alhambra’s southern tower;

for a second they put away their macho bravado;

the general stepped down from power.

Alejandro’s heart beat fast. He had to win him over.

In the spur of the moment, the general made a proposal.

Alejandro would serve two years in the crusades;

then he would win the right to a betrothal.

Alejandro shook the general’s hand,

they shook and agreed.

Then the general resumed his command.

Two young hearts met in the gardens of seduction

the night before Alejandro’s departure.

To be apart for so long

was going to prove a great torture.

Lucia felt something was wrong,

but she trusted her father,

for both of their sake she chose to be strong.

Time marches on, an unopposed soldier.

Lucia daily wrote letters to Alejandro in the front.

To keep from going mad, she kept busy in the day,

and by moonlight, she’d sleep in the gardens,

the place where they’d pledged their love for each other.

In her dreams they made love endlessly;

for Lucia there would never be another.

Two long years passed; Alejandro was coming home!

To be apart one more minute would be a travesty.

The returning crusaders were greeted with a feast;

everyone attended, even His majesty.

They had won the war, they had slain the beast!

 Returning Crusaders

Alejandro’s heart was no longer a flame;

two years away, it had become a great bonfire.

He wanted no gold, riches, or fame;

he only wanted Lucia… his heart’s desire.

General Fernandez saw the young man’s intensified passion;

his heart grew colder still.

Another devious plan he would fashion.

He would bend his young Lucia’s will.

This time he summoned Alejandro in secret, late one night.

The general proposed to send Alejandro away five years more.

Alejandro now exercised the power of his might,

told the general no, and he marched out by the back door.

To deny the general and his orders meant a sure banishment,

so Alejandro took the bride he’d been promised,

and they left Alhambra to escape further humiliation and punishment.

Soon after, General Fernandez knew he’d been played,

now he was heart broken,

his worst fears had not been allayed.

Ever since Lucia left, they had not spoken.

Now he was completely alone and growing older.

He’d has his way all right…

Winds from the Sierras blew in, making him colder.

Meanwhile, Lucia was alive and very much in love,

yet at times her heart felt torn.

She fit Alejandro as a glove—

still, she felt forlorn.

Alejandro loved her—always gentle as a dove.

Her love he wore with pride;

the two, a match made in heaven.

Lucia made for a striking bride.

On the seventh month, on day seven,

Alejandro and Lucia walked down the red carpet,

the young bride in a beautiful gown of Chantilly lace,

with miles upon miles of train,

and an opaque veil to hide her sad face,

lamenting the fact that her Papi was nowhere to be found.

Suddenly, the music stopped and the doors to the chapel flew open.

There stood General Fernandez in full decorum;

Lucia and Alejandro were astounded,

and both of them trembled a little inside.

The general walked to his daughter and smiled;

her heart at once no longer confounded.

He told Alejandro to step aside;

He would walk Lucia down the aisle,

and hand her to Alejandro who stood up at the alter beaming with pride.

With tears streaming down his weathered face,

Cold, icy-blue pools that once were his eyes,

now melted as he lifted Lucia’s lace,

asking her for a heart-felt pardon.

Father and daughter tightly embraced;

she knew she was the richest woman in all of Alhambra.

The two men she loved most

would be with her forever, and that makes this tale done!

EVA SANTIAGO copyright 2012

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Maribel’s Cadillac

I am reposting this story in honor of Mother’s Day! This is for all  moms out there, and the ones not with us any longer. We love our mothers and bless yours if she is still with you!  HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!!

MARIBEL’S CADILLAC

 Roberto was planning a huge surprise for Abuelita  Mirabel’s 82nd birthday. We were all gathered around them in their tiny apartment on the 10th floor. It was spring and I remember Abuela always mentioning how she missed her cherry red tricycle she had gotten passed down from her older siblings. She said she road that thing until it fell apart. I think it was more that she rode it until she out grew it and then she got a bike.

We were all excited as Abuelo’s dark brown eyes danced in glee; Abuelita had always told me her husband of 55 years couldn’t keep a secret to save his life-all she has to do was look in his eyes to know he was up to something. That’s the way it was on that breezy April afternoon. The ocean air was  caressing the white lace curtains Abuelita had hung in the living room filled with Colombian artifacts. We were all there; Berto,Tito, Amparo who had flown in from Miami to celebrate Abuelita’s day and Paco.

I had volunteered  to make arroz con pollo– a rice and chicken dish Abuela had taught me to make when I was in my teens; and when  had finally caught the hang of it, Abuelita would tell everyone that I made it better than she. I’d always chuckle , thinking, yeah right. Tito, the baker in the family had made a wonderful ponque negro for dessert; which I still haven’t a clue as to what ingredients go into making such a tasty treat. Amparo and I cleared the dishes at the end of the meal and we brought in Tito’s cake with a single lit candle on it. Abuelita had requested one candle saying that her mature lungs wouldn’t be able to blow out 82 candles all at once.

While we sat there chatting  and enjoying ourselves, Abuelo rose from his chair at the head of the table and cleared his throat,

” Bueno  pues,well then, is the birthday girl ready for  my gift?” We all stood up to see-anticipation burst forth from the room much like sun beams pour forth in the early morning at dawn.

” Close your eyes querida, darling,” Abuelo told Abuelita in his usual warm tone of voice he used only with her. She was always such a good sport and she played along.

” No peeping, vida mia,my love,” Abuelo said with a twinkle in his eye. He tip-toed to the spare bedroom as he told us to keep an eye on her to make sure she wasn’t cheating. A few seconds later he rolled it out. She was a cherry red 3 wheel Summit bike. The black seat was soft and it even had a white basket in the rear. We all oohed and ahhed as Abuelo kept shushing us. He had put a huge pink satin bow  on the handle bars.

” Uno, dos, tres…open your eyes Maribel!  feliz cumpleaños Happy Birthday!” Abuelita turned in her soft beige easy chair next to the front window and she giggled like a little girl. Her blues eyes beamed like the 2 light houses they’d always been and she clapped her wrinkled, spotted fragile hands.

” I must ride it tonight, Roberto!” She exclaimed. We all sensed the urgency in her delicate voice

” By all means, Maribel,vamonos,let’s go!!!” We all hugged and kissed our grandmother and then I brought out her blue Keds and tied them for her.

” Do you think I’ll remember how to ride? It’s been years since I had a bike,” Abuela asked us nervously.

No te afanes, don’t worry,” Amparo encouraged her,” We know you can do it!”

We helped Abuelo take the bike down on the elevator and unto the street. When Abuela came down, we took several pictures of her on her “Cadillac” ,as she had already chosen to name it.

The the 4 of us gran kids watched in awe as our  abuelos, grandparents rode down the pier to watch the setting sun; this evening in particular the glorious display of colors in the sky seemed to have an extra something special to it. Nature performed a longer than usual light show to end such a sweet day. They rode side by side holding hands as if they were young lovers who had just discovered each other.

Paco looked at me and said,” Jeez, does love like theirs exist anymore?” The rest of us looked out at them, not answering Paco’s question. None of us knew what that was like.

” If it happened with them, then why won’t that happen for us right?!” I offered lamely as we all chuckled anxiously.

A few days went by and Abuelo called Berto with the news  and Berto called me right away. I was busy with a term paper for my economics class. When I heard Abuelita was gone from us my hearts shattered. Abuelita had been fighting lymphatic cancer for several years and a mighty warrior she had proved to be. All I could think of was how must Abuelo be taking this since she had been the only woman he ever gave his heart to. I pushed my work aside forcefully on my kitchen table and I sped over to see him. Luckily, he lived less than 10 blocks from my place.

When I met him at his door, he looked like a lost little boy. I wrapped my sun tanned arms around him and suddenly my life long hero felt fragile and in need of a hero himself. We sat in the mint green floral couch by the bay window and I held him for a long time. Words weren’t forth coming-they would have not helped-they would have gotten in the way.

In the middle of the room was Abuelita’s 3 wheeler. Abuelo had been staring at it this whole time. I squeezed his hand tightly in mine. I felt like a giant compared to him. Is this what happens?, I wondered.

Tu le diste su ultimo deseo, viejo, you gave her,her last wish Grandpa,” I said trying to assure him. He knew that-the words were more for my benefit.

” Sell it and keep the money,” was his response.  I didn’t question it. For the next few day I helped him get everything together for Abuela’s funeral. I placed ads on Craig’s List because Abuelo asked me to take care of things.

A few months after Abeula’s passing the only thing left of her belongings was her “Cadillac”. I suggested to Abuelo that maybe he should keep it and he insisted no. I even thought of buying it from him; but then I’d never find the time to enjoy it and it would just be in my place collecting dust. Abuelo said the right person would come for it.

One afternoon in the early summer the maintenance man came to change out an AC unit that had gone bad, in the back bedroom. He appeared to be in his 40’s and was tanned from all the running around he did on the property in his golf cart. I had seen him many times before, in and out of Abuelo’s apartment and Abuela told me Dave was her favorite maintenance man. I’d tease her about her crush and we’d giggle like teen school girls. We had moved the “Cadillac” into the spare bedroom. Dave came out after a few minutes and said,

“Excuse me, I’m not trying to be nosy, could you tell me where you got that bike?”

” Oh yeah, my grandpa bought it for my grandma’s 82nd birthday,” I responded.

“” How nice,” he said, still eyeing it.

I offered,” He’s selling it because she just passed away a few months back.”

Dave’s eyes brightened a little,” Sorry for your loss.” He paused, glancing in the bike’s direction once more and I thanked him. Then he returned to working on the AC. An hour later he  finished and he came to the kitchen where I was packing boxes of old utensils.

” Miss, how much are you asking for the bike?” I thought he had lost interest in it.
” My grandpa paid $400 for it. He’ll take $200 though,”  I replied.

WOW! That’s great. My wife wants one and I wanted to get it for her for Mother’s Day. I couldn’t afford it then but now I can make it a belated present.” We exchanged some pleasantries as he handed me the money.

” It looks brand new!” He exclaimed.

” Well, it is…my grandmother only rode it a couple of times…” Dave looked away quickly, not sure what to say.

” I better go…thank you! My wife will be thrilled.” I watched him take Abuelita’s “Cadillac” and put it in his fire engine red Ford pick up truck. He waved as he drove off and disappeared into the traffic lights. I turned around and closed the door behind me remembering Abuelos’ words,” The right person will come for it.”

-EVA SANTIAGO COPYRIGHT 2012