Posts Tagged ‘Poem’

Resurrected–Poem in Honor of The Homeless

June 5, 2016

image

The Homeless People
are not being respected
they are continually
being neglected
their police brutality
is not being documented
their civil rights
are always being violated
city officials have there
incarceration all premeditated.

In them,
I see my Creator
being resurrected
and being disguised
to walk with the
most marginalized
and it’s up to us
to realized
it’s hidden message
cuz it won’t be televised

Happy Birthday Salvador Allende!

June 25, 2014

To remember Salvador Allende, here is a song by the great Uruguayos, Daniel Viglietti, who wrote the song, Por Todo Chile, and the late Mario Benedetti who wrote his famous poem, Allende.
Enjoy this great song.

Hace 10 años Se Organizo La Primera Vigilia En Chile Para Los Que Fallecieron En La Calle

April 20, 2014

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Hace 10 años que estuve en Arica, Chile y me inspire a organizar una vigilia para todos los Ariqueños que habian fallecido en las calles de esa gran ciudad. Era un Martes, 20 de Abril, en las gradas de la Catedral San Marcos donde nos reunimos para recordar a todas esas personas que fallecieron en el olvido.

Fue una tarea que duro un poco mas de un mes para organizar. Me acuerdo que tuve que ser entrevistas de radio, escribir articulos en la revista de la Diocesis de Arica, organizar los permisos para la vigilia que se iba a ser en silencio y tambien escribir una carta para conseguir la madera.
Fue un momento muy especial para mi y al equipo de Mujeres que nos reuniamos todos los Martes en el parque para alimentar a las personas de la calle. Cuando tuve la idea de organizar la vigilia pense que ya se habia hecho en Chile y para confirmar, le envie un email a Benito Baranda F., Director Social Nacional del Hogar de Cristo informandole si se habia hecho una vigilia para los que habian fallecido en la calle. Y si se habia hecho, queria saber que hicieron para tener unas ideas para lo que queriamos hacer en Arica. Cuando Benito me envio un email y me dijo que no se habia hecho uno en Chile y que el de nosotros seria el primero a nivel nacional me puse muy contento. Pense que bonito que la cuidad de Arica pueda sembrar una semilla de consciencia y esperar que de luz a toda la nacion.

Para comenzar la vigilia pense que seria un acto muy espiritual si lo haciamos en silencio ya que queria recordar a todos los que fallecieron en el olvido. En el silencio encontramos los alimentos para enriquecer nuestra espiritualidad. Este acto y evento para mi era una manera para despedir a nuestros hermanos e hermanas con dignidad y para que el espiritu de cada uno de ellos/ellas estuviera presente en nuestra caminata. Para ponernos en un momento de reflexion escuchamos esta gran cancion:

 

Al llegar al parque donde alimentamos a las personas de la calle y despues de que los compañeros de los que habian fallecido compartieron historias de sus amigos, comparti un poema. Escribi este poema pensando en todos los indigentes que fallecieron en la calle y en todos aquellos que cada dia mueren de soledad.

MORIR DE SOLEDAD

Lo mas terrible
que un ser humano
puede experimentar
es
morir de soledad.
Saber que no es
querido ni valorado
es algo a lo que los
desamparados
desgraciadamente
se han acostumbrado.

 

A ser aislados
por nuestra sociedad
porque
su
presencia,
estilo de vida,
enfermedad,
es un cargo para la cuidad
ellos solamente han querido
vivir su vida en la tranquilidad
con personas que les entreguen
su amistad
y les den
la oportunidad
de salir de esta oscuridad
y encontrar la felicidad.

 

A nuestros hermanos y hermanas
abandonados por la sociedad,
les han robado
el derecho
de vivir
con dignidad
ya que nuestra sociedad
parece que no
se preocupa
de entregar
amor a la humanidad
y siento que les gusta
ver a los mas pobres
vivir en la oscuridad
porque si hubiera
justicia y solidaridad
muchos no estarian
viviendo en las calles
de esta ciudad,
pero de a poquito
ellos se van
moriendo de soledad.

 

Esta es la situacion
que vive un indigente
en el presente
y le da tristeza
ver a su propia gente
que la sociedad
les haiga
contaminado
su mente.

 

Nuestra sociedad
ha ignorado
la filosofia
de ver
a Cristo disfrazado
en los mas necesitados
y uno no puede
tenerle fe a
San Alberto Hurtado
si no se preocupa
de ayudar
a los mas desamparados
ya que el dedico su vida
ayudando a los
mas marginados.

 

Nuestro labor
es no dejarlos que tengan
mucho dolor
si no que sepan
que hay gente
que les entrega
amor
y asi podran vivir
su vida rodeados de felicidad
porque cuando ellos mueran
podran morir
en la tranquilidad.

 

La proxima vez
que te encuentres
con un indigente
trata de llegar
a los mas profundo
de su corazon
y encontraras
a una persona
que te cambiara
tu modo de pensar
y no lo podras explicar
porque cada uno
lo tiene que experimentar.

 

Para los que quieran leer el articulo que salio en diario local el proximo dia. Aqui les va:

http://www.estrellaarica.cl/site/edic/20040421055335/pags/20040421062505.html

 

 

Remembering Pete Seeger: America’s Folk Legend

January 28, 2014

America lost a true legend last night in Pete Seeger. He was 94 years old and passed away peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his family members.

Pete’s music has been a big inspiration to me and to millions of people from around the world. He was a man with a great soul, someone who spoke truth to power and use his banjo as a weapon to sing about the injustices in the world. Pete was the Grandfather of the Social Justice Movement. He was the conscious that you would expect to see from an elder. A man with so much love to give that we were blessed to have him for 94 wonderful years of his life. A true American jewel whose legacy will never be forgotten.

To remember Pete, here is a great show put together by Amy Goodman. The whole team of Democracy Now did a great job of putting this together as we get to hear Pete talk about various issues as well as how he found out about his famous song, We Shall Overcome.

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/1/28/we_shall_overcome_remembering_folk_icon

Here are the obituaries from the L.A. Times and NY Times:
http://www.latimes.com/obituaries/la-me-pete-seeger-20140128,0,2122566,full.story#axzz2riP3knAA
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/29/arts/music/pete-seeger-songwriter-and-champion-of-folk-music-dies-at-94.html?_r=0

I like to remember him with my favorite Pete Seeger songs. Some songs are by Victor Jara that were inspired by Mr. Seeger. Enjoy:

Little Boxes in Spanish


Pete Seeger doing Justice to Jose Marti’s Poem

Community Connection-December 2013-January 2014 Issue

January 27, 2014

Here is the Community Connection for the month of December and January. In the Community Connection, you will find articles relating to:
1. Your health
2. The power of community as various organizations got together to defeat the motion that L.A. City Council member Tom LaBonge was planning on implementing which would have banned public feeding in L.A
3. Articles on housing-such as Housing Authority of the City of L.A. (HACLA) not letting the residents of Jordan Downs in Watts know bout the health risk in their vicinity
4. My article dealing with homeless veterans as well as my poem, Remembering Me on Thanksgiving and Christmas
5. Latest info on the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition
6. Take Back the Night event in Skid Row
7. Information on a Produce Market in South L.A.
8. A great article on the passing of one of Skid Row’s legend-Blu
9. Information on the Homeless Bill of Rights and finally
10. Pictures of the struggle for Human Rights in Skid Row, South L.A. and Beyond.
Here is the paper that writes about issues that you won’t find in the L.A. Times. Enjoy:

Click to access dec13jan14-print-color.pdf

Remembering the Homeless Veterans

November 11, 2013

As we celebrate Veterans Day, let us not forget the thousands of homeless veterans that are in our communities. They may not get the special treatment, or be asked to join in a parade, but like every other soldier, they put their time and energy and deserve to be recognized. I am always amazed at how people can “support” the troops or have campaigns to bring the troops home. But, when those troops come back to the United States, they become unknown soldiers. This is especially the case with homeless people who have given their commitment to fight for this country but we haven’t seen this country fight for them.
We have seen too many homeless veterans on our streets. We have seen a lot of our soldiers come back from war torn countries and not be given the proper care to deal with their PTSD. Instead of thanking our veterans for putting their life at risk, we have seen this country turn their backs on them. We can continue to have Veterans Day as a holiday but what good is that if its only to be use as a photo op for the President or any other politician.

Let’s really honor our Veterans by taking care of our Homeless Veterans, especially women. The general public has a perception that women who are veterans are nurses, file paperwork and not engage in combat. That is what mainstream media wants us to think about women in uniform. The truth is that women have also been on the front lines. They have also given their fair share but when they come back to their communities, they realize that resources for women veterans are very scarce. There are not that many resources catered to this population and that is a tragedy in itself. Women in the military not only have to deal with Military Sexual Trauma (MST) but the barriers that they have to deal with once they go to their communities is even more shocking. The lack of VA services catered for women is an issue. Many women feel disrespected when seeking services at the VA because they feel that men would not treat them as equal. They feel that men would just look at them as someone who didn’t have the same combat experience as their male counter parts did.

The VA office has unveiled a 5 year plan to end Veteran Homelessness. While that may sound nice, we would have to see. The problem with all these “strategic” plans to end homelessness, is that every city and state practically has one. It is basically lip services in my eyes. I have seen too many strategic plans to end homelessness come and go and the problem is still there. A 5 year plan to end Veterans Homelessness is like saying the United States in 5 years will stop invading and occupying countries in the world. It’s not going to happen. I wish we can end Veteran Homelessness in 5 years. I wish the United States will stop invading and occupying countries. But, I have to be realistic. It’s not going to happen. I can’t believe I said that but its a dead fact. Only time will tell. In the mean time, let’s not forget our brothers and sisters in the streets, who continue to be on the front lines.

Here is a poem, I wrote in honor of our Homeless Veterans.

UNKNOWN SOLDIER

My name is Fred and I am a Vietnam Veteran.
At the time of my deployment, I was fired up.
I was ready to go to war and defend my country.
I was given the proper tools
and was well prepared to battle.
But, something changed when I got to Vietnam.
Something in me realized this wasn’t right.
A lot of my fellow soldiers had second thoughts.
We started questioning the motives for us going to war.

One thing about war is that it will leave you
with scars that you will never be able to heal.
I saw other soldiers kill innocent men, women and children.
These innocent people were our “enemies”
because they were Vietnamese.
I couldn’t do it.
I didn’t have it in me.
So a few of us got court martialed.
We made our decision under the basis that
we couldn’t follow through with our orders
at the expense of killing innocent civilians.

You have to understand that back in our times,
we didn’t have the internet.
We didn’t have the technology that your generations has.
We had a real movement going on.
The anti-war movement was strong.
You could feel the wind of Revolution.

Nowadays, even with all the resources
that this generation has
it saddens me that we continue
to live in a world
where war triumphs over humanity.
Son, how can this be?
How can we allow ourselves to
believe that something good
comes from war?
I’ve been there
and trust me when I tell you
that war seeks to impose
ones’ views over others
while it leaves the rest of us
suffering from PTSD
and if that’s not a catastrophe
look around in your own community
and tell me how many
homeless veterans you see
walking around
with PTSD.

Look at me,
I have tried to
live a normal life
but I can’t.
Once you go to war,
you will never be able
to live a normal life.
I have been on the streets
for quite some time.
I have been getting assistance
from the VA office
but because there is such a
long waiting list to house
homeless veterans
I am on the streets.

Many people may
disagree with me
that I am not a real
soldier because I
didn’t kill anybody
or engaged in combat.
But, does killing someone
make you more a soldier
than someone who didn’t.
The difference I see is that
me and my friends were not
going to allow ourselves
from being brainwashed
and making us kill innocent
people that have never done
anything to our country.
If I invested the same amount
of time and went through the
same training as any other soldier
then I consider myself a soldier.

Right now,
I am still a soldier;
only of a different source,
a soldier who is willing
to fight for the greater cause of Humanity.
Once you live in the streets,
you don’t have to worry about
getting a purple heart to
make you feel special.
Once you live in the streets,
the soldier instincts in you come out.
We are in the concrete jungle
and you have to use
whatever resources you can find
just to survive.

Thanks for taking the time
to talk to me.
I really appreciate your time.
There are a lot of us
unknown soldiers
in these cold streets.
Many of us have our
different stories.
What’s important to know
is that there shouldn’t be
homeless veterans
in the United States.
That is like a slap to the
face for soldiers
who fought and defended this country.

Palabristas pay tribute to Brandon Lacy Campos

September 5, 2013

During the fundraiser at the Bedlam Theatre in Minneapolis for the Copa Comunidad Midwest, members of Palabristas read Puerto Rican Obituary by Pedro Pietri, Brandon’s favorite poem.

For those who want to read the poem, here is a link:
https://www.msu.edu/~sullivan/PietriPoemObit.html

A 45 años de su muerte, Violeta Parra sigue mas presente que nunca

February 6, 2012
El 5 de Febrero de 1967 es una fecha que ha sido sellada en la memoria de las personas que admiran a Violeta Parra. Es la fecha cuando Violeta Parra se quito su vida y puso a todo el mundo artistico de luto por varios dias. Han pasado 45 años y su memoria sigue presente en el pueblo Chileno y en todo el mundo. El año pasado se estreno la pelicula, Violeta Se Fue A Los Cielos, la cual resurrecto su vida y causo un tremendo impacto en Chile. La pelicula tuvo un gran exito que hasta se estreno en el Sundance Film Festival y le dara al pueblo Estadounidense la oportunidad de conocer a una de las mas grandes artistas de Chile y Latinoamerica.

Violeta Parra para mi es la madre del Folclor Chileno. Ella reconocio que el folclor de nuestros pueblos tambien tiene que narrar las historias de su situacion actual, especialmente en su contenido social. Violeta Parra, para mi se dio cuenta que es el trabajo del folclorista de ser interprete de esas condiciones atraves de su canto. Fueron las condiciones sociales que Violeta vio en el pueblo Mapuche y en los mas pobres de Chile que Violeta se inspiro y comenzo un gran movimiento en Chile y en el mundo entero. La Nueva Cancion Chilena es el movimiento que utiliza el canto tradicional con un contenido social. Fue la semilla de Violeta Parra que inspiro ha artistas como Victor Jara, Inti-Illimani, Illapu, Quilapayun, Los Jaivas, etc.

La musica de la nueva cancion son mis alimentos para fortalecer mi corazon. En ella encuentro las vitaminas necesarias para sostenerme y seguir caminando en mi sendero. La musica de artistas como Violeta Parra y Victor Jara me dan la fuerza e inspiracion en seguir luchando por un mundo donde quepan muchos mundos. 

Para recordar a Violeta Parra me puse a escribir un poema en forma de una oracion. Se titula, Oracion a Violeta Parra:

Violeta Parra,
Madre del Folclor Chileno,
servidora de los mas marginados,
amiga de los Mapuches,
damos gracias a nuestro Dios
por tu luz que ilumina nuestro camino.

Tu fuiste la que rescataste nuestra cultura folclorica
y la actualizaste para conectar a tu pueblo con su canto.
Tu supiste usar tu guitarra y servir a tu querido Chile.
Tu construiste la nueva cancion chilena con amor
y le diste alas para viajar por todo el mundo.
Como folclorista,
nos llamas a estar siempre al lado de la justicia,
comprometernos con los procesos sociales,  y
vivir nuestras vidas con un sentimiento solidario.

Tu nos inspiras con tus cantos, pinturas,
decimas y sentido de humor.
Nos muestras que para ser feliz
tenemos que amar y servir a los mas necesitados.

Danos la fortaleza
de ser autenticos con nuestros dones
y vivir nuestras vidas para el bien de la humanidad.
Haz que el egoismo y la embidia no sea un cancer
en nuestro camino y que tengamos la fuerza
de sobresalir los obstaculos en nuestras vidas.
Violeta Parra
hija de latinoamerica unida
compañera de los pobres
ruega por todos nosotros.

Amen.

Les dejo estas canciones para recordar a Violeta Parra:

Arriba Quemando El Sol
Que He Sacado Con Quererte
Arauco Tiene Una Pena
El dia de tus cumpleaños
Run Run Se Fue Pal Norte
Victor Jara hablando de la inspiracion de Violeta Parra
Victor Jara interpretando La Carta
Quilapayun interpretando Que Dira el Santo Padre?
Mercedes Sosa interpretando Me Gustan Los Estudiantes
Mira Como Sonrien
Cancion dedicada a su guagua que fallecio cuando estaba en Europa. Las pinturas son de Violeta Parra
Rin del Angelito
El Sacristan
Hace Falta Un Guerrillero
Yo Canto A La Diferencia
Volver a los 17
Gracias a la vida

Compañera, Violeta Parra…PRESENTE!!!
AHORA…Y…SIEMPRE!!!

Ray Polk: A Revolutionary Homeless Person

March 14, 2011
Fresno
(Tomas Ovalle)
A puppy sniffs a plastic flower at one of the 77 markers Polk has made and installed as part of his memorial to the deceased homeless. He says he heard that homeless people are often cremated and their ashes thrown into a common grave. "They're invisible in life, and then when they die it's like they never existed. There's nowhere for a person to go and say, 'I knew them. They were my friend.' "
(Tomas Ovalle)

Polk spelled out the name of his compound with white cups on a chain link fence.
(Tomas Ovalle)

Ray Polk is a 58 year old homeless person from Fresno who has revolutionize how people view the homeless people. He continues to dedicate his life to help his brothers and sisters who are on the streets by providing them with food, services and listening to what they have to share. Mr. Polk is an example of Jesus being in disguise to walk with the most marginalize. That is the hidden message that has not been televised. In Mr. Polk’s life we see the compassion that we need to not only interact and assist the homeless but the compassion to start transforming this world. He demonstrates his need to recognize people’s dignity by making a homeless memorial for all the homeless people that have passed away. Mr. Polk recognizes the need to be remember as a person rather than becoming unknown to the general public. Ray, states, “They’re invisible in life, and they when they die it’s like they never existed. There’s nowhere for a person to go and say, ‘I knew them. They were my friend.'”

Here is a quick poem I wrote in honor of Ray Polk after reading the article of the amazing work he is doing in Fresno.

Jesus In Disguise

I just read about a man
by the name of Ray,
who continues to be Homeless
to help the Homeless
just the same way
St. Peter Claver
became a slave to
accompany the slaves.

Ray, with a heart full of compassion
understands people’s pain and sorrow
dedicating himself to feed the hungry
so that they can wake up for a better tomorrow.

Mr. Polk makes the unknown, known
calls them by name so that their dignity
is restored and with his vocation
he keeps strengthening his Homeless Ministry.

Thank You, Mr. Ray
for continuing to inspire me
on a journey that seeks to transform this calamity
into a seed that will give fruits
 to a world without people sleeping in the streets.

Here is the article that talks about Ray Polk’s beautiful and inspiring work.
Check out these great pics

God’s Smile and Andrew Zimmern Teams Up with 100k Homes Campaign

March 1, 2011
Many people know Andrew Zimmern as the host of the Bizarre Foods, but at one point he was homeless. That is why on today’s segment of Bizarre Foods, he goes to San Francisco and shows the REAL San Pancho. It is in this segment where one will see him feed the homeless along with members of Food Not Bombs and other volunteers.

Today’s segment is also special because for every viewer that tunes in, a donation will be made to the 100,000 homes campaign, which aims to house 100,000 of the most chronically homeless by July, 2013.

Check out the interview below where Andrew talks about his homeless experience and about today’s program. One thing that he mentions in the interview that I have been telling people is that homeless people need to be treated with respect. In my interactions with homeless people and with anyone for that matter, I focus on R.A.D., which is Respect And Dignity. As long as we treat people with Respect and recognize their Dignity, we are moving forward to creating a more compassionate society. Here is the interview. Check it out.

Here is a short segment on today’s show. I hope people will be inspired and join our cause to end homelessness in the U.S. The best way to learn about homelessness is by having conversations with the people in the streets and listening to their stories.

Finally, here is a poem I wrote 10 years ago. Hope you enjoy it.

God’s Smile

You see them everywhere you go.
They are in your cities, towns, neighborhoods, and
you can’t seem to realize them.
     You walk by homeless people
     and you ignore them.
They get close to you and you’re already shaking.
Why is that?
     Is it because they are different than you?
     Is it because of the way they are dress?
You should look inside of them before you judge them.
You should take the time to chat with them, and
then based your judgments from your conversation.
     Have you ever wonder,
     how much you can learn from homeless people?
     Have you ever wonder,
     if at one point in their lives, they were better than you were?
People from all over come to live this lifestyle.
Some are well educated and with their degrees they prove it.
But you wouldn’t know this because
you are too busy seeing the outside.
     Let me take you to another plain of thought.
Have you ever wonder why homeless people
have so much faith in God?
Why they continue to have faith
despite the obstacles and the struggles

that they go through?
     Why some are full of joy and spirit,
     while most of us stress about the small things
     and their life is far worse than ours?
Something to think about.
     Think about this.
Have you ever seen God smile?
How many pictures have you seen
when He is smiling?
     As far as I’m concern, none.
     Now wouldn’t it be nice to see His smile?
     Wouldn’t it be nice to see if God has dimples?
You have been given the opportunity
to see His smile.
In fact, you see it every time homeless people smile at you,
but you have been blind to see it.
     Why do you think Mother Teresa
     dedicated her life to help the poorest of the poor?
Mother Teresa knew she was seeing
God’s smile when they would smile at her.
Next time you come across homeless people,
realize the smile that they carry.
It’s not any other ordinary smile.
It’s God’s smile.