Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

Resurrected–Poem in Honor of The Homeless

June 5, 2016

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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

Remembering Amazing Women on International Women’s Day

March 8, 2015

victorjara42's Blog

For international women’s day, I want to remember 15 women who have inspired me one way or another through their activism, music, poetry, painting or spirituality. All of these women and countless more give me the source of inspiration and desire to continue planting seeds of hope and compassion in this chaotic world of ours.
In no particular order, here they are:

Comandanta Ramona

Suheir Hammad

Violeta Parra

Miriam Makeba

Mercedes Sosa

Wangari Maathai

Mother Teresa

Dorothy Day

Frida Kahlo

Anita Tijoux

Joan Baez

Las Jilguerillas

Julieta Venegas

Tracy Chapman

Sweet Honey in the Rock
(Song in honor of Ella Baker)

Aqui les dejo esta cancion de Dos Vientos De Voz Y Fuego que se llama Porque Esto Ya Comenzo. Esta cancion esta en el CD, EZLN: El Fuego y la Palabra en el disco de la Dignidad. Disfruten de esta rola.

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Happy 80th Birthday, Roberto Clemente!

August 18, 2014

Clemente21

Happy 80th Birthday to Roberto Clemente! As a baseball and Dodgers fan, Roberto Clemente is one of my all time heroes. This is what I wrote about Clemente last year, so will include it below in addition to couple videos on the pride of Puerto Rico. Enjoy!

Roberto was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico. At an early age, Roberto started playing baseball. In 1954, the Brooklyn Dodgers offered him a contract to play for their Triple-A team, the Montreal Royals. While with the Royals, Roberto didn’t play that much. He was often bench. Some say that the Dodgers were trying to guard him from the Rookie Draft of 1954. But, Clyde Sukeforth, a baseball scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates observed that Clemente was being bench and encouraged the Pirates to draft him. On November 22, 1954, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected Roberto Clemente in the Rookie Draft.

Roberto Clemente made his major league debut on April 17, 1955 against the Brooklyn Dodgers. He didn’t do well in his rookie season due to being involved in a car accident midway thru the season. Roberto Clemente really exploded with the Pirates in the 1960s. He led the Pirates to a World Series victory over the Yankees in 1960. Clemente led the National League in Batting in 1961, 1964, 1965 and 1967. He was the Most Valuable Player in 1966. He received numerous Gold Glove awards throughout the 60s for his outstanding defense. Clemente had a canon of an arm. He could throw a guy out at third base or home plate from right field. Players knew not to run on Clemente. He was one of the most amazing players to watch. He helped the Pirates win a second World Series in 1971 when the Pirates beat the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles in seven games. He was named World Series MVP after hitting .414 and hitting a solo home run in the Pirates 2-1 victory in game 7 of the World Series.

Roberto Clemente struggled with injuries and in 1972 he only played in 102 games but ended batting .312 in the season. Roberto collected his 3,000 hit, a double of the Mets’ Jon Matlack in front of the Pittsburgh Pirates fans at Three Rivers Stadium. That would end up being his last hit in the major leagues.

Roberto Clemente was not an ordinary baseball player. He used the diamond to expressed one of his many gifts. Clemente was a great soul. He cared for the most marginalized. He demonstrated tremendous compassion to the poor. Following the 1972 season, there was a catastrophic earthquake in Managua, Nicaragua. Upon realizing that some of the aid that he had previously sent to Nicaragua was not reaching those affected by the earthquake but intercepted by the Somoza government, Roberto Clemente boarded a small airplane that was taking aid packages to the victims. The plane left from Puerto Rico on December 31, 1972 but mechanical problems forced the plane to crash into the ocean off the coast of Isla Verde, Puerto Rico. Everyone from the Pirates attended Clemente’s memorial except his close friend and teammate, catcher, Manny Sanguillen, who decided to jump into the ocean in hopes of finding Roberto’s body. Roberto Clemente’s body was never found.

Roberto Clemente was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame posthumously in 1973, becoming the first Latino to be elected into the Hall of Fame. Roberto was an amazing man. It takes a special man to go out of his way and coordinate emergency relief for victims of an earthquake in another country. Not only did Clemente orgazined relief funds but he put his family aside to personally go to Nicaragua and deliver the aid to the victims.

Major League Baseball (MLB) owes a lot to Roberto Clemente. I know that they have an award name after him for players who best follow Clemente’s humanitarian work but the award is not enough. It is time that Bud Selig, the commissioner of Baseball pays tribute to Clemente just the same way he did to Jackie Robinson. It is time for Clemente’s number 21 to be retired by all major league teams. Having his number 21 retired will send a powerful message that MLB truly honors and respects Clemente’s humanitarian work.

As a Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente fan, I think its only fair that 21 and 42 be the only numbers to be retired by all teams. Having 21 retired paves the way for MLB to have Roberto Clemente Days’ to be celebrated on August 18th as days where MLB will partner up with local community organizations and sponsor an organization that is doing amazing work on issues impacting that baseball’s town. In Los Angeles, it could be a grassroots organization working to end homelessness. In San Francisco, it could be an organization that advocates for equality when it comes to same sex marriages. In New York, it could be an organization that advocates for equal distribution of wealth and holds Wall Street thugs accountable to pay their share of taxes. In Pittsburgh, it could be an organization that brings awareness to the health conditions of the miners in Pennsylvania. If Major League Baseball had Roberto Clemente Days’ on August 18th, we will once again be demonstrating that Sports serves as a vehicle to address social issues that are not only impacting communities but putting the spotlight on community organizations who are making a difference in the lives of many Americans.

May we continue to keep Clemente’s legacy and spirit alive by living our lives for the greater good of others. Jackie Robinson once said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” Roberto Clemente lived by that quote. More importantly, he lived by his own quote, “If you have a chance to accomplish something that will make things better for people coming behind you, and you don’t do that, you are wasting your time on this Earth,”

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 Amazing Women on International Women’s Day

March 8, 2014

For international women’s day, I want to remember 15 women who have inspired me one way or another through their activism, music, poetry, painting or spirituality. All of these women and countless more give me the source of inspiration and desire to continue planting seeds of hope and compassion in this chaotic world of ours.
In no particular order, here they are:

Comandanta Ramona

Suheir Hammad

Violeta Parra

Miriam Makeba

Mercedes Sosa

Wangari Maathai

Mother Teresa

Dorothy Day

Frida Kahlo

Anita Tijoux

Joan Baez

Las Jilguerillas

Julieta Venegas

Tracy Chapman

Sweet Honey in the Rock
(Song in honor of Ella Baker)

Aqui les dejo esta cancion de Dos Vientos De Voz Y Fuego que se llama Porque Esto Ya Comenzo. Esta cancion esta en el CD, EZLN: El Fuego y la Palabra en el disco de la Dignidad. Disfruten de esta rola.

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:
http://cangress.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/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.

America, my brother, my blood

September 23, 2013

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This is an amazing book that features the paintings of Oswaldo Guayasamin and the poetry of Pablo Neruda. I must say this is one of my favorite books. The beautiful thing is that its in both Spanish and English.
For those who love Guayasamin and Neruda, this is a must have.

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

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