31 March 2014
Trenches are good for you.
A rigid routine
To walk down the well beaten path
Will guarantee us all
The security that comes
‘Tis better to be sage
Than to explore,
And find joy
In the discovery
Of the new
(Which may involve risk,
I give you the trench
That most blessed of
The Status Quo.
© David Gordon
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective
… in the trenches …
When you enter
seemingly unending trail
will you accept words
without saying a word?
This trail is a gallery
of seemingly unending faces
more frightened of you
than you of those faces
unending yet unchanging.
It is only an illusion of faces
as you show
the face of poverty.
The illusion is
to what they will tell
you to see.
It may seem
will be change enough.
in the trenches
it is no matter.
© 30 mar 14 Ángel L. Martínez
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective
Entrenched with the Blast of 116th Street and Park Avenue
Only bad news is transmitted between 9.30 when I heard a large trembling and things fell to the ground. I woke up and jumped from my bed and saw my books and papers on the floor. And then I picked them up and put them back on the shelf. I went straight back to bed.
It was 11.40 when the ringing telephone woke me up and leaned up as if I had been daggered with a pen. “Hello?” I sound more awake than I actually was, even half asleep.
He recognizes Dylcia’s voice. “Are you alright, Carlos? Did you know what happened?”
“The building at 116th and Park Avenue, four buildings next to you, had a gas explosion!” It destroyed the Spanish Christian Church and the building next door that was made famous by the movie The Pawnbroker. Now, lately, it was selling pianos.
“Carlos, I saw it on television in Loiza, that many people were killed. And people are missing. And hundreds were made homeless. So please, Carlos, don’t go outside to see what happened! You’re still recovering from your sickness and the air is bad. So stay home.”
I turned the tube on and I said to Dylcia, “I’ll call you back soon.”
“It’s important that you stay home!”
And I said, “Adiós.”
It was a degree of shock to stop for a moment to remember yesterday. I walked past Park Avenue on my way to Pathmark supermarket. Minutes that I stopped talking to Dylcia, I left my room and I walked over to the kitchen and started cooking some oatmeal and coffee and drank a glass of mango juice. I went back to the dining room and sat in my chair and started to eat my breakfast.
After eating, I closed my eyes and held my breath for a moment and expelled it slowly, feeling my body relax, reached over to the table and turned the radio on. And outside you could hear the sound of El Barrio morning rush. I went into the bathroom and brushed my teeth, went into the shower after I walked back into my room. But in that moment, the phone was ringing in a loud voice.
So I picked up the receiver and said, “Hello.” “Hello brother, peace. Are you alright?”
It was the voice of Angel, said to me that Debra called from Florida and please call her soon. And if you need anything at any time, please call me. Right now I have a student.”
So just a few seconds, my sister Anita called: “Are you right, Carlito?” And I answered, “God is the best knower.”
From a beautiful day yesterday in less time than a heartbreak, it was shortly after when the phone rang again. “Hello, this is David! Carlos, peace. Did you hear the explosion? Could you see it from your apartment?”
I stood silent for a few seconds and I looked into it, and I said, “David, I’ll call you back.”
I dropped the receiver onto my desk. But the feeling I knew was to put on my clothes and leave my apartment and walk over to the lift, press the button towards the first floor.
I arrived and walked over to the front door and stepped onto the stoop. I looked around me, I saw people from the right side and the left side of 116th Street. It was a state of emergency. The police and Community Affairs officers closed the traffic. So I walked over to a policeman from Community Affairs and I said to him, “What’s the situation?” And the officer answered to me in a Spanish-speaking accent. So I spoke to him in Spanish and he told me that two buildings were destroyed, and people were missing, and people were made homeless from the joint buildings from the blast.
I said, “Gracias” (thank you). I walked past Associated Supermarket and it was empty of people. I walked down as I passed toward Lexington Avenue by the subway and I saw large crowd of family speaking to reporters from ABC, NBC, CBS, PIX, Channels 41, 47, and 68, and BBC America.
You could see the feeling of pain from families crying for their loved ones. And at that moment, I understood the bluest feeling to knowing pain again. The dust in your backyard and the birds are not singing. The railway passing through on its way to New Haven – MetroNorth. The hardest part of the day was that mid-afternoon to see police barriers at the supermarket and at your residence.
So somehow you forgot, for the first time in your life, but for a brief moment to remember Animal Farm and the circle of your life right now. As workers’ and poor people’s midnight – you must see yourself, love yourself, and care for yourself on the eve of destruction while the dark clouds of the oligarchy and the capital of the chosen few who see no evil and fear no evil of the boundless greed and sorrows of the common person. Homelessness, stop and frisk, unemployment, charter schools, gentrification, hunger, police brutality, and we march for jobs, justice, and peace in the trenches for a culture of peace.
With the scents of sandalwood, like an old song, “If I Had a Hammer,” by Peter, Paul, and Mary.
© Carlos Raúl Dufflar 3/12/14
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective
I am right and you are wrong;
You will say the same of me.
Muslim, Christian, Jew,
Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu,
Each with their tradition
But taking the position
That they, alone, proclaim the truth
And that they each have got the proof
That their religion is correct,
Albeit broken into sects
Each claiming only it is right
And spoiling for a damned good fight.
Doesn’t it seem odd
We have so many ways to God?
To my love,
My love will never change,and my heart will always belong to you.
From this I will never waver because there is nothing I can do.
The more I miss having you near,
The more I wish you were here.
I speak to you sometimes in my sleep, and am sure that you speak to me too and are at peace.
Everywhere I look I see your name, In gestures and gazes,in all different places.
My life is enriched by memories of your song, each and every day I wonder , How long?
How long will it be until I see thee.Until I can also be at peace and embrace thee.
Oh love of my life, come back to me, be with me, and set my spirit free.
Miss Harinder Sehmi
Time is precious
Explosions surround us
Silence at last
An Officers Death
Sid slumped at his feet
bubble of spittle, blood washed
grew from loose-jawed mouth
With stub of pencil
he crossed the black book of names
one more page, death full
Random shots rang out
across the barbed wire line, death
or self-death, unmarked
His mind slipped to a
his boys never knew
And as rats ransack
the flesh, of his dying men
he scribed his own name
sparkling strong so much sorrow
Aloud crying in the dark
Un heard un seen wiped away dried in
Behind a tree grave yard
Cold as ice runs down cheeks
Yells and signs twists fifths forth
Layed bare in bed
Scars flashed returns screen
Flips over a broken record voice deep day breaks on top below the belt
Not heard un spoken spike blue ink
Rose up once more from aches
Head bowed down low
Working on this day to go
In tours the rays to rise
Heavy is the down smeared spear
Has taken all away big and small
Nudges raised eye brows elbow nod
Under_neat the pillows
Traffic runs outside thru the street
Voices people passing by laughs
Un known un told sore sores
Cached cage silent sad
slowly ups a sullen beat to rise