All Our Browned-Skinned Angels

“Guard my backside from the thin knives of their dreary eyes”  - Raúl Sánchez


A woman next to me asks
are you writing a poem?
scribbles I said from the place
left behind
lots of memories family mysteries
incident strings come to mind
toilet paper ripping beyond the notches
social arts delivered on snack trays
my father’s business monkey business
uncle parcels tips challenged
revenge masterable
philosophers avatars teaching
unknown sand tricks
seventy five degrees longitude
in holy rivers
out of my mind emerge
anointed paramahamsas
above the self, my Self
not for herself, itself
half empty whiskey glasses
translated stories five degrees
below the tropic of cancer
scorching sand illuminate
reflecting shade glasses
my sun glasses, empty whiskey glasses
no faith on things unknown
findable frequencies of known facts
the world a glass full of rain
landing on tiny runway
the world at my feet
held down by gravity

“submerged in holy rivers
anointed paramahamsas above the self,
no faith in things unknown the world at my
held down by gravity”



My daughter and I wrote a poem last night
We picked ideas and objects to write about
We mixed them up
in a salad bowl
carefully tossed

We picked funny words
to make happy sounds
We added, repeated, deleted

We laughed and fell to our toes
pretended to be dandelions
waiting for the wind
to shake us up

We acted like daffodils
and tulips soaked in rain
We open ourselves in the morning
and closed our petals
when the sun ran away

We agreed that our poem
should be like a dandelion
so when shared with others
the words will float to the ears
of those who listen

Carried by our breath
like the dandelion fuzzes
in the breeze
and so, my daughter and I
wrote a poem last night

"The Shelter of Your Chest"

Guard my backside from the thin knives
of their dreary eyes
guard me between azaleas and marigolds
guard me between wood and musk
in your misty meadow
guard me, between the roots of cedar and maple
in your snow covered mountains
guard me burrowed in the wet sand
ocean waves brush
guard me between twilight and the early light
between mist and rain, thunder and storm
in the rainbow, guard me between azure and purple
guard me between the sheets of your bed
tucked in like balled socks
guard me from disdain
guard me::
guard me inside, outside,
over, under and beside you.

Let us guard each other from the fallible
keep the torchlight on, raise your red rose
I am your warrior.


Last night at around 8:30 Pacific daylight time,
I went outside to walk my dog.

 What do I find: a dead fuzzy bumble bee
stiff as a mummy tough as a beast.

I picked her up by one wing
set her up where I could see

 the bumblebee that died
on my driveway

across from the front yard
as if waiting for me to arrive.


When I was a young child, my Grandmother cleansed me with herbs.
This is a tribute to Grandma Carmen.

She swiftly brushed my body
with ramas de pirú and flowers

red ribbon held the willow branches
she brushed, brushed, brushed away

my stretched limbs
bad energy away from me

fragrant sap remained
on fingers dark from cutting

herbs frankincense chunks
burning copal.

Top, down, left, right
her eyes closed cleansing smoke

branches swirled
the smoke with every stroke

shaking filtering negative energy
the room full of smoke

cleansing smoke chasing evil spells

silent prayer whisper
echoed through the smoke

she opened her eyes
two moons behind the clouds.

She wrapped the loaded branches
told me to throw it behind my back

and walk away
into the light.

"Salsa Verde"

Mother roasted
tomatillos whole
serranos, onion
on comal stove top
pungent air permeated
swells of flavor

tomatillos turned yellow
with dark burnt spots
time for her hands to grind
tomatillos, chiles with mortar
salt chunks, garlic, clove
fresh cilantro, crushing, crushing

blending, turning mortar churning 
delicious salsa on molcajete
grinding stone
steamy spicy smell
tickled my nose
spicy pleasure

eaten on tortillas, tostadas
my tongue on fire
oh man!
give me more.
I’ll wash it down with Tequila
gift from the gods

Mother’s salsa
made on molcajete
grinding stone.

Para Frida Kahlo

Encarnada con labios de rosa
piel de la tierra
ojos de luna nocturna
flores en su cabello
como una reina estrella
acuamarina amarilla
emergiendo de la tierra
como una fuente de aliento,
de vida, de calor, color
arte de ojo a ojo
de ceja a ceja y después
al universo nacida y creada
entre mazorcas y el maiz,
crecida de la tierra
morena como el color de su piel

After Frida Kahlo

Incarnated with rose petal lips
earth colored skin
eyes like midnight moons
flowers on her hair
like a star queen brilliant
yellow aquamarine
emerging from earth
a fountain of hope
life, color, heat
art from eye to eye unbound
from eyebrow to eyebrow
born and created into the universe
among corn plants, husks
grown from the ground, our earth
brown as the color of her skin