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Young, naive lawyer,
For-profit business school dean,
A Quixotic quest.

Idealism,
Despite the odds,
May yet win the day.

Or will it be crushed?
Humor, angst, triumph, heartbreak,
All par for the course.

Love found and love lost,
Trial by fire tempers or breaks,
Steel in life's hot forge.

Which for our young dean?
Will he too tilt at windmills,
Thinking them cruel knights?

Or will he prevail,
Stay true to his quest until,
He succeeds or fails?
This is my simple linked haiku teaser for my forthcoming novel, HIRE LERNIN', to be released later this year. I m posting pre-release chapters on Booksie and Wattpad for the next several weeks. You can read them as they are posted at https://www.booksie.com/644807-hire-lernin and
Jan 19 · 89
Winds of Change
Winds of change have come,
Frigid razors cutting deep,
But this too shall pass.
Jan 19 · 23
Don't Analyze Love
Put love in a slide,
View it in your microscope,
And you'll see it die.
Dec 2020 · 115
Celebrate Christmas
Victor D López Dec 2020
Celebrate Christmas
Not with presents under trees
But with grateful hearts

The birth of Jesus
The path to eternal life
This is our true gift

Gift most dearly bought
His life to redeem our sins
Let us not forget
Victor D López Dec 2020
My first book of poems
Published nearly ten years now
My second just out

Like leaves in autumn
Both glide unnoticed to ground
And are blown away

Words written in blood
Die like echoes of footsteps
In lonely alleys

Of all I publish
What matters least is prized most--
My "serious works"

None of them are weaved
From threads of a shredded soul
Like my simple poems

There is more of me
In any of my sonnets
Than all my textbooks

One simple haiku
Penned in seventeen heartbeats
Conveys more of me

Articles cited
By courts and other scholars
Feathers in my cap

But just adornments
That will never help me fly
Or help others soar

I'm grateful for them
Grateful to be heard in my
Chosen field of law

Grateful too am I
For the privilege to teach
That others may soar

Alas not on wings
Of poetry that uplifts
Our humanity

I so yearn to sing
Even as an unheard cry
In the wilderness
Dec 2020 · 36
Swimming in my tears
Victor D López Dec 2020
Swimming in my tears
Seeking an island of joy
Despair circling near
Victor D López Dec 2020
A baker's dozen
Of speculative fiction
Varied short stories

Could humanity
Survive extinction event
With two years warning?

A plane will soon fly
A cargo of hate that ends
Our Earth and much more

What would dolphins learn
About humankind if we
Could speak in their tongue?

Would the attainment
Of absolute truth result
In joy or despair?

Can the least of us
Be a god in his own right
To species unknown?

Should we take the word
Of professional critics
As to what is art?

Can a long-dead witch
Give a chance for redemption
To one who is lost?

Secret of the Sphinx
To be revealed in prime time
Sure you want to watch?

If you find true love
In a most unlikely source
Don't turn it away

Alien bearing gift
Of life-long health and foresight
Accept it or pass?

What can a man do
When dreams want to live through him
And cost him his life?

Come take a journey
Of inner and outer space
On these themes and more
My newest book of short stories, Echoes of the Mind's Eye: 13 Speculative Fiction Short Stories, has just been published (eBook and paperback versions). You can preview it at all major book retailers, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Apple Books. The book contains ten short stories from my previous collections (Mindscapes and Book of Dreams) newly edited and updated, as well as three new short stories.
Nov 2020 · 37
Echoes of Dawn at Dusk
Victor D López Nov 2020
Second book of poems
On sale January 1
Pre-sale out today


(eBook versions available on November 22 exclusively at https://www.smashwords.com/books/presale/1035449 for $3.99. eBook and print versions scheduled for release January 1 at all major retailers.)
Sep 2020 · 61
911
Victor D López Sep 2020
911
May they rest in peace,
Innocent victims of hate,
Bless their families.

Gone--not forgotten,
Echoes still reverberate,
Of their too-short lives.

Let's stay vigilant,
Reject those that would excuse,
Monstrous, insane acts.

Let us embrace all,
From all races/religions,
Who show compassion.

For all who were killed,
From all races/religions,
On this fateful day.

Hate the evil men,
Not their innocent neighbors,
Who were victims too.
Jul 2020 · 154
Priceless Legacy
Victor D López Jul 2020
Leave to all your heirs,
The one priceless legacy,
They can't buy: Honor.
Victor D López Jul 2020
I detest the euphemism "making love"
When people just mean "having ***"
As the latter is too often devoid of the former.

Rabbits do not make love. The copulate.
Dogs in heat do not make love. They copulate.
Roosters do not make love. They **** all hens.

Men in bars at closing time are not looking to make love.
Nor are the women nursing their last drink then.
They are looking to have *** with a stranger.

I do not judge the rabbits, dogs, roosters of barflies.
Humans who sate their urges with any willing partner
Have my best wishes for happy, healthy,  STD-free lives.

I only object when they refer to a physical act that is
Engaged in solely for pleasure and devoid of genuine
Affection for the object of their lust as "making love".

If you use others and allow yourself to be so used
And are of legal age, more power to you (just be safe!)
You will have more pleasure out of this life than I.

But please do not defile, defame, demean the most
Important word and most important feeling humans can share
By making it into just another four-letter word.

By all means say making love and make love often,
As there is no greater gift that human beings can share
But please do not profane the term. Enjoy ***. Just call it that.
Victor D López Jul 2020
Can't choose whom you love,
But can choose whom you marry,
Make sure you choose well.
Jun 2020 · 161
Two New Books in Progress
Victor D López Jun 2020
Working on two books,
In English and in Spanish,
Free previews below

https://www.wattpad.com/user/VictorDLopez
It's been nearly nine years since I published my first book of poetry, Of Pain and Ecstasy: Collected Poems. Since then, I published five college textbooks on business law, the legal environment of business and immigration law through my current publisher, Textbook Media Press and numerous papers in law reviews and refereed academic journals on law and ethics. I also self-published several books of short stories in English and Spanish and some 200+ poems here and at other poetry sites.

This summer as a fun project I'm working on a second book of poems that I will publish as Echoes of Dawn at Dusk and also a Spanish version of my lesser output of poetry written in Spanish and translated into Spanish from my English originals that will be called Ecos del Alba en Tinieblas. If you'd like to take a look at samples of poetry that will be included in these two books, you can go to my author's page at Wattpad at the above link or to my Booksie profile page at https://www.booksie.com/users/victordlopez-82664. Both sites also have samples from my non-fiction (other than textbooks), short stories and poetry readings.

I have an active research agenda for this summer and next fall, but these projects are a way to ensure I continue using both sides of my brain and remain connected to my fiction and poetry roots that long predate my academic career. It is also one of the ways that I de-stress and take needed breaks from my day job and serious research.
Jun 2020 · 60
On Regret
Victor D López Jun 2020
Its five a.m. and still I cannot sleep,
My world’s been shattered and peace will not come,
Turning a light on shadows buried deep,
Awoke the past and now I am undone.

Scars once thought healed have opened up anew,
Pain thought forgotten rises to the fore,
Lies I believed wanting them to be true,
Are now the cause for me of endless war.

What would I give if I could change the past?
Avoid mistakes fatal not just to me,
But to those I love best from first to last,
No price too high for redemption would be.

I’ve done grievous wrong trying to do right,
And now there’s no solution to my plight.
Jun 2020 · 93
Poetry Reading 5-31-2020
Victor D López Jun 2020
to hear me reading
my latest four free-verse poems
copy, paste the link

https://youtu.be/Fy5UfJJ8vOI
Victor D López May 2020
I've lived in 1987 for the past two months
Every waking moment and in my every dream
When sleep would finally come called by exhaustion
As is still the case although the work is now done.

Idealistic young lawyer,
In his first posting as a dean,
In a for-profit business school,
Naive voice crying in the wilderness.

Worked very long hours,
To change what was wrong,
Achieved great success,
Which all came to naught.

Made friends while tilting at windmills,
Stubbornly refusing to accept,
That which could be changed through simple hard work
That I believed would make real difference in others' lives.

A classic clash of missions and visions:
Provides the factual drama--theirs, to maximize profits,
And deliver an education at the lowest possible cost,
Mine to be in the business of changing lives for the better.

I implemented meaningful changes,
That brought unintended consequences
I found unacceptable, and personal conflicts
That caused me to resign while still on good terms.

And I learned critical lessons,
Not just about an industry I did not know,
But about myself, my strengths and my weaknesses,
And about love that brought joy and pain that I can still feel.

As I wrote my novel, composing at the keyboard,
I wrote through the night, sleeping only when my vision blurred,
And I could not focus around 8:00, 9:00, 10:00 a.m.
For a few hours, then back to my keyboard and my previous life.

Ghosts long thought buried rose in warm flesh and blood,
Old battles fought anew, old brown paths grew verdant,
Cold cinders rekindled, closed doors opened wide,
Beckoned me to live for a time in what might have been.

Scars long ago faded opened up anew,
The heart cried tears of blood as fiction
Too close to truth flowed onto the page,
Chasing sleep away long after the writing was done.

After two decades of gestation,
I've now given birth to my first child,
The afterbirth has been cleaned,
She is all pink, warm, and oh so cuddly.

I fell in love with her the moment,
I stared into her huge, bright, old-soul eyes,
Her strong, tiny hand is now wrapped,
Around all of my heart strings and will be for life.

Now I'm searching for a literary agent,
Sending tiny snapshots of my little girl,
Hoping they will love her too,
But knowing they may not.

If I can't send her off to finishing school,
I will home school her, teach her all I know,
And ready her as best I can to be seen by the world,
Where she may not thrive but will always have my love.

If all goes well, I will give her a sister to play with,
In a year or so if life will allow it,
My heart is large and still has room,
For more wounds to open that only they can heal.

Hear me read this poem here: https://youtu.be/iOJt4ySlhXQ
May 2020 · 114
Islands of Wonder
Victor D López May 2020
Islands of wonder
Like a broken string of pearls
Scattered in velvet

Glorious artwork
These worlds that are not our own
Sculpted by nature

Interstellar space,
Nebulas coalescing
That will form new stars

Stars die, are reborn,
The Phoenix rising always
From its own ashes

The cycle of life,
Played out on a macro scale,
To the end of time

Every one of us,
Individual artworks,
From those selfsame stars

No matter which pearl
Of our endless universe
Has given us life

We are all but one
In communion with stardust
Why can’t we see that?

You can hear me read this and three other new poems at https://youtu.be/Fy5UfJJ8vOI
May 2020 · 64
I Love Sonnets Best
Victor D López May 2020
I love sonnets best,
The ones I've written contain,
Pieces of my soul.

NOTE: If you'd like to hear me read samples of my poetry (sonnets included), you can check my YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBa7s2xkrUrn-
Victor D López May 2020
I tried so hard to share my love with you,
To make you see the dream I saw so clear,
Yet you could not believe my words were true,
Could not let go of your consuming fear.

I waited hoping for some subtle change,
Ignoring every sign it would not come,
Until the dream was clearly out of range,
And hope, an evanescent shadow, gone.

The emptiness I feel knows no regret,
So do not weep for me, sweetest of friends,
Each fleeting moment shared I'll not forget,
I know what love is now, and how it ends.

The love I felt will live while I take breath,
The dream I'll carry with me to my death.


I posted this sonnet today along with 15 others in my latest poetry reading at  https://youtu.be/umgmhtxrtVE
Yet another bittersweet memory from 1987-88. I thought I had lost this particular sonnet but found it buried in my files of obsolete word processors.
Victor D López May 2020
When did she lose touch with my inner heart?          
Was it so long ago she held it near?                  
It was so easy from the very start,
To share it all with one I love so dear.              

How can she thumb the pages of my life,
And find fault with the words at every turn?          
So easily she crosses out a line,
Ignoring all that from it she could learn.            

I smile, she smiles, but does not understand,
And she goes on, perusing through my soul;            
In just a moment I will take her hand,
And we may both yet smile as we grow old.            

Our love is strong, its long-fueled flame still burns,
But what is gone will never more return.


NOTE: You can access my YouTube poetry reading of this previously unpublished sonnet and 15 others at https://youtu.be/umgmhtxrtVE
I've been living in 1987-1988 in my mind and soul for many weeks now while completing work on my novel. It covers in a fictionalized manner one of the most tumultuous periods of my life the aftershocks of which I still feel--will always feel.
May 2020 · 36
The Heart Sculpts Us
Victor D López May 2020
The heart sculpts us
From within
With neither chisel nor hammer
But with fire
That burns away
The weak facades
We build
Hoping for
Shelter from the
Storm

It melts away
Reason
Logic
Sense
Leaving behind ashes
From which a Phoenix
May yet rise again
Revealing the
True nature
Of our
souls

We are not what we
Seem
Nor are we what we
Say
Not even what we
Do
We are only what we
Feel
And how we
Love

In the darkness
And the cold
And the loneliness
That is our life
It is our only true source
Of
Light
Heat
Comfort
And our only
Refuge
Victor D López May 2020
Spent three nights this week
Living in 1987
Immersed in both joy and sorrow
Long suppressed

Writing a novel
Of fact made fiction
Relived a critical year
Writing of my former self

Three nights spent towards the end
At my keyboard
Not my bed
Until 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.

Then two or three hours of sleep
And back to weaving again
A renewed tapestry
From frayed and broken threads

The heart remembers
What the mind would hide
Old wounds thought healed
Begin to bleed again

What is broken Is yet mended
Forged in the white-hot fire
Of sweet remembrance
Tempered by tears that can still flow

The novel's done
Reopened cuts begin to heal
And scabs reform anew
Leaving new scars to fade in time

The editing process begins
The mind takes over from the heart
The ghosts return to their cold graves
Their temporary lives expired

Closed doors pried open
Now shut once more
And green paths not taken
Once again turn brown

But oh the sweet ephemeral joy
And deepest sorrow
Of the dead past come alive again
If only for a time to ponder what might have been
May 2020 · 73
I Need a Reset Button
Victor D López May 2020
I need a reset button for my life,
A chance to chart a course on a blank slate,
Unplant the seeds that blossomed pain and strife,
And brought a bitter harvest to my plate.

I walked by open doors that closed behind,
With eyes fixed only forward on my course,
Trying to do what’s right, I’ve been unkind,
Attempts to avoid pain just made it worse.

I should have explored many other paths,
That led to orchards that would bear sweet fruit,
My solitary one has led to wrath,
The seeds I planted would themselves uproot.

What use is wisdom when it comes too late?
There is no reset button to cheat fate
I've completed my first novel. It deals with themes that have hit too close to home. The bittersweet pain of so many could-have-beens come to the surface in fiction that too closely emulates life. If only we could rewrite our own lives--make different choices, walk through the many doors that remained open in our youth that we ignored blindly trudging on what we mistakenly believed to be the right path. What would I give to be able to rewrite the novel that is my life and find happy endings for myself and all I've touched? What would I give to unring bells that should never have been rung? To undo pain to loved ones brought not by malice but by misguided good intentions? That may well be a future novel in itself--I've already explored the theme and one imperfect technological solution in a novella. We do not have a reset button in life. Thank God we have the power of words and the solace of poetry. They are often the only sword and shield that can stave off despair.
Victor D López May 2020
Hear my new haikus
Sonnets, free verse and blank verse,
At the link below.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s-BIxHWTQ4
May 2020 · 63
Mother's Day
Victor D López May 2020
Cherish today the woman you call mom,
Who sacrificed her body and herself for you,
Your fearless champion your entire life,
Her pure love always unconditional.

She who first taught you what it means to love,
And also to distinguish right from wrong,
Taught you to care for other than yourself,
By her example always, not her words.

Your joy her joy for triumphs great and small,
Her anguish hidden for your every fall,
Your first and your most ardent fan in life,
In times you walked in darkness and in light.

Make sure you tell her what she longs to hear,
As often as you can while she still lives,
Not just on Mother's day, but every day,
Some day it will be your only comfort.

There's none so lucky as one whose mom lives,
Love her with all your heart for all she gives.
Victor D López May 2020
Use the YouTube link,
For Spanish/English reading,
Of one of my poems.

https://youtu.be/sLJJvnyGrkQ
You can cut and paste the above link for a short (4 minute) poetry reading in the original Spanish and in my English translation/interpretation of mi recent poem, Mi Canto
May 2020 · 128
Lectura de Poesía
Victor D López May 2020
Para oír una lectura de poesía nueva
En español o traducida al español del ingles original,
Entre las que publique en estas paginas,
Puede hacerlo en el siguiente enlace.

https://youtu.be/kkRoyGX1S28
The above URL is to a YouTube video featuring a sampling of my new poetry either written is Spanish or translated into Spanish by me from my English originals. The video runs approximately 19 minutes.
Apr 2020 · 50
Tinnitus
Victor D López Apr 2020
An endless screeching tone, now in both ears,
You cannot know the solace of silence,
Until it is taken away from you.

A billion cicadas that will not die,
Along with high-pitched sirens ever near,
Symphonies translated by a kazoo.

Inoperable tumor in my ear,
Genetic hearing loss on my dad's side,
The joy of music fading, singing too.

Like the vibrant colors of a rainbow,
Stretching over all the oceans on Earth,
Fading to gray, dissolving into black.

My world is dissolving to a shrill hum,
The babbling of a brook, a child's sweet laugh,
A canary's joyful song of courtship.

A gentle autumn breeze rustling dry leaves,
A clock ticking away remaining time,
All but drowned out save for their memory.
Apr 2020 · 179
Poetry Reading
Victor D López Apr 2020
If you'd like to hear,
A reading of my new poems,
Click the link below

Cut and paste to your browser:  https://youtu.be/CacB8e-UT_4
The link is to an about a sixteen minute YouTube video that shows several short poems in both English and Spanish read by me with the text of each poem showing via a quick narrated PowerPoint presentation. I needed a break from working from home and this distracted me for a little over an hour--welcomed during the current lockdown. They are cold readings, nothing special. But fun for me at least to create.
Apr 2020 · 39
O Castelo de San Antón
Victor D López Apr 2020
Beautiful small castle on a tranquil bay,
Of beauty seldom seen on any shore,
Museum now of artifacts of old,
From Roman digs and our Celtic ancestors.

Treasures displayed from my Galician soil,
The lost kingdom's uncovered still,
Yet nary a manacle, or bar seen,
Of a fascist makeshift prison once here.

My grandfather tortured, condemned to death,
But set free by a jailor/patriot.
My maternal grandfather was a supporter of the failed Republic before and during Spain's Civil War. He never took up arms as he hated violence, but he wrote and delivered speeches in his home town of Sada, in Galicia, Spain. He also translated news from the British and U.S. newspapers as he had lived in New York City (Number 10 Perry Street in the Village)  with my grandmother from about 1918 until I believe the early 1930's prior to the start of the Civil War in Spain. Although he had good friends among both the Republicans, monarchists and Franco's supporters, he was an outspoken critic of fascism and ardent supported of the Republic. He was eventually imprisoned, tortures and sentenced to death. He spent some time in this castle turned military headquarters during the war and was held there awaiting execution in La Plaza de Maria Pita where he was to be shot with others by a firing squad for treason--read, opposing the fascist forces. I don't know whether his remaining friends who supported Franco, including a judge  who prized my grandfather's friendship and integrity above their opposing political beliefs, politics intervened or paid off one of his military jailers or whether the jailer may have been a Republican sympathizer not yet excised from their ranks, but he was set free by his jail door being unlocked in the middle of the night and  his being told to swim to shore despite his bad physical condition. My grandmother always claimed he swam more than a mile across the bay to freedom, though I doubt he would have had the strength and think it more likely he swam ashore closer to the city but away from the surrounding area of the castle--perhaps 100 yards or more. The castle itself is accessible from the shore as it is only a few meters into the water, though he certainly would not have been able to walk out the foot bridge as one does today. I've written about this and his prior and subsequent life in my "Unsung Heroes" longest ongoing poem about my grandparents and now my parents who have also passed away--all leaving behind the treasure of their noble examples that is my legacy and which I prize above all that I own, am, or will ever be,
Apr 2020 · 52
Apollo 13
Victor D López Apr 2020
In hour fifty-five,
"Houston, we have a problem",
200K miles.

No rescue to come,
So easy to accept fate,
Say their last good-byes.

But not for these men,
Surrender not an option,
Theirs is the right stuff.

Just work the problem,
MacGyver a solution,
Use what is at hand.

Squares fit into rounds?
No problems for NASA's best,
Duct tape and a sock.

Make spare scrubbers work,
Remove CO2 before,
Death comes to all three.

The workaround works,
Freezing heroes fly back home,
Glorious splash down.

Ingenuity,
And the hearts of true heroes,
Disasters avert.
Written for a poetry challenge on AllPoetry.com
Apr 2020 · 41
On Writing My First Novel
Victor D López Apr 2020
Started writing it two decades ago,
Using a pseudonym for first/last time,
To protect the guilty and innocent,
In this autobiographical work.

Life got in the way of reliving it,
Work, wife, parents with health issues, now gone,
Back burners full of overflowing pots,
The sands of time quickly sifting through my fingers.

Serious writing projects completed,
A dozen plus books published,
Others yet to come, new lectures to plan,
New courses to develop and to teach.

My story untold, lessons learned unfurled,
But not not written down to pass down my truth,
About things I know much more than I'd like,
And others should learn, in old age and youth.

Place bound for now on an imposed lockdown,
Chained to my desk like galley slaves to oars,
Taping lectures, attending Zoom meetings,
Depression abounds, if not joy or sleep.

So I'm back again, reliving the past,
In memory still green, though browning in parts,
Taking poetic license where I must,
But gently as a child's butterfly kiss.

Nearly nine thousand words today for just,
One day's events that sowed a thousand seeds,
That sprouted, flourished and died or were pecked,
By hungry vultures out of existence.

Remembering a day in my career,
When I still viewed the world with bright, clear eyes,
And had not opened doors I could not close,
Or walked by closed doors I should have opened.

My world and heart were then innocent, pure,
Full of good intentions waiting to burst,
From a chest that could hardly hold them back,
Foolishly thinking they could change the world.

The painful memories I now drown in,
I will not disclose. The pain I've given,
The pain I've received, I'll whitewash away,
To protect myself and those I have loved.

I'll limit my journey to work alone,
Describe what I've learned that others should know,
Weave the personal with transparent thread,
The professional with thickest red yarn.

I'll search for an agent when it is done,
As I'd like it read, unlike indie books,
And I believe it will find a market,
For it will reveal some essential truths.

It will teach much more that all need to know,
Than my life's work: Lectures, books, articles,
Poetry, fiction, blogs, presentations,
Hope I can write it before my life ends.

My sand's running out, tick tock cries the clock,
Hope lockdown provides, end to writer's block.
Apr 2020 · 256
Lightning Rends the Sky
Victor D López Apr 2020
Lightning rends the sky,
Heaven's blood floats to the earth,
That life may flourish.
Victor D López Apr 2020
Free but ends today,
My fiction and poetry,
But only at Smashwords.

See my author's page,
Scroll down to find books you want,
And download today.

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/VictorDLopez
[Ends April 20--My gift to readers on lockdown]
Victor D López Apr 2020
I so yearn to ring,
Chimes that waken sleeping hearts,
And lift them skyward.

Like Keats and Shelley,
Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Blake,
Or Whitman and Poe.

Sadly my chimes are,
Like a cracked church bell struck by,
Leaves in a wind storm.

__________

Anhelo Tanto Sonar

Anhelo tanto sonar,
Campanas que despierten a corazones dormidos,
Y los exalten hacia el cielo.

Como Keats y Shelley,
Wordsworth, Coleridge, Blake,
O Whitman y Poe.

Tristemente mis campanadas suenan,
Como hojas batidas por una tormenta,
En contra de una campana de iglesia agrietada.
Victor D López Apr 2020
My feet are bound to clay,
While my heart longs to soar,
On angel's wings above.

Below lies my future,
My ashes will return,
From whence they were inspired.

Above lie all dreams,
Canopied by ancient light,
From billions of suns.

Civilizations,
Long since turned to dust,
Still cry out to us.

Wish I could see them,
Hear their sweet silent music,
Understand their lives.

I cannot do so,
Yet I feel their life force still,
Rippling out through space.

Bound to their own clay,
Yet their spirits now roam free,
To the end of time.

__________

Ecos de luz estelar

Mis pies están atados a arcilla,
Mientras mi corazón anhela elevarse,
En alas de ángel hacia arriba.
,
Debajo yace mi futuro
Mis cenizas volverán,
De donde se inspiraron.

Por encima reposan todos los sueños,
En pabellón de luz antigua,
De miles de millones de soles.

Civilizaciones,
Desde hace mucho tiempo convertidas en polvo,
Todavía nos aclaman.

Ojalá pudiera verlos,
Escuchar su dulce música silenciosa,
Comprender sus vidas.

No puedo hacerlo,
Sin embargo, todavía siento su fuerza vital,
Ondulando a través del espacio.

Atados a su propia arcilla,
No obstante, sus espíritus ahora vagan libres,
Hasta el fin de los tiempos.
Apr 2020 · 347
If You Thirst
Victor D López Apr 2020
if
you thirst
for justice
quench your thirst friend
by doing what's right

if
you thirst
for glory
quench your thirst friend
accomplish great deeds

if
you thirst
for money
quench your thirst friend
through honest hard work

if
you thirst
for freedom
quench your thirst friend
setting others free

if
you thirst
for God's grace
quench your thirst friend
helping all you can

if
you thirst
for power
drink as you might
you will die of thirst
Apr 2020 · 39
Easter Sunday
Victor D López Apr 2020
No joy shared today on hallowed ground,
Just quiet reflection and humble gratitude,
For the greatest of gifts most dearly bought.

I am unworthy, Lord, of your sacrifice,
I am unworthy, Lord of your love,
But through You I am made whole.

My faith in You sustains me in the most difficult of times,
You are the light that shines in the darkest corners of my soul,
You have died. You have risen. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Apr 2020 · 28
On Holy Saturday
Victor D López Apr 2020
The crucifix in my Church is draped or removed,
Since Holy Friday in remembrance of Your death,
As always in these solemn Holiday.

This year You are not only metaphorically absent for three days,
In remembrance of Your laying in your tomb 2020 years ago,
But Your Churches are empty--no vigils, no light, no life in them.

We, Your children, cannot even visit Your home,
Even those who like me don't do it as often as we know we should,
But feel the need to share our grief and our joy on sacred ground.

We will remain in our homes turned temporary prisons,
We will watch Mass tomorrow on our televisions,
We will share our signs of peace and joy at a distance.

These are hard times for us, Your children,
But nothing compared with Your suffering for us,
And we know that this too shall pass.

You have not forsaken us.We will be tested,
But we will not be broken, for we know,
You have died. You have risen. You will come again.
Victor D López Apr 2020
Our home turned into a prison,
Porting all my lectures online,
Working in quiet desolation,
Long past midnight.

Afraid to go out not for myself,
But for fear of bringing home,
What could prove a deadly contagion,
To the woman I love.

No long commute to work, it's true,
But also no sea of bright faces,
Greeting me, motivating me,
Giving meaning to my life.

No beautiful campus to walk through,
No national arboretum,
With foliage lazily unfurling,
From a long winter slumber.

No squirrels scurrying about,
Begging for treats or rummaging,
In waste paper baskets for discarded,
Gastronomic treasures in the quads.

No tender tendrils of tulips and,
Daffodils tentatively reaching,
Through their earthen blankets,
In search of the sun.

No sea of fresh faces hovering,
Throughout campus like,
Glorious butterflies freshly reborn,
From ten thousand chrysalises.

Each with the face of an angel,
Eyes bright and curious,
Looking ever onward to futures,
Where all doors yet remain open.

I am old when not in their presence,
But always young when among them,
As if newly emerged from my chrysalis,
Reborn, renewed, rewound.

Technology is wonderful,
I embrace it in most of its forms,
But human interaction is not meant,
To be reduced to bits and bytes.

I want my classrooms back.
I want my students in them.
I want them, my loved ones, friends, and colleagues,
All whole, safe and fear-free again.

This too shall pass. I know.
And yet I see the daily death numbers grow.
Death all around where my loved ones live.
Both here and in Spain. Both today and tomorrow.

I don't care at all for myself,
I've had a good life, most of it,
In the company of loved ones and,
Students become colleagues become friends.

But lives far more precious than my own to me,
Are at risk and I am helpless to do anything about it--
Save for staying indoors, in my self-imposed cell,
Surrounded by dead leaves and nary a butterfly.
It has been an incredibly stressful and busy time for all of us of late. I hope you are all doing what you can to remain centered, and finding joy, distractions, purpose where you can. Stay away from the news 24/7--it will drive you insane. Trust me. Find solace in friends be it by phone, Skype, email or any other available means to stay connected. Embrace movies, music, reading, writing, singing, playing an instrument if that is a talent--or one you'd like to develop. Dance like nobody is looking. Rediscover your library card--the local library may well be closed, but not the virtual lending library where you can borrow ebooks, videos, audiobooks and other electronic media. Visit your library's home page--you may be surprised at what they still offer. Read a good book--or even a bad one. To that end, I've made most of my own indie books (fiction, poetry, etc.) available for free through April 20 through Smashwords. (I can't do that as easily through the other retailers that sell my books. Nor can I do that with my traditional publishers.) Other independent authors have done likewise. Check them out. Lots of free books on Amazon for their Kindle reader too. You can find my free offerings (including my first book of poems) here: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/VictorDLopez (scroll down to see my books).

Whatever you do, please stay safe and help your loved ones to do likewise. I bid you peace.
Mar 2020 · 64
The Harshest of Times
Victor D López Mar 2020
The harshest of times,
Truly test our character,
Let us hope we pass.

When our trial is done,
Will we remember with pride,
Or heads hung in shame?

How we act today,
Will define our future lives,
Let's avoid regret.
linked haikus
Victor D López Feb 2020
Five years since we last spoke.
Five years since I last hugged you.
Five years since hearing you say good night on the phone.
Five years since our last dinner together.
Five years since our last daily talk on my long commute.

The time has passed so swiftly.
And so slowly.
The pain has abated to a constant hurt.
I need you dad.
I always knew I would.

I took you for granted too often.
I said I love you often, meant it always.
But I did not feel it as strongly as I should have--
Did not appreciate how very precious every moment was--
Did not comprehend how truly blessed I was to have you in my life.

Mom is now gone too.
The years after you passed were profoundly painful.
She did not realize you were gone--a blessing.
Eventually she forgot me too.
But I so miss our weekly visits too.

I always kissed her for you.
Three times on the forehead before leaving.
You always kissed her three times.
I hope you were there sometimes.
And I hope you were not.

You are both together now.
Resting side by side.
I will join you both when God calls me home.
And will miss you both every day meanwhile.
Until we meet again.
Jan 2020 · 158
Agree to Disagree
Victor D López Jan 2020
agree
gracefully
to disagree

to disagree
on how we view the world
is not a sin

a sin
is forcing
our views on others
Jan 2020 · 89
True Wealth
Victor D López Jan 2020
All that you have and all you may yet own,
Can be stolen, lost, consumed or destroyed,
The state can tax it to oblivion,
Or outright confiscate it--some or all.

There's only one most precious thing you own,
Beyond the reach of corrupt governments,
That you can use and share but not use up,
And pays high, tax-free dividends for life.

Its value is undiluted by strife,
It thrives in markets of both bulls and bears,
It is inflation- and recession-proof,
Beyond the reach of world economies.

It is not stocks, or bonds, or precious jewels,
Nor is it currency of any kind,
It is invisible, intangible,
And may be held by princes and paupers.

The more you own, the more its value grows,
Though it can largely be obtained for free,
Once obtained it can be improved, reshared,
For a price, or at no cost, as you choose.

Its ownership is the only true wealth,
To which wise humans in life should aspire,
The wealth I write of is of course knowledge,
The only coin with which wisdom is bought.
Jan 2020 · 83
Gordian Knot
Victor D López Jan 2020
A Gordian knot,
Our wonder-filled universe,
And we have no sword.
Victor D López Jan 2020
Hubristrology is the pseudo-science,
Created when the human mind,
Attempts to reduce the infinite complexity,
Of the universe to its understanding.

It can lead to absurd conclusions not unlike,
A blind man who has spent his life in the desert,
Attempting to deduce the form and function,
Of a great white shark by examining only the tip of its dorsal fin.

In our efforts to unravel the secrets of the universe,
Even the wisest among us is like an amoeba floating on a leaf,
Attempting to distill the infinite secrets of the cosmos,
By examining in minutest detail the fetid drop of pond water it inhabits.

Square pegs don't fit into round holes? Worry not.
Hubristrology to the rescue!
Find a peg of lesser diameter,
And it will fit just fine.
This poem echoes a main theme in my most disturbing and perhaps prophetic short story, "End of Days." A little knowledge is a dangerous thing! It was posted first at AllPoetry in response to a prompt to create a new word, define it and use it in a poem.
Jan 2020 · 43
Requiem for Ethics
Victor D López Jan 2020
Deontology was the canary in the coal mine,
Whose death and replacement by teleology,
Opened the gates,
To the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
Jan 2020 · 78
Coding Will Set You Free
Victor D López Jan 2020
Coding will set you free,
Repair, rework, renew, reinvent ruinous reality,
Into a multiverse where reason reigns and creativity flourishes.

Excise the tired, mundane, mind-numbing predictability of the real,
Transform it into a rebooted reality that erases every flaw,
Expiates original sin and finally frees humanity from its anchor to clay.

Soar on the winds of possibility to heights undreamed of,
With wings not of feathers and wax impervious to the sun,
Then cut the cord of existence and live forever in a perfect world.
Victor D López Jan 2020
We alone in the universe?
Inconceivable! Absurd! Illogical!
So why the silence?

We’ve been screeching “We’re here!”
For the better part of a century,
Sending our best and worst broadcasts,
(Mostly the latter) that have now traveled,
Nearly 100 light years in the Milky Way.

A-bombs and H-bombs also send out clear signals.

They know we’re here.
So why the silence?
Could it be they did respond and are here?
Perhaps.

But two other options are likelier, I think.
One, that they saw, heard, examined our broadcasts,
And did as we might if we discovered,
An island populated by billions of rabid baboons.
Unpleasant. Dangerous. Irrelevant.

Another possibility is that they cannot distinguish,
Our primitive signals from the general background noise,
And natural radio emissions of a static-filled universe,
Any more than we could hear the most ardent efforts,
Of a paramecium vigorously thrashing its cilia,
In an effort to let its existence be known to the universe.

No, we are not alone.

We can’t possibly be.

We are just not worthy of acknowledgement,
Or perhaps of notice.

Worse yet, we might be like a cancer cell,
Attempting to communicate with the body it inhabits.
Whether it succeeds through its efforts,
Or is discovered by independent means,
Is there any question as to its likely fate?
Jan 2020 · 122
New Year's (Non) Resolution
Victor D López Jan 2020
I hereby resolve,
To make no resolution,
For the coming year.

Take days as they come,
Embrace opportunities,
Brighten other lives.

Make no promises,
But do what you can each day,
To walk in the light.

Shine the light of truth,
Where darkness slithers freely,
That all may see clear.

See things as they are,
Not as sophists would paint them,
Give help when you can.

Let your purpose be,
Leaving something of value,
When your journey's done.
linked haikus
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