Jun 15 Alva Cardona

Eyes..."the windows of the soul"
revealing all i am and are...
Layers of emotions
that show every battle scar.

With a phrase or harsh action
they may show such grief and pain.
Some often ignore the signs...
and just attack again.

They speak to you, succinctly
and can be an open book
If you would only take the time
to take a deeper look.

They soften when they fall in love
and sharpen to a lie
And tighten when duress is near
and narrow when they spy.

They widen when the wonders
of the world come into sight.
Then close when darkness falls
and just embrace the night.

They flinch when they are startled
and they smile when joy is near.
And lubricate themselves with tears
when losing someone dear.

If you should pay attention
to the billboard of the eyes.
They often tell the truth
and seldom falsely advertise.

Alva Cardona Jun 15


I had no control over my birth. But I remember
what it felt like to be born. It felt like dying, as I was
being pushed through a tunnel and toward the light.
I heard a scream. It was me. I was screaming my lungs out,
and it hurt to breathe because no one taught me how
to take my first breath of air. I just did, and my lungs
were brand new, unused, and filled with the liquid
of the amniotic sac in my mother’s womb. I was
drowning again, crystal-clear fluid that tasted
like salt leaking from my eyes, like river water trying
to find its way to the ocean. I was in shock. I was
confused, as I felt hands all around my raw skin, but not like
before, when they hit my back and cut the umbilical cord.
They were comforting and warm, not like the hands
of the ones that drug me out of my mother’s uterus.
I might not remember how it happened, how I came to be,
or how I came to this world a shiny new human, with
ten fingers and ten toes, and a head full of hair
(I heard my parents counting each tiny digit sticking out
of each limb, and tracing soft hands around my dark curls),
but I remember that feeling of warmth covering
my trembling little body like a cocoon, the low words,
whispers and coos, and the melodious lullabies sung
by mouths with hot, sweet-smelling breaths.
I was the center of so much attention even though I
felt shy and naked, and did not understand what
all the fuss was about, why I was suddenly the most
important person in the lives of two strangers that were
apparently expecting me, and wishing and praying for me
to be healthy and perfect, and theirs. But I could feel
how much these people loved me, even though they
had not met me, and the unspoken promise of unconditional
love and affection that they were going to shower me with
during the duration of that thing we all have been gifted
with and are lucky enough to have, that cosmic accident
that feels like it was meant to be, that phenomenon
many philosophers have spent millennia trying to explain:
the one that conscious, rational beings call life.

No one taught me how to open my eyes and see the world.
No one taught me how to keep my eyes open, to feel
awed by this planet, or wonder about what’s beyond it;
I just did, the same way I obey gravity and
the many other laws of the physical world
and the known (and unknown) universe
without anyone asking me to, or without
defying them. But I still have many questions
about the serendipitous realm we inhabit,
where our lives are as fleeting and bright
as a comet, looking so mighty in the night sky
when seen from Earth, even though they’re
ice-covered rocks and dust particles floating
around their orbits, in the vacuum of space.
When I go through that tunnel and toward
the light again, I’ll try to remember my
so-called life, the lessons I learned, and
the souls I met before I go through the
wormhole and break through the spheres,
into infinite arbitrary dimensions
and unparalleled realities.

Alva Cardona May 20

When an island like Puerto Rico dies,
no one says a word. No one bats an eye.
No one. No eulogy, funeral mass, or special
rites. No tears or prayers for the dead,
desecrated piece of insularized land.
No one cares enough to not let it sink
to the ocean floor, or not let Boricuas
drown in their national public debt,
or the waters of the Caribbean.
The International Press goes silent
–not in grief or mourning, but in
implicit abetment and complicity.

(Did you know that the Puerto Rico Trench
is the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean?)

We’ve barely hit the bottom or
scratched the surface of these
feelings of loss, and we’ve yet
to go through the last two of the
five stages of grief: denial, anger,
bargaining, depression,
and acceptance.

Still, it is no easy task to let things go.

Most of us Puerto Ricans are Catholics,
and believe that death is the transition
from the material plane to the afterlife,
where we will get to live in either
Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory.

So, what happens
when an island dies?

Will it, in its last breaths,
look at the sky to see its
tall palm trees, the sun
and the clouds?

But, what if the last thing it sees
are the vultures flying above
in circles, waiting to eat its
carcass, and airplanes full
of its people leaving to
the Mainland?

What if its small world
of 100 x 35 square miles
doesn’t end with neither
a whimper, nor a bang?

What happens
when an island dies?

What happens
if my Island dies?

This poem was inspired by the current economic crisis that my country, Puerto Rico, is facing due to the Island's outstanding $73 billion or more in public debt.

Link to the news -> https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/business/dealbook/puerto-rico-debt-bankruptcy.html
  May 19 Alva Cardona
Hannah Gold

When Light craved your soul to see in kissing colors
as the evening envisioned to die in the dawn of depth,
when Soul lustered for learning, as blood bespoke to her bones
for building the star of flesh, when Time needed the resentment
of its ubiquity to be understood. The moment texture lured touch to
tease with a thousand sensations, when the labor of love sought a language
to express the extremes of its lips, as romance raged through the ravishing of
hardened hearts, when sorrow’s seduction made heroes of loving men and women.

When Justice is seduced to her innocent words,
as bravery battled the basic questions of conquest,
war demands a metaphor in the terror of its destruction,
as Faith finds resolutions to her problems in seconds,
Death wallows for relief and Life’s supercilious meaning upon its skyline.
When God wanted imagination to invent immaculate existence…
Poetry began, born as an eternal being,
because, the only vow of a Poet, is Passion!

**any suggested titles?**
Alva Cardona May 19

For the first moment in my life,
I’m angry at everyone, everything,
and nothing, and I don’t know why.
And for the first moment in months,
I realize that I’m in denial, that I do
know what I’m angry about –and
who I’m angry at. It’s painful to admit
that I’m angry at my country, at its
politicians and even at my God, for
letting things get to the state they’re in,
for letting our economy decline and our
society deteriorate; that I’m angry at
the abandonment and neglect, the
abuse that’s being going on for more
than a century. I’m angry at this Colony
and the Empire that subjugates it and its
people, the country that would allow
something like this to happen to its own
people just because they were born
outside of the Mainland, in an island
of the Caribbean; because its people are
of Spanish, African and Taino descendence;
because they’re the product of centuries
of different races that aren’t white
(of mixing), the product of miscegenation.
Because they see us as immigrants, even
though we were born American citizens,
and speak both English and Spanish, and
are mostly bilingual. Because the color of
our skin is café con leche, not caramel latte
or mochacchino. Because we are naturally
kissed by the sun and live in a tropical climate,
they automatically assume we live in the
jungle, civilized enough to not swing from
trees and wear loincloths; that we’re all
assimilated enough to not notice or just
ignore the casual condescendence and racism
–and objectification, if you’re a woman and
you’re Latina. Because they think of us as
second-class citizens, we can’t vote for
the President and our only representative
in Congress is voiceless and powerless.
Because we have to beg for federal funds
to keep our most basic public programs
alive, our government functional, and our
public education and health system from
collapse. Because we’ve lost our national
identity and don’t want to accept that we’re
oppressed, so that we don’t have to fight
against the oppressor. Because we can’t bite
the hand that feeds, according to the politicians
that defend the ELA or want Statehood. But
what exactly are they feeding us with? Lies?
Propaganda? …Hope? No, they’re feeding us
with promises of social and economic stability
and a better future while promising the vulture
funds and bondholders that they’ll get paid
their due, that they’ll cash in from the repayment
of the illegal debt they purchased for pennies
on the dollar. They’re giving us The PROMESA
Act and a Fiscal Control Board –and they’re
taking everything we have left, away from us.
They’re selling us on dreams of a better country
–of a better life– while passing legislation that
will not defend the interests or rights of our
people. They intend to make the mirage in the
desert a new and exciting travel destination,
so tourists can have it all while the locals go
thirsty and hungry, with pain and hallucinations.
They’re promising an oasis for all, but only the
rich and powerful will get to drink from it.

This poem was inspired by the current economic crisis that my country, Puerto Rico, is facing due to the Island's outstanding $73 billion or more in public debt.

Link to the news -> https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/business/dealbook/puerto-rico-debt-bankruptcy.html

5/19/2017 (59 minutes ago)

The weeping
of the guitar begins.
Wineglasses shatter
in the dead of night.
The weeping
of the guitar begins.
It's useless
to hush it.
It's impossible
to hush it.
It weeps on monotonously
the way water weeps,
the way wind weeps
over the snowdrifts.
It's impossible
to hush it.
It weeps for things
far, far away.
For the sand of the hot South
that begs for white camellias.
Weeps for arrows without targets,
an afternoon without a morning,
and for the first dead bird
upon the branch.
Oh, guitar!
Heart gravely wounded
by five swords.

Alva Cardona Apr 16

Revenge is a demon that’s hard to exorcise,
and forgiveness, an angel sent by the god of Mercy.
The devil hovers on my left shoulder, the seraph lies
on the right, and each one is the purest expression
of love and hate, temptation and conscience.

They both whisper sweet nothings in my ears,
trying to comfort me, to free me from the loud
thoughts in my head and the torture of silence,
while the smells of heaven and hell surround
me and hang heavy in the air

like sulfur and petrichor,
like fire and rain

that excite and soothe
my spirit,
that consume and flood
my mind.

They’re both
looking out for me.

They both
want my happiness.

They’re both protective and want
to sate me and save my soul in
their own righteous ways;

to take me by the hand
and walk by my side
on whatever path
I choose.

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