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Multicolored streamers and confetti
decorate the room.
They hang from the wineglass rack
and family members alike.
Frank Sinatra sings with all his might,
but the orchestra of noise makers and laughter
plays a more beautiful tune.

Eyes wide open and observant
I soak in la fiesta.
Poppa twirls Nenita
around the kitchen,
Uncle plays a tune on la guitara,
some sing along,
primos play Mother May I
in the hall,
and everyone drinks
to health,
to love,
to money,
and to time.

Papo cracks the champagne.
Las tias gather the troops
to prepare for the toast!
Los ninos lift empty glasses
“We want some too!”
receiving the un-intoxicating
alternative instead.
Wishing to be older.
Wanting the real thing.

A toast is said in unison,
for it is one we all know.
It is one that I am old enough for.
“Salud, amor, pesetas, y
tiempo para gastalo”
then we all drink
to health
to love
to money
and time to enjoy it all.

Dean Martin sings with all his might,
But the laughter and merriment
play a more memorable tune.
The morning sun
will take us our separate ways,
so for now we drink
to what matters most.

Salud, amor, pesetas,
y tiempo para gastalo.
Thank you for the read. Comments and criticisms are always wanted and welcome!
spysgrandson Oct 2016
hunched over, a brown-skinned army,
picking, the field soon to be stripped of its bounty;
they will move to the next one, fast,
before the fruit falls to the ground

"los ninos, los viejos tambien"
the young, the old ones also help, though
they are slower and tote less a load  

when the day is done, they build fires
for the frijoles, and to keep the night's spirits
at bay; they sleep in the shanties, the sheds
the master provides  

the next day will be the same, though maybe
not as hot--maybe a rain will give them respite
from their labors  

a gentle, short shower they pray,
for a storm might lay ruin to the crops, the treasure
they borrow only long enough
to basket and truck

not even a cloud visits the white sky
so the stooping, the loading drags on without relief
but from the north, a cool wind does blow

in it they hear a voice without cords vibrating,
yet one that speaks a language their hearts know well,
telling them their toil is to be brief, yet eternal: that winter
only whispers now, but soon commands all to rest
susurros en el viento translation: whispers in the wind
Danny Valdez Jan 2012
There are literally dozens of them in the valley.
Mexican food places
that end in 'betos' or 'bertos'
but for me
there was never any other
besides 'Losbetos'.
It sat at the crossroads of
Greenfield and University
a few hundred feet from my Dad's house.
Growing up through my teen years
it was always apart of my routine.
it was always there.
I took great pride in that place
always pledging my love
for their immaculate burros.
Bean & cheese
beans, lettuce, rice, and cheese
a Country burro, with eggs, potatoes, and cheese
and of course the churros.
That's all I would order from that place.
I'd walk in
and the owner
who was always working
in his jeans and Losbeto's shirt
with the fancy leather belt and shiny Mexican buckle
I'd walk in and he'd always say
'Bean & Cheese or Country?'
From my days with Ian as ***** punkers
carrying back our brown bags of burros
to eat them while watching Jason Lives.
Then being married, living at my Dad's
my walks to Losbeto's
afforded much needed breaks
from my pregnant and moody new bride
or years later
when I was down & out
3 bucks to my name
I'd spend it there and it was always worth it.
The cheese was melted
the beans tasted like my Nana's
the tortillas were fluffy and soft
it put Filiberto's to shame.
Every woman
that has ever danced with me
and then exited my life
went through there.
One time, over a four day period,
I went in there with three different girls
a new woman everyday
and on the fourth I went in alone.
The owner's round face lit up
and he laughed loudly
as I approached the counter in my boots & leather jacket
"No girls today, my fren?"
"Ha ha ha! No, no, not today."
It was like going home
every time I walked in.
Made friends with the owner's son
and we'd always *******
about our Dad's and how nothing pleased them
he even hooked me up with a few Losbeto's hats
for preferred customers only.
I had it made.
Until last week
life falling apart
woman left me
job fired me
no money for the bus to job hunt
I was stuck.
But that night I was with a friend
and he said, he'd buy us burritos.
So we pulled up from the back
and I instantly sensed something was wrong.
The family's SUV was parked in the drive-thru
the sign shut off and darkened
a big orange U-Haul parked next to the side door.
It felt like pulling up to your house
with yellow tape surrounding it.
Without saying a word
I jumped from the truck and ran
straight for the backdoor.
When I saw the inside
my worst fears came to life
my heart sank into my gut.
The room was empty
everything moved out
lines on the walls from where
the prep table used to be.
The owner and his son
were sweeping up
while the little ninos ran around
with smiles on their faces
but none of the adults were smiling
not one.
"Wha? What's going on? Everything okay?"
I asked, hoping they were
just moving out old equipment
or something.
"No bro. We're closing down, homes."
The son said to me, with a glum look.
"What? No. Why?"
"They raised the rent on us, can't pay it, we're not making as much as we used to."
I felt guilty
I hadn't eaten there in nearly two weeks.
"So that's it? You guys are done?" I asked
The son looked to his Dad and asked him in Spanish.
He told him and then he told me,
"We're gonna try and find another location with cheaper rent, but I don't know. We'll see."
Then he gave me his number
and I said goodbye
walked back out to the truck
where my friend was waiting.
"*******, dude. You look like a family member just died."
"Yeah, that's what happened. Basically."
I'm gonna starve now.
Me sente sobre la mesa
todo el lugar es lindo
la mente esta en calma
y todo el lugar es lindo
las vias silencias
los ninos llorrando callados
el ruido de la registradora
y el cambio cambiando de manos
es tranquilamente mudo
al igual que la quietud
que ejerce paz sobre mi mente
Tammy Boehm Oct 2014
"Baby Brianna was five months old when she died...she had multiple broken bones. Over thirty bite marks. She was beat to death..." "Susannah Martinez (campaign ad)

Doe eyed ghosts
Y los ninos mi corazon
Mall haired mamacita with the lined lips
505 madonna meant nothing to you
Bust that cap while she sleeps
And leave the little ones behind
Curled up against her cooling breast
Black blood and coffee grounds under their nails
It took them weeks to starve to death
Abuelitas they lament
Light the candles in Torreon
Would you buckle under the weight of tiny bones
Small hands that clutch the sky
Sightless eyes
Fragments of a smile stopped by a single shot
Gangstas gunning the wrong house
Little girl lost in poppi's arms
would her whispered breath against your neck
bring one tear
Baby Bartholemew in his car seat
choking to death in his own blood
Head lolling back crying for mommy
One last time
The sound...the stench forever resonant
Cuz teddy bears cant stop a bullet can they
Wrong place
Wrong time
Hand the grieving parents a tissue
And straighten her hair
For the cameras
This indignation will rise
Bile in your throat
for the next 40 minutes
Until you return to the blur
Of your regularly scheduled lives
We're so casual with our offspring
But Brianna, Bartholomew
and the ghosts in Torreon
they haunt these tears I cry

"It took us three years, but we fought to make it a death sentence. Baby Brianna's picture still hangs in my office." Susannah Martinez (campaign ad)

I will not forget....

TL Boehm
December 2010
This is a rewrite of a poem I lost - written about a culture that used to strap the murdered to a murderer until the murdered corpse dropped off. That was the punishment.

The Torreon cabin murders are true. Gangsters decided to **** a mother and her boyfriend in a cabin in Torreon and left her toddlers to starve to death. They ate coffee grounds before they died.

Bartholomew is also true. A drive by shooting....wrong car.

The little girl shot in the face, also true. Wrong house.

Governor Susannah Martinez and Baby Brianna Lopez. Yup. True.

It makes me physically sick.

you can google "Torreon Cabin Murders" as well as "Baby Brianna Lopez" - I cannot bring the pictures here. Only the words of my heart. Ask me now why - I am perpetually dark.
Bryce Apr 2019
*******, Evangeline
I hated you in the seventh grade
When you were pushed on me at school
And broke my rib,
As I badmouthed you on the monkeyswings.

But quickly I learned
Not from mom or sister
That to be a man is different than
Hollywood and Disneyland
Nothing Loves, Actually; Forever calls—

Very quickly

It seems

That I go from adorable to expendable

With a bit of mandated mail
And affairs with Eros’ bureaus of State

Back then I played with chitinous bugs
Baiting them fluffy placentas
of budding trees
And stalked them back to their cave
Before I knew my felonies

But I was a baby,
A child—I never could have known what it means.

But of course I do,
I’ve seen
the running of the bulls
The utterance of men
They are angry and gouge *******
with cold vicegrips around their ******
And are kicked
Spurned to wrathful affectation
To be murdered in the evening
With rapturous spectation

“But they are bulls!”

Of course they are
"These feelings are only natural!"

No man can equate
With the pleasurable temptations of the state

Not bird or bug or steer or doe

The only Hierarchy permissible
Is of the animals
And of that we hate

I don’t see you woeing
About that steak on your plate.
Or the Glue in the soles of your shoes.

Stroll a bit
Sniff the trees
Whiff the *******
When it’s in the feed

He runs in circles shouting, chanting
“Oye, Oye, Aye Piche Cabrone!”
As the solo mothers cut his lengua
for the starving Ninos
In an apartment complex
off Oxenhoof Lane


Papi got iced
By I.C.E or the like
And the kiddies will never know what it means.

You’ll never know what it means
To be a bull
Muster your might for this—demand with laughter you die
I am an ant in the ever-washed hive
Of sterile kin who have no lives
They give for their queen or infectious despot with wings

Despite all the kindness they've given me,
I am not ready to be meat for the feet.

In every blade of grass I've faith
That no bird or sin will ****** me from my place
And into the sky or the unsatiated mouth of the various
Disunified highs

For now I share the toil and vitriolic
Jowls of those who hate themselves
More than me
And try to smile and bring food for the queen

But deep inside
I am an ant
And that is all you will ever see.
I have come for your company
And a taste of your grace
We are each a breath of air
Waiting to escape swollen lungs
That have been filled for days
We are each a drop of honey
Hanging from the rim
We are each a speck of dust
And in case you mistook me for a star
I am really a piece of your heart
A fabric woven from the darkness
Of space and time
We climb the stairs in the dark
And make love in the sun’s arc
We are castles
Made from indigenous dreams
We are all right angles
Born from fragile parts
Of these circular beings
G Rog Rogers Sep 2017

A child was born
Her life was torn
away from Her
as She lay dreaming
far away

In that place
where children's smiles
can stop the wars
can stop the wars

Hear the wind
that lifts Her angel wings
and takes Her or'

To that place
of sunlit shores
Where wars no more
Where wars no more

The cross
the precious child
She bore
was not Her own
was not Her own

The cross was yours
The cross was yours alone

Mi Señor
Oh, my Lord
por favor
por amor
Please stop the wars
War no more

Por Dios y Amor
por los ninos
por amor
por favor
Please stop the wars
War No More


Song written in response to a gang drive-by shooting of a little four year old girl.

King Tutankhamun Oct 2016
my gun keeps me from harm
i got more stripes than philly uniforms when i perform
on the mic i get it lukewarm
or betta yet hot
like shots from the glocks
over crack spots n what not?
n who got?
elephant stamina like me
yea im insulting ya
i got more gass than Sosa
pushin' coke off the coast of
puerto rico got a bad filipino
one luv to my lil ninos
none touch the kids
get yo wig split ya dig
im fresh as ever squeal out the pigs
who try to intervene inbetween
the drug deals we makin' mills
mad skills no ski mask quick to blast
****** into the past
yea im the present in the present
stressed out but still see blessin'
**** sessions helps my aggression
no flexin'
get ya chest caved in
neva been to the pen
but i got few homies in the pen
im reppin' ya puttin' money on ya books
n get donnybrook
for any fool who look?
funny our money stay floated
like boats in the ocean
**** a notion i got my own potion
rhymes to bars spit a few
got hoes to stay with me
like el dabarge
****** will snitch onnya
for a few large
take heed to my demons seed
blood equals money n greed
neva bite the hands that feed
im takin on the world
no handcuff i squeeze my iron
before ***** ****** start firin
back at me beat my feet
level thirteen in my condo suite
puffin' white owls
with my ***** inbetween my feet

— The End —