Hayward, California

ORGANIZER: Silvia Brandon Perez

CONTACT: silviantonia@gmail.com

LOCATION: 27287 Patrick Avenue, Hayward, CA 94544

A 100 Thousand Poets for Change poetry/music event, co-sponsored by the Hayward Demos Club , The Southern Alameda Peace, Justice Coalition, and endorsed by SOA Watch San Francisco, will feature Nico Udu-gama, Washington D.C. organizer for the School of the Americas Watch. Appetizers (tapas) will be served. 3 and 7 PM. 27287 Patrick Avenue, Hayward, CA 94544

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Hayward, California — 8 Comments

  1. I’m a published poet, though not very well known. I haven’t written any poetryl lately. I will try writing some poems on peace and on change and if they turn out okay, I’d be happy to read them at the event or read from my favorite poets. I’m retired from Berkeley Mental Health Crisis Services. I’ve always worked for public agencies which means I’ve always worked for the poor and the dispossessed.

  2. We met at 3:00 at our site and people began arriving, although the poet Carolyn Scarr was already there, talking with Darryl Berman. Doris Rodriquez arrived shortly after that. Theresa Cameranesi and Judy Liteky arrived with Nico Udu-gama and the folk singer Faith Petric, who turned 96 on September 13th. Theresa was carrying Faith’s guitar. Bernardo Pimentel and Armando Nuñez were there setting up the computer and sound system with my husband, Jim Forsyth. Kristina Burnett arrived, and later on Al Mendall also arrived.

    I started talking about the event and about the School of the Americas in order to introduce Nico, who suggested we sit in a circle. We introduced each other and why we were there and doing this type of work… Some comments that were very meaningful included Darryl’s that we create these relationships that help us do the work that needs to be done to change the world… we all resonated to that, to the work and to the relationships, so we spoke about our various work and our various passions… I had talked about the April meeting in DC where we participated in a ‘die-in’ in front of the White House, but said that we had also accompanied Father Roy Bourgeois as he responded to the Vatican Embassy’s demand that he recant on his support for the ordination of women as Roman Catholic priests, and I asked Faith to sing the song “If you haven’t got a penis then you can’t have a priest,” which is irreverent enough but is very much, in a humorous way, about change. Carolyn Scarr then recited a poem, I followed suit with my poem Blood Mixed with Milk, published in the Friends’ Journal, Kristina recited a translation of a German poem about the First World War, called Two Soldiers, Nico recited a José Martí call-out, which had a refrain, Levántate y anda (Get up and walk), and Theresa recited a poem from a Chilean friend about spring. Carolyn did another poem, Faith another song, I read Verse for a Sad Grandbaby, and I will post all the poems and lyrics tomorrow.

    • Thank you for letting me know how the meeting went. Unfortunately I didn’t feel well enough to attend that night. Nights are hard for me, anyway, as I usually feel exhausted by about 8 or 9 p.m. and sometimes much earlier. I’m so glad you will be posting the poems so I, and others, can read them. I look forward to it.

      Thank you so much.

      • Irene, I am going to start a blog for 100,000 Poets, so please feel free to post any poems you would have read that night. I am sorry that you felt too ill to come, but surely if we have other events in the future you will not be too ill, and the important thing is the relationships we start and nurture. I know myself, as a poet, that we don’t always get to read or enjoy poetry as we should in the US. In Latin America we are always reading and writing and talking about poetry, and poetry belongs to the people, as opposed to academia, and is nurtured and enjoyed by them.

  3. Doris Rodriquez read a poem dated 1914 that her father kept in his journal… it was also a moving poem with a dialogue between a soldier and his mother. Below are some of the poems that were read:

  4. Here are the poems read by Carolyn Scarr, in PDF files.

  5. Poems read by Theresa:

  6. Poems by Silvia Brandon Pérez

    Verse for a Sad Grandbaby
    Hush now, don’t speak,
    right now the moon
    is trying on her dress of clouds;
    we must not interrupt the show.
    We’ll light twelve candles,
    steal a star or ten,
    eat buttered popcorn,
    sing Christmas songs in June,
    and talk about the zebra and her coat.

    I’ll tell you one and twenty stories,
    acquaint you with the ant that danced,
    the elephant that wore eyeglasses,
    the boy that made it past the sun
    bicycle and all,
    and lend you that old handkerchief
    embroidered by abuela, the one with posies,
    to dry that spot of wetness near your eyes.

    We’ll eat hot garlic soup with bread
    spoonfed with aeroplanes and trains,
    watch a movie, groucho’s antics
    or pick a soggy one to cry
    and later,
    when sun and moon no longer fight,
    we’ll cuddle up
    order confetti dreams
    and sleep ensconced
    in orange lullabies.

    Welcome, death
    And so it is confirmed:
    the latest, not least mourned
    because of death so near
    the year’s end

    has found a final rest
    amid the noise and excrescence
    of putrid war; three thousand
    of our gallant young

    which but means
    the mother does not know,
    the spouse or sister, father,

    will receive
    that fateful phone call,
    the one all lovers of a fighter
    dread to hear,

    Dear Sir or Madam, we regret
    your child or spouse or loved one
    is now dead; we’ll ship
    all the remains aboard

    a busy plane, they will unload it
    at the end, after all passengers
    have disembarked; we would not want
    our passengers disturbed,

    he/she was brave in dying
    as in life; you may not know
    the reason death was found so far away
    from home and hearth and love

    because a nation’s greed or apathy,
    our bloodied hands, with military fervor
    must salute the master of disgrace,
    heil conquering hero,

    welcome, death.
    Science Lesson

    The square root of fifteen
    is five, he said; the answer to the endless
    question of the here and now IS then.
    Democritus contrived a theory that space,
    the Void, had equal dibs with Being, or reality,
    the Void a vacuum filled with particles
    eternal and invisible. From there to bombs
    and mushroom clouds winging their way
    across the unreality of time and space
    to death.

    When younger and myopic I saw lights
    as fusion of their shapes and colors: beauty.
    With glasses fuzzy beauty was resolved
    to dirty streets, with crime and garbage
    everywhere. Ultimate good, which D. described
    as cheerfulness, a state in which the soul
    lives tranquilly, eludes me.

    The naked city, she that never sleeps,
    is now a place of terror for the ones
    who do not fit the picture.
    The volume of a cone is but one third
    that of a cylinder (same base and equal
    height). Poetry’s atoms have been split
    by hatred. The total mass of the reactants
    in a chemical reaction equal total mass
    of products. Darkness abounds.
    The total mass of fear and prejudice
    and anxious nightmares equals bullets
    nightsticks hate and death.
    Dalton and Lavoisier redeemed.
    God weeps.

    Blood mixed with milk (written on the occasion of the death of a mother and infant by a smart bomb)

    I imagine that the babe that lies
    with its small eyes closed forever
    nursed from your breast, and that with that hand
    with which you kept him to your last breath
    from death, you changed his diapers, nestled him
    toward the nipple bursting with white milk, that cream
    our breasts create for the nourishment
    of our small ones, I imagine that perhaps,
    minutes before the bomb, before that scream
    that sealed his tears and yours for eternities
    I neither understand nor care explaining,
    he might have bitten you with that smile
    of infants when they nurse, smiling
    from a taste of godly feasting, and then a noise
    and a world in flames and clusters of emissaries
    of death on the wing, and a roar that maybe
    left you deaf there toward the end so you couldn’t hear
    your baby’s scream, and left you blind so you could not see
    how your blood mixed with milk in the mouth of an innocent.

    Sangre mezclada con leche

    Me imagino que aún este bebé que yace
    con sus ojitos cerrados para siempre
    lactaba de tu seno, y que con esa mano
    con que lo guardaste hasta el suspiro último
    de la muerte le cambiabas pañales, lo acomodabas
    al pezón rebosante de leche blanca, de la crema
    que crean nuestros pechos para el sustento
    de nuestras criaturas, me imagino que tal vez
    unos minutos antes de la bomba, antes de ese grito
    que selló su llanto y el tuyo por eternidades
    que no comprendo ni me interesa el explicar,
    tal vez te había mordido con la sonrisa esa
    de los niños cuando lactan, sonriente
    de probar manjar de dioses, y luego un ruido
    y el mundo en llamas y racimos de emisarias
    de la muerte al vuelo, y un estruendo que tal vez
    te dejó sorda ya al final para no oir los chillidos
    de tu crío, y que algo te dejó ciega para no comprobar
    como su sangre se mezclaba con la leche en boca de inocente.

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