Poetry: Memory, The Robin's Nest & Birth

Memory

I see the train pass by and reminisce my childhood dreams... I lift my feet, pull them close off the ground, tumble backward into memory. A frothy neighborhood pool: playing, swimming with my friends, siblings, and then I hear the rumble of the train whooshing close. I remember somersaulting, limbs off the surface bottom,

water splashing, laughing, screeching to see who might last the longest underwater, who could beat that long lost train meandering down its tracks

toward infinity, who would get their wish come true if legs could fly like angels off the ground as the train thundered on its way...

When I hear that same train now, instinctively I pull my legs up

as I've always done for years now: that little bit of whimsy, that little bit of wanderlust.

Yet as I do, I also capture the futility of broken dreams...

Families trudge down troubled tracks, lonely boys, young men,

pregnant mothers holding onto extended little arms, the occasional fractured father, a brusque coyote, a tattooed man:

all lumber toward el Norte, on that grand train folks call la bestia. Looking for a future impermanent as blue smoke, la bestia blows through scorching sands that disappear in wailing women's tacit tears...

What has happened to those childhood reveries

yearning for a better day? A future filled with grandeur, with happiness, with love?

Why do I get to grasp it, to achieve that pinnacle, while people to the south are locked in a hell where governments have no power over laws and evil becomes king?

Why can we not invest in peace, in love, in harmony of being, in wisdom? Let the brown child’s smile bring joy to the tears of heaven. Let his innocence infuse our leprosy and cleanse it... We have no right to close our gates, to stop our trains, to say la bestia brings only famine and despair, "criminals and rapists".

We must let asylum seekers reach our borders; we must grasp their hands and welcome them. If we do, our childhood dreams might still come true.

And I can then again lift up my feet,

pull them closely off the ground, tumble backward into memory,

but also forward into a future bright with hope...

Memoria

An interpretation, not a translation (because translation is never poetry)

Veo pasar el tren mientras recuerdo mis sueños de infancia ... Levanto pie, los jalo hacia el cuerpo, lejos del suelo, y me derrumbo marcha atrás en la memoria. La espumosa piscina del barrio: jugando, nadando con amigos, hermanos y hermanas. Luego oigo el estruendo del tren susurrando cerca. Recuerdo dando volteretas, brazos y patas chapoteando fuera de la hondura del agua, salpicaduras y remolinos, gozando de la vida, chirriando para ver quién duraría más tiempo bajo el agua, quién vencería a ese tren perdido serpenteando hacia el infinito, quién hiciera realidad su deseo si sus piernas volarían como ángeles venciendo la fuerza de la gravedad cuando el tren tronara hacia el fin de su camino...

Cuando ahora escucho ese mismo tren, instintivamente levanto pie, como siempre lo he hecho desde hace tantos años: un poco de fantasía, un poco de peregrino al pasado.

Sin embargo, al hacerlo, también capturo la torpeza de miles ilusiones... Todos caminan las inseguras vías de los trenes... los chicos solitarios, los hombres jóvenes, las madres encintas sostienen bracitos extendidos. El imprevisto padre destrozado, el coyote brusco, el hombre tatuado: todo refugiado viaja hacia el Norte, en ese gran tren llamado la bestia. Buscando un efímero futuro como el humo azul, esa bestia sopla, invadiendo los candentes campos que desaparecen en las mudas lágrimas de las mujeres suspirando...

¿Qué ha pasado con esos sueños de mi infancia, el antojo para un amanecer mejor? ¿Un futuro lleno de grandeza, de felicidad, de amor? ¿Por qué podré alcanzarlo yo, lograr esa cima, mientras personas al sur se encuentran en un infierno donde el gobierno no tiene poder sobre leyes y el mal se convierte en rey?

¿Por qué no podemos invertir en paz, ¿En amor, en buena sintonía, en sabiduría? Deja que la sonrisa del niño – de cualquier color -- provoque alegría a las lágrimas del cielo. Deja que su inocencia infiltre nuestra lepra y la limpie ... No tenemos derecho a cerrar las puertas, a detener los trenes, decir que la bestia solo trae hambre y zozobra, "criminales y asesinos". Debemos dejar que los refugiados alcancen las fronteras; Debemos tomar sus manos y darles la bienvenida. Si lo hacemos, nuestros sueños de la infancia todavía podrían ser realidad...

Y entonces podríamos volver a levantar los pies, jalarlos hacia el cuerpo, lejos del suelo, derrumbándonos marcha atrás en la memoria, Pero también hacia delante, a un futuro acariciando fe ...

The Robin's Nest

The brilliance of the sun upon a robin's red,

I hear its singing and I smile nostalgically because I do not warble ballads

of celestial fledglings.

I walk my hound dog, gods lightly trampling on my feet

smelling the rose weed, the yucca, the helter-skelter grass.

I pull her tether and wonder at the parties of closed-in houses and music floating through the air.

I am not part of them. I am not part of anyone. I am not here or other, but everywhere I give of me.

Yet I wonder who really knows that I feel blue wonder at the robin's nest eggs and the ant hill smothered by the rain. The loneliness of family dispersed and far away;

the empty words of giving independence.

Proudly my heart breaks at all the awe I feel, at the blue sky shining sun bright golden beam.

At what all become, at what all have grown.

Yet reminiscence chokes my sentiment so that I stop, I stifle, I contort and disengage

for just one day, but then I shake myself free of oh such nonsense, and I look at the birds' sapphire spectacle, and flabbergasted at my recollected wistfulness, I laugh with fascination at the new-laid eggs.

Birth

The young boy sleeps, his dreams of shimmering goddesses wanting to join their laughter of celestial flight.

And he smiles the beauty of collected innocence and moon dance, he beams his childhood's waking sleep. He quiescently twinkles in the sand that slips

through his soft skinned fingers, he kisses the castles built in that reverie of salted essence and delight.

As he opens his darkened eyes

to torrential tempest, the void of sounds astounds him,

though he wants tranquility in those melting melodies: cobwebbed perfection of cordial falsities in perverted sounds.

They voice insufferable,

those blue-eyed angels of the Netherlands, where,

anticipating their reflections--

those mirrored images--

a whispered sea of night awaits.

And who's to know their purpose?

In a fantasy of rainbowed lilies,

in a music lost to the sweetness

of a labyrinthian maze, the angels wait.

In gossamer prisms of coraled eyelets, they dance and sing to the roar of melting lions

that glimmer in the golden sun of their invention. And these messengers await the birth of this their golden son, the shine of days to croon wisteria, the risen new in the waterfall of dawn.

Being an academic not paid enough for her trouble, Ana M. Fores Tamayo wanted instead to do something that mattered: work with asylum seekers. She advocates for marginalized refugee families from Mexico and Central America.

“Working with asylum seekers is heart wrenching, yet satisfying. It is also quite humbling,” she states.

Her labor has eased her own sense of displacement, being a child refugee, always trying to find home. In parallel, poetry is her escape: she has published in Acentos Review, The Raving Press, Rigorous, Indolent Books, Chaleur Magazine, Memoir, Poxo Press, Chachalaca Review, The Evansville Review, K'in, the Laurel Review, Down in the Dirt magazine, and Fron//tera, a literary journal from Spain. She has photography published in Acentos Review and the Bozalta Collective, digital photography with poetry at UC Davis, and an art exhibit at the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights (NMCIR), which included her sonnets and photography. Finally, her poetry will be featured in Cosmographia Books in July 2019, Black Mountain Press/The Halcyone, and Detained Voices/Voces detenidas.

Her art is a catharsis from the cruelty yet ecstasy of her work. Through it, she can go on tilting at windmills.

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Twitter: @anamfores