The Unwritten

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For so very long

you asked me insistently

to write a poem about you

after reading some of my work

your request was made

with obvious expectations

as if you wanted something

something to be proud of

something all about you

never considering

the writer’s perspective

after enduring betrayal

from your selfish soul

As the years have gone

I could not find myself

to scribe about you

because the ink would fall messy

like pain in your children’s tears

 

please allow me to be honest

though truth makes you uneasy

I couldn’t find anything good to say

I know you wanted words of praise

impressive adjectives

to paint you into something you’re not

to match the masks you wear

though they change quite often

reckoning who’s around.

You do not fool me,

I already know your tones of sadness

that hide behind your fake laugh

and even the varying intonations

of your unconvincing lies

I’ve been a student of yours

yearning to understand

your fears and insecurities

and acquaint myself with your scars

but your arms wrap too tightly

around the shackles that bind you

not because it feels good

but because you’re more comfortable there

with agony in my chest,

I’ve been waiting

for the evolution of your heart

and the death of your ego

but it seems as if

your psyche has convinced you

that love and peace are useless

and insolence is preferable.

at this point, I digress

as I focus on preserving my peace

and choosing to practice acceptance

I will give love, where love is wanted

and embrace the love that comes back.

 

your lashing has made me weary

as you continue to live so recklessly

hurting yourself and those around you

I retract my outstretched hand

 

©2017 Liza Morales

 

Losing Them to the Digital Realm

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pains are conceived

through the screams of loneliness

that reside in the chests

of this coming generation

our babies are birthed

through the mouth of technology

with headphones on their ears

remote controls in their palm

their fingers 

barely long enough

to wrap the control

and press the buttons

some grown folk find it cute

and allow these children

to master the game

unsupervised and unstructured

retarding their development

as video games replace time

the new babysitting service

four, eight, even twelve hours

some parents subscribe to

just so they could live selfishly

unmindful of the neglect

from all the hours of playing

instead of feeding their brains

with reading and mathematics

a quarter of their time towards homework

our children are being raised

in distance and disconnect

as they grow from toddlers

to teens, then adults

incompetent to socially interact

because human synergies are weird

and conversations are difficult

as the digital world

becomes the only thing

to bring forth comfort

to their social awkwardness

as eye contact is nulled

ambitions become snuffed

from a lack of fortitude

trust me, no child wants this

they should be taught about balance

and shown what they can reap through discipline

yeah, gaming is fun

but there’s no substitute

to the fortification they deserve

deep down, there’s a solitude

being strengthened through graphics

represented through a fantasy world

that they portray as real

this lack of communion 

increases desensitization 

diminishes empathy

while their core really wants

your time and attention

nothing replaces physical contact

nor human affection

nothing replaces the time that slips away

with the heartless cyber world 

so, drop the controls

hug, kiss and laugh

go to the park and run around

set precedence of a healthy relationship

before we lose them all

to the darkness of this realm. 


©2017 Liza Morales 

Janet ♡ Carlos

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In 1948, he was born in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, the first of four children, all born at home. My grandparents didn’t have much and lived in poor conditions; eating lots of eggs and rice, in a tin house which does not exist today. Despite the lack of money, they were extremely rich in love. As a young boy, my dad ultimately moved to New York and was raised in Spanish Harlem. 

By the time Mom was born in 1951, her family had already migrated to New York from Arecibo, Puerto Rico. She was born in Bellevue Hospital on 1st Avenue and was also raised in Spanish Harlem.

Mom and Dad met in ‘El Barrio’ and he became her boyfriend when she was 13. Eventually, he was drafted into the Navy but the separation only strengthened their love. As soon as he was honorably discharged, she married him at the age of 18 and gave birth to my brother at 19. My parents didn’t want to stay in Spanish Harlem, so they moved to the Bronx and lived in the second floor apartment at my paternal grandparents’ house. A couple of years later, we moved to Gun Hill Road until they were able to save enough money to buy a house of their own, which they eventually did. It is the same home I live in today. 

My parents were awesome providers and made huge sacrifices to ensure we lived comfortably. They had a total of three children. They fed us, clothed us, loved us, schooled us, sheltered us and placed us all in private school (which Mom always claimed, “Education is the best gift we could give you”). Their hugest priority was always us and for that I love them eternally. They loved us unconditionally and their example taught me how to love my children the same way. Even their love for one another was exemplary. They demonstrated love as a verb. 

In 2008, death separated them after 39 years of marriage but it was temporary. Only seven months later, he died and joined her. There was no life without the other. “Until death do us apart” was their mantra and now they rest in peace and eternal love … together, until infinity.

[Photo captured at the Copacabana, NYC, early 80s] 

Together, We March

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​in solidarity, with delicate wings

we fly for the Queens of the world

the backbone of Earth’s axis

      

we follow our ancestors

who murmur in these cracked streets

bellows of exhaustion
     

but there’s a plowing force

that’s birthed from within

hundreds of years ago
    

that fought to prove it’s worth

as we fight today for the same

with pounding chambers
    

heartbeats sound similar

our blood the same, bright red

but privilege doesn’t know it
    

our feet are swollen and tired 

but tread forth in thick cement

in motion, before it hardens
    

this is more than a march

it’s a shout out from the womb

a language of the soul
    

passed torch, bosoms weigh heavy 

unloading seems impossible

but a woman’s strength is stout
    

we do not wish for this battle

but the attempt to rescind our rights

will not happen without a fight.
    

©2017 Liza Morales 

The Women’s March Was My Calling

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On January 20, 2017, I made an intentional decision to remain zoned in my peace and refrained from the inauguration.

So, I stood home and geared my focus on productive thoughts. Why? ..because I figured it to be most effective after deciding to vessel my spirit for alignment. My sanity and overall spiritual health is of priority for me. Unfortunately, I have not been able to see anything positive with a man who is regimenting fascism, racism, misogyny, sexism, white supremacy and so on, as the norm. So, for self-preservation, I made this choice and dove into meditation, prayer, listened to jazz music, burned incense and focused on all measures of productivity. I did not want to alter my strength or productivity for the Women’s March on Washington, knowing I’d need every ounce of courage and energy for true efficacy.

I normally work every single weekend, as I have for the past 28 years but fortunate for me, I had unused vacation time to utilize. When I found out I’d be off on January 21, 2017, the same day as the Women March on Washington, I was so excited. Then shortly after, I found out my union 1199SEIU was partaking in the march and providing a bus ride to Washington D.C. for its members. Not only were they providing access to this monumental event but they were also bestowing three square meals for the participants. I took this as a huge blessing and a privileged disburden. I was ecstatic but not more ecstatic when finding out it was going to 56°F in D.C. God knows how sensitive I am with the cold and how it affects my bones, causing pain in my hips and spine. I couldn’t believe how the stars were lining up for me. I’ve experienced things like this before and it’s certainly no coincidence. When something in life is destined, the path becomes disentangled and paved and access is granted. I saw this immediately, therefore I signed up.

On Saturday, January 21, I rose at 3:30am and was en route to D.C. by 5:30am. I was prepared physically, mentally and spiritually. When we arrived, I prayed while setting my feet on the grounds of Washington D.C. for the first time. I consciously focused on higher vibrations so intently that I knew it would exude through my pores and conjoin with every other person on the same vibe. These vibrations and intentions had no choice but to multiply because of its magnitude and intensity.

People were everywhere. Homemade signs and creative costumes swamped the grounds. It was intriguing to witness half of million people of every race, sex and of varying socioeconomic status congregate for such an important fight. This fight encompasses the urgency to see women’s rights as human rights Dismally, not every single person was there for the same cause, such as these men here, with one carrying a sign that read, “Abortion: neat, quick, easy way out for men”. I guess it’s all about perspective.

It’s completely mind-boggling how the necessity to fight for women’s justice and equality is in existence up until today. Since the women’s march on Versailles in 1789 and the women’s suffrage in the late 19th century, the fight for women’s rights elevated to the fight for human rights. We are not aliens on earth. We are the Queens of the world, the healers of the universe and bearers to life. Every single human being, man or woman, come from a wombman. Yet, I am here joining 500,000 people to speak, cry and fight for what’s completely natural and comes through divine order.

I am angry and I am tired but am forced to join this movement. I have become quite cognizant of the hate, intimidation and inequality that exists. I am also aware that it’s all ego based. Therefore, it’s easier for me to deal with simply because of understanding. Is it right? Is it just? Absolutely not! But when you gain a level of understanding of the people in opposition, you are empowered to move more effectively. A profound perspective that’s worth knowing is that we do not have control over others and their choices but we do have power on how to deal with it. For me, it is important to unite, support and uplift one another. Embracing ourselves and uniting in solidarity has power and can be impactful. Our choice to march, write poems, create art, capture photographs, participate in workshops, address the people in power and resist their disgraceful regimes are just a few of many ways to counteract. These are our weapons .. cultural weapons. Use them!

When something is meant to be and calls at our spirit, we should listen. The country is hurting and it is our responsibility to contribute towards healing. Don’t wait for anyone. Be proactive! I did not wait for friends or loved ones to join me because honestly, I’d probably be still waiting. I prayed and meditated and recognized the path that was paved for me. I hopped on a bus alone, with a group of strangers and marched amongst a group of strangers. I just knew I had to be part of this movement. My spirit would not hold still and I’m so glad I took heed.