The Abandoned Island



Puerto Ricans

there’s war on my people

sterilization, genocide

for years



abandonment of the island

I hear their cries — it burns

quieted deaths


©2017 Liza Morales




dropped bombs

poisonous gas 

a chemical assault

Syrian children and mothers


paralysis, brimmed lungs, foamed mouths 

bodies blanket the ground

further from peace

war crime. 
© 2017 Liza Morales
photo credit: NY Times



unarmed Puerto Ricans, clubbed and shot raw

on Palm Sunday, nineteen thirty seven

blood-covered Ponce, in a screeching caw

unarmed Puerto Ricans, clubbed and shot raw

Since when is a peaceful march against the law?

bludgeoning nineteen people to heaven

unarmed Puerto Ricans, clubbed and shot raw

on Palm Sunday, nineteen thirty seven.

©2016 Liza Morales

(Triolet poetry)


                               [Photo captured by Carlos Torres Morales on March 21, 1937 and published in El Impartial on April 1, 1937]

Across the Sea


they’re forced to flee
these refugees
from their backyard soil
to the anomalous
on vast oceans
who know no prejudice
they trust these waters
to carry their hopes,
their dreams and families
to the other side
where they will be accepted
so they pray for

winds urged them adrift
swelling in the waves
cold and full of rage
as their babies wail
a screeching echo
to the nearest land

it’s a painful journey
that threaten lives
while some are swallowed
in the bellies of the sea
and others arrive
to the shallow end
with aid and open arms–
but that’s not the case
everywhere they dock
there’s thirty-one states
from land of the free
that refuse their arrival
with deafened ears
and hardened hearts

humanity is consumed
by fear and hypocrisy
shown at prime times
of vulnerability

If only they knew
the weight of benevolence
and the stroke of altruism,
the world wouldn’t fear
the ability to love.

© 2015 Liza Morales



Moun Rezilyan


I recall traveling to Haiti with my two sons, onto the soils of their ancestors. We went to celebrate their grandfather’s birthday. It was February of 2004, a time when a rebel group seized control of Haiti’s fourth-largest city, Gonaïves, marking the beginning of a minor revolt against Aristide. Then, the rebels captured Haiti’s second-largest city, Cap-Haïtien and as the end of February approached, rebels threatened to take, Port-au-Prince, fueling the increase of political unrest and building barricades throughout the capital.
When we arrived to Port-au-Prince and exited the plane, their father and I clung securely to them. We were aware of the snatching of children that occurred there, so instinctively, we cloaked them with our protective cape. There was an intimidating amount of people hovering the ‘arriving’ gate, yelling words in creole, full of passion and twisted faces. I can remember feeling claustrophobic and extremely baffled. I couldn’t understand how it was that they thought it was okay to invade our personal space. The people were loud and aggressive, but obviously I lacked an understanding as to why. It was evident that we underestimated the havoc we were about to enter, in the midst of the Haitian Coup d’état.
My then, father-in-law, had worked very hard for many years along with his brother, owning a business selling costume jewelry. He had a beautiful house in Port-au-Prince. We were able to share that space with extended family members, all under one roof. We were blessed and shared meals of poul, makawoni, diri ak pwa, legim and bètrav sòs salad.
During our stay, I was in awe of how different things were in this country. I was glad to have had the opportunity to expose my children and show them where they are partially from and used the visible impoverishment as an opportunity to remind them of how blessed they are living with so many luxuries, here in the United States. Though I saw poverty and limitations such as, controlled electricity, no flushing water nor hot water, I always felt an energy of resilience there. The Haitian people do not live as if they’re limited. They strive with what they have.

In January 2010, a catastrophic earthquake shook and crumbled the heart of Haiti, snatching the lives of over 150,000 Haitian beings. Unfortunately, it took down the home of my boys’ grandfather but fortunately, not the lives of any family members. This devastating disaster caused casualties beyond our imagination.  The remaining survivors suffer from homelessness, dismemberment or displaced habitation to either orphanges or within the rubble of the city. It is sad to know that 13.5  billion dollars was sent for aid but demonstrates improper allocation of these monies. There are existing, destructed infrastructures, lack of food and lack of medical attention. Why?
These are the wounds that are carried and sought to be healed, as we continue to hear their gurgling murmurs seeping through the rubble. Still and all, the Haitians wear their wings, living or deceased. Their resilience and perseverance toil in the soils of their land and more importantly, through the veins of my sons.

*Remembering Haiti*



“By ancestry, I was born to rule.”

~ Nelson Mandela ~


Mandela and his childhood friend Bikitsha, 1941.
Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory –

Any man that tries to rob me of my dignity will lose.
~ Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom ~