Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Refugiado / Refugee


Two years ago on World Refugee Day, I published a very personal essay about my status as a refugee child, back then, yet what it is like now for refugees and asylum seekers. Today, I publish my own poem -- in its original Spanish followed by my English interpretation (because translation is never poetry!) -- about the plight of the asylum seeker, so that we know. 


The border fence, with menacing clouds hanging © Ana M. Fores Tamayo

So that we can be witness to our own ungodliness. 

The English version was published in Bad Hombres and Nasty Women, from Raving Book Press: if you would like to buy it, go to this link. There are many other great works in this little treasure! But I wanted to print the Spanish original too, so I am publishing both versions here now, the English below the Spanish. 





Refugiado

Mi alma en pedazos,
Veo el alambre de púa
rasguñando metal contra piel.
Llorando lágrimas de sangre,
Escucho disparos al vacío del silencio
de la Salva Maratrucha.
Lo empujo bajo la cerca
pero llora mi hijo,
aunque no importa;
lo hago porque
lo quiero.


Friday, May 26, 2017

Sombras brillantes en un mundo de obscuridad / Brilliant Shadows In A World Of Darkness


In today's world of American politics, what are we doing to our future? Are we stomping on the many varied voices of tomorrow, on future Masters students, PhDs, scientists, lawyers, doctors, educators? Are conservative politicians afraid of losing their majority? In Texas, at least, this Latino majority is an impending reality, as it already is in California. Thus politicians repress people and pass reactionary laws that only promote racial profiling. No matter what the trump administration says about security, we know they are afraid of losing their rule

They offer bleakness instead of light & unity...



La Madre Patria /Motherland
Courtesy © of En Pie de Lucha Performance


Saturday, April 29, 2017

May Day: Helping with the Migration Crisis Across Borders


For May Day, I will take part in one of the many marches against what trump is doing to immigration (I don't capitalize trump's name because he is not worthy). You can too: look at marches going on in A Day Without Immigrants!  More so, however, I will add my two grains of sand by writing about what we can do proactively to help immigrants today. 

I was thinking that, since trump was elected, he at least had to have a majority. Though that was never the case and he won through electoral politics, his popularity has suffered even more so since his election. A case in point: I was food shopping in my very conservative neighboorhood supermarket (I know: what am I still doing here?), when I saw a little note left for me on my car bumper, in response to a sticker I have: "Immigrants & Refugees WELCOME." 


The note said, verbatim: 
"Thank you for your bumper sticker. Immigrants & refugees are our neighbors" 😉
From this, I gather there is hope for everyone here in the United States: we are still a welcoming nation! I think my advice on helping asylum seekers and refugees, then, will come in handy, for those of you who really want ideas on next steps... 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Daybreak in Alabama by Langston Hughes

On Martin Luther King's Day, I'd like to share this poem, which I have shared before but which I find so striking not only for its beauty but also for its essence of simplicity. 

If things could only be this way! 

Delta Mississippi © Ana M. Fores Tamayo

And yet, there is no reason why hope cannot let us see that daybreak in Alabama, know that the next few weeks and months can be of grandeur and not of dread, because we will all be working together as one...

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Confronting Fidel Castro's Death through Poetry

As the end of the year approaches, I am finally beginning to confront the death of Fidel Castro, who changed the course of my life forever.

My relationship with him  even as an absence  has always been complex. 


When I was little, I remember seeing his photograph, a big bushy beard overpowering the frame. And while we were eating our supper, I would ask my mom innocentlyas children often do, "Mom, doesn't Fidel get his soup noodles stuck all over his beard? And how does he ever get them out after he eats?"

My father in an undated photo toasting
for our future happiness, in Cuba
Fores Family Album

Maybe that's what happened to all those around him...

My father fled Cuba because he lacked political freedoms. He believed we had these liberties here in the United States, however, so my brothers, sisters, and I grew up convinced in this country of democratic justice and fair play. This lawyer  my gentle father  could have been imprisoned for years or died for us in Cuba. He suffered greatly trying to escape, just like my mother: as children, we do not remember much. And my parents never talked about it afterward, only to tell us how lucky we were to be living in this land. When my dad chose to come to the United States to ask for political asylum, he knew he wanted us to be able to live and speak freely, and he never doubted that we might not have that.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Teacher & DREAMer Tries to Explain Inexplicable to Children...


I can not imagine the pain of being a teacher today, especially in a multilingual school.

Having to speak with the refugees I help is quite difficult. Talking to young angels who do not understand the madness of the past few weeks seems to me impossible.... Worst, needing to reassure these same angels, when I find myself in the exact precarious limbo they fear is insufferable.

Yet Rosalía Salazar — graduate from the University of Texas, kindergarten teacher, and DREAMer — has to do just that.



DREAMer Rosalía Salazar with her kindergarten class


It has taken me a while to translate Rosi's message, since I have been busy with many projects and translations especially relevant to the wake-up call we've gotten, but her words are just as important today as they were the day she wrote them after the Trump election. 


Monday, November 7, 2016

Every Vote Counts, brick by brick

When I went to vote the second day of early voting, I should have written about what happened to me then  in this very conservative town where I live in middle America  because I was furious. 


But I did not, as I had too many other things preying on my mind, and this was just another thing on the list. As I see the articles going back and forth, however, and I see the atrocities going on in the name of "voter fraud," I cannot stand it any longer. 

Do you want to vote but think you cannot because you do not have proper ID?

When you go to vote, even if you do not have two pieces of identification, or if you do not have a photo ID, it does not matter anymore, according to Texas law, which was voted on and "trumped" down in July of this year, against all Texas Republican conservative wishes and much to Trump's dismay. According to the Federal Appeal Court, Texas was in violation of the Voting Rights Act, and so, the state had to find ways to accomodate voters who could not find appropriate documents, the ones the state wanted everyone to use but were hard to acquire for certain folks.