Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Poetry by Eduardo Ramirez

I build a bridge everyday:
The morning commute is a bridge
Connecting the comfort of my bed
To the grind of the pens I push – –
Papers I fold
Into Model F-14 ~Tomcats.

A wife says to her husband,
I’ve got acute angina.
The husband says,
Yeah, and your tits ain’t bad either.

A dirty joke is a bridge too far between frowns.

Draw bridges
Cross bridges
Burn bridges

Saying I’m sorry
Only bridge the moments of hurt
With what’s unforgivable:
Sometimes it bridges the lessons I need to learn
In order to build better bridges.
A bridge has been my friend,
An enemy has been a bridge.
Thursday is Wednesday’s to Friday.
A glass of wine may be a bridge to a beautiful woman,
But her hand isn’t necessarily a bridge to her heart.
Turning twenty was the beginning of a whole new bridge:
Ten years long,
Standing in the middle of the Bridge of Sighs
I can see a world of bridges I’ve left behind.
La Romana was a bridge I went over twice.

La Romana was a bridge I went over twice.
I start off every bridge
Carrying the baggage I’ve picked up
On past bridges;
Being a sentimental type,
I tend to keep the stems of wilted flowers
Plucked from gardens
Paved over by so many bridges.

©Eduardo Ramirez
Before me, you cut the first syllable
With an island machete
As if it were cane or coco;
You rushed through the second,
As in your lovemaking:
Quick to finish,
Leaving things incomplete,

taught you how to say “water.”
You taught me how to drown.

Can you ever recall your charm?
Your crooked fingernails and wrinkled coat
Were never so cool.
Like a burning wreckage
You pulled in an audience;
My sin
Was sitting too close
So that I was licked by your flames.

If I could
I would pull you near
So that you could hear me
Over the howling winter wind;
I would speak in a steady voice
And still the restless hand
That jerks your conscience:

We all must heal — but only after penitence.

©Eduardo Ramirez
Deferred Answer
Last night
I dreamt of you.
Considering that I’ve long since
Tucked your photos–
Sunny hair,
Cloudy eyes,
Rolling smile
Over the hills of your cheeks–
Into the corner of a water-logged box
That has gone untouched,
For more than a lifetime now.

We were never happy.
More accurately, you were never happy;
I could not have cared less.
I could not
Get the hang of one man,
One woman,
One love.

I recalled
The sting of your palm across my face;
Those times before the rage
When I would hold your hand,
Lace my fingers with yours,
And pretend.

I apologise for my contradiction.

What I did not know then,
What your ghostly visit now brings to mind,
Is the fact that I was rooted in poison;
I bore rotten fruit;
I killed love
Out of fear;
Let love,
Like dry leaves,
Wither bitterly
Onto a concrete earth
Before cracking like ash
And blowing away from sight.

I can almost hear your questions
Howling in the January wind;
And I can almost answer honestly
When I say that
Broken hearts and dreams
Do not mend so easily–
Even for me–
And playing it cool
Does not do much to dull the pain


©Eduardo Ramirez
(explode on cellular levels
repel and attract
we gravitate to new loves
at great speeds
double dutch with the coma bereni
play bones with the gemini
we give rise to the tides
and birth to the winds
shake down fire
and groove through a milky way
when our lips meet
we make the meaning of)

©Eduardo Ramirez

we rode boxcars
a hard roll of fortune
to come by on rickety tracks
the gang all shout
their weeks’ worth of wages
while we shoot
through the red-faced huff and puff
tension pulls the muscles tight
until the tiny wise whisper says:


we let go with open palms
and splayed fingers
a prayer sent forth
to bring back a lucky bounce
tonight it’s feast or famine
that we think about
as we ride the rails
over bones
that have broken so many

©Eduardo Ramirez
The cattleman
The fence with a flourish
And pointed
The way
To heaven


In the file
To run



©Eduardo Ramirez

If the abolition of slave-manacles

began as a vision of hands without manacles,

Then this is the year. – Martin Espada

Let this be the year
that keeps warm the feet
of those who march tirelessly
toward freedom;
Let the light of day shine
magnificently on the hearts
of those who boldly proclaim
their solidarity with justice;
make still
the violent winds of oppression
so that the call
for human dignity
will be heard
in the valley
and upon the hill.

Two fundamental requirements of this experience called life are Time and Work. The time is always right to do right; and the work of doing right, hard as it may sometimes be, is always work worth doing. There will always be forces that are opposed to doing good work, and this makes doing good work all the more difficult; but we, the good workers, must carry on – – marching tirelessly in the name of justice. When we, the good workers, find support in the solidarity of others, then all opposition can be overcome.
Calling 2
Let this be the year
that fear is fortified
and bravery is born – –
nourished on an unwavering desire
to be more than huddled masses
forgotten in the cold machinery
of politics;
let the definitions of Society
and Civility
be re-established to include
all persons as
and lovers
whose consent is sacred
to the religiosity of democracy.

Because bravery is always necessary the time will always be right to be brave. You and I are not alone in the world; we are with each other. The oppressed and the freedom fighter are not alone; we are with them. The world is the stage upon which we all must act in order to avoid being acted upon. By one’s brave actions others will be inspired to act bravely. If we live in a world of action then those actions can be motivated by our words. So let our words be blessed by the meaning we give to them.
Calling 3
Let this be the year
of the come-up:
let every tower
and prison wall
find itself overcome
by the steel will
of de-construction workers;
let every belly that aches
with hunger
find satisfaction
in the sweet bread of angels;
let every mind that wanders
in the darkness of indifference
find guidance in the patient,
understanding hands of love.

In order to come up we must first lift ourselves up – – lift up our values, lift up our expectations, and lift up each other until we see that horizon beyond the tower, and until we break down the wall that separates us from our hopes and dreams. We must come to a place where possibility gives way to probability. When the good work is done and the brave heed the call, we will find that we are the sweetest of breads, we are the most brilliant of stars, and the steadiest of companions.

Let this be the year of human(e) resolve.

©Eduardo Ramirez 2014

Edward Ramirez DN6284
SCI Graterford
P.O. Box 244
Graterford, PA 19426

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