Wed, 30 September 2009
On my block six girls are pregnant,
their bellies almost bigger than they are
so they can't see the ground when they walk
The way they walk is as if
the wind is blowing them back
four girls have babies
you can hear squalling day and night
and the girl-moms too yelling,
"Shut up! I can't stand it!" Slap slap
but the squalling goes on.
Over at the clinic some people march
with signs stepping on cracks with their big flat shoes
their shadows growing long
over the plants with wilted leaves.
And up on the hill the boys dress hot,
practicing moves while their music fills the street
with a scorching beat. Uptown cars roll
with their windows up and tinted dark
and no one comes out to play.
(c)2007 Binnings ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Sat, 26 September 2009
It's in the headlines
in the tabloids
on the lips
knocking on my door
almost before the sun comes up
"the end is almost here"
As children we were taught
to fold ourselves
under our desks at school
fallout shelter salesmen
knocked on our doors
and we knew
we were the first
that could be
in less time
than it takes
for a soulful kiss
and when we got older
our parents said:
"What's wrong with this generation?
they live like there's no tomorrow."
Most of us are seeing
in the mirror
in the morning . . .
and our children
are standing in
where blaring headlines
announce the end
of the world . . .
. . .watching people
bombs and mines
and boom behind them
some kids garb
Do you know the world
is coming to an end?
. . . But my tulips are up again
leaves unfurl on brown branches
young rabbits dart across my lawn
Everywhere is the music
of birds who have made
the long journey again.
from the sky
the color of the grass
We interpret symbols
and imagine we're equipped
to portend the future.
The wheel of fortune turns
Who stands to gain
from saying "THE END!"
Who stands to lose?
(c) 2008 Binnings
Thu, 17 September 2009
Rebel nun of the 17th century.
Sister Juana Ines de la Cruz lived in the certainty that "all things come from God, who is the center and at the same time the circumference from which all the lines of creation issue and where they stop." Such was the life of this religious woman of 17th-century New Spain, who not only left her mark on Spanish-American literature but whose cry of revolt over their inferior position of women is timely even today.
Beatriz Berger. World Press Review. Oct 1994.
Here is your introduction to Sor Juana.
And here: http://www.latin-american.cam.ac.uk/culture/SorJuana/SorJuana2.htm
A Su Retrato
Este, que ves, engano colorido,
que del arte ostentando los primores,
con falsos silogismos de colores
es cauteloso engano del sentido;
este, en quien la lisonja ha pretendido
excusar de los anos los horrores,
y venciendo del tiempo los rigores
triunfar de la vejez y del olvido,
es un vano artificio del cuidado
es una flor al viento delicada,
es un resguardo inutil para el hado:
es una necia diligencia errada,
es un afan caduco y, bien mirado,
es cadaver, es polvo, es sombra, es nada.
To Her Portrait
the artifice of colors that here you see
testify to cunning and crafty grace
But if its false logic and gloss faded away,
we'd begin to see how illusory is the likeness,
how human vanity deceives us all into thinking
years erase the horrors those years
have etched into our faces
But to battle with time is insanity,
is a futile gesture you cannot hope to win,
is an absence of caution, is wit put aside
is a delicate flower caught in the wind
is a weak defense against what Fate's contrived
is a conquest doomed, and you know in your mind
it's a corpose, dust, shadow, a reed's insides
(c) 2004 Binnings ALL RIGHTS RESERVED