Quien Dijo by Valeria R. P. - 1st Place, Spanish Category

¿Quién dijo que eres un "inmigrante" en la tierra de tus antepasados?
Fronteras invisibles y terrores inolvidables
Pero sigues trabajando

Tu piel, tus ojos, tus curvas, los rizos de tu cabello- es evidente
No importa lo que diga el or ella, ni el mismo presidente

Esta tierra es tuya. Natal, carnal.
Así que sigue echándole ganas
O como dicen, "ponte las pilas"

Y nuevamente pregunto, ¿quién dijo que eres un "inmigrante" en la tierra de tus antepasados?

Fronteras invisibles y terrores inolvidables
Pero sigues trabajando

Nacido aquí o nacido allá, la sangre no cambia
De Canadá a Panamá, ¡somos Nican Tlaca!

-- Valeria R.P.

Despertar by Marta G. - 2nd Place, Spanish Category

Dormir en paz, despertar en guerra.
El día me anuncia perdida, la noche soledad.
El despertar regalo preciado, el dormir ganancia divina, el respirar un sueño inalcanzable que no todos podemos alcanzar.
Y de pronto dormir en guerra despertar en calma.

(Poema dedicado al COVID-19).

-- Marta G.

Esto Es Lo Que Soy by Francisco D. - 3rd Place, Spanish Category

En cada uno de esos viajes
sobre tantos caminos alargados
arrastrándome como herido de guerra
o devorando distancias
soy contradicción o verdad
cazador y presa

Imán de mil ideas que ignora el insensato
descubro matices y fragancias sobre los lagos
reflejando sobre su espejo
mil rostros y ninguno

Ante el mundo desafiante
muevo los hombros, gesticulo
me vuelvo sombrío, perplejo a veces
Puedo ser áspero, sutil, cansado, alegre
superficial, incomprensible, violento,
sensual , indiferente, desengañado,
soberbio, idealista… por eso
rio llorando a veces
ofrezco rosas blancas a mi enemigo
miro caer guerreros en lugares altos
mis pies de ciervas y mi arco de bronce
Soy la primavera escapando sin quejas
en el Otoño
y soy la muerte en el Guadalquivir

Pocos saben por qué

cruzo intocable los pantanos
posando sin miedos sobre las ramas
Soy león en la pradera
acariciando el nido de las aves

Cansado de la humanidad
le canto en invierno a calcetines de lana
Soy el niño sin travesuras ante su madre ausente
y el que brinda por ella en una noche bohemia

Me lamento de la mozuela que me engaña
bajo el color de las margaritas
Soy el Manelic, de la montaña
con los argumentos del lobo
Resucito al pasar del tiempo
Soy el cadáver de la honra flotando sobre el río,
la expresión del ermitaño, el desahogo del místico,
el reposo del cansado, la lucubración del extraviado

Me compongo de letras y alimento el alma
siempre en un camino inconcluso
inconcluso como tú…

Soy el poema, abrázame

Hoy, estoy solo…

This is What I Am: My Translation
In each one of those trips
across many elongated ways,
dragging myself as wounded in war
or devouring distances
I am contradiction or truth, a hunter or prey
a magnet for ideas ignored by the fool
I discover nuances and fragrances over the lakes
reflecting on its mirror, thousand faces and any
Confronting a challenging world

I move my shoulders, gesticulate,
I become somber, perplexed some times
I can be rough, subtle, tired, joyful,
superficial, incomprehensible, violent,
sensual, indifferent, disillusioned, arrogant, idealist..
That is why at times I laugh while crying
offering white roses to my enemy;
I can see warriors falling in high places
my feet like those of deer and my bow of bronze
I am the spring departing in autumn without complains
and I am the death along the banks of the Guadalquivir

Very few know the why
I cross untouchable the marsh
fearlessly perched myself over branches and cliffs.
I am a lion in the meadow caressing the bird’s nest;
In winter time, when tired of humanity,
I sing my own songs to wool’s socks

I am a child without mischief
making promises to his absent mother
and I am too the one toasting to her
on a Bohemian night
I complain about the young lady
who fooled me under the color of daisies,
I am the Manelic of the mountain
with the wolf’s arguments

I resurrect with the passing of time,
I am the honored corpse
floating down the river,
the hermit’s expression,
the relief of the mystic
the resting of the tired…
the lucubration of the lost…
I am composed of heartfelt letters
and feed the soul of the hungry
always unfinished as you are
I am the Poem… embrace me…
Today, I am alone

-- Francisco D.

Kuv Niam Hais Tias (My Mama Says) by Judy D. - 1st Place, Adult Category

Kuv niam hais tias[1] if you sit on a bag of rice,
Your child will be born without a butt hole.
If you have a sty, go look through the fence and say
Mob rwj muag daj xauj qhov vaj, mob rwj muag dev xauj qhov tsev[2]
Then go peer at the corner of the house and say again
Mob rwj muag daj xauj qhov vaj, mob rwj muag dev xauj qhov tsev
This will embarrass the sty, and it will leave.
If you say something you didn’t intend,
Like wishing death upon your siblings,
Pinch the words out of your heart and say
De pov tseg[3], de pov tseg
Until it is all gone.
Remember that basil smells good and
Mint has wrinkly leaves.
After you give birth, stay home for a month
Do not step foot inside another person’s house
You will upset the spirits at their door
If you don’t listen, when you’re old you will die a slow death
Tuag tsis tu sia[4].
Do not compliment another person’s baby
Dab tsov[5] will hear and he will come take that child away
Instead, say, your child smells like poop!
But we’re in America now. Dab tsov is scared of electricity.
When you call people in to eat, never say
Los noj mov au![6]
Instead, say, los phua taub hau![7]
You don’t want to invite cov dab tuag tshaib tuag nqhis[8] into your house
They will eat everything
And no matter how hard you work
You will never have enough money to feed your family
They will eat everything you earn.
Turn on the porch light at night
So the spirits that are passing by don’t visit.
But we go to church now
So none of that matters anymore
Except, basil smells good and
Mint has wrinkly leaves.

-- Judy D.


[1] My mama says
[2] Yellow stye, look through the fence; Dog stye, look at the corner of the house
[3] Pinch and throw away
[4] Die a slow death
[5] Tiger Spirit
[6] Come eat!
[7] Come crack heads open!
[8] Hungry and poor spirits

Bahia Honeymooners by Laila E. - 2nd Place, Adult Category

She is in Bahia, he is too.
daughter of Sun, son of Moon
my dear honeymooners,
strolling the ex-since days - virgin
Cajaoro white astonishing beach,
shells in abundance scurrying about,
adorning their love story,
a mosaic calligraphic declaration.
The ukulele strings uttering
their overwhelming emotions
Bahia drums echoing ecstatically,
enough to blow out the candles
to set fire on veins.
She is posing as Marlin Monroe.
Her hands "Arco Iris"
in the truest oceanic wave,
reflecting the sky azure,
aquamarine and turquoise,
mixed shades of their eyes' delight
captured artistically by his camera.

-- Laila E.

Car Valet at the Cancer Institute by Julie B. - 3rd Place, Adult Category

Your ears dark brown, moles the size of ink drops splattered around.
I follow the path down to your jawline- so sharp since you lost all of that weight.

I hold onto this image.
I hold onto this moment.
It isn't much.
It is short
Simple

It is just a routine appointment-a paracentesis- but I hold onto it because you are here
Because I can look over to you and smile
Because I can lean my hand on the blade of your shoulder
Because I can still call you Dad
Because you can see me
Because I know that one day our routine appointments
Our drives together
Our looks we give each other when we know Mom is being dramatic
Our calls
Our hugs

Will be no more

Your head moves impatiently side to side waiting for our car.
My hands grip the handles of the wheelchair tightly.
I wonder how many other hands held these handles?
I wonder how many other people sat where you sat just waiting?

Waiting

Waiting for a scan
Waiting for an IV
Waiting for results
Waiting for an elevator
Waiting for a room
Waiting for their names to be called to the the back
Waiting for the side effects to subside
Waiting for medicine deliveries
Waiting for TPN
Waiting to schedule
Waiting for it to get better

All that waiting…

Until we are the ones left waiting…

Waiting… Waiting to see you again.

The car pulls up. And you nod for us to go.
You had enough waiting for today.

-- Julie B.