Changes with the Sun

Palm trees blow in the heat of the West Texas sun
Houses breathe steadily as the people inside wipe stars and dreams from their eyes
Hues of brilliant gold and lavender rise over the mountains
And in the distance, in our sister city, our hermanos y hermanas rise as we do

My mother wakes us with smells of menudo, tortillas, y pan dulce
The veins on her brown hands pulse like rivers passing over adobe
My father cooks beside her, his own hands much larger and clumsier
He makes her laugh as they kiss to the sound of the sizzling comal

My brother and I enter the kitchen with scrunched faces at our parents’ embrace
When they look away we smile at their love not knowing it would be otherwise
My father serves us menudo, solemnly sprinkling in the inescapability of change and heartache
My mother passes the tortillas with the promise that, at least for now, we will always be this happy

There was peace there. I remember. In those moments. In those mornings. There was peace.

By: Tony Nunez

Up Some Other Way

You are the flavor of a survivor

Just trying to get by

To stay way ahead

That is – two steps ahead of the dead

And you’ve thought how to play the game

The player of all players

Infamous road to fame

And learned to side step the rules

Made by the bureaucratic fools

Where only the street rules rule

Where black markets are cool

Where the outlawed and those abused by laws-have specialized tools

Used to get by

But they know the slightest mistake made

Becomes a bed of thorns they have laid

For themselves-to take great risks

But I come to remind you-before too late

So trust me, it’s a characteristic of love

And not a kind of hate

To say:

Broke me with very little or no record against them

Or even only one record against them

Are like kings if their patience assist them

To bide their time

Waiting without doing crimes

For sudden opportunity (like a cricket) to stray hopping by

And having no record or a record that’s little

Easily persuade men who are bosses

To let it stay by and by

And eventually-have a way

Out of calamity

Having climbed up the right way

Even though after some long wait

But if they climbed up by crime

Sooner than later

From what must be a routine endeavor

Which was thought to be clever

Has turned responsible men against him

And to regain their trust –might be slim

With every eye quietly watching him

Silently judging him

Every real opportunity

Turns away its face

For to be seen-almost never again

And for some-that’s forever!

For they grew patient much too late!

Discovered much too late

How high the price to be paid

When the player is played-by the system


By: Leonardo Da Vinci E.

Nacireman Slaves

The slaves were openly unhappy in their enslavement. Fear of their captors only worked to deter open discussion of an uprising. When slaves were given an opportunity to rebel, they often took it. They assaulted slave owners when opportunity for escape was present. Weary from being assaulted and loosing valuable slaves to escape, slave owners devised new ways to keep slaves subservient. The slaves obviously had reason to be unhappy. There was no deceiving them about this. But their perceived reasons for unhappiness, these could be fabricated. Slave owners led slaves to believe slaves of other faiths were reasons for their unhappiness. Some slaves began turning on each other. But other slaves continued to fight their captors. So slave owners led slaves to believe slaves of other continental descent were reasons for their unhappiness. More slaves turned on each other. But other slaves continued to fight their captors. So slave owners gave some slaves limited favor. With the jealousy instilled with this favoritism, all slaves were turned against each other. No longer were slave owners assaulted by slaves as they were no longer considered the primary cause for the slaves’ unhappiness. No longer did slaves attempt to free themselves as the perceived primary cause for their unhappiness was not their lack of freedom, but rather the conditions created by their fellow slaves.

By: Phil Force

Anonymous Response to Writing Prompt 01.27.18

It was the first snowfall of the year
My bags were packed and I was ready to go
The excitement grew and I filled with cheer
But something was, something I did not know
I remembered the door, I remembered the keys
On the way to the car it all came at once
Here I come mountains. I’ll be flying like the birds and the bees
But down I fell to the ground and onto my nose
It was the first snowfall of the year
And it was the last snowfall for me that year