Posts Tagged ‘Poem’

©Angelo J. Sandoval

Part I

Nestled in a reconcito,
I have seen you in the corner
of my eye as I have
driven by your
humble exterior.

I didn’t pay much attention
to your presence,
but the few times I did catch
a glimpse of you,
I wondered if you were
offering sacred prayer space,
yet didn’t bother to find out.

I heard from news sources
you had been violated.
Your sacred space,
treated with disrespect.
Your heart was taken from you.
Ancient relics that carried
prayers of antepasados
stolen from the sacredness


Part II

My heart broke into pieces
as I read the news of your torment
You, the heart of a community
the refuge of the lonely
Violated by one of your
sons or

The heart that is You,
was taken,
taken to unknown places
Lost to the cycle of addiction
that plagues your community
The same community that cares
for you,
that made every effort to protect you.

My heart is broken.




Angelo J. Sandoval

The search for indeginous
identity roots
My journey has been
full of adventure.
I search the spiritual
en mi querido Norté.

I traveled to Alcatraz Island,
celebrating sunrise ceremonies
antepasados making there
presence known
as Father Sun breaks over the horizon,
Grandmother Moon slowly begins
her decent in to the ocean’s horizon.

The beauty of the Morning Star
Came to bless us with love prayer
trails to the ancestors in the other world.

I search for a story which has been
lost to the winds of time.
names of sacred spaces unknown
Spanish corrupted names
leave my mind wondering
wondering where
where did they go?
Why did they go?
No answers.

Adventure seeks me out
Visiting ancient ruins
of a forgotten city.

Lost to the winds of time
reasons why,
why an ancient city was left behind.
I found peace at the ruins site.

For once the unknown
became, ok.
I came to a place labelled, ruins.

Narrated videos of dependents
of ancient people remind us,
These spaces are not ruins,
they are home to ancestor spirits.

I enter sacred space, the Great Kiva.
The energy of ancient peoples are
ever present,
I make two visits in to this sacred space.
I close my eyes and daydream of lost
Alto Huachín Kiva,
lost sacred space
lost stories of creation, love, family, and the beyond.

One more piece of the puzzle found,
yet it doesn’t find its fitted place in my
people’s lost history.

Sacred space, the Great Kiva
your gift of sacred space will
live in my heart till the end of my days.
Entering your sacred space without
the need of a card to prove my lost
indigenous identity,
Your sacred space gave healing
to a lost soul.






The photo were taken at Aztec Ruins National Park in Aztec, New Mexico.



Angelo J. Sandocal
(c) 12-9-2013

You appeared to me as we
the streets of Burque
enjoying an evening of
y celebracion.

I saw you peeking around
the door on the wall
on 2nd Street.
you appeared in all your beauty.
I only saw you for a split second,
la noche estaba oscura,
pero como siempre
you let your presence know.

I visited you
the next day
con el sol brillante
y como siempre
you gave me hope
la esperanza
que todo esta bien

In your presence
you vide una imagen de
tu hijo crucificado
la imagen de mis antepasados
los vide ofrecindo oracions
en los modos antigues.
Mi corazon se alegro
viendo su imagen
y la imagen de la procession
de mis antepasados al calvario.

From behind the door you appeared
made your presence known
sending your message of
como siempre.

Growing up in Cordova reading and writing were far from my mind. I spent my time riding my bike all over the plazita, swimming in the river and playing basketball. When I was old enough to drive, I spent by time cruising Spaña’s main drag. I would spend hours up and down River Side Dr. from one end to the other. These are the things we did for fun and to fit in. During this time reading and writing were only things I did for school, even when I first started college. Reading was what the nerds did, not the cool kids. Because of this mentality I missed out on a lot of great literature as a teenage and young adult.

I returned to college in the Spring Semester of 1999, I took many classes that were sounded interesting because I needed to bring up my GPA. I began to learn about literature written by Chican@s about our history and events that impacted our community and people. Even though the list of Chican@ writers is distinguished, it was also short. I was in search of more. I wanted to learn more about the history for New Mexico, especially Española and Cordova.

In the Summer of 2009 I attended a gathering, the group was called La Resolana. From this I began to write my own poetry. By the end of the summer we had put together a chapbook titled “Declamacion” this was the beginning of a collection of poems by local writers writing about our community and history. The treasure I was searching for was coming together. At our Resolana meetings we would gather and share our poetry and words or wisdom and guidance. This was something I never thought I would be a part of, but I found that it was a part of me that I hadn’t discovered in high school or my early years in college.

In July of 2011, Adán Baca had a poetry reading at the Española Library, the event was nameless for a few readings. I then created a Facebook page and called Poetry at the Española Library. After a few months Adán in a discussion with other poets dubbed the event The Española Poetry Explosion, it was named after an explosive night of poetry.

The Española Poetry Explosion has been a place of safety for many new poets and a place for veteran poets to come together and create a family of poets and writers. We have experienced flute players, musicians, singers and a host of veteran and new poets. The Española Library has been a great host. The staff has opened their arms and hearts to a community of renegade poets and revolutionaries. We have hosted chapbook releases by La Resolana when “Declamacion II” was released and when Luis Peña released his chapbook “The Three-Legged Dog”. We have had artist share their art with the community.

The Española Poetry Explosion is something new and explosive for our community. A safe have for young and old writers alike, newbies to the poetry scene or veterans. We have come together to expose a hidden talent of writers and poets. We gave a voice to many individuals who have been struggling with addiction and they became our teachers. Giving us an inside look in to their world of pain and let us know that they were human and had feeling just the same. The Library was their safe haven and class room to open many eyes in to the world of addiction. This is what community is all about. Every person who has come to a reading has become part of a family were all members are equals and all are respected.

I am honored to have been able to photograph the many great poets and artists who have come to the Española Poetry Explosion. I have collected a great number of photos of many open mic poets and featured poets. In the following blog I have invited Adán Baca, host to Española Poetry Explosion, Amanda Salinas, Adán Trujillo, Pilar Trujillo and Andrea Serrano for their thoughts and reflections regarding the Española Poetry Explosion.



Adán Baca

One of the beautiful and powerful things about poetry and spoken word is freedom, freedom to express what the poet has or wants or needs to say. There are no rules and no expectations. When the poet touches the pencil to paper or fingers to keyboard, voice to text on smart phone….the words are liberated and can also become liberating. These poems spoken from the heart, the mind the imagination, the funny bone; inspired by hope, loss, broken hearts, new loves, lost loves, our children, our elders our acequias our gardens and our plebe.

So for over the past two years the poets and the community have found a home at the Espanola Library. The library has been a great host and partner. The library belongs to the community and Teddie, Sherry and the library staff have been welcoming and supportive.

We’ve seen and heard incredible featured poets from as far away as Denver, many from Albuquerque and still more from right here in mi querido Norte. It’s been a blessing to see and hear people writing and sharing their words for the first time. It’s also been encouraging and powerful to see so many people come out and support the Espanola Poetry Explosion and the poets who share their words.


Amanda Salinas
Photo used with permission.

Two years flew by for Poetry at the Library I was so excited to learn something like this would be in my hometown Española N.M and  Adan Baca creator of Poetry at the Library brought in Hoy Recovery patients to read their truths and healing that hit my heart and gave me a better understanding of the problems we have in our community.  I featured twice and although I had featured before in Albuquerque something about performing in front of my peers in a town I called my own yet never really fit in made it more nerve racking, but Adan made it fun and laid back making it that much easier. I look forward to coming in and sharing my old and new poems, seeing my community come together positively.  Something different.  Not forgetting its “funner than a sack of wet mice”- Pilar Trujillo. As time flys by and realize that in just two years I have heard the most heartfelt, honest and raw poetry in one room than anywhere else and I’m lucky to have been able to experience it. Happy two year anniversary Poetry at the Library, and many more.


Pilar Trujillo

I first heard about the Espanola Poetry Explosion through my brother, Adan. He had been going to these monthly poetry readings and always came back excited. I decided to check it out one night, and I was immediately blown away. There was a true sense of community, but more than that, it felt like a really safe place to read a poem out loud in front of people. Everyone was so welcoming and respectful and very encouraging. I had never read any of my poetry out loud before. I decided to give it a try, knowing that I would be supported. 

I am always in awe of the powerful words that other people share at the readings. I have been moved to tears more than once in that space: hearing recovering addicts come to hard truths about their lives, witnessing someone read a poem out loud for the first time, hearing a new poem by a friend or finding new meaning in poems I’ve heard before. One of my most cherished memories was when my brother and I were asked to be the features for the reading in June 2012.  I will never forget how special it was to stand in the library of my hometown with my oldest brother and pour out my heart for my community. But the thing is, every single monthly reading has been a profound experience because the space allows for people to just be real and raw and true to themselves. It pushes you to be vulnerable in the best way.

The Espanola Poetry Explosion at the Library is evidence that we can truly heal together as a community if we have the space for it, and the right intentions. I am forever grateful for all that I’ve gained by being a part of the readings: the friendships, the shared palabras, the inspiration from some of the fiercest poetas I’ve ever known. Thank you to Adan Baca, Angelo, and all the others who have made it possible! Here’s to many more years!


Andrea Serrano

For years, I felt out of place in the poetry scene in Albuquerque.  While there are a lot of talented poets in Albuquerque and more venues than anyone can keep track of, I never quite felt like I had a community.  In the summer of 2009, I met a group of people who welcomed me into their circle and gave me friendship and my poetry found a home.  In Española, NM, the sun shines bright and hearts are warmed in the resolana that is created by the poets of the Norte.

The Española Poetry Explosion is a gathering of community and friends.  A place where poets can share words and laughs.  There is comfort in the words that are shared, but beyond that, it’s the feeling of the gente who are there.  New poets, seasoned poets, souls in search of healing, lovers and fighters are mixed in with books and history.  As my comadre Pilar Trujillo once remarked, there is something beautiful about reading poetry at a library she grew up in. 

To be welcomed into this space reminds me that there is safety in community, and that community extends beyond county lines and boundaries.  I often call it Speak, Poet’s Sister Event because it feels like familia.  Even if I haven’t been in a while, knowing I can go to an event where so many people find and share voice is an honor and I’m proud to know the poets and organizers of this beautiful venue.    

Española Poetry Explosion is the light that shines through the darkness, the resolana that warms the bones and the familia that is always on your side.  Thank you for the courage to create community in my own city, and congratulations on two beautiful years!


Adán Trujillo

When I walked out of the Española Library in June 2011 after randomly going to a poetry reading that I heard about on Facebook, I had rarely felt so inspired. Going that day changed my life and was one of the best decisions I ever made. Going every month after that (and until the wheels fall off) is a close second. This event stretched me outside my comfort zone, helped me find a voice I didn’t know I had and plugged me in to a community of like-minded people that I am grateful to know and call friends. 

Beata Tsosie-Peña

It has always amazed me, how strongholds of talent, tradition and beauty are so abundant in Northern NM. How the arts scene here has maintained an underground and above ground presence that never tried to fit into mainstream westernization, but has existed more to sustain each other, and echo our multi-versal realities that we have to navigate through daily as Peoples coming from mixed heritage and upbringings. Through art this has been done seamlessly, and I am grateful for its existence within so much breathtaking beauty that also contains so much love of place for the Peoples who live in the Rio Grande Valley.

Española Poetry Explosion is an example of the way we come together as artists to reshape our landscape to hold this space for ourselves. In a time when public spaces are under utilized and scarce, it is so important that we make use of the spaces that do exist to continue to come together. Poetry is a way to share knowledge, shared and individual experience, and tell the collective stories of our time. The oral tradition is strong in this place that anchors our spirit, and it is very clear to me every time I hear blessings of words offered up, in such humble settings, how our poetic intentions are a spiritual bridge.

I am grateful for those in our communities who take the extra time for rural organizing, knowing the importance and equality of hosting any size of circle, and even more so, for making it a consistent one. I am also grateful for the poets who have been willing to travel far, and lend their voice in the uplifting of our Indigenous atmosphere in Española, reinforcing a creative network that I know has more work ahead. I’m thankful for or all the strength through words that is emerging from such beautiful faces, and that I hope can continue to be a vibrational movement of its own in our Valley.


Here are some post reading collages of the Española Poetry Explosion. The collages aren’t in any particular order. This is part of the Española Poetry family and community. Thank you to all who have and continue to support this great community event every month.








If you’re on Facebook please visit the Poetry at the Library (Española Poetry Explosion) fan page. Also, drop by El Razafotografista and Campana de Esperanza Fotography Fan pages. For biographies of many of the poets whom have featured at the Española Poetry Explosion visit the archive of my blog. Like our pages and support great community events and local businesses!

To all of you who have participated in our family and community of the Española Poetry Explosion please share your reflections on the comment section of this post.

On May 23 Española Poetry Explosion will be featuring from Alburquerque Cathy Arellano and Maneul Gonzalez two great poets. Lets meet Cathy and Manuel.




Cathy Arellano writes poems and stories about growing up brown, coming out queer, and living as true as she can which is kinda crooked. Her poetry and prose collection Salvation on 24th Street will be published by Korima Press in Fall of 2013.

Also in 2013, three of her poems will be published in Feminist Formations out of the University of Arizona’s Women’s Studies Program. Cathy has had other work published in various publications, including Huizache (Literary Arts Journal of University of Houston-Victoria), The Malpaís Review, The Más Tequila Review, Turtle Island to Abya Yala: A Love Anthology of Art and Poetry by Native American and Latina Women, Chicana Lesbians: The Girls Our Mothers Warned Us About, Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sounds: The Teachers of WritersCorps in Poetry and Prose, El Tecolote (San Francisco Mission District neighborhood newspaper), Cipactli (San Francisco State University’s La Raza Studies Program Journal), Fourteen Hills (San Francisco State University’s Creative Writing Program Journal), San Antonio’s Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center’s La Voz, La Bloga, and Duke City Fix. She was awarded the Hispanic Writer Award for the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference and a Literary Arts Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission.

Cathy teaches Developmental English at Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque. Occasionally, she teaches Creative Writing in the Chicana and Chicano Studies Program at the University of New Mexico. As much as she loves teaching in the classroom, she’s very happy to facilitate groups in the community, such as “Fact, Fiction, and Funk: A Writing Workshop for Women of Color” which she led at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

She looks forward to raising her and her partner’s son Amado and is curious to see how he finishes raising them. Cathy can be reached at



Manuel is a performance poet who began his career in the poetry slam. He has represented Albuquerque many times on a national level as a member of the Albuquerque poetry slam team. Manuel has appeared on the PBS show, Colores, in “my word is my power.” He was one of the founding members of the poetry troupe The Angry Brown Poets. Manuel Teaches workshops on self expression and poetry in high schools and youth detention centers. He also works with an art therapist to help incarcerated young men express themselves. He is one of the coaches and mentors for the Santa Fe High Poetry Slam team. Manuel is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. His mother’s family is from Barelas. His father’s family is from a small town in Northern New Mexico called Anton Chico, and his father was the lead singer of the band Manny and the Casanovas. He identifies himself as being Chicano.The history, culture, and spirituality of his people are among his inspirations. “I’m proud to be from New Mexico, and to me it’s more than just green chile and desert. It’s seeing the value of famila and respect. It’s the rio grande valley and Santuario de Chimayo. It is feasts, dance, poetry and prayer.” His connection to his culture helps him connect to his students. Manuel Teaches poetry as a means for self expression. Looking within oneself and examining ones roots is the essence of the type of poetry he works with. Emotions, feelings, experiences, and prose in an historical and cultural context is the goal of his workshops. Self esteem, finding something to say, figuring out how to say it eloquently, and letting your voice be heard are just some of the benchmarks in Manuel’s workshop.










Pow Wow
(c) Angelo J. Sandoval

The beat of the drum
sounds on the streets
of Burque
Indiginous people gather
drum groups create the heart beat
a heart beat
a resilient heart beat
that has continued to beat
though times of
genocide attempts
with diseased blankets
cut of feet
trail of tears
battles in Santa Fe
Wonded Knee
reclaiming Alcatraz Island

Today, descendents
of warrior ancestors
gather and dance
colourful regalia
powerful feathers
the sound of chimes
together as one

The heart beat of
Turtle Island
strong as
drum groups
created prayer songs
as dancers offered
prayes with movement
ancestors of these land
honored by descendents,
of enduring Nations

Please keep in mind that Native American Dance is a prayer. I respectful ask that the images in this post not be downloaded for any purpose. Lets remember to respect the sacredness of the dancers prayers.

Tragedy can hit at any moment and any place. A few days ago this tragedy happened on the Chimayo Highway



Tragedy on 76

(c) Angelo J. Sandoval

Highways, freeways, roads
commuters, drivers, passangers
traveling in one direction
or on the other

speed drugs alcohol
lack of attention
to surroundings
split second
two cars headone
cars become flimsy
like aluminum cans
speed the great equalizer
sudden impact
life changing experience
the delicacy of life makes
it self known
human body trapped in crushed cars
child screaming in pain
in fear
fear of what happened to her daddy
man screaming
blood running on streets
unsustecting third car
driver in shock
worried about small child victim

community comes together
in form of volunteer firefighters
emts and off duty nurses
the smell of oil and blood
permiate the air
cries of victims
and there family members
are carried by the wind

organized chaos
injuried transported to hospitals
family following right behind
lights and sirens of ambulances
fire crew to clean up the metal carnage
I fade away to be with my children and girlfriend
Detour takes me by the capillita
al Santo Niño
y oraciones le mando por
all those involved in the crash
victims and family members
may God Bless you
and God bless those who
put there life on hold to save lives.

National Poetry Month poem 17/30. Keeping up with the poem a day challenge.



April Freeze

(c) Angelo J Sandoval

Mid April snow showers
es el dicho
Snow blankets my field
flowering fruit trees
have a white blanket
over them
color flowers
exposed to freezing temperatures
the hope of a fruitful harvest
freezes away tonight
pinkpurplewhite flowers
changing turning
symbol of freezen
fruit flowers
who will not survive
early Spring
late winter
snow blanket freeze.
hopeless harvest
in the fall.
April showers won’t bring
May fruit flowers.

On April 17th, 2012 I was driving home and came up with a crazy idea to start a blog. I told Amanda that I was going to start a blog. She was very supportive of the idea. She was also surprised that I had already started the process and signed up for an account. For several days before hand I had been checking out different apps on my cell phone that allowed me to write my poems on the go without having to carry a notebook or paper. I came across the WordPress app. I downloaded it once thinking I could use it as a notepad, but then realize it was a blogging app. That afternoon of April 17th the idea of having a blog to share my photography just hit me. I was waiting to meet with some people for work and while I was waiting I set up my account. I named my blog Razafotografista’s Blog. The name was inspired by two individuals who have been subject to my camera when they are reading their poetry. The new alias were born and so was the blog.

Since that afternoon in Cordova when I posted my first post with an image of the beautiful southern view from my porch my blog has exploded. I have posted a number of my poems along with my photos, I have posted photos alone. I am proud that I am able to promote some of the greatest poets from New Mexico. In my blog you will find many autobiographies of the greatest poets in the world, in my opinion. I have worked diligently to capture these poets doing what they do best, share their truths with poetry. Within those posts with biographies I also promote two poetry events, Española Poetry Explosion at the Española Library and Speak, Poet: Voz, Palabra y Sonido. I have tried my best to capture every poet that has read at either event. I have photographed many poets and it has been an honor.

As of today, April 17, 2013 there have been 2079 visitors to my blog. I want to THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT by visiting and sharing my blog. I hope that the next year will be as rewarding as the first. New things are in the works for my blog. This month I started a poetry prompt post in honor of National Poetry Month. I want my photography to inspire poets and writers to create great stories and poems. Once again Thank you from Campana de Esperanza Fotography and El Razafotografista for supporting our blog and the work we are doing.

Remember none of this was or is possible without your support. Come by and visit us anytime, share what you see, be inspired to create and lets change the world one photo, one poem and one blog post at a time.

Hosted by Loretta Trujillo:

This is last minute, but let’s get out and support local poet and teacher Loretta Trujillo from Santa Fe. She is bringing a group of students from Santa Fe to visit Northern New Mexico Collage. During their visit to the college Loretta has set up a one hour Poetry Jam with a few local artists. Please come by the Collage and support Loretta and share some of your poetry with the youth. The event will be at the Admin area of the college at 11:30 am.
I will be posting photos on to this post after the event. Please stay tuned for photos of the event.

Reflection after the Middle School Poetry Jam Session.

Wow that was an amazing experience. The poets did an awesome job sharing some powerful words of truth.

Loretta Trujillo, host and poet.

Adán Baca, poet.

Adán Trujillo, poet.

Matthew Martinez, PhD talking to the students about NNMC and his work as a professor.

Dr. Patricia Trujillo talking with students and giving them some information and NNMC. Dr. Trujillo said that NNMC is the only college in the United States that has an acequia running through its campus. The name of the acequia is La Acequia de Los Vigiles.


Tony Gallegos speaking with the students and introducing NNMC President Nancy “Rusty” Barceló.


Nancy “Rusty” Barceló encouraging the students to learn their history and talked about the importance of Chicano Literature and how the Poem “Yo Soy Joaquin” encouraged her to learn her history and continue with her education.