Saturday, April 24, 2010

Driving down Ocotillo Ave to work every morning
I pass by the barrio community center.

A place of pride in a little village within our city.
Can you see her standing there?

The school I work in is one block away from here.
Our school is predominately Hispanic, at risk, living at or below poverty level. Having worked there for several years,I love this community. The following poem by Abelardo Delgado gives a glimpse into the experience:

See that chicano with the big knife in his steady hand?
He doesn't want to knife you, he wants to sit on a bench and carve Christ figures.
but you won't let him.
Hear that chicano shouting curses on the street he is a poet
Without paper and pencil and since he can not write he will explode.
Remember that chicanito flunking math and english,
He is the picasso of your western states
but he will die
With one thousand masterpieces hanging only from his mind.


  1. What a moving poem, and how true it rings! Gemma, I'm glad you do the work that you do.

  2. What a sad poem. Unfortunately it sounds as though it fits many communities, not simply Hispanic...I have other thoughts on the poem but the words struck me differently than you meant to share them here, Gemma, so I'll shuttie. Still, I am so thankful that there are wonderful people such as yourself who step out every day to be a voice of strength and support and hope for whomever needs it.

  3. wow, what a wonderful mural!

  4. I missed her completely.

    Oh the poem. I read it, then I reread it aloud to my husband. We're both shaking our heads. What power.

  5. Street art is so cool....and that poem is so sad. How many people everywhere are not allowed to fulfill their natural talents? I'm going to make a copy of that poem and keep it. Thanks for sharing it.

  6. Gemma, just a little note to let you know I've awarded you the Sunshine Award over at my blog, in honor of how creative and positive your work here is. :)

  7. Hi Gemma. Hope you are well. I love the place you pass every day to work. I would love to walk by there. Have a great week amiga and I totally enjoyed the poem.

  8. Hi, Gemma. Coming to you from Meredith's blog.

    Those murals just radiate life. And that poem is so touching. The last two lines are heartbreaking in their truth.

  9. I'm speachless. I am a mural lover and an artist hugger. I can't imagine a world without art...what are people so afraid of?
    Beautiful post, Gemma.

  10. Anpowerful poem that went straight to my gut and heart. Perfect for your post...I remember seeeing a lot of murals when i lived there.

  11. What an excellent post. Our Native Americans in ND must feel that way. Today the students from United Tribes Technical College are doing chalk drawings on the sidewalk downtown. I thought of you and your chalk drawing. However, it threatens rain today and is likely to rain a lot tomorrow. :{

  12. The young girl blended in well but I did manage to spot her before reading the mention in your post.

    The murals on the community centre make an impressive statement. My eyes welled up with tears when I read that poem. It's so sad and with a definite ring of truth to it.