Friday, December 13, 2013


Jornalero’s Prayer for Guadalupe

Today I pay tribute to
Tonantzin-Coatlicue  for 
She is the Mother of the Gods, 
Of the waning and waxing moon, 
And of all the stars that paint 
The southern sky.  I pay tribute
For she is also our True Mother.

I acknowledge her presence for 
She is more powerful than 
The jaguar and quicker than 
The mighty eagle.  I acknowledge 
Her presence for she will guide us
Through the desert, mountains, and 
Urban jungles of El Norte.

No matter what path we choose
To follow,  Gran Señora
Protect us from all our 
Adversities and send them
Into the darkest corner 
Of our Mother Earth and keep
Them from doing us harm


© December 12, 2013 jjméndez

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

BARRIO DOGS by jjméndez

Barrio Dogs

Droopy-eyed mutt
Dry your tears and reach out
To my open hand…

Smell it, get comfortable
I’m not the type of hand that bites.

I understand you were gambling
Fodder not so long ago and
You stood there at the bottom

Of the filthy pit looking up
At grimy waving hands
Filled with musty green leaves
The kind that are the envy of many 
And the prize of few.

I saw you plenty of times
Just laying there —wounded
You felt helpless and star-struck
By the brilliantly studded
Sky and you saw the moon

Roll across the darkened sky
And witnessed the sun rise
Above the parabolic dishes
Protruding over tar-smeared rooftops
Numbing children’s minds
And tempting them with false dreams.

I, too, once had sweet dreams
That led to twisted paths filled with misery… 

Come on now, get closer
Let me feel your mangy 
Face and wounded eyes
Let me assess the damage written
In the scars you carry on your sides…

Let’s see if we can both
Come to terms as to what
Our next move will be tonight.

© December 11, 2013 jjméndez

Painting by Marcos Raya; Photo by jjméndez ©2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Descansos of Aztlán

Somebody died… right HERE.
By the edge of the road
Where the make-shift memorial
Stands proud and prominent

Like a  road stop sign warning

That spirits still linger here
Like morning dew between the
Sun-baked silent stones.  You

Cannot  miss the pleading

Arms of the mandatory 
Wooden cross flanked by wilted
Flowers, tear-stained photographs

Love letters and rosaries 

Neatly placed next to a thorn-
Crowned Jesus and La Virgen
De Guadalupe -mother of
Gods, moon, and southern stars

At whose feet is a scattering

Of home-spun retablos filled 
With personal mementos,
Teddy bears and blood-red hearts.

Inquisitive walkers stop

And curious drivers slow down
Their dark eyes move to and fro
Yearning to be noticed but
Not heard whispering:
                                     Was it too much drinking?
 A drive-by? 
                       The expected heart attack?
                                                    A lovers’ quarrel? 
ICE?       NSA?      FBI? 
                    Unemployed and economically deprived?
   Or, maybe… just maybe… 
                                              A freak accident?

Dead silence –as always

Eventually sets in… but
Is quickly interrupted
By the murmur of short-lived

Prayers hovering like downy

Feathers that ride the mystic
Wind whirling high above
The hailed holy shrine…

Like prison-camp survivors

The spectators move on
But not before the sign
Of the cross is tweaked and

You can distinctly hear 

The beat –in unison
Of a loud and clear:
Que descanse en paz…Que descanse en paz…

© November  2013 jjméndez

Photos by jjméndez: Descansos found in the streets of  Santa Fe, NM