Day of the Dead

Death is as beautiful as the birth

of civilizations,

like a sky lit by

supernova flares

galaxies out of thin air


out of the star’s ashes


As beautiful

as a phoenix

first spreading its wings,

rain-drops from soot clouds

spawned over graceful gusts

from fiery feathers

soft like the soil tended

by their tears


Do we fly like phoenixes?

with eagle feathers in hair

on top of

light skulls of sugar with

brittle bones


Do we soar as high as our spirits stretch?

skies aren’t the limits

neither are the stars

when one goes out, another’s light

shines brighter than before

in their honor


Our feathers flutter like fall-en

leaves, breezes blow

& the chief knows, the wise owls

of our past outlast, their wisdom

whispered in the wind beneath our

bending knees, and dancing feet

swaying with ease

we please the clouds

our ancestors cry for us,

tears of joy that we

are alive, and they

aren’t forgotten


Branden E. Balenzuela, USA

My Muse

Soul sung through pipes

bowl smoke dances

to your Salsa

you twirl to the Oldies

heart beat-ing like Hip-Hop

Rap me up

with a Reggae sound

Rock my world with your Rhythm

& Blues

the music of your existence

plays out in every instance

I hear you,

strumming into my brainwaves

pounding your way into my heart space

humming a tune into my blood flow

keying the lock to open me

& make me whole, you stole vinyl

scratched them & timed poetry

I see the truth in the lyrics you speak beautifully

you’re Classical, every molecule in sync

orchestrated in a way to keep me on the edge of my seat

let me plug into your stereo

blast you on loud

get lost in my muse

& see what you’re all about


Branden E. Balenzuela, USA

This Magic Moment

Mariposa Street

left butterflies in my stomach

flapping, gusts of gravity

pulled us towards the moment


Bart train, booked

Neruda sang to us

cuddled in my arms

traveling, already lost


Oakland hills

stars swam in wine fog

the wind blew us away

our journey only beginning


Until, at last

in the back of your Oldsmobile

eyes locked, bodies aligned

a kiss softer than that summer night

made every moment before

a little more magical


Branden E. Balenzuela, USA