Meus Poemas / My Poems

some of my work over the years


For My Mother Who is Afraid of Hillary

For every twelve years,
There is another one right behind it. 
Children full of promise.
This is the balance, a balance.
A good morning.
 torch passed.
Feel the change upon the air. 
 We all know that we will not be, 
 As bad or worse as the last ones were. 
And we know that we can do as well as, or better than the last ones. 
'Every generation makes mistakes, grows, 
And learns, 
Its our turn now. 
This is the balance, a balance.
It is just that,  
Now we are older, 
Next in line. 
Parents who were once children, 
Then parents, and middle aged. 
Now they are grandparents, and we are the middle aged ones. 
This is the balance, a balance. 
coronations, parades, charades, balls, falls,  
But you have to be proud. 
You raised this son, 
-To participate, with conscience, and opinion
You raised 
this son,
So that he knew,  
Even when he made some serious mistakes, 
Or didn't live his life quite like you'd want him to, 
That he knew 
What was right 
And what was wrong, 
That is the balance. 



 Observação das 8 Horas da Manhã

Você sabe de uma coisa?
No Brasil, a gente come:
Bolachas com o café de manhã!

Ele toma o seu café com leite, adoçado.
E o outro, toma café adoçado com bolachas
e geléia
e mamão
e pão
e banana…

Eles conversam com olhos radiantes…
E seus corações
açucarados, e cheios…

Eu acho,
Não! Eu sei!
Que este é um amor…
Para sempre.



poem 1.15.98

All I know is here
there is a feeling that 
all I know is there.

There is the if,
then is the now

How can I see what to do if,
the then is yet to be?

I feel blessed to have
to question
the opportunity
to change
to choose
to be
someone new


The Hurricane
(Sunday 09.26.99)

The poet 
Said that it is the
Act of making a poem that implies that someone is listening.
Yet this suggests that someone was there to listen in the first place.
To hear the cry
How often it was that I felt I was shouting into the wind, and
That the people I thought who were 
Actually cared about what I said or felt.
And to find that
The wind had became my true friend, as
It blew a harsh north wind so dry and dusty, and then
I let it take me away
That July day 
When I flew over the hurricane
And woke up in South America.
Was it the wind, shouting?
Or was it me calling out all night, 
While I looked out on a light show from space
Blown to the place where my life changed forever

Living as I was like a machine amongst machines
When after a year of pain, and
Mental torture
Where, we the slayers of dragons
Made an epic journey to reach each other
And after
Fighting against the greatest of all odds
Like the movies we see
Where good guys wear white, and triumph against all odds,
And now they look at us differently,
Because they can see in our eyes the happiness and the power we have
Taken back for our own.
And as life is moving us toward new dreams
We are a family
I am happy as we gather energy for the next great adventure.

We were brought together as if by 
Divine chance, when God heard us
As we both prayed into a hurricane.


Entonces, Então, Well then…

I flew

From Quito to Lima, and

I saw the Andes.

Well, one Ande, then.


Rose up


It soared.

A great, defiant, ice covered middle finger. Sticking

Through clouds, that clung to it

As they blew up from the Amazon,

Ghost to a past, that as it

Looses its snow to a future, as uncertain as never before.

Reminded me what it means,

Now to be an American,

And how it all depends so much on how we learn to



In a collective America,


After more than five centuries of

                Genocide and immigration, of

Migration and colonialism, of

Degradation, exploitation, and Slavery, of

Feudalism, Communism, Capitalism, Socialism, and now Corporate Development

That this pervasive sense, of domination and humiliation

By the few over the many,

Calls us now to sit and rest


On the bank of the river without end or beginning,


Dangle our bare feet, in the muddy stream, that began as melting snow.


  quarta-feira, 5 de abril de 2006 / Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais


Poems for my son over the Years

A Meu Filho / To My Son

Every father says his first born son’s birth is auspicious, 
 That his child is destined for great things
 but then, who can say it’s not true?

You see, I will always have this…

11 years ago, you were born.
 On the night the Challenger died,
 Your Mother’s water broke.
 Beneath that supernova, 
 You, a tiny phoenix soon to appear upon the high desert that is
 So close to the stars that it seems you can almost touch them.

I, down stairs watching in the darkness, quietly crying
 With the television, 
 Unaware that
 You had chosen this very moment in time to emerge into the light.

A call to me upstairs, and
 Just by the tone of her voice
I knew that 
 Nothing would ever be the same again.

There were complications and so, when you suddenly appeared, 
They took you quickly aside, and I leaned over you, 
Nose to nose, breathing into your ear
 To calm your frantic, panicked screams, I said out loud what I whispered
 into your mother’s stomach every night before we went to sleep,

 “Baby, baby this is your daddy.”

Covered in birth and mother, you looked into my eyes and, 
Taking your first great breath, stopped crying
 and smiled at me.

Its now the beginning of your second decade,
 You will learn that you can become just about anything 
 You possibly want to be, 
 This will be the decade when you will 
 Stand up, take wing, 
Make those first awkward steps in the direction of your call.

And when I returned to the apartment, 
I wondered what kind of mess would be left behind
 When your mother’s water broke a full day before
And what I found was the sweet gentle smell of you, my infant son,
Soul of my Soul.

29 de janeiro 1997 / January 29, 1997


This year you have completed
your twelfth trip around the Sun.

And as we near the start of your next one
I had some thoughts,
during my morning walk,
today in foggy orbit
a dozen laps amidst a vortex of gulls
calling to each other.

I thought about you,
Away in the desert,
and how we, in airplanes like gulls fly
to see each other, or to have adventures in far off lands, and how
when I was a child I would escape in a double decker bus with the name of a dog.
My mother let me sit by myself upstairs, and look out across the silver roof line,
as we flew north across sweltering summer fields and farms on old 99W.
I was as high and as fast as any kid could fly, because almost no one did back then.
And when I was twelve, they let me take the bus, by myself, to visit my Grandmother.
My first adventure through canyons and over great arched bridges,
on that dog named bus, that moved like lightening, and flew like a bird.
They packed me a lunch.

You were so near to us twelve orbits ago.
almost born,
though we did not know it yet.
One dozen years ago today.
A dozen, twelve, doze, doce
One plus eleven,
Two more than ten,
A pair of sixes,
A seven and a five,
One half of twenty four...

No one knew then what good things would be ahead for us;
Challenger, and you exploded upon the world,
And even though it has been rough sometimes for us
most of the time,
it is pretty good.

26 January 1998

A Pubescent Poem Found 333 Days From Y2K

This year
Your annual poem
Came late.
But as I took off,
From spending your birthday weekend with you
I rejoiced in how you are becoming a man
Voice changing with a little hair here and there
And I rejoice, celebrate this
As your father
And guide 
Into manhood
Now as your body makes its next  
Dramatic change
And as those around you marvel at your beauty 
Both inside and out
Those of us who have gone ahead
Can see your next stage
Our future
Your future
 The future
Brings only good change
Don’t be afraid
Change is change
And I am afraid 
The world you are growing into 
Will only find you living with one thing of surety
And that
My son
 Is change.
No chump transition - 
I am so proud of you
My son of thirteen years
Be strong and patient
And you can gain everything Imanjá wishes for you.

1.31.99 ABQ -> SMF


It was 20 years ago today

Begins the song by Sergeant Pepper

That today

You were born

On that morning early

Beneath the exploding star


My life changed – exploding rocket that you were

As you flew out of your mother’s womb

The doctor catching you like a football.

You making your first cries,

And I leaned over

You, all covered in mother

and bent from the trauma of birth and forceps

And whispered in your ear,

“Baby, baby, this is your Daddy!”

And you stopped crying, and

taking your first deep breath

With the one eye covered in goo and the other

you looked at me.


You forever honored me by being the first person on this planet that you saw, and though many tried, they never took this away from us.


You may not know this, yet

And why should you?

As there is no way to explain


You, yourself

Have a son

A friend, a hope, a colleague, a future

who grows to be such a fine young man.

Though distance and time have often been our Challenger


What love I have reserved for you

No one is able to take away.


Happy 20th my son, you do us proud!

Ouro Preto

29 de Janeiro de 2006


Upon the completion of your first 25 turns

Around this star

And with your own

New turns, and

            A career

And future, while

Taking time now

In between your adventures

To write down your own stories

That read as bright as that sun we circle together, and

Me, older now

And not altogether unlike my father

Was then, and

You with a life across a continent

As close as we are as far

With time

            That expands and contracts



            With heartbeats that beat time

Along flight lines


On shelves

In maps

In books

On hearts     

With best laid plans


                        In carefully packed boxes

Along with memories whose stories we carefully dust off

To examine,

And sort

To keep or discard.

Or just return to the box from which they came.

Sacramento, California

January 2011


Copyright 2011 by Daniel C. Orey

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