Day of the Dead Literature

FSCN3164From 2000 to 2005, I was a member of the Latino literary troupe, Los Nortenos in Seattle. For the Day of the Dead, we hosted and produced literary events. I read this poem at one of the events.

Phoenix Rising from the Ashes

Death comes in shades; Grim Reaper’s many faces.

Secrets are revealed in the stars leaving traces.

True identities sought in the mad rush of the times.

Once we were tribal and we have left that behind.

Buried somewhere in a desert, mountain or stream.

Until the day destiny calls in a whisper, in a scream.


The rocks breathe our names; the river sings our songs.

They grab our attention and we feel something is wrong.

Illusions bend our faces back to us in tricked mirrors

And we choose not to listen, we recoil in horror.

We are not the names or identities given to us.

Like a phoenix, we rise from the proverbial ashes.


Death is an illusion and life is magically unreal.

We peel back the layers to see the truth revealed.

We reflect on our persecuted chromosomes.

We forget our ancestor spirits in our skeletons.

And the fires that burned in ancient times.

Shielded by preoccupations and factual lies.


We rise from our burial and kiss the galaxies.

We gather in pyramids beneath cosmologies.

Red, yellow, black and white, we are one.

Tribes returning to gather the moon and sun.

Someday we will see we are not alone.

And we will hear the speech of our bones.


We will crossover and sneak past the reaper.

The gods and goddesses of the past appear,

Smiling and laughing at our remembrance.

We wash paint from our faces and dance.

Around the fires, ignited by tribal drums.

Twilight gazes on us as we return home.

By Patricia Herlevi, All Rights Reserved



Poetry–Timeless (Does Time Really Exist?)

DSCN3909Clocks & Calendars

By Patricia Herlevi

When you live by a clock

And a calendar, time

Flies by like geese with a mission,

Organized V-shape claiming victory

Across an open sky—leadership and will.


When you don’t live by a clock

Or calendar, your footing feels

Less secure, wobbly, all your days

Blur into one, you lose the map

You lose the plot.


Is it Monday or Saturday?

You lie languid between days,

Turning back pages of stale

Memories, retiring the old feet,

Resting the mind between bookends

And book endings, hoping

For a happy stay.


The time that remains ticks by,

One gorgeous second at time,

Grateful sighs and words of repose,

Lines across the skin like interstates

On a map snaking their way across

The desert and seeking a gentle oasis.


Come and drink every drop of this life…

All Rights Reserved

Poetry–Invisible One

Photograph by Patricia Herlevi, All Rights Reserved

(Alternate title Invisible Child)

Creeping like a mouse through the rooms,

As silent as mahogany furniture,

The worn armchair in the corner

That comforted grief and worries.


Silent as an owl feather

dropping onto the stony ground

while emotions inside rolling like pebbles

on a desolate beach of the past, drifting…


The child seen, but unheard, feelings censored

and sanitized for adult sensibilities, anger frozen

in time, sent back to the womb

where she found no comfort, no condolences


Emotions abandoned on the side of the road

no markers left standing or signifying

not even white crosses where accidents

of fate occurred, leaving no scars.


Creeping like a spider hidden in an attic

felt but not experienced fully beyond the phantoms

We move furniture across the carpeted floors

a room parented by practicality and stories of regret


Set aside for others to later ponder and assess.

By Patricia Herlevi

All Rights Reserved


My Contribution to National Poetry Month

DSCN5397A Stitch in Time

She keeps time in a bag,

sand trapped between her sagging legs.

Stealing stitches from eternity,

her soul endures maternity

until she gives birth to herself.

Cocooned passive, waiting

a trick of the clock eminent

She pulls out an unfinished sleeve,

thinking of the day she’ll take leave.

A departure date only known to her.

Unraveling the future, knotting the past,

a continual spiral until at last,

no tears for these arachnid-like days.

She stares into the void’s haze

until an arrival date only known to her.

She’s the mother and the child,

the beginning and end of time,

a riddle, a mystery, a prophecy,

So clear and bright that we close our eyes.

Yet, this Spider Woman weaves humanity’s destiny.

By Patricia Herlevi, 2011

Photography by Patricia Herlevi


All Rights Reserved

Encantada (Poems Reflecting Awakening)

photo by Patricia Herlevi

Since 1995-96, I’ve been holding onto a manuscript that contains spiritual poems which I channeled during my 30s. I tried several times to publish those poems and even thought of self-publishing them at one point. Then it dawned on me that I could just record the poems and add nature photography thus creating a poetry video series.

The problem is I don’t know how to fund this project since I do believe that poets and channels deserve to be paid for their service. I already have one Patreon campaign for Whole Astrology so I don’t want to start another. Perhaps, I can record two of the poems and use those as a sample for would-be art patrons and spiritualists who would like these poems to reach the masses.

What do you suggest?