Crisálida: Community Arts Project | Poetry & Short Story Workshop
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Poetry & Short Story Workshop

05 Sep Poetry & Short Story Workshop

By Moises Huerta

 Thoughts & Poems by Maria Galaviz and Her Students

One day I was invited to a workshop that was being given by poet & writer David Gonzalez.
On that occasion he asked if someone knew of a person who could teach workshops on poetry and short stories and I answered that I could.
In that moment I did not understand the great challenge that I was about to embark on; you see my experience only consisted of teaching poetry to children.

Building a dream.

The building of our dream started when I invited a group of women to write poetry and short stories.
And they all asked, “What is that? I can’t do that! I don’t like poetry! I can’t learn anything! I am too old!”

I smiled and I told them that life begins at 50.

I asked them if they loved someone or something;
if they liked to see the sun rise!
if they liked the rain!
if they loved nature, their children, their grandchildren, their mate.
And they all answered “yes”.
And I told them, “Put all those feelings on paper and that is poetry.”

The turning over of all our feelings from our heart and mind on to paper nourishes our heart and our soul and frees us of our demons.

These are some thoughts of our female & male poets after 16 classes and having the most marvelous view of our salted lake (Salton Sea) which was and will be an endless fountain of inspiration for any artist.

                                 Purepecha Native Art/Crafts

You are like the air that I breathe 
The air is felt but it can’t be seen 
Just like your heart, it can’t be seen 
but I feel that great love in me.

The dreams of my children are also mine 
The joys they give me are my dreams 
The love that is theirs is my life 
Wherever they go I will be there.

I have a bright star name Jaquelin 
that is the light in my eyes. 
My beautiful child you are all mine.

I want the sea to continue its song 
I want the sky to rain like before 
I want birds singing in the sky 
I want the stars to shine in the night

The youth in your skin is coming to an end 
but not that of your soul 
that will always be young and beautiful 
and you will always have a lovely soul.

In the fields you learn much 
Not only to work the grape  
but rather life itself. 
One passes time alone 
Talking to the grape and 
you learn much about yourself.

These thoughts are examples of beautiful poems that we wrote with all our hearts despite the fact that the majority of the students would arrive to class on many occasions directly from working 8 or 10 hours in the field under the hot desert sun.

They would arrive with a sack of inspiration! with an immense joy! and an enviable vibe that would fill the room and it was contagious.
And we shared a plate of food but mainly we shared a great friendship and together we built family ties that will last a lifetime. For all that and more I thank you.
Likewise the whole group gives thanks:

North Shore Poetry Graduating Students

To Crisalida for giving us the opportunity for our art to be born, to flourish and mature in the same way a butterfly does. 

To McCallum Theatre for bestowing the grant that allowed us to cover all of our needs which made it possible for us to produce art in the East Coachella Valley.

To David Gonzalez, poet and writer, for guiding us in our search and flourishing of dormant art in the East Coachella Valley.

But the desert awoke with its beauty                                               with its beautiful light of its radiant sun                                           with its mountains that have the color                                           same as that of its inhabitants                                                         warm and smiling, hardworking and productive 
but above all in one beautiful word 
that contains everything, 
Author: Maria Galaviz

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