Her Name is Meme

Warmth copy

Meme is my doorway out of the Desert
Not a mirage, not an illusion,
She stands over the sands and calls to me:
“Come my Love”
as the winds blow gently from her direction.

The ground feels warm
I am guided by her smile
White gleam reflecting Sun
Reflecting Divine consolation
the assurance that she was sent…

Her hands reach out for mine,
they clasp
and I am comforted,
As I am lost in her Peace
Lost in her Strength
Lost in her Radiance
Lost in her LOVE!

I emerge from the desert,
The arduous desert that consumed me,
I have waited so long,
and now,
Easter has arrived
and there is Life,
and her name is Meme!

© Wilfredo Benitez
April 23, 2014

It’s a Beautiful White in Harlem

Snowing in Harlem copy

It’s a beautiful white
descending upon Harlem this morning.
Light and darkness mix and blend
Shadows deepen making the brightness brighter
and the darkness richer,
and there is balance in the air.

The air breathes clean
Meme calls it “Good Air”
and Harlem slows down catching its breath
in the midst of white stillness
mingling with temperate clump sounds
with every step of my boots.

It’s a beautiful feeling
when things become still in the cold.
Not a menacing cold,
just enough unblemished cold
to ooze a gentle warmth.

I take a deep breath and life feels good!
I’m surrounded with the blessings of the earth
descending on Harlem this morning –
White manna from heaven –
and the stillness stirs my soul!

© Wilfredo Benitez 2/3/14


Alzheimer's copy

The simple gesture of a daughter’s hand,
On the thigh of a mother long gone.

An act of LOVE,
A reminder of the human heart,
Our true nature exposed,
Burdened with LOVE.

Irena is long gone.
Her memory of things
A trillion specs of dust in the wind.
But is she truly gone?

Two hearts pulsate
Mother and Daughter,
A touch, a gesture
An indication that LOVE remains.

It stirs my heart to see this act of LOVE,
My photographer’s eye is captivated,
And I am reminded of how blessed I am.
To have Irena’s daughter as my wife.

Meme is unshakeable LOVE.
My darling wife is unshakeable Love!

© Wilfredo Benitez, 8/8/14


Names 1 copy
(Dedicated to the children of Gaza)

Each one of these names had a life,
Each one of these names was a child of God
Each one of these names I helped to kill.

From across the oceans
their names travelled
hundreds of names, hundreds of lives
inscribed on paper
now drenched in the light of God.

On the sanctuary of the church they rest
bathing in the light of God, Allah, Elohim.
God who doesn’t see Jews,
God, who doesn’t see Christians,
God who doesn’t see Muslims.

Their names rise up to heaven
In a whirlwind of bombs and bullets they rise,
Into the arms of mercy they climb,
Their terror is no more.

But what of the living?
What of the killers in the name of God, Allah, Elohim?
What of the killers in the name of the State?
What of the mothers whose desolation will always be?

In the name of God we kill and lame,
God is feigned in our own image and likeness.
In the name of God we bring shame to ourselves
In the name of God we trample God’s light.

Each one of these names had a life,
Each one of these names was a child of God
Each one of these names I helped to kill.

©Wilfredo Benitez 7/31/14

The Beautiful Black Madonna

Monserrate copy

The Beautiful Black Madonna
and Christ Child called to me.
In the midst of crowds and chaos
she instilled – stillness.
I inquired about the piece from the Santera who crafted her.
“She was made of Puerto Rican wood and carved in the Bronx!”

Marta Iris an ocean away from the island of the Santeros
carves away in the Bronx…
“La separación con la Isla del Encanto no existe.”

With every stroke of her carving tools
she returns to Borinquen,
the island of the Santeros
y las montanas que vieron nacer el arte
y la devoción a los Santos de Palo.

The cold chill of a Bronx winter is transformed into tropical glory,
Y ahi en el Bronx, en el taller de Marta Iris,
Se escucha el Coqui en veneración a La Monserrate Negra,
y su Negrito Niño Jesús.

Marta Iris carves away bringing her to life,
In a harsh and bitter landscape.
She carves
y con cada corte
regresa al Encanto de La Isla de Borinquen,
La Virgen guiando sus manos.

Lo que nace de la patria permanece en el Corazón.
An ocean away, on a frigid coast
La Monserrate, arte Boricua con Mancha de Plátano
cobra vida, inspira, y trae aliento a este humilde peregrino y devoto.

Arte Puertorriqueño que trae la Divina Luz
a los hijos y las hijas de la patria en exilio.

What is Puerto Rican, sacred and holy
remains Puerto Rican sacred and holy.
Even in a distant land,
lo Boricua permanece Boricua.

Ampáranos Señora y Niño Jesús.
en el caminar de la vida,
en el frio de Nueva York
Ampáranos y bendice las manos Boricuas que te tallan.

© Wilfredo Benítez 1/23/14

They Insist That Peace Will Never Be

Dancer #2

They insist that peace will never be,
That hatred runs too deep,
That it’s always been this way,
But your dance negates their claim.

You dance and spin
in a cloud of white softness,
You dance and spin.

Ascending into a heavenly arena.
No longer touching ground
you levitate,
and trace the realm of God…
…Their darkness cannot overtake you.

Born of a land tormented.
You dance as sisters
Israeli and Palestinian.

A whirlwind of Spirit envelops you.
Are you Jewish, Christian, or Muslim?
Are you all of the above, or none of the above?
Are you sisters born of Spirit?
The very Spirit that blows across the desert landscape
Searching zealously for Her lost daughters?

They insist that peace will never be,
But yours is a dance of peace.
Two sisters that belong to the land,
Two sisters who have seen
The beauty in the other.
Two sisters fused in rhythm,
Synchronized in motion,
Moving in and out of Divine gyrations
beyond the realm of lies,
Beyond the realm of death!

They insist that peace will never be
but yours is a dance of perfect Peace, Shalom, Salam.
Yours is the dance of the Spirit of God!

©Wilfredo Benitez

What Does it Mean?

Numinous copy copy

What does it mean
when the Sun sinks into the earth
enveloped in clouds of blackness?

Is it Light dying to Darkness
or the sublime caressing
of two lovers locked in a kiss?

Clouds cloak the Sun.
Rubbing the waters
the horizon fades,
and what is left?
The brilliance of a Love ignited,
a fusion of Night and Day,
flickering over tender waves that sparkle.

What does it mean?
Even the Sun
needs to rest
after making love
to the Dark…

©August 18, 2014