Poetry Books


cover observations

This is a book about the plight of many young individuals that come to the U.S. from Central America through treacherous means and paths. Many risk their lives to come to the United States and some die as a result of this endeavor. It is an emotional story of a boy named Enrique who manages to beat…

5) Manuel Melendez – Observations Through Poetry

Although poetry is usually not categorized in either Fiction or Non Fiction, we included this book in the Non Fiction section due to its descriptive nature of New York. If you like poetry, then this is the book to read this year. It captures the stories of people within the streets of New York and the many plights, hurt, and struggles within this community. The author beautifully captures the stories with an excellent mix of words and is wonderfully descriptive and full of feeling. It is beautifully done.


 So many times I have stood in front of you

I have watched you die

and come back to life

seen you battled the heat

of summer afternoons

and the bitterness cold of winter

I have observed your children

grow from a single bud

into proud green life forms

and then see them shiver

into crumbles from autumns chills

I have marveled at your beauty

between seasons

and felt the fondling

of your gentle touches

on spring nights

 You have being a companion

unmoved nor tarnished

by the madness nor richness

which passes you by

 If you could only speak

your tales will be as tall

as you

 But I know that deep inside

you could hear and understand

and my secrets are part of you

I wish that I knew the mysteries

that you behold

from so many yesterdays

that is scratched upon your trunk

I imagined how many eyes

have fallen within your serenity

how many others before me

have stood before you

the same way that I am now

generations interlaced with generations

with foreign native tongues

educating you with their lifestyles

 And yet I envision

that we all have stood before you

with the same language

of loneliness…

otherwise you would have

been ignored…

and cast aside

as another tree.


 Hidden by the shadows

of the late dying day

she rocked herself gently

on her old rocking chair

 Outside the living room door

a car’s engine purr

on a well rested idle

sun streaks reflects on its chrome

like white moonbeams

 She could hear the commotion

coming from the side of the house

her grand kids and their mother

going through the final steps

of their new beginning

 Her little ones

that saw life for the first time

at her side

where they played Cowboys and Indians

and teased the nylon hair

of wide-eyed dolls

 Her little ones

that ran and laughed

right there on her porch

or around the rock-littered yard

 Her little ones

they were now older

and ready to move on

to other horizons

 One by one

they marched inside

like solemn soldiers

in a surrealistic land

 Through her veil of tears

she held them and kissed them

and gave them her blessings

and in her heart she heard the sound

of shattering despairs

echoing within its chambers

 Hidden by the shadows

of her late dying world

she heard the car’s engine

roared with its mechanical curses

and then whisked them away

 Back and forth

forth and back

she rocked gently

as she cried softly

for the laughter of her little ones

she knew

she will never hear again.


 This city is my sepulcher

on many lonesome nights

where mocking ghosts

surround me

poking at my pains

 The streets are empty promises

of abandon shattered dreams

and ghouls laugh their hollow laughter

with their crooked putrid grins

 This city is my sepulcher

embraced by stupid lies

created deep within a solitude

to amused the dreamer

that refuses to die

 Behind purple hazy clouds

I see phantoms hiding in the sky

pointing bony-fingers

as I walked along their path

 This city is my sepulcher

adorned by fallen sins

and maggot-filled boxes

where the dead silent stares

go unnoticed by the wind

 This city is my sepulcher

the tomb and my salvation

the mistress and my whore

my mother and my father

 This city is my sepulcher

as cold and dark

like a winter sea

that roams the shores

with its chilling breeze

 This city is my sepulcher

full of demons

and fallen saints

full of lost souls

with untold deeds

full of people just like me

 This city is my sepulcher

and here I must stay

among its golden eagles

and gargoyles

that stared at the sea

 This city is my sepulcher

is my life

is my death

 This city is my sepulcher

…and here I will rest.


voices cover


 Tell me grandpa’

what’s your name?

I know is not grandpa’

I ain’t no fool

‘cause all my friends

have a grandpa’ too

and not even one

looks like you

 Tell me daddy

what’s your name?

‘cause there are

many others

that answers

just like you

when the name

daddy is thrown

into the windless moon

 Did God make

grandpa’ and daddy as well?

at the same time

or did one came before

the other one

was even born?


set me straight

before the lullabies

take me

into my nightly dreams

 Tell me daddy

what’s your strength?

for I have seen you

lift mountains

way above your head

 And…psst…psst…come closer

I don’t want grandpa

to hear my boast

but I know

he’s not as strong

as you

(perhaps he is

and I don’t even know)

 Come on daddy

hold my hand

as we cross the street

for I want to join my friends

in the playground

when it’s hot

and the leaves are green

and the sprinklers

are colder

than ice cream cones

 Now I lay myself to sleep

my eyes are heavy

oh…so heavy I can’t even blink

and a gentle breeze is coming in

with sweet kisses

from Heaven’s seas

 But before

I fall into my blissful slumber

I saw you daddy

and you grandpa’

talking softly

while drinking coffee and eating sweets

in the backyard’s serenity

 You both were laughing

the two of you looked so content

I wanted to get out of bed

and join you

to form a perfect generation frame

 I heard grandpa’

talk about playing catch

and you daddy reminiscing

about not being afraid

of the ball thrown at you

on Uncle Jack’s manicured

country grass

 You two looked

oh, so alike

for a second

I could not tell

who was who

you seemed like the same toy

yet, one was used

a bit more

but regardless

you were still the same person

in my book

 I lay awake

afraid to miss

the tiniest moment

between the two of you

that somehow I knew

will form the man

that someday

I will become

 For in the dimness of the night light

I saw both of your smiles

and it reminded me

of my very own

 I heard your laughter

and your love

your friendship

was beyond anything

I could ever understand

but I knew

right there and true

when I grow up

I want to be just like you daddy

and yes, like grandpa’ too

 And as my eyes began to close

I felt a smile taking form

and a special thought

began to take life

as my mind cuddled into my soul

 It must be special…

to be a grandpa’

for once he was a daddy as well

and I know you cannot be one

unless you are part of a special group

that is not open

to everyone

but only to…just a few.


I trusted you my heart

during dark times of battle

and when negative thoughts

inundated my mind

like parasites

attacking and destroying

from the inside out

I trusted you

and you steered me right

 You have loved me well

and educated me

to realize

that corrupted faith

is no faith at all

but wasted energy

to be discarded forever

 So if they say

‘A mind is a terrible thing to waste’

then you, my heart

will be a tragedy

if wasted

and neglected

and only seen

as just another organ

within the chamber

of my bosom

 And now

you stand there naked

with nothing to conceal you from me

—my heart


I confessed

for the guilt in me

cannot be hidden

from your keen eyes

 My heart

how many times

I have spit on you?

with no concern

for the consequences

of my atrocious actions

           And just like a red-faced

school boy

caught with crib notes

before the final test

you understood

and forgave the madness within

 Oh, my heart…my heart

there have been

many conversations

between us

palavers about lost loves

new loves



and loneliness

 What a fool

I have been

to clamp my hands

over my ears

and refused

to listen

to your gentle voice

 If only once

…just once

I had strewn aside

my stubborn inner child’s gabble

I wonder…

how my life would be now

 My heart…my heart

can we dance

one more time?

and erase

the mistakes from the past.


The loneliness

rolls into you

like the Saturday

that slowly

begins to roll

into Sunday

and you count the hours

by the collection of empty beer bottles

gathered on the kitchen floor

 The songs

that serenade you

are voices from the past

reminding you

of your failures

and deep into the night

the phone calls

you want to dial

are names

and numbers

from a past

of closed doors

slammed flat in your face

so many years ago

 I could see faces

without names


with no fulfilling passions

just memories

that begin to fade

into lies

and make-believe moments

and excuses

that never existed

or had no business

in existing at all

 A shadow

I have become

a voice—my voice


with obstacles that

—only I—

have placed in my path

and I am now ready

to leap over them

and reclaim my life

…again…and again

…until I get it right.

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