Poetry FROM THE SANTA FE INDIAN SCHOOL

The Grief Diaries is proud to publish the following series of poems in collaboration with 30 young writers from the Santa Fe Indian School in New Mexico. Governed by the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico, SFIS is a sovereign Native school that emphasizes Indian Education. These poems were produced in a 9th grade English Composition & Literature class taught by Michael Martinez. 

As part of Mr. Martinez’s Composition course, a Performance Task was conducted with an emphasis on Poetry. Each of Mr. Martinez’s 77 Composition students wrote a poem, and 30 students elected to be published in TGD. Of these 30, each student has written about various events and issues in their lives that express both self and culture. Student ages range from 14-16, and they represent a number of the 19 Pueblos: Navajo Nation, Hopi, Mescalero, and Jicarilla-Apache Tribes in New Mexico.
 

Turquoise Sky, Adobe Earth:
a collection of Poems
 

Maybe He Wasn’t The One For Me.
by Devanna Archuleta

He was my drug and I overdosed
He made me the happiest I could ever be
Maybe he wasn’t the one for me,
But I wanted him to be.
I was once the person he was so afraid to lose
But now we just past each other like complete strangers
He was the person that kept hurting me over and over.
He was the one I kept going back to because he made me so happy.
Yet he made me so hurt
He was the one person that made me forget about things,
things I couldn’t forget about.
He made my bad days turn into good days.
Every second spent with him was just so amazing.
I honestly fell for this boy really hard…
I loved him so much
I still do.
I always will to be honest.
I never had any idea someone could mean so much to me.
But, he broke my heart…
He screwed me over so bad
I’m scared to ever love again
But then again I can’t seem to get over him
No matter what I'm doing
He always seems to be on my mind no matter what.
We’ve gone through so much,
just to become strangers all over again
I even saw him at his worst,
and I still thought he was the best
I fell in love with his words
But unfortunately, he was a good liar.
Then I started to realize,
Sometimes you hurt yourself more than anyone can hurt you.
But even if we can’t be together in the end,
I’m still glad you were a part of my life.
Honestly, you just make me really happy.
I just wish you never hurt me and left.
But then again, maybe I'm just a hard person to love…
Sometimes I wish he was in my shoes just to know how I feel…
But now I realized,
I can’t find happiness in the same place I’ve been getting hurt
Just keep this in mind,
You end up breaking your own heart
By choosing only to see the best in people.


Bio: My name is Devanna Archuleta. I am from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo. I attend to the Santa Fe Indian School. I chose to write about the first heartbreak I had. When I was writing this poem it got me emotional, it got me emotional because that boy meant so much to me. It hurt me so bad when that happened. I hated the feeling I got in my chest, it was a very awful feeling. I wasn’t myself for a couple of days. To be honest that heartbreak changed me so much. I ain’t the same nice person I used to be. After that heartbreak, I became stubborn, really stubborn. I want people to know they aren’t the only ones that have had a heartbreak that changed them. I want people to know that they aren’t the only ones that went through this type of situation.

 

That Day 
by David Arquero

It was sunny that day
But an emotional day
It was a clueless day
Until I knew what happened that day
I was sad about what they told me that day
I told that person “I love them” that day
I lost a grandmother that day


Bio: My name is David Arquero. I am from Cochiti Pueblo and I attend Santa Fe Indian School. I am writing about my Grandmother who had cancer. I am talking about the day my grandmother passed away.  It was just a regular day then suddenly, it changed to a day that I would never forget. Whoever reads this poem, I hope they can relate to what I went through that day. 

 

The One Who Should’ve Stayed Longer
By Macalty Baca

The day you left us was the night I couldn’t sleep
I stayed up for hours hoping it was all a dream,
The next day came and I had to accept you were gone
I never thought you’d leave so soon,
But I already knew you were sick,
I just thought you could fight through it like always,
But this time I knew you were tired of fighting and had to let go.
 
I should’ve helped you while I could,
Told you that I knew it would happen if you didn’t stop,
But I did nothing,
I blame myself for this happening,
I should’ve never let it go this far,
But I did.
 
You did it everyday,
for a long time.
But not for hiding the pain or because you thought it would help,
But because it was fun for you and you thought it was cool,
And because you had it available wherever you went,
And when you couldn’t have it you’d throw a fit.
 
Everyone told you, your drinking problem was bad,
But you never stopped to listen,
Until it actually hit you as hard as it could,
And almost ended your life the first time,
You fought through it that first time, and I thought you could do it again,
But, I was wrong.
 
Then, you went somewhere far, for a very long time. 
It was almost a year,
I thought you were gone, but you came back and I was relieved to see you,
You weren’t the same and that was a good thing,
But maybe not so much, you had all these meds just to keep you functioning
I was scared for your life and always prayed for you.
 
You finally realized when the doctor actually told you,
Your liver was failing,
We all feared for your life,
You tried to do everything to make up for the lost time,
You went to watch us play the sport we loved,
You tried to spend as much time with us as you could,
You started to be there
I was happy, but I could see that you were fearful,
I think you knew your time would be up soon,
I never asked because I knew you wouldn’t tell me the truth.
 
I never gave up on you, I knew you were strong
I was glad that you were changing,
I just wish you’d done it sooner,
And maybe you’d still be here.
 
But I’m still happy that you were apart of my life
All the time we had together was better than not having any time at all.
 
I will always love you grandpa,
Always and Forever


Bio: My name is Macalty Baca. I am from Jemez Pueblo and I attend Santa Fe Indian School. This poem is about the loss of my grandpa and the day he went. This was the most devastating day of my life because I had a really close relationship with him. I hope that whoever reads this poem can have a similar situation to relate to because it really hurts to lose someone so close to you. 

 

My Other Half
by Alanah Calabaza

You are always on my mind everyday
Nothing I do can bring you back no matter how hard I try
I always say why?
They called you back too soon, I never got to say goodbye or I love you
But I know that you will always remember that I did.
 
You will always be my big brother,
And there is no other.
You are the only one to fill the space,
No one will take your place.
I cry every night for you and I am broken inside.
I can no longer take this feeling, I just wanna give up.
But I know that you wouldn’t want me to.
 
We have so many memories together
And they will never fade away.
You’ve made me the happiest person there could ever be,
Now I am lost without you leading the way.
I’m in the worst position that I never imagined I would be in.
Reality hit me, a heart has stopped beating.
But I know God takes the best back.
 
You’ve stuck by me through everything,
You told me you wouldn’t leave me no matter what.
It broke me into a million pieces when I heard you were gone.
But I’m slowly getting back up and putting it together.
I think of you and it gives me strength,
Cause I know you wouldn’t want me weak.
 
We have a bond that is unbreakable,
We always made it stronger and stronger
I took the time to think what you would say,
Those lectures paid off and they are still helping me.
I am worried that if I keep crying I will hold you back from your journey,
I have to let you continue going so you can be happy.
 
I gave you my all, but it feels like I didn’t. 
Nothing is the same without you,
Everyone is different at home and I noticed I changed.
I’m not the same person I was 10 months ago.
I wish it were the old days playing, laughing, lectures,and bonding time.
But I still have a life to live,
And I’ll think of you to help me and guide me.
 
As time will pass, I will still see and search the things you found along your path of success.
I will fight through this as best as I can,
I’ll still see you in my dreams.
Deep down I know they took you for a reason, 
From time to time, I think you’ll come back
But I just wish you would come back to me.
Moving on is hard to do,
Knowing you left me and will never return.
Through me you will be happy and live on.
Someday we will meet again
But for now I have to let you continue your journey.
I love you so much brother, I always will.


Bio: My name is Alanah Calabaza. I am from the Pueblo of Santo Domingo. I attend Santa Fe Indian School and I am currently a freshman. I wrote my poem on my big brother Lincoln.  He passed away 10 months ago. My whole life changed since he was gone and I am not the same person. He was there for me through everything and he was the best big brother anyone could have. In this poem I expressed everything I felt and went through since the moment I heard he was gone. I hope that whoever reads my poem and lost an older brother will relate to what I have gone through. 

 

Inescapable
by Autumn Charley

It’s Something irreversible
And permanent.
Effortlessly It cuts the strings of lives.
Covered by a cloak
Blacker than black
And almost smoke
 
Something you can't change
Or forget instantly.
Skull face
A skeleton man
Black eyes
With a scythe in one hand.
 
It’s like an overdose
Your body is paralyzed.
It’s like a fire
Burning your soul with its dark eyes.
Cold-blooded
Pain so inescapable.
Death. 
 
It’s the last stage of life.
Something everyone is forced to accept.
You may deny it.
You may choose not to think of it.
But
It’s unavoidable.
It lurks in the darkness of your mind.
Scratching against the caves in your head.
 
Loved ones die
Everyday.
It’s death
That took them away.
It’s normal
Yet it’s hard to believe.
It makes you feel so deceived
 
When they’re gone
Your mind seems lost
Your memories get covered in frost.


Like a blank page
You're so shocked
It feels
At any moment
On the door there'll be a knock
 
They'll walk in like any normal day.
I love you.
Is what they'll say
Just one more time.
Before they forever go away...

Bio: Autumn Charley attends the Santa Fe Indian School.

 

You Never Were...
by Joselyn Crespin

You left
With no explanation
I still wonder what I did wrong
Why'd you leave?
 
You were gone,
Even before we met
Before I was born
And fifteen years later,
You're still not around
 
But you're here now
And I don't know why
I don't want you to be
You never wanted me
So why now?
 
You never were a dad
 

Bio: Joselyn Crespin attends the Santa Fe Indian School

 

Missing My Father
by Iris Emery

I miss you, I cried for you
And now I lost my faith in you.
My heart just broke into pieces
As my love for you ceases.
 
I've never thought I’d make it this far,
Without my father in my heart.
His face dropped,
As tears came out his eyes.
 
I’m just a talented girl you made
As you seem to let me fade.
My faith was 100% strong,
But faded away each day you were gone.
 
My father was never there for me, 
As I went through tough times without him.
My eyes glared as I saw him pass by,
Then as I didn't say a word which I thought,
Was my last words. 
Until I’ve seen him again.
 
I'm so sad and depressed
As I see you walking on the street.
My eyes just teared
But told you I still cared and got scared.
 
I’ve seen you at my games
But you never clapped.
I achieved some awards
But you never cared.
 
I tried not crying
But my words are dying
You have faded away,
For I can't make you come back another day.
 
The drum beats I hear remind me of you,
But sometimes you just gotta be strong.
Let all that sadness out,
But without a doubt.

8 years have been so long, 
I don’t know why you left.
I think about you day by day.
I’m fully grown but you missed it all,
From the time I walked to when I talked.
 

Bio: My name Iris Emery. I am from the Pueblo of Santo Domingo and attending Santa Fe Indian School. I am writing about my father. I felt some type of way while writing this poem. I brought up all the good times we had together with my father when he still cared and was there for us. My father left us when I was 12 years old to drugs. This poem is about how I felt throughout my poem and how we I felt when he left us. Whomever reads this, I hope you can relate to my poem. 

 

I Feel Like I Am Dying
by Jazamine Fragua
 
Inside me I feel like I am dying.
I feel as I have been stabbed many times.
I just wish all these things in my head,
All these words,
Could just come out and tell the people,
What I’ve been wanting to say to them.
I just feel like my head is going to blow any second.
Sometimes I just want to cry so hard and scream.
But when do I ever have time for that?
My time is always taken up by school and practice.
I really have no time for anything anymore. 
The only time I got is lunch and after school.
But during that half an hour that's homework time.
The only time I have to cry is at night.
At first I just lay there and think,
Then it turns into emotions,
Then I would think of how our world is messed up.
It comes to a point all those images and words, 
Then the crying begins.
And I would get no sleep,
And every time I would feel
Like my organs are just shutting down slowly,
I just feel like I am dying inside slowly.
Some days it would be great,
And some not.
Some days I would just have fun, and laugh, and enjoy that time spent.
Then some days it’d be so bad that I would actually think of how my death would be.
Most times I would want to be alone
Or,
I would just go to my friends and have a laugh.
Then again I want to be alone.
Then I would think again, and again,
That I am dying on the inside.

Bio: Jazamine Fragua attends the Santa Fe Indian School.
 

Untitled
by Francine Gallegos

Sometimes I think
I wasn't good enough for your love
I wasn't good enough for your time
I wasn't good enough for your attention
Was I not? 
 
Sometimes I think
Was I not a good enough daughter?
Was there something wrong with me?
That you'd chose a male's attention or a quick high
Rather than seeing me grow.
 
Sometimes I think
God, why couldn't things be different?
God, why do I feel so unheard?
Is anyone listening
Or am I just speaking to a wall
 
Sometimes I think
Will it ever change
Will I ever feel that motherly love that I crave
Will it ever get better
Time passes and nothing seems to change
 
I guess I'll never ever know

Bio: My name is Francine Gallegos. I am from Ohkay Owingeh. I am a student at Santa Fe indian School. My poem is about the feeling of abandonment. When I was young my mother dropped us off at our grandparents and disappeared for about 2 years. Growing up my mother was hooked to drugs and alcohol. I always knew my relationship with my mother wasn’t good, but writing this made me think more deeply into this problem. I want people to know they aren’t the only ones going through similar situations.

 

Untitled
by Tennaya Galvan

When children are happy with their parents
My heart caves into darkness
Every last drop of misery falls on me
Knowing your eyes said well enough
 
I can't hear the feeling of happiness
Putting us in regret of your fate
Hearing your voice in my head
Cannot escape what I come to hate
 
Everytime you hurt me emotionally
Things come up like this constantly
Path of fear came with eyes and ears
I feel like I'm walking The Trail of Tears
 
Time flew giving you chances to change
Yet our war of survival grew out of range
Can't help the fact you get wasted
Knowing my bond with you never lasted
 
Self destruction is such a pretty little thing
I drew with silver and it turns red
How it stings but lets out everything
But still you feel unwanted and dead
 
As I stand in the sun, I see no shadow
I feel like I am not touching the ground
My whole body is just empty and hollow
Screaming, crying with no sound going around
 
That's all you're ever gonna feel is pain  
Never know what's just ahead and upon
Try not to be too happy dear it all will gain
I will not give up because I will shine on
 
Seems like I gave up on myself and life
Society thinks that every girl is weak like I am
I made it everyday and night that I can stay alive
Although you never knew my secrets at night ma'am
Life goes on and things change
Fly higher and higher like a dove
But as I look around nothing is strange
I lost my emotions to everything I use to love
 
Build an adobe house brick by brick
To know its easy step by step
So everything around you doesn't get you sick
To know that everyone still sees your footstep

Bio: Tennaya Galvan attends the Santa Fe Indian School.

 

Untitled
by Ryan Garcia

You were here one day gone the next
Like a bolt of lightning, gone in a flash
When it happened it made me sad
To know that you weren’t coming back
 
I knew this would happen, it does to everyone
But for you, it happened a bit too soon.
 
Because of this
The memories we made I will not forget
For they are all that I have left
 
But I will not cry
I will keep my head held high like I know you would If it was me and not you
I will use the memories of you and I to guide me through
Sure they may make me sad maybe even mad
But they will also give me strength to live
 
And for this I will live not only for me, but for you as well.
 

Bio: My Name is Ryan Garcia. I am from The Jicarilla Apache. I am a freshman attending the Santa Fe Indian School. The poem that I wrote is about the loss of someone you care about. The poem more specifically is about a friend that I have just recently lost to suicide.

 

Why Did You Have to Go? 
by Araelia Haskie

February 10, 2006
Is a day I hardly remember.
I had just turned 5
a few months before in December.
 
It was the day you left me
To go live in heaven.
I cried you wouldn't live to see me
become age 6 or even 27.
 
During that time, I missed you
so, so much everyday.
"Be strong" and "we're here for you" 
to me, my family and friends would say. 
 
Everyone saw me hurting and I didn't know
how to express it except to cry.
Nobody knew how to take away
my pain, but they all did try.
 
Dad, there is not a day that goes by
that I don't miss you.
And everyday, I wonder,
"Do I make you proud by all the things I do?"
 
Well, I can tell you now that I've grown
and I am not so little anymore.
But no matter what, I will always be
your baby girl, even at the golden age of 84.

Bio: My name is Araelia Haskie. I am from Zuni Pueblo and from the Jicarilla Apache Nation. I am 15 years old and I love to play sports and go hunting. I currently go to school at the Santa Fe Indian School. The poem I wrote is about my father who passed away when I was 5 years old. My whole life had changed when I found out my dad had died, I was not the same because I was really close to my dad. I had a real hard time accepting he was gone. In my poem I express how I felt during that time of grief. I hope whomever reads my poem will relate and stay strong.

 

A Looking in From the Outside
by  Cecelia James
 
Am I lucky?
Or is time preparing me for a tragedy that’s coming
I’ve never had to experience any kind of loss
But as I look around I see people’s life get shattered like glass
 
As I am looking in from the outside
I wonder “Does it eat away at their soul?”
“Is the pain bearable or do you lose control?”
It’s a million dollar question I ask myself over and over again
 
As I am looking in from the outside
I see the overwhelming expressions on their faces
Their emotions linger within me, shouting for comfort and relief
I may just be looking in from the outside but I can’t help but clench as I look
 
I’m very fortunate that my loved ones are still here with me today
Is it a luck of a card?
That such tragedy is millions of miles away and that if it shall be
It be someone looking in from the outside.

Bio: Cecelia James attends the Sante Fe Indian School.

 

I Reach
by Seneca Johnson
 
I am always reaching
Grasping for any pieces
I can pick up of my culture
 
An Indian at an Indian School
Trying to learn my language
But I just feel disconnected
From all that should make me who I am
 
I can’t erase what happened
Seven generations back
When someone decided
That my people's culture was worthless
When the government tried to take our identities
 
I’m still told I should know my culture
Even if so much is gone
Especially if so much is gone
 
But our fire died out
The Tribal Town abandoned
And all that’s left are memories and lost voices
 
So I grew up away from
The grounds, the language, the people
Never having the chance to truly be Mvskoke
 
Now we have found grounds to go to
And stomp dance on
But we still don’t shake shells
We’re still on the outside always looking in
 
I know if I don’t learn
The next generation will be left with less
Even more out of place
 
So I reach
 
Bio: My name is Seneca Johnson. I am from the Creek and Seminole Nations and am currently attending the Santa Fe Indian School as a freshman. The poem I wrote is about the loss of my culture, and trying to find my identity. We have already lost so much of our heritage because of the genocide enacted by the U.S. Government, and because I grew up as an Urban Indian, I missed out on a lot of my culture. I’m trying to learn as much as I can now, so I can pass on the traditional knowledge I have and so future generations won’t feel as lost as I did. I hope that my experiences will help to validate others in similar situations, the way reading works by other writers helped me. I am honored to be a part of this literary magazine.

 

Finally Free.
By: Nicholas Kaye
 
A very good friend is now in the sky
My brother is no longer by my side
My brother we always saw eye-to-eye
But he had secrets and started to lie
I guess we all make a couple mistakes
I guess we all go through trouble sometimes
But the memories I can’t make remakes
To get through the hard times I have to rhyme
It’s very hard to not think about you
We would always drive around in my car
But me and the bros will always be crew
We always had money so we went far
But I do know you’ll always be with me
Now I do hope that you’re finally free

Bio: I'm Nicholas Kaye and I am from Española, New Mexico. I am a Native American, enrolled in Ohkay Owingeh. My poem is about losing someone very close to you that meant a lot to you. I know many people could relate because we all lost someone that has passed away.

 

Darren Andrew
by Antonio Lucero

I can’t handle
This feeling that you are gone
It’s been a year. 
 I miss those day’s where I’d run into your room
And try and wake you up  
But now when I do
You’re not there
Who am I gonna go to
When I’m hurt
Or just need someone to talk to. 
 
Days and nights go by
I can’t help but cry
Knowing you won’t come back
Just to comfort me and say
“Everything gonna be okay” 
The thing I’m gonna miss
The late night drives, 
And vibes.
It will never be the same without you
I don’t know when I’m gonna face
The fact that you are never gonna come back.
 
I try to take the pain away
By smoking and drinking
But it still dosen’t help
I party all night
But come home crying
Because all I think about is the morning they
Told me that you weren't here with us no more
You’ll never get to see me graduate
Or ever see my first child.
 
I hate how it ended for you
I hate how you died at such a young age
And living a full life
You’ll never get to do. 

Bio: My name is Antonia Lucero and I’m from Jemez Pueblo. I like to play sports and be outdoors. I go to school at Santa Fe Indian School and I’m currently a freshman right now. This poem is about the loss of my cousin that I really loved and cared for. I just want people to know that they're not the only ones hurting from a loss like this and that there are ways to recover from a loss. It just takes time.

 

Broken Family
by Miranda Lujan

Before all of this
We were one
Happy family
Singing Bob Marley in the car
Going to our family reunion
Or even going to dinner
And having conversations
That could last us a lifetime
 
But life ain’t always
What you expect it to be
On December 27, 2015
Your words killed me to the core
I’m divorcing your father
 
Who knew that those
Four words
Would scar me forever
 
Before I knew it
Mom
You were gone
With your bags
And took you my heart
With you
 
My world had collapsed
Without you
Loving me
Holding me
Protecting me
Or being
There for me
 
When we are all together
The feeling is bittersweet
Until the past overcomes us and
His name
Dennis
Sets our time ablaze

Before we knew it
Mom
You left us again
We were incomplete
You were our
Missing puzzle piece
But little did we know
That we didn’t
Need that missing piece
To complete
Our family

Bio: My name is Miranda Lujan. I am from the Pueblo of Ohkay Owingeh, the land of the strong people. I am currently a freshman attending Santa Fe Indian School. Lately, I’ve been dealing with my parents' divorce and all of the problems that come with it. I wrote this poem to reach out to people that are in or was in the situation that I am in. You are not alone. 
 

It’s Crazy…
by Franki Maestas-Chavez
 
It’s crazy…
You think you can trust someone
But you’re wrong
They’ll finally own your heart
But throw it away like an unwanted puppy
You think they won’t betray you
But you’re wrong again
 
It’s crazy…
How much a broken trust
Can make you see the devil inside
How you can feel like you’ll never trust again
They’ll tear apart your heart
While you cry a waterfall
 
It’s crazy…
How this pain won’t last forever
You’ll get over it but,
You won’t get over the person
Who hurt you
You can think the world of someone
But they can do you so wrong
 
It's crazy…
I learned my lesson
I can trust the outside but not the inside
The inside of a person is scary
You’ll never know what can occur
 
It's crazy…
That trust isn’t all that bad, but trust is also good
It can make you smile as bright as the sun
Trust lets you understand people better
It can bring you into good spirits
And it makes you want to trust a lot more

Bio: My name is Franki Maestas-Chavez. I am from the Pueblo of Ohkay Owingeh. I am 14 years old and I currently attend Santa Fe Indian School as a freshman. The poem I wrote is about the trust I had lost for someone. Losing someone's trust is very painful and it's not easy to recover from. I hope that whoever reads my poem can relate to it as well as connect to it. It is an honor to have my poem published in The Grief Diaries. 

 

So Long
by Brianen Martinez
 
I woke to a gloomy morning
I felt a pain, like knifes hitting my heart
I later found out God was calling your name
I didn’t get to say goodbye
It kills me inside
Times fly by
But I still think about you
All the time
 
Empty
by Brianen Martinez

I walk in your house
I see no one there
Then I remember
You were never there
  
Bio: My name is Brianen Martinez. I am from the Pueblos of Santa Clara and San Ildefonso. I'm currently a freshman and attend the Santa Fe Indian School. My poetry is important to me because it is about my grandmother, who was very special to me. 
 

Untitled
by Jeneyah Martinez

The moment you took your last breath,
Was the moment I felt my heart breaking.
I knew you were gone,
But I knew you were safe.
 
You were a ray of sunshine,
Always smiling and laughing.
You were one of a kind,
Always nice and sweet.
 
You could make people laugh,
You could make them smile.
You could make them happy,
You could make them sad.
 
We heard the bad news,
And we rushed home.
We couldn’t believe it,
Therefore we cried.
 
You didn’t leave alone,
Apart of us went with you.
We miss you dearly,
But you're at rest.
 
Continue to do goofy and funny stuff,
Up there above.
Guide us through life,
And continue to watch over us.

Bio: Jeneyah Martinez attends the Sante Fe Indian School.
 

Agony Allay
by Kateri Pino
 
From the day you left me
I feel I’m by myself
That I no longer have control
You left me questions
That I could no longer get answers to
And somedays it feels like I’m walking around
The happiest person alive
But a knife is digging deeper inside me
Crushed a million times
My mind held in my father’s hands
My soul, in the devil’s
You are no longer here
I can no longer bear to hear
You are forever gone
 
As the day dawns
I lay in bed
Agony I am full of
Lingering in pain
And I cannot get the image out of my head
As I feel dead
Without you my father
I try not to bother
Your happiness in heaven
My memory of you
I may allay
For one day
I may start over again
As my sorrows began

Bio: I am a young pueblo woman named Kateri Pino, and I am from Zia Pueblo in New Mexico. I’m 14 years old attending Santa Fe Indian School as a freshman. Writing this poem was very challenging for me because I had to bring back some of my memories of my father, who I was close to when I was young. I lost my father when I was 12 years old to alcohol. It was very challenging because I had watch my father die before my eyes. Being 12 years old and not knowing what to do to save him. I blamed his passing on myself for a long time, because I didn’t do anything to save him. I hope that whomever reads my poem connects and relates to it. This poem is about my feelings I felt when I lost my father and how I grieved for him.
 

I Miss You, Buddy
by Shaun Riley
 
You were my friend,
We ran together in the wind,
We used to listen to music and chill,
But we can’t do that because time is against our will,
Still you are far gone, 
Out of my life,
But the thing I can’t remember is how you left that night,
And each time I look up into the sky,
I remember your funny look and your mean eyes,
You were very lazy and stubborn at times, 
But now I hate how you lost a great life,
Because it was like slipping on ice and landing on a knife,
Today I have to slice and dice to get through my own life,
You were always amazing through my eyes,
But I can’t take back time, 
For time has taken your life and given it to the great Creator,
To hold on till the end of my life time.

Bio: My name is Shaun Riley. I come from the Pueblo of Laguna, home of the Laguna Burger. I am grateful to have my poem published in The Grief Diaries talking about my dog.  I talked about how my dog was my best friend when I didn't have my siblings or friends around.  He passed away two months ago. I was told that dogs run away when they know they are about to die so they don't make their owner sad. After he passed, it wasn’t the same without him around being the guard dog around my house. 

 

My Godfather, the Man I Hardly Knew
by Kyran Romero
 
Daddy Jimmy, I always feel you were taken too soon.
Although I vaguely remember you, 
You are always on my mind.
I wondered how you were doing in heaven
With grandma and grandpa.
People I never knew as well.
 
I’ve always hated the way you passed.
Such a painful way to go.
But the ice was very slick.
A crash was waiting to happen.
And unfortunately Daddy Jimmy,
It happened to be you.
 
I watched the family weep as they found out.
But I also noticed,
I never shed a tear that day.
 
Although I was young at the time,
I was aware of your passing.
But it never really hit me,
On what I would be losing.
 
You loved to play music.
And you were very talented.
How I would’ve loved to play alongside you.
But when you left this world,
I feel you gave your gift to me.
As my father told me
That gifts cannot be taken to the next world.
 
Death is something we all face.
It has to happen one day,
And when it is my time to go, 
I cannot wait to finally,
Learn all about you.

Bio: My name is Kyran Romero and I reside in a small community known as Jemez Pueblo. I chose to write about my late and great godfather. I discussed how I did not get to fully know him, as I was a young boy when he passed. I wrote this poem mainly for closure because I never properly grieved when he passed. Hopefully, other kids around the country can relate to this poem because losing a family member before knowing them is a terrible thing. I also discussed my godfather’s passion of music and him giving his gift to me. Lastly, I talked about how I will finally meet him as I pass on into the next world as well.
 

Dad
By Lucas Romero

You had me, you left me, you never cared
I was your first child and you weren't even prepared
 
In the lonely nights when I'm depressed
I talk to myself
Tell myself you ain't no different than the rest.
Still can't bring that "I love you dad" to my heart.
My heart breaks and my mind shakes
My heart stops the words I want to say.
My mind keeps it in and the words decay.
 
My hate raged on and on
Like if I were going to war.
Stood by the window
Waiting to see you walk in
But I just saw shadows of memories
So they all seemed to sink in.
 
So much words I would  like to say
You're not around for me to say “hey”
Played many sports but you never came
You never even showed up to one game
 
You have three of us and it's not the same
You have another child and he gets all the fame
We miss you deep down inside
But we still kept our head up high
Now we know not to be the guy
Who leaves his children behind
And lets them wonder
Why their father wasn't there
And why he didn't bother.
 
Bio: My name is Lucas Romero and I attend Santa Fe Indian School. I very much appreciate the opportunity to get my poem published in your literary magazine. I personally wrote about my father not being around as i grew up. This poem took away all the weight on my shoulders. I’m finally being capable of having fun without deep sorrow within me. This is my first poem that I have written and I hope people can relate to it. 
 

Mom
by Shaneaka Shelly

My childhood was an unspeakable mess
Because of them I don't care for anything
I hurt so much I fell into darkness
I now have such a hard time of finding
The word happiness just seems like a dream
I can't even tell if I'm being nice or mean
The feeling of pain made me want to scream  
The way he hit her was a horrid scene
Yet that gruesome life was all she wanted
I knew that she could do so much better
It hurt so much that the alcohol flaunted
I tried to help and wrote many letters
Though seeing her smile made me so happy
She reads this poem and says, “not too shabby.”

Bio: Shaneaka Shelly attends the Santa Fe Indian School.
 

Clovers
 by Alyssa Shije
 
Clovers are something meant for good luck
That must be why you were so fond of them
Did you like the clovers because of their luck
Or because you thought they were unique
I guess you thought if you surrounded yourself with them
They would scare away the bad
That no more bad luck would follow you
Clovers
Lucky, right?
They had your back, 
Right?
 
Little did you know they actually did
The one time you started to think you didn’t need the clovers
That you were strong enough to fend for yourself
They pricked you in the back
You tried to crawl away
Leaking all of ur luck on to the floor
Now, I know you were wrong
Clovers aren’t unique
Clovers aren’t powerful enough to protect you
Clovers aren’t so nice to you
Clovers aren't your good luck
 
Sometimes clovers aren’t all ways a plant
Like this time
They were your gang know as The Clovers
To you The Clovers were your separate family
The Clovers were there to protect and help you get money
So your mom would think you were at your job
So you could help out with the rent
So you would be able to put some more food on the table
You thought they were there to help you
You gained friends that would have your back forever
You even had a new best friend
You thought they would support you when you were in need
The Clovers were there to protect you,
Right?
Wrong.
 
Your friends were never there for you
They betrayed you
Especially your best friend
They knew you had a family that was still half broken
They knew you wanted to leave The Clovers
So your best friend was told to do something to you,
He was to hang out with you
You two were walking around like it was any other day
As if the sun came out on a cloudy day just for you
He pretended to tie his shoe
You walked ahead
BOOM
 
How can one sound affect your whole life?
With a bullet to your back
He shot you
You crawled away for your life and he just watched you
He ran away
So no one could know it was him
But then a rose came
She tried to mend you together
To stop your luck from leaking
But she was too late
Your magical sunny day was ruined
The clouds and rain arrived
As the rain drops fell on your face
Trying to make you grow again
But it was too late.
Clovers
Bad luck

Bio: My name is Alyssa Shije. I am from the pueblos of Santa Clara and Santo Domingo. I am currently residing as a freshman at Santa Fe Indian School. In my poem I write about grief. I would talk about me losing one of my socks as “loss,” but I choose to talk about the death of my brother because I felt if I did, it would have more emotion and more people could relate, and I would be able to talk more in a personal level. My brother died when I was in 9th grade. I tried to write the poem about what I thought my brother was thinking and what he chose to do. 


Philophobia
by Jarvis Spotted Corn

The first few times were aight,
I never thought that once again, you and I were gonna fight.
You had always been my light
And always made our love so ripe.
I never felt deceit or fright
That you were gonna leave my sight.
 
We discussed time
Over time
How you took advantage of me.
I always tried to climb
To set myself free
Free from all reality.
No matter what we did
We tried to last longer than a lifetime.
A lifetime, where we are in each others eyelids.
It was the right time,
And we knew we’d fit.
 
When we weren’t alone
You always held me.
Every time we had company
You always told me,
That I was always gonna be yours,
That you had my body,
And I had yours.
I always tried to make sense
Of what you really meant.
But as time grew
And you fell for someone new
Once again you made me feel
As if I were the new brew.
 
I needed time to heal
And that beer I sipped on
Was made of my phobia
And every time I yawned
I was creating, the real philophobia.

When I sleep
I sleep having dreams
That one day I’ll have new means.
But every time I close my eyes
I hope to see you standing there
In the dark, with no other guy
Just you and I
Breathing each other’s air.
With one simple prayer
I swear with every tear
That you
Are somewhere near.
 
This new found philophobia
Has me in pain
That because of what you did
Has triggered my brain
To close the lid
And hide the pain.
 
I do not cry
I do not seek
For I feel the next
Will make me weak.
Just like you did with every text,
With every lie
In the context.
I allowed for this bug
To come into me.
Dug and dug for your name to free.
Doug.
It takes away
The love I always gave
To make a new goal
Of being brave,
In my own way.

Bio: My name is Jarvis Spotted Corn. I am from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes and Nation of Oklahoma and am also from Taos Pueblo, New Mexico. I am super excited to see where this school takes me as far as writing. Finally doing poetry in class and finding that it is a fun, exposing topic for youth, I found it interesting that I was able to make a piece of my own that has made me very proud and good about myself. 


Untitled
by Joseph Suina

He’s a father
He’s a brother
He's my uncle
 
He taught me
You were like the sun you always kept me warm
He laughed with me, 
nursed me when I was wounded
 
He spent time with me
Encouraged me
You’re like a trail you lead me in the right direction
 
Your drawings stupefied us
They were astonishing
Your love for drawing and me was explicit

Bio: My name is Joseph Suina and i’m from Cochiti Pueblo.  I’m writing my poem about my uncle who passed away from a brain tumor.  
 

Tenorio Remembrance
 by Aaliyah Tenorio

I am lost in a vast time of sorrow,
Pain overwhelms thy heart
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow,
Fate tore us apart
 
Ready to give up on everything,
I have memories of us
When walking past the well-spring,
Delivering me to the bus
 
Another image springs into my mind,
Walking down the aisle in church
Ready for God and I to bind,
Giggling when you witnessed my lurch
 
How could I not remember,
When you were in my arms
Sister love forever,
Comments about our charms
 
And you little sweet one,
Who I never met
Your life had never begun,
I will never forget
 
Staring at the soccer ball,
Reminds me of your bright spirit
Running, rolling, and so small,
A sweet little cry I would hear it
 
These memories heal my soul,
But darkness leaks inside
Always in my heart a hole,
Knowing you all had died
 
Why did your fate decide,
That you will develop a sickness?
Hoping an angel is your guide,
Oh! How your death was witnessed
 
Why did your fate decide,
That you would pass on August 3rd?
Thinking that you were healing inside,
Thinking my prayer for you wasn’t heard
 
Why did your fate decide,
That you would leave mother so early?
Her pain for you would never subside,
Remembering your baby hair was curly
 
Why did your fate decide,
That you would never be born?
Because of family you were so early denied,
Your clan could have been corn
 
Why did your fate decide,
That sickness would take you as well?
So small you couldn’t fight the illness aside,
Wasn't able to catch you this time when you fell
 
This clash with pain and memories,
Does not mix well
Taking both in my heart varies,
Never being able to leave this dark cell
 
You all come in my heart at once,
It makes me realize
This darkness is what hunts,
My awaited healing inside
 
Together again in my heart,
Banishes the pain and darkness away
Finally able to restart,
Your love in my heart will guide me the right way
 
Healing once again from the despair,
It is time for me to move on
Knowing all of you in heaven always care,
Your hearts will always awaken me at dawn. 

Bio: My name is Aaliyah. This is my first time writing a nice piece of emotion. I don’t usually write with/about emotion, but since this was based on my life, it was different. When I think of some of the traumatic events I went through, I think of a “Great Depression.” I lost five family members in a short amount of time. My poem made me realized that I was in denial and was very angry. I thought that suicide would be a solution, but I thought about what they would say. They saved me. This poem has been my release. Sharing my poem could help other students and that’s why I wanted to let it out. I hope other youth can relate to it.


Untitled
by Darius Thronas

Death, an enemy never seen coming.
It takes loved ones, 
And leaves a horrible pain in its tracks.
Dealing with it is never easy. 
Ultimate challenge one faces, 
And it is not just one, but many
levels of grief are all difficult.
But facing each level takes time.
Everybody might say “It's okay” but it never is.
It's always a difficult road, but in the end.
The thought of death is still present, 
And the best thing to do is cope.

Bio: My name is Darius Thronas. I am 15 years old, and I attend the Santa Fe Indian School. I am from the Pueblo of Ohkay Owingeh. My poem is about death and how death can affect a person. My poem is based on the emotional part of losing a loved one, and how I feel about death and the emotions that follow. 


Loss of my soul
by Veronica Toledo
 
Be aware, don’t hesitate to believe
We have more than one soul
Someone is in my head, not me
 
My soul can see deep in your soul
The memories you don’t recall or retrieve
Like darkness in the sky, black evil hole
 
I’m scared to close my eyes
I can’t control it. You can’t control it
I try covering it up in lies
 
Clear visions, clear dreams
My soul is bad, my mind is good it seems
Someone else is in my head, not me
 
Running, trying to escape from my head
It’s locked with no key, I’m already dead
“Control it; it’s not real” they always said
 
I can see them from here, they are looking back at me
Seeing other souls that aren’t physically in this world
My lost soul won’t let me be
 
There’s someone with me when I'm alone in the dim
I'm still looking for my lost soul
The other unwelcoming souls, in the brightness of grim
 
 Bio: Ya’ ah’teeh, Hello, I am Veronica, one of many members of the Dine nation (Navajo nation) and I’m Mexican. I am fifteen winters old, attending SFIS.  I am the oldest girl from Bobby Toledo’s family.  I am a person who wants to make a great difference in the world. As I grew up I found out something that no one else had, a powerful mind and soul.  There are chosen ones that are picked mysteriously, the people who are stuck with the gift of no touch. Literally no touch, meaning the gift leaves you vulnerable. I'm not like most teenagers I am surrounded by. I have a sixth sense. The sixth sense of death, time traveling, and knowing very persisted information that no one could ever guess, random visions that tell me about who, and what is coming my way.  No one believes me, but who would know that much information in a fifteen year old mind? I hope my poem will allow the lost souls out there to know there are other weird kids with this powerful mind trying to make a difference in the real world,  so combining this powerful gift would make a great result in changing the world, but first we must  put our minds to work.. Ahéhee (Thank You).
 

A simple “Hi”
 by Kalena Villa

You live across town
When I see you,
You frown.
My heart smiles at your sight
But when I arrive you set
Flight.
You can’t even say a simple
 Hi
 And yet
 I struggle to say goodbye.
 
Bio: My name is Kalena Villa. I am from the Pueblo of Jemez. I attend Santa Fe Indian School as a fifteen year old freshman. I am a student athlete participating in basketball during the winter time. My poem is about the loss of a person I was in a relationship with and about how I found closure with this person through all the hurt I went through. I feel that other kids my age can relate, because right now in our teenage years in high school are where we are experimenting with relationships. Sometimes they don’t always work out and this tends to change not only the way we see love, but the kind of people we are. I just want them to know that they aren't the only ones feeling this way and that it is okay to not be okay, but that finding closure in a loss is most important.