World Poetry: An Ensemble of Voices

Where there are people, there are voices. Where there are voices, there are a thousand words, a thousand syllables making up a thousand languages! We have chosen nine voices in nine languages from all over the world. Come here us read at our San Jose Poetry Festival 2016: Breaking Borders tomorrow: Sunday, September 18, 2016 at History San Jose, from 9:00 a.m-6:00 p.m.

Our World Poetry segment is from 4:00 p.m.- 4:50 p.m.a cornucopia of words and vowels; a musicality of voices in nine languages.




Noted for her wit and sun-dappled sensibility, Virginette Acacio, has written for a variety of outlets including Philippine News, Hypen Magazine, Tayo Literary Magazine and has been the resident blogger for a number of tech companies. Among her accolades, she was a finalist for the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Contest. She is currently the global head of social media for a San Francisco-based software company.


The day ends, but now my journey begins
In waking I sleep, but through dreams I live
Craving words like a shiver does sun
Underpaid in love, starving for compassion,
Like a siren, you sing to me in the sweet notes of a minor key, calling me in tempting treble
Eager to steal my breath in one long, life-giving, passionate kiss and then-
For a moment our eyes caught, and you gazed at me as we shared the loudest silence
Filling me with the ashes of You.
For you I bleed, for you I climb,
The sweet I sought, the bitter I find.



Joe Navarro is a poet, creative writer, teacher. His literary influences have included Amiri Baraka, Wardell Montgomery Jr., Margie Domingo, Lalo Delgado, The Last Poets, Beat Poets and numerous others. Joe has authored 7 chapbooks of poetry and has been featured in four poetry anthologies. He is also a contributor to Joe is a literary vato loco and socially conscious writer who writes and speaks in Spanglish. Joe Navarro is a Literary Vato Loco, creative writer and poet. Available for presentations. Some of his poetry can be found at

when la migra stopped my carnal

when la migra stopped
my carnal for walking while
brown, they declared him
illegal, even if it was only for
a few minutes.

he didn’t know it was
illegal to be brown until
that moment, when they
asked him for his green
card. he didn’t know
what a green card was
because he didn’t know
that growing up in el barrio mission
en san pancho made him
a foreigner in america.

you see…all my carnal could
say was, what?
where are you from?…what?
are you here illegally?…what?
where’s your green card?…what?
do you understand english?…what?

all he could say was, what?
because he couldn’t believe
his ears, and thought they were
narcs, just trying to harass him,
so the questions made no sense.

he finally figured it out!
they were la migra, who couldn’t
tell one brown person from another
and saw illegal scrawled on the
foreheads of everyone in the barrio.
they finally let him go and all
he could say was…what?

–joe navarro
© copyright 2010



Joel Thomas Katz works in Silicon Valley as a business software specialist. His poems have appeared in Sand Hill Review, The Montserrat Review, Disquieting Muses Quarterly, Spillway and Red Wheelbarrow. His chapbook Away was published by Mayapple Press in 2008, and his online poetry blog can be enjoyed at


Forget the bucket of water. Forget the crown.
I’d follow him anywhere–up a mountain,
into crevasses, from the first feather of dawn
to the palms clicking in the evening breeze.
He would always lead the way, stumbling
tumbling, winding up in a grass-stained heap,
then ready to try it all over again.



Crystal was born in Taiwan and immigrated to the US as a teenager. She earned a Master’s degree in Education Policy with a minor in Journalism from Stanford University in 2007. Since then she has been a news reporter for the Silicon Valley Community Newspapers,, and the Palo Alto Weekly. Currently, she is working as a communications specialist for a high tech company. She has had poems published in a literary magazine titled Porter Gulch Review. She has published a book, A Poetic Portal to Chinese Culture.


Family members reunite at a dining table
As round as the full moon’s circle.
Steamed crabs and moon cakes aromatize the banquet
For the Moon Festival.
Also tasty are noodles and a cake for Granddad’s birthday
That coincides with the holiday
Marked by the eighth full moon of the lunar year,
Celebrated by all Chinese in every way.
“An auspicious birthday!”
More than eight decades ago he heard fortune tellers say.
“The harvest moon at birth signifies a lifetime of abundance;
Come what may!”
What came year after year was war after war,
Too much gore.
He fled farther and farther away from home
With only his mother’s pearl ring from the idyllic life before.
The pearl resembles the full moon shimmering over California,
And the full moon that delighted his youthful years in China.
The same moon had silvered the Silk Road
Across Eurasia.
The eternal moon has accompanied the uprooted osmanthus tree
To transplant to the Western territory.
She continues to bless his golden years



Tommy Mouton is a 2013-2014 John Steinbeck Fellow. He currently teaches creative writing and composition at San José State. Tommy’s work appears in Reed and Callaloo, and he is currently working on what he is calling his legacy project, a memoir entitled Flesh. A dynamic dramatic reader, Tommy’s work has been featured in venues hosted by Babylon Salon, KKUP 91.5 FM “Out of Our Minds” Poetry Radio, LitQuake, Flash Fiction Forum, Center for Literary Arts, Peninsula Literary Series, Poetry Center San José, and a host of others.

Born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, raised in the community of Moss Bluff, Tommy lives in San José with his wife and daughters.



Ikuko Matsusaka is an energetic woman of Japanese descent who enjoys poetry. She loves literature but is only a reader. She has been familiar with Haiku since she was a child. Her mother would hold a haiku party, and Ikuko had to write one or two haikus.



Shirindokht is a scholar of poetry and prose, a creative writer, an artist and a literary translator ( She has published two compilations of short stories in Persian and is currently working on a novel. Her poetry manuscript is ready for publication, while she looks for a publisher. Her latest project was a collaboration with Tasmanian editors when they published a fine collection of short stories by Iranian, Tasmanian, and British writers. The collection was titled The Third Script, and many be ordered at Shirin was a lecturer at San Jose State University till the end of Spring 2016, and now is a project manager at Pars Equality Center—working with new immigrants. She was the last director of the Associate of Iranian American writers and is one of three jurists for the ‘No to Censorship Contest’ by Siamak Pourzand Foundation.


And then the silence was unbearable.
Nothing left of my voice I screamed inside
and the silence
so loud
I couldn’t hear the tear drops in my throat.
The silenced I
in the middle of the room hush puppies on the table and I a dog of quiet means hushed on the floor
hands and fists
whispering love on my eyes and my ribs
quietly breaking
quietly healing.
Let us not break the silence.
But where your soul has gone, I asked myself, quietly,
you were once a lover.
Cold shoulder and I knew the wall was too high silently reaching for the sky.



Vuong Quoc Vu is a writer, editor, and publisher of poetry. He is founder of Tourane Poetry Press and editor of Perfume River Poetry Review. His work has been published in prominent literary journals, such as Atlanta Review, Poet Lore, and ZYZZYVA. He is a frequent reader at poetry events in the South Bay.


On winter nights, the moon sings to me.
Perhaps it is because I am Vietnamese.
We know something about this loneliness.

We say that on the moon is—
not as the Japanese say, a rabbit, or as
Americans say, a landscape made of cheese—

but a man who sits beneath a banyan tree.
From his seat of lunar sand, he looks down
at the world and searches for his home he left

so long ago it could never be found again
along the shifting shores of rivers and tides.
I can hear his lonely song. I hear it

in the white dust of my bones. The walls
of my room glow like the face of the moon.
Look close and you can see tiny pits

and craters, the shores of soundless seas.
Listen closely and you can hear a sigh
in the empty room; the walls weep.

On still winter nights, when it seems
all the world has gone to sleep,
I sing back to the moon.



Pushpa MacFarlane reads poetry at open mic, creates and maintains blogs for poets and videotapes local poetry readings. She participates in group poetry (Ekphrasis, Allure of Forms, and Beowulf) and poetry podcasts, and has read poems on air at KKUP 91.5 FM. Her poetry presentations in San José include The Poetry Café and the “World Poetry” segment at the 2015 San José Poetry Festival. She has edited, arranged, designed the layout and book cover for Remembering: An Anthology of Poems Read at Willow Glen Books, published by Jacaranda Press (2011). In 2015, she arranged and edited Third Thursdays, Volume Three of the Willow Glen Poetry Project Series. Her poems have been published in local anthologies, and her batik artwork published in the Catamaran Literary Reader.

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