Robert René Galván



Robert René Galván, born in San Antonio, resides in New York City where he works as a professional musician and poet. His collections of poems are Meteors, published by Lux Nova Press and Undesirable: Race and Remembrance, Somos en Escrito Foundation Press, Standing Stones, Finishing Line Press and The Shadow of Time, Adelaide Books. His poetry was recently featured in Adelaide Literary Magazine, Azahares Literary Magazine, Gyroscope, Hawaii Review, Hispanic Culture Review, Newtown Review, Panoply, Prachya Review, Sequestrum, Shoreline of Infinity, Somos en Escrito, Stillwater Review, West Texas Literary Review, and the Winter 2018 issue of UU World. He is a Shortlist Winner Nominee in the 2018 Adelaide Literary Award for Best Poem. Recently, his poems are featured in Puro ChicanX Writers of the 21st Century(2nd Edition) and in Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art and Thought. His poems have been nominated for Best of Web and the Pushcart Prize. His poem, Awakening, was featured in the author’s voice on NPR as part of National Poetry Month in the Spring of 2021.


Abuelita’s name was
María de Jesus Ruiz Mireles Ruiz,
but everyone called her Chita. 

She, the steward
of yerbas and chile pitín,
calabacítas and sprawling
patches of mint,
towers of long-stemmed

The patron saint of feral cats
and guardian of the henhouse
offered the boy
huevos rancheros,
lime Jarritos and pan dulce
for breakfast;
at dinner there were mounds
of tamales and a pot of frijoles
which had simmered all day –

I rarely saw her smile,
but when my father
embraced her she giggled
like a schoolgirl,
and in all those years
I never saw Papi
hug his own mother.



Perhaps it was a ghost from the glare,
Or the spectre of heat rising from the dust,
But I sensed his presence on the trail. 

Later, in the gloaming light
When shadows become flesh,
Luminous gold disks betray his ascent
From Xibalba.
He bears many names:
         Ocelotl, pantera onca, tigre, jaguar,
         Balam – Lord of Darkness. 

All my life I have stalked my tonal
And he has stalked me. 

Now as we meet,
We are merged like those strange
Olmec stones,
Half man, half beast:
A god.

I thought the jungle prowl
Had been a dream, but when I awoke
A paw print held the midnight rain.

© The Acentos Review 2022