Friday, May 05, 2006

Profile: Hermano Phi Goldvarg =
Poet, Social Activist and Humane Being!

One Early Evening Brother Phil came by to see is I was OK!

At the Ceremony We Had For Brother Phil ~
the last day I saw him...


Gracias to A.E.O.N. = Artists Evolving Our {Global} Nation

Main Link for set below>

All works Copyright 2001 by Phil Goldvarg.
Contact Phil Goldvarg at

El Coyote
El coyote plays his deadly tricks,
poses as hermano,
masking his face of greed,
while the gente he calls his people,
melt into sand fire
of an Arizona desert,
ninos, padres, familias
fade under el sol,
too dry to shed one lagrima,
money has changed hands in trust,
promises of new life y suenos realized,
presented as truth,
no one looked at coyote's shifty eyes,
make believe sonrisa,
his empty corazon,
they only saw a mirror of their own hopes,
suenos de manana,
blinding reflection of survival,
el sol becomes flame,
dancing brown skin
into gray ash,
while madres y abuelitas
dream their hijos, nietos,
in fields of plenty,
covering the small fear
that lives en las sombras
of previous disappearances,
this desert death
is a continuous exclusion,
policy of genocide,
created by those above el coyote,
who bask in the gente's service,
another object they claim to own,
there is no realization
that el corazon can't be possessed,
that ashes need abrazos de lagrimas,
el coyote has fled his crime,
huesos have been laid bare
to burning pain, a false border
slices into La Tierra Madre
and her silent ninos.


Hijo de Modesto (Para Alberto "Betito" Sepulveda)

Otra conquista,
never ending assault on the gente,
508 anos and counting,
another hijo bathed en sangre,
en las lagrimas de familia,
a lost sueno fades away, esperanza de manana
becomes la noche sin luna,
rio sin agua,
los marranos came for their meal,
comida to hang on blue skin walls,
where Brown is wrapped in sealed bolsas,
where is la justicia,
hiding in the folds
of a blind lady's dress,
she has eyes for suenas blancas,
she is not color blind,
she picks and choses,
hijo de Modesto,
sabes que mijito,
you are loved and remembered,
su familia makes your bed
for this long sleep,
don't be afraid,
there will be gritos for your defense,
bring the killers to face murder,
remorse is not enough,
they never saw tu cara hermoso,
sus ojos de feliz,
the back is easier to kill,
this play that is not a play,
goes on, otra vez y otra vez,
broken doors y broken huesos,
shattered windows y shattered skin,
sange seca kissing the floors
where abuelitos have walked con nietos,
there was no chance for this hijo,
no time for ayudames,
no time for abrazos,
tiempo por otra conquista, no mas,
508 years of hate y disrespect,
y el hijo de Modesto sin vida.

11 year old Chicano was shot in the back by Modesto, CA, PD Swatt team in his own house. His mother, two brothers and father were in the home at the time. PD said it was an accident.


1975 Wounded Knee To Peltier Now

In year 481 of resistance,
the wound was reopened
so the FBI thought,
but it was always open,
481 years open,
like a deep canyon,
echoes of ancient voices
singing survival,
as the sons and grandson-pigs of Hoover
reenacted the Columbus and sons
and attempted rapes
of Paha Sapa
and the People of the earth,
Leonard Peltier embraced
the circle of resistance,
clenched hands tight,
held on to sacred time,
way of respect,
path of the warrior,
put his body-heart-spirit
as barrier to colonization
and its greedy horde,
the true savages.

AIM and Pine Ridge relations
set up camp
on mother earth,
this was the call to all generations,
ancestors, future children,
to embrace birth and rebirth,
and the handing down of survival,
FBI - goons - army - police,
would have none of this survival talk
and old ways that spread like the wind,
their disrespectful intrusion
caused them great misfortune
that was turned into vicious cause
and declaration of war.

Leonard was charged,
convicted and executed twice
before they caught him,
no evidence of truth was revealed,
ghost stories were constructed
to haunt the courtroom,
lies were pulled from minds
and spirits
that had lost their balance,
the great anti-justice system
moved its cogs and belts,
greased them with lies,
wrapping our brother Leonard
in two death coffins,
hoping the lid
would remain closed
beyond two lifetimes,
but Leonard's heart was an eagle
that recognized no barrier,
no border,
no prison
that could keep
his soul from flying,
he waits for us
on cold gravestone
that seals the earth,
sings to our ceremonial call
for his release,
dances with us
thru the moon night,
dances with
us the continued movement
of resistance.


Wolf Dances with the Moon

Idaho 2000 ~ before a 2001 sun ~ predator sent hate ~
sliver of bullets ~ into the breath of two wolves ~ in the
sanctity of their own home ~ Smokey Mountain Pack
cry for their brothers ~ gone to a snow dream ~

The moon followed my eyes,
earth pressed against moist paws,
my breath
was a cloud of dreams,
grandfathers ran with me,
their strength under my soul,
young pups waited for return
of a protective father,
joy swept through my coat,
soft embrace of wind,
I am here for generations,
on this land that is mother,
the rush of leaves
sings to me,
swift rapids
dance in my shadow,
this night
feeds my heart,
until a silent sliver
finds my flesh,
tearing teeth
of unknown ghost,
the moon grows dark
and water stills,
the last cries of young pups,
disappear into blindness,
I melt into great earth arms
that sweep me along the sky.


Akilah Jaye ~ Sister of Dreams

You are the sister of dreams,
creator of laughter on a broken face,
hope in a chained heart,
you dance in darkness to bring light,
disappear the shadows
that hang over a tearful soul,
elders drop their pain when you appear,
children cling to the magic
that flows from your tongue,
Akilah, gift sister,
you hold the answer
to disguised dreams,
untangle the message
of confused paths
and old fears,
your strength is deep
to the center of existence,
where your soul
meets the hard rock of oppression,
where your hands caress pain
and form the gift of new life,
Akilah, sister of dreams,
open heart to all,
you laugh in the center
of tradition and change,
honoring old and young,
heartbeat of all dreams,
you are the music flowing,
the words going,
the power showing,
unending journey
that promises continuation
in a field of pride,
you sing without fear,
bring revolution near
for us all to hear,
sister of dreams and survival,
we are honored
you have danced with us,
we are stronger
from the embrace
of your heart,
we smile on your new journey,
feel loved by your voice
that lives in our ears,
sister of dreams.


El Sueno De Los Maya

El ultimo sueno Maya
descansa sobre el maiz,
crecendo de las rocas,
cantando suavemente
al cielo.

Mayan Dream

The last Mayan dream
rests on the corn,
growing from the rocks,
singing softly
to the sky.


Reflection of a Shattered Mirror

The reflection of a shattered mirror
is a lost dream,
a dead star,
slivers of hope
fade into the dark,
wander like forlorn ghosts
in a limbo of fear,
this crashing is a prediction of cannons,
clanging of oven doors,
windows are empty,
gaping mouths in silent scream,
a preview of mass graves,
children waking into nightmare,
there will be no sunrise after this night,
stained glass erupts,
a wounded rainbow
falling to the worms,
hate and destruction
have their way,
footprints of myth
move thru a crystal night,
fades to the reality
of a final solution,
the glass is shattering,
is breaking,
a puzzle of ragged edges,
that cannot be mended.


Earth Mother's Voice

Surrounded by explorers,
gold miners,
silver collectors,
vagina intruders,
I let the heavy shades of forgetfulness
fall over my eyes,
these children of amnesia
are committing incest,
recognition of their mother
is beyond comprehension,
the intrusion of their greed
is a masking of lineage,
polluting the memory of blood
and the gift of birth,
my skin was flayed,
each breast harvested
in sharp fury,
my blood-milk sucked
and spit back
in rains of death,
living spirit of all things
was hunted and destroyed,
the familles of my womb became extinct,
breath became difficult
within my increasing entombment,
prayer was a wisp of smoke,
invisible in this alien landscape,
as I struggled to remember
the last song of creation
and the magic of birth.


Night Wind

sitting under this night's wind,
remembering sisters and brothers
in chains of torture,
voices still chanting
pain of broken visions,
loss of home,
caught in the tradition
of bars and stone,
slavery and clubs,
victims of false tongues
that rattle hate
and spit death,
land has been taken,
points of departure
for raging greed,
swallowing the resistors
with selective vision
and one sided justice,
in this night's wind
I sing to my sister,
my brother,
when the sun rises
our fists will follow,
a cry for release,
to bring you home,
where the earth smiles,
kisses your feet.


A Brother's Voice
For James Byrd Jr. - Jaspar, Texas

Ashe' Brother James,
a man shouldn't have to die alone
on some backwoods gravel road,
skin flayed,
bound up in 500 year old chains,
parts of himself dropped like dead branches
from a dream shattered sleep,
should not have to endure
the taunts of racist
fury who's soul lays transparent
on the night's eye,
a Brother's children and grandchildren
should not have to see him torn apart,
familiar face consumed by another's hate,
should not have to search
for a grandfather's lost arm
that cradled them against fear of darkness,
they are told his spirit is still with them,
but those words are breathless
in this time of pain,
ashe' dear Brother,
ashe' to ancestor hand
that lifts you from a blood filled road,
that lifts you from your torn body,
lifts you to the heart
of your waiting relations,
we know these 500 year old chains
are teeth of the Klan,
Aryan brotherhood,
the hidden flesheaters
who disguise
themselves in masked coldness,
we know that this slave ship turned truck
reenacts the middle passage journey,
kidnaping and forced sailing,
lynching at the auction block of death,
raping Mother Queen Afrikka
on the hard floor of a plantation cabin.

This night covers a Brother's scream,
the snap of bone,
his last call to family,
who are unaware
that the progress of their loss
has been put in motion,
his loved one's trust their soft dream
will wake with a smile,
trust the continuation of life,
they wake far from the place
where their nightmare lives,
were redemption is breath,
there is no quickness in our Brother's death,
this murder,
viciousness of hate
draws out his suffering,
an extended hanging rope
that descends slowly,
offering the pain of anticipation,
a false,
final hope,
there is grief for lost body part,
lost family,
tearing of connection,
memories of birth,
respectful burials,
then there is nothing,
unalterable darkness,
the watery grave of this forced passage,
the road was dust on dust,
a remeeting of old stories,
where we came from the mud,
children of the earth,
and return to our Mother
as spirit and sifted ash,
this blending is the quiet rustle
of forest leaves
on a windless night.


Canku Ota (Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
September 8, 2001 - Issue 44

Sunlight by Phil Goldvarg--Dedicated to all children who have ever been wounded by prejudice

Their once was a little white rabbit named Bumpy. Bumpy and her family lived in a big dark cave, where no sunlight ever came to visit. Bumpy's parents never let her go out and play and she only saw other rabbits that looked like her, pure white like a first snowstorm.

One day, Bumpy's older cousin told her that he had once seen some brown rabbits and some black rabbits and he went to play with them. When his parents saw him, they came over and pulled Bumpy's cousin away from the other rabbits and said that they were not real rabbits.

Bumpy asked her parents if brown and black rabbits, were real rabbits, and they said no, they were not.

After that, whenever they saw rabbits that were not white, Bumpy and her friends pretended that the brown and black rabbits were invisible.

One day a beautiful brown rabbit named Sunlight, tried to play with Bumpy, but Bumpy would not even look at Sunlight and pretended she was not there.

Sunlight was hurt and thought that Bumpy was not a nice or friendly rabbit.

So Sunlight went to talk with her grandmother. Sunlight went to her grandmother and gave her a big hug and asked if her grandmother wanted some water, or anything else before she sat down with her.

Sunlight's grandmother said "Thank you, but I'm not thirsty just now," as she patted the earth next to her, telling Sunlight that it was all right for her to sit down.

Grandmother asked Sunlight what was wrong, and said, "You don't look happy granddaughter." Sunlight told her grandmother what had happened and that she hurt in her heart.

Sunlight's grandmother put her arm around Sunlight and told her that the Creator hasmany children, they are many colors, but creator loves them all. She said the Creator had asked his Brown children to watch over the earth and care for each other.

She said that when the white rabbits came out of their caves and saw the earthland, they wanted it all for themselves. They thought if they could make the brown rabbits feel bad about themselves and that they were not as good as the white rabbits, then they would not stop them from taking the land.

Grandmother said, this did not work, because we are a proud and strong people and our ancestors are always with us.

Sunlight looked up at her grandmother and asked, "Grandmother, am I beautiful and proud and as good as anyone?"

Grandmother looked down at Sunlight and said, "yes Sunlight, you are beautiful and proud and as good as anyone and you can do anything you put your mind to. You are my dear shinning Sunlight."

Then Sunlight asked her Grandmother if she were a real rabbit.

Grandmother answered, "Yes, you are a real rabbit, a real, real brown rabbit.

Phil Goldvarg

Canku Ota (Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
August 25, 2001 - Issue 43

Graying of an Eagle
by Phil Goldvarg

Along the hills that looked over a forested land, lived a great eagle of black feathers and wild eyes. He perched on the highest point, which was rocky and ragged.

Just below him was the nest where his two young sons and one daughter sat, hungry and eager for adventure.

They screeched at their father, begging to go out on their own for a few hours. They wanted to see things for themselves. They liked the stories their parents told them, but they wanted to see life outside the nest with their own eyes.

One day the father eagle grew tired of their screeching and told them they could go out by themselves until the sun was directly overhead. They scrambled out of their nest, laughing and singing. They started to go down the rocky hill, not realizing how steep it was and they ended up tumbling half way down the hill, rolling, hitting rocks, scratching themselves on the sharp weeds.

Father eagle looked down at them and just shook his head. He felt one of his feathers moan. He looked down at the feather and was shocked to see that it had turned gray.

So, the process had begun; the graying of aneagle along the path of his growing and wild children. Father eagle chuckled to himselfas he watched his children, remembering what he did when he was young eagle.

One evening at sunset, young eagle decided to go on a night-flight on his own, without telling his parents. He took off into the darkening sky with confidence.

As he moved into the night a great wind came over the forest and set the tree topes to dancing and swaying.

Young eagle was flying low and misjudged one of the tree tops. The tree scraped his belly, grabbed at his wings and almost took him down. Young eagle barely got away.

He then decided to fly really low, through the branches of the trees.

Suddenly he came upon a great owl, the owl was so frightened that he shot straight up towards young eagle and slammed into young eagle's left wing.

They both fell towards the ground, but managed to pull out of the fall with their strong wings.

Young eagle went on his way, moving in a zig zag, for he was still dizzy from the collision.

When he returned to his home at sunrise, he was bruised and scratched up; his father was perched above the nest, angry, not a feather moving. Young eagle knew he was in trouble, but he noticed a small smile of pride at the corners of his father's eyes. He looked at the left wing of his father, one of the feathers was gray. Young eagle wondered what had happened.

Now, in the time of his own children, he knew what happened. There is no end to this story.

By Phil Goldvarg

The Eagle Is Not Down
(Con respecto- I wrote this for Cesar's funeral in 1993 )
Phil Goldvarg
Friday, November 23, 2001;

The eagle is not down,
he's in a different sky,
wings still moving
against the currents of injustice,
there is no death for this peaceful warrior,
he looks down on us,
his quiet fire eyes say,
tu eres mi otro yo,
you are me,
I am you,
somos juntos
en la tristeza de la noche,
en la felicidad
del dia,
the eagle is not down,
he's in a different sky
y los chuecos,
the greedy growers,
the legislators
who legislatre los farmworkers
and their ninos to death
are shaking in fear,
they know there's going to be
some serious huelgas
in heaven and hell,
sabes que, hermano,
the eagle is not down,
he's in a different sky,
there is no death
for this peaceful warrior.

Para Cesar 4/26/93


Not In Our Name

Not in our name
will you murder this world,
disappear our children,
cremate our future,
pit sisters and brothers
against each other,
not in our name
will you sign death warrants
to mother earth,
while you mass weapons in greedy hands,
finger on the trigger,
eye on multiple targets,
not in our name
will you dismiss collateral damage,
result of smart bombs that are dumb,
will you drink innocent blood,
evaporate fleshless evidence
into nameless mass graves,
not in our name
will you make midnight arrests,
hold secret trials in dark shadows,
take our rights without a thought,
stop dissenting voices that question
your self indulgent motives,
not in our name
will you embargo children and elders
into a grave of hunger,
will you speak with two tongues,
cover homicide and genocide
with a self proclaimed king's mask,
not in our name
will you feed ghost corporations
that claim earth, water and sky for themselves,
will you silently swallow
our Arab and immigrant
sisters and brothers,
not in our name
will you consume La Nena,
Isla de Vieques,
will you push plan Panama
across a Mayan dream,
a child's breath,
not in our name
will you stop resistance
to this abusive regime,
will you profit by treason
that bargains away
all human life,
not in our name,
not in our name,
not in our name.

© PHIL GOLDVARG (3/11/02)
Published on the internet, with permission
Zapatista Solidarity Coalition Sacramento, CA, United States.


Does Anyone Know Who We're Bombing Today

does anyone know who we're bombing today,
evidence is gone with melted flesh,
bones turned to dust,
villages disappeared,
cries of pain lost in clouded explosions,
generations flow faded to crumbled hope,
does anyone know we fill nights' sky,
targeting the untargetable,
did any of us get to vote on this homicide,
are we the shadow of violence,
slipping into dark corners,
scalpel in hand,
choosing victims for the cut of death,
are we the locust that consumes human fields,
does our hunger covet this earth,
does anyone know what's going on,
we are armed and ready,
stealth is a dance we know so well,
under cover of flag we are genociders,
media puppets are fed on schedule,
they throw up a killers meal,
masked to hide the stench annihilation,
does anyone know who we're bombing today,
who we bombed yesterday,
who we have in mind for tomorrow,
what do the killers tell their grandchildren,
do they give them toy guns with live ammunition,
hide them in lead lined shelters,
explain to them why they have no playmates,
why air is poison,
why windows are plastered with secrets,
ghost committees of oil drinkers,
munition makers,earth thieves,
meet behind our troubled eyes,
we don't realize a need for vision of discovery,
to question unknown moves of elected liars,
walking blind in patriotic mist,
over mass graves covered with plastic flowers,
does anyone know who we're bombing today,
do we accept there is danger of our execution,
do we let this deceptive shade fall across our heart,
does any one know extinction will be our gift,
chain reaction of false leaders hate,
their quest for power and elusive crowns,
what do we tell our grandchildren,
what do we say when they ask for toy guns and live ammunition,
does anyone know who we're bombing today,
does anyone no where,
are we so sure our leaders don't have us in their sites,
does anyone know,
does anyoneknow.

© PHIL GOLDVARG (27/10/02)
Published on the internet, with permission
Zapatista Solidarity Coalition Sacramento, CA, United States.


march de paz

there is a mass march beyond greed,
accumulation of power,
mass graves of tears and bones,
voices crying peace without fear,
facing masked barriers of oppression,
laying down before destruction,
thousands mating for rebirth,
breath to dying children,
blood to the drought of depleted veins,
we join clenched hands,
unbreakable in their determination,
tight bonds of faith,threat of torture,
military tribunals and disappearance,
fade before the love of our human connection,
we are the sacred colors dancing a wild wind,
we are wisdom of ancestors that speak vision,
we are heart against heart,
our feet drum mother earth,
beat out a song of defiance,
words that are living wings,
streets are full,curb to curb,
overflowing river of hope,
patria is face of caring,
eyes alive with lightening,
thunder of protest,
we circle this world,
breaking uneven odds of closed doors,
secret alliance in conspiracy,
we are taken lightly,
amusement for power brokersclad in silk fantasy,
until a shadow of fear invades their vault,
ghost of confrontation,
they are quick to respond,batons and tear gas,
bullets masked in myth,
escalating to a military response,
shouting directives for execution,
presented as a nation's defense,
this march de paz is too long,
too wide,
too high,
too strong,
too flowing,
too connected,
to be executed,
to be disappeared,
to be buried in mass graves,
this march de paz is unending love that births our survival.

© PHIL GOLDVARG (11/11/02)
Published on the internet, with permission
Zapatista Solidarity Coalition Sacramento, CA, United States.


2. Aria-Lament: Rachel
(For Rachel Corrie)
with the name Rachel,
she would be matriarch of the people,
those suffering a fearful life of drought,
loss of home and land,
history of ancestors
buried in heaps of disrespected earth,
she had no choice
but to follow her heart,
faith must have filled her soul,
that she could hold a child's tears
in the cup of her hand,
that her small body
would take the form of her spirit,
large enough to protect those
she felt connected to,
she risked her last breath
against the hardness of steel,
her arms
became wings of resolve,
she was the laughter of wind,
offering joy to those in lament,
this is my song to you young sister,
you have touched this world
with your strong voice
crying for justice.
Phil Goldvarg 3/18/03



oye hermana, hermano,
my tumor is messing with me tonight,
but I won't give it that much power,
but it thinks it has,
roaming the shady caves of my being,
looking for a home,
pushing my dreams aside
for an extra bathroom and a game room,
poor little sucker
never played a real game in his life
or took a pea twice in the same day,
but he had hopes,
this little chingaso
was not very good at messing,
not subtle at all,
was uncomfortable in a mask,
it's 3:40 am
and Chingaso is looking for his next move,
he wants it to be impactful,
hell, he wants to blow up
the whole house,
his footsteps are heavy,
they are deep sinkers
and laugh a lot,
they are meant to be remembered,
he wants immortality like us all,
my tumor is messing with me tonight,
only has a few seconds until dawn,
he sure is trying hard
to beat the first rays of sunlight,
where he could turn to dust
by my magic hand.

phil goldvarg 12/12/03


[LAsolidarity] Compa/nero Phil Goldvarg.... Presente!!!!!!!!
Raulmax at Raulmax at
Mon Jun 14 23:46:46 EDT 2004

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Saludos desde Mayaguez, Puerto Rico

This afternoon in Sacramento, California our compa/nero Phil Goldvarg lost his battle with cancer. The Vieques struggle has lost one of its own. Although Phil never visited Puerto Rico for the past five years he sent us his poems through the magic of the Internet. These poems when read in Vieques, San Juan,
Mayaguez and other parts of Puerto Rico gave us hope and solidarity at a time when few outside of Puerto Rico knew about the Vieques Struggle. His poems had the quality of crashing through cultural barriers and reaching the soul and giving one hope

Here in Mayaguez we will miss the reading at our weekly Tuesday meetings of Phil's latest poem.

May you rest in peace hermano.

Mayaguezanos con Vieques

At the funeral home; amid peacock feathers 6/17/2004
Goodbye Phil. The funeral home crowded to overflowing as friends, fellow poets, fellow activists pushed in to pay respects. A car full of cardboard and other recycling from the bookstore, I circle the block, blue Taurus stationwagon looking for a place to park, catching glimpses of the tall peacock feathers of the Aztec dancers as I roll by the full parking lot. Later they will gently shuffle in, as Felicia McGee is singing, their leg shells clattering softly; luminous brown skin, vivid aztec costmes of gold, silver, red, black. Jose Montoya, new haircut, no hat, quips good-naturedly: "Guess I'm going to MC this thing..." and presents a euolgy that any would be lucky to have read about them; about great deeds and the friendships of many. Many eagle references, by all at the podium; how Phil soared now, like a white eagle.
Posted by: Richard / 11:54 PM

Cut, fold, staple 6/16/2004
Phil Goldvarg's service is tommorrow and Kevin Porter and I have spent the evening at the bookstore, cutting Phil's poems between swigs of Guiness left over from Bloomsday, getting the booklets ready for distribution. I feel fortunate that Phil was able to see all these little books of his poems, months before his death; that they served as a tribute to him as he was alive, just as they do now at his death. For what can I say, that can't be said better by others standing before his coffin, facing out to an audience of admirers of the man? My best tribute is to hand a person a handful of Phil's poems. More Guiness. Max Schwartz arrives; Buzzes around the place as we cut, fold, staple. Daughter Ru plays close by.
Posted by: Richard / 11:59 PM

Phil Goldvarg Dies 6/14/2004
Word spread like wildfire through this tiny, insular poetry scene that poet and friend Phil Goldvarg has died.

Phil Goldvarg – “Lengua del Filero” nuestro hermano, amigo, esposo, son, father, abuelo y padrino ascended into the heavens at 1pm today. He was so peaceful and radiant with love. His wife Helen, their family and friends were with him when he took flight. The family asks that you keep him in your positive thoughts and prayers as he transitions into the spirit world.
-- Trudy Robles
Posted by: Richard / 11:59 PM


Obituary= Philip Goldvarg was poet, social activist
By Edgar Sanchez -- Bee Staff Writer
Published Friday, June 18, 2004

Philip M. Goldvarg, a poet who championed minority causes and human rights through his verses, died of a brain tumor in Sacramento Monday. He was 70.

Even as he fought his illness, Mr. Goldvarg joined in protests in the Sacramento area against everything from racism to mistreatment of farm workers.

He also participated in recent poetry readings at La Raza Galeria Posada and at area coffeehouses.

Although he was Jewish, Mr. Goldvarg was particularly concerned with Latino issues. With a mix of English and Spanish, many of his poems bluntly described the plight of the poor - from the struggle of Mexico's Indian peasants to the battle for economic survival by California's underprivileged.

A social worker, Mr. Goldvarg was a retired staff member of the Adult Protective Services Bureau of the Sacramento County Department of Social Welfare.

"I'll remember Phil as a gift to our community," said Marianna Rivera, a close friend. "He was one of the most honest men I ever met."

His wife, Helen Quintana, said Mr. Goldvarg was "a kind, gentle man" who respected all people.

"Oh, my God, will he be missed!" she said. "But his poetry will live on …"

In Sept. 2003, five months after his tumor was diagnosed, he wrote a thank-you poem to his friends. It began:

"I've been blessed to have been here,

to be touched by you and others con cariño (love) …

the fighters of injustice …

… sacrificing more than I've ever done … "

Philip Michael Goldvarg, an only child, was born in Minneapolis in 1934 and grew up in a racially mixed tenement in St. Paul.

On his way home from the Hebrew school he attended, he was often beaten by neighborhood bullies for being Jewish.

Each time, Mr. Goldvarg was comforted by Latino neighbors who would treat his lumps and bruises before his parents returned from work, his wife said.

"He grew up with a lot of minorities," Quintana said. "He started knowing other ethnicities in a really positive, nurturing way."

He began composing poems at age 12.

In 1951 the Goldvarg family moved to Sacramento and he graduated from McClatchy High School two years later.

Soon afterward, Mr. Goldvarg enlisted in the U.S. Navy for two years.

After his discharge, he worked in his parents' downtown shoe store. Then, he became a mail sorter in a local post office.

In the early 1960s, Mr. Goldvarg obtained a bachelor's degree in social services from then-Sacramento State College. He went to work for Adult Protective Services in 1963.

By then, Mr. Goldvarg was married to his first wife, Maria Bonilla, mother of his two sons. She died in the late 1960s.

He married his second wife, Helen Quintana, in May 1974.

On Jan. 3, 1994, Mr. Goldvarg and other local activists founded the Zapatista Solidarity Coalition of Sacramento. The group was created two days after leftist Zapatista rebels launched a brief but bloody armed rebellion in Chiapas, Mexico's poorest state.

The rebels, who have since embraced less violent tactics, seek to improve living conditions for millions of impoverished Mexicans, many of them Indians.

For 10 years, the coalition has collected medicines, clothes and cash for Chiapas residents.

Also since 1994, Mr. Goldvarg had been a member of Escritores del Nuevo Sol, or Writers of the New Sun, a group of local poets.

"Most of us have other jobs, but we all love poetry," said Graciela B. Ramirez, a Nuevo Sol member and a retired CSUS professor. "Phil was the heart of our group."

Rene Aguilera, of the Hispanic Empowerment Association of Roseville, said Mr. Goldvarg's recitals were magical.

"Phil was a real performer," Aguilera said. "He drew you into the poetry. He could weave words around every cause."

Mr. Goldvarg died in a local hospital, eight days after he was admitted.
Philip M. Goldvarg
Born: March 13, 1934
Died: June 14, 2004

Remembered for: His poetry, social activism.

Survived by: Wife Helen Quintana of Sacramento; sons Phil Gold-varg Jr. of Sacramento and Michael Goldvarg of Roseville. Stepsons Ronald Perez of Fairmont, Minn. and Alfonso Casillas and Ray Casillas of Sacramento.

Services: Funeral services at 10 a.m. today at the Land Park Chapel of Harry A. Nauman & Son, 4041 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in his name to the Zapatista Solidarity Coalition, 909 12th St., Sacramento, CA, 95814.
About the Writer
The Bee's Edgar Sanchez can be reached at (916) 321-1132 or

Comment: Heramano Phil was a true humane being and my favorite poet. He had a rare quality of compassion exhibited in his poems to a have true empathy for others across lands, seas and oceans in their pain, sorrow and suffering with an undying love, patience and understanding.

I thought the best way to profile such a gentle master was through his poems as they speak for themselves. Sometimes I actually feel his Spirit and felt it heavy today yet light with laughter.

Sometimes I would get a new poem of his via an Email or a website, then, send it back to him with a picture from Webshots. I know he has many others. This is just my feeble attempt to compile some of them.

He would of loved to see the great 'Marchas de La Raza' that have happened recently and maybe he has. I know he would of written at least one great poem about them that would capture so much with his discerning eye. His spirit will always be an undying noble inspiration for me and many many others upon Mother Earth!

Liberacion O Muerte!
Peta de Aztlan

Here are a couple of my Favorite Pixs of Hermano Phil. One we had the Celebration for him and sometime before that when he came by to visit me to se if I was alright. I usually Emailed him and a couple of folks online were concerned about me. I was probably home drinking Tecate as I use to be a boozer back then:

Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening?

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