There is A Poet in Our Family

Erasmo "Doc" Riojas' children were, in order or birth, Sylvia Dolores, Michael Anthony, Gloria Ann.  All are native Texans, except Michael who was born in Oahu, Territory of Hawaii.  Dr. Riojas is very proud of all of them. His children are well educated, God, Family and Country Appreciating Americans.  They are all alive and are well residing in Texas.

                                     Sylvia Dolores Riojas Vaughn   wife   of   Paul S. Vaughn



S.D. Riojas Vaughn BIO

Sylvia was born at the U.S. Naval Hospital Corpus Christi, Texas.   Sylvia is her high school class Salutatorian.  She has a degree in journalism from Southern Methodist University where she graduated with honors.  

Her poems appear in Texas Poetry Calendar 2009, Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival Anthology Boundless, Poetry at Round Top, Illya’s Honey, Red River Review, Ohio Poetry Day winners’ anthologies, and other small journals and anthologies. 

 Her poem Communion won first place in the Richardson Public Library’s Poetry Competition in 2007. Excerpts from my poetry were used in the play Calliope’s Rampage. My own play La Tamalada was produced in Fort Worth; two others have received staged readings.  Sylvia is a member of Dallas Poets Community. 

Sylvia Riojas Vaughn's poetry has appeared in "Illya's Honey," "Red River Review," "Capper's," "On Wings of Words," and Ohio Poetry Day winners' anthologies. Excerpts from her poetry were used in the play "Calliope's Rampage."

 She has served as a contest judge for Dallas Poets Community, Dallas Public Library, Ohio Poetry Day, and Poetic Friends of the Bridge Poetry Contest. Mrs. Vaughn has also worked as a certified English as a Second Language teacher.  Home is in Plano, TX, and lives with her husband, Paul,  and  their German shepherd.

                                                                                                                                                 Sylvia's Siblings and Neice

                    Lt-Rt:   Amanda Lorraine Newberry-Torres (Gloria's Daughter), Sylvia Dolores Vaughn-Riojas Michael Anthony Riojas, Gloria Ann Engle-Riojas.  Today, 16 Nov 2016 they are all alive and well living in Texas








Africa's First Christian Arts And Literary Magazine
POETRY | A Beacon in The Tempest
by Sylvia Riojas Vaughn
Parousia Magazine April 19, 2017

An Easter Meditation
By which also ye are saved, if ye keep
 in memory what
I preached unto you,
unless ye have believed in vain.
                                                —1 Corinthians 15:2
O my soul!
Be steadfast
in faithfulness
to the gospel —
Christ died for our sins,
was buried,
and rose again the third day.
O my heart!
Let my belief be impenetrable.
Let me always remember
humans cannot change
winter to spring,
or night to day,
or reach the Father
except through Christ.
O my free will!
Withstand the temptation
of irreverence.
Remember Adam and Eve.
For too long after the Fall
we hoped for redemption.
O hallelujah!
Today I rejoice with the faithful
in the Resurrection,
and the promise of life everlasting.

The Lilies on Easter Morning
By which also ye are saved,
if ye keep in memory…
—1 Corinthians 15:2

  Standing tall
on bright green stems,
the pure white flowers
sway in the breeze,
signs of hope, joy,
renewed life!
the churches
filled with worshipers,
the blossoms,
like trumpets
the angels sound,
remind us
of the good news
Paul urges us
never to forget,
He is risen!

A Beacon in The Tempest
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel
—1 Corinthians 15:1
O Corinth,
a ship tossed
on the stormy
sea of sin.
Disunity kept
you from the wheel.
Unholy living
shredded, stained
your white sails.
Lack of Christian love
your rudder.
As you floundered,
did you secretly pray
to Artemis and Apollo?
Paul shone the light
of the gospel
to help you right your
nearly wrecked hulk,
to correct your course,
to help you back
to steadfast belief
in Jesus’s resurrection —
the only way to keep
from drowning,
the only hope
of life everlasting.




 Out for a Spin

By  Slvia Riojas Vaughn

Plano, Texas

He was hot, but oh those wheels!

Sleek, shiny, fast,

speediest ride on campus.

A drive after the final bell

led everywhere but straight home.

Moon roof open,

rushing wind, roar of road

competed with Top 40.

Exhaust prickled our noses.

Maybe a foot long dog at

an outpost on the edge of town,

maybe a double feature at

the drive in picture show —

salty buttered kisses,

speaker's tinny sound on low.

Years later, in my minivan

fit for family,

Ginger the Lab, every

errand under the sun,

turns back time.



New post on Silver Birch Press 

What Are The Odds? poem by Sylvia Riojas Vaughn (LOST AND FOUND Poetry and Prose Series) by silverbirchpress the-anniversary-accessories-scarf-with-evening-purse-orchid-corsage-and-glove-1971 

What Are The Odds?               by Sylvia Riojas Vaughn 

The day Braniff Air 

went bankrupt,

fleet grounded, 

radio bulletins said 

other carriers 

would help. 

And I, 

stuck with a ticket,

 lost my wallet. 

I pulled into McDonald's 

on the way to the airport,

 fumbled for my billfold.


 I dumped out my purse, 

flung clothes 

from my bag. Gone!

 I thumped my forehead — 

I'd left it on the car roof 

while packing! 

The wingless leather clutch 

had flown away. 

I pictured skid marks 

on my family photos, 

a stranger whipping out

 my Discover card, 

the boarding pass

 muddied mush. Two weeks later,

 a trucker called. 

He'd collected everything

 strewn along an overpass.

 He smiled at my reward —

 a bear hug, coffee and pie. 

IMAGE: "Accessories" by Joan Brown (1971).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The inspiration for this poem is true. My husband and I were on our way to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in a rainstorm the day Braniff grounded its fleet. We were going to see about changing our tickets to Kansas City, Missouri, to another airline. This was before iPhones, etc. Unfortunately, my husband remembered he’d placed his wallet on the roof of the car as we packed. It flew off, and we had to turn back, because one couldn’t fly without one’s driver’s license. Some weeks later, a man called and said he’d found everything! 



Erasmo Riojas-Cardenas and Soledad Gonzalez-Alvarez wed in 1954.  Doc Riojas returned from Korean War and was stationed at the USNAS, Corpus CHristi TX.  He met and married Soledad "Rupe" Alvarez the next year 1954.

She was awaiting the birth of Sylvia when Doc Rio got orders to the U.Naval Gun Factory, Wash. D.C.; U.S. Naval Deep Sea Diving School in ANacostia D.C.   He graduated in Sept 1956 and Doc Riojas, "Rupe" and their daughter Sylvia got transferred to U.S. Naval Submarine Base, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii.


  Sylvia's  Poems


                          Taken from H.P.Poetry
         South Carolina Candy Store     Jan 2017

By Sylvia Riojas Vaughn Plano, Texas 

My penny a yolk tucked in eggshell palm, 
bells alert storekeeper to my arrival.
 I tiptoe across creaking wooden floors
 toward big glass jars brimming with Mary Janes, jaw breakers,
 Tootsie Rolls, Sugar Babies. 
Dim light obscures this bejeweled rainbow.
 I'm melting on this hot afternoon — 
wish I had an extra nickel for an RC.
 At last I choose a candy necklace, snap it on.
 I race away to play tag, Mother May I, Red Light, Green Light 
until Mother calls me for supper.
 Those sugary jewels will taste like red clay and sweat 
when Mother snips the strand from my neck.





                   An Offering to the Bitter Moon   10Jan2017

news — 
breaches of peace 
around our world, 
in our town, 
on our street — 
kindle for the flames 
a blood-spattered list 
of those who’ve died; 
I kiss it 
one last time 
my journal entries — 
blackening the pages 
a few photos — 
everyone believes 
my smile happy 
my prayer, 
take these; 
let me have nothing 
to give when 
next you rise




Elegy for Spring’s Midwife
\November 15th, 2016 by Sylvia Dolores Vaughn-Riojas

She was mad for dirt. 



her calloused hands 

worked bone meal 

into small holes, 

placing corms just so. 

Wielding a sharp blade, 

she slashed apart 

clumps of daffodil bulbs. 

She whispered, Howdy, worms! 

Do your thing. 

Mud under her nails, 

smudges on her cheeks. 

Chill winds chapped her skin, 

whipped hair into her eyes. 

The ground under the knees 

of her threadbare jeans 

colder, harder every year. 

At last the soil clung to her 

like a vine, reclaiming her but not 

those perennial springtime blooms. 

(This is the first in a series of poems by Poetess SylvIa Vaughn which The Arachneed will be publishing in the coming days. ) 


Sylvia Riojas Vaughn photo 

Sylvia Riojas Vaughn is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. She has been selected as a Houston Poetry Fest Juried Poet three times. She belongs to the Dallas Poets Community. Her work appears in Red River Review, Triadæ, HOUSEBOAT, Diálogo, Desde Hong Kong: Poets in conversation with Octavio Paz, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems (Dos Gatos Press, 2016), and anthologies and journals in the U.S. and abroad.


Chewing noisily,

an armadillo digs for

bugs in daffodils


Mariachis flee

when hail pelts horns, guitars

on Cinco de Mayo




My sprinklers dampen

coyotes loping along

the cooling sidewalk


*Anole lizard

turns beige to bask

on sunlit mission




*Temperatures plunge

forty degrees in an hour -

Stetson tumbles south


The Midway glistens,

Big Tex is drenched after rain

scatters fairgoers




An invitation

to Taos in the mailbox

with holiday cards


In Amarillo,

lightning flashes,

 thunder sounds

while tongues catch snowflakes




2013 Father's Day Card from Sylvia to her father Erasmo Elias Riojas













Below is the VIA Metropolitan Transit announcement regarding its Poetry on the Move program celebrating National Poetry Month, April 2013.


I have also included my poem that will be on the bus, “The carwash lasts until it rains.”

This is a picture of the poster that will be placed in all the San Antonio Buses.


Also included are the other poems I read at the Twig Bookstore in the Pearl Brewery, San Antonio, TX.


I appreciate the interest and love and support of my family.  


Sylvia Riojas Vaughn



Poetry on VIA buses throughout April 

Posted: 3/25/2013

VIA Metropolitan Transit has announced the winners of its poetry contest. Their poems will be on display inside the agency’s buses and vans throughout National Poetry Month in April. The Classroom On Wheels educational bus will also feature all of the poems and promote literacy when it visits the schools in April.

“Poetry on the Move” was open to anyone over 18 years of age in Central and South Texas. Over 180 entries were received, and the winning poems have been illustrated, printed, and distributed as interior cards on VIA’s buses and vans. The winners of VIA’s 2013 Poetry on the Move contest are listed below:

Robert Allen – “Floating Barrel in a Picture”
Patricia Spears Bigelow – “Hill Country Shower”
Valerie Crosswell – “At The Holocaust Museum”
Cathy Downs – “Chalk on the chalkboard”
Cyra S. Dumitru – “Call of the River”
Martha K. Grant – “Along the Highway, After the Downpour”
Joyce Gullickson – “Another Rescue Attempt”
Tim Jackson – “Midnight deer”
Sylvia Riojas Vaughn – “The carwash lasts until it rains,”
Mobi Warren – “ant rescue”

In addition to the ten poems received in the VIA contest, another ten were accepted from the San Antonio Public Library’s Young Pegasus program. All 20 poems were sent to four area art programs where they were illustrated before being printed on the interior cards. The participating artist programs were the North East School of the Arts, the Henry Ford Academy: Alameda School of Art + Design, SAY Sí, and the Edgewood Fine Arts Academy.



The carwash lasts until it rains,

that kiss until the lie,

a blossom until a windy day.

Yet we stand ageless in photographs,

our thoughts waves crashing in a seashell,

our stories mountains looming out of sight.


The Wall, Reminder of the First Living-Room War


Do amputees dressed

in fatigues see past

their reflections

in the names marching  

across polished stone?

Do they hear something

other than hushed voices

of the crowd?

Father says on one mission

he heard only

mechanical sounds.

Chopper blades.  

Machine gun fire.  

Not like in the movies.

If anyone shouted Charge!

no one heard it.  

I wondered every day

if I would see Father

on a stretcher on TV.  

In tonight’s broadcast

from the VFW,

the retired sergeant’s

voice catches

as he reads the names

of local MIAs, KIAs.

The announcer interrupts.  

Will it rain?  Stay tuned.


Grandfather and the South Texas Mine


                                               Another union organizer,
                        Way over in that union burying ground.

           From Woody Guthrie’s Union Burying Ground

Grandfather escaped Mr. D’s shotgun wielding goons

in the middle of the night.  A knock on the door,

an urgent rush of words came in time to pile his wife,

children, brother and belongings on the truck.

They fled into the winter and uncertainty.

In the mining town, Grandfather tried to unionize,

agitating for better pay and working conditions.

Piercing rescue alarms sounded too often for Grandfather’s taste.

Families were jumpy despite dances,

movies, baseball games against farmers.

The children attended a one-room school,

eager for the daily delivery of milk and sweet rolls.

The men never handed wages to their wives on payday

with the kiss of satisfaction:  Salary, credit at the company store.

Grandfather settled in Laredo, worked for the railroad.

Coal dust’s in my blood, the rumble of trains too.

And too many bosses exploit workers for my taste.


South Padre’s Treasure


Gleaming dolphins

escort our catamaran.

I crave oysters,

a sunset stroll,

your tanned embrace.

Sand in my swimsuit

and in the novel I ignored

streams from my suitcase

miles from the island.

I follow the trail

back to a starlit

lime and tequila kiss.




Sacco da boxe


When he was a boy he believed his name was Bozo the Bop Bag.  It had to be;

 his nose was red and swollen, his eyes so purple they were nearly black, his lip

 blood red.  His torso was blue like Bozo’s only without pompoms.  He couldn’t

 run from pounding fists.  At school, his teachers called him by another name.

  He learned c and i and d and e.  He sketched his favorite superhero on

 worksheets.  The boy fashioned his own cloak to hide vulnerability, and

 became a man.  The cloak wore thin.  Bozo’s nose popped out, and mocked

 him in the rear view mirror.  Big red shoes poked through his boots on the

 elevator.  People laughed.  His cloak disintegrated.  He summoned his last bit

 of superstrength to face Bozo.  






  Fifteen miles northwest of Laredo 

by: S.D. Riojas Vaughn

Father's memories wander a ghost town.
We've come to Dolores on the Rio Grande to view his sister's grave.
Cicadas whine, lizards scurry.
Father's hands, delicate enough for surgery,
uproot brush where she's buried.
He looks up, admonishes,
Never forget where you came from.
We've come to his beginnings,
where my Great-grandfather mined cannel coal,
and Grandfather rallied for better conditions,
becoming the target of a company hit.
We photograph a collapsed mine shaft, slag heap,
crumbling company store.
A green jay sings. I hand Father water,
recall overgrown tombstones on a golf course back home.




Down at the River, General Bravo, Mexico

                                                         — Circa 1960

Tía pounds her son’s beer-soaked, blood-streaked shirt

against flat rocks in the middle of the rushing river.

Her ropy forearms flail up and down; she squints in the sun.

Calloused fingers scrub homemade lye soap into the cotton.

I miss her customary smile; decide to play further upstream,

dance barefoot on slippery outcroppings, skip stones.

Soon she wrings the garment, arises, stretches her back.

She arranges the shirt on a bush to dry; motions for me

to sit next to her on the bank.  We share a juicy orange.

This woman who stands nearly five feet tall is tougher

than any stain – she charges into barroom brawls,

tugs her son away before he ruins his clothes.






All works by Sylvia Riojas Vaughn

published in Red River Review

Cook's Work 
End Of Season 
Cinderella’s Wish Come True 
Home Perm 
My Ferragamos 
Tres Vestidos de las Muertas 
Pickles, Laredo, Texas 
When I took a wrong turn 


Houston Poetry Fest   &  Festival-2011



Eastfield college edu  Festival


woody guthrie Festival    TWO poems HERE

Sylvia Riojas Vaughn

A poem by Ann Howell


for sale contact:  Doc Riojas:   docrio45  [at] @ gmail   DOT com

                                                                Webmaster can contact Sylvia for you:  Email HERE