Poetry is a big deal in Nicaragua, whenever we have met up with the other ICS team in Parcila, the Nica or the UK volunteers would read us a poem, which they have composed themselves. This therefore inspired some of the El Bram UK volunteers to dig really deep to find the creative juices within themselves, and write some poetry.
So be prepared to open your mind into the insightful words we have to share of our experiences here, in a less direct more artsy manner. Below are three poems written by Anna, Sam and Beth (me); and be nice, I may have done an A Level in English Language but I am in no way Simon Armitage.
The air is a claxon this morning.
Stunningly clear and loud in its declaration of the new day, breaking the fogginess of my head. To my left, the park is an empty shell without the yells and whooping of the drunken antics from the night before.
To my right, the hill of crops stutters out of a crest of houses; it is so round it looks like half of a new world.
The maize and frijoles planted neatly in rows like miniature countries, caught in orbit round the sprawling blue venta by the bridge.
As I start to run I can feel the rocks striking upwards beneath my feet, surrendering their sharp baldness in the lack of rain to the rising sun.
There is a feathery breeze that whispers encouragingly against me, pressuring my limbs into a steady rhythm.
And upwards, with the avocado and mango trees as they grow determinedly upwards to the now grey disc of a still tepid sun.
Upwards, with the squat, noisy motorbikes or the bus as it chugs busily past towards Estelí, coughing out fumes; an old man doing a young man’s work.
And upwards, till my lungs are bubbling with pain, and my breath screeches short and fast in protest.
Till I can barely gasp ‘buenas’ to the schoolchildren that pass, the women that walk swinging buckets full of water and the man that passes with a pack of pesticides pressed against his back.
Upwards with my feet clinging more and more to the rocks, not wanting to move.
Alongside the cows herded to the field.
And away, from the dogs that bark so threateningly but stop short of attack, on the invisible leash of submission.
Upwards, with the smoke of chimneys that signal the start of breakfast.
And then I stop to turn.
The air still blares its silence in my ears and the sky presses its heavy blue on my head.
Downwards I start towards El Bramadero, mi comunidad, mi casa, mi hogar.
Written by ICS volunteer Anna Klaptocz
You hear slow rumbles in a full sky cascade down the tree topped hill.
Every woman, man and child flees to collect their damp clothes hung on a barbed wire line,
Heat from the sun has now faded into stale grey ether and you feel it chill,
Under the shelter people stand in anticipation listening to the tormenta whine,
Closer and closer it will creep,
Saturating mud paths and drumming on corrugated iron covers,
Waking all that were once asleep,
Pearl drops of life touch all it discovers.
A community alive with sound people look out into dark emptiness watching the rain fall,
Rivers flow where once they had not, smoothing out imprints of life before the present as the elements bind,
An intertwining mess of beauty and sorrow now engulfs El Bramadero providing life for all,
Darkness passes for the sun she returns, you breathe in the rich earthy liquor which intoxicates the mind,
Now all is still.
Written by ICS volunteer Bethan Goodhead
No Hay Falla
I’ve been living in Casa de Janet,
Whilst we’ve been working, to save our planet.
Stoves have been constructed in many a house,
Every evening, we’re visited by a mouse.
Chickens squawk all through the night,
Ceasing to shut up, even at first light.
Every meal we receive mountains of food,
Living with a family, always in a good mood.
Crossing rivers can be muy peligroso,
Live here for one day, and you will know so.
Long horned cows often block your way,
Simply walk by with swagger, and you’ll be okay.
Waterfalls flow through our mountainous village,
Being able to live here, has been an absolute privilege.
Written by ICS volunteer Sam Banting