Sunday, August 22, 2010

Back from El Salvador

The delegation to El Salvador has returned. We are filled with inspiration and more determination than ever to help. We met with the brave anti-mining activist in Cabanas and several environmentalist and social activists working to make their country a better place. Here are a few pictures and words to describe our trip. More to come later.

The Mud of San Isidro
(Dedicated to Marcelo Rivera)

since he was young, the dogs were
so skinny and weak that seldom did
they bark, the water so polluted that
it was substituted for coca cola; the
children so malnourished and forgotten
and abused and exploited and deaden
that the pastime was sleeping, escaping
their country through dreams (of
disneyland and mcdonalds)

they used to use a one-story building
there in san isidro during the civil war
to store cadavers and pieces of cadavers
and after the peace accords, he saw
that it was no longer in use so he asked to
use it

he and his brother cleaned the building
swept, mopped and converted it into a
community center for the youth – so that
the children wouldn’t be so forgotten
and deaden and asleep

then came the free trade agreement
and the canadian pacific rim mining
company to steal the gold and silver
from the mountains but he knew that
the water was already poisoned and the
dogs already silent and skinny, the
children barely having awaken to life
he knew that cyanide was used for mining
that the water would be further poisoned
the workers would get paid $3 per day (as
opposed to the average canadian miner’s
salary of $30 per hour), the children further
deaden, the dogs would be converted
into walking, silent skeletons

so it goes as is the continuing violent
history of el salvador, for his protest
he was murdered, forever silenced by
the torturing hands of tortuous empires
and their serpentine, malicious and
transnational arms, but as his flesh is
returned to the earth, having been
borrowed, as the mud of san isidro swells
up to embrace him, the earth rumbles
with injustice, as the ants and worms
work away at his borrowed flesh, they
crawl away more inspired and fiery
with stomachs filled with rage and fire
and love and hope that knows no
beginning or end or flesh and may these
ants and worms serve to carry our his
reincarnated struggle and may the earth
shake with reclaimed determination
and vengeance.

Taking Notes

the smoke leaves their cigarettes
in thick, grey swirls, encircling the gyrating
sweating, young bodies and minds of
San Salvador, as entire communities are
left without political representation
the poor left to fend for themselves
as the old keel over from dehydration
and hunger, as skinny and hungry dogs
circle these bodies like vultures, as relatives
are murdered, as the repression from the
police rises and falls like a wave, they dance
to forget; they embrace and kiss and make
love passionately to remember that certain
things, every day growing fewer and fewer
still, are permanent and untouchable and

and as a girl asks me to write a poem
describing this sentiment, the contradictions
of realities, the dichotomy, as she drinks her
Suprema and smokes her Delta with passion
but the poem has already been written
all I did was take notes.

The Poem Eight Lines Long

the act of poetry
is criminal
in nature
for when you capture
a moment, you steal
it away, corrupting
the memory with
inadequate interpretation

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