The Enormous White Elephant

Translated  by Katrina Hassan It has been appearing on my TV now for a few weeks, but I have been avoiding it. I look for movies somewhere else but it is a documentary about the violence that affected the indigenous communities in Guatemala at the time of the dictatorship. It is easy to change the channel or pretend it is only an image on the TV screen.  More than 200,000 people disappeared, it reads in large type. I don’t want to look at it. Not now, I am watching something else, relaxing, with documentaries about culture, food, anything except the one that…

Continuar leyendo…

The Village Saleswomen

Translated  by Katrina Hassan They always come to my mind when the De Diez flowers start blooming in the warm summer days. The soft breeze, the sun and the dog days of summer bring with them the watering of a dusty yard with a random container. That house and that yard sheltered the innocence of my childhood. The smell of wet earth comes to me through my window here in this faraway land, where I now sow garlic, tomato seeds and mint. I fix the mint that expands elegantly between the vines and the Lantana flowers and the plant pots, in…

Continuar leyendo…

Isabel, Isabel, what bad luck it was to be born in Guatemala

Translated  by Katrina Hassan Did you know that the Guatemalan poet Isabel de los Ángeles Ruano lives in poverty and needs help? Ha! This has been known for decades! Guatemalans love to add fuel to the fire. We love to appear like we are well off. We live off of that and the “what will people say.’’  Our lives are ruled by “what will people say.” This is why we go with the flow. This is why revolutions form on social media. These are only small bites. Today, Guatemala’s greatest poet name is all over of social media. She is not on…

Continuar leyendo…

The World Will Change? Yeah Right

Translated  by Katrina Hassan We see the calamity and shamelessness, the same as we have witnessed many other times. What has this time of pandemic taught us? Nothing. Of all the lessons to learn, we chose not to learn any of them. You say the world will change  after this? Yeah right!  That people will become more humane? Not that either. We are the predator species. We eat each other without squeamishness, without respite, the law of the strongest, meanest, and the biggest scoundrel. It’s just as it always is, everyday. We don’t even flinch to others’ pain and we encourage the disdain…

Continuar leyendo…

Change Must Start From The Root

Translated  by Katrina Hassan The most vulnerable are always the ones that pay the price. This pandemic give us a chance for us to open our eyes and take notice of how many stabs in the back the neoliberal governments of our countries are giving us. Saving the oligarchies has always been the goal, as well as bleeding the state dry. I mean, the money of our people. Nothing is solved by praying, only science plus human resources and material that should be at our disposal for society at this moment. Any leader telling their people to trust in God to…

Continuar leyendo…

A Pandemic of Cynicism

Translated  by Katrina Hassan We don’t want to see injustice of any sort, not because it hurts, but because we do not care even one bit about the suffering of others.  If we come across injustice on the street, we cross the road to avoid it. We go in reverse or jump over it as if it were a mud puddle. We are good avoiders. Historically, we have skipped over and avoided the reconstruction of social fabric. There is not a virus more lethal than cynicism and human kind is the best at it. Viruses come and go. The way information…

Continuar leyendo…

Between Hustle and Bustle and Serenity

Translated  by Katrina Hassan There are days in which I want to write and I can’t. As much as I try, it doesn’t flow, words hide. I light some incense. I smoke my room. I prepare myself some tea. I exercise to stretch my muscles, and take deep slow breaths. Minutes pass and the three lines on the blank page do not progress. That is when I know that today is not a day for writing. The glass is empty. I shouldn’t write when there is hustle and bustle. It does not let me express myself. I need silence. For that…

Continuar leyendo…

My Attempts at Painting

Translated  by Katrina Hassan This morning I sat in front of my canvas and I stared at it. It looked like a blank; huge! I was a late starter to painting. I tell myself this as I try to draw and don’t manage to get it right. I think of a painting one way and it comes out a different way. It’ll be less bright, less delicate. My paintings come out rough, with poor technique. They turn out like something made by someone who does not know the guidelines of art and paint and of course cannot master them. I like…

Continuar leyendo…

Summer Graduations

Translated  by Katrina Hassan The bleachers on the football pitch are full of people. The warm summer sun, is at its best at this part of the day. The weather is perfect. The people assisting are dressed in their best clothes. This is not just any day. It is the day when their kids graduate high school. Many born in the USA and others emigrated as kids but speak English without an accent. The memory of their place of origin is fading away more every day. Along with the idea of university, the grandparent’s house and the legal residence in this…

Continuar leyendo…

The Lighthouse

Translated  by Katrina Hassan Shipwrecked, going from storm to storm, having tried everything to reach the edge and not being able to float on my own, I quit. I thought the waves would take my lifeless body, but suddenly, I don’t know how and why, I have asked myself a thousand times. I still don’t know the answer, but in the darkest of nights, it appeared to me. The most beautiful lighthouse took me in it’s arms and cloaked me with its warmth. Since then it has healed my wounds with its tenderness and guided my way with its resplendent light.…

Continuar leyendo…