Tag Archives: poverty

Blurry Guate Snapshot

27 Dec

Meet Sandra from Antigua, who sweeps

While she speaks, 29 and widowed

Her husband shot 2 years ago

In his car while delivering electronics

From Mexico to Guatemala

She lives with her 3 children

Forgotten by her  husbands employer

See Polo, a Garifuna musician,

From Livingston, “We are not

Jamaican nor African, know your

History!” he shouts.

“No one sees Garifuna in Livingston

We have no representation,

The Latinos outnumber us.”

Watch Lorenzo an expert on every

Jungle plant and animal

Received an education up to age 10

Lived through the brutal civil war

“Man is savage, only the forests and animals have

Nobility and that is why I protect them.”

Nature: his redemption and solace.

Sit with Ronaldo, a guide in Carmelita,

“The jungle raised me” he says

“But I can’t get a job anymore as a

Jungle guide to El Mirador because I lack

A special ID no longer issued from the

Cooperative.” The cooperative- a racket,

That stole the gum, the chate, and

Now the tourism business from the locals.

Share a beer with Pedro and Carlos

Farmers from a border village town

“We take tomatoes  to Mexico

We cross without papers

we know the routes” they say

“ Once we deliver, we take a plane back”

Drug lords move faster than the Evangelicals.

Then see the two who travel

As ‘world travelers’ or tourists

They wander from Monte Rico to

Rio Dulce, Pakaya to Xela

From Ceiba forests to Tikal

And waken to the pain that has

Shaken a country – a people,

And incomprehensibly

Perceive themselves to

Have understood it all.



4 Nov

Black threaded roofs

Hover over this city’s streets

Rows of stalls suffocate every empty space

Transient vendors or daily squatters appear

As white hair sprouting on an aging man

Recycled yogurt plastic containers

Line the table of this cooks stall

Nopal, beef, and mushrooms tacos

Prepared for a make shift life or lunch

Green and red chile to enliven the

Senses or the suffered soul

Sit under the immense Sunday

Cathedral mass cold shadow

Of horrors long forgotten

Feel the crisp altitude breeze

Full of repressed smog resentment

Watch the Zocalo street vendors

Fearful for their livelihood

Cram goods into huge black plastic

They wrap and run

Police lights flash the horizon

Descend to metro Balderas depths

Of bent back postures,

Breath strained and half shut,

Stuffed metro riders begin a

Punk-rock slam dance in silence

Walk the neighborhood line divide

Between Roma Norte and Doctores

Sit in the Pendulum cafe and hear

The French man boast that he

Lives on the Tamaulipas of Paris.

Scalped skull morbid headlines

Blood, and bodies torn apart

That happens in the North” they say

This is Mexico City”

There is no violence here”

Except a languid one 

Perhaps a more lasting one?

A tale of two cities

12 Feb

Walk the city streets
Of this chaotic and bustling city
See the dust dance, dangle
And fall on a shoemakers glue,
On a welders glasses, a tourists felafel,
And on the lazy mans Bentley that
Lines Zamalek’s street.

See the sign of Allah’s finger print on
The passing mans forehead – bruised
From all the prayers. “Allah hu Akbar!”
Peer upon the wrinkled forehead of the one
Dressed in suit and pink tie,
Weary from broker calls. “Lets leave it a while Allen.”
And then that other one whose head
Bursts from a night out spent on
Marcel’s Black Label.
Black market scotch, or a black market life?
“Whose market is this anyway?”

Markets for donated clothing?
EU bribes the pockets of the rich
Government official, as the rags
Parade themselves from Tahrir to the 6th of October St.
Lacoste to Missoni, Billa to Carefour.
Sold to the hard earned baksheesh
Workers wife.

Walk on 26 July street have
A chai for 2 pounds or for 20.
Go to Beano’s where even locals
Order in English.
Stroll by the river where the
Colonial style boats
Wade along the Nile shore.

Here those who can afford
Sit in the Imperial Lounge
And down beer costing a
Mans weekly wage. They
Watch the poor man pass
In his motor boat full
Of lights and lively music,
As the sound of one word
“Kitsh” spirals through the smoke
Numb to comprehend the
Determined efforts  to
End his day in enjoyment.

A parallel city, a divided city,
Colonial legacy beats down still.
Escape to the domino and shisha.
Dulled from the dust?
Or from the fear of the feat?
Overthrow the pharaoh once and for all!
Isn’t it time for another Nasser?

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