Precious Mahogany

06-23 Watson
Brigitte Zacarías Watson
b. 1961


I tried to defend you,
I thought there might be
Someone else who loved you
As I love you.

Here I am, beneath you
Caressing your precious timber,
Protecting you with my hands
From those who claim to love you.

They see you bleed and they laugh as they stuff their pockets

With dollars, from your suffering.


Translation by Jessica Powell

Geometry of the Woman

03-28-22 Corriols
Marianela Corriols
b. 1965


I am a woman
Round as the universe
A pyramid that ignores its secrets
Triangular in some parts
with perfect and calculable hypotenuses
on any one of its sides.

I am a woman
Square and stubborn
when it’s about you
Pentagonal when I plan
the most secret of my weapons

I am a woman
the shortest distance
between your all and my nothing

I am a woman
perhaps of your references


Translation by Nicolás Suescún

Far Away

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 155th birthday.

01-18 Dario
Rubén Darío
1867 – 1916


Ox that I saw in my childhood, as you steamed
in the burning gold on the Nicaraguan sun,
there on the rich plantation filled with tropical
harmonies; woodland dove, of the woods that sang
with the sound of the wind, of axes, of birds and wild bulls:
I salute you both, because you are both my life.

You, heavy ox, evoke the gentle dawn
that signaled it was time to milk the cow,
when my existence was all white and rose;
and you, sweet mountain dove, cooing and calling,
you signify all that my own springtime, now
so far away, possessed of the Divine Springtime.


Translation by Lysander Kemp

Tremol Hotel

10-07 Pasos
Joaquín Pasos
1914 – 1947


Waxen whores and young Anabaptists
cross paths beneath this window in the Tremol Hotel.
I sleep here.
I eat in this gold and hibiscus dining room.
Every night I dance with Zulita.
Every morning the man at the next table wishes me good day.
This is in the Tremol Hotel, beneath whose windows
the paths cross
of waxen whores and young Anabaptists.

But I have a soul as tender as marshmallows,
and my eyes flash on and off like the intermittent neon signs.
That’s why I love this hotel, this little rest, a locket of serenity.

Across the street, a sad sidewalk and a public clock drawn my eye each year,
and thereupon I invent a tenderness old and ripe.
In the Tremol Hotel, no one know me yet,
in spite of my familiarity with its doors and its swallows.
No one, maybe not even aviators,
can treasure as I do
these post-card memories.


Translation by Yolanda Blanco and Chris Brandt

Outside Times Ten and One Within

09-23 Castellon
Blanca Castellón
b. 1958



is desert
keen to be river

there’s laughter I don’t listen to

folk walk around
whose hearing is blind

outside no hugs are given
there’s haste and abysses

bridges have gone missing


there are no dogs in the street
no tiny red turtles

not one lizard
basking in rooftop sun


is the moon whose breast
gapes with wounds

a plague of poets
fouls the silence

the tree says goodbye to its roots
and no one feels sad

art like crime
leaves its trail of clues


there’s dirty linen
shamelessly displayed

trash is deep
outside it’s sickening

deep is the past
deep the future

there’s dried-up vomit
in the volcano’s crater

field on field
of lamentation

there’s Washington


it’s dangerous
to break the spell

there are black verses
forever on everyone’s lips

outside I panic
the sweet names
are exhausted


there’s no cosy bed
no sheet without stains

no eye pure in its seeing
no easy distances

no mother
no father

outside is a landscape
of forgotten letters


a child
bursts waiting into tears

there are ulcers in the shadows

traffic in caprice
and other narcotics

books no one will read
outside is absence

Outside there’s reliable evidence
of angels who rain down coffee

there are tricksters
old photographs

clever flowers
that fade on cue

outside dreams hurt
and drums rumble with evil

cracks in the earth
are spreading


the poor come back
to die in traps

there’s hunger and a
closed horizon

outside is long


there’s dust

and a welter of bodies
in a common sky


another outside
is under construction.


joy is here within
deep within

and water gushes

within is Nicaragua.


Translation by Roger Hickin

Celebration of the Body

08-13 Zamora
Daisy Zamora
b. 1950


I love this body of mine that has lived life,
its hip flask outline, its softness of water,
the spurting of hair that crowns my cranium,
the crystal glass of a face, its delicate base
that ascends faultless from shoulders and collarbone.

I love my back, gullible to turned-off stars,
my revealed hills, fountains of the chest
that provide the first sustenance of the species.
Coming out of the ribs, mobile waist
overflowing and warm vessel of my stomach.

I love the moon curve of my hips,
moulded by alternate pregnancies,
the vast roundness of the wave of my gluteals,
and my legs and feet, foundations and support of the temple.

I love the handful of dark petals, the hidden fleece
that stores the dawning mystery of paradise,
the humid cavity where blood flows
and living water shoots out.

This hurting body of mine that gets sick,
that festers, that coughs, that perspires,
secretes moods, feces, saliva,
and that gets tired, exhausted, and withers.

Living body, link that assures
the infinite chain of successive bodies.
I love this body made of the purest mud:
seed, root, sap, flower, and fruit.


Translation by Tamara Pearson

Love Poem

June Beer
1935 – 1986


Oscar, yuh surprise me
assin far a love poem.

Ah sing a song a love fa meh contry
small contry, big lite
hope fa de po’, big headache fa de rich.
Mo’ po’ dan rich in de worl
mo’ peeple love fa meh contry

Fa meh contry name Nicaragua
Fa meh peeple ah love dem all
Black, Miskito, sumu, Rama, Mesitizo,
So yuh see fa me, love poem complete
‘Cause ah love you too.
Dat no mek me erase de moon
An de star fran de firmament.

Only somehow wen ah remenba
how yuh bussing yo ass
to defend dis sunrise, an keep back
de night fran fallin,
ah know dat tomara we will have time
fa walk unda de moon an stars.
Dignify an free, sovereign
Children a Sandino.


Gioconda Belli
b. 1948


Kisses don’t wither
like the flowers of the malinche tree,
hard shells of seeds don’t grow over my arms;
I’m always flowering
with this internal rain,
like the green patios in May
and I laugh because I love the wind and the clouds
and the singing birds that pass overhead,
even though I’m entangled with memories,
covered with ivy like old walls,
I go on believing in the secret whisperings,
the strength of wild horses,
the winged message of gulls.

I believe in the countless roots of my song.


Translation by Steven F. White