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Wednesday, December 28, 2011


by John Kotula

“The increasing drug and organized-crime violence in Central America has led the Peace Corps to pull out of Honduras…” --The New York Times, December 22, 2011.

Honduras is green
In the same way that
Blood is red,
Snow is white,
The night is dark.
Essentially green.
Without the green
It wouldn’t be Honduras.

Honduras is poor
In the same way that
Babies cry,
Drunks stagger,
Dogs gnaw bones.
Essentially poor.
Without the poverty
It wouldn’t be Honduras

Honduras is joyful
En lo mismo manera que
Kids kick futbols above the tree tops,
Lovers dance close,
A gray haired woman swims in the sea.
Essentially joyful.
Without the joy it wouldn’t be Honduras.

Honduras is violent,
Too violent to wage peace.
It is violent como una muneca bailando
Jerked by red, white, and blue strings.
Como un trabajador with orders
To provide bananas, cocaine, t-shirts, sun tans,
And a high body count for the war on drugs.
This violence is not essential.
It is imported.

I visit Honduras
In the same way that
Los sacerdotes oran el rosario,
Los gallos gritar a la madrugada
Palabras cruzar los labios y forman frases.
My visits are essential.
I make these trips to know who I am.

John Kotula is an artist and poet who lives in Rhode Island. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras from 2005 through 2007.