Leonel Rugama

My sister is doctoring in Nicaragua this week, including in Managua and Esteli. She reports that everywhere there are paintings of Leonel Rugama, a poet, revolutionary, and soldier of the Sandinista National Liberation Front who was killed in 1970 at the age of 20.

My sister sends along one of his poems:


THE EARTH IS A SATELLITE OF THE MOON

Apollo 2 cost more than Apollo 1
Apollo 1 cost plenty.

Apollo 3 cost more than Apollo 2
Apollo 2 cost more than Apollo 1
Apollo 1 cost plenty.

Apollo 4 cost more than Apollo 3
Apollo 3 cost more than Apollo 2
Apollo 2 cost more than Apollo 1
Apollo 1 cost plenty.

Apollo 8 cost a fortune, but no one minded
because the astronauts were Protestant
they read the Bible from the moon
astounding and delighting every Christian
and on their return Pope Paul VI gave them his blessing.

Apollo 9 cost more than all these put together
including Apollo 1 which cost plenty.

The great-grandparents of the people of Acahualinca were less
hungry than the grandparents.
The great-grandparents died of hunger.
The grandparents of the people of Acahualinca were less
hungry than the parents.
The grandparents died of hunger.
The parents of the people of Acahualinca were less
hungry than the children of the people there.
The parents died of hunger.

The people of Acahualinca are less hungry than the children
of the people there.
The children of the people of Acahualinca, because of hunger,
are not born
they hunger to be born, only to die of hunger.
Blessed are the poor for they shall inherit the moon.

The paintings persist forty years after his death.

When I was a kid I remember hearing “Sandinista” on the nightly news and understanding from the context that they must be the bad guys. Now I get that things are often a lot more complicated than the nightly news allows.

Food for thought.

Don’t worry — I’ll be back to sharing funny cat videos in no time.

Tory

Draws. Sweats. Eats too much sugar-free candy.

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3 Responses

  1. Your Anomalous Fan says:

    That may have come off as derisive. I meant “I got nothin'” as in “I’m speechless.” Just wanted to clear that up.

  2. Your Anomalous Fan says:

    Yeah, I got nothin’.

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