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HUNDREDS OF WORDS... MARCH 2014


The squirrel. Sneaks along electrical slack ropes. Bridges for funambulists. Lie under trees. Look up. Feel moved. By their movement.

Climb tree. Read Abbey. Witness two tinted windows. Roll up.

Food so clean. Could have not wiped bum.

Spy the natural clumsiness. Afforded to those. Who believe they´re alone.

Neighbour chitchats. Creek is clean. There are fish. Again.

Armed bodyguards. Prepare themselves. Listening to soft Latin pop. Like we´re not there.

Don´t drive in cities. Following the fingers. Pointed by strangers. From the sidewalk. Car returns. To tough traffic light. With seven dollar tip. The sun stopped burning. And shone.


Nighttime tremble. Almost forgotten. Like a dream. When travelling. Angels appear. Then disappear. Like dreams. Husky corn cobs. On street dog collar. Kid boogyboarding. On upside-down esky lid. Kid kicking ball into sea. The tide kicking it back.

Stray dogs. Share similarities. Probably brothers. Begging. Without begging. Mama Lola cooks. Candelario rents. They´re not related. Rest in her rocking chair. His hammock. Relating them. By rest. Three drunks. One calls himself Chuck Norris. Want liquor. Settle for paw paw.

Backseat spectators. To highways. Grazing animals. Semi-trailer backends. And wrong directions. Little kids. Making coin. On borders. In little kid ways.


We stopped. Along the highway. At the Hidden Ranch. And ate. At last. Reading interrupted. By pig killing chicken. Farmer throws dead chicken. From sty to pen. Hens and ducks. Pecking what´s left. Meet Raymond. Or Ragor. (Gorra spelt round the wrong way). He slaughters pigs. Three knives. One axe. And sugar cane rum.

First knife for shaving. Second for slicing. Third for emergencies. The blunt end of axe. For the fatal blow. The rum for courage. He splashed some on fire. Flames jumped.

I asked about his theatrical tattoos. He said they´re gang related. And shared chestnuts with me.


Meet Raymond. Or Ragor. (GorRa spelt round the wrong way). Tattoos splashed across arms and chest. Scars splashed across back. He was a “sailor”. Pronounced: Sy Lords. An El Salvadorian “clika”. Fled country. Cops were killing gang members. Back home now. In Nicaragua. Slaughtering pigs. For his mum´s butcher shop. Carries three knives. One axe. And sugar cane rum. First knife for shaving. Second for slicing. Third for emergencies.

The blunt end of axe. For the fatal blow. The rum for courage. He splashed some on the fire. Flames jumped. What did he do in the gang? Jobs. Odd jobs.


A dog in a wheelbarrow. Dusty fruits. Strict market buffet. No negotiating. Wash my own plate. For fun. Eavesdrop on tour guides. To understand murals. Never would have guessed. It was a horse. Statue in park. Charlie Chaplin without moustache. TrafďŹ c jam. Back of truck. Becomes burden. Turn off at cemetery. Dark. Bumpy.

Dirt. Roads. Bandana masked kids. Arrive unscathed. But shaken. Thousands. Of plastic bottles. Built this house. Bought from kids. At a better than average rate. Cell phones. Wedged in hat. Or gripped ďŹ sts. Sound blares. Mainly hiphop. Or reggaeton. No one ever seems to call. Or answer.


Open air concerts. Boxing on big screens. Empty variety shows. Street kids. Hidden under giant costumes. Spin around. Bang drums. Yet seem. Unseen. Tables. Laid with. Expensive food. And drinks. Man passes. His only clothes. A pair of shorts. Splattered with corn kernels.

Waiters chase children. Playing tag. Tipping over chairs. Set by the restaurant. In the public space. Lady shouts at boys. They don´t hear. Listen. Nor see. They´re playing. Nobody says anything. To the boy sniffing glue. Man reaches into bin. Pulls out ice cream wrapper. And licks the melted milk. Tourism takes us forward. Leaving poverty behind?


Standing fan. Rotating its head. Cool. Rhythmic. Bass guitarist. The sun goes down. Rocking chairs sprout up. The sidewalk is lined. With neighbours. Some sweep. Some scoop grey water in buckets. Doing their bit. To keep tidy. Are foreign missionaries. Ever robbed in the hood? Upon giant palm tree hut. A tiny bird sits. On its upsidedown nest.

Purple punky chicken. One-eyed pirate cat. Dog named Rabbit. Mango lady got no change. Pay me next time you pass. She suggests. I gave my best. Then gave up. Ran out of ideas. And deep breaths. And walked out. After apologizing. Sorry.


Women in doorways. Brooms. Mops. Or buckets. Washing away yesterdays.

Watch earth from treetops. Ants adventure across arms.

Afternoon swallows. Blue sky shooting stars.

Horses stomp hooves in lake. Roll in sand. Before returning to shade.

Walls not for stopping. Used for resting. Waiting. And hopping.

The lake floor is ribbed. Drag body over it. Like a snail.

Sit before glowing embers. Watch stories burn away. Blue buraccas. Eccentric head feathers. Respond to their songs.

The hammocks are made. By homeless children. Hammockless children. Pet squirrels. Don´t eat mandarins. The crane. Faces the horizon. Reads the tide. Eats the fish.


Sun picks at skin. Street and sand. Simmer soles. Superhero shadows. Shelter and save us. Reluctant pig. Never got wet. Hooves rooted deep. Swat down jocotes. Wasp stings. Under my wings. Tamarindo. Sweet chewy candy. Encased in dry fragile pod. Hanging furniture. Makes the world go round.

Follow intuition. Meet Filiadora. Tomatoe farmer. On her way. To water. Her daughter. Spots a snake. A mica. There is a moment. Of surprise. Of fright. Of silence. Of awe. Swing some vine time. Squeeze through root dive.

Cicadas transmit. Monkey´s howl. Bamboos croak. The wind impersonates. A waterfall. Be mud. In mud.


Sink into lake. Bubbles rise. Frog stroke across surface. It never got deep. Nature is a carpenter. Staircases up trees. Handrail roots. Rock steps. Fallen trunk bridges. Spot a mango. Climb tree. Wrong tree. Not a mango. Shake down a fruit. Slice it open. Smells like almond liquor. Spit it out. Bitter.

Farmer fixing fence. Points us home. We were metres away. In our minds we were lost. Guided by footprints. Pole holes. And hunches. Other people’s memories. Too hot. For sheets or pyjamas. Use them as pillows. For naked dreaming. We wait until final moment. To tell lifetime stories.


Ramon the gardener. Picked down the mango. I could never see. A delicious farewell. Fifty cents short. For Nicaraguan exit tax. Shouldn´t have bought those mandarins. At the bus stop. Will someone lend me fifty cents. I announce to the queues. A man offers. And I gift him my pen. Adios pen. Adios Nicaragua. Costa Rica. It´s either free. Or expensive. Nothing is cheap.

Meet waiting strangers. That know people I know. Bus drivers still angry. With bulky backpacks. Feel at home. In friend´s home. Sleep in a cradle. In the feotal position. Mosquitoes hover like helicopters. Surveying sleepy heads.


In five minute farewells. Too many words. Amount to nothing. See my Costa Rican friend. In his house in Costa Rica. But he´s in Australia. On skype. Go with the flow. And plans dissolve. Windy park. Watch weddings. And a clown. Kids play with the clown. Kids laugh with the clown. Kids kick and punch the clown. And leave.

Play for fruits and vegetables. In car park market. Drunks dance. Over squashed tomatoes. And discarded peels. Flirty old lady. Lucky charm bracelet. Hasta luego loveyoubaby. Juices. Salads. Everyday. Smokey ideas. Arise. Transform. Vanish. Excited dog tails. Whip away delicate souvenirs.


See bag lady. Her broomstick. With plastic bag attached. She sees me. Puts down her bags. Waves. Smiles. And continues on. I smiled all over.

Jesus Ocampo. Waited for the bus. Palm tree hat. Tradesman clothes. Fingers stained with paint. But not a painter. Does it all. Builder. Plumber. Carpenter. Solders. Slips me a twenty dollar note. No reason. It´s all he had. We parted in the street. In his best English. He called out. God. Bless. You.

Eat the fruits. Of our fun. Old man. Dressed in a suit. Asleep on the pavement. Surrounded by baby toys. Tears. Appear.


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