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The drums of Monimbó

Roy Brown Ramírez
Language: English



The drums of Monimbó (1)
beckoning as they have done for
one hundred and fifty years.
The drums of Monimbó,
you can hear them down the street
round the corner,
beating hearts gathering.

Monimbó is a town in a city of clay,
and bricks and stones,
textiles and hands, hammocks, sounds
of nails and wood, barking dogs and donkeys.

A child is weeping
as the moon creeps
from under the hill.
It was early evening as each
drummer took his place!

The drums of Monimbó,
heritage seeking its way,
a sense of permanence in change,
Alvarado came and conquered (2)
and we worked
trimming sheep, sewing cloths,
adding form to clay
in God’s way.

From Barcelona men came
in the viceroy’s name.
Commercial wizards also came
to take accounts in the Pope’s name.
Walker came in Morgan’s trust, (3)
dust and smoke cutting across,
the railroad bursting across
in God’s name.

Rafaela Padilla was a nurse age nineteen; (4)
she took care of the wounded,
a gazelle dashing
through the flashing light.
Older sister to ten, father dead,
her mother cooked for don Jome.
She was in love, she was a friend,
she wore beads, her hair was long,
she was a genius.

They robbed her, they killed her,
they raped her, devoured her flesh.
Rafaela Padilla de Masaya, Nicaragua.
The day is for working
but the night is for the brave.
Ah, come, chico maña,
the guards are running towards Coyotepe. (5)

The shields are cracking,
words become swords like hurricanes thrashing,
helicopters roaming the skies,
tanks rolling, walls collapsing,
the rumble, the rubble, the crack,
the cry of hunger, rain like thunder,
and the moon shines red.
The moon shines red,
and the moon shines red,
look at the lake
and the moon shines red.


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