Category Archives: poetry

The Honduran’s Prayer

By: Froylan Turcios

God bless the bountiful land of my birth!

Let the sun and the rain fertilize her arable fields; her industries flourish and all her wealth shine under her magnificent sapphire sky.

My heart and my thoughts in one mind will exalt her name, in a constant effort for her culture.

Number in action in the conquest of her highest values, permanent factor of peace and work, I will join her energies; and at home, in society or in public affairs, in any aspect of my destiny, I always have present this inescapable obligation to contribute to the glory of Honduras.

I will flee from alcohol and gambling, and from anything that could lower my personality, in order to deserve the honor to be included among her best children.

I will respect her eternal symbols and the memory of her heroes, admiring her great men and all those who excel exalting her.

And I will never forget that my first duty will be, at any time, to defend with courage her sovereignty, her territorial integrity, her dignity as an independent nation, and I will rather die a thousand times than to see desecrated her land, her shield broken, and her shiny flag defeated.

God bless the bountiful land of my birth!

Free and civilized, let her power increase in the times and her name shine in the extensive conquests of justice and law.

Translated from the Spanish-language original: Oración del Hondureño.

The House of Justice

By Roberto Sosa

I entered
into the House of Justice
of my country
and found it to be
a temple
of snake charmers.

Within it
one is like expecting
someone who
does not exist.

perfect the day and its blue bite.

Dark judges
speak of purity
with words
that have acquired
the brightness
of a knife. The victims —in contained space—
measure the terror in one fell swoop.

And all is
under that feeling of tenderness that money produces.

See the original Spanish-language poem: La Casa de la Justicia. The music is by Karla Lara.

The essential – Poem in praise of work

By: Alfonso Guillen Zelaya*

The essential thing is not to be a poet, artist, or philosopher. What is essential is for everyone to have the dignity of work, the awareness of their work.

The pride of doing things right, the excitement of being temporarily satisfied with her work, to love it, to admire it, is the healthy reward of the strong, those with robust heart and clean spirit.

Within the sacred numbers of nature, no work well done is worth less, none is worth more. All of us represent forces capable of creating. We are all something necessary and valuable in the running of the world, from the moment we entered to fight the battle of the future.

The one who builds the tower and the one who builds the cabin, the one who sows ideas and the one who sows wheat, the one who weaves the imperial robes and the one who sews the costume of the humble worker, the one who makes the sandal of imponderable silks, the one who makes the rough outsole which in the portion protects the foot of the laborer, are elements of progress, improvement factors, fruitful and honorable expressions of work.

In justice there can be no labor aristocracies. Within the labor action we are all leveled by that regulatory force of life that distributes gifts and promotes activities. Only the evil organization of the world stagnates and causes temporary failure of human effort.

The one who sows the grain that sustains our body is as good as the one who sows the seed that nourishes our spirit. Both are planters, and the work of both has in vivito something trascendental, noble and humane: to dilate and enhance life.

Carving a statue, polishing a gem, pinching a rhythm, animating a canvas, are admirable things. Having a child and then to raise him and love him, teaching him to strip the heart and to live in tune with the harmony of the world, is also something magnificent and eternal. It has all eternity humans are able to conquer, whatever their ability.

Nobody has the right to be ashamed of her work, no one to repudiate his labor, if he has put in it diligent affection and creative enthusiasm.

No one should envy anyone, because no one can give him the gift of others. All it takes is to struggle for the world conditions to be conducive for our neighbors and for ourselves in order to make flower and bear fruit all that is in them and in us.

Envy is the worm of the rotten wood, never of the lush trees. Let everyone widen and raise their own, defending and fighting against prevailing injustice. Satisfaction and victory are in the battle.

The sad, the bad, the criminal one, is the lean of the soul, the parasite, the one unable to admire and to love, the immodest one, the fool, the one who has never done nothing and denies everything, whom stubborn and stupid closes life’s ways; but he who works, who earns his bread and feeds with effort his joy and that of his family, the noble, the good one, for that kind of man sooner or later the future will say its word of justice, it does not matter if he cuts mountains or chisel statues.

We have no right to feel dejected by what we are. To surrender is to perish, it is to let evil drag us down to contempt, misery and death. We need to live on a war footing, without fainting or cowardice. That is our duty and that is the greater glory of human beings.

Let us not curse, let us not disdain anyone. This is not the mission of our species, but let us not neither have the weakness of considering ourselves powerless.

Our humility should not be conformity, denial, or surrender, but greatness of our smallness, which has the courage to feel useful and large compared to the magnitude of the universe. That is the spiritual summit of human beings.

*Alfonso Guillén Zelaya is an Honduran author born in 1887. See original poem in Spanish: Lo Esencial