The Sounds

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The sounds, the sounds

The soundtrack of life

Close your eyes


Hear the sounds?

Things you never noticed and missed

While you’re too busy, living and you might…

Be missing the sounds…

Of your own soundtrack


I hear,

Door slams at 5 am

The waking, the rising of people

I hear the sounds of the sun calling me

The children rushing off to class

And bands practicing for upcoming parades

I hear barachos sleeping, too early for them to make a fuss

I hear little women sweeping,

On streets owned by us

I hear a community sharing,

Selling the fruits of their work2015-07-26 07.55.36

Avocate!  Tomate, tomate!  And fresco!

Frijoles bubbling, in prep for almuerzo

Fire crackling in the fuegon



I hear trucks rumbling, motos careening dangerously fast down the street

Cabellos tap dancing past my window, motorcycles puff smoke and niños screaming, “tauni!”

I hear conversations, so many, taking place at once

Teens giggling, TVs blaring, and commercial jingles I can’t forget

There is the sound of rain

Rain on my tin roof

Or is it the sun?

Causing a chemical reaction to the zinc

Popping noises just like the rain,

Background music to my day

Sloshing of hand washing clothes,

Waterfall sprays of bucket showers

Tools clanging on metal,

By the mechanic next door

Trash burning in a gorge in the road

Birds singing

Mosquitoes buzzing

The wind in my palm trees

Hollow thuds of construction that’s always happening

Taxi horns whirling

Peopling calling “Adios” in the streets

I hear the soulful plea, “buenas” in doorways

And me, getting ready to teach


I hear piropos,

I hear their humor in my shame

I hear the sun denying shade

I hear roosters crowing, though it’s neither dawn nor dusk

I hear horses neighing, pigs snorting

Dogs barking at anything passing by,

Students writing every single word I say,

Scared to miss just one

I hear greetings and wave when a student says, “adios profe!”

I hear squeaking park swings, youth having PDA

I hear affection, away from adults that accept no other way

Eskimo bells and juice sloshing in plastic bags

Balls pinging off the concrete basketball court

The hard clicks when I text on my chiclero2015-04-17 19.45.08

Bikes tires soft thuds against the strange tiled street

Buses exasperated piston sighs when they come to a stop

And it’s “I think I can” momentum creaking up mountains with heaving loads

Heel clicks and flip flops on the payment

The joyful cacophony as school ends

Procession of energy, uniform colors blending in

Slaps of backpacks and “See you!” lift their sound to my ears


Thuds of my bags on the floor,

The sigh of ecstasy when I lay in my hammock

The swaying as my nap takes me, or is that noise just in my head?

The sizzle of food in too much grease

the call sounding throughout my house, “Nae! Va a cenar?”

And my ever resounding response each day, “SI!”

Chairs dragging on the floor, the small sound of give in the hand-sewn bottom of my chair

The TV news, the group of men discussing fútbol at my door2015-09-29 15.44.03

The questions of Ingles, as I check my host brother’s homework

The crinkle of papelografos as I try to make them neat

The cow like sound of my fan, as I can’t take the heat

The ping of my hornita for a late night treat

The music blares in English as my host sister sits right in front of the TV

The dusk of the moon whispering, “buenas noches” to me


I hear small shifting of bugs and maybe mice in the night

And the soft protection of my mosquitera’s plight

I hear bar laughter, carried on the wind

I hear karaoke and songs in broken English

I hear announcement trucks

I hear mothers calling for children and cooing infants

Keys jingling to lock doors

Metal doors whining, no WD50

I hear my clothes on the line, waving in the breeze

Book pages rustling

Yoga mats soft collapse on the floor

I hear my final saludos as I close and bar my door

I hear my sheets rubbing, making way for me

I hear early sleep calling,

I hear Nicaraguan routine


I hear the sounds of life

Do you hear them?


Can you only hear mine?


Close your eyes.

Accept your truth.

Disconnect from your phone

There’s a soundtrack of life, you’re missing….

A soundtrack of your own


Word Glossary:

Barachos – drunk men

Avocate – avocado

Tomate – Tomato

Fresco – soda, or refreshing drink, usually made of fruits

Almuerzo – lunch

Fuegon – a big stove top outside, made of cement and heated with wood started fire

Motos – moto-taxis, smaller and less expensive taxis, made similar to a dirtbike instead of a car taxi

Cabellos – horses

Niños – children

Tauni – cool

“Buenas” – the audio version of a doorbell

Piropos – cat calls

Profe – Professor/ teacher

Chiclero – small, basic, Nicaraguan phone

Adios – goodbye

Va a cenar – Are you going to eat dinner?

Fútbol – soccer

Papelografos – white posters used in teacher classes

Hornita – small oven/ toaster oven

Buenas noches – goodnight

Mosquitera – mosquito net

Saludos – expressions of goodbye


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