(Oda al Segundo Liberator)
Today the sky is the colour of hope
Blue penetrating to the depths of the universe
Did you see it, Hugo?
Did you see it?
You under the sky in your bright red shirt
Life blood meeting hope
Blending to the green of Pachamama
Madre Tierra who is also your mother
You of the mixed bloods of so many peoples
A world of peoples in your being
Indigenous, African, Gallego
Your very self a symbol of unity
Did you know this, Hugo?
Did you know this?
You the singing head of state
The praying head of state
The hero of the poor
You saw the previously faceless
You heard their silenced voices
The Constitution in one hand
And the Bible in the other
You, uniting heaven and earth
In your vision
In your dream that was born
A mere 58 years ago.
So quickly you have gone
From life not to death
But from life to legend
A legend that inspires
In the footprints of Bolívar
But with your own unique steps.
You were reborn
While still living
You, the President on foot
Your seeds you scattered well
Multiplying ideas among the people
Many hands creating your works
Millions and millions of chavistas
At your mother’s knees you learned
The beauty of teaching elders to read
You also wanted to be a painter
To catch the world in the colours of the rainbow
The colours of your banner
Blue your independence from Spain
To match the colour of the sky
Red your courage to dream
Larger than life - and to turn those dreams
Into schools and clinics and homes
Yellow the riches of the land
The riches that are the people
Did you always know this, Hugo?
Did you always know this?
We weep while the red wave embraces you
A tsunami of love for the love you gave
We weep while we turn our pain into words
Words that can guide our actions
“You are more alive than ever”
Says Evo the wise man
From his ancient knowledge
“Those who die for life cannot be called dead”
Says Nicolas, speaking of your death
“You gave your life to give life to your people”
Says Adolfo, the sculptor of human rights.
You built more than schools and clinics
Taught more than just to read
You also built hope
For Venezuela and the continent
Of Maduro you spoke like a poet
When you said “If I’m unable to,
With his firm hand,
With his gaze,
With his heart of a man of the people,
With his gift for people,
With his intelligence
God knows what he does,
If I’m unable to continue
Maduro will know the way.”
Did you know even then, Hugo?
Did you know even then?
We will miss your ready smile
Your all-embracing laughter
The way you crossed your chest
To show your love
We will miss your fiery passion
Your eternal optimism
Your complete surrender
To the Bolivarian dream.
You could recite at will
The words of Bolívar
Of San Martín, of Martí
History was your guide
While you made your own way
And helped create a new history
For your beloved Venezuela.
And just as Violeta Parra sang
“Gracias a la vida”
We want to sing to you, Hugo
To sing the song of you, Hugo
“Gracias a tú vida”
5 March 2013