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Mainstream, VOL LI, No 12, March 9, 2013

Viva Chavez

Sunday 10 March 2013, by Badri Raina


You looked the bully in the eye,

And called his bluff,

Till millions rose around you

To say enough is enough.

You spoke to them of the things

That were all their own;

Till they said, lead us, brother Chavez,

And we will not relent till we are done.

You sat in the middle of the hoi polloi

And made your best decisions there;

You recounted the truth of oppressions,

Till every labouring one was clear

How the eagle had to be stopped

From marauding at will,

And how a million sparrows had to rise

To deny its wanton fill.

More than the oil and the miracles

Of well being you wrought with it,

It was what you taught a continent

About the ravages of a complicit

History that made the trampled

Sheaves of human grain stand,

Forging that undefeatable clarity of mind,

Which alone makes a revolutionary band.

You went far too early, brother Chavez,

Although your work shall leave us basking

In the common tasks of coming days.

Badri Raina

(author of The March 7, 2013 Underside of Things)

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