The other night, a Facebook friend had this link up on his wall. It’s a poem by Tony Guerrero, one of the Cuban Five, a group of antiterrorist agents jailed in the US as spies. Despite all talk of a War on Terror, it seems that if you try to fight terrorism coming from the US, you get dragged through kangaroo court in Florida and imprisoned. (The CIA doesn’t like people counteracting its terrorist schemes to control Cuba, you see.)
But the Cuban people are fighting for their own freedom, and it doesn’t come from the places that advertise themselves loudest as beacons of liberty. And even in prison, one of them has come out to say as much:
Last night, while most people here were watching TV, I sat down to write a poem in my cell.
These verses were born, which I give you all as a gift, and most especially my brothers, in these days when people customarily give special gifts.
Simple freedom, sustained by dreams,
love of just one face, seen on the Moon.
Simple freedom, without bridles or masters,
free like nothing.
The simple freedom of the nameless summit
where night falls, buried in its lance.
The simple freedom in which man plants
Simple freedom, like the swallow
which strives to fly until it loses its wings.
Simple freedom under the sky and the ruins,
surrounded by bullets.
Simple freedom like the spring
singing to life, defying death.
Simple freedom, fiction of a border
against bad luck.
Simple freedom, birthing and rebirthing
cities, streets, houses, books, songs, struggles.
The simple freedom with which you go knowing
that your weapons are many.
Simple freedom, oh, face of love!
In the skin of the Moon it seems I can see you.
Simple freedom, feeling and honor
that they cannot take away from you.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to preserve the rhythm or the rhyme scheme of Tony’s words. The imagery isn’t easy to sustain in English either. But I hope you get the general idea.