The cries echo across the street, excited and loud –
‘Venezuela! Venezuela!’ they cry, so proud
Crowding into the London street,
Speaking in their tropic tongue,
Beaming at each person they meet,
They come to speak their mind –
In the morning, what will they find?
The man they ask for or the man of the other?
Who knows, but for now in brilliant colour,
They smile at each other and embrace as brothers.
Yellow over blue above resplendent red, as stars line that central sea
Venezuela fills the London streets, their joy a wonder to see.
Today’s poem is about events that occurred yesterday. As many of you will doubtless know, the Venezuelan election was yesterday, and I happened to walk past the consulate in London. There was a real carnival atmosphere, and the assembled Venezuelans seemed to be very happy to be voting, chanting and singing. It surprised me, with my rather different experience of British elections, where there seems to be rather less dynamism on election days. Perhaps this is because many Venezuelans in London are there for political reasons, but it was certainly pleasant – perhaps because smiling people in London are fairly rare!
I should emphasise that I do not seek to make a political point with this poem – I do not know enough about Venezuelan politics to do so – but merely to record my own experience outside the consulate yesterday. Since I wrote the poem, the result has been announced – Chavez has won another term in office. For more information, I direct you, as ever, to the BBC.
I hope that you enjoyed the poem,
The Hapless Neo-Romantic