Homage to Bolivia

El Alto, an indigenous city, blockaded,
Cochabamba, where Che died, aflame –
momentarily the poet falls silent
for words cannot assuage the wounds
of those mowed down in the plaza
nor can verse deliver the ammo
needed by those still resisting.

For the sake of unruffled elegance
the aesthete disdains to level blame
at the reactionaries and their enablers,
while in Ottawa the lure of high office
moves Canada’s Green Party to recognize
racist golpistas as legitimate authority,
a craven act that forfeits my membership.

Tesla will get its lithium for cheap.
With meagre royalties to the people,
big capital will scrape the altiplano
of its metal, making more affordable
a zero-carbon battery-run vehicle,
which our Quechua comrades
can only dream of owning.

During his ‘71 visit to Chile Fidel
presented the doomed president
with a monogrammed automatic,
advising his colleague to take care.
To Victory Everlasting! shouts
the sickened Cuban consul
as he boards the last plane out.

Douglas Smith, formerly a teacher of Anthropology at York University, is a homeopathic physician.and author of several books on alternative medicine. It is claimed (although Dissident Voice has no proof of this!) that Doug and his partner grow the best garlic in Haliburton County. Read other articles by Douglas.