Sweet neighbor of the green forest
Eternal guest of April in bloom
Archenemy of the brambleberry
Dancer of translucent water
Tree filled with songbirds
You’ve been all over this land
Unearthing pitchers of greda clay
And setting captive birds free
Among the branches.
Worried always about others
When it’s not the nephew
it’s the aunt
When will you think of yourself
Viola the pious.
Your sorrow is an infinite circle
That never begins and never ends
But you outdo everything
When it comes to dancing the cueca
No one escapes your guitar
Even the dead come out to dance
A cueca waltz.
Cueca of the Battle of Maipú
Cueca of the Sinking of the Angamos
Cueca of the Earthquake of Chillán
not wood thrush
Not quail free or captive
three times you
Avian of terrestrial paradise.
All the adjectives are not enough
All the nouns are not enough
To name you.
You do it all
Like someone drinking a glass of wine.
But the bureaucrats don’t love you
And they close the doors to your home
And they hate you to death
Because you don’t dress up like a clown
Because you don’t buy or sell yourself
Because you speak the earth’s language
Because you tell it like it is!
How could they love you
They’re only sad functionaries
Gray like desert stones
Don’t you think?
Violeta of the Andes
Flower of the coastal cordillera
You are a never-ending spring
Of human life.
Your heart opens when it wants
Your will closes when it wants
And when it wants your health sails
You only call them by their names
And all the colors and all the forms
Get up and walk like Lazarus
In body and soul.
No one can complain when you
Sing softly or when you scream
As if they were slitting your throat
What the listener has to do
Is keep a religious silence
Because your song knows where it’s going
Rays are what come from your voice
Going toward the cardinal points
Blazing harvester with black eyes
You’re accused of this and that
I know you and say who you are
O little lamb in wolf’s clothing!
I know you well