Tranquilo in Bogota, Colombia

I took a solitary stroll around our neighbourhood in Bogota this afternoon (November 7, 2011). Each verse in this poem (and the photos I took!) is a reflection of the people I met and talked to on my walk.

The final stanza is based on my reactions upon my return.

Tariq Jeeroburkhan

“Tranquilo!” says the young girl with her smile

50 years of violence makes this an order

But where is the violence on the streets of Bogota?

The Colombian people have learned from the mistakes of generations.

“Tranquilo!” says the uniformed security agent on every corner

We need peace to smoke our cigarettes and tell our jokes

And the people understand their presence

A city that feels safe within its security.

“Tranquilo!” says the citizen returning home.

Just wait while I unlock the gate to my house

The fence and barbed-wire which make violence obselete

Here is where we find our peace.

“Tranquilo!” says the homeless man

You must not disturb my resting place

And the dog on the street has been adopted by the neighbourhood

While the homeless man must fend for himself.

“Tranquilo!” says the pedestrian crossing the street

We must look in all directions before crossing

As the person on the corner avoids the danger

By signaling for the bus to pick her up.

“Tranquilo!” say the group of boys with their skateboards

We are coming through together

We have grown up together since the cradle

And we will live our lives together until the end.

“Tranquilo!” says the tourist to the cab driver

my plane will not leave for another hour

And I want to share this feeling for just a little while longer

Long live the people of Bogota!

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1 Comment

Filed under Community Rights, Human Rights, International Politics, Literature, Local Stories, South America

One response to “Tranquilo in Bogota, Colombia

  1. jooneed

    A wonderful poem which encapsulates in simple, flowing verse the life-experience interface of the seer from El Norte and the seen of El Sur on the streets of Bogota, with their variety of faces, their paradoxes, their decades of war and their yewarning for peace and security, if only privately! Tranquilo es maravilloso!

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