The dream of the political prisoner was to regain freedom. All of us would feel joy when one of us was about to be released from prison, although it far from easy to see a comrade depart. Even less so for those who suspected they would never enjoy that privilege.
It is hard to express what we felt upon reading the official notice informing us of the good news. From that moment on, our only thoughts were about our future beyond the prison walls: the imprisonment chapter of our lives was drawing to a close. We were about to be born again.
It was my turn to experience that heady phase of "mapping out a future while still a prisoner" between September and November 1976. The first time was in the former Valparaiso Jail, and then it was in Santiago, in the Capuchins' Jail. At the time I understood that my road to freedom would be a bit longer than that of the comrades who simply walked out the prison gates. My prison sentence had been commuted to deportation from Chile. Exile. In other words, I would have to board a plane and fly several hours before landing in freedom.
My mind became filled with doubts and unanswerable questions. One day I borrowed a guitar - that loyal friend who was always there for me during imprisonment - and set my thoughts to music. Only my cellmates heard me sing these hopeful verses.
Published on: 23 September 2015
and to walk my entire life along it.
I propose to gather eyes
that can’t stand a world without it,
without a set of ideas,
without objectives or dreams.
A man, a child, a woman,
an elderly being, one about to be born,
all will go along the tracks
of time that always passes
and refuses to be bound to the past.
I propose to sing future
if someone amputates its wings.
I propose gigantic furies
upon challenging its tormentor,
the hope, and light,
the paid killer of history
Hand in hand, skin on skin,
let the people come out, let it come out to see
let the hired hand break his chains.
Let he who longs to take the reins
of his life in the future
raise his voice.
I propose to write future
and create a poem about it.
I propose new music
in perfect harmony with it,
with the ever-changing subject
of love and its outcomes.
And in the era of pain
in the chambers of bitterness,
I propose a sun in the night
I propose a leap into the new
there is a beginning beyond the walls.
Materials from the Cantos Cautivos platform can be shared as long as they are attributed (including the author’s name, our project’s name and URL), non-commercial and without modifications, as per the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).
Any different use of Cantos Cautivos materials requires the authorisation of our team.