Why do this?

My father, José Luis Villamizar Melo, passed away in my home town of Cúcuta, Colombia, in August last year. The law and economics were Dad's profession, but literature, history and academia his passion. He wrote and published several books, articles and book chapters. The thing is that so many people have missed out on his work, particularly on his beautiful poetry, which he wrote in Spanish prior to the world wide web. So I thought, what a better way to keep Dad's legacy alive than to bring his writing beyond his world and share it with mine. That is why I am translating over 250 of my Dad's poems to English and publishing them here, one a day, Monday to Friday during 2011 (Dad, a family man, always believed that you shouldn't work on weekends).

Monday, March 14, 2011

Because of you nobody believes in their Guardian Angel anymore (Por ti ya nadie cree en el angel de la guarda)

I remember Dad mentioning his dear friend Carlos Ramirez París, but I never knew his story.  Here is a sad story from my Dad’s book Urgent poetry (Poesía de urgencia).

Because of you nobody believes in their Guardian Angel anymore (Port ti ya nadie cree en el angel de la guarda)

In memory of
Carlos Ramirez París.

When someone reads this poem in a distant
corner of the Universe, know that Carlos
was a man made like a stone wall, simply.

He was not wise and was not  a marshal, nor more than a
brief drizzle in the Cosmos:  a man
who loved and lived in a foreign city
in which he was an elegant whisperer
and where nobody believes in their Guardian Angel anymore.

From his conversation flowed a persistent
certainty in the firmness of his dreams.
A few days earlier we had shared our paternal pride:
joy shone in his moist eyes
just like it did in mine, among the dazzling lights.

When I shook his hand of noble friend,
his hand that was always in a constant battle,
had a tremor that almost reached clumsiness,
death was already with you that December.

You did not know that the thread that you believed eternal
was running out.

And suddenly
they broke the fine mirrors of your soul,
they ground your guts and drank your blood,
they drained the great lake that you built one day,
they murdered you, Carlos, that is the exact word.

From all corners of the city emerged
colleagues and anonymous tears
and flowers and songs and liturgies
in a huge party which you would have applauded:
Nobody can say this crying is not mine!

Your death is like a tunnel that advances deep in the ground,
because you died on us in impunity and shadows
in the solitude of a covered up crime,
Carlos now bones and worms and dirt
and irreparably the truth in silence!

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