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, May 2, 2011

The city in the forest (La ciudad en el bosque)

First day back at RMIT University.  So exhausted, curious, excited and sad for what I’ve left behind, all at the same time.  Lovely new colleagues and I enjoyed my little walk through Melbourne Central and Myer after work.  Oh, and the dumplings for dinner with ‘T’ in China Town were a nice end to the day.  From my Dad’s book Elementary motherland (Patria elemental). 

The city in the forest (La ciudad en el bosque)

If one day the city died again and
its site was the only thing left, perhaps
it would not be needed, to reconstruct it, the loving
theodolite of Engineer Andrade.

Rain and the days would be enough.

I would suggest a forest of grids,
the green of the ground seeds
in the disciplined geometry of the original vegetation,
surviving between the remains of the
cement and the crumbled stone walls.

A miracle.  To begin the reconstruction
it would only be necessary to follow
the symmetrical strings reproduced in
vegetal green by Nature with the help
of time, rain and the sun.

Life would re-start under the
freshness of the ‘Cují’ and almond trees.

Note: ‘Cují’ or Prosopis juliflora (Spanish: bayahonda blanca) is a small tree native to Mexico, South America and the Caribbean).

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