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).

Friday, July 8, 2011


From my Dad’s book Elementary motherland (Patria elemental).


It was placed north of the beautiful hill
so it could be seen from anywhere in the city.

The tempestuous flashes of the Catatumbo Lightning
tend to crown it and fog adorns it
in the rigour of summer.

It has guts of coal and oil foundations,
skin of rock and grey greens,
crossed by paths that the flocks of sheep
know very well.

The afternoon always takes place there.
And before the first shadow arrives,
the pyramid of its summit shines
with the twilight red of the deer’s sun.

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