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).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Firm ground (Tierra firme)

A lovers’ poem from my Dad to my Mum in 1960, the year in which they got married. Tonight, just because, to my beloved HTH, my firm ground, my rock.  From my Dad’s book Poetry (Poesía).

Firm ground (Tierra firme)

Even if they told me one day – oh hidden time,
that the fine crystals that your love protects
and your life wears
will have to be broken,
I would raise my voice and your clear name
as a flag on the firm ground
of my heart.

And even if they told me one day – oh bitter ash
of resentment –
that the nameless wind will carry your name
and I will end up alone and will continue to be alone,
I would feel more strongly the infinite force
that joins me to your destiny…and the quiet
fertility of your heart.

Because there are no sad fires in the heart
nor whimsical lines in our future.
I ascended to your summits climbing anguishes
and you gave my sorrows the joy
and sweetness of the world.

Because now the tower of my dreams
is not a tower without command
and in the light of my heart
- You master, watch with your clear eyes,
with your pure hands,
over my whole present, my entire future and my past.

Because I have cancelled all the return roads.
And because the future routes have been closed.
My day and my night are in your dwelling.
By the side of your soul I will bury my bones.
You are my road, my guide, my north.

Because now my shadow and your shadow will go together
and they will share the same fate.
Neither the dry summer nor the foggy winter
will be able to derail me nor to lose you.

Only God will be able to remove the eras
that my rough hands and your soft hands form…
That only Death will be able to
separate us.

To Luzmyla

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