The Frog Fountain Poems at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

© Carina Zatarain

Jai Dit
By Carina Zatarain

James brought the Harvest,
an acre of grain per hour, in fact,
inherited by his namesake–
Deering Harvester Company.

Because of this gift, his fortune,
he thought himself like Dionysus,
the statue deified at his threshold.

An American mythic,
his seasonal visits awakened
the estate of Vizcaya, always with
an artifact to add to his makeshift legend.

He brought lavish gifts from Ancient Rome,
Muslim embroidered carpets to wipe his feet,
church paintings to carve into,
the arm of Mary, the virgin, severed to display an organ.

He was the “god of things.”
He ruled but only one land–
a storage house with appropriated relics
accumulating like an Egyptian pharaoh’s death chamber,

for mummified furniture, wrapped like gauze,
their skeletal structure seen through thin layers and sunlight,
to preserve his illustrious reputation.

But, the god of the harvest, of epiphany and wine, was already taken.
Dionysus reminded him that.
This “god” was only man,
but, as the gods did, he dismembered his body,
threw these adopted pieces of himself into his Winter home,
made his mark, fashioned myth piece by piece,
until there was nothing left of the man,
but his objects and a phrase echoing in each room:

“I have spoken.”

© Stephanie Villavicencio

By Stephanie Villavicencio

Shine a white light through a prism
And find it is made of so many more colors.
Sparkling and dancing
Across the ceiling and floor.

Our bodies are kinda the same
Showing us time and space
Always moving
Always changing
Sometimes we find the role we play
Is so much bigger than we imagined

That we are history in its entirety
Condensed onto a dust mote
Dancing in the rainbow
Cast by all those who came before

© Dennys Block

By Dennys Block

Stuck inside the maze of life
And lost in the maze Deering called “Vizcaya”
Where working souls are traded for
a meal and a home
So caught up with the distractions around you
You fail to realize the price you pay
For the little freedom we say we have

In this boasted land of freedom
I know the plan of the hidden hand
Keep us occupied in order to keep us tame
So you can continue to work and pay interest
For this rest of you life
All until, the rich white folk says,
My job here is done

I value wealth by your worth as a person
Not by your astonishing estates
And make no mistake
From your birth you’re programmed this way
And until this day, I stand against.

© Lennie Adaza

Art Imitates Life
By Lennie Adaza

Relics of the past that we preserve and cherish
A reminder of what came before
Our history told by sculptures and paintings
Our memories guarded by paper and stone

We look in awe at these works of art
Celebrating them as pinnacles of our existence
For what better feeling is there than to leave a legacy —
Something to show for generations on end

But as time will have it, the beauty won’t last
No matter how well we fabricate our stories,
The cracks will show and the luster won’t last

Yet there’s beauty in the impermanence of paper and stone
It mirrors our fleeting lives
And we turn to dust, once and for all.

© Leila Adaza

happy day
By Leila Adaza

May winds fill the air and
flowers bloom into bright, colorful discs
while the morning sun lays its head on the grass.

Youth is scraped knees and carefree giggles,
when one can prance, dance, frolic about, and
romp across the clear blue sky as if
two angels laughing into the sun.

As the day goes on,
the sun sets, the flowers rest, and
up above, the meadow becomes symmetrical,
giving an illusion of two parts,
but ultimately whole.

© Joseph Abdin

By Joseph Abdin

Ponce de León look no further,
Through all the water traveled
Here, before me,
A fountain gushes the purest  

The fresh green scent of the lawn,
Being carried around by a gentle breeze,
That cools my skin from the heating sun

The grassy plain lay beyond me,
Extending beyond the naked eyed
And suddenly halted by a breath-taking hacienda  

I found myself lost in such tranquility,
Believing that time could stand still,
And death never be discovered

Life flew through me
Entering from the doors of the soul
And trapped for an eternity

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 12.48.27 PM.png
© Nathanael Cameron

Old Folks Home
By Nathanael Cameron

I heard it said at a train station.
Heard it said in a car.
Heard it slip off the lips of an old man in a coffee shop.
Off a stonewall by a telephone pole.
Near a dusty house.
Under a banyan tree.
On a Tuesday.
In Miami.

“100 years from now.
All new people.”

lau .JPG
© Laura Carvajal

The Immigrant in Vizcaya
By Laura Carvajal

Laughter echoes through the halls
The sound of forks and plates colliding,
Cues guests to move to the dance floor.
Rhythms and beats coming together as one
A woman dressed in white
Glasses clinking by the bay
Celebratory applause disperses among the crowd
Flashes of light coming from a camera

“Can I get a rum and coke please?”
She’s taken back by the request
It takes her a second to remember where she is
She mixes the drink
And zones out again, dreaming
Of what it’s like to be on the other side of the bar

Running in and out of the gardens
Living lavishly like the man who built the house
Having a say in every detail from the ceilings
To the size of the woman’s breasts on the barge
From the fake marble to the stained glass

Instead, she’s there to work
Following the path of those that came before her
Helping, building, aiding, serving
To provide for her family
So that someday she’d have riches of her own.
Unaware of her rose-colored glasses
Unable to see the American Dream being crushed by the American legacy
Hidden within the walls of Vizcaya

The Vizcaya Poems by Poetry Art Community 2017-2018
The Frog Fountain Poems
The Secret Garden Poems
The Center Island Poems
The Grotto Poems
The West Pool Poems


John William Bailly & Stephanie Sepúlveda 10 November 2017