PAC Students at Vizcaya 2018

The Vizcaya Poems by the FIU Honors students of Poetry Art Community in 2018

© Emily Barager (CC by 4.0)

James Deering’s Secret Spot
By Emily Barager

The Miami masquerade of Italian peasants,
Among the rooms with imported decorations
A collection of inspirations:
Rococo, Parisian, Venetian,
The guests basking in elegance and eating Marie Antoinette’s cake.

A celestial shadow enters through the puff of cigar smoke
Whizzing past the savory smells of liquor
Up comes J.D. with a soft whisper,
Seduction and mystery leaving his lips with directions
Through the wondering trek in the forbidden garden.

Tiptoeing to the throne for two,
The secluded den in the oolite grotto
Below the stars and watery crevices of the house sea rock
Disappearing into the abyss of secrecy and ancient treasures
Succumbing to Vizcaya’s pleasures.

© Katerina Cutie (CC by 4.0)

Beyond Vizcaya
By Katerina Cutie

Standing in this room
Religious works surround me
Darkness construed on each oil canvas
Furniture older than I can fathom
Flaunting, teasing, parading
Of Deering’s financial dominance
I do love a good show.

Standing in this courtyard
Once open and exposed
Wondering who was high enough
To sit in these chairs
And experience this light
Now closed and entrapping
By a ceiling of windows above

Sitting on these steps
Admiring the water
In awe of the standstill woman
You deemed too oversized
But to me she looks perfect
The sun reflecting off her curvatures
Was it your ego that was oversized?

Sitting on this bench
Thinking of lovers in the night
Passion versus Reason
Which will win the race?
With a whole lifetime to be logical
And only few opportunities of such intensity
I would take passion

Exploring your garden
Not realizing what it must have taken
To maintain these scenic grounds
Crafted by Bahamian hands
Probably overworked and underpaid
Relating this situation to our country
Has much really changed?

Exploring the Banyans
With branches like serpents
Hanging with fruits unknown
I should feel free to be on the outside
Yet their length, a pleasant decoy
Deception of liberty at its finest
Beyond Vizcaya, what can I expect?

Traveling Through Vizcaya
By Melissa Garcia

I travel through time

Dim lights, and lines of symmetry.
Parallel shapes encircling the room.

I travel through time

No more lines, but a chestnut desk
and a family picture. Unknown faces
of joyful children.

I travel through time

Marie Antoinette
fills the room. Fancy lamps and adorned coaches.
Custom wallpapers and a European roof.

I travel through time

Centuries all in one room.
Carpets, lions, and a sliced painting.
An ancient fireplace diverse in its construction.

I travel through time

Instruments filled the room.
Flowers surrounding lights mounted by ropes.
So high up, maybe I’ll take it home?

I travel through time

White kitchen, state of the art fridge and quiet floors.
Dumbwaiter by the wall.
How many people did it serve?

I travel through time

Salty air reached my lips. Explicit Statues welcoming travelers.
Squinting my eyes to see the detail
under the scorching sun.

I travel through time

Cave-like structures where lovers
use to roam. A sweetheart spot guarded
by Aphrodite.

I travel through time

Sweat down my brow
following the sandy trail.
Fuzzy, lavender Autumn Sage in full bloom.
A Blazing sun
and a God that eats the hands of those who lie.

Vizcaya took me through time.

Melissa Garcia
© Melissa Garcia (CC by 4.0)

My Night at Vizcaya
By Melissa Garcia

I read my poem in front of a sea of people, at least, that’s what it seemed like to me. Vizcaya at night tells a different story. I was mesmerized by the eerie feeling of walking into the dark path leading to the house. When my professor handed me the line-up for the night, my nervousness began. It was incredible listening to all the poets talk about their experiences at Vizcaya and Florida as a whole. It was an honor to share my Vizcaya poem that night and tell my story. When professor John Bailly announced me to stage, my stomach dropped. I felt shaking as I was walking to the stage, but shockingly it all subsided the moment I began speaking. I realize now the scariest part is the anticipation!

I amazed myself being onstage and receiving so much encouragement. Everything else felt like someone else was speaking for me because I could not believe how composed I was as I read my poem. I managed to slow down and breathe. The one thing I wish I would’ve changed was to make more eye contact with the whole crowd and enjoy every second. Once I sat down and all the adrenaline slowed down, I remember thinking, “Wow, I did that.” From there, I took some pictures and journeyed outside to the bay. Hearing my classmates read their poems was exciting. That night at Vizcaya was entrancing.

The Watering Hole, Vizcaya Village
By Tabitha Gato

The gigantic banyan trees marked the path.
The path was cool and ornamented with fallen leaves.  
Curiosity impeded my mind as I approached four salmon-colored large buildings.
What caught my attention was the stone watering hole placed in the center.

I approached the center and looked into the crystal mirror of water,
and I saw Vizcaya 100 years earlier.
Crisply cut grass and redberry stopper plants surrounded the vibrant village.

Mules munched on the grass and slurped the water.
Chickens clucked and strutted around the compound.
The toned and tanned workers milked the cows as they mooed.
I heard the milk drip into metal pales.

My eyes followed the workers as they labored.
Sweat dripped down their backs as they
hauled large stacks of hay into the chicken coop.
Their hands were swollen and covered in dirt as they
dug holes in the dirt to plant seeds in the garden.

100 years later I appreciate the beauty still standing.
I appreciate the sweat and tears.
I appreciate the scrapes and bruises.
I appreciate the workers.


Isabella Marie Garcia

EDITORS AND LAST UPDATE Stephanie Sepúlveda &John William Bailly  17 November 2018

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