Freddy Niagara Fonseca

Freddy Niagara Fonseca hails from South America and currently lives in Iowa.. He has absorbed the histories and cultures of Greece, France, Spain, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and the United States through his travels; worked in graphic design and banking in Amsterdam; studied voice and Italian; and worked in films in Rome. He has read extensively in six languages, including well over 10,000 poems by authors native to Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Italy, Spanish-speaking countries, and America, and feels a particular resonance with, and a link to, American poetry.

As a young adult, he actually disliked poetry. However, while visiting Rome he was moved by a pedestal inscription on a statue of Lord Byron in Villa Borghese Park, and wrote his first poem the next day.

His poems have appeared or will appear in the US, Canada and England in The Dryland Fish--An Anthology of Contemporary Iowa Poets, Tower Poetry Society, The Eclectic Muse, The Neovictorian/Cochlea, Candelabrum Poetry Magazine,,The Fairfield Ledger, Pivot and Passive Fists--An Anthology by Poets for Peace.

Freddy, who is an expressive performer, has publicly recited his poems, reflective of his visits to various exotic locales, often in concert with the accompaniment of musicians, numerous times. In 1990, he staged, produced, and participated in a Dance, Rhyme & Rhythm Extravaganza in Fairfield, Iowa, reciting and dancing to his own poetry with a cast of 30 dancers, accompanied on piano. In 2004, he created the monthly Candlelight Reading Series to generate entertaining poetry readings of inventive programming, heart-centered aesthetics and downright fun on a great variety of themes. Although original poetry is not shunned, the main focus is on world poetry of all cultures, classical as well as contemporary. The series regularly invites performing artists such as musicians, dancers, actors, poets, mime artists, story tellers, song writers, comedians, etc.

Freddy has made it his mission to revitalize the oral, poetic traditions by modifying and expanding them for modern audiences and opening up the gateways of feeling and meaning completely, fearlessly. His fondest desire is to bring poetry back to its rightful home, which is in the heart of all people, and truly popularize poetry, using as many imaginative ways as possible.

Waltzing in Respectable Vienna

When we young ones dance the stately waltz
in respectable Vienna,
we tend to keep our respective upper bodies erect and
at an acceptable distance from
our partner,
that is, as long as we still have enough space and there are
only few dancers on the floor and not yet
boxing us in,

but we do have some delectably busy nights
in respectable Vienna
when the crowd starts constricting us more and more, for
then we need to reduce the allowable ten inches between two
dance partners,
and we have to move closer, respectfully gasping while
breaking into a sweat . . . closer, undetectably closer,
and still closer . . .

just like last night at that frantic New Year's Ball
in respectable Vienna
when the dance floor suddenly got so crowded that some
excitable couples, joined at the hip already, quickly lost their cool
with a bang,
slyly blushing and whisking oh so closely into the
new year without even one inch left between their naughtier
lower bodies,

giving rise to knowing smiles from some in the know
in respectable Vienna
and improvable speculations from those that might guess,
even though most of the culprits were trying to keep the
spine erect
and appear unruffled, at least for a while, but ah the
waltz in respectable Vienna, the famous stately waltz we dance there--
THAT went on . . .

© 2004 Freddy Niagara Fonseca, Published in Pivot 57



Cold! Cold! Totally cold! Colder than Alaska or Siberia.
Colder than the North Pole. Cold like my former soul
Are you, oh age-old Antarctica!

Measureless and empty plains with silences as white and deep as death
Descended on me there, and frost besieged the air
From rocks of ice around Antarctica.

Dark and shapeless were the nights while somewhere deep in space, the Milky Way
Rose beaming like the dawn, but never would the sun,
And I withdrew behind Antarctica . . .


Warm . . . warm . . . lovely warm . . . warmer than the Congo, Spain or India . . .
Warmer than a bonfire has been my old desire
For always green, tropical Trinidad . . .

Riverbanks and stars arise despite the walls of ice I once evoked
Around Antarctica, for I am thinking of
My always green, tropical Trinidad . . .

Oh, there's the warmth and love of old of starry nights in lovely Trinidad.
Royal are the palm trees, and gentle is the evening breeze
In always green, tropical Trinidad . . .


Long ago there was a time my heart was almost like Antarctica
With blizzards all about, where life was just a shout
Across a desolate Antarctica!

Cool is the light on snowy nights when I am thinking of Antarctica.
The cold is like my past and I have changed at last,
And so have you, oh cold Antarctica.

Warm is the light on starry nights when I am thinking of my Trinidad.
The warmth is in the name, and there's a perfect flame
Around my self, my age-old Trinidad . . .

© 1988 Freddy Niagara Fonseca, Published in Pivot 57

On a Painting of the Fall of Man

The Angel turned them out of Paradise,
And God withdrew within.
A glorious Realm receded from their Eyes—
They shrank from loving Him.

The World is like a Darker Sphere until
We meet His Love within.
An Angel full of Grace is waiting still
To lead us back to Him.

© 1988 Freddy Niagara Fonseca