Gladioli sprouted last night,
deep in a dream, from a planter
squatted in the middle of a veranda,
their purple arms stretched tall 
like indigo ink spilt across blank paper,
or like the many arms of Durga,
each with its divine purpose
reached up and multiplied 
until the gauzy clouds faded
behind the floral show,
over the house: a mere succession
of vulgar, yet clean rooms:
walls in blue Turkish bathhouse tiles,
knock-kneed ottomans, cushions
embellished with gold sequins
and delicate tassels where we plunged
and gyrated, juggled in Durga’s hands,
once a lotus, then a discus—
then a trident.
                              Later, during a walk,
I warmed my balled fists
with a tail of breath from within my belly,
so unlike the dry wind against
my cheeks. To my left a mound
of faded mulch and shriveled leaves
yields to a peak of violet—
its damp hands clasped in prayer.

Andrea O’Rourke is a native of Croatia. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where she paints large abstracts and attends the New South Poetry Workshop at Georgia State University. Her work has appeared in The Driftwood Review and her poem “Vrindavan Trails” won the first prize in the Atlanta Writers Club 2009 Contest.

Some dreams are more vivid than others. The one this poem was inspired by had a peculiar quality: its degree of reality seemed greater than daily life. Even though the relationship between fantasy and reality is a mystery, occasionally these distinct places seem linked. I took this idea and looked at it from the perspective of human conditions of longing and obsession.



Copyright 2009