Sunday, April 27, 2014

Amaryllis (Naked Ladies) and California Poppies

(a poem)

Go on Alameda de las Pulgas for two miles and turn right at the light on Cedar.
Keep going, and when you see a bunch of naked ladies on your right, you’ll need to...

That’s where people lose the flow, she amused. Her lovely home in Menlo
To which I flew from the east, visiting my new husband in his rented student’s room
I woke early, ate her banana bread toasted twice
And picked tiny bursts of oranges from the spring-cold grove 

Jasmines eager for the Indian summer
Open their drowsing faces in the evening

Graceful roses come in spring
Come here, come come! From far a neighboring auntie called, to fix a rose in my hair
Just as I was rushing for college bus, thinking of all the looks I was going to get-
I wore a half-sari for the first time at seventeen

Hibiscus opens fresh at dawn, red or pink. Also Parijatha, white on orange
How come a battle was fought for this tiny flower?  I amused

Oh the pink lilies that kept me company while I wrote my thesis in a Chicago cold
I wrote Nitrogen and they halfway opened, wanting to know more
They gave petals, tendrils, pollen and watched while I wrote papers
A big blue vase, a white vase, some small ones and I even made some later

Daisies came with the house in the bay and light up every spring
For my son’s first summer I planted a row of noble sunflowers

Walking along, a look askew and before I knew, my view was split into two
One is fake and the other is bare
Where only beauty in the bare makes sense, or else it is fake
Flowers stayed beautiful for themselves and my vases walked to closet

But when California Poppies come in spring
And I spot them on a hillside here or that sidewalk happenstance

I stop and stare.
Even though one can never recover from some things in life
Amidst busy feet, from a dusty dry shrub in poor soil in high wind
Comes a burst of 4-petaled orange reaching for life and love

There can be unimaginable beauty in the absurd, it amuses
And my split vision merges into a new whole, for all the time I stop and stare

Turn at the light and keep going until you see a shock of poppy flowers in the front
That’s the house you’re looking for -I’d like to say directions sometime
Walk the pathway through the waving orange on green
Come up to door and come on in, we’ll be inside.


No comments:

Post a Comment