Ganesha in the Park

Image copyright: Laura Del Col Brown

Image copy­right: Laura Del Col Brown

Born from a bath, infused with air,
Placed on the tarmac-​​pebbled bank
In rev­er­ence, or as a prank,
He sends abhaya to the pond
As though he might as well be there
As any place. If you were fond

Of metaphor, per­haps you’d say
He served as an ele­phan­tine
Dis­rupter of the walk’s rou­tine,
A joke that jarred us toward release;
A stumbling-​​block for dogs, lest they
Should ter­rorise the nap­ping geese.

Not quite. It’s his way that’s been barred,
His seat­ment here a com­pro­mise
With which a migrant zeal com­plies.
But ele­phants still awe when tame;
No baths allowed here, but a guard Might come in handy all the same.

© Laura Del Col Brown 2014

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Today’s fea­tured poem comes from Laura Brown, a poet we have pub­lished pre­vi­ously on the blog. An ekphras­tic poem of immense scope, “Gane­sha in the Park” explores the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the Hindu deity, and in draw­ing from the pho­to­graph that inspired it, toys with the irony of his sym­bolic place as the remover of obsta­cles, given the posi­tion of the statue in the pho­to­graph as a “stum­bling block for dogs”.

This is a piece that shifts between a con­ver­sa­tional engage­ment with the phys­i­cal world, and a poetic vein explor­ing the spir­i­tual. The fluid man­ner in which these styles inter­change is com­pli­mented by the occa­sional rhyming that runs through­out. A rich, inter­tex­tual poem that reveals more with each read.

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