A Trip Down Bougainvillea Lane!

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Happiness is bougainvillea! Is there anything that fills the heart with as much delight as the sight of a brilliant bougainvillea in bloom? This tropical beauty makes such a grand and striking statement that I can even forgive it for having no fragrance whatsoever. To me it is also synonymous with nostalgia as in New England I can only grow it in containers and hope at the most for a few sporadic blooms to console my tropically deprived heart. Alas, my measly plant is nothing like the showy and striking vines that grow profusely in warmer regions of the world. This poem was written spontaneously on a trip to the Cayman Islands where I was greeted with a plethora of bougainvillea in a riot of colors- crimson, magenta, scarlet, blush, yellow, coral, orange, gold, white and cream- cascading down roofs, trailing over pergolas and spilling over fences offering a veritable feast for my eyes and satiety to my soul. The creeper evokes bittersweet memories of a bygone time and maybe even takes on the traits of a bygone beau or belle.

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Beguiling Beauty with an exotic name!
Magenta Goddess
clambering over fences
to greet me
with bright bewitching bracts,
hiding the dainty white blooms
to pose as papery blossoms.

Fluttering on my cheeks like butterfly kisses
as I reach out to admire you
but grazing my thigh with thorns.
At least the queen of flowers sprays me
with a dab of perfume
but Tropical Empress
you are fragrant free

Fragrant free but stirring memories
of scented summers by the sea
of sun -warmed villas
with inviting verandahs
and a nearly forgotten love..
A jolt wakes me
from wistfulness

and there you are again
beckoning me
in the boldest shade of pink
And I, besotted,
reach out to you,
the bruise of your spike
still on my skin.

~ Jayshree ( Literary Gitane)

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