Dreaming of Oz in Technicolor by
50
(99 Stories)

Prompted By Dreams

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I’ve always dreamed in color. Colors that I’ve never seen in nature appear in my dreams. Lately my dreams have become more vivid, intense, problematic. With the confinement of the coronavirus, I’ve had odd dreams of houses. In one, my partner’s daughters didn’t think I was keeping him safe and threw me out of the house, so I wandered the streets. In the latest, I was confined to an old home in disrepair.

I've always dreamed in color. Colors that I've never seen in nature appear in my dreams.

But, yesterday, in a poetry workshop, when I thought about fantasy dreams, unusual settings, I came up with this poem. Enjoy.

Toward the Emerald City

Her footsteps swoosh through the kelly-green meadow

punctuated by tangerine poppies.

She breathes in the astringent scent of the grass,

then that of damp earth.

 

While she lumbers ahead, her eyes squint

against the golden sun to find

the emerald-jeweled castle,

framed in a sky of powder blue.

 

Her legs and arms start to swim in the heavy air

until, glancing down at the ruby slippers,

she stumbles, knees tickled by the grass.

 

As she inhales the sweetness of the poppies,

their sultry taste reaches the back of her throat,

the present slips away,

leaving her cradled in a grassy bed

to dream of Kansas in color.

 

Profile photo of Marian Marian
I have recently retired from a marketing and technical writing and editing career and am thoroughly enjoying writing for myself and others.


Characterizations: well written

Comments

  1. Laurie Levy says:

    Marian, I love your poem. When the Wizard of Oz movie switched from black and white Kansas to the glorious Technicolor of Oz, that was a glorious experience for me as a kid watching the movie, probably on television when my family bought a color set. I envy the color you experience in your dreams, but sorry about the nightmare of being banished. I know you are a very attentive partner.

    • Marian says:

      Thank you, Laurie. I’m sure that banishment dream was just anxiety because no one can do everything perfectly in this dangerous situation. I always have loved the colors in the Wizard of Oz movie, and my birthstone is emerald, so maybe those were the inspirations.

  2. How fascinating that you dream colors you’ve not seen in nature, Mare — and how wonderful that you were able to capture them in your poem! Dream on! (That’s my meme for the day!)

    • Marian says:

      Yes, Barb, I don’t even have words to describe the colors. The closest I can get is Henri Rousseau, the naive artist who did those amazing paintings in the 19th century. We definitely should keep on dreamin’.

  3. Marian, I loved your poem!
    By chance the other night we watched the original Judy Garland/ Bert Lahr/ Ray Bolger film – magical!

  4. Suzy says:

    Marian, I’m so glad you shared this lovely poem about Dorothy and the Emerald City. You write such wonderful prose in all your stories, and it’s nice to get a glimpse of your poetry too. I’ve always loved that movie, notwithstanding my childhood nightmare about being chased by a witch. Have you ever seen the musical Wicked? A whole different perspective on Oz.

    • Marian says:

      Glad you liked the poem, Suzy. I really enjoyed Wicked and the different take, yes. Maybe it was because of my theater experience, but by the time I was in high school, when I was no longer afraid of her, I really liked the witch (although not her specific actions in the story), and wanted to play either her or the cowardly lion. Thought both would be a kick.

  5. Betsy Pfau says:

    I understand your anxiety dreams, Marian. Extraordinary that they are taking on vivid, stranger than real colors.

    Your poem is wonderful, really captures the fantasy world of Oz in the hyper-reality of colors and, to some extent, the strangeness of the world we are living in now. And of course, I keep seeing memes pop up on the Internet referring to our Orange Leader as the Man Behind the Curtain, so it all somehow ties together.

    • Marian says:

      Right you are, Betsy, about the colors. My dreams seem stranger each day. And yes, I can’t get the man behind the curtain image out of my mind in reference to the great orange Oz.

  6. John Shutkin says:

    Lovely poem, Marian. Thank you for sharing it with us!

    I, too, have always dreamed in color, but not in the richness that you so beautifully and lushly describe here. Though, as Laurie notes, in The Wizard of Oz, Kansas is shown in black and white. Having, unfortunately, been to Kansas a couple of times myself, I can confirm this.

    • Marian says:

      I have never been to Kansas, John, but I trust your observation. I feel it’s a privilege to dream in color, though it can be exhausting. Now that I think of it, I was at a retreat in Esalen, which is on California’s Big Sur coast, one of our most beautiful places. We were having dinner that first night overlooking the ocean and the two women next to us clearly were in a state of shock. I asked them if they were ok and they said yes. They had never been out of Kansas before and couldn’t believe what the world looked like!

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