Dream of the Four Directions

This entry is part 69 of 93 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Summer 2011


In a dream, an avocado tree in the backyard:
winds in typhoon season hailing fruit too high
to pick— In a dream, fluted shapes beneath

its branches: plumeria and ginger lilies.
Fragrant spikes turn brown at summer’s height,
wings folding back into the tree. Can you name

the shopkeepers all along the road into town,
opening their shutters in the morning?
The bakers have been at their trade

since well before the break of dawn,
pinching the yeasty hearts of bread
before their crusts darken at the touch

of flame. At the intersection, little boys
wait with rags to buff and shine the crowns of
leather shoes, and stray dogs roam the alleys

with hungry eyes. I turn and wonder
how the lake’s four corners have folded
into a handkerchief; how, looking

straight up from the street, the church’s twin
spires are compass points spinning slowly and I
their dizzy fulcrum, planted on the ground.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What Is Left of Wings, I Ask (forthcoming, 2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.


  1. I go away and then am so far behind in Luisa-words. Shall try and follow your compass points, Ms. Baguio Fulcrum, and catch up!


  2. Nostalgic Baguio scenes. The cathedral spires, Session Rd., the shine-shoe boys, the backyard gardens, the bakeries at Kayang St., Burnham lake. I can still name some of the shops near my godfather’s tailoring shop on Session. Thanks for this, Luisa.


  3. Thanks, Luisa! I liked “pinching the yeasty hearts of bread”. You do have a way with phrases!


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