Friday, February 10, 2006

The Botanic Gardens

Here's another really old one. It was printed in Plainsongs.

King Louie Bonga-Bonga. The flowers have
names so bizarre you'd never think to smell them,
only to wonder what they're doing here
and who knew how they'd come out of their bulbs
in this planned mix of stripe and sepal, thinking
Rainbow Delight on Thursday from the first.

And none of us knows what he's doing here,
except that the Zoo is crowded and too big
in heat like this. How about the Arboretum,
with fewer bugs and orchids on the air?
That's an idea whose time will never come.
No one can stay inside, where there's a bo
tree, but not a soul in contemplation,
unblasted figs and aloes, but no point.
A garden is outside. In hip-high boots
and a funny hat, a man moves very slowly,
making his own waves, walking through the pond,
pruning beneath the water, plant by plant,
naming the names of lilies as he goes.

1 comment:

Hannah said...

I really like this one; can see why it was published. Very approachable on an extremely literal level, but doesn't sacrifice symbolism/allegory. Good.