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The Garden

David Solway


Lyke as the Culver on the bared bough
          —Spenser, Amoretti, 89

Under the pale lilac bush
moorgrass whispers from its hidden bed
to the monarch-bearing milkweed,
and the plump robin freighting
the berry-cumbered honeysuckle
whistles the secret to the chickadee
darting between the hedges.

Laden with epistles
a tumult of bluets and fritillaries
prints the air with messages
as mullein leans its slender stalk
to confide in a tigering of bees
busy with their blacks and golds
and the honey of their living.

Even purple loosestrife
races across the lower meadow
panicked by the yellow trumpets
of the brassy, orchestral lilies,
and the wood dove creaks with fright
for the cover of the branches.

Now the hummingbird,
milking petalled flocks of lavenders and pinks,
stalls in mid-maneuver
while the double-decker dragonfly
in the aftermath of rain
hovers by the spires of the bull thistle,
murmuring its encyclicals
of desire and regret
for the wet and shimmering kingdom.

For the news has spidered out
in the cold opulence of its silks
to every corner of the garden:
to where the tender seed heads
of the ditch-green sedges
purple toward the future
and the ovals of the rosehips
ripe with orpiment
pour their hearts out in the plummeting sun.

For the word has gone out
to all the tremulous creatures
beneath the parable of the white pines
dropping their soft sickles
in russet masses to the ground.
The word has gone out
in the colloquies of those who love the garden
that in the radiant vacancies they inhabit
there is only the gardener
to love them back.



David Solway's works copyright © to the author.


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