Nature Abhors a Vacuum Cleaner

Other folks’ garden grow up
architectural in hostas,
angelica’s height kept in the background.

     (leaves almost lost in the tansies and how
       did I mislay
         that Goliath in umbillifer form?)
Boxes hedges edge,
all labyrinthine intent
       (anyway, who likes that clipped smell? The Minotaur must be
                     much more at home around here)
An obedience of alyssum and lobelia takes turns
beside pin-stripy conquerings of lawns.
                                (my blue ones wild spill from cracking pots
                sometimes all starflowery spotty. No.
                               I’ve never known their real name.
                                      And Japanese people do amazing things with moss)
Tall plants waft erect, stake-controlled
police the border’s back.
                                                            (poppy buds fat, fit to burst
                                                                         splash watercolour-wild
                                                                                    by sweetie-paper marigolds overwintered
                                                   from last year, near toddler-drawn Livingstone daisies.
                                       There are no spaces, as splattering currants –
                                                                                              both flowery and fruity
                                                           push in)

Two houses down, above a wholesome
horticultural virtue, a buddleia
butterflies chimneys.  


Beth McDonough

If you have any comments on this poem,
Beth McDonough would be pleased to hear from you.