The english garden

for Howard Felperin

A garden or a book, untended, goes on
Growing wildly. Exotic flowers, strangled
By the weeds’ democracy, drop their seeds
And sleep. (I call it ‘sex and death’,
The only subject writers know.)
Reading in the garden, rose and thorn
Are coupleted by nature’s random verse.
I rake up heaps of Autumn poetry,
Libraries of dried leaf and sentiment.
But critical neighbours sometimes catch me
Sleeping on the job. —They don’t understand
It’s harder to write poetry than for dream
To pass through the eye of a reader.