Unexpected Visit - Fleur Adcock
I have nothing to say about this garden.
I do not want to be here, I can’t explain
What happened. I merely opened a usual door
And found this. The rain
Has just stopped, and the gravel paths are trickling
With water. Stone lions, on each side,
Gleam like wet seals, and the green birds
Are stiff with dripping pride.
Not my kind of country. The gracious vistas,
The rose-gardens and terraces, are all wrong –
As comfortless as the weather. But here I am.
I cannot tell how long
I have stood gazing at grass too wet to sit on,
Under a sky so dull I cannot read
The sundial, staring across the curving walks
And wondering there they lead;
Not really hoping, though, to be enlightened.
It must be morning, I think, but there is no
Horizon behind the trees, no sun as clock
Or compass. I shall go
And find somewhere among the formal hedges
Or hidden behind a trellis, a toolshed. There
I can sit on a box and wait. Whatever happens
May happen anywhere,
And better, perhaps, among the rakes and flowerpots
And sacks of bulbs than under this pallid sky:
Having chosen nothing else, I can at least
Choose to be warm and dry.
O'Sullivan, V. (Ed.). (1979). An anthology of twentieth century New Zealand poetry. Wellington: Oxford University Press.