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Oct 2019
THE NURTURE OF CULTURE

"Have you a working pulse...?"
he asks of his petunias.

They perk up at once
to Pericles.

"...she sent him away cold as a snowball..."
he whispers to his gladioli.

Once again the Pericles
does the trick.

They positively beam at him
eager for more Shakespeare.

"Oh yes...oh yes...flowers...!"
he pontificates

"...adore Shakespeare
especially Pericles and other minor plays

rather than the great Dane
or say Othello!"

I gasp hardly believing
the flower's Bardolatry.

The herbs prefer
Gilbert and Sullivan.

"Really...?"
A ha...be my guest!"

I tentatively  approach
a sprig of oregano.

It looks startled
being sung to!

"Poor wandering one
though you are sad and lonely...."
"

"No no my son...herbs
like to be spoken to...not sung!"

Ahem, I
try again.

"Poor wandering one
Though thou hast surely strayed..."

The oregano dances
in the breeze.

"Or sometimes my son
a little dash of Noël  Coward!"

"What compulsion compels them..."
I sing to the chives.

"And who the hell tells them!"
before being interrupted as before.

"No no my son
spoken not sung!"

"Why do the wrong people travel, travel travel
When the right people stay back home?"

"Excellent...excellent one
of their favourites!"

What could I say?
His voice provoked such a fecundity

that could not for a second
be doubted.

"Oh yes...oh yes when one talks
to one's garden one

must bear in mind
that flowers and herbs

prefer a little culture!"
Donall Dempsey
Written by
Donall Dempsey  Guildford
(Guildford)   
149
 
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