Jardin des Plantes
The ruined summer’s lush despondency,
Arrested, Tennysonian…Late afternoon
Grows fog from all-day rain.
Did we have prospects, once?
We are the characters we’ve read about,
Provincial and enraged
At waking up to find we’re dead.
In the insanitary capitals
Grim functionaries glare
Across the sodden parks
As the invasion is delayed, but here
The bosom of the garden goddess runs
With freezing sweat, beneath the pale-pink
Blossom’s rush to spend itself
On all this drowning air.
You’d give her one, you say. I doubt it.
We sit out on the sodden benches,
Stunned and half-asleep, like travellers
Abandoned by the railways
To a doomed domestic pastoral
Whose story lies elsewhere.
We are the disease that has no cure
Or visible employment. You, sir,
Call this contemplation:
I call you a wanker.
If this place had a yard-arm,
The extinguished sun
Would hang itself. More rain.
The vindicated frogs carouse
And fuck. What time is it?