Saturday, June 17, 2006

Striped Space and Gardener’s Hut

They’ve made a garden stage of the old gardener’s hut
A piece of scenery within the garden’s heart
All winter a cage of wire went around the bench,
Scaffolding supports and January’s plastic sheeting
For the grass. Now – perplexing transformation –
The black-wood, plaster hut is clad in artful boards
That, portraying a full-size version of itself,
Encases and so protects. Lead windows, tiled roof
Proudly emerge from this suit of party armour
That guests surround in the hot June sunshine: they laugh
And touch, staying under the trees that rise untramm-
Elled over Soho Square – the Twentieth Century
Fox building and the Women’s Hospital stand up
As tip-toe lovers in their mutual height with branches
That stretch towards them in the grand manner of art:
In a white breeze the high leaves nod to sun-lit walls.
Where voices strum the air, quick heat wave seeds, light-borne -
Around and high over its pointed tiled roof –
Flicker down, striping the space of the gardener’s hut,
Tickling the throat that dreams of tigers, on the grass.