botanic garden prayers
We come to the Gardens to worship the tulips
share stale-bread communion at the pond,
count blessings and ducklings.
Via the conifer way, a spell in the herb garden,
there’s healing and refreshment
fragrance and cool green.
We’re glad that we don’t have to weed these edges
or drive the garbage truck, or clean the loos.
When we get home, forgive us
if we put food scraps down the insinkerator
because we can’t make compost in the apartment,
or forget to plant a native tree when we fly long distance.
Petition and Intercession
The hothouse is full of people and begonias and ferns
the lily pads aren’t big enough, yet, for frogs
and squealing kids try to catch the fish.
Remind us not to grumble when it’s stuffy and humid
(especially in overcoats against the breeze)
or when people stop in front of us, cameras poised where we’re trying to walk,
and the souvenirs are ridiculous prices.
Adoration and Praise
As the tulips die down, roses come into leaf;
there are shady paths to walk on,
poppies, delicate and strong, and the year-round cottage garden.
Worldly-wise teenagers gather for picnics;
middle-aged lovers believe their luck at last;
there are blue and white irises
and opportune seats.
We put our litter in the bin
and resolve to plant our own tomatoes
next year, and reduce our carbon emissions by taking the bus
For the daffodils and jonquils, for magnolias and lilies
for colours, shapes and fragrance;
for our city’s public gardens
and the Aotearoa springtime
we give thanks.