Even the fat slug
That drags its belly nightly
Over dank paving
And into the heart of the lettuce
And the seething myriads in the ant-hill
The stealthy, disruptive mole,
The grubbing, wet-nosed hedgehog
And the millipede,
The sexually reproductive woodlouse
The dung fly and the dung beetle
Are double lovely.
The burying beetle, the emmet,
The devil’s coach-horse, the dor
Bean blight, leaf scab, club root,
Rose canker, cuckoo spit, wireworm
Cutworm, carrot fly, codlin,
Woolly aphis, apple weevil,
Leaf curl, algae,
Big bud, brown spot,
Rust, smut and mildew
Are all of them lovely.
And the flowers are lovely, too-
Nightshade, broomrape, henbane,
Love-lies bleeding and dead-men’s fingers,
Viper’s bugloss, red hot poker,
Wormwood, woundwort, rue.
And the gardener himself is lovely-
With one eye on the stable clock
And the other on lovely nothing,
Flat on his back where he fell.
The lovely flies walk in his lovely mouth.
Everything in the garden is lovely.
Alasdair Aston 1975