The Ungrateful Garden – Carolyn Kizer
Midas watched the golden crust
That formed over his steaming sores,
Hugged his agues, loved his lust,
But damned to hell the out-of-doors
Where blazing motes of sun impaled
The serried roses, metal-bright.
“Those famous flowers,” Midas wailed, “Have scorched my retina with light.”
This gift, he’d thought, would gild his joys,
Silt up the waters of his grief;
His lawns a wilderness of noise,
The heavy clang of leaf on a leaf.
Within, the golden cup is good
To lift, to sip the yellow mead.
Outside, in summer’s rage, the rude Gold thorn has made his fingers bleed.
“I strolled my halls in golden shift,
As ruddy as a lion meat.
Then I rushed out to share my gift,
And golden stubble cut my feet.
Dazzled with wounds, he limped away
To climb into his golden bed, Roses, roses can betray
“Nature is evil,” Midas said
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