new zealand electronic poetry centre

Ursula Bethell

online works


Water Colour

With what peculiar pleasure one beholds
A garden colour-scheme mature correctly.
With what dismay, misled by catalogues,
One sees wrong reds unfold, or the wrong yellows,
Or, worst of all these woes, wrong pinks!

One little group now by grey stones encircled;
Madame Segond Weber on a standard
Rosy dianthus, tufty Mrs. Sinkins,
Slim white bride gladiolus, catmint,
Without doubt it is a chef d’oeuvre.

This joy is only for the gardener.
The water colour painter of his visions
Wash upon wash at length achieves expression.
But would your aquarellist be kept waiting
One, two, three years for their accomplishment?
Would he be waiting for more years even,
Because he has made one false stroke?


From a Garden in the Antipodes (Sidgwick & Jackson, 1929)


Last updated 9 April, 2005