“Mr. Stone was commissioned by the mayor of London to design a “dry garden” of plants and flowers that use less water because England, widely associated with drizzle, is actually drying up.”

“LONDON IS SO DRY,” Wall Street Journal, July 2006


Like a noon time drunkard one day

they drank too much.

Even the Buckingham Palace lawn is brown!

Macerated privet hedges

force William Jordan out of his Whitstable house to buy

divining rods and find

the fifteenth century well skulking in his front yard.

Under nappies flopping on a line

the marigold is defrocked.

The monthly virgin, Queen of October,

pales like the dusks of autumn.

This land now shallow

breathes its playa

onto begonias and geraniums.

Rowboats bottom too soon.


When there was enough, those lap –

happy Busy Lizzies impatiently

burst touch-me-not seeds when touched,

each pod a tumescent story.


Ginger lilies flounce and unfurl into dusty carpets

while olive vines claim the lattice,

and no one knows each other’s news

since the rubber tree dropped its inedible fig into a picnic.

Oh, but what of the birds and their privet berries!