How sweet to stroll through the Garden of Gestures at sunrise
in Humanity Memorial Park. As you enter
the Alley of Shrugging Shoulders lined on left
and right by videos of headless torsos
miming “unsolvable problem, what can one do?”
the sun will bathe your face in radiant light.
Pause at the rolling Meadows of Futility
where a scatter of scarecrows with wisps of straw representing
their open palms extended to the side
are attired in Prada, Chanel, and de la Renta —
hung-over guardians of bonhomie,
feeling under the weather, far and wide.
Bring your own lunch and at noontime eat by the Fountain
of Flood and Drought where a plaque admonishes,
“Beware, the water!” Admire the verdigrised sculptures
of water-seekers that warily circle the basin,
lion, lamb, and little child, frozen
together in need, refugees from the Peaceable Kingdom.
Toward evening the vacant bandshell stage will feature
a lightshow from the situation room’s
computer screens and tv’s with politicians
pantomiming orations as the strains
of martial music can almost be heard in the darkening
silence concluding your Sunday in the park.
Philip Fried has published eight books of poetry, including Squaring the Circle (Salmon Poetry, Ireland, 2017), Interrogating Water (Salmon, 2014), and the forthcoming Among the Gliesians (Salmon, 2020). Carol Rumens recently selected his poem “Yoga for Leaders and Others” for her anthology Smart Devices: 52 poems from The Guardian ‘Poem of the Week’, due out from Carcanet in November.