Mona Vale, Flower-Lulled

Mona Vale—who sounds like a lovely girl—is in fact an Edwardian homestead, in the garden city of Christchurch, New Zealand.

A man of many parts, Dr. Stocker does voluntary gardening there one day a week. Justly proud of his achievements, he was inspired to write this ode to the Christchurch ladies in his life. The response was rapt. Indeed, one or two of them felt that the poem was universal in its appeal, while the editors here readily admit brushing away a collective tear upon reading it. Hence its appearance in this little magazine…

A Mona Vale Ode

In Mona’s gardens, on your stroll
Yesterday, your eyes would roll
At all those horrid, torrid weeds;
“Mona Vale? It’s gone to seeds!”
You would angrily exclaim;
Fair enough, you’re not to blame.

But on this morn, with all my might,
I vowed I’d put the garden right,
Wearing my erotic Uggs,
I filled a myriad of trugs
With weeds that just had bit the dust…

So, ladies, now you’ll take delight,
Clad in muslin frocks (washed white)
As you saunter past the roses
(Avoiding all those sprinkler hoses)…
And I vouch that you will say,
“This garden makes a maiden gay,”
And, rapt with my devoted toil:
“Bless the dear, he’s fluffed the soil!”

Dr. Stocker’s muslin-dressed lady love, tiring of his sweet nothings, told him, “Go jump in the pond!” The poet was at a loss for words… [Photo Credit: Professor Michael Dunn.]

Mark Stocker is an art historian whose recent book is When Britain Went Decimal: The Coinage of 1971.