Parc Liais

Duncan Forbes

Between the port and esplanade,
A granite head commemorates
The naturalist-astronomer,
Emmanuel Liais, former mayor,              
With an oasis off the street,
A garden full of tropic trees,
A hothouse of exotic flowers
And, in the grove beyond the lawn,
An ornamental lily pond
In which a central fountain plays.

It is a place where lovers come
To talk and hold each others’ hands,
A centrepiece for pensioners,
For friends and midday picnickers
Who choose a seat in sun or shade
And contemplate the play of light
Around the pear-shaped lily pond
Or watch the fountain’s plumage change
And hear it imitating rain
While it is glittering in the sun.

So purposefully and in vain
The water droplets rise and pause
In fluctuations of the breeze,
Then fall obedient to the law
Of gravity’s near-perfect aim,
Its own musician and applause,
Since water as no artist can
Reciprocates a flawless sky,
Quenches the thirst and can become
The tears and humours of the eye.

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Main Location:

Parc Emmanuel Liais, Cherbourg, Normandy, France

Statue of Emmanuel Liais in Cherbourg, Normandy

Image by M. Strikis, licensed under Creative Commons.