Around the lawn you meant to mow
It pains you to discover
That all in all, there must be
Fifty ways to heave your hover
Across the tufts of couch grass
The coarse stuff which prevailed
Where the tennis lawn you hoped for
Has most manifestly failed.
A standard sight in April,
Man and mower fight for breath
On the choked and soaked sargasso
Which they know as "Atco death".
A buck, a cough, a rattle
Then a KLAK, a scream of pain.
Till loss of power... then nothing
Mean it's a spanner-time again.
And all this time you wonder
Why you didn't try at least
To get stuck into it earlier
But the wind was in the east
It was Sunday, there was football
And a film you couldn't miss
It could wait another fortnight
But then Easter. And now this.
The ranunculae, the dandelions
The plantain and the dock
Will collude with ryes and fescues
As you realise to your shock
That a lawn is made of many things
And most of them can grow
For a thirty-three-week season
At an inch a day or so.
You can't afford a gardener
And tethered sheep won't do
Since the onus for the clipping
And the dipping falls on you
Which is where we have to leave you
Crouched and cursing at your mower
Deep in Philips' screws and spanners
As the blades refuse to lower.Reuse content