Poetic Licence: Mowing A Lawn

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The Independent Culture
Good news for reluctant gardeners: mowing the lawn is bad for the planet - the US government says so. Scientists from the University of Colorado believe that large amounts of pollutants such as methanol, butane and acetaldehyde released by "wounded" grass help to create smog.

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.