Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0300 Dante On Mowing The Front Lawn - Poem by Michael Shepherd

Let's not go into the matter of that
dark wood in our back garden which
shames us in the eyes of our
prissy neighbours (we call it
our 'poetic arbour', where
camelopards roam) -

mowing the lawn - that's all I can manage
between poetic stints:
it's hell when you put it off -
the wife, the pointed looks from
those prissy neighbours, the
pricks of social conscience, and
the guilt...oh the guilt...
sins of omission, all that stuff, I'm
in and out of the confession box...

then when I get round to it at last
it's purgatory - the grass is long,
gets in the rollers at the hub, it's
wet at the roots, tears when it should cut,
bald brown patches revealed -
the neighbours' children do their
'watch and pretend to hide their suppressed
laughter with a hand and a smirk' act... but

it's sheer (sheared?) paradise when
it's done and I can look the neighbours
in the eye and dare them to
make some pointed remark in
the guise of compliment - how I hate
this pre-modern irony, Juvenal started it...

all this to get a whiff of paradise...
and now it's just rained this morning and
the bloody grass looks unshaven
already... lawnmowing, it's just
one eternal round - look,
the neighbour's out already with his
swanky new machine; it's
a real human comedy

(thanks to Adam and The Poetry Society for the initial inspiration)

Comments about 0300 Dante On Mowing The Front Lawn by Michael Shepherd

  • (11/16/2005 7:28:00 AM)

    This sounds a lot like the satisfaction we women get from doing the laundry, emptying the basket that refills itself like magic...but that's another poem. This one is a delight.

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  • (11/16/2005 6:40:00 AM)

    This is great Michael.......it reminds me of a man that lives down the road, he only mows his lawn when it reaches about knee length (and then he comes out with an old, non-motorized, sickle (sp?) type mower and rips it down (usually when it's almost dark out) Very strange. Sincerely, Mary (Report) Reply

  • (11/16/2005 6:17:00 AM)

    Michael. Superb. Maybe not Divinely inspired Comedy but a tour de force of a laughter track none the less. You sure can cut the weeds down to size. (Report) Reply

  • Cj Heck (11/16/2005 6:02:00 AM)

    LOL, I loved it, Michael. Excellent take on the homeowner's plight.
    Many hugs, sweet poet,
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/16/2005 4:53:00 AM)

    I definitely know where you are coming from on this, Michael! (I guess I'm the same kind of gardener as you!) Loved it - a fitting tribute to one of the more drudging - and grudging - tasks. Jon. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Poem Edited: Saturday, July 15, 2006

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