Yet there it is everywhere

We never give thought to grass.
Yet there it is, everywhere.
A green cushion, a chlorophyll carpet.
A protective cover between Earth,
And the things that would harm her.
Grass, we sow it, grow it, mow it,
We pluck it from the dirt,
Scrape it, dig it, poison it, burn it,
Yet there it is, everywhere.
It struggles to exist.
It is eaten and beaten,
Cursed and railed against.
We lay with our backs pressed to it,
Grass gently pushes us,
So that we can fall into the sky.
When it is allowed to grow very tall,
We hide in it to escape.
Some have even listened to it grow,
Though I have never heard it.
Yet there it is, everywhere.
Grass gives life,
Sustains creatures large and small.
It does not judge or enslave.
We play our games on it.
Nations have spilled their blood,
Soaking its roots,
Turning it from Creation’s green,
To the red of pain and death,
Then we are buried beneath it.
It forgives us, all ways there waiting.
Covered in the cool of the morning dew.
It is trod upon, pressed down.
One moment the jackboot crushes it,
The next moment it is back,
Leaving not a trace of passage.
Yet there it is, everywhere.
From the heartland of a country,
Making verdant emerald hills,
Grass has defined the landscape of cultures.
As we do with people, grass is walked upon,
Bruised by the passage of our soles,
Burdened with the contamination of our living.
Yet there it is, everywhere.
Maybe if each of us,
The mighty and lowly,
If we were reincarnated
As a blade of grass,
And maybe if we could but remember
That experience, just maybe,
We would be allowed to comeback,
A better human.

Copyright: 2009, Donald Harbour

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11 thoughts on “Yet there it is everywhere

  1. I’m partial to poetry about the small things in life that we take for granted. This is such a wonderful point of view that makes one stop and consider all the scenarios the lowly grass has seen.

    I esp like this:
    “We lay with our backs pressed to it,
    Grass gently pushes us,
    So that we can fall into the sky.”

    which reminds me of all the moments I’ve spent lying in the grass looking into the sky.

    Like

  2. About the reincarnation thing making you a better human… not necessarily so.Bill Mollison the creator of permaculture says that grass is the cancer of the earth.Anyway I see you being reincarnated as a sleek, green eyed, bengal cat spoilt rotten by your mistress and
    running the show!

    ‘some have even listened to it grow,though i have never heard it’LOL
    Although I don’t agree with your sentiments about grass there are some lovely images and a smooth flow to the poem.Oh,by the way where’s the sonnet?

    Like

  3. I am instantly put in mind of Walt Whitman’s poem “A child said, ‘What is the grass?'”, which ends:

    The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
    And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait
    at the end to arrest it,
    And ceased the moment life appeared.

    All goes onward and outward. . . .and nothing collapses,
    And to die is different from what any one supposed, and
    luckier.

    Which puts me in mind of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town.

    And, oh, the lawn service is supposed to come today. And they’re late, and my dogs are cooped up in the house with me. And they don’t mind. And I hope the lawn people remember to trim under the tulip poplar where the missed last time.

    And, Donald, I love the way you take the omnipresent, the lowly, the gentle green grass and, from its embrace to speak so beautifully and with such grand sweep, for all humanity:

    Maybe if each of us,
    The mighty and lowly,
    If we were reincarnated
    As a blade of grass,
    And maybe if we could but remember
    That experience, just maybe,
    We would be allowed to comeback,
    A better human.

    Very fine work, Donald! Beautiful!

    Like

  4. Hi Donald,

    So, you were just cutting the grass while we were at the words! There is a world in each single blade that you have shown to us.

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  5. Donald,

    Wonderful meditation on grass. Talk about the meek inheriting the earth. You really get at and exalt your subject in every conceivable aspect. I love the repetition of the title phrase with its echo rhyme. Grass is utterly passive and exploited in as many ways as we can think or just treated with indifference, and in the end it sustains us. “Grass has defined the landscape of cultures.” I.e. it makes history. You make the most of this ironic insight and then shift back to humanity as the focus in the end, forcing a kind of splice/hybridization with the reincarnation idea, very inventive.

    Like

  6. You’ve brought me to the realization that I never really thought about grass. I’m going to change my ways. Nice depth and layering, nice detail and vibrant imagery.

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  7. nicely done Donald…we have a huge patch of grass up here…no no no…not that kind….but my partner loves sitting on out little tractor to cut the grass…takes her a few hours and she completely spaces out and I think is her favorite type of meditation…..anyways…I enjoyed your words very much….you actually cut your finger too?…geez I actually had a peice of skin to put in my poem…real skin….take care.

    Like

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