every society that grows extensive lawns could produce all its food on the same area, using the same resources, and... world famine could be totally relieved if we devoted the same resources of lawn culture to food culture in poor areas. These facts are before us. Thus, we can look at lawns, like double garages and large guard dogs, [and Humvees and SUVs] as a badge of willful waste, conspicuous consumption, and lack of care for the earth or its people. Most lawns are purely cosmetic in function. Thus, affluent societies have, all unnoticed, developed an agriculture which produces a polluted waste product, in the presence of famine and erosion elsewhere, and the threat of water shortages at home. The lawn has become the curse of modern town landscapes as sugar cane is the curse of the lowland coastal tropics, and cattle the curse of the semi-arid and arid rangelands. It is past time to tax lawns (or any wasteful consumption), and to devote that tax to third world relief. I would suggest a tax of $5 per square metre for both public and private lawns, updated annually, until all but useful lawns are eliminated.
Jake ignored him and went on. 'If I ever do hook up with anybody again - and I sincerely doubt that I will, so wipe that hopeful look off your face - it will be with someone who thinks that being with somebody who mows lawns is her idea of heaven on earth and who will do exactly what I tell her to do and love it." "I think Donna Reed is dead, " Will said.
Phoenix is an interesting example. Drive around and see the golf courses everywhere, and you see people's big green lawns. And you live in a desert! I've always remarked about the capacity of human beings to look at somewhere and move there because of its uniqueness and its beauty and then change it.
Philippe Cousteau, Jr.
It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.
What is proposed herein is that we have no right, nor any ethical justification, for clearing land or using wilderness while we tread over lawns, create erosion, and use land inefficiently. Our responsibility is to put our house in order. Should we do so, there will never be any need to destroy wilderness.
We sit in calm, airy, silent rooms opening upon sunlit and embowered lawns, not a sound except of summer and of husbandry disturbs the peace; but seven million men, any ten thousand of whom could have annihilated the ancient armies, are in ceaseless battle from the Alps to the Ocean.
We pretend to be a middle class, democratic nation, but in reality we love our blue bloods. ... We love the prep school manners, the aristocratic calm, the Skull and Bones mystery, the dappled lawns stretching before New England summer homes. How else can you explain the Bush vs. Kerry match-up that confronts us this year?
We pretend to be a middle class, democratic nation, but in reality we love our blue bloods. ... We love the prep school manners, the aristocratic calm, the Skull and Bones mystery, the dappled lawns stretching before New England summer homes. How else can you explain the Bush vs. Kerry match-up that confronts us this year
Our shipment of mowers was lost at sea and while we waited, winter descended and covered our green lawns with snow. That taught me a key lesson, the importance of timing. The shipping company lost the lawnmowers! By the time they showed up no one wanted them, as you can't cut grass when it's covered with snow.
The picture of Mother Teresa that I remember from my childhood is of a short, sari-wearing woman scurrying down a red gravel path between manicured lawns. She would have in tow one or two slower-footed, sari-clad young Indian nuns. We thought her a freak. Probably we'd picked up on unvoiced opinions of our Loreto nuns.
I am not a religious man. I have not attended a service for many years. But I do believe in God. My own practice of religion, you could say, it a nonpractice. I personally feel that it's just as worthy on a weekend to rake the lawns of an elderly neighbor or to climb a mountain and marvel at the beauty of this land we live in as it is to sing hosannas or go to Mass. In other words, I think every many finds his own church- and not all of them have four walls - Judge Haig (Page 399)
The picture of Mother Teresa that I remember from my childhood is of a short, sari-wearing woman scurrying down a red gravel path between manicured lawns. She would have in tow one or two slower-footed, sari-clad young Indian nuns. We thought her a freak. Probably wed picked up on unvoiced opinions of our Loreto nuns.
The window gave onto a view of dove-gray roofs and balconies, each one containing the same cracked flowerpot and sleeping feline. It was as if the entire city of Paris had agreed to abide by a single understated taste. Each neighbor was doing his or her own to keep up standards, which was difficult because the French ideal wasn't clearly delineated like the neatness and greenness of American lawns, but more of a picturesque disrepair. It took courage to let things fall apart so beautifully.
A peril of the night road is that flecks of dust and streaks of bug blood on the windshield look to me like old admirals in uniform, or crippled apple women, or the front edge of barges, and I whirl out of their way, thus going into ditches and fields and up on front lawns, endangering the life of authentic admirals and apple women who may be out on the roads for a breath of air before retiring.
You could make an analogy to a security guard who, three weeks prior, was mowing lawns for a living. The second he puts a uniform on and that badge, he's a man. I imagine the majority of us have felt the wrath of the over-zealous security guard guy. Is there something lying dormant in the man, that's waiting to be pumped up with that kind of power? I don't know. Does it reveal him? I don't know. Does it change him? I don't know.
[About reading Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, age 14, in the back seat of his parents' sedan. I almost threw up. I got physically ill when I learned that ospreys and peregrine falcons weren't raising chicks because of what people were spraying on bugs at their farms and lawns. This was the first time I learned that humans could impact the environment with chemicals. [That a corporation would create a product that didn't operate as advertised] was shocking in a way we weren't inured to.
Knightley Academy stood out against the moonlight in silhouette, a ramshackle collection of chimneys, turrets and gables. Both boys stopped to take in the sight of the manicured lawns and tangled woods, the soaring chapel and the ivy-covered brick of the headmaster's house. They were home. For this, Henry felt, was home. Not some foreign castle encircled by guard towers, but this cozy, bizarre assortment of buildings with its gossiping kitchen maids and eccentric professors and clever students.
colleges being nothing but grooming schools for the middle-class non-identity which usually finds its perfect expression on the outskirts of the campus in rows of well-to-do houses with lawns and television sets in each living room with everybody looking at the same thing and thinking the same thing at the same time while the Japhies of the world go prowling in the wilderness to hear the voice crying in the wilderness, to find the ecstacy of the stars, to find the dark mysterious secret of the origin of faceless wonderless crapulous civilization.
God bless the lawn mower, he thought. Who was the fool who made January first New Year's Day? No, they should set a man to watch the grasses across a million Illinois, Ohio, and Iowa lawns, and on that morning when it was long enough for cutting, instead of ratchets and horns and yelling, there should be a great swelling symphony of lawn mowers reaping fresh grass upon the prairie lands. Instead of confetti and serpentine, people should throw grass spray at each other on the one day each year that really represents Beginning!
It is no disparagement to the garden to say it will not fence and weed itself, nor prune its own fruit trees, nor roll and cut its own lawns...It will remain a garden only if someone does all these things to it...If you want to see the difference between [the garden's] contribution and the gardener's, put the commonest weed it grows side by side with his hoes rakes, shears, and a packet of weed killer; you have put beauty, energy, and fecundity beside dead, steril things. Just so, our 'decency and common sense' show grey and deathlike beside the geniality of love.
C. S. Lewis
No duties. I don't have to be profound. I don't have to be artistically perfect. Or sublime. Or edifying. I just wander. I say: 'You were running, That's fine. It was the thing to do.' And now the music of the worlds transforms me. My planet enters a different house. Trees and lawns become more distinct. Philosophies one after another go out. Everything is lighter yet not less odd. Sauces, wine vintages, dishes of meat. We talk a little of district fairs, Of travels in a covered wagon with a cloud of dust behind, Of how rivers once were, what the scent of calamus is. That's better than examining one's private dreams. And meanwhile it has arrived. It's here, invisible. Who can guess how it got here, everywhere. Let others take care of it. Time for me to play hooky. Buena notte. Ciao. Farewell.
Japhy was considered an eccentric around the campus, which is the usual thing for campuses and college people to think whenever a real man appears on the scene - colleges being nothing but grooming schools for the middleclass non-identity which usually finds its perfect expression on the outskirts of the campus in rows of well-to-do houses with lawns and television sets in each living room with everybody looking at the same thing at the same time while the Japhies of the world go prowling in the wilderness to hear the voice crying in the wilderness, to find the ecstasy of the stars, to find the dark mysterious secret of the origin of faceless wonderless crapulous civilization.
To Katie, it was as lonely and secret as any building could be; its size and grandeur meant less to her. She didn't know or care when the place had been built or by whom, but she sensed it was time-rich. She also sensed, in a part of her mind she still hadn't made friends with, that it had been, at one time, far more peopled in some way. She sensed movements and changing coolnesses and whispers of histories there that were not from the present. Not ghosts - she didn't believe in those - but gentle knowings even she didn't appreciate yet. She sensed she was just one of many who had passed by its walls, across its lawns or through its shadows and lights, and, while that happened, she felt sure the house did more than just stand there. She wondered if it waited. It did not entertain as some did, did not speak as a person would and did not seek answers, yet she sometimes wondered if it had the occasional wish of its own.
Carla H. Krueger
What Friedan gave to the world was, "the problem that has no name." She not only named it but dissected it. The advances of science, the development of labor-saving appliances, the development of the suburbs: all had come together to offer women in the 1950s a life their mothers had scarcely dreamed of, free from rampant disease, onerous drudgery, noxious city streets. But the green lawns and big corner lots were isolating, the housework seemed to expand to fill the time available, and polio and smallpox were replaced by depression and alcoholism. All that was covered up in a kitchen conspiracy of denial... [i]nstead the problem was with the mystique of waxed floors and perfectly applied lipstick.
Kandinski looked up. 'Do you read science fiction?' he asked matter-of-factly. 'Not as a rule, ' Ward admitted. When Kandinski said nothing he went on: 'Perhaps I'm too skeptical, but I can't take it too seriously.' Kandinski pulled at a blister on his palm. 'No one suggests you should. What you mean is that you take it too seriously.' Accepting the rebuke with a smile at himself, Ward pulled out one of the magazines and sat down at a table next to Kandinski. On the cover was a placid suburban setting of snugly eaved houses, yew trees, and children's bicycles. Spreading slowly across the roof-tops was an enormous pulpy nightmare, blocking out the sun behind it and throwing a weird phosphorescent glow over the roofs and lawns. 'You're probably right, ' Ward said, showing the cover to Kandinski. 'I'd hate to want to take that seriously.' ("The Venus Hunters")
Then, all of a sudden, those pea-green lawns where the first scarlet poppies were flowering, those canary-yellow fields which striped the tawny hills sloping down to a sea full of azure glints, all seemed so trivial to me, so banal, so false, so much in contrast with Ayl's person, with Ayl's world, with Ayl's idea of beauty, that I realized her place could never have been out here. And I realized, with grief and fear, that I had remained out here, that I would never again be able to escape those gilded and silvered gleams, those little clouds that turned from pale blue to pink, those green leaves that yellowed every autumn, and that Ayl's perfect world was lost forever, so lost I couldn't even imagine it any more, and nothing was left that could remind me of it, even remotely, nothing except perhaps that cold wall of gray stone.
These days every morning begins like a joke you think you have heard before, but there is no one telling it whom you can stop. One day it's about a cow who walks into a bar, then about a man with a big nose on his honeymoon, then about a kangaroo who walks into a bar. Each one takes up an entire day. The sun looks like a prank Nathanael West is pulling on the world; on the drive to work cars are swinging comically from lane to lane. The houses and lawns belong in cartoons. The hours collapse into one another's arms. The stories arc over noon and descend like slow ferris wheels into the haze of evening. You wish you could stop listening and get serious. Trouble is you cannot remember the punch line which never arrives till very late at night, just as you are reaching for the bedside lamp, just before you begin laughing in the dark.
The peace of Manderley. The quietude and the grace. Whoever lived within its walls, whatever trouble there was and strife, however much uneasiness and pain, no matter what tears were shed, what sorrows borne, the peace of Manderley could not be broken or the loveliness destroyed. The flowers that died would bloom again another year, the same birds build their nests, the same trees blossom. That old quiet moss smell would linger in the air, and the bees would come, and crickets, the herons build their nests in the deep dark woods. The butterflies would dance their merry jug across the lawns, and spiders spin foggy webs, and small startled rabbits who had no business to come trespassing poke their faces through the crowded shrubs. There would be lilac, and honeysuckle still, and the white magnolia buds unfolding slow and tight beneath the dining-room window. No one would ever hurt Manderley. It would lie always in its hollow like an enchanted thing, guarded by the woods, safe, secure, while the sea broke and ran and came again in the little shingle bays below.
Daphne du Maurier
Despite an icy northeast wind huffing across the bay I sneak out after dark, after my mother falls asleep clutching her leather Bible, and I hike up the rutted road to the frosted meadow to stand in mist, my shoes in muck, and toss my echo against the moss-covered fieldstone corners of the burned-out church where Sunday nights in summer for years Father Thomas, that mad handsome priest, would gather us girls in the basement to dye the rose cotton linen cut-outs that the deacon's daughter, a thin beauty with short white hair and long trim nails, would stitch by hand each folded edge then steam-iron flat so full of starch, stiffening fabric petals, which we silly Sunday school girls curled with quick sharp pulls of a scissor blade, forming clusters of curved petals the younger children assembled with Krazy glue and fuzzy green wire, sometimes adding tissue paper leaves, all of us gladly laboring like factory workers rather than have to color with crayon stubs the robe of Christ again, Christ with his empty hands inviting us to dine, Christ with a shepherd's staff signaling to another flock of puffy lambs, or naked Christ with a drooping head crowned with blackened thorns, and Lord how we laughed later when we went door to door in groups, visiting the old parishioners, the sick and bittersweet, all the near dead, and we dropped our bikes on the perfect lawns of dull neighbors, agnostics we suspected, hawking our handmade linen roses for a donation, bragging how each petal was hand-cut from a pattern drawn by Father Thomas himself, that mad handsome priest, who personally told the Monsignor to go fornicate himself, saying he was a disgruntled altar boy calling home from a phone booth outside a pub in North Dublin, while I sat half-dressed, sniffing incense, giddy and drunk with sacrament wine stains on my panties, whispering my oath of unholy love while wiggling uncomfortably on the mad priest's lap, but God he was beautiful with a fine chiseled chin and perfect teeth and a smile that would melt the Madonna, and God he was kind with a slow gentle touch, never harsh or too quick, and Christ how that crafty devil could draw, imitate a rose petal in perfect outline, his sharp pencil slanted just so, the tip barely touching so that he could sketch and drink, and cough without jerking, without ruining the work, or tearing the tissue paper, thin as a membrane, which like a clean skin arrived fresh each Saturday delivered by the dry cleaners, tucked into the crisp black vestment, wrapped around shirt cardboard, pinned to protect the high collar.
Have you ever wondered What happens to all the poems people write? The poems they never let anyone else read? Perhaps they are Too private and personal Perhaps they are just not good enough. Perhaps the prospect of such a heartfelt expression being seen as clumsy shallow silly pretentious saccharine unoriginal sentimental trite boring overwrought obscure stupid pointless or simply embarrassing is enough to give any aspiring poet good reason to hide their work from public view. forever. Naturally many poems are IMMEDIATELY DESTROYED. Burnt shredded flushed away Occasionally they are folded Into little squares And wedged under the corner of An unstable piece of furniture (So actually quite useful) Others are hidden behind a loose brick or drainpipe or sealed into the back of an old alarm clock or put between the pages of AN OBSCURE BOOK that is unlikely to ever be opened. someone might find them one day, BUT PROBABLY NOT The truth is that unread poetry Will almost always be just that. DOOMED to join a vast invisible river of waste that flows out of suburbia. well Almost always. On rare occasions, Some especially insistent pieces of writing will escape into a backyard or a laneway be blown along a roadside embankment and finally come to rest in a shopping center parking lot as so many things do It is here that something quite Remarkable takes place two or more pieces of poetry drift toward each other through a strange force of attraction unknown to science and ever so slowly cling together to form a tiny, shapeless ball. Left undisturbed, this ball gradually becomes larger and rounder as other free verses confessions secrets stray musings wishes and unsent love letters attach themselves one by one. Such a ball creeps through the streets Like a tumbleweed for months even years If it comes out only at night it has a good Chance of surviving traffic and children and through a slow rolling motion AVOIDS SNAILS (its number one predator) At a certain size, it instinctively shelters from bad weather, unnoticed but otherwise roams the streets searching for scraps of forgotten thought and feeling. Given time and luck the poetry ball becomes large HUGE ENORMOUS: A vast accumulation of papery bits That ultimately take to the air, levitating by The sheer force of so much unspoken emotion. It floats gently above suburban rooftops when everybody is asleep inspiring lonely dogs to bark in the middle of the night. Sadly a big ball of paper not matter how large and buoyant, is still a fragile thing. Sooner or LATER it will be surprised by a sudden gust of wind Beaten by driving rain and REDUCED in a matter of minutes to a billion soggy shreds. One morning everyone will wake up to find a pulpy mess covering front lawns clogging up gutters and plastering car windscreens. Traffic will be delayed children delighted adults baffled unable to figure out where it all came from Stranger still Will be the Discovery that Every lump of Wet paper Contains various faded words pressed into accidental verse. Barely visible but undeniably present To each reader they will whisper something different something joyful something sad truthful absurd hilarious profound and perfect No one will be able to explain the Strange feeling of weightlessness or the private smile that remains Long after the street sweepers have come and gone.