May 20, 2014

It hurts

That sound hurts.
Each time it’s heard,
My heart feels wounded
For my beloved, benevolent earth
That gets bruised
By that machine that runs on gas.

It runs almost every other day in spring
After cool nights, and showers of mist
After thunderous nights magically filled with rain,
They come out and shout loud
‘We want to nip the buds’, they clamor
‘We want to mow the lawns’, they roar
All along they spew smoke;
And that disturbs me terribly.


Wherever I travel in America,
There are lawns,
And, there are lawn mowers,
We burn 800 million gallons of gas each year
For keeping our grassy yards trimmed
Our oil spills in our beautiful gardens
Put together are more than what Exxon Valdez
Spilled in the Gulf of Alaska

Come summer, when showers are far and few,
A million sprinklers come on, to wet and water
Many millions of gallons of precious water
Are employed in this act of watering vast lawns
When half the world bleeds for a drop of water

Connect the dots to another macabre picture
And there we find the noxious weed killers
Every year over many million poisonous pounds
We sprinkle on lawns, playgrounds and golf courses.

Take 30 commonly used lawn pesticides;
19 are linked with cancer,
13 are linked with birth defects,
21 with reproductive effects,
26 with liver or kidney damage,
15 with neuro-toxicity, and
11 with disruption of the hormonal system
17 are detected in groundwater,
23 have the ability to seep into drinking water sources,
24 are toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms,
11 are toxic to bees, and
16 are toxic to birds.

Why, even the brightest dandelions,
Those pretty flowers that cheer me up,
Are not spared either
Children play on these lawns
On these smoke-spewing, toxic yards
My heart misses a beat
For them, and for the earth
That we may not really leave behind for them and theirs.