There are mowers mowing


There are mowers mowing all the bright sprung lawns,

I hear them over hill and down the dale,

but blackbirds fill the evening hush with song.


Though unease rustles in the gentle breeze,

and streets are empty, only fear’s abroad,

there are mowers mowing all the bright sprung lawns.


No traffic noise disturbs the rushing stream

that runs between the banks where thrushes sing;

I hear them over hill and down the dale.


When lawns are smooth and green enough to please,

and doors are closed against the fading light,

the blackbirds fill the evening hush with song.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

43 thoughts on “There are mowers mowing”

    1. I wondered if they wouldn’t decide to let the grass grow out of respect for all those people cooped up in apartments who don’t have a lawn to manicure. The dandelions and daisies are so pretty too.

      1. It would be good to know. It would also be good to know why the Pres. of the US dismantled the organization in charge of pandemics and biological warfare having been advised that there likely would be a pandemic in the near future by the previous administration. It’s baffling.

      2. Sorry, I misread your comment. I see now it was the previous admin that advised the structure would be needed, not created it. I’m not an Obama groupie.

        Trump doesn’t come into everyday conversation here, but he’s obviously very important to American bloggers, and French politics being a minority interest, I go along with it. I do think he’s an awful figurehead, unstatesmanlike and I don’t like what he says, but I’m surprised you think I have much to say about Obama. I only know how he came across as a person, not what he actually did. As far as I’ve read, he didn’t do very much, his hands tied by the opposition and his politics being pretty centrist.

  1. This really speaks Jane. I have thought exactly the same. It seems so incongruous to be mowing lawns – yet they have to be done. And hearing the birds too. So wonderful to hear them, but the fear is never far away. And the birds know nothing of it. They just keep singing.

    1. Thank you! It’s not their problem. We make enough of those for them. Yes, mowing the lawn seems like such a trivial thing to get worried about, but for some people it’s important. Wait till fuel rationing comes in and we’ll see how important it is 🙂

      1. Mowing the lawn iscdefinitely not trivial Hane. I didn’t mean that but I didn’t express it clearly maybe. I was just drawing the comparison bewteen the lovely and happier things whilst all the horror is going on. I better shut up as I don’t know how to say it. I love the burds so much. I am blind and wheelchair bound and my life has been stripped of everything, but ut us the burdsong that gives me hope and keeps me going. I am sorry uf I expressed things badly. I just loved your poem because it mentioned all the things that I love the most that I can no longer see. So sorry. X

  2. Don’t apologise! I think I was the one didn’t express myself properly. I’m not a fan of mowing lawns or lawns at all. I much prefer flowers to shaved grass full of herbicide. But I love birds and I appreciate the quiet that allows me to hear them. I meant that the birds have no part in our problems that we have created all by ourselves. They do what they have to do despite us. I’m sorry you can’t see them as well as hear them, and if I could I’d send you some of our wood pigeons to wake you in the morning cooing down the chimney 🙂

    1. The birds keep an eye on us because they’re wary and we are unpredictable. There’s something so predictable about the men who get on their ride around mowers on the first day of confinement at home. They find it impossible to see the wildflowers in the grass as anything other than a provocation.

  3. I always liked the dandelions, and also wondered why the grass had to be short. It’s a big thing in the suburbs, people are very judgemental about the way you keep your lawn. We must take everything…. (k)

      1. My brother once made almost his entire yard into a vegetable garden. The neighbors were not pleased.

        These days there are neighborhood associations to enforce the “rules”. Gated communities to keep the riff-raff out.

      2. I did read about people wanting to grow tomatoes and being told they were unsightly or something. Sounds a teensy weensy bit fascist to me, but I’m willing to listen to their reasons.

  4. This is lovely. The birds keep singing, and I’m not a fan of noisy machines either.
    It lifts my spirits though to walk out in the early morning and hear the spring choir singing.

  5. Routine amidst the fear that is abroad, for some the normalising rituals, irrespective of the urgency of the moment, seem to help. Our lot can’t help going to the beach or the mall.

    1. Rituals are fine as long as they stay private. At the moment, group activities are out of bounds. Beaches, promenades, parks all closed. No shopping malls either. No shopping except for essentials. If there wasn’t a virus going around and the economy wasn’t plunging into recession, I’d say we were in a pretty good situation.

      1. The earth breathes again in some places too, I find that healing in itself. Our lot have disobeyed the ruling which is a typical Ned Kelly response, so they gathered all over the place as usual.

      2. Dolphins in the Venice lagoon. Makes a change from those bloody awful cruise ships. Maybe people will decide that they would rather have nature than tourism but I doubt it.
        We get the same thing here, the rebels. Spreading the virus to their grandmas. I’m sure they appreciate their stand for freedom.

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