Sport 4: Autumn 1990
Jenny Bornholdt — Tourists Often Stop
Tourists often stop and take photographs of the red hot pokers at the bottom of our drive.
They get up close to the splendid display, focus, bend their legs slightly and brace for the snap.
Japanese men take the photographs home and show them to their friends.
This is the woman I fell in love with over there they say.
Unfortunately her mother is dying and she cannot leave her.
American women take the photographs home and show them to their friends and say this is a man I fell in love with over there. We were on a bus tour together. It was his second time and he showed me all the sights. He was a real dag. We had a real fun time. His name is Reg. We are planning an underwater wedding.
Man Looking at Trees
Over the road in the park there is a man looking at trees. He walks around looking up at them and when he is finished looking at one he turns away, only to find another, so he heads on over for a closer look, walks around it, head back, gazing upwards. He might be thinking about how beautiful are the trees. How wondrous nature is. He might be bringing god into it. He might be thinking words like height and girth or he might just have green on his mind. He is wondering about these trees. He might be thinking about how good it would feel to chop these trees down, about the feel of the blade against the trunk. It might be blue he has on his mind and he might be thinking about how good the sky would look if there weren't all these trees in the way.
Man with a Mower
There is a man sitting on a tractor mowing circles in the park.
In the middle of the area he is mowing there is a group of people wandering about. Five of them. They move in a bunch. One of them holds a piece of paper which they all consult every so often. They stand for a while and look at the paper then they look up and around them and sometimes someone draws a line in the air with their finger and they all look at it, then look back at the paper again. Then one starts moving and the others follow. The grass is quite long and rather wet so they lift their legs high as they walk.
The men wear grey suits, the hems of which are getting damp from standing in the grass. They walk as though crossing a river, going from stone to stone. One of the men wears a lemon tie. One of the women has on a lemon outfit and red shoes. She and the man may be involved or it may merely be a coincidence. The women's legs are also getting wet as they move around in the grass in the park. They stand and look and study and point and look and move on. And all this time the man on the tractor is mowing his circles around them, getting closer and closer so the grass on the outside where he has been is short and the people stand in the long grass in the middle like an exhibit.
The tractor is noisy. The people in the grass must have to talk loudly when the mower passes on its way around them.
The man on the tractor wears ear muffs. He is thinking about a mince pie. He is thinking about Dolly Parton. He is thinking about. the snake tatooed on his buttocks and the way it wriggles as he walks.
A Woman Walks
A woman coming up the road walks as though she is always looking around a corner. The expectant angle of her body suggests that something is about to happen. She is obviously a woman with a history of events — here she is prepared for the next one lying in wait for her.
Tree Like a Tree
In one corner of the courtyard there is the suggestion of a tree.
If the tree had branches it would be tall and leafy and birds would sing in it, but the branches have been chopped and from the trunk come short flat-topped stumps, stopped in mid air.
There is the feeling of a tree going places. The sky around it makes way for the possibility of branches. The word almost is in the air.
Trees in America
American tourists walk down the road and look at the trees in the park. Wow. Wow. I can see them say.
There are no real trees where they come from. In America they pay people to dress up in outfits with trunks and branches and as you walk past the trees say 'howdy' and shake your hand.
There are many near misses on the street in front of our house.
Cars turn, cars speed up, cars pull out. No one looks. We watch from the window. We cry oh and look out and so close. All day we raise our hands to our heads in horror.
Each day we wake up younger than the day before. Years are being taken off our lives.
Men propose to women in the park outside the window. Sitting under trees they ask will you marry me? Every day there are some very nearly mrs.
Someone Plants a Tree
Yesterday someone planted a tree in the middle of the courtyard.
When we looked out the window late in the afternoon we saw a tree we were sure we were seeing for the very first time. The ground around the base of the tree looked a little disturbed, but whoever planted it had been careful to put the turf back so it looked as though actually the tree might have been growing there all along and we'd just never noticed it. We were sure this was a new tree, but then again ...
Two gardeners come and sit in the courtyard every day about noon.
They sit on one of the green seats — the one facing the window — and they smoke a joint.
One gardener is tall and one is short.
At first they both had long hair and beards and wore jeans, swanndris and boots. Then one day the shorter one came with a woollen hat on and no sign of hair beneath it. A week later the taller one appeared with his hair cropped close to his head. A few days later, as if in answer, the shorter one arrived in shorts, with his hat off, revealing a shaved head. The taller one followed by clipping his beard and next, the shorter one came with no beard at all, but his hat back on.
What a performance. We watch and applaud. This is men changing before our very eyes.