Title: Sport 38

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, 2010, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Conditions of use



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Sport 38: Winter 2010

Louise Wrightson

page 202

Louise Wrightson

How to Qualify for a Flat Lawn

First you must tire of Wellington's steep inclines,
its dips, middens, hillocks, bluffs and gradients,
handrails and problems with access for the elderly

and imagine a bright green pool in the sunshine
where a yellow sea-grass chair floats with its cargo
of cushions, poetry books and an old sunhat (with ribbons).

If you instinctively know that your supta baddha konasana,
the most demanding of all the Iyengar yoga poses,
will be superior on 85% dwarf rye, 15% fescue, 5% brown top

and if you have an eye for perspective and contours
so this verdant sward I am describing would be a relief
not only to your eye, that busy organ, but also to your soul—

then—drum roll from behind the ferns—you are a prospect.

page 203

Ingredients for a Flat Lawn

Source thirty cubic metres of earth, two rakes, a sprinkler,
sturdy wheelbarrows and as many pecs as you can muster.

Buy 500 grams of superphosphate and two-and-a-bit packets
of grass seed, a hose and one kilo of sulphate of ammonia.

Hire a mother of a rotary-hoe (we're talking a quarter tonne)
and barrow four cubic metres of topsoil on to the site.

Fashion a lawn-roller from the 300 millimetre diameter post
you've stashed under the house with the other off-cuts.

Then hope for even seed distribution and clement weather
and that the hose will stretch all the way to your next big idea.

page 204

Ellmer's Mower Centre

In the weekend, that remnant of civilisation,
we took our beat-up President 3000 to Nelson's
shop in Upper Cuba Street because it wouldn't
start no matter how many tricks we played on it.

The problem used to be that it wouldn't stop
unless we yanked out the spark plugs and now
it wouldn't stop or start and the lawns were thick
and so high there was talk of a goat or two.

We parked the President beside a regiment
of shiny units where it looked like a poor relation
visiting from the sticks with tales of neglect;
nights left out in the rain and cruel stones.

I was sorry we'd graunched the blades against
the edges of the concrete path under the clothes-
line and choked it with ti kouka leaves so that it
gave a few hard coughs, spluttered and died.

We had coffee while we waited for the verdict—
The President is Dead/Long Live the President.