Oh mercy mercy me
Ah things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Where did all the blue skies go?
Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east. ~Marvin Gaye, from mercy mercy me (the ecology)
Back when barely a teenager
I roamed around neighborhoods
pushing the family lawnmower and rake
looking for tall, green grass
knocking on doors
making a few dollars
then heading to the music store
& buying a latest album.
Remember wearing down the grooves
of “What’s Going On”
Marvin Gaye’s soulful call to wake up.
As a kid green grass was experienced as a given.
Not viewing it as an emerald of the universe
not seeing dandelions as golden messengers of peace for all;
not valuing sun, rain and earth which, seemingly offer freely
conditions so that I could mow their limitless growth
for my personal benefit & profit.
Some decades later it’s clearer, what’s going on;
things, including the weather, are not what they used to be.
I hear there’s a never-ending blizzard going on east of here.
As lawns in this western US dry up from lack of winter rains
a memory pops to mind from the Air Force base where I was stationed almost 40 years ago,
of painting dead grass-green to appease an inspecting General’s command.
We smirked, saluted and said, “yes sir“, then passed the spray cans.
Imagine if so many communities now facing
impending water rationing could paint grass-green! yet
what of those who make a living landscaping and mowing lawns?
It’s not just teenagers anymore.
In time will their jobs face obsolescence?
And who else depends on rain,
sun, earth for their livelihood,
for food, to bathe, to forage,
Recently Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh
offers honest, direct guidance:
“So take refuge in Mother Earth and surrender to her and ask her to heal us, to help us. And we have to accept that the worst can happen; that most of us will die as a species and many other species will die also and Mother Earth will be capable after maybe a few million years to bring us out again and this time wiser.”
Humbly we continue offering gratitude for rain.
May we live in such a way
that respects and conserves our ancestors:
water, soil, and remaining earth’s bounties
so that children a hundred years from now
will clearly thrive with resilience born
from wisdom to live in harmony
with or without green grass lawns
respecting economic needs
to give back, not just taking
from our biosphere
of which we are made.