The Rose and the Grass

One day a gardener planted a young and elegant rose bush in the border surrounding her well-manicured lawn.
‘Hello and welcome, friend rose’, said some of the grass nearest to the rose. ‘Our owner is a keen gardener and has chosen a fine sunny spot to plant you. You should do well there.’
“Quite so”, said the rose, somewhat haughtily. “My owner has placed me where I might display my wonderful flowers to the best effect. This clearly shows she is a keen gardener.”
‘Ah’, said the grass, ‘we can hardly wait for the summer to see what colours you will have’. “You must be patient”, said the rose,” it will take me no little time to prepare for the glorious show that I am to give. But what of you? What is your role in the garden and is green really your only colour?”
‘Sadly’, said the grass, ‘we cannot claim the brilliance of the colours you will bear, though we have the most vibrant shade of green imaginable and we work together to provide a velvety soft carpet for our owner to walk upon’.
“My owner cannot care for you too much then”, said the rose, “for she tramples on you daily and even the birds have little regard as they root for grubs and worms between your shorn down stalks”. At this the grass grew silent for a while, and a humble mood spread across the whole lawn as the grass stalks pondered just how keen a gardener their owner was.
The days went by and spring gave way to summer. The owner tended and fed the plants lovingly, and with a growing sense of pride as the garden was readied for its coming splendour. The lawn was given a dressing of fertiliser and had its hair cut at least once a week. The rose was inspected regularly and sprayed to prevent blackspot and mildew. The rose did feel it somewhat degrading when, in full view of the lawn, it was also sprayed to remove the greenfly that had cheekily moved in uninvited. However, this was better than having the pesky things greedily sucking its sap.
The rose pointed out to the grass that, being a keen gardener, its owner was merely taking proper care of it. “After all,” it said to its now weary audience, “all my sap is for my magnificent flowers. See how some of my buds are already beginning to burst. My owner must be overcome with excitement”. The grass gave no reply, but did note that a beautiful fragrance had begun to accompany the young and radiant blooms on the rose.
A few more days of warm sunshine later, the lawn woke to hear sobbing coming from the rose. Even though the grass had regularly been subject to the rose’s arrogant attitude, the stalks remembered their common bond as plants, and inquired what the matter was.
At this, the rose wailed and roared; “My prize flowers, they are all gone!” ‘Quite so!’, said the grass, ‘Our owner is indeed a keen gardener, but she is an even keener exhibitor at the local flower show’.

The Mouse and the Cornstalk

A field mouse once sat at the foot of a tall cornstalk and started a conversation. He shouted loudly so that the ears of corn high above could hear him. The cornstalk listened intently to the mouse’s account of its travels to the far-flung corners of the fields, its near escape when pursued by a combine harvester, and its woes about the size of its family and how difficult it was to feed all those hungry mouths.
In turn the cornstalk explained about meditation and how this helped the cornstalk to while away its days in the sun, waiting for harvest day, when its seeds would be taken to begin a new life as something called bread. It proudly said that its very best seeds would be saved by the farmer and planted next year to create the next generation of corn in these fields.
The mouse said it was impressed with the cornstalk’s patience and with the care it took of its seeds. He asked, “Might I climb your stalk to have a better look at the seeds?” “I would be able to tell you which of your seeds will be those chosen to be planted when the farmer comes with his scythe”, said the little mouse.
‘I think not’, said the cornstalk; ‘I can be patient a little longer to find out and, anyway, it would tickle if you were to climb up my stalk and that might shake some of my seeds loose. I can feel that they are almost fully ripe now.’
The mouse looked a little saddened by this, but he said “Perhaps you would care to dance to one of my songs? I have picked up many a fine tune on my travels and, in some quarters, I am well regarded for my voice”. The cornstalk replied saying, ‘I would love to hear some of your songs, but I would prefer gentle ones, so that I might only sway slightly and not shed any of my seeds’.
Once again, the mouse was slightly disappointed by this response, but he began to sing anyway. As requested, he sang songs with a slow beat, but he sang as loudly as possible so that the cornstalk might not fall asleep. The cornstalk seemed to appreciate the music and swayed as if moved by the gentlest of zephyrs.
However, little by little and note by note the mouse reduced the level of his voice. Intrigued, and not wanting to miss a note, the cornstalk bent over to better hear the mouse. Again, the mouse lowered its voice and the cornstalk was forced to bend over even further, until her ears were next to the field mouse. At this, the mouse leapt onto its head, bit off all the seeds and ran away to feed his hungry family.

The Donkey’s Tale

One sizzling hot summer’s day, an old brown donkey lay in a field that had once been grassy, but was now parched and scorched by the sun. The donkey wanted to find somewhere cool, but the only shade to be found was under a large willow tree that stood in one corner of the field.
The donkey stood and made his way over to the tree, moving slowly, so as not to become too exhausted. As he approached the tree, the donkey was shocked when one of the tree’s heavy boughs swished down to swat at the donkey.
“Stay away!” shouted the tree. This made the donkey back off a little and, when he was safely out of reach of the tree’s branches, he stopped and studied the tree with his big pleading eyes.
‘I only want to share some of your shade’ said the donkey. ‘It is very hot today and the flies are biting and driving me mad’. “You have a tail, don’t you?” said the tree. “What do you think that is for, if not to flick away the flies?”
The donkey thought this over and said, ‘Is that why you have branches, to flick away tired old donkeys?’ “Don’t be silly”, said the tree. “My branches are for stretching out into the sun, so that my leaves can gather in the sunlight to help me grow big and strong.”
‘But in doing so, your branches and leaves create shade beneath, and that costs you nothing ‘, replied the donkey. The tree thought about this for a brief time and then said, “You are right. Something that costs me nothing costs nothing to share. You are welcome to sit beneath my canopy and shade from the sun as much as you like”.
Bye and bye, in return, the donkey lifted his tail and shared his droppings, fertilising the soil beneath the tree and helping it to grow even bigger and stronger. This also cost the donkey nothing.

The Struggle to Understand

To raise and flatten mountains

To fill and dry up seas

To choose when each leaf lifts

On a softly stirring breeze

 

To mark the fleeting eons

Yet dictate a cell’s decay

To hold the world in orbit

Spinning to pass the day

 

Power wrought by nature

No conscience or regrets

Entropy increases

Obeying laws it sets

 

Is this universal

Across worlds we cannot see?

Begs another question

How can all this be?

The Most Common Bird?

Wondrous-coloured paradise bird

Nightingale, so sweet when heard

Hummingbird hovers in still air

Cuckoos tell us Summer is here

 

Consider a less regarded bird

One that little praise has stirred

Seen in quite unwholesome role

All black feathers as dark as coal

 

It scavenges food beside the road

Dodging traffic with its dead load

Wary of people it looks in your eye

Any slight movement, it takes to the sky

 

Wet windy days, when others stay home

This still braves the heavens to roam

Its powerful wings effortlessly fly

Large beak cawing a throaty cry

 

Often found in a murderous host

Its intellect is better than most

The creature is one you’re certain to know

It is of course the crow

A Poor Crop

If my tomato plants could speak

They would surely sing with praise

About the tidy greenhouse

As they enjoy summer days

 

Grow bags lined up precisely

Canes readied for support

Windows open for fresh air

A perfect life in short

 

Why, then, do they bear so little

Of the round and deep red fruit

It offends me and seems selfish

Of that there’s no dispute

 

Each evening I check in on them

Down the winding garden path

But their offerings are so paltry

I think they’re having a laugh

 

My neighbour says they’re dying

But how can he be sure

He says they must need feeding

But, like watering, at that I’m poor

 

A Very Brief History Of The Cosmos

Out of nowhere a BANG takes place

Energy and matter now exist in space

Positive, negative, normal and dark

Atoms and strange particles, including the quark

 

Time is born; and its arithmetic

The cosmic clock makes its very first tick

Entropy increases, with empirical truth

Universe expanding, throughout its youth

 

Attractive forces come into play

Gravity, one such, holding sway

In gaseous clusters, suns start to glow

Forming heavier atoms in their fiery throe

 

Worlds coalesce from cosmic dusts

Atmospheres, weather, primordial crusts

Eons passing in galaxies rife

Goldilocks zones, permitting life

 

Normal matter, of which we’re made

Dark stuff, more common, cannot be weighed

Its job, invisible, to hold things in place

As we hurtle through the cosmos at a frantic pace

 

Rav(ages) of Time

Body; once lithe, now weary and weakening

Memories; once clear, now fossilised and fading

Faculties; once keen, now base and blunt

Senses; once sharp, now unreliable and uncertain

Voice; once resounding, now timorous and trembling

Gait; once certain, now wavering and wobbly

Hands; once steady, now capricious and clumsy

Friends; once constant, now flagging and fickle

House; once pristine, now dusty and damp

Garden; once welcoming, now disregarded and decayed

Future; once limitless, now finite and fixed

Any Cat Can

Sit patiently looking at a closed door

….willing it to open

Curl endearingly in front of an open fire

….daring it to spark

Look witheringly from its bowl to you

…..showing distain for your meagre offering

Scurry frantically from its litter tray

….denying responsibility for the smell

Lie contentedly in your lap ‘til your legs ache

….expecting you to stroke its head

Sleep soundly for most of the day

….allowing you to tidy its house