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Whacking Poetic

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Whacking Poetic

When your weed-whacker gets out of control

One day last month, I was looking around to see if I still owned a boat and, not finding it, decided to get out my line trimmer to help in the search. I started out innocent enough in the driveway flingin’ yarrow, thistle, dandelion and daisy parts to the prevailing winds with the possible inclusion of a few johnny-jump-ups all thriving hydroponically in my gravel approach.

Having done that, I meandered around a raised bed of flowers with a log cannon in the middle aimed at warding off free-ranging idiots who think this is still an old ‘jeep trail.’ Well anyway, I got into a thick stand of feral peppermint which sent my nostrils off to grandma’s sunny patio in Pocatello fifty years back, where she’d treat me to home brewed iced tea with mint leaves and a little fresh-squeezed orange thrown in. This beat the snot out of smelling line trimmer exhaust but I was immediately thirsty.

As I reviewed that old flashback with the left side of my noodle, the right side made sure I was still makin’ progress and directed me on through a mix of fireweed, knapweed, field grass, daisies and thistle (my lawn). The left side was havin’ even more fun and started workin’ out a poem... so I’ll let it explain the rest of what happened.

One fine day, not too far back, I was listening to some Leonard Cohen

while trimmin’ back the jungle some in preparation for mowin’.

I went around the woodshed, then back behind the shop.

Things were gettin’ thirsty but I didn’t wanna stop.

With all the rain we’ve had of late, and the effect it’s had on the weed growth rate,

this was a chore that could not wait... for the seed heads were fixin’ to pop.


With ‘firestorm’ smolderin’ in the back of my mind

I was determined to not get so far behind

as that fateful day in ‘91 when all us firefighters were on the run.

So I blazed on through the taller grasses

which were past my ass and halfway to my glasses!

It was all but concealin’ the bishop’s weed

who was tryin’ so hard to go to seed

So I didn’t even notice as I went upslope

I was cuttin’ cilantro ‘n lavendar like a silly dope.

But my nostrils caught wind and went off again

dreamin’ of salsa, corn chips ‘n soap!


My right side being focused on controlling my land

wasn’t really thinkin’ with my steering hand.

My line trimmer was like a passel of knives

as it worked on through some oregano and chives.

Both sides of my head were on overtime

but the left side was just tryin’ to make it all rhyme.


Preoccupation is a wonderful thing

and may not stop ‘til yer butt’s in a sling.

For next went the savory and some tarragon too

so my thoughts turned to dumplings, gravy and stew.


My right side, not wantin’ to be thought a snoozin’

was tryin’ not to whack any black-eyed Susans.

But what made it stop, not quite on a dime

was blendin’ up parsley, sage, rosemary ‘n thyme.


When fresh cut herbs enter yer senses

yer mind’ll jump over time’s little fences

and go on back where it thinks it oughter

unless it gets hit with a blast of cold water!


This is exactly how it came to pass

that I ended up wet from noggin to ass

as a warm mist of lemon balm nuzzled my nose.

My memories were halted by a garden hose.


I turned around sharply and caught the eye of my honey

who was hosing me down and not thinkin’ it funny.

She’d worked rather hard to get those to growin’

and didn’t even appreciate the fact that I was mowin’!


So the next time I find myself a whackin’ the weeds

I hope I remember this day’s stupid deeds.

For when it comes down to weed whackin’ and pullin’

I should just stick to knapweed and mullen.

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Author info

Scott Clawson Scott Clawson No, he's not the electrician, he's the OTHER Scott Clawson, who's a quality builder when he's not busy busting a gut while writing his humor column for the first issue of each month, or drawing his Acres n' Pains cartoons.

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repairs, yard work

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