‘Know How to Mow’ and Other Poetry by C.B. Anderson The Society September 3, 2021 Culture, Humor, Poetry 19 Comments . Know How to Mow __You want to raise your rates, you say? __Your crying poor is killing me, __for what it’s worth. Just yesterday, __when you were blithely billing me __for services you rendered on __a Saturday two weeks ago __—the mowing of my splendid lawn— __you seemed quite prosperous. I know you have expenses you can barely bring yourself to think about, such as the millions you spend each year to keep your best Brazilians from leaving your employ, but there’s a thing or two …. I hesitate to ride your ass, considering the pressure that you’re under, but as a valued customer I wonder, next week when you arrive to cut my grass, if you might tell your crew to spare the hoses left on the lawn, and mow around the roses. . . Dear Friend, New documents have lately come to my incredulous attention (from sources I am loath to mention), which turned my train of thought from some revisions of the masterwork my editor—I must confess— insists are overdue. And yes, the photographs where you, berserk apparently, exposed yourself from stem to stern are in the file. Good Lord! You went the extra mile, I’d say, which doesn’t help your shelf- life. Maybe you should think about a fresh career where sowing oats does not occasion losing votes: resign, before they throw you out of office. If you’re any wiser from counsel I’ve just given you, then I am sure that you will do the prudent thing. ______________Your fond advisor, . . To the English Priest Who Feared for My Soul Yet Did Not Despair of Me I’m pleased to tell you that the man you used to know exists no longer. Will you be surprised to learn my life has changed? No more than several months ago you would have found me in my customary haunts advertently attempting to ensure I’d burn in hell. But now, as I shall presently explain, I’ve been reborn. I’m loath to be the kind that flaunts the sins he’s since renounced, but let me cite at least a couple good examples: Once I meted pain to womenfolk with whom I chose to fornicate; today, I give them pleasure. Once I was a beast devouring every morsel on the table; now I only eat till I am sated. Once, the hate I harbored for my enemies meant instant death; but lately, out of love and mercy, I allow them to confess before they die. As you have taught me I should do, I pray until I’m out of breath, then pray some more. I trust this news is to your liking— obeying God was not as hard as I had thought. From Godfrid Haraldsson, your most repentant Viking First published in Atavic Poetry . . C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden. Hundreds of his poems have appeared in scores of print and electronic journals out of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Australia and India. His collection, Mortal Soup and the Blue Yonder was published in 2013 by White Violet Press NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 19 Responses Joe Tessitore September 3, 2021 Oh my gosh, are these good!! Funny as can be!!! Reply C.B. Anderson September 3, 2021 I’m glad you liked them, Joe. Everybody needs a good laugh now and then. Reply Paul W Erlandson September 3, 2021 Thanks for these, Mr. Anderson. The 3rd one reminds me of the song “Great Change Since I’ve Been Born” by the blind Blues/Gospel singer Rev. Gary Davis: Things I used to would do I don’t do no more (3x) Been a great change since I been born Lies I used to would tell I don’t tell no more (3x) Been a great change since I been born People I used to would hate I don’t hate no more (3x) Great change since I been born Roads I used to would walk I don’t walk no more(3x) Been a great change since I been born Reply C.B. Anderson September 3, 2021 A couple of maxims apply, Paul: Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die. and Sin in haste; repent at leisure. Rev. Davis knew what he was singing about. Reply Mike Bryant September 3, 2021 C.B. -All three are beautifully wrought and hilarious! Reply C.B. Anderson September 3, 2021 Heh heh. One thing though, Mike: In the last line of “Know How to Mow” the word “around” should be italicized. Reply Mike Bryant September 3, 2021 Got it! Brian Yapko September 3, 2021 C.B., each one of these poems captures a moment in time with tremendous wit and skill. I agree with the others — these are hilarious. Your work is extremely impressive because it is clear that painstaking craft has gone into them which yet seems to disappear into their conversational tone and rhymes that are rigorous yet subtle. Is the proper literary term for this skilled appearance of effortlessness sprezzatura? There is much to admire here. (I especially enjoyed the almost invisible rhyme of “rendered on” with “splendid lawn.” ) Thank you for a fun read and a brilliant primer on how to write poetry. Reply C.B. Anderson September 3, 2021 I never heard of “sprezzatura,” Brian, but I try to keep things simple by writing in clear English sentences. Rhymes like rendered on/splendid lawn are widely available in English, and it’s nice when it’s possible to create a double consonance. Two for the price of one. Reply Joseph S. Salemi September 3, 2021 Godfrid Haraldsson was one helluva a live-wire Viking. Raiding, plundering, laying waste enemy territory, and politically betraying both friends and relatives when necessary… he was the kind of ally you never turned your back on. We need more no-nonsense guys like that today. Reply C.B. Anderson September 3, 2021 As a dedicated Viking, Godfrid did things only one way: His way. In certain respects, we do need more guys like that. If God wants to exact His own judgment, then He will just have to stand in line, like the rest of us. I took this name from a glossary of Viking characters and might have thought it was just a composite personality. Reply David Paul Behrens September 3, 2021 Hilarious, indeed! Reply C.B. Anderson September 3, 2021 How can you laugh at such misguided character traits, D.P.? You are worse than I am! Reply Paul Freeman September 4, 2021 Thanks for the fun reads. Much needed. Reply C.B. Anderson September 4, 2021 I certainly hope it’s needed, for otherwise I’m sunk. Reply David Watt September 5, 2021 C.B., each poem is equally hilarious. What particularly strikes me is that the subject matter varies widely, but the resultant humor is consistent in quality. Reply C.B. Anderson September 5, 2021 Probably, David, I couldn’t write a straight-faced poem if I tried. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant September 7, 2021 C.B., I had to read these fine poems through twice… once for pure joy and a giggle, and again to fully appreciate the craftmanship. I’m thoroughly impressed! Reply C.B. Anderson October 5, 2021 The third time is the charm, Susan. An ounce of your joy is worth a pound of my craftmanship. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.