Posts Tagged ‘Grasslands’


A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me
with full hands;
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it
is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful
green stuff woven.
Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we
may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child. . . .the produced babe
of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the
same, I receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.
Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them;
It may be you are from old people and from women, and
from offspring taken soon out of their mother’s laps,
And here you are the mother’s laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues!
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths
for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men
and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring
taken soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and

They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait
at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward. . . .and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and
Walt Whitman

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Once upon a time, long long ago, there was a vast savannah on which only lions and gazelles lived. The gazelles ate the grass that grew on the savannah and the lions ate the gazelles when they could catch them.

Although the lions were endowed by nature with fierce teeth, claws, and strength, they generally only were able to catch the weak, aged, unwary or unlucky gazelles because nature, in order to maintain a balance on the savannah between predator and prey, made young healthy gazelles able to run faster than the lions and escape. Those gazelles that got away ate the grasses that grew on the savannah, mated and new gazelles were born. And so, they all, lions and gazelles, thrived among the savannah’s endless grasslands.

One day there was born into the pride, the biggest, the meanest, the fastest and the hungriest lion of them all. One who was able to catch, kill and eat any gazelle that lived on the plain, which of course eventually he did. And the Great Lion as he was called and all the members of the pride prospered until that day the Great Lion finally had caught and killed every gazelle living on the savannah and there was nothing left for any of the lions to eat.

So the Great Lion, still being hungry, began to kill and eat all the other lions until they too were all gone but one. As he was about to be dispatched by the Great Lion to be the Great Lion’s last meal, this next to last lion alive asked the Great Lion, “Why? You could have just eaten what you needed and we all could have and prospered forever. Why didn’t you?”

And the Great Lion looked at him with a smile and said, “My job was only to kill and to eat. I was just following my nature. It was your job, the job of you and all the other lions in the pride to make sure I did not run wild and destroy our grassy paradise.”

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