Grass (Inspired By Whitman's A Child Asks What Is Grass)
grass gently waves,
by john tiong chunghoo
sways, twists and swirls
with the gentle breeze
in a thousand steps and styles
god's merciful and caring hands
a bewildered young soul
asked ' what is grass? '
wrote lucky Whitman
who was so inspired by
the boy that he wrote
a long poem about life and death
well what is grass?
a genius mind would gather
it is god clothing his earth, men
his way of crocheting to cover up
nudity of his every land
and he so loves the task
he twists and dances in pleasure
as his breathe sweeps over the grass
there is music of joy
everywhere that his hand touches
- as he expends stitch by stitch
inch by inch to spread his cheer
to think of a man without clothes?
how a child would run
for cover on mere sight
grass is god's grace for the child
the mountains, the plains, us
how crude, barren, run down,
they would look without
the gentle and refreshing
green green grass
the grass that would
sweep us off
our feet for a dance
anytime of the day
well then let's answer the child
question: what is grass?
whitman's child would learn that
each blade is god's finger
as he signs a convenant in green
of his continuous care for us
his laughter sweeps over the grass
the way breeze does to our heart
A child said, What is the grass?
A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
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
I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men
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