Blood on the Grass, Blood on Paper

Writing is such a powerful form of self-expression. We write for many reasons. We write to express joy, anger, humor, and more often than not, sadness. Life is full of pain and suffering. I had a moment of anguish recently when I was mowing the lawn. One moment I am mowing the grass, the next something long and shiny is flashing about, like a streak of blue lightning. I stop the lawnmower, distraught that I hit a snake. Soon enough, I find out that it’s not a snake, but a legless lizard, an eastern glass one to be precise. I put it in a box with a blanket. I call animal rescue, take a picture of it, and send it to them. The wound is too severe. I can’t save it. For the rest of the evening I am in a deep pit of melancholy over the beautiful animal I accidentally killed.

To this day I wish I hadn’t of mowed the lawn at that particular time. Or I wish I had of seen the eastern glass lizard before I hit him. There is the chance it could have been sick and dying to begin with. But I ask myself, what if he wasn’t? What if he was enjoying the warm sun and the soft grass, his idea of a perfect day in an Eden-like setting? What if he felt joy unmeasurable, a sense of contentment, only to have it destroyed by the apocalypse of not a lawnmower, but a doomsday device that obliterated the vast microcosmic world of my yard?

I didn’t know what to do. I was his unintentional executioner, but I couldn’t purposely be his savior, no matter how hard I tried. So I wrote this poem in the creature’s honor.

Upon blades of grass, you rested, 
a coil of silver water, turquoise under the sun, 
when blades of steel should cut through your joy.

I saw you flop and thrash, 
your blue and silver thrashing like ocean waves during a storm,
a storm that toiled inside. 
I am going to live.

One drop of blood spoke a thousand passions 
of the struggle for life, the appreciation for beauty. 
Your silent scream tore asunder the blockades of the human heart,
rending its fortified walls into rubble.

Silver and blue, a garment rich and pure. 
You stoically fought like the knight you were,
and kept your noble vestige even amongst the crimson.

The trees, the flowers, the grass, the palms, your temple, will always hold you in remembrance.



An eastern glass lizard. Not the one I accidentally hit in my yard. This image is the property of Wikimedia Commons, taken by NatalieK.


3 thoughts on “Blood on the Grass, Blood on Paper

  1. A beautiful poem, Jonathan, in remembrance of the little creature, but also to all life cut tragically short. It’s a sure sign of both empathy and compassion, qualities that can often be painful, but gifts also that the world desperately needs. The alternative is a deadened soul. Lovely post.


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