A New Type Of Cool

It was ’91, yours truly all of six years old,

Kid from the Philippines, fresh off the plane, in a foreign land to call home,

Set off for a whole ‘nother land, there’s no coming back,

The tickets they were one-way, here’s where the rest of life began,

Familiar surroundings in the rear-view, low-key felt bewildered,

Mom and Pops promised a better life, a risk taken sure looked a winner,

Flew to a place called Australia, sure sounded like ‘America’,

Same language spoken, accents couldn’t be less similar,

Newbies to the country shacked up with Auntie and Unc,

‘Til we found our feet and pops could get a job,

People here looked different, lighter complexions and hair colour,

Faintly resembled folks on television, towering over former compatriots,

They drive on the left here like in a mirror, steering on the right seat,

What language are they speaking? To a young FOF’s ears sounded like gibberish,

Then there were the homes, made from various materials previously unfamiliar,

Bricks and wood, solid foundations, more than one vehicle in every garage for good measure,

Green grassy lawns front and back, how do they maintain them?

Found out soon enough, from out the shed emerged a weird contraption,

Watched uncle fuel that little bugger, yanking that starter cord,

Wasn’t long until the purr became a roar,

Eyes fixed on him as he steered that beast, a trail of light green in his wake,

Guiding it through the yard ‘til the tall and unruly grass was tamed,

‘Lawn mower’ they call it, can’t say I’d seen anything like it,

Fan-boying on transport and machinery then, this just added to it,

Back in the motherland lived in an apartment block close to the big smoke,

Take deep breaths at your own risk, your eyes will water as your lungs choke,

A squatters’ village below, no lawn or nature strip, just dust and concrete,

Closest thing to nature flower pots and vases, mowers are useless here,

Would soon watch Pops take on that contraption, the fascination grows stronger,

The smell of cut grass attack the senses, surprisingly refreshing,

Even to this day conjures up memories nothing short of nostalgic,

Spring and summer afternoons, smoothing the grass in your own slice of nature,

Ubiquitous part of suburban living, could call it de rigueur,

Years came and went, the role of grass cutter slowly changing hands,

Where once Pops took care of business junior soon got in on the act,

During teen years was a form of torture, chores outdoors a form of kryptonite,

Slowly but surely embraced the benefits for both body and mind,

Worked the arms, legs and back real good, being among the greenery lifting the mood,

Also the feeling of accomplishment after the yard’s makeover completed,

Rainy weather seems to follow a week or two afterwards,

Green grass getting a taste of it, boosting ‘em damn near skyward,

And so the cycle repeats itself, time to drag that mower from out its slumber,

Once a child admiring Unc and Pops pushing it, now I’m the one guiding it.

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