I would prefer to have invented a machine
that people could use and that would help farmers
with their work – for example a lawnmower.
– Mikhail Kalashnikov,  The Guardian, July 30, 2002

He spends most of his days
in thought. The nurses know
well enough to leave him alone.

His room is pared back
to the basics: bed, chair, table.
No trinkets, no pictures on the walls.

Words and gestures
are utilitarian. He is an exercise
in stripped down economy.

His window is an empty chamber:
images are snapped into place
like cartridges: grass, hedge,

a dark slash of road. In the distance,
a farmhouse, silos, outbuildings.
Yesterday, a groundsman cut the grass.

He watched all morning. Lawnmower.


Mowing down.

Cutting swathes.

Neil Fulwood has published three collections with Shoestring Press, ‘No Avoiding It’, ‘Can’t Take Me Anywhere’ and ‘Service Cancelled’. A collection of political satires, ‘Mad Parade’ has just been published by Smokestack Books. Neil lives and works in Nottingham. Read other articles by Neil.