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  1. Culture
  2. Poetry
10 January 2024

The NS Poem: Growing Grass

A new poem by Raymond Antrobus.

By Raymond Antrobus

After Philip Larkin and Ross Gay

Because I didn’t know much about gardening
when we first rented the house with a garden

we called a man who drove miles to tend
our plot, to dig a path and tame

the green that swayed as if to celebrate
what wind brushed through it. I realise

the man can’t refuse the work.
Blades will always present themselves

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in these transactions. Kindness
doesn’t come into it really, but when my partner

and I open the blinds, smiling as we prepare
breakfast for ourselves and the toddler

whose feet bumble the ground
around the bed towards the mirror to see

the dance of what can be done with
muscles in the legs and arms and face,

it seems the earth is not here for us
but with us. And how would we get from

one place to another without the kindness
of paths, of seeding and mowing? 

Raymond Antrobus’s most recent collection of poetry is “All the Names Given” (Picador)

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This article appears in the 10 Jan 2024 issue of the New Statesman, The Year of Voting Dangerously

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
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  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
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