June 2015: The grass ate my boots - a nature poem composed by Grant M. Mc Ilrath
Date: Tuesday, June 30 @ 23:24:07 UTC
Topic: Creative Galleries

The grass ate my boots - a nature poem composed by Grant M. Mc Ilrath - A.K.A - The Meerkat Man - dedicated to my mother Estelle Mc Ilrath who has experienced this too and asked me to write about this - so here it is Mom.

Kalahari sour grass (Schmidtia kalahariensis), it is called Suur gras in Afrikaans.

This grass covers vast areas of the Kalahari desert after heavy rainfall. It is very sticky and acidic and highly irritating to any skin surfaces and it destroys clothing.

Over seven years in the Kalahari wilderness I had many pairs of shoes eaten away by this grass.

My tatty shoes even featured in an internationally screened National Geographic documentary called Meerkat Madness back in 2000 where the camera follows me walking at a low angle with a focus on my old worn out grass eaten boots.

This poem is for all who have experienced the Kalahari grass up close and a warning to anybody who has not. As I enjoy mentioning it is nice from far, but far from nice...

And the grass ate my boots...
Watching wild meerkats
can be sticky it is true
walking with them daily from sunrise to sunset
is Meerkat Magic
but I will not forget
the following experience and my shoes...

Whilst following meerkat groups
for thousands of hours
as they foraged through
a certain long green grass
had uncomfortable
consequences too

Kalahari sour grass Schmidtia kalahariensis
is no friend of the shoe
legs or any part of you!

Itching and scratching
it coated my legs
leaving them red
blistered and raw
The grass burned me and it was sore!

Battered and worn
Tattered and torn
The grass licked my boots
with their corrosively tongued blades

Don' t let your boots get covered
In that sticky glue
This is what you can try to do

Go and scrub them well
and scrub them fast
For as surely as acid burns
so too does this innocent appearing grass

Alas there was nothing I could do
They had already succumbed to this burning goo

And the grass ate my boots, beware it does not eat yours too!

For more of my poems inspired by nature...just press the poem links below:

Run run tok tokkie run run by Grant M. Mc Ilrath

Invisible Threads by Grant M. Mc Ilrath

Sunset Foraging With Ungulungu Wild Meerkat Group by Grant M. Mc Ilrath

The Meerkat Magic Valley by Grant M. Mc Ilrath

Fragility in Flight by Grant M. Mc Ilrath

Pied Delight by Grant M. Mc Ilrath

The Silent Call by Grant M. Mc Ilrath


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