I know about rototillers. I am nerdish
about pawls, ratchets and crankcases. I understand
the properties of a two-stroke engine, the snappability
of starter cords, how to thread them through a hole.
I know about the incompatibility of parts.
I talk a blokey language: you betcha; no sweat; real good;
that’s a pretty nifty machine; not getting enough juice.
I know the multi-tasking of the word ‘fix’.
I chant ‘Let an Avonmore dig your garden for you’
to a bucking bronco beat.
I know about stripping motors, about clanking drag-bars,
connecting bars, about throttles out of sync
with ‘Stop’ and ‘Start’ and the tongue-in-cheekness
of ‘Easy-Spin-Start’. I know that engines flood,
wheeze, sputter, cut out and die.
I am familiar with the supporting parts;
the petrol-salivating five-gallon jerry can,
the man over the fence with his manly
mix-your-own scent of earth and oil,
dying to ‘givver a go’.
I know about rototillers.
You’ll find one in my mechanical bestiary,
rampant on a field of vert.