Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Scarecrows at Sunset


Bare fingers of trees are splayed
against a crimson and purple sunset.

Scarecrows in flannel shirts fall sideways by degrees
as an evening chill rolls across fallow fields,

hope nothing more than a straw dream
of next year’s seed.

Button-eyed heads loll in the breeze,
empty sleeves flailing to wave off winter.

The growing season has rolled away
on an axis of black hearts, black eyes

eclipsing salvation and sun
on an updraft from a distant sea.

Fat devils sleep in the rookery
while scarecrows hang on crosses

before commending their spirits
to a burial in unforgiving snow.

Picture: public domain

31 comments:

Casdok said...

Enchanting.

Jo said...

Lovely write, very evocative with great images.

paisley said...

excellent.. but it does make me wonder why the crows don't fly away in the cold weather...

Janice Thomson said...

Excellent imagery William.
'Fat devils sleep in the rookery
while scarecrows hang on crosses' - love those lines!

raine said...

William, this is EXCELLENT.

hope nothing more than a straw dream of next year’s seed.

Very, very nice!

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

Brilliant. Arrested by the imagery and sense of place from the first word.... it locks into so many memories of my childhood spent partly in the country, watching the rolling seasons.

ChristineEldin said...

It's jarring (in a good way) to feel so deeply into autumn when spring is around the corner. This is very nice.

Billy said...

Casdok, thank you!

Jo, much appreciated--thanks!

paisely, that's a good question -:) I'll have to invoke a suspension of disbelief !!!

Janice, it's always hard to close a poem (for me at any rate). I appreciate your feedback on the lines.

raine, thanks for stopping by and the lovely comment!

Julie, I suppose that's the aim of poetry--to have people internalize and even identify with the images. Glad this resonated :)

Christine, you're right. I should be writing about spring, but the scarecrows came into mind and wouldn't leave -:)

lluvia said...

a poet could not be unaware of the coming of spring...beautiful!

Billy said...

Thank you Iluvia :)

'soulless' said...

Portrait-perfect. And by that, I mean to commend with much gusto the descriptive lines (akin to the brush-strokes of an oil painter) in this piece. ;) Cheers!

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I feel that I can see it! Wonderful work, Billy.

jason evans said...

empty sleeves flailing to wave off winter...

I imagined a farmer's clothesline in a lonely wind.

Lana Gramlich said...

Wow...very desolate & effective!

Billy said...

soulless, you will make me blush LOL.

jal--thanks for stopping by and for the nice comment. I'd like to put up a link to your site--it's great.

Jason, I was thinking of a sleeve that had come unattached from the scarecrow post, but the clothesline works too :)

Lana, yes, I was going for desolation. (Why is my mind doing fall when spring is "springing"?)

Lane said...

There are so many images in those pared down cuplets.

Stark and very vivid.

Excellent.

Marja said...

Magnificent

Billy said...

Marja, thank you so much -:)

Billy said...

Lane, thanks a bunch as always. I had written the poem as a single set of lines and it was awful. When I used couplets, all kinds of possibilities arose.

Lisa said...

This is so beautiful and I too was especially enamored of:

"hope nothing more than a straw dream
of next year’s seed."

So glad I found you!

Crafty Green Poet said...

this feels quite sinister to me, excellently well written

Billy said...

Lisa, those lines do seem to stand out. ... and the feeling's mutual. You have a great site!

Juliet, yep, this is definitely a darker poem. Not much light at the end of the tunnel--just a cold, dark winter for the scarecrows, which always seemed to me to be so helpless (and spooky).

Charles Gramlich said...

Especially like the scarecrows falling sideways, and button eyed heads.

SandyCarlson said...

"Hope nothing more than a straw dream/of next year's seed" captures the very end of despair for me. Beautiful poem, Billy.

floots said...

thanks for stopping by
and giving me the chance to read your excellent work
i particularly like "the essence of a poem"
thank you

Billy said...

Charles, scarecrows do indeed look so forlorn. They were a good vehicle for the theme here.

Sandy, this was surely a poem of despair, but before a germ of wheat can grow, it must fall into the ground and die ...

floots, thanks very much for looking at my poems. Much appreciated.

Tina Trivett said...

Wow...this blog is even better than your other. Didn't think it possible.

This is lovely verse..great visual.

Billy said...

Tina, this is where I do most of my posting. Thanks for the lovely comment. I'd like to link to your poetry site :)

Tina Trivett said...

Thanks Billy...I have linked to yours as well. :)

Raven said...

I especially like the last 4 lines. Lovely.

Billy said...

Thank you, raven. -:)