John Martin

laughing through grad school
(academic stuff) (hints of life beyond
school and work)
(Flying Moose videos, photos, stories, etc.) (observations)

Scarecrows

 
This is of scarecrows, leaning.
Of skeletal wards in secondhand garb
bound to oakposts in much younger plots,
 
This is of beacons, of old
soundless stalks shaped like men,
standing rows in grim watch.
 
This is of old weathered faces
fixed out at the sky, and of faces
with eyes dull as corn.
 
For them, for gaunt duty, decisions
not made but imposed — where
they stand, and for whom.
 
And ancient dry bodies, and droughts
long withstood, thin thought sticks
ignored, keeping fields.
 
It's not for the green bones, those
bent in their youth, or rude crows,
scarce with care, ever cawing.
 
It's not for the tillers who plant
the straw men, or for poets
endeavored to steal.
 
I write for the scarecrows
indifferent, in tune, who wave
in the wind at the progress of corn,
and smile within.
 

-john martin 1999