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Scarecrow and the Rooks - A Quartet

Rooks Landing In January.
Rooks fly onto the field
cawing through their polished beaks.
Scarecrow? Swear he seemed to slowly move,
sliding sideways, did he really stir?
The blur as I curse unsteady eyes
Wind filled with tears and tricks of the light.
He stand obscured in a  float of glossy feathers,
morbid figure slaps entrails in shrouding mist,
tosses listless breasts towards worm infested
soil in the bowels of dark earth, blood sprays like oil
from machines, as some return to toil on winter nests.
The Collector
In a hollow recess of the knotted tree,
eggs crack between feather and fur.
Scarecrow wakes up early in the dark,
turns to trail his pole outside his lair.
Fault lines mine the sodden turf,
he stares towards distant shapes
suspended high in far off trees.
Fences creak in bleak and cursing winds.
He climbs to nests, twig tied finger reaches in.
Plucks warm eggs while circling rooks caw,
escaping from his clutches and their homes.
As he returns the farmer stirs in sleep.
He starts at five, the scarecrow plants his stick.
Zig- zag path fires the tracks he made,
staring out of corduroy cloth eyes,
waiting for the rooks to sail close by.
The Field
Jagg’d against a flat grey sky,
the splintered hands of scarecrow
slash at the horizon.
Eyes sightless, wide,
his ragged coat spawns eddies
riding a cold wind.
No thought,
pure instinct drives his arms,
he arcs into the setting sun.
The field turns black,
the rooks disguised now come,
their razor beaks, sharpened knives,
to tear apart his wooden chest
and take his heart.
Dropping from his holed pockets,
in a furrow underneath his pole,
the young rooks feed on membrane
as they struggle free
and flee on foot to their waiting rookery.
The Remains.
Cloth of coat shredded,
Burton’s logo’s vermilion patch
bathes in its own light.
Splintered pole, battered hat holed,
one twig constructed thumb
bound, constrained in its string.
Ragged trousers half buried under lumber
where the stench of death will linger.
The Rooks, further depleted,
retire to their nests.
Two corduroy eyes bung holes
against cold eastern skies
bringing mornings light.
Splints of branches, twine,
bind tight their homes.
The scarecrow’s parts
lie among them.
The smallest bird is warmed
among remnants
of his sap stained shirt.

25 Jan 08

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oh my Larry. i can't believe i just read this.

this is so complicated. the length doesn't even do anything for the complexity! and length is such a good complexity-builder!

i'm sorry no one has commented yet. i hope you weren't expecting anybody else, because it's just crazy old listen.

this poem is a bit crazy itself; well, at least as far as certain lines, such as

to tear apart his wooden chest
and take his heart ...

lines that are of course just grand. i will be needing to read this again. the description is incredible. i don't know if it is the sequencing that makes this seem complicated, or the words are just extremely compact, but do i venture to say that you accomplished something just in the first quartet that you haven't accomplished before in your other good poems?

anyway, more people should comment. this is just awesome. worth reading excessively, i'm afraid.
 — listen

Dear Listen

Thanks for your astute and inspirational comments. I kind of wanted to write a dark fantasy poem about the inherently cruel and predatory nature of the natural world where flight from danger and kill to survive seem to be essential prerequisites. I envisaged the action taking place in a bare and empty landscape with a few trees standing stark and bare on the horizon and the best the light gets is barely above twilight before plunging into total darkness without moon or stars. A bitingly cold wind is constantly howling across the ploughed fields seperated by low barbed wire fences , a bit like the setting might be for a Beckett play and against this background a vicious fight for survival takes place. There may be other things tossed in there but my primary object was to create an atmosphere of foreboding and fear where the threat of death is ever present.

Larry dressed like one Lark
 — larrylark

Dear Listen

I care not about interest or lack of it but saying that there are a lot of people who post here including you whose views I respect , suggestions I acknowledge, and who provide me with inspiration.

Larry three cheers for PC Lark
 — larrylark