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.
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.
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.
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.
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
of his sap stained shirt.