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Scarecrow Colloquy

ISSUE:  Autumn 1981
Hi-ho, Ragwisp, how wheels the hub of wonder?
Have you now fixed for good the ends of desire?
I find you in the field entranced as Spinoza.

I am glad, friend, of your company.
The man who nailed me up, left me to cherish
The mercy of the crow, does he strive yet?
Or has this age of snow fleeced all his breath?

I know him a little, old Hayhead. What would you of
That he unfold the motive of your wry construction?
Whoever he is, I think he never can say.

He’s the dun farmer who steads on the fenceline.
The gleam of his window bores through my musings,
He studies a-nights. Let him come answer me
From his big book the question and solution

That farmer knows only the toil of his flesh, and when
The fields are soundless asleep and his children are
He ponders a matter you will not care to hear.

Does he remember me ever?
When frost has stiffened my puny coat, I seem to see
Rocking by his fire with his dreaming tobacco
And thinking of his friend in God, the Scarecrow

He knows you not Alas I tell you.
The grain is against him, and the heavy swoon of spade
And hame and scythe blunts his close sympathy.

This autumn I have warded off the ravenous
I have stood a steady watch till the stars went down;
I tallied the moons coasting over the stubble;
I have kept faithful while the seasons scattered

Oh keep the faith, Chaffstaff, by any means.
The old sidereal whirlygurdy might find a pivot
If only you stand stayed and front the silence.

I have called in the field till my voice became a
I have eyed the slit horizon till I lost my buttons.
The fieldmouse heard my counsel and gnawed my

But I stand here rooted still on the bones of Adam


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