How to Make A Scarecrow

Though it has no thought of keeping watch, it's not for naught that the scarecrow stands in the grain field—Eihei Dōgen (1200 - 1253)

Across the meadow
through the torn wheat. I pass the scarecrow
strung up, one busted arm waving empty.
Flies spin in the ragged shadows.

branches and fence posts

A shout, weak. From behind the dead oak.
A man or the shape of a man with arms out and stiff, like a cross or feeding birds. Wet mouth shines.
My feet hold tight in the plough-ruts.

cable ties, thin wire, duct-tape

Tethered by the snare of the fowler; like we played as children.
Trapped inside a game of catch, I am stolen out of the world.
Hope rests small as a nut in my hand. Fingers pinched and stiff. Numb-cold on the warm evening.

plastic bags, shredded paper, stuffed hessian sacks

Dandelions glow in the dusk. I turn to fill myself with their yellow. A whole field, not enough for what I need.

a worn out fleece, a football for a head

How to leave this place: do I become the black heart of the moon,
or seep into the hollows of the night? Scratched skin. Throated.
World, cover me with feathers. Wings down, beak clamped curious.

a hammer, nails

About the author

Kris Spencer grew up in a village outside of Bolton, England. He has studied, worked, and lived in Hull, Cincinnati, Oxford, and the Bailiwick…

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Issue 25 - Spring 2022

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