Scarecrow Sings the High Lonesome

Welcome Corvids

 

Scarecrow Sings the High Lonesome

Nothing about me shines or sparkles. If asked,
I would place myself among the discarded —
remnant cloth and straw, worn, inedible,
useless, if not for packaging intended to
convey a certain message, which I of course
have subverted to “Welcome, corvids!” Even
my voice lies stranded in the refuse, silent
yet harmonious, clear yet strangled, whole
and unheard, dispersed, like tiny drops of
vapor listing above the ocean’s swell, enduring
gray skies and gulls and those solemn rocks
bearing their weight against the white crush.
Why do I persist? What tethers a shadow
to its body? How do we hear by implication
what isn’t there? Bill Monroe hammered
his mandolin, chopping chords, muting,
droning, banging out incomplete minors
to expectant ears, constructing more than
a ladder of notes climbing past the rafters
into the smoky sky. What I sing is not
heard but implied: the high lonesome, blue
and old-time, repealed. Crushed limestone
underfoot. Stolen names, borrowed sounds.
Dark words subsumed by light, yellowed,
whitened, faded to obscurity, to obscenity.

Who among you has eaten a cake based on a poem? Stephanie L. Harper made this for me to celebrate a recent birthday. The photo doesn’t do it justice – the level of detail, especially in the crow feathers, doesn’t come through. An incredible cake by an incredible poet and human being. And wife! I am a lucky man.

“Scarecrow Sings the High Lonesome” first appeared in Crannóg, in June 2017.

15 thoughts on “Scarecrow Sings the High Lonesome

  1. You are a very lucky man Robert .. the poem is totally sumptuous, and I love this piece ..
    ” constructing more than
    a ladder of notes climbing past the rafters
    into the smoky sky. What I sing is not
    heard but implied: the high lonesome, blue
    and old-time, repealed. Crushed limestone
    underfoot.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I adore all corvids (ravens especially but crows and magpies also spin my gears) – and I find your scarecrow poems delightful!
    A sense of kinship in defying the “expected” to befriend the delightful. The cake looks yummy but how could you bring yourself to cut into it?!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Scarecrow might be a bit of a contrarian. 🙂 Well, I’d tasted a bit of the cake – Stephanie made a three-layer cake, and then trimmed it, to form the pumpkin, and she offered me a taste of the trimmings. Once I’d had that taste, there was no possibility of NOT eating it. Though I really would have liked to preserve it and place it on top of the book cabinet of my desk.

      Liked by 2 people

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