Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Straw Jesus

painting by Candido Portinari

Straw Jesus

We must all make due with the rags of love we
find on the scarecrow of humanity.”
--Angela Carter.

Christ-like, here I am,
nailed to a wooden cross
made from broken barn boards.
I’ve got vine maple stick legs
shoved into worn out boots;
laces untied and tongues flapping
in the fertilized fecund breeze.

My faded and holy bibbed overalls
are held up by one good denim strap
and a large rusty safety pin.
The strap sports a brass clip, stamped
“can’t bust ‘em”. My red plaid shirt
is torn at the shoulder, and is missing
a pocket. My empty head is a taped-up
soccer ball, and my face is painted
onto a flour sack pulled tight.
My hat, like my torso, is comprised 
of sad sinuous straw.

I’m supposed to be the fierce guardian
of a vast corn field, but around here all
the crows are smarter than I am. 
They flock to me, perching on my 
outstretched arms and battered hat.
If I only had a brain, I might be able
to figure out how to properly scare
my friendly murder of crows.

One bright day while was just hanging
around contemplating my predicament,
a young girl in a blue dress, accompanied
by a tin man woodsman, strolled by. She
told me her named was Dorothy, and that
she was on a quest--and she asked me if
I wanted to join her. Since I was such a
failure in the field, I jumped at the chance
for some adventure; little did I know
what I was in for.

Flying monkeys came
by night, sent by a witch for
nefarious deeds.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub


Frank Hubeny said...

A scarecrow is like someone hanging on a cross. I hadn't thought of it like that before and those crows are often smarter.

jo said...

This is wonderful! I love the vivid description of the scarecrow and his search for a brain once Dorothy and he met.

Unknown said...

figured out how to comment! Yahoo! Your description is exquisite, your words dynamic, and I'm left at the end with a few messages: 1. I must be a scarecrow because I'm sure crows mock me; and 2. never leave the discomfort you are in because the alternative is worse. Lol. Well done, Glenn. Have to give the Jesus connection further thought (beyond the obvious cross.)

Mish said...

Meticulous in details that painted this scarecrow before my eyes. Fantastic work. So glad you joined in, Glenn.

Dwight L. Roth said...

Love it! This could be a story all its own!

candy said...

poor scarecrow, didnkt have brains enough to know that girl would get him into trouble 😉

Christine said...

I never made that connection either about a scarecrow looking like Christ on the cross. What a delightful poem! Loved it 😊

Katie Mia Frederick said...

Sad butt True STiLL NoW
ThaT A Roman Catholic
VerSion oF A Jesus
iS STiLL A STrawman
Oz ArGumenTeD
In So
EviDenT iN
thE LovE Law oF
WHat Anti-Love BRings
In WorShipping Tin Scare
CRows oF LoVE NoW Empty
WiTHouT A OceaN FeeLinG KiNDNeSS
WHoLE CouRAge oF WiSDoM'S heART..:)

Kim M. Russell said...

A powerful poem, Glenn, including the title and quotation! The opening lines pack a punch and the description of the scarecrows clothes is so detailed that he really comes to life. I feel sorry for him but I find scarecrows so creepy. My favourite lines:
'If I only had a brain, I might be able
to figure out how to properly scare
my friendly murder of crows'.

Unknown said...

Word painting-- very vivid