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The Scarecrow - More Than Just a Poem

John is passionate about human and animal rights, social justice, equality, and the environment, and likes to convey that in his writing.

Rain On the Scarecrow

The Scarecrow

Neverending corn rows stretch

To the far horizon.

One lonely scarecrow stands on guard

Season after season.

¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ

With tattered hat and patchwork clothes

He hangs there quiet and still,

Filled with straw and crucified

As though against his will.

¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ

He does his job the best he can to keep the birds away.

He does his job the best he can to keep the birds away.

He does his job the best he can

To keep the birds away,

Though some ignore his silent stance

And steal their fill each day.

¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ

Crosses stitched to act as eyes,

His mouth a zigzag line,

Gloved hands raised as if to wave

And say that "All is fine!"

¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ

But what if he was brought to life?

Imagine you were he,

Having stood alone, ignored for years,

Through rain and wind and heat.

¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ

Never acknowledged, thanked, or praised,

Shit on by birds in scorn,

Used just as an unpaid slave

To oversee the corn.

¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ

Would he just be thankful to have no more cross to bear?

Would he just be thankful to have no more cross to bear?

Perhaps he'd rise up from that cross

Bearing anger and ill-will,

To seek his retribution,

To find, torture, and kill.

¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ

Or would he just be thankful

To have no more cross to bear,

Rejoice to now be flesh and blood,

With straw replaced by hair?

¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ

Would you fear the scarecrow,

Treat him with blame and hate,

Or just be thankful that he's free

And leave the rest to fate?

¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ ¥ Ψ

So, next time you pass a scarecrow

I hope you pause to ponder,

About fellow humans trapped and abused,

While you are free to wander.

Would you fear the scarecrow?

Would you fear the scarecrow?

Michael Connelly's "The Scarecrow" is a gripping thriller and holds pride of place on my bookshelf among other Connelly books. The hero is crime reporter Jack McEvoy, who was first introduced in the novel "The Poet", and who I personally find to be a more interesting main character than the more famous Harry Bosch and Terry McCaleb.

I can highly recommend "The Scarecrow."

Who Does The Scarecrow Represent?

This poem is a social commentary on the state of the world today and how we see and react to people from other countries and religions. We often fear things that are different or that we aren't familiar with. With the current situation in regard to ISIS and the increasing threat of terrorism around the world, Muslims, or in fact anyone of Middle Eastern appearance located or seeking asylum in Europe, Britain, America, Australia etc may be perceived as a possible terrorist and threat to our country.

Should we fear people simply because they practice a different religion, or judge the majority by the actions of the extreme radical minority? ISIS is as much a threat to Muslims as it is to Christians or followers of any other religion. Fear for what is happening is a reasonable response to recent atrocities but we need to be sure that fear and anger is directed correctly.

© 2016 John Hansen

Comments

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 21, 2016:

Thank you for reading "the Scarecrow", Marlene. Many of us have been judged by our looks, ethnicity, a disability etc. I thought this was an interesting way to express that. I am glad you can relate. I didn't want the scarecrow to appear too scary :)

Marlene Bertrand from USA on October 21, 2016:

This is a beautiful poem with a wonderful life message. I, for one, know a little something about what it feels like to be judged by the way I look. So, I kind of relate to the scarecrow. Cute scarecrow, by the way!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 15, 2016:

Thank you for the generous comment, Geri. Yes, I do find it easier to express myself in poetry than prose. I am glad you liked the message being the poem.

Geri McClymont on October 15, 2016:

I enjoyed reading this, Jodah. You have a knack for poetry -it seems to come so natural to you. I like how you made the connection between the scarecrow and how, in our shallowness, we take others for granted and turn a blind eye to people in situations that make us uncomfortable. Thank you for sharing this message.

ocfireflies from North Carolina on September 07, 2016:

Hey John,

Making the most means trying to comment on as many hubs as I can before the mean "Net Demon" takes back control. Smiles.

Blessings,

Kim

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 07, 2016:

Hi Kim, so great to see a comment from you. I hope all is going well. make the most of the Internet access while you have it.

ocfireflies from North Carolina on September 07, 2016:

John,

Maybe because I live in Farm Country, Scarecrows are a regular sight. How cool to present a poem from the point-of-view of the Scarecrow.

Thank You,

Kim

PS-Thankful for net access even if sporadic...

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on August 29, 2016:

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this Sunshine. Yes, Michael Connelly is one of my favourites. We are heading to Spring. I don't know which season of the two I prefer. I appreciate the kind comment too.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on August 28, 2016:

Scarecrows remind me that autumn is in bloom. Fantastic poetry!

Michael Connelly is an amazing author, nice touch with adding his book!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on August 17, 2016:

Thank you for visiting my hub, Becca, and for such a generous comment. I shall be over to check your hubs also. Glad we finally connected here.

Becca Hubbard-Woods from Outside your window. on August 17, 2016:

Jodah, you are a man after my own heart. I love personification the most of all poetry, and this is personification in it's best! I can not wait to read more of your work. I'm happy to have found you here! XD

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on August 13, 2016:

Hi Shyron, sorry to hear about your problems with WordPress and your computer. I understand you wanting to leave TCE for now, but remember it is there for you if you ever decide you need another place to write.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on August 13, 2016:

John, I was unable to get WordPress and had a lot of problems with my computer, then with so little time with the outside/inside work. I think I need to stick to HP and forget about writing for TCE, even though I would really love to. Thank you for keeping me in mind.

Blessings my friend.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on August 13, 2016:

Audrey, thank you for revisiting this and your kind and thoughtful comment. Comparing me to that other teacher of parables is truly humbling.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on August 13, 2016:

Yes, Deb, you are right. Birds aren't usually fazed by stationary objects. I saw a scarecrow recently that looked like the grim reaper and it's hands were attached to a bicycle handlebars on a pole, with it's cape or tunic flowing free in the wind...that was a scary one that would work.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on August 13, 2016:

I've been doing some thinking about this poem (which is why I'm back for the second time.) Respecting others regardless of how they dress or what they do for a living is the civil thing to do.

Your message comes through loud and clear with your precious scarecrow.

How grateful we should be for our freedom. Countless others only dream of what we take for granted. I especially abhor child labor in any form.

Thank you John. You remind me of another great teacher who taught in parables.

Blessings,

Audrey

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on August 13, 2016:

You'd be surprised how often they don't work for their intended purpose. After all, I manage to be part of the woodwork, and if I don't move, birds come very close to me.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on August 12, 2016:

Thank you, Deb, your comment is much appreciated. Even though you probably don't like the idea of scarecrows :)

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on August 12, 2016:

That was excellent work, and certainly brings up a valid point.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on August 11, 2016:

Eric, thank you for that brilliant academic description of my poem. I couldn't have described it better if I tried. Cheers.

Eric Wayne Flynn from Providence, Rhode Island on August 11, 2016:

An interesting analogous view of today's blended global culture and how we view each other through a lens of fear that inhibits our freedom.

EWF

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on August 10, 2016:

Thank you for those generous words, Shauna. I thought the scarecrow was an excellent vessel to represent those minorities or people we see as different.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 10, 2016:

Powerful poem, John. At first I thought of the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz. Then I got to the last couple of lines and was floored. It brought to mind people who suffer from mental illness, social phobias or abuse. Your ending paragraphs take it even further.

Wow!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on August 07, 2016:

Kurt, thank you for the generous comment. Glad you liked the message.

Kurt James from Loveland Colorado on August 07, 2016:

Love the message that you have here, how awesome......thanks for letting us read this

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on August 02, 2016:

Thank you Devika. I appreciate that.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 02, 2016:

You have written with great interest.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on August 01, 2016:

Thank you for the lovely poem in comment, Shyron. I love the song "Kaw Liga was a wooden Indian..." Blessings. (p.s. do you still want to be an author at The Creative Exiles? We are contacting everyone who expressed interest but hasn't become active yet.)

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 31, 2016:

John, your scarecrow is not so scary

But, I do imagine he is pretty weary

From his lonely stance

To guard his owner's field of grain

In the heat, cold, wind and rain

And never have a chance

To live and love or just learn to dance

*

I love this John, it brought to mind "Kaw Liga" a song by Hank Williams which would be a good addition to your poem.

Blessings and hugs my dear friend.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 31, 2016:

Thank you, Mike. I am a man of few words (literally) so I like to cram as much message as I can into a small hub :) What silly rhymes did you have to chase away?

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 31, 2016:

Very clever exercise John. I had to chase all the silly rhymes out of my head before I could respond. You packed lots of meat in this one.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 31, 2016:

Exactly, Rasma. We can't constantly live in fear or life just passes us by. We need to enjoy each day. Glad you liked the poem.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on July 31, 2016:

Great poetry. I kept visualizing the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. That is one of the biggest problems that people get tied up with - they are trapped by their own fears so much that they forget how to enjoy life.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 30, 2016:

Much appreciated, Alicia. I was hoping that the combination would prove effective to convey the message.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 30, 2016:

I love this hub, Jodah. It's very effective. Your poem and commentary combine to convey a very important message.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 30, 2016:

Yes, Ann, there is something about scarecrows that stirs the imagination. Thank you for your generous comment about this poem and its message.

Ann Carr from SW England on July 30, 2016:

I've always liked scarecrows. This is certainly a different slant on them and one which is clever. The message is strong and well-crafted. We remember it through such clever imagery.

Ann

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 30, 2016:

That's ok, Linda :)

Linda Marrible from ATLANTIC CITY on July 30, 2016:

thank you and hubpages for letting me speak about the sacred crow with out hurting my filling causes poem's of poetry's I love reading books as coming up an poetry's is something I enjoyed all kinds weather the sacred crows or not.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 30, 2016:

Missy, what can I say. We come from other sides of the world and our personal lives are totally different, but I think we see the world through the same eyes. Glad you liked this poem especially that verse. Thank you my friend.

Missy Smith from Florida on July 29, 2016:

Brilliant John! I loved the questions you raised here. You made real-life situations that some have experienced much easier to relate to by using that scarecrow for an example. I mean, is it any wonder the below verse is my favorite? Nope, because it spews in your face reality; a wake-up call to what many go through. What I, myself, have gone through, and I'm sure so many more. It's anger and resentment to those who could not care less what most struggle through day to day. I relate to that scarecrow! :)

Never acknowledged, thanked, or praised,

Shit on by birds in scorn,

Used just as an unpaid slave

To oversee the corn.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 29, 2016:

Thanks for such a great compliment, Frank. I hope that haunting silence stops ringing in your ears soon :)

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on July 28, 2016:

Your poem here left a haunting silence that rings very loudly in my ear.. awesome poetry second to no one Jodah.. no one :)

Linda Marrible from ATLANTIC CITY on July 28, 2016:

a place a scare crows rich tapestry contains in seasons out of times to seeds some scarce Crow's own balconys must notes in a Crow's beauty indeed many to a dozens Crow's were every bit as intriguing the excursions as a holidays along from this urique times and place's over years

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 27, 2016:

Nell, it is easy for us all to throw blame. As long as we are sure it is directed to the right place it's warranted. But we have to be careful. Lucky you having a scarecrow..does he scare the birds away from your balcony?

Nell Rose from England on July 27, 2016:

Great points John, and yes its easy to throw blame, I do it myself all the time when I see that on tv! as for your poem, I loved it! and yes I love scarecrows, in fact I have a yellow one on my balcony staring at me through the door as I speak! lol!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 27, 2016:

Hello Theresa, yes my muse was quite creative on this occasion. I did think of the scarecrow from Wizard of Oz too as I was writing. Glad you liked this.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on July 27, 2016:

Wow, John, your creative juices were flowing here! Love the poem and the thought-provoking message and commentary following.

I'm reminded of the scarecrow who came to life in the Wizard of Oz and told us all of his brillant thoughts.

Peace and blessings always

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 26, 2016:

Thank you, Vellur, much appreciated.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on July 26, 2016:

Great poem, thought provoking. Beautifully penned.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 26, 2016:

Hi, Seafarer Mamma, I am glad you enjoyed this hub. Thanks for the generous comment. It is much appreciated.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 26, 2016:

Good to see you here, Phyllis. I used to imagine what it would be like if a scarecrow could think and had feelings...what a boring existence. I appreciate your comment.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 26, 2016:

Thank you, Dianna. I am glad I successfully conveyed the message that we need to think about the welfare of other people and not live in fear.

Karen A Szklany from New England on July 26, 2016:

Great poem and commentary, Jodah! I like the comparisons you make. Thank you for sharing in this hub! Great scarecrow pics, too. Very thought-provoking images paired with the John Mellencamp music in the video, too.

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on July 26, 2016:

How interesting, Jodah. Pity the lonely scarecrow. He does his job well, no one ever sits and talks with him or even thanks him. Loyal and steadfast he is, but never appreciated. It would be interesting to see what he would do if he became human. Great poem and very creative thought process.

Dianna Mendez on July 26, 2016:

What an impacting message! I will certainly think about this when I come across a scarecrow in the future. I pray we learn to think about others well being as important.

Linda Marrible from ATLANTIC CITY on July 26, 2016:

he's a misty to voices a rich tapestry's contains in seasons out of time's to some possesses they keeping an interest

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 26, 2016:

MsDora, I greatly appreciate that you took the time to read this poem. I felt it was a timely message that needed to be read. Yes, there are jobs like that. Thanks for your kind words.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 26, 2016:

Great message, skilfully weaved from a writer's imagination focused on the scarecrow. " . . . just as an unpaid slave to oversee the corn" describes my feelings on some job assignments I have had. I like the options you mention for the scarecrow after he comes alive. Timely!

Linda Marrible from ATLANTIC CITY on July 26, 2016:

the scare at night is mostly mystery be he heroine a charm he needed a places outdoors off the grass and fields and he sum a elegant tale..

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 26, 2016:

Sorry, Linda, I don't really understand what you are saying, but thanks for commenting.

Linda Marrible from ATLANTIC CITY on July 26, 2016:

Camus the scare crows at nights mostly mystery both tales of raised up an sum of elegant impressive being with our heroine needing a places of charmed though outdoors off fields and grasses

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

Thank you for reading Michael, and the meaningful comment. Peace to you.

Michael-Milec on July 25, 2016:

Oh Jodah, for a scarecrow all people, depict the human form, and are like rest us, we are like them, acting on impulse stronger than themselves, i.e. spiritual forces that have control over the people. No soul is ever afraid of scarecrows until after his act of brutality.

May we live in peace.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

Thank you, Lori. Your comment was very encouraging. I felt my commentary needed expressing at the present time.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

Thank you for the generous comment whonu. I appreciate you reading this and glad you liked the message.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

"Great Poem" is a huge compliment coming from you, Manatita. Thank you so much for the encouraging comment my friend.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

Thanks Clive,mope it didn't scare you too much.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

Thanks Linda, glad the ending surprised and you found it moving. Cheers.

Lori Colbo from United States on July 25, 2016:

Everyone else has said it all. I too love the twist and your finishing with the commentary on a very relevant and sensitive topic. Well done.

whonunuwho from United States on July 25, 2016:

Nice message here my friend. I liked it very much. Thank you for sharing this work. whonu

manatita44 from london on July 25, 2016:

Clever poem. I like it. Sometimes I hear really funny ones at Poetry cafe. They're good too, but when you hear a great one which is crafted beautifully and cleverly, it is truly a joy to listen to. For me, at least. Great Poem!

Clive Williams from Jamaica on July 25, 2016:

i like the scarecrow, full of straws and all

the scarecrow, even scares me.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on July 25, 2016:

Wow John, I did not see that ending coming. A very moving, excellent piece. Thank you.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

Thank you for the detailed and wonderful comment, Venkat. I appreciate your support and encouragement. I agree with everything you say here.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on July 25, 2016:

What a beautiful message with a simple and very ordinary metaphor of scarecrow. You are quite right that one should think of the services rendered by a scarecrow and be thankful. It can refer to those people and our daily labours working for the benefit of us and whom we do not treat respectfully and pay them so low wages. Further, with reference to terrorism, all people wrongly associated with the terrorists may also be feeling like scarecrows. As you said, we should not confuse or club people simply because they belong to a certain community or group. Good and bad is there everywhere and we should identify bad elements and try not to generalise our opinions.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

Thanks, Larry. Much appreciated as always.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

Dear, Surabhi. Thank you for reading "The Scarecrow." I was looking at book titles on my shelves hoping for inspiration. A book titled 'The Scarecrow" by Michael Connelly attracted me. I had no idea what my message or theme would be when I began to write (but that is often the case). Glad you liked the analogy, metaphor and final photo. Hugs.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on July 25, 2016:

Beautiful imagery.

Surabhi Kaura on July 25, 2016:

Wow! This is an excellent analogy. How did you get this idea, Jodah... huh? (smile). But then you are very creative to come up with this metaphor. Great poem with a superb message. It's always a delight reading anything you write. Btw, loved the last picture. Bravo.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

Ruby, I am astounded by the amazing response to this poem. I felt it had an important and relevant message but didn't expect it to resonate with so many. Thank you for the kind comment.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on July 25, 2016:

You hit the jackpot with this one John! The scarecrow is a great example of fear mongering that many of us are growing weary of. I love the idea of the scarecrow being set free. Creative and beautiful poetry...

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

Yes, it helps to inspire me Tarun.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

Thank you very much, Linda for reading and your kind comment. Glad you understood my message.

Tarun Chhauda from Roorkee, India on July 25, 2016:

Ahh.............Now I see...........your surroundings also work like a tonic for you to present such humble poetry

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

Thank you for the generous comment, Tarun. I appreciate the compliments and am humbled by them. Hmm and apartment next to mine...in fact I love on a 40-acre rural property...so you could be next door but still not close :)

Linda Marrible from ATLANTIC CITY on July 25, 2016:

Yes Im a thinkers being a scared crow is a messages on how a scared crow live every day to be put up to watching those corns fields so the crows won't eat in those fields deep message to treat a human in those shoes like a scared crow and social will put peoples there place's sharing this meaning is just great hub

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

There is that wonderful word again, Dana. Thank you for also calling this "brilliant!" I had no idea of the message I would convey in this poem when I began writing it. Sometimes I feel my pen is led by a much higher authority. Yes, there are many hard-working people who deserve greater appreciation.

Tarun Chhauda from Roorkee, India on July 25, 2016:

Hi John,

Thanks for taking us on that meaningful journey. Someday I need to buy an apartment next to yours and learn this art from you. How well you align all your thoughts and express it through words of rhyme or poetry? Well done! John. Thanks for being around and helping us pass through.

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on July 25, 2016:

I agree with billybuc, Jodah, the message in this poem is brilliant! This reminds me of all the hard-working people out there who are so unappreciated and in certain ways are the back bone of the world.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

Hey, Bill. Thank you! I can live with the word BRILLIANT! Glad you liked the metaphor and message. Cheers,

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 25, 2016:

As they like to say in England, BRILLIANT! Love the metaphor..love the message....carry on, John!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

Chitrangada, thank you for your extremely generous comment. I am glad you liked the message of this poem. Blessings.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 25, 2016:

This is so wonderful and meaningful!

How we ignore or not pay attention to the services rendered by the scarecrow. I appreciate your imagination of making something like 'scarecrow' the theme of your poem and thereby sending strong and deeper message.

Thanks for sharing this excellent hub!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

Glad you liked the twist, ps. Yes, some scarecrows are scarier than others so you have a point. Glad you would choose to rejoice with him though. Cheers.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

Flourish, thank you for sharing that about your neighbor. This is an example as to how unsettled people are becoming with the situation. Even though you know this man well and have worked with him, he still found it necessary to volunteer that he had been background checked etc.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 25, 2016:

Clever twist...how would I act if faced with a real live scarecrow?? If he were not TOO scary and were non-threatening I would rejoice with him in his new found freedom.

Angels are headed your way this morning ps

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 25, 2016:

Enjoyed your poem and didn't expect the ending. My next door neighbor is a Muslim man from Iran whom we've known for 14 years. He recently was telling us about his brilliant daughter who just graduated from a highly prestigious public health masters program and was hired by the White House. He felt the need to volunteer that he himself had been background checked and cleared many times. I used to work in state government with this man (an engineer). It's sad that he'd feel the need to volunteer that information.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

Hi Jan, I appreciate your wonderful comment. I am so glad you found this imaginative and well delivered. Thank you.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 25, 2016:

Thank you, Hari. Yes, it could represent fear of failure too I guess. Whatever you can read into it.

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