Poem of the week: The weather-beaten scarecrow

A work by James Finnegan

‘I imagine this scarecrow will not return’.

‘I imagine this scarecrow will not return’.


A weather-beaten scarecrow leaves the field
a turn or two it takes to calm its tattered mind
I imagine this scarecrow will not return
Professor Pam Lomax once said to me
I never ever contradict myself
unless I change my mind

but that is not the turn of mind I have in mind
more like the road in David Hockney’s Garrowby Hill
or The road to York through Sledmere
or a road somewhat less than a Pauline Damascus
a bend a turn a twist something that keeps one awake
and lights a fire in the next beat and breath
this or that or neither this nor that but
something richer fuller than has happened until now

  • Dublin-born James Finnegan’s first collection was Half-Open Door (Eyewear Publishing, 2018). A second collection, The Weather-Beaten Scarecrow, is forthcoming with Doire Press in 2022.