Transition Poem 71 @ Jan. 18, 2017

Denver Butson
the aforementioned scarecrow

is not holding his head down because it is autumn and because the weight of the year has weakened him. he is not bent over because it is time to acquiesce to gravity at last. he is not disintegrating into himself as is the custom of scarecrows come October come November. the aforementioned scarecrow is not simply doing what scarecrows have always done and dissolving when the days grow short and dark comes f a s t . n o . t h e aforementioned scarecrow is weeping like he has never wept before. angry like he has never been angry before. and he is gathering his sadness and his rage into power he has never known before. the aforementioned scarecrow is mustering up all his straw and mud and crumpled paper and dust. to lift his head for once in his long life of standing still. and to scare the falling sun from falling. and if not that to scare the fallen sun to pull itself back up and rise again.


Denver Butson is the author of triptych (The Commoner Press, 1999), Mechanical Birds (St. Andrews College Press, 2001) and illegible address (Luquer Street Press, 2004). His work has been in anthologies edited by Billy Collins, Garrison Keillor, and Agha Shahid Ali, has been regularly featured on NPR’s Writers Almanac, and has earned him a individual artist fellowship from the New York Foundation for the arts. He is a frequent collaborator with artists in other disciplines, most recently visual artist Pietro Costa, grammy-nominated violist Mat Maneri, chef Antonio Migliaccio, and Emmy-winning filmmaker Eric Maierson. He lives with his wife, actress Rhonda Keyser, and their daughter Maybelle in Carroll Gardens.

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