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Robert Okaji: Scarecrow Calls Out the Man

These things I cannot name: that finger of night

between fear and peace, in which darkness both cloaks

and hugs the wide-eyed. A snake, in the open. And that space

behind the watcher? Perhaps it is easier to call it something

else – a gasp, or the immeasurable measure. A presidential

folly. My friends, ever cautious, swoop in and away, taking

with them only those grains they need, unlike you. What use

is a hoarded larder if it rots? How does one come to want

everything and nothing at the same time? A gilded house

spotlights wealth, not right. Is this edifice your legacy,

your monument to self? The heart monitor’s blip paints one

forever, your pursed lips, another. But even the concrete

you cringe behind lacks permanency; regard your hands

and all they can’t stuff into your pockets. Loosen that

coiled tie lest it choke you. Accept what the mirror sees,

and await karma. Though you will not hear my voice,

I offer this: may the combined weight of your lies and

larcenies, your unpaid debts and power plays, rapes,

casual racism, privilege and coarse, childish taunts, merge

into one fist-size bankroll placed upon your chest, and

fueled by the gravitational forces of forty-four black holes,

slowly, with each turn of the earth’s axis, press down and

down and down in search of that shriveled organ, and finding

it, pluck out and replace it with one resembling that of a

genuine human, one honoring respect and love, empathy

and humility. I am the sum of integrated, discarded

pieces assembled to observe and warn, collecting only

diminishment and the means to become less. Wanting

little, the world welcomes me. It arrives free, honest, on

wings, bringing wealth beyond your reach, your greed.

I own nothing. I know nothing. But this: I name you

Scourge, and laugh at the smallness of you. I name you

Farce. I name you Empty. I name you Gone.


Copyright 2017 Robert Okaji


Robert Okaji

29 comments on “Robert Okaji: Scarecrow Calls Out the Man

  1. ...in my Mind's Eye | Pablo Cuzco
    December 16, 2017

    I think this is where we as poets need to direct our blows. Okaji’s latest Scarecrow is an astounding evolution in his writing, to my understanding. Here, a poet who writes personal impressions based on tone and meter suddenly rages against an enemy of the state in one of his most beautiful and thought provoking pieces yet. It is a direction that merits consideration.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. sidraowens
    December 16, 2017

    That was so awesome that I scarcely have words to define its awesomeness. It captures and embodies a collective anger, dismay, and a need for karmic vengeance that only the universe can provide. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. derrickjknight
    December 16, 2017

    So powerful. If only the right people would read it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. ...in my Mind's Eye | Pablo Cuzco
    December 15, 2017

    Wow. Scarecrow speaks with powerful awareness. A very well-defined likeness.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ...in my Mind's Eye | Pablo Cuzco
    December 15, 2017

    Wow. Scarecrow speaks with powerful awareness. A very precise likeness.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. danielpaulmarshall
    December 15, 2017

    For Scarecrow to say such things, means that the situation is pretty dire.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. robert okaji
    December 15, 2017

    Reblogged this on O at the Edges and commented:
    A companion piece to this morning’s poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bonnie A. McKeegan
    October 21, 2017

    In awe of your powerful words Scarecrow. I hear it and I thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Joy Rosenbloom
    September 1, 2017

    Splendid! This says it all.. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. powerful and honest. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. stevieslaw
    August 24, 2017


    Liked by 2 people

  12. sarahrussellpoetry
    August 24, 2017


    Liked by 2 people

  13. Ron
    August 23, 2017



    Liked by 1 person

  14. rothpoetry
    August 23, 2017

    Wow! What a pronouncement on society today and its lack of authenticity!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. greg thielen
    August 23, 2017

    Outstanding, amazing poem. The gravitational pull of 44 black holes! Great!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. E
    August 23, 2017

    Love his work. This line was a favorite: casual racism, privilege and coarse, childish taunts, merge
    Well done Robert.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. rivrvlogr
    August 23, 2017

    Well said, Scarecrow. The soft edge of the shadows cast by that finger of night grow harder with each passing day.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Jazz Jaeschke
    August 23, 2017

    Applause for Scarecrow’s calling – and for Okaji’s poem

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Abirami
    August 23, 2017

    This is amazing!

    Liked by 2 people

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This entry was posted on August 23, 2017 by in Environmentalism, Poetry, Social Justice and tagged , .

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