Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Robert Okaji: Scarecrow Sees

Da Vinci maintained that sight relies on the eye’s

central line, yet the threads holding my

ocular buttons in place weave through four

holes and terminate in a knot. My flying friends

perceive light in a combination of four colors,

unlike the farmer, who blends only three. The

octopus knows black and white but blushes

to escape predators, while I remain fixed,

evading no one. Certainly my sense is more

vision than sight, and not the result of nerve

fibers routing light. Crows choose colors

when asked, but a certain shade of yellow

eludes them. And who would hear, above

the flock’s clamor, my claim to see this world

as it is? Grayscale, monochrome, visual

processing and perceptual lightness measures

mean little to one whose space accumulates

in uncertain increments – what is a foot to an

empty shoe? If I painted, which hues would

prefer my attempts, which would distract or

invade my cellulosic cortex, resulting in

fragmentation or blindness? Fear is not

limited to the sighted alone. I look out over

the field and perceive the harmonious

interaction of soil and root, leaf and sun,

the beauty of atmospheric refraction and

the wonder sprouting daily around me. Then

as one entity the crows explode into the blue,

leaving me alone with the shivering stalks,

questioning my place and purpose, awaiting

the next stray thought, a spark, a lonely

word creeping through this day’s demise.


Copyright 2018 Robert Okaji.

First published in The High Window. Included in Vox Populi by permission of the author.

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This entry was posted on January 31, 2019 by in Poetry and tagged , , .

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