Man of Straw

Man of Straw


You were a man of straw,

Dressed in stolen rags

Lonely in a ploughed-up field

Bereft of all but crows.

I dressed you in a suit of clothes

Gave you shoes and voice,

A backbone made of wood

And a bravely painted face.

You took these gifts as your right;

Your cunning crow-like brain

Told you what they were worth

Beyond this vacant land.

One day you’ll stand again

In some distant barren place

Fine clothes sold, shoes in holes

Backbone snapped by time

Left only with that crow-led mind

And disintegrating straw.

I gave you just the strength to stand

Not strength to run away.

You can travel a long, long way

With someone else’s power

You cannot stand a single day

Without a beating heart.

3 thoughts on “Man of Straw

  1. Loved this poem – overtones of the scarecrow in Wizard of Oz & I thought the title ‘Man of Straw’ was clever – another layer of meaning. For me, being a Brit brought up in a certain era, there were also echoes of Wurzel Gummidge…


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