MD Kerr

Old Michaelmas

in common measure

Text of the poem

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The devilís breached the Erl-Kingís wood:
heís crept down leaf-lined lanes.
The soilís older magic should
have kept him out: the grains

that floating gild Octoberís air,
the tangling eldersí leaves,
the teazel spines, the bramble snare,
the hemlock: all of these

invoke the spell that hawthorn walls
and willow roof transmute Ė
but when the ripened berries call,
he pisses on the fruit.

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