MD Kerr

Old Michaelmas

in common measure

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The devil’s breached the Erl-King’s wood:
he’s crept down leaf-lined lanes.
The soil’s older magic should
have kept him out: the grains

that floating gild October’s air,
the tangling elders’ leaves,
the teazel spines, the bramble snare,
the hemlock: all of these

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

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