picking-satchel of blackberry stained patterns
pheasants and partridge rise
through coppice and hedgerow gapes,
boroughs of brush, terrified flowers
and abandoned nests,
‘fore the shotgun escapes.
from wiry snares and tweeded capes
their eastern sunned curtain’d drapes
in oleander bursts of shot
in the mornings wake
Esteemed fox-bait in style they recommend
Its gone: they are gone.
Their pat has gone.
Jinn of buckthorn makes
a cider so strong, its drunken stings: in the fields the furrows made
made so deep no man can escape
deeply, and deeply I wish, I wish; I list the crops,
the rotation-systems and where the water lakes
in the rain - in flooded stubborn pools.
I drain, abstain, I want to be coming to
a last leaf; a blackberry feather and crane of head
reaching through for last of season’s fruit,
grappling hawthorn as it pricks the palm
where the rising suns reflects
off bloodied black bark
and these hands’ blackberry stains.