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hawthorns and the like

by
 as the landscape falls away
the hawthorn in its gnarly fashion
is content to stand alone
berries (the very tint of passion)
that birds are wont to feed upon
bloodstain the shortened day

a stubborn tree that speaks
of crusty age - its thorns alert
to any too-spirited invasion
who comes (it seems to say) gets hurt 
not those birds with juicy beaks
insects swarm – by invitation

come may though – winter fading
may tree with its prickly pride
sprouts white in prim rejoicing
hunches around at eastertide
spry uncle with (brightly voicing)
maids and suchlike masquerading

when hedged in (deprived of pique)
its softer nature greenly oozing
it’s host to children’s fingers
(their tasty bread and cheesing)
first name means strength in greek
one of nature’s best harbingers

many names to match its guises
whitethorn quickthorn ske porn hag
rich too in its folklore listings
much belies its tetchy tag
its wry wood (tangled twistings)
pleurisy-cure a book advises

old men have a hawthorn look
pretend to a rough vernacular
deny once-selves gentle as fairies
wince at their own spectacular
maydays (wistful gobbledegook)
as the young feed off their berries

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