Beware False Profits 

Napowrimo, Day 24 and the prompt is to write a poem of ekphrasis — that is, a poem inspired by a work of art. But I’d also like to challenge you to base your poem on a very particular kind of art – the marginalia of medieval manuscripts. Here you’ll find some characteristic images of rabbits hunting wolves, people sitting on nests of eggs, dogs studiously reading books, and birds wearing snail shells. What can I say? It must have gotten quite boring copying out manuscripts all day, so the monks made their own fun.



Beware False Profits



A false profit

Dictates to the masses

The cans and cannots of life

He is a wolf in sheeps clothing

He leads the innocence to death

And they willingly flock to him

Unaware of the danger

Until some start to disappear

Nothing left but feathers

Floating on the wind

Then suspicion grows

They suspect deception

They suspect murder

So mob rule ensues

They hunt down the false bishop

String him up

As an example

To those who choose

To deceive, to hurt, to destroy

The beliefs of the flock


By Katie Haigh


Reynard the Fox Disguised as a Bishop (a later image shows the fox being hanged by these same attentive birds)


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