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Jefferson Community College Website

"How to Keep Deer Away from the Garden" - Charles E. Watts


The flower pots almost hide the house down the hill
I can see a telephone pole, the brown crease of a wall
But the pine and cedar planted three and two and five years past
Will one day leave only one low ridge, one power line, and the rest
A surround of trees defending us from the neighbors forever will

A long wallow of meadow down to the favorite blueberry patch
Of our ghost buck, who comes in the night for dessert, but only sometimes
Dines of the garden by the porch or in front of the living room window
We suspect it is the dog piss in the yard, or maybe mine from midnight last
That keeps him mostly at bay, but other antivenisons have, perhaps, merit

Grate soap or red or black pepper or curry or garlic
On and around plants and again after the rain
Mix a beaten egg and spray it on the garden and again
After the rain, cut your hair under the full moon and
Sprinkle it everywhere you want the beast to loath

Plant Lady’s Mantle, Butterfly Weed, Foxglove, St. John’s Wort
Lavender, Daffodil, Poppy, and the most pungent of herbs
Fence the property, hang white plastic garbage bags in all the trees
Make an unjoyous noise unto the shadows of the high peaks
Make a mask of the head of another deer and dance with rattles

Snapping at your wrists and ankles as low star sets
In the dawn of the coming sky, the morning sky, the sky
That will drive him away if god is on your side, if god
Will only awaken and come to understand the deep and abiding
Need of humankind to control to lord it to take dominion

Over all the creatures of the earth
Or at least that one damn deer