We could all just tumble into bed together.

We could make love not war,

And then we couldn’t any more.

Now there’s terror everywhere – and condoms.


Way back, before, you could cruise across Iran

Into Afghanistan, accommodate the border guards

At each check-point and douane

You passed through in your camper van,


Stoned out of your mind, regretting nothing that you left behind

In Europe, sampling the local grass,

And so what if they felt you up the arse

In each bazaar you came across? The Troglodyte


May be our totem these days, aggressive and possessive.

Back then it was the Bonobo

Who defined our spirit. Openly lascivious,

The species doesn’t go for any power hierarchy


Such as we hanker after now with our lust for weaponry.

Now we don’t just tumble into bed

But check beneath it first for some incurable disease

Raising its ugly head. It is perhaps


The sex-plague of our time which has engineered

An anger that has turned the paradise of foreign clime

Into some no-go area, as things just go on getting

Scarier and scarier; touch, smell and taste


Senses that are banned, as we scrutinise each other,

And as we face the fears that really do have to be faced.

Penetrative intercourse? Why bother?

Brood on how you differ from your neighbour,


Wary of any invasion of personal space.


(Now published in Songs of Realisation, The High Window Press, 2019. ISBN 978-1-903006-16-0)

About anthonyhowelljournal

Poet, essayist, dancer, performance artist....
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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