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)