Jack and Jill
Cowboys and Indians
when the day’s fine.

When the day’s overcast
heavy with rain
The children stay indoors
and drink orange and lime.

The children are innocent
unfortunate too
For when they read this poem
when they have grown, I think…..
They’ll know what I meant.

The porn in the lowlands
the dirt in the street
Pages of magazines
fly here and there
a couple will copulate
and no-one will stare, whilst

the Russians and Chinese fight
a razorblade peace
While the thermonuclear head of the future
is in the hands of a few to misfire.

Did you know that a Polaris missile weighs
three hundred pounds
And can devastate cities
and all their surrounds?

Wait for the political warriors to cry,
“Out if bounds!”
Cuba could happen all over again
but not so easy now to refrain.

So, what kind of future
for our children, are we to allow?
We’ve ruined the World
and it’s…

Match-point at Wimbledon, Taylor to serve
Nastasie tracks the ball in its curve
The strawberries, chocolates and ices abound
and all of the children who are bored, turn around.

They ask “if life is worth living”
that “Is the air free?”
And “Will we ever breath for a fee?”
and the flies and the wasps, the bees and the plants
And are we always to live with the cans and the can’ts
and is there really no word for the future?
….for the future is not there.

Then life seems so dull, dreary and pointless
that no-one’s surprised when we become upset and cross.

The sky may get darker
but our eyes will adapt
But, how will our minds cope
when the years have elapsed?

Them will we still be sane?

I presume that one day
the sun will come out
And then, when it’s dry

I can play, and be a cowboy again.

(Note: I often commented, in my thirties, that my lack of direction came from truly believing in my teens that I would never see 30. All I could see was that major power world governments would screw it all up. I find this poem particularly poignant now – has much changed? In fact, was the poem even prophetic? Breathing for a fee took on extra meaning when my friend, Pete, in Manilla, told me that those that can afford to wear oxygen masks in the city. Is North Korea and Iran giving nuanced threats with nuclear weapons any more worrying than Russia and anyone with a few nuke missiles James Bond would have hunted down – then of course, add the duplicity of the good ol’ USofA. Maybe weapons of mass destruction will be surpassed by our industrial activity planet poisoning. Hey ho.
Maybe my adolescent worst fears were prophetic after all.)

(Better make the next poem more cheerful!)