Late-flowering Lust

28th of May, the day when the Lydians made peace with the Medes during the battle of Halys because the sun stopped in the sky.  Well, it was a solar eclipse.  More importantly it was an eclipse that was predicted by the philosopher Thales, one of the seven sages of ancient Greece.

The fact that there was a battle on May 28th is what interests me today.  The end of May is right in the heart of the battle season.  Spring planting is well done.  The grass is growing well to feed the cavalry mounts, and harvest is a long way away.

Not in Ireland.  Non in 2013. Today we have lovely early April weather, at the end of May.  Everything is behind.  Apple blossoms are only flowering now.  Will there be time for a crop to ripen?  The plums haven’t bloomed yet.

Irish communities are taking to their knees, praying for some good weather.  If this goes on much longer they will backtrack through early Christianity and start to sacrifice virgins under oaks using bronze sickles.  Good luck finding those virgins!

Then, just to add insult to injury I have a stinking cold.  This is day 6 of viruswatch.  I have had enough.  I want to emigrate.  So I am looking for recommendations.  I want to move to a country where they speak English, with no biting insects, killer spiders, poisonous snakes or large predatory carnivores.  I want a first world income with third world cost of living.  I want a summer where temperatures don’t rise above 30C and winters where they seldom fall below freezing.  It should have a university in the world top 100, a decent and free healthcare system, the rule of law, a free market economy and a democratic government.  That can’t be too hard, can it?

Late-Flowering Lust by John Betjeman

My head is bald, my breath is bad,
Unshaven is my chin,
I have not now the joys I had
When I was young in sin.

I run my fingers down your dress
With brandy-certain aim
And you respond to my caress
And maybe feel the same.

But I’ve a picture of my own
On this reunion night,
Wherein two skeletons are shewn
To hold each other tight;

Dark sockets look on emptiness
Which once was loving-eyed,
The mouth that opens for a kiss
Has got no tongue inside.

I cling to you inflamed with fear
As now you cling to me,
I feel how frail you are my dear
And wonder what will be–

A week? or twenty years remain?
And then–what kind of death?
A losing fight with frightful pain
Or a gasping fight for breath?

Too long we let our bodies cling,
We cannot hide disgust
At all the thoughts that in us spring
From this late-flowering lust.


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