Tuesday, August 10, 2010

TUESDAY POEM: "Blood, Thou Art Blood" by Andrew M. Bell


With never a thought for the shadow of corrosion
nor the fertile breeding ground
of eel slime and rabbit guts,
we took adventure’s companion:
the pocket-knife,
and sliced our thumbs.
A fragment of pain
much less than its apprehension;
to watch
the rubyed jewel of life
then run to kiss the earth with salty gravity.
Pressing our thumbs together,
blood into blood,
we made a symbol of our bond.

This was a time
when blood was blood
and not more virulent
than rats in Renaissance Europe.
When “Magic” Johnson was a messiah.
When dentists and doctors probed with impunity.
Before plasma was a Trojan Horse for haemophiliacs.

even the mosquito’s drone assails our mortality
yet we are loath
to shipwreck its cargo of strange blood.
The body once a temple
now a fortress.
But what is to be our vigilance
when the enemy lies within?

Ó Andrew M. Bell

The poet would like to acknowledge Micropress New Zealand (which unfortunately has ceased as a publication) in whose pages this poem first appeared.

I first wrote this poem in 1993 when HIV and AIDS were very much in the global consciousness. The world's media has long since moved on to other tragedies and disasters, but HIV and AIDS have not gone away. Millions of people, especially in Africa, still die from HIV/AIDS.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this clear, interesting poem.
    I appreciate the intention embedded in it very much.