survival of the tamest

“There is a human wildness held beneath the skin.”
– Arts, Jim Harrison

is that what war was for?
de-stabling the beast
berserk in the killing fields
weapons spent like water 
before such thirst is quenched 
peace meal treaties
entreating rules of disengagement
eunuch laws that unify
the indebted safe-in-their-beds

is that how it was
with the wild hirsute hunter?
the nitty-gritty Neanderthal
bloodied, disruptive
fire in the belly of the cave
snuffed by congenital gatherers
supplanted by planters
the animals corralled and cowed
before the cull   

is it only along the course of love
we're confirmed to run wild?
for a mad-cap while 
passion's permissive permit
the pulse of lust
lub-lubbing beneath the skin
until the consensual conjugation
and the birth of tame?

For Linda’s Poetics prompt “Songs of Unreason” she gives us a choice of Harrison quotes as epigraph to set our poetry ball rolling .
I had not remembered writing to this quote before (or looked at it again till now) but back in 2018 Jilly gave us this same prompt but extended….

34 thoughts on “survival of the tamest

  1. I love where this line has taken you, Laura. The sound elements in the final stanza are wonderful, and the idea of

    ‘the nitty-gritty Neanderthal
    bloodied, disruptive
    fire in the belly of the cave’

    really got me thinking about how we got to where we did.

  2. I too love where you went with this Laura. Yes, I was longing for those Days of Unreason, hence the prompt. I participated in Jilly’s challenge as well.

    1. I guess that is what this poem kicks against- reason so stifling! (and the one I did in 2018 – could you link up to yours that you did then)

  3. “is it only along the course of love we’re confirmed to run wild?” Yes, I believe so my dearest Laura 💝💝 this poem is incredibly hard-hitting and does so on so many levels! Stunning work done. 🙂

  4. A question framed with wonderfully arresting lines – and leaves me wondering …

  5. …………….eunuch laws that unify
    the indebted safe-in-their-beds………..indeed….but what stunning way to announce it…I was carried along, lke one does if sitting on a magic carpet, really participating fully, aas a reader, annd then your last stanza tumbled in……just so well expressed…..such real, valid philosophy, pulling us along, disguised as poetry, and yet saying so much….

  6. In reading you can almost feel an edge of insanity, frantically wondering if love will actually come out of it all, whatever or whoever they are waiting for.

  7. I admire your interpretation of this line – beyond the love and lust, but also thrill of war and the hunting. Next comes the taming and the cowing – really conforming to life around us. Food for thought!

  8. is it only along the course of love
    we’re confirmed to run wild?

    That is an epic question, Laura. This poem sings truth.


  9. I could feel the wild streak throughout this, Laura, especially in the second stanza, which for me is the belly of the poem. I love that the line “fire in the belly of the cave” is in the very centre 🙂

  10. Poetry that forces the reader to dig deep, really think about what the writer is sharing … my favorite. Yours did just that, Laura. Thank you.

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