Ages & Sins 10: Lust

Pure lust, like pure alcohol, is dangerous. But alcohol-free gin is just flavoured water… selling for £30 a bottle! If I want invigorating water, I’ll stick my face in a cascading mountain stream.

Is lust an acceptable aspect of love? Each quatrain of this sonnet explores a different side of the argument: lustless love is “limp”; loveless lust is “violent”; a mix is needed.

The third quatrain is influenced by Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116. The Bard uses himself to justify his argument in 116, “If this be error and upon me proved, / I never writ, nor no man ever loved.” In tribute to dead Bill, my sonnet suggests a burette (a precise measuring device used in chemistry whose name derives from an ecclesiastic jug) is needed to “acc’rately” mix love and lust.

Love without lust’s a lonely lettuce leaf
Unfingered in a fridge: cold, limp and grim;
Ignored by carnivores who fancy beef,
And gastronomes seeking vigour and vim.
But lust sans love’s a stalker’s bugle call,
A seed that can sprout violent purple blooms,
The looter who cares only for their haul,
The gleeful thief who desecrates sealed tombs.
A mix of these two potent potions must
Solution be to keep passion alive;
To get it right the clever chemist must
Find a burette that can measures contrive.
Without the means to balance acc’rately
We’re beasts unfit to crawl out of the sea.

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