De rigueur are multiple piercings

Everyone seems to sport a tattoo

We don a livery of branded goods

Yet this paraphernalia is hardly new


Are we genuine followers of fashion,

Envying next door's Mediterranean tan

Or diven by demons in our genes

That descended from Stone Age man?


Why did tattoos become so critical?

Do your lugs really need triple bangles?

Does this hardware reflect days of old?

Is it warrior kit from ancient tangles?


Do tatoos say: "Keep off, this is me"?

Are piercings there to intimidate?

Is that personalised tee-shirt a warning:

"I'm a somebody, I'm in charge of my fate"?


When hunter-gatherers roamed the plains

They might get devoured in a host of ways

Daubing their bodies they made loud noises

To scare off beasts, survive perilous days


Is a tattoo in truth an expression of anxiety?

Are masochistic holes a defensive measure?

Does insecurity lie behind these palisades?

Stark apprehension rather than pleasure?


Under a bare veneer old habits die hard

Primitive urges lurk in modern veins

Murder is as fashionable as it ever was

We never erased Cain's indelible stains


I dated an old fossil with an owl tattoo

Situated somewhere most curious

Making love she never stopped hooting

The consequences were fast and furious



fossilgeesowlpiercingsstone agetattoowarpaint

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