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Adams’ ProphecyBrian Oxley
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Vol. 6 No. 21 · 15 November 1984
Poem

Adams’ Prophecy

Brian Oxley

212 words

‘Inertia of sex could not be overcome without extinguishing the race, yet an immense force, doubling every few years, was working irresistibly to overcome it.’

Was Henry Adams right
that the race would be snuffed out
not by nuclear Armageddon,
ecological disaster,
plague, comet, sun-storm etc,
but – don’t laugh – the Women’s Movement?

What though it’s not among the signs
listed in the Bible or Koran
like – to stretch interpretation a trifle –
the United Nations in Jehosophat,
or Bedouin in Park Lane and Mayfair;
silence itself is a sign
to those who can read without moving their lips,
and interpret the holes in censored pages.

And now the walls of silence have fallen,
the hegemony of men is broken,
no one can deny the secular revelation
of prescriptive rights to equal autonomy
save the heathen shirking in their darkness,
who are surely headed for extinction

But are the enlightened also?
Can submission appease this Jehad?
For what man has not yearned
to convert to the sisterhood,
to love and be loved as it is written
women can make love to women:
has gone, perhaps, as postulant
to the threshold of their order
and, full of womanly kindness,
had the door slammed in his face
by a sister in a fury.

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