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Friday, May 16, 2014


Armchair Hippie

I was an armchair hippie
During the war in ‘Nam.
I read Time and Life.
I cheered Ruban
And was awed by Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert.
My hair was long.
I made peace symbols in the snow.
Inuits, back from school in the south,
Shared their hash with me.
Friends grew the weed
In grandma’s flower pot,
And made brownies during the darkless nights.
I protested pollution in the Northwest Territories,
And wrote to Trudeau;
And wrote words of wisdom:
I shot an arrow in the air
And it stayed there.
        Unwrap the parcel of water,
        Keep the stamps,
        And drink it.
Peal a million Balloons
And breath the fresh air.
Psychedelic man!
During my programmed holidays I bought music:
Cat Stevens, Simon and Garfunkel,
Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd.
I dug it!
I wore bell bottoms, painted T-shirts,
Bought incense and black candles.
During the winter we would fondue
With wisps of smoke entwining our noses.
I was at Woodstock – in my head –
Sliding in the mud,
Number nine, number nine.
My stereo never stopped:
Country Joe and the Fish.
Far-out man!

Armchair Hippies – Sequel

As I age
Sitting in my armchair,
I think about the hippie sixties –
Much more than beads and drugs,
A time of great psychic change.

The revolution saved thousand of lives –
Stopping the dissolute war in Nam.

Ecological consciousness shifted then –
Rachel Carson, energetic youth, we needed you
To escape from the ignorance of the fifties.

The church invoked power –
“Produce a baby a year.”
“Masturbation is a sin.”
“Women are subservient to men.”

Religion controlled our morals –
Dogma, rituals, rules, fear.
The sixties changed that.
Hippies discovered spirituality –
Sure, it started with drugs,
But it ended with meditation.

I’m thankful for them.
They cut the strings of oppression
And set us free.
Religion, as we know it, will die
A new world will evolve,
And it all started with the hippies
In the sixties.

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