Ode To The Sixties

In the beginning was the word
and the word had no meaning,
except ‘do what you want’ ‘you can be anything’
and therein were sown the seeds of dissension
which sprouted for some, destruction,
some misconception,
and for some, a burning bush of hope and desire
for a meaning brought to the word.

There was felt a low rumble
in the guts and minds of a youth,
coming of age,
who were told ‘everything is o.k.’
when it plainly wasn’t.

when blacks wore the color of dogs
and got fed the table scraps of america’s guilt
while zanzinger was upheld by the law.

when women tried to grasp
that being a woman was more than a housemaid,
neither hating nor wanting their dilemma
but knowing a change had to come.

when freedom of thought stopped
at anything which dared to cross the line
and break the barriers of conformity,
in attempts to tear down the wall
of so-called American blind Justice.

when the commitment to equality
transformed words to action
and the heroes of that bronze age of the movement
suffered, bled, died, knowing
that the seed which was developing
must change nothing into one.
* * *
those ideal visions
of no walls or prisons
utopian dreams of a thousand revisions
clashed with reality
forced hard-line decisions

Oh America – Unreal Promise
where all things are equal
by a strict definition
and masses believe in myths
that tell them they are free
to climb any ladder
to dig any ditch
for the small price
of staying in line
making sure to perpetuate the myth –
republic for you and me

The questions that lit up America
from peaceful candlelight demonstrations
that shook the myth
and led to destruction
to the bonfires that burned the cities
and bred revolution
were all conceived by Americans
strangers in a strange land
searching for a meaning to the word

They, the committed, believing so strong
that dreams could be realized
that change could be good
only to wake up and find
Medgar Evers blood on the highway
John Kennedy’s head blown off the map
the war abroad in a living room
America nestling corruption in its lap

Oh yeah, the Cause was most certainly there
a Purpose could be seen
the Troops were gathered
to fight the machine
But it was not the cause of blacks
or the poor
or shades of wrong
or even the war
or any one cause raised to dramatic heights
It was the whole authority on which America stood
that could kill its brothers
advertising Brotherhood
That Unreal Promise of America
* * *
A Youth in anger
spilling the seeds of mass rebellion
who fought an Establishment
that prospered with destruction
Heaved the stones of battle into place
Prepared to run one last long race
Wanting what was only theirs
which they were taught was everything
Lifted hearts to the battle they’d sing
To Overcome in hopes to bring
Equality in anything

A Youth in Rebellion
against the Establishment Games
they stood for Humanity
they stood in the Rain

Some stood for Peace
Some stood for Free
Some Ripped the System
by the root of the tree

The fear was spread
they took to the streets
Chicago bred the police state
with Revolution in Heat

the people rose up
each with a cause
a soldier for freedom
that made their own laws:
Life for the poor
Freedom for the blacks
women Liberated
they couldn’t look back
a nation made new
just do your own thing
all lifted their voices
Freedom shall Ring
* * *
we saw the sun burnt orange in a flower of death,
and screaming napalmed children brightened the t.v. screens.
victims one and all,
of the greed and powerplay by leaders out of control –
masters of war.
we felt the hopelessness and despair
as one by one insurrections were put down,
the unnamed leaders went underground,
and the cause fragmented – to become the movement of mind,
the awareness of self – blind nevermore.
each loss became a victory because the Cause was right,
whether under the Weather to celebrate life
or in the Jungles of ghetto blacktops,
melting under the heat
or in the homes of suburbia from between the sheets.
to expose the corruption and echo the cry:
New Foundations of Liberty
Hypocrisy must die.
* * *
where you want to go
what you want to know
you must reach out from within to begin
look for your answers, but don’t take no.

Relevancy abounds
The Fire this Time
the days of the movement
aren’t too far behind.

Food for Thought with coffee spoons
Ray-Gun singing Nixon tunes
Unable to douse the Fatal Fumes
when ignorance supports the Creator’s Doom.

Deal with it.

* * *

Written almost a clear decade after the 60s were over, this little jaunt into history tells the tale of a myopic youth hell-bent to overtake…mostly, they had no clue as to what they wanted to overtake, it was just the act of it, the sheer adrenalin rush that change could come. But when the party was over, there was still a mess to clean up and America carried on as best it could. Many of the dreams of the 60s were shallow and vacuous, but just as many brought meaningful discourse to the table and indeed there were things the young could teach the old. This then was a time of significance, of relative motion as the stars began to fall and give way to newer skies.

Often since the late 70s when this was written, I have thought about going back and updating The Ode, perhaps explain better or even more; but the time is gone. The dream was corrupted by the behavior of those who claimed to carry the torch and there is shame in the embers. The youth then have now grown old and many, many youths have come and gone. Let’s just leave it to those left to determine how things turned out. One thing for sure…no matter how it turns out, we’re all in this together…so, deal with it.


About pmwallis

A writer, musician, traveller of the soul and investor of the truth...
This entry was posted in The Young Writer and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ode To The Sixties

  1. Todd Holden says:

    whoa…just checkin’ to see what condition my condition was in…

  2. laurie wallis says:

    makes me shiver,
    makes me sigh,
    indelible words
    written on souls
    for all times

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