“…Take your place on the Great Mandala as it moves through your brief moment of time…
Win or lose now
You must choose now
and if you lose, you’re only losing your life…” Peter, Paul, and Mary
Stitching the hem of a prom dress to the
Chicago Convention on TV
Pink brocade, white gloves to the elbow
Night sticks snap skulls
“...and a time on a 27 will always shine a light”
Seven Day War
but neither of us dance
Whispered under weeping willows
“What will become of us?”
“The New Left” scrawled in my yearbook
under Danny’s name
I stared at him puzzled, half-attracted
The New Left came
from Harvard, Radcliffe, Mars?
to the grimy streets of Lowell
to teach us “worker kids”
‘bout our sorry selves
from our bad teeth, unplanned pregnancies
chrome kitchen sets circa ’53
So far beyond
by our worn out dens
with proud TV’s
the evening’s beer proclivity
They, weren’t “Right on!”
with the smell of furniture polish and
lifetimes of motor oil on overalls
We were okay to be organized though
before they left—
Because they knew what mattered!
…and “How could WE know so little!
‘bout Lenin, Marx?
the exploits of profit and endless war?"
How could THEY know so little—
about the death down the street
‘bout the conflict caused by *in-house “Pigs”
Husbands in Canada
Brothers in Nam
Dying small-town, piece-work kids
Freezing on street corners
Handing out leaflets
to talk of guns...
“Our people blew up the Bank of America!
To talk of guns…
While Black Panthers were dying
No ******' around
Hell’s Angels— graphite ghosts
hover in ****** shadows of shared back yard
Revolutionary panic as
mafia muscle makes an appearance
comes-on to me
sped-up and pulls a pistol!…
Guts ran out the holes in my head
…and not so… ready?
Someone suggested “experience”
to explain for certain
the face on the clock
the of wince of Time
and all the reasons there were to die
Should ‘ave asked why— they called it “acid”
Connecting the dots of despair
I saw it all— for the first time
and lost— everything
*in-house pigs: cops in the family
Definitely a GOOD LISTEN.
Another amazing song from Susan's dorm room: The Great Mandala--
Peter, Paul, and Mary-- probably their best and most important song!
This was the height of the American Civil Rights and Anti War
Movements of the late 1960s.
I was trying to capture something of the American despair and drive for change of that time. Not all of us were drugged hippie flower children. Some of us actually saw the extent of the loss around us, and in my case, anyway, thought I was witnessing the last possibility for change-- the last throes of conscience of a once hopeful people.
I was also really young, facing what I am sure now, was the truth and was really afraid of dying. Thought acid (LSD) would reveal meaning-- sort of a religious search. Only did it once-- You know what they say about "What never happens the first time..." Happened.