Monday, November 23, 2015

We Still Dream of Peace

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I remember a time when we thought
we would change the world,
and we almost did:
the civil rights movement,
the women's movement,
Kent State,
Viet Nam:
"Hell no, we wont go",
flowers in gun barrels,
Make Love, Not War,
and
Give Peace a Chance.

Empowerment,
liberation,
joy
were in the air.

Hippies ambled, smiling,
up and down Fourth Avenue.
Haight-Ashbury was where it was at;
hair, beards, dresses all were long
and almost......almost
came the revolution.

Until they began
silencing the world-changers,
the visionaries, with bullets:
Gandhi,
Martin Luther King,
 young civil rights activists,
J.F.K.,
Bobby Kennedy,
John Lennon.

We gave up then,
retreating, shell-shocked,
into our solitary caves,
to mourn our young slain heroes.

The Establishment was
-and still is-
loathe to give up
its rapacious way of being.
The Military-Industrial Complex
won that round.

We Baby Boomers
felt our hope leap up again
when Barak Obama reminded us
what it is to dream,
just how badly
we all wanted change,
and, once again,
 what it is to have a leader
you can believe in.

One still has to hope
that if seven billion consciousnesses
could somehow unite
at the same moment in time,
that better world we long for
might yet arrive.

All these years and
so many heartbreaks later,
we still tear up
when we hear Imagine.
We still all dream
of peace.

I read a wonderful poem at ManicDDaily about the November 22 anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination, which I remember well. I remember sitting, a few days later, in my classroom, watching the funeral on television and how John-John broke all our hearts with his three-year-old salute to his father. I dug around in drafts and found this, written likely on the anniversary a couple of years back, and dusted it off.

I am happy to see, especially with Craig and Mark Kielburger's We Day and Free the Children movement, that there are many young people still dreaming of changing the world - and working hard towards that end.

3 comments:

  1. Happy that you reprinted this! You've captured the flavor of an era (except that I don't completely agree that the military won that round--e got the troops out of Vietnam). Obama did give renewed hope after two and 1/2 decades of sliding down lower than ever. And still we hope, against the odds, and maybe only because of young'uns against pipelines, for environments, etc ... Yes, I dream of peace.

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  2. It is so sad, how much this struggle unites us and haunts us~ Well written, Sherry! Bravo~

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  3. All we can hope for is the younger folk fixing what we f8cked up. ~

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