Spirit of the Sixties

Many things happened
while I was out the back
having a fag.

You got down on your knees
and gave Tom S. a blow-job.

Alex T. had his first successful
bowel movement for two weeks
and on announcing the fact to everyone
received a generous round of applause.

Jill M. took off her top and bra,
flashed her tits to the whole company.
They had all seen them before.

Two people I had never met
continued quietly shagging
on an armchair in the corner.

The central heating boiler
in the kitchen blew up
and demolished the house.

Do you remember?


31 Responses to “Spirit of the Sixties”

  1. Good to see you back in poetic realms David. I was too young to remember the free love part of the 60s. Glad you enjoyed your reverie (:

  2. BIG :-),

    Alas I have no recollection of the 60’s, sometimes it sucks being younger *LOL*. I think sometimes I missed a wonderful time in history. πŸ™‚

    The poem for me really captured a sense of total freedom and space of no consequences. Just living and reacting to the moment as well as a tangilble taste of it still living within as you recollect these events.

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful poem and wonderful smile.
    Take good care my dear friend.

    and K’sOTC πŸ™‚

    • Ah Tikarma,

      The poem succeeded in doing what it set out to do if it generated a big smile for you.

      Although I am not sure that we should wear rose-tinted spectacles when we look back on those days – the “space of no consequences” (wonderful phrase – I may use that in a subsequent poem :)) is an illusion methinks.

      You take good care too my dear friend.
      You are in my thoughts

      and K’sOTC πŸ™‚

  3. Great to see you back in form on the poetry front David. Can we expect the illustrated ‘Brushes’ version of this poem soon? πŸ™‚ (Or maybe my browser filters won’t allow it!).

    • Now there’s a thought!!!
      It would certainly be good fun to paint.
      Although I might get banned from Word Press if I posted it πŸ™‚

      Thank you John


  4. Katherine Says:

    such an amazing generation just a little before me but what music it produced.. of course the drug culture killed off so many of the musicians…. the last question posed then becomes so very important.. a wonderful piece david

  5. I’m afraid I was not part of your crowd, David, at least not early on. I was raised in a conservative part of the west, Grand Junction, Colorado, and the first time I met protesters against the Viet Nam War in the student union at Mesa Junior College, I did not know what to make of them. I started changing my mind about things, oddly enough, as the result of a Political Science class assignment. We were told to do a survey on abortion rights. The whole thing made no sense to me whatsoever. Wouldn’t that be murder? I took several blocks and went on my way with my class survey, and almost everywhere I went the people I surveyed, men or women, were shocked about the very idea of abortion. It was an act against God. This went on until I knocked at the door of a house of an elderly woman who invited me into her kitchen to take the survey. She turned out to be Jewish (a Jewish woman in Grand Junction?) and a passionate feminist. Her viewpoints and arguments were so different from what I had assumed and heard that I was amazed, and I started thinking. This was in 1965. By the time the late sixties rolled around I was against the war, into the music of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Pete Seeger, and thought my generation would change the world for the better. That has not happened, I’m afraid, but the transformation that began with a conversation in a Grand Junction home on a nondescript street has stayed with me for a lifetime. I’ve spent almost all of my working life in poor communities trying to make a better world.
    Your poem, as all good poetry does, sparks memories and thoughts that are too lightning-like to contain. I’m always glad to see your poems, though I am equally glad to see your art these days. We walk through life and run upon circumstances and people that explode into memories that are only partially remembered but fully embraced. The poetry and art you are pursuing helps to bring those memories to the fore.
    Maybe my filters wouldn’t allow a picture of the scene you paint either. Do you think John Stevens’ really knows?

    • Ah Tom,

      Our generation did set out with very good intentions but somewhere along the way got lost in the pursuit of instant gratification before succumbing to the allure of that great god – Consumerism!!

      A sweeping generalisation perhaps and I do know we achieved a lot of good as well. But when we look back on the world we are leaving for our children I am not sure any of us can be really satisfied.

      I set out to do two things with this poem –
      !. I wanted it to be able to be read as real good fun
      2. I wanted also that it should reflect on the pointlessness of it all – hence the destruction of the house.

      Your comment reassures me that I achieved what I set out to do.
      So thank you for that.

      My best wishes to you
      I hope your recovery continues well


      • I think I’m doing well, David. I’ve finished the treatments, which were exhausting for some reason, but haven’t met with the doctors since they were finished. Therefore I’m hoping I’m really doing well without knowing for sure. Thanks for asking.

  6. Wow – David, I’m glad to see someone else post 60’s poetry. Yours is much more colorful than mine. Those WERE the days…. and like Thomas, I too thought our generation would change the world. And I think we did in some good ways – but it wasn’t enough… alas!

  7. Hi David,

    like I said this is funny πŸ™‚ and how amazing that you went outside for a smoke in the sixties, (Out the back means outside I think?) you were probably the only one who did so? Missing all the fun during your fag!

    It must have been great to be a teen/young adult in the sixties, lol as that freedom was all new I suppose. When I was 18 I worked and lived in Amsterdam and it was a bit like that, but nothing compares to those sixties!

    I shall look up bowel movement, but it sounds as if he was very relieved.
    Like John I wonder how about a painting of this scene πŸ™‚

    Have a very good day (probably last of the sun for a while? ) and
    I am glad you haven’t given up poetry!

    Arohanui πŸ™‚

    • Hi Ina,

      You have made me smile – both with this comment and your email which made me laugh out loud.

      I can only imagine that Amsterdam was quite a place to live when you were 18! πŸ™‚

      We still have the sun this morning. It is such a pleasure to be able to have my morning cup ot tea on the balcony. πŸ™‚

      I don’t think I will ever give up poetry. πŸ™‚


      • lol that’s a relief, I was afraid my email gave the wrong impression πŸ™‚
        Have a good inspired day!

  8. Francina Says:

    it were the days of make love not war… and when I look back I think we were naive to think we could change the system.

  9. David, this is brilliant! You’ve captured the absolute crazy chaos, and the innocent beauty of the time — I like this one a lot!

  10. David,

    I think so–remember–or something very much similar. You might recall a poem I wrote about making love to music. πŸ™‚

    I was a teenager in the mid-sixties to early seventies. It was a most abstract and energetic time to be young. I cannot capture one moment from those years in my memory without images from other moments sneaking in to blur the pattern.

    We set out to change the world, and we did. I told my granddaughter that we picked the Earth up in our clenched fists , held it upside down, and shook it like a snow globe in the 60’s & 70’s. When it was over, nothing had landed right side up, least of all us.

    I think we changed more than we wanted. In comparison, life in the 50’s, or what I remember of it, seems very innocent. It was like a black and white world suddenly going complex and Kodachrome.

    I have been enjoying the paintings you post lately. I’m pleased to find time to read just when you are ready to post one of your stimulating poems. You always have a way of getting my brain in a whirl. And, I think it’s wonderful that you were polite enough to go outside to smoke in a time when it was not mandatory.

    I do hope you are well, Irish.

    • I am delighted to have you drop in Shirley,

      I do, very well, remember that poem of yours πŸ™‚

      I suspect, given the response I got at the Writers Circle when I read this poem, that those sort of parties continue to occur. It is just that each subsequent generation think they invented them!!

      In fact one young man (in his twenties) expressed the opinion that the poem is about all the things we miss out on because we are smokers!!!
      Who knows, he may be right πŸ™‚

      I am well.
      And you?


  11. David,

    This is hilarious and was even funnier when you read it to me!! :):)

    The last stanza was a complete surprise and just did it for me!:)

    Love you loads



  12. my word what a time……stark

  13. I passed around the edges of a lot of gatherings like this in the late 60’s and early 70’s! You did a jam-up job of capturing that scene here.

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