The times they are a changin’
It was a decade
of innocence and awakening
an era of protest
a coming of age
when expressions like “hip” and “cool”
weren’t exactly out
but “far out” was really far in!
when we traded in the stuffy square
for the more open rounded circle
when we traded
sit-downs for sit-ins
social unrest for Berkeley protest
the small screen for the real thing.
when we unplugged our inhibitions
opened the doors of perception
and broke on through to the other side
In tribal splendor we “happened” at gatherings
in Woodstock San Francisco Chicago and L.A
synthesizing with Leary in holy sugar-cube communion
of divine LSD conception and the expanding consciousness
of One. Evolution was our revolution.
Change was in the air We exploded everywhere
while the government blew smoke-rings around smoke screens
smuggling heroin back from Nam like our dead in body bags
We checked in And we checked out–
as did Janis Jimi and Jim
It was the Summer of Love—
music turned us on music tuned us in
The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper rolled off our tongues
and out of every window Lucy
was in the sky with diamonds
The Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow
took us to a new plane with White Rabbit:
And if you go chasing rabbits
and you know you’re going to fall,
tell ‘em a hookah-smoking caterpillar
has given you the call. Ask Alice.”
And The Doors promised to take us even higher.
Come on, baby, light my fire. Gonna set the world on fire!
Miles and Coltrane were blowing their horns (New stanza)
Dylan and The Dead “like a rolling stone”…
no direction known were somewhere blowin’ in the wind
And some of us were just blowing it!
Blowing our noses
blowing our minds
blowing our inheritance of plenty
and then some!
We were scoring pot rolling grass smoking weed
and taking tokes off Wolf Thompson and Kesey
who first ignited our imaginations
then lit up the whole damn joint!
Every trip—manna from Heaven fuel for The Road
While Kerouac guided us down the back-roads
Ginsberg howled on up the high-ways
as did Corso Ferlinghetti Snyder–
and those faithful few who kept the beat
in the ever-altered States of these United
It was a season when
we placed flowers in our hair
we placed flowers on our graves
we stared down the National Guard
and we placed flowers there
We generated peace
we generated love
we generated the minds of the next generation
We dropped out of school
we dropped acid instead of bombs
we dropped sometimes like flies
off the face of the earth
But we NEVER
© 2020, Antonia Alexandra Klimenko
ANTONIA ALEXANDRA KLIMENKO was first introduced on the BBC and to the literary world by the legendary James Meary Tambimuttu of Poetry London. A former San Francisco Poetry Slam Champion, she is widely published. Her work has appeared in (among others) XXI Century World Literature (in which she represents France) and Maintenant: Journal of Contemporary Dada Writing and Art, archived at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. She is the recipient of two grants: one from Poets in Need, of which Michael Rothenberg (100 Thousand Poets for Change) is a co-founder; the second—the 2018 Generosity Award bestowed on her by Kathleen Spivack and Josheph Murray for her outstanding service to international writers through SpokenWord Paris, where she is Writer/ Poet in Residence.