in the shadows
We used to wear flowers in our hair
and listen to Dylan and the Doors,
and the Stones,
and smoke a lot;
could be done over
in paisley and peace,
it was the peace that comes
from being numb,
but we were young
we were young.
War back then was just another reason
to get high
to walk around
with mushroom soup for brains,
sticking flowers in the guns,
running naked through Chicago,
sticking truth in their ears,
telling ourselves we really did
levitate the Pentagon.
Until the trench coat man
with promises and money, lots of money,
said all I had to do was all I had to do
for all the money I could make,
it didn't take a genius to figure out a plan;
what did it matter where the killings were
as long as all the killings were
for God and country's sake;
it was only time and money after all,
it was only time and money after all.
It all helped me to believe we'd beat him,
by dealing death we'd cheat him,
scam the reaper live forever,
not just in our deeds
but forever young,
like an awakened sleeper,
to rage somehow some day against
and the rest of all the check book patriots,
we were just
the best we'd ever seen,
the best we'd ever seen.
The last time I was in the Haight
street whores wore granny dresses
so salesmen from Des Moines,
could go home to tell their buddies
in the club
how they had a hippie,
in the Haight;
how times have changed,
how times have changed.
Remember TIME and LIFE?
Before anthrax, god's own freaks, missing nukes,
earth killing asteroid streaks?
Money that evaporates,
religions always based on love
teaching us our private hates?
When spin was what our tires did
not politicians and CNN?
They used to warn us
to the bone
about the evil of the life and times
in which we always seemed to feel at home;
now we are them,
now we are them.
White papers and documentaries
were strident warnings everywhere,
about hippie acid in the reservoirs
how we had to watch the water
to protect the body politic,
about the powders that we buried in our genes,
how drugs and sex and rock'n roll would rot our brains,
when we should be getting high on life;
that's what we'd read in any paper
whenever we were straight enough
to read about their hate.
It wasn't often we were straight.
They must have been right
about those drugs building up
inside us all distorting our reality,
so we ignore what's there to see;
it must be
why wide-eyed panic hides naively
behind a breathing mask,
why terrorists who were released
on presidential pardons flew back
becoming ashes in the rain that dried
to powder on the windows looking out
on deadly gardens,
why I don't drink the water anymore,
why sunsets get redder every day.
The cities now,
may have to be abandoned;
may have to be abandoned.
©2003 by icebox