Poem a Day 2013 #20: My Generation

Poem number 20.

A first draft. It may become a much longer poem – it certainly needs some work on the end. But I like ranting political poems and this is one of those. Influenced directly by hearing the incredible Omar Musa performing his poem “My Generation” in Adelaide recently. This is a sort of tribute / apology / explanation in response to Omar’s piece.

My generation

My generation

surfed on a post war tsunami of hope

smashing strictures and tradition.

 

My generation

was populated by long hairs

and hippies, rock rebels

folk music revolutionaries, guitar and harmonica hyped protest singers

driven by psychedelic visionaries and beat poet pulses

 

My generation

was stained by bubblegum bores and paedophile pop stars

titillated by centre spreads nude from the waist up not down

idolised sport stars who were working class heroes on working class wages

 

My generation

saw change as normal

apathy as appalling

had street marches, sit ins

Marxism, socialism, dreams and ideals

was not commoditised, commercialised, incentivized and monetized

 

My generation

had free education, free school milk

free health care, free bus passes and free love

skinheads, racists, mods and rockers

dole queues, lock outs, class warfare provoked by the privileged

 

My generation looked on in horror but looked on just the same

Looked on as rights became privileges

Looked on as the idea of society was demonised and individuality was beatified

Looked on as greed was glorified and compassion scorned

Looked on as possessions became an endless procession

and acquisition became a life mission

As the best education and health was reserved for those with wealth

As street marches and strikes were replaced by online petitions and Facebook likes

 

Yes, my generation fucked it up.

Yes we let it slip through our hands

Yes we were idealistic, impractical, introverted, incoherent, inflexible

But this generation doesn’t have to take it

Doesn’t have to be sucked into the system

Doesn’t have to be distracted by baubles

 

This generation can win it all back.

 

Yes you can.

 

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2013

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7 thoughts on “Poem a Day 2013 #20: My Generation

  1. Brilliant, Mike! Love it! Great ending and some fantastic lines (“As street marches and strikes were replaced by online petitions and Facebook likes” – so good, so true!)

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