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.
surfed on a post war tsunami of hope
smashing strictures and tradition.
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
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
saw change as normal
apathy as appalling
had street marches, sit ins
Marxism, socialism, dreams and ideals
was not commoditised, commercialised, incentivized and monetized
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.