for Bob Dylan
Youth’s rebellions dissipate;
brave destiny succumbs to fate.
One morning you find it’s too late
to join the revolution.
One’s high ideals sink in the mud;
mountain retreats recede in flood.
The fire that once burned in your blood
Is ash and tar solution.
The words you chanted echo back
with missing verbs, with added tact,
contaminated by the fact
they’re now just noise pollution.
What was the problem has become
the status quo, opposing thumbs;
and the low beating of the drums
is just sheep in wolves’ clothing.
Those questions you posed to the air
have lost their sense of savoir faire.
Youth listens, but it doesn’t care;
they have their own self-loathing.
The answers aren’t there to find
out in the world, inside your mind,
to questions, now, of any kind.
Your gurus were all posing.
And yet the world is still the same:
victors dividing up the blame,
while tired and poor and sick and lame
sit waiting for a saviour.
While those with strength enough to fight
pretend their side is mostly right,
with pills to help them sleep at night
not doing them a favor.
Pretending at community,
while slicing up eternity;
the dish is done, it seems to me
the salt has lost its flavor.
I could, but now it’s far too late;
while we sit back and hesitate
the tabla rasa changes state
and crumbles in the ocean.
And each of us that could have been
if only we’d decided when
is left with words and bitter pens
robbed of our forward motion.
To sit and kvetch about the news
our backsides warm in worn-down pews,
forced now to listen as our views
are shown as foolish notions.
01 AUG 2006