Real Toads – “Watch the Corners”

For Marian’s Prompt over at Real Toads: http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/07/watch-corners.html

public domain image – Woodstock 1969

By the time I got to Woodstock…”

“turn on, tune in, drop out” Timothy Leary, 1967

I was 18 and rebellious and totally into
Peaceloverocknrollsexanddrugsandrocknroll –
I drove a faded green VW that had those hideous
Flower decals all over it –
Yes ma’am, you read that right.
I had been to the Haight a couple of years earlier
And come back
Changed, De-ranged. Re-arranged –
1969 and I drove the VW to NJ to pick up
My cousin Billy – we looked like bro and sis –
Long wavy dark hair, headbands, bellbottomed jeans
My top had embroidery and tiny mirrors
He wore a black tee shirt –
We hit Woodstock and to be honest –
I don’t remember very much.
The announcement came over the intercom
Don’t take the brown acid man – it’s a BAD TRIP
Billy and I looked at each other –
So like, now they tell us.
When I finally returned home
and fell out of the car onto the front lawn
my mother went and got the water hose
and began to hose me down
and then she gathered my clothes
from the back seat and burned them.
My poor father cried.
My cat laughed.
Peace.

Public Domain Image – Haight Ashbury 1967

d’Verse Poetics – August 18, 1969 – haibun

Today at the d’Verse Poetics Pub, Claudia is hosting. She wants us to write poetry about our country’s National Anthem. Like many Americans, I had not paid much attention to our Anthem or the history behind it. This was the day I heard it in my soul for the first time – atop a VW microbus parked in a sea of mud and garbage – Woodstock.  Come join us at d’Verse Poetics.  And if this doesn’t interest you, starting in September, we will have a new feature:  Haibun Monday.  Please come visit, read, and join us.

August 18, 1969
“And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation.” Woodstock – Joni Mitchell

“Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?”
Purple Haze – Jimi Hendrix

Cousin Billy said, let’s stay. Traffic is horrible. Let’s stay, hang out, groove, listen to the last act. So many had already left, we drove our van closer to the stage and sat on the top of the van. A few people climbed on and joined us. Mellow morning split by image of Hendrix – like a new age archangel making love to his Stratocaster. Across the field the sound soared. High as the birds in the sky I suddenly heard it – The Star Spangled Banner, heard the rockets and bombs exploding; heard the battle for our freedom – rocket’s red glare, bombs bursting in air, our flag was still there.  Billy’s brother had died a month earlier in some ugly muddy melee in Viet Nam. Billy and I held each other and wept as the meaning roared over us, waves and waves of music – raw, primal, real. No sweetly rendered song, no opera singer wailing at a baseball game – No. An African American man bringing it to us in a scream of blood and bone, love and death.

blue summer sky: clouds
finger painted white wisps – birds
wheeling touch the sky.

Thoughtful Thursday: You Hold the Key to Love and Fear

Oddly enough, the latest commercial for Kentucky Fried Chicken brought to mind one of the songs that defined an age, a place, an event, a dream for love and peace:  The Youngbloods – Get Together.

I was one of those at Woodstock and heaven help me, I do not remember much.  My Cousin Billy and I were doing fine until the announcement blared out:  “…That the brown acid that is circulating around us isn’t too good. It is suggested that you stay away from that. Of course it’s your own trip. So be my guest, but please be advised that there is a warning on that one, ok?”

I haven’t a clue if it was bad, I just know at one point, my consciousness merged with lots of other people and it was….epic.  Years later, years older, years wiser, I look back at that time in my life as endless sunshine and beauty.  Of course, most of the time it was pharmaceutically enhanced but….deep in my heart, that song has stayed with me through the years.  It has defined me.  I have shared the song with those I love either by recording or my poor little voice singing along while I play the tune on the violin.  I must add, the drugs are long gone but the love still remains.

I took my husband with me to the 40th anniversary.  He watched clips, gazed at photos, talked to folk like me.  He is 10 years younger than me and was not old enough to be affected.  In fact, he could have been one of the many children there with their parents!

In 1984, an ex-lover and I had gone camping to an almost deserted place on the shore of a huge, beautiful lake.  The first morning, I awoke an hour or so before him.  I walked out of tent and dissolved into the perfect and beautiful silence.  The lake was mirror smooth.  I went to the car and brought out the case with my violin, went down to the shore and sat down.  At first, soft random melodies and then, it all came flooding back to me.  I began to play this song.  I gazed at the birds and clouds in the sky, listened to the waves softly lapping the shore.  My lover came and sat beside me.  “What is that song?”  I began to sing the words and played softly.  When I was through, I looked at him and his cheeks were wet with tears.  We sat in silence and then he said, “Please, again. I remember this song when I was in university in Tokyo.  But it means more now.”

It means more to me now.  With all the hate, war, indifference, it opens my heart anew to loving one another; to doing those small acts of kindness that only another person is aware of, to do something to help another person.  I don’t know who said this, but there is a quote:  “No matter how small, no act of kindness is ever wasted.”   You hold the key to love and fear in your trembling hand.

Post 102!!!! Yowzer Y’all. Answers to Questions

This is post 102 and I must say, I never thought I’d come this far. To those of you who have followed and liked and commented, I truly thank you. You all have made my day many times with your kindness and interest. And so I have decided to answer some questions that have come up so you all can read them.

1. Yes, the Samurai and the Wren series is all true. At this point, I have not decided if I will go past Part III.
2. How did I guess Dr. Ken was a forensic pathologist? Well, he went to University of Medical school and obtained his medical degree. When he said he went to Duke, I logically concluded it was for a specialty since he was already an MD. Now…..When he mentioned U of Tennessee, this clinched it. Now UT is a fine school – excellent medical school (which he didn’t need), good law school (which he didn’t want) but – an excellent anthropology department and……The Body Farm. That was the only reason he would have gone and because he was so good, he was accepted and obtained his PhD. When we met, although the Body Farm was fairly new, it had obtained and still has worldwide fame for its research done at the Body Farm.
3. I am proud to a Southern woman. A friend crossed stitched for me: American by Birth, Southern by the Grace of God.
4. I am really a nerd – love my sci fi, fantasy, manga, anime, Star Trek, Star Wars, comics.
5. Someone said it was interesting to meet a real Southern belle with Japan in her heart. I think that is accurate. And yes, in the good ol’ old southern family tradition, I was a debutante. But the deal was, the summer before I went off to university, was mine. No questions. I went to Woodstock, camped out in the desert, and sat on the hood of my car the night the first man stepped on the moon, gazing at the sky in wonder and amazement.   I love Japan, the art, the food, the culture and Dr. Ken.
7. No, I don’t think I’m going to take pictures of me cooking. I’ve said it before, you all are grownups (sort of) and probably know how to cook already from what I have read on your blogs. You don’t need help from me because you all are accomplished and knowledgeable.
6. The 11/16 Society is real.
8. In The Walk Series of haiku, the man is a good friend. A nuclear engineer from Japan who is here working for awhile. No romance in the works. He is delightful, handsome, extremely intelligent, and humorous. He and I have a special connection and enjoy each other’s company with much delight.
9. There are several poems about Ken and I scattered throughout the blog.
10. there is more info on the Who is KanzenSakura? page

and finally, kanzen sakura means, perfect cherry blossom. Watch The Last Samurai to find out more.

Good night Y’all. Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite!!! and as my grandma Ninny always used to tell me: Sweet Dreams.

11/16 Society: Happy Birthday!

By the time we got home from Woodstock……Thank you all for showing up for the 11/16 Birthday party. Please don’t swim in the nishikigoi pond. Thank you. and still watch out for the brown acid.

Happy birthday to my dear ones:  to you who have gone one ahead, to those in Virginia, Durham, Hakone, Israel, Knightsbridge,  Noo Yawk City, and N’awlins.  May the year ahead be good to you:  “we few, we happy few”.  I raise my can of Coke to you in salute and wish I could give you all a big birthday hug and kiss. 

Songs today reminding me of you and the years  keep weaving through my head and heart:  a tapestry of light, shadows, tears, laughter, faith, redemption, wildness and peace, but especially of love.  I hear “Seven Bridges Road”, “Born to Run”, “Disco Inferno”, “Also Sprach Zarathustra” Handel’s Water Music, “Jolie Blonde”, …but especially I hear Seven Bridges Road.  

I remember the night we introduced that song to Masashi and how it captured him.  He sat at the piano and the five of us present wove that song for it seems like forever:  alto recorder, violin, guitar, tenor sax, voices.  We wove it until the stars went to sleep and the last note quivered in dying silver. 

 

 

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