“The Sixties” won a blue ribbon for First Place in “Flashback to the ’60s” poetry at the 2017 Marin County Fair. I wrote it specifically to enter in the fair in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. I’m honored, and find it slightly ironic given that my knowledge of America in the 1960s is purely secondhand. However, a lot of my older friends who were alive then say I was born in the wrong generation, or perhaps, am some reincarnated hippie. The 1960s remain my favorite period in both music and American history. Given my affinity for that time period, I’m happy this poem did so well at the fair. Although I had entered in various categories over the years, 2017 was the first time I had won a blue ribbon at the Marin County Fair. In fact, I won two, so go check out “Lift Off!” next!
We were more than just hippies,
artfully clad in paisley and beads,
dancing in circles, hugging trees,
for in these short years,
we brought about revolutions, peacefully.
We made pilgrimage
to North Beach and Greenwich Village
and settled in the Haight,
making music about this world’s fate.
Joining hands, united by songs,
we dreamed of a time where we all got along—
an evolution of humanity,
where each and every soul could live free.
As we lazed upon the grasses,
we took every journey of the mind,
sought out all the truth we could find,
rediscovering ancient spirituality,
while forging the way for a brand new reality.
We explored traditions beyond our family,
seeking out new ways to be,
loving, living, communally,
surrounded by nature’s endless beauty.
We marched together in harmony,
people gathered together as vast as the sea,
fighting for our brothers and sisters to be free—
free from Jim Crow’s tyranny.
We stood up against an unjust war,
questioning just what we were fighting for.
Linked our arms together with strangers,
united for justice and peace.
As a generation came together,
this great nation changed forever,
inching closer towards a dream.