In 1970 Consciousness had 

emerged strong and whole for me

in the new dangerous ways of thinking 

about the changing, shifting world, 

in Woodstock, Dylan and free love,

and in the protests that challenged 

the tired irrelevant guardians of war: 

war with guns, war with classes,

war with women, war with races.


I heard this Consciousness echo

first in Joan Baez and Credence, 

then in “War Pigs”, “Child in Time” 

and in “Let it be”—I loved music

you see!—and I saw it in the 

the faces of those who stood arm

to arm in masses strident because 

they wanted another fresher world, 

not the polite foolish hypocrisy that 

had thus been the way it was.


Yes, I remember, even though I 

was young, but I was not innocent—

no, I saw the world for what it is—

greedy, racist, sexist, classist, 

selfish in wanting to conquer and

control, be Empire still, but lacking 

passion and compassion for this fragile

space with tender souls, and those

suppressed for no reason at all,

like my Indigenous sisters and brothers.  


It was 1970, and I remember still

the insularity of the times—the whiteness,

the maleness, the gendered boundaries,

the distain for difference—but then the 

exciting move towards another,

better, way, another day of peace and 

love that cut down the shocking barriers

to tolerance and acceptance of all, 

another day to “give peace a chance”.


You might say that I am quite naive to

believe in this fading childish fantasy that 

was filled with drugs, abuse and sex and 

all sorts of terrible things we now

see from the grand balcony of hindsight.


Perhaps you are right, and I am

just a silly nostalgic boy wishing for 

another better day; but these ideas, 

these ideals, are still at play in my 

romantic little soul, still at play I say, 

as I see the world as it is today—see 

the strife, the inequality, the terror, 

the POLICY and the decay.


And I also spy another thing that 

becomes clearer and clearer, more distinct,

as I look again with eyes not diminished

through malaise—I see this Consciousness 

still alive, beating and breathing well, and I see

that it has changed the world and will

change the world still in the spark and ire

that strikes all our souls when we witness

division, when we see hate, when 

we behold suffering and can’t walk away;

when we stand together as equals and

sing, “We shall overcome”, in a spirit of ONE.