by Peggy Lands-
Inspired by T.S. Eliot and E.A. Robinson
Middle-Aged at the Millennium
(Apologies to T.S. Eliot)
I have no plan of action, only memory...
Grew up in the sixties when we thought we knew
Exactly how to change the world, all we had to do:
Organize the masses, hold teach-ins at school,
Pressure our officials, sign an early truce,
Love one another, be spontaneous,
Lose bourgeois hang-ups, be impetuous...
The times, at times, were too tumultuous--
We were, at times, their tool.
(Apologies to E. A. Robinson)
Minimum Achiever, for years forlorn,
Grew grey and fat and out of fashion;
She wore the jeans she'd always worn,
And swore with passion.
Minimum loved the days gone by
When wars were wrong and songs were moving;
With files from the FBI,
What was she proving?
Minimum sighed for what had been,
And bitched and moaned how nothing lasted;
She longed for one more great love-in,
And dropping acid.
Minimum mourned the hippie years,
The counterculture's zest and freedom;
She mourned ideals--her sell-out peers
Didn't seem to need 'em.
Minimum loved her artsy friends,
And swore that she would start achieving;
Her starts were great, but had no ends
And left her grieving.
Minimum cursed the worthless game
And gave it up instead of trying;
She missed her fifteen minutes' fame,
But wasn't crying.
Minimum scorned the job she sought,
But how could she survive without it?
Minimum thought, and thought, and thought,
And thought about it.
Minimum Achiever, starting late,
Started out by hesitating;
Minimum knew she shouldn't wait,
And kept on waiting.
Peggy Landsman's poetry and prose has been published in many literary journals and anthologies, including Calyx, The Kerf, Thema, Moondance, The Muse Strikes Back(Story Line Press), The Largeness the Small Is Capable Of (Score Press), and Bridges (Indiana University Press). She lives in Pompano Beach, Florida.
Sunday, December 2, 2007