From A Time Gone By
Is this surge worse than Viet Nam?
by Lawrence S. Pertillar
At least back in 1968,
There wasn't so many conflicts going on!
And being a patriotic black young man...
I had returned from the military,
Feeling strong and giving a damn!
I was in the military,
Two weeks after graduating from high school.
Seeking to protect a nation,
Not then realizing...
When I was discharged,
I would be considered a fool!
And I was shown this,
More times than a few!
Especially by those...
Who went on to graduate,
With BA's and MA's and PHd's...
From top notch schools!
And here we are today...
Approaching two thousand and eight!
With our sons and daughters in wars,
And I think back then,
How patriotic I had been.
To think I was prepared to give up my life...
So others can have rights,
To denounce me and the color of my skin!
But let me say this...
Not one hint of bitterness,
Within me exist!
Not because of actions,
I consciously did take!
Although it irks me to no end...
To see so many folks make the same mistakes.
As I grow older with the grace I am blessed!
I am so happy
My tattered emotions have been mended.
My inner conflicts have been cured of buried stress.
But I must confess...
The world we live now is in a mess!
Not because of real threats made.
But because of an ignorance accepted and expressed!
People have lost an inner worth it seems.
Gone are visions of fellowship,
To the marketing of schemes and corruption themes!
And the youth of today,
Have one thing on their minds!
How best they can 'get over'...
To obtain 'things'
By committing an assortment of crimes,
They are assisted to define!
As the sacred dollar...
Falls to worthlessness.
I feel my basic needs are those of a relic!
From a time gone by when people just wanted
To 'be' and do their best!
One who seeks peace of mind with quality...
While others seek to feed an endless greed,
From an emptiness that is felt!
Whether or not,
There is conflict and unrest!
And I observe this 'mess'...
Wondering why this humanistic 'slide'
Tumbles into oblivion!
Without more cries of those rejecting this in protest!
And each day that I awaken...
I thank God,
He has put my faith and bravery I have shown...
Through such obstacles and tests of mental strength,
He has produced!
And He and I alone have known!
While others may portray a sympathy...
Just to maintain a materialistic gain.
Without one hint of dignity that remains!
Or none remembered to be sustained!