GRUMPY OLD WHITE MAN
In an Upside Down World
You ask me why I am confused
My mind a-swirl and disabused
Of long-held preconceptions.
It's because, as the earth spins
And summer seasons turn autumnal,
Time upends those verities
That once in youth I thought eternal.
I recall when a father's duty was unmistaken
Go to work bring home the bacon;
Mother's reign to rule the kitchen
run the house, teach the children.
roles in life are more complex;
Professions open to either sex
fulfill ambitions of power, pride and pay.
Yet, I watch as anxious parents
fly a nest left vacant every day.
As kids we once sang
"Love, marriage, baby carriage."
Now, marriage is a bond twixt two
Of genders straight, or slight askew;
And babies made in tubes of glass
Pay nine months rent
To grow in wombs of the poorer class.
Not long ago…
To smoke a poke of cannibis was sin,
Aborting baby's birth, abomination;
Those ideas I took as given.
But now, the weed is medicine
Abortion hailed as liberation.
For my rebellious generation, now gone gray,
Homosexuals were a sinister threat
I was warned to quickly flee, or risk the taint of sodomy
we chant hooray for lovers who are gay.
When watching weary men at war
I see a scruffy infantry,
Bill Mauldin's Joe and Willy,
dogface grunts begrimed in mud
grizzled sacks of guts and blood.
to my perplexity, our steadfast soldiery
Sworn to protect spouse and kin
Is sturdy, well-armed, and often women!
It was patriotic once for boys like me
To learn to aim and shoot a rifle.
But now good marksmanship annoys
Those who think that skill a trifle..
And the lethal weapon's become a gun,
A toy for men to have some fun.
There was a time when I believed
nature needed to be tamed
wild forests cut and tilled
wild wolves, shot and killed.
Swamps were to most of us, malodorous,
Belching smokestacks lauded as industrious.
I, who wore grey flannel in the fifties,
still think making money should be applauded
and great ambition generously rewarded.
I believe a suntan fine, it's a healthy sign,
And yes! To my mind coal, oil, and gas
they're a blessing,
I rant and wail against pop's obscenities
Music shouldn't be so damn discordant
To my taste the staff of life remains bread and meat
Not vegan salads, of gluten freed,
And despite the well-intentioned I insist
animals are NOT the same as you and me
and men should think their souls supreme.
Plants which grow in arid sand
adapt to the dry and barren land;
but when the river changes course
floods the desert, wets the gorse,
lush vegetation starts to grow.
A jungle of new shoots entwines
Those brittle desiccated vines
Which must be amazed like me
by such dazzling bursts of vibrancy.
It's true, I am a grumpy relic,
often dazed, confused, bemused,
but most of all,
by this flowering life
I am enthralled.