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.

Today, 

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

But now…

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.

 

But today…

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.

 

 

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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 

and distressing,

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.