Self Portrait
Recollections and Reflections



When I was a young boy, I larked about, didn’t have a care
I think because I wasn’t self-reflective, somewhat unaware
I lived then within the moment, I’m not sure when I stopped
No thoughts of fate or destiny, just adventures to be topped

Maybe my awareness shifted in a new elementary school
Yet another different town, no friends yet, I played the fool
Thought rain would fall through the open ceiling windows
I’d never seen a skylight, and now looked only at my toes

There’s more to tell of middle years, but I’ll pass by for now
I’m remembering a different time, after I’d learned how
To deflect teasing and ridicule by stealing the bully’s target
Self-deprecating to a fault, so please don’t stop to mark it

I moved out, left home in my eighteenth year, not just me
I knew that it was past time to leave the nest and fly free
Not sure about my reasoning, or what my needs had been
A late arriving hippie, though there were many back then

I looked like I was twelve-years-old, though whip-crack smart
Modest, too, I knew I would survive, eager for this new start
Nor had I completely cut all my ties to family and my home
Though I never planned to return, I knew I would be welcome

In the lottery escaped the army, Vietnam, happy, I can’t pretend
Long-haired by Spring, I’d turned nineteen, on a trip with friends
A SAAB wagon, painted with squeeze bottles used for ketchup
Some pot, I’m sure, plus something more, all this without map

Headed south, down to Louisiana, the Festival of Light to see
One of the last great festivals back then, held out on a levee
Out in the southern Summer sun, steamy and oh so very hot
My sunburn scarlet drew concern, even from those high on pot

The next seven days we stayed, some longer as they’d greeted us
Mostly naked, I played till burned with 5,000 of the 100,000 plus
Caused the governor to come fly over and to fly over once again
My friends left before me; they headed home but I was going on

I went with two New York friends, their trip sparked by a remark
On to Houston, sunshine bright, at the Six Flags amusement park
San Antonio came next, a Jethro Tull concert before we parted
They on to Mexico, I had no passport, I hitched on, openhearted

Johnson City, TX, sipped cool water at a drinking fountain, but
I heard, “Ain’t she cute, wonder how she’d look with a haircut?”
I quickly donned my pack and crossed the street, no time to spare
Stuck my thumb out, hoped to catch a ride, now, almost anywhere


To be continued….




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