East Belfast you are in my blood

You with your sectarian turmoil

I could never get


Mine is just an ordinary memory

A childhood spent

As it could only have been

[A stable home provided]


I did play my cowboy games

On the green green grass of home


Sliding up in height

Into the Sixties era


And all the false hope it gave – seeming so grand

Getting branded with the sixties brand


Oh hippiedom! – half adopted by me

We sired you when we had the time


And espoused with lip service

Your so called freedom


Yet emotions rose in the music then

Telling us all was well


Turn on – tune in – drop out

Whatever did that mean?


‘Cause our Sixties was the Belfast kind

After all – we still had to work


Parents guided – to ‘serve your time’

And get a bank balance of some kind


But America – do you answer for a lot?

As your philosophies were bought by us

‘Dyeing’ them a different colour


Also imitating Beatle-ish young men

Stones apart and Dylan-esque outlooks


All paid their dues

To give us hero’s full of flaws


But now I think of

Those streets I walked


Into the town we did go

Posing –

but our pose was with a watchful eye


Looking out for the bad guys

Who didn’t ‘get’ the bell-bottoms


Was it youth’s exuberance that

Gave the Sixties it’s smile

Our did the Sixties give us ours?


Was it the generated utopia?

All make-believe – within


As pop-till-you-drop

Was lost along the way


I had mates

And we three

Stuck together

like supportive crutches


A duet, a trio, or alone

At different seasons


At times

Striking-out individually

Looking for adventure


As pubs were crawled-around

And new friends found

With secret language


We knew them

“Hey man!” and two

fingered peace

All (minus the bad) –

Was not so bad


Looking back – can’t go back

Looking forward – can go forward


Sixties gone

The drug man – now gospel man

Told me he would relive the Sixties

As he missed them first time round

in the drug haze

Sixty-two – to Sixties he has returned

Sixties of a different kind


I draw my pen to a close

‘Cause that nostalgic streak

Must be put away for the day

It’s only the wanderings of

An older man

You are too young to understand?

3 thoughts on “SIXTIES Belfast

  1. Excellent, and very moving, Ken. I, too, have quite the thing for the 1960s, though I didn’t experience it as you did. Born in 1957, the 1970s was really “my” decade, but I came to an understanding of life in the late 1960s. (I went to summer camp just a few miles from Woodstock in 1969 … I thought the hippies were dirty and ugly and I hated them).

    From a Christian perspective, I see the 1960s as the decade when the world really began its moral decline. And you were right to call out the U.S., as we gave the world all kinds of cultural ills, Timothy Leary (whom you alluded to) included.

    You said it best this way:

    “Was it the generated utopia?

    All make-believe – within”

    Yes, it was generated utopia … all make believe … and in the end, very bad spiritually.

    You nailed it, Ken. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

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