Back In 1968
Back In 1968
It was in the year 1968,
This young soul had no goal.
But I was headed for war,
As the Packers won the Super Bowl.
At the White House conference on crime,
While dining with Lady Bird.
Eartha Kitt denounced the War.
But, alas, I never got the word.
A B-52 crashed with nuclear bombs,
And became the “Thule Affair”,
But the noise was quiet at Parris Island,
And I was unaware.
North Korea seized the Pueblo,
Snow on the rifle range made it hard to see.
Rowan and Martin’s “Laugh-In,
Made their debute on NBC.
War for profit paid the bills.
No-one said it was too expensive.
The Viet Cong attacked the embassy,
And the NVA made Tet Offensive.
Nguven Van Lem is executed by Nguven Ngoc Loan,
Swaying public opinion against the war.
And the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”,
Was really Eric Clapton’s solo guitar.
I was going to war with black brothers,
Yet they couldn’t bowl with whites.
Blacks back there in Orangeburg,
Were being killed with no civil rights.
But it was from Madison, Wisconsin,
To the university at Chapel Hill,
All our rights were lacking,
But to die or kill against our will.
Our nerve gas springs a leak,
At Dugway Proving Ground.
But these, too, were guiltless sheep,
The innocence makes it more profound.
First there’s a tiny fib,
Then there’s a little white lie.
And before we know it,
We’re all caught in a big My Lai.
Some soldiers serve their country,
Heroes don’t always understand.
A trail of blood led from Washington.
There were riots across the land.
Congress repealed the Gold Standard.
Lyndon Johnson won’t run again.
I guess this sets the stage,
For Richard Nixon to slither in.
2001: A Space Odyssey,
Was released in Washington, DC.
Then Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
Was murdered in Tennessee.
Apollo 6 is launched.
Black Panthers and Police have a bout.
A double explosion in Richmond, Indiana,
Takes forty-one people out.
LBJ signs the Civil Rights Act.
The musical “Hair” opens on Broadway.
The Beatles create Apple Records,
The Catonville Nine use napalm in May.
The Nuclear sub Scorpion,
Sinks with ninety-nine men,
Robert Kennedy is murdered,
Much to the world’s chagrin.
The Phoenix Program is born.
From what ashes did it arise?
Torture that tortures a man’s soul?
And the Eagle blinded its own eyes.
James Anderson wins the Medal of Honor.
Nixon and Humphrey go toe to toe
Women protest Miss America.
The feminist movement begins to grow.
“60 Minutes” debuts on CBS.
The Detroit Tigers win the “Series”.
Jackie Kennedy marries Onassis,
The photographer just said, “cheese”.
Mexico City had a Black Power Salute!
America had a Jimi Hendrix experience.
And the soldiers in Vietnam,
Were neck deep in their inconvenience.
Peace talks are held in Paris,
While Laos is bombed with a thousand tons.
Operation Commando Hunt,
Is giving us all the runs.
But there were many operations,
So many battles without a name,
As thousands of angry football fans,
Protest the interrupted “Heidi Game”.
Elvis makes a comeback.
The Zodiac Killer takes his shots.
Thanksgiving finds me in An Hoa,
With the curse of the Ho Chi Minh trots.
Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, Will Anders,
See the far side of the Moon.
And I’m eating Christmas Eve C-rations,
Like a typical Bill Mauldin Cartoon.
But I can’t recall where I was.
Nor is there a memory of what I ate.
But I remember I just wanted to go back home,
Back in 1968.
I can see most all of the possibilities. At times I have not believed in God myself. At times the only "god" has been an impish god, a warring god, an uncaring god. But I have been imprisoned and in solitary confinement and whether there is a merciful "God", the benevolent God or not - I have to believe in more than I see, even more than I believe. I have to believe in the science of "God". "For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction." We can call the "wind" by a lot of different names.