Free love


They called it free love,
as if it was a store giveaway – a sample to get our juices flowing,
tempting us to pay an exhorbitant price
for the full package.

They called it free,
like there’d never be a debt to pay.
For some there may not have been,
but others paid
in shame, discomfort, and broken dreams.

They called it love;
that intimate act used for the purpose of reproduction or fun,
which hitherto had been a dangerous occupation
for those who didn’t want children.
The pill made it an everyday game
to be played with whoever was available, vaguely hygienic
and sporting a twinkle.

They called it free,
but some of us felt obliged to give it away
to prove we weren’t frigid,
or afraid to rail against the aging status-quo,
or gay –
as if it mattered anyway.

They called it love,
even as they flailed, naked and indifferent,
between questionable sheets or by the gritty evening shore,
questioning whether this was the best they’d ever feel,
making fake orgasmic noises to conceal a failure
to be as they ought – or maybe that was just me.
There was no ecstasy in what I gave away.
I sweated unwillingly;
my aped eagerness a brave or cowardly act.

They called it love,
and fearing loneliness or disdain,
I partook at every disappointing opportunity,
but my heart was always loyal to yours.

They called it free love.
It’s true I was free with my body,
but you were the only one for me, the only man
who loved me enough
to wait until I wished to give myself freely,
even if that day never came.

Only you
recognised and soothed
the broken child
inside me.

Your love was truly free.


©Jane Paterson Basil

45 thoughts on “Free love

      1. Not really dirt. Just aspects of our past we now have a different perspective on. I’m sure people who never did anything they regret have regrets over having never really lived, so it is all part of life. The real thing is what we make of our lives in the present and you’re doing well there.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. It is never too late to do that. I’m just now starting to feel like entering a new phase myself, but that would involve spend a whole lot less time blogging, which I’ve become addicted to. Today I made myself swim before starting my blog. First time in three years!!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Swim! In water! You could drown in that – or at the very least, get a little wet.
              I don’t find enough time for blogging these days, because blogging has made me more confident. I think I mentioned that…
              To put it another way: because I blog, I don’t have time to blog.

              Liked by 1 person

            1. Keeping up with the times? Peer group pressure? That’s a major one.
              I don’t have a TV. I’m baffled by why anyone would pay for a TV licence just to watch all that dross.
              I assume you live in the UK and know what a TV licence is – you wrote mum, not mom.

              Liked by 1 person

                1. In the UK our main channel used to be the BBC, which was non-commercial. It had to be paid for somehow, so anyone with a TV had to buy a licence, and renew it every year. These days there are loads of channels, but the BBC still exists, so the licence still has to be paid. It’s exhorbitant. There are other channels which viewers pay extra for, too.
                  Maybe I’ll write a post about the TV licencing company hounding me year after year, as they can’t believe that anyone could survive without a TV….

                  Liked by 2 people

    1. We learn by our mistakes, and mistakes leave scars. Scars form our character, but it’s sad that it has to be this way.
      The scary thing is that more alcohol is involved these days – and far more drugs, which can be easily bought on the dark web…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, very true, all the way around. In our day we had LSD, which I fortunately never used and Marijuana which I may have tried two or three times. I remember my first attempt to smoke marijuana. My boyfriend proudly offered me some and it turned out to be oregano. We were pretty naive. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Your first attempt at marijuana ended more happily than mine. My brother brought a big bag of it home from a music festival, and we didn’t smoke, so I suggested that we put it in a glass of water and drank it. He got the water and dropped it all in. It floated on top.
          He took a tiny sip and said “Ugh. I’m not drinking that”, so I downed the lot in one go. “It’s not doing anything to me,” I said, just before the floor rose up to become vertical. I was clutching the carpets, my fingernails digging in, to stop me (as I imagined it) from sliding. I made it to the door into the kitchen, where my parents were. I was trying to tell my brother that they needed to know something bad was happening to the living room. He was trying to stop me reaching up to the ceiling to open the door.
          Luckily I stopped halunicinating before I managed to get the door open, but it stopped me from ever having any desire to try LSD.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. As a child growing up in the sixties. I believed in “free love” and still do. Yet the word love was not really about sex, for me. It was about the universal love, that is God. I never bought into organized religion. I did buy into God. A few months ago I came upon a very interesting article on the web. By a writer Dave McGowan. Called, Inside the LC The strange but mostly true story of Laurel Canyon and the birth of the hippie generation.

    It has a lot of parts to it. The author died in 2015. He grew up in LA. The connections run far and they run deep. I hope you can find time to read the whole article? It might help you understand how it influenced the youth of that generation?

    My relationship with God, changes but the supreme being stays constant. L-O-V-E Universal. I watch David Icke with his take on the Archons, etc. The Lizard people? It seems to run very deep? Cheers Jamie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the link. I clicked on it, thinking to quickly check it out, and get back to it later, but was so riveted that I read the first 4 parts and started on the 5th. I’m only breaking away to respond to my WP messages. I live in the UK, and althoough I knew that the hippie movement started in LA, I had no idea of its murky roots. It makes me wonder about Phil Spectre; he was clearly a nasty character, but the evidence suggested that he didn’t murder anybody. Maybe that was a set-up…
      I find the idea that Mama Cass was so embroiled a bit upsetting. She was one of my icons.
      Maybe it’s time I looked into the lizard people. Up to now I’ve avoided that subject.
      I don’t know what God is, but I accept that there may be such a deity, and I know that pure love is selfless. I think sex rarely involves pure love. My poem was written to somebody I love in that way. I stopped seeing him 40 years ago, because I was sure it was better for him. Time has proved I was right. I’ll always love him.


      1. Yeah, that’s how it took me also. When first starting I thought … “here we go again”. Only to find myself so transfixed with the content. I have since re-read it a couple of times.

        I have a nature that needs to know. Hmm … “lizard people”? I find it all a bit pie-in-the-sky. Yet not without merit, of a sort. I tend to absorb all of the info. yet try to stay grounded in myself. The litmus test is always wait and see, examine and wait for other confirmations and so on.

        It’s not without reason, for someone to say “I don’t know what God is”? In general people selling religion put a lot of stuff on those shoulders. Then they climb up and say, look at me i’m so holy, etc.

        Just look in your heart and there is God. Not in a building or a book. Inside of YOU.

        I am a vegetarian and do meditation. Since trying to do so, since late sixties, it’s difficult to look at the world through other eyes, now. I will not make too much of that, for many are confused by the notions. It’s not for everyone.

        So, good luck with your endeavour. I feel sure I will be commenting another time. Until then, thanks and best wishes. Cheers Jamie

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Unfortunately, the YouTube link came up blank.
          I felt God when I was a child, on my own in the fields, and when I sat in trees and watched the clouds. It felt as if I wasn’t alone, but when I had company that feeling went away. It made me sad that I couldn’t share it. My father, and later a couple of my brothers and a whole heap of other people got angry whenever God was mentioned.
          I rebelled when I grew up, and joined the Mormon church. That was an interesting experience while it lasted.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Is it wonderful? I wouldn’t know. It never happened to me. The poem was written to the one man I truly loved, and our love was not physical – or only in the sense that we held each other and kissed. I thought that was why our love was so perfect.
      Somehow I don’t think he’d agree…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, you have not met the right one yet then 🙂 When we are younger (at least, younger than now) we often think “this is it, he is the one, there shall be no other.” However, sometimes we just have not met the right one to compare them to. I think sometimes we can be surprised 🙂 Yeah, at that last part – probably not…

        Liked by 1 person

            1. Yes, and years ago I came to the conclusion that I’m too independent (and exacting, difficult, controlling, chaotic, insecure, angry, political, obsessive, unreliable, off-the-wall…) to be in a relationship 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

          1. Strangely or notT this remark of yours tells me your daughter Laura, is now the same age as when you bore her … Hmmm? Cheers Jamie BTW my son is a parent and i said something similar but different to him, also …J.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura doesn’t leave until Monday evening, and I’ll go with her for a couple of days.
      The last couple of days have been nerve wracking. She’s saying goodbye to a few of her cronies. she’s been fine, but this evening she drank too much at a friends house, and decided to stay the night. I trust him better than the rest, but I’ll be glad when we’re finally on the road.

      Liked by 2 people

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