Tag Archives: hippies

Mumbling Sheep


At the start of the end of the heady hippie days
I briefly dipped my toes in the sinking hippie ways.
I floated in long dresses and I jingled as I walked,
I used the hippie lingo every time I talked.
I tried smoking cannabis, but not for very long;
it took all my sense away and made me feel wrong.

I never fancied LSD – I liked to see the world
in its organic gorgeousness, not twisted and unfurled.
I disagreed with half the things the lippy hippies said;
they thought they were original, but their minds half dead.
They told me I was brainwashed because my ideas
were far too well-considered for their dippy hippie ears.

They said that they were breaking out of mediocrity,
they said their way of life was a better way to be,
they said they wanted peace and an end to all the killing,
but when I asked for action, few of them were willing.
They spoke of demonstrations, but they always missed the train,
or they couldn’t be bothered, or they feared that it might rain.

I was often irritated by their inconsistency;
the only thing they stood up for was brewing cups of tea.
Most of them were stoned from smoking Mary Jane,
a few of them were tripping, and one had gone insane
from swallowing blues, snorting speed and smoking weed —
to put it very bluntly, they had all gone to seed.

It’s true that their culture had seen some better days,
but I met a lot of mumbling sheep, slumped in a fuzzy haze;
while I was a thinker, and I let my thoughts run free,
they were more concerned with the psychedelic creed.
They agreed with whatever concepts stood at odds
with all the world’s hard working, deep thinking bods.

It was interesting at first, and fun for a bit,
but it wasn’t very long before I had to admit
I didn’t fit in with my drug-loving friends
who spoke of new beginnings, but never tied up ends.
I looked like a hippie, but I felt no passion
for the pseudo hippiedom in local fashion.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #Week 10.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Staying Home


In the ‘seventies,
if the hem of your Indian print dress
was frayed, and laced with festival dust,
and your step relayed a weedy trace of patchouli sweat
you may have fooled them for a day or two —

assuming you moaned about the dole, condemned bread-heads and the status-quo, mentioned Huxley, Orwell or Camus (pronounced Cammoo, to give your words authenticity) and were familiar with the battles of Asterix, and the Moomins’ antics. An active interest in art was also an advantage —

but as soon as you refused a tab of LSD
the sneering zealots knew.

The fun-lovers tripped along the highway,
licking it like it was ice cream,

returning with grinning holiday tales of four dimensional dragons in blankets, of psychedelic rivers filled with shimmering sequence-swimming fish, and green-haired chocolate omnipotes. When you asked what a chocolate omnipote was, they shrugged, and said, “an edible God, but who cares?” 

Your abstinence didn’t bother them,

but for the zealots it was an exclusive club.

String minds
reached to pull your loose threads through the doors of their perception, as they tried to tie your personal journey into a rickety rainbow rope for you to climb.

On their planet,
if you didn’t crawl, fly or walk through acid doors,
you were either. b o r i n g,
or subversively straight, like a copper sporting a kaftan and a long wig;
his plan to nab a dope-smoking head.

To put it bluntly, you didn’t belong.

It was no use saying there were many different ways of being; abundant ways to use your body and your brain, and, while you had every respect for their decision, living each day was complex enough without adding an extra dimension, therefore the chemical would be inclement to your presence;

you didn’t fit in.

They disliked those for whom oxygen and skin sufficed,
and despised we who were wise to our sickness.

Some seekers were broken, grabbing at a handle to hang to, while others were no more than curious. Those with strong brains found an entry into new thought-shapes, and continued to grow when they were straight,
but bent fog chased the lost, and few of those knew how to escape.

I was lost, too, but I knew what nobody told them;

the drug was simply a way to twist, stretch and open
their own perceptions and inventions.
It didn’t discern between precious pearls
and fermenting vegetation.

Had I tripped down the hippy highway,
I’d have crashed through the spinning doors of hallucination
into dreams and nightmares of imagined truth,
coloured and shaped by the vaguries of temper and food,
and festered forever in that place.

Like several buried friends,
I might have ended my days
spinning blindly in space.

©Jane Paterson Basil




I dressed like the rest of ’em,
dragged the ragged hem of my Indian Kaftan
as I shimmied in the ‘seventies summertime dust,
bare soles greying,
slurping up the dirt as they slapped on the pavement,
lank hair swaying down around my waist.

I picked up the lingo;
learned to tag a suffix onto hellos and info.
“Hi, man”, “Hey, man”,
“I’m spaced out today, man”.
I gabbed about breadheads, straights and deadheads,
denied having hang-ups,
while the guys got spaced out,
dabbled with the wahwah, and crashed in the pad.

I dressed like the rest of ’em,
babbled like the best of ’em,
but I burned with a different kind of fire.
An anomalous question mark, an obvious outlier,
I shook my head at weed, and I detested LSD.


The Daily Post #Outlier

©Jane Paterson Basil