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    Headstall
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Headstall's Reflections - 56. Chapter 56 Why? and June,1969

June, 1969... Stonewall... Pride is a time for reflection....

Headstall’s Reflections

 

 

Chapter 56 Why?

 

 

Why?

 

The best laid plans of men

Often come to no fruition

Had my hopes and dreams in place

And thought I'd paid up my tuition

 

Foolish me to think so

There is no rule to follow

Stray too from who you are

Your insides become hollow

 

Adaptation can be hard

But a necessary move

Look inside your tattered heart

And there you’ll find your groove

 

Learning life should never stop

Hard lessons make you grow

They can slice you till you bleed

But only you can stop the flow

 

One step forward two steps back

It only matters that you try

Piece by piece you'll come together

Even while you're thinking, 'Why?'

 

 

 

 

 

A Price

 

To have the soul of a poet

Is at times a trying thing

It can stifle you with pain

Yet also make you sing

 

There often is a price

When you set it free

Simple verse can flay you

While words extract their fee

 

Is such a calling worth it

When you feel so deep

Something I will ponder

In my eternal sleep

 

 

 

 

June,1969

 

I remember the seventies

Begun in June,1969

Off to an early start

New fruit blossomed on the vine

 

A decade of ‘liberation’

Flower power in the air

It was a time of awakening

When injustice was laid bare

 

Challenges were issued

While peace and love were preached

Music spoke our hearts and hurts

To unholy bastions breached

 

It was the beginning of a movement

With travesty exposed

Sharp new focus came to the fore

And couldn’t be bulldozed

 

Yes, it was only the beginning

And the fight continues still

Any ground we managed to gain

Achieved through our sheer will

 

I’m still in awe at times

At the way we fought and clawed

Showed the world our presence

During a time we were outlawed

 

In the end we gained few inches

But the point was we fought back

In a time of peace and love

We began to slash and hack

 

Yes only the beginning

Of a march that never ends

Ignorance is still our foe

On roads rife with twists and bends

 

Don’t let yourself be fooled

That our foothold is secure

The thing this life has taught me

It takes determination to endure

 

 

 

 

 

I still hold new and remembered fear close to my breast....

Copyright © 2017 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.
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An interesting set of poems. Yes about pain but also and more importantly about survival and the choice we make to be who we are. 

 

The life of a creative can be a tough one. You make something and release it to the big bad world. It can be a moment of joy, a moment of heartbreak or both. 

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A price

 

Let us, your readers, also share with paying the price; you do not have to do it alone ...

 

:hug:

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22 hours ago, Drew Espinosa said:

It is hard for me to grasp what it was like before, during, and after Stonewall. I guess that is due in large part to me being born decades after the event. But, you paint a vivid image of our struggle throughout the years and into the present day, and it makes me all the more appreciative for how far we have come. :hug: Thank you Gary. :heart: 

 

As for A Price, I think it is worth it; to explore our emotions in writing (whether positive or negative) can be cathartic for our soul. But, I know it can be difficult, so just know I'll be here for you to lean on. :hug::hug::hug: 

 

Finally, Why?... The last stanza is uplifting, no matter the setbacks, we'll persevere. :heart: 

Stonewall was a jumping off point I watched from a distance. I didn't even know it happened till reading an article months later( it was a dismissive article that painted gays as freaks and unlawful, but I read between the lines, and saw the beauty) ... I learned much more after that, and cheered silently. But that is a whole other discussion. Today, I am proud of who I am, but I'll never rid myself of the fear of that younger me, and I don't trust that things can't get very bad again... persecution still goes on all over the world, and it makes me weep. 

I lean heavily on that inner me who cries out, in wonder and in pain. There is A Price, but poetry also keeps me in touch with myself and the world around me :hug:  

Why is a question we all ask... sometimes we never find our answer... we just have to accept, learn what we can, and move on. Easier said than done...

Thanks, Drew... you know how much I appreciate you :heart: 

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23 hours ago, LitLover said:

Each of these three poems speak of pain, but they are also about endurance.  There are lines in each that really speak to me: 

 

"One step forward two steps back. It only matters that you try."  Yes, life can push you back, but you only live, if you try.   

 

"It can stifle you with pain  Yet also make you sing".  I know some of your writing can stir up painful memories, but it's the good moments... the times that it makes your heart soar that seem to make it all worth it.  

 

"The thing this life has taught me. It takes determination to endure"  I may not have been born when this started, but I recognize how much of a toll the fight for acceptance has taken on the gay community... how much of a toll it's still taking.  Stonewall was the trigger for a coordinated resistance that shaped the LGBT movement, and I hope that no one ever forgets how far the community has come, and how far it still has to go. 

 

Raw, painful and wonderfully written,  my friend. 

Thanks, Lit. I wear my heart on my sleeve... always have. The result of that is the bruises are bigger and the cuts are deeper. You've keyed in on the rallying cries that get me through. Each poem is that for me... a reminder of the strength I need to find... have found... throughout my many years. I look back and wonder... when will the suffering end... when we die is the answer I come up with, so just accept, keep fighting, and live all the life you can. I'm a work in progress :) 

Love you to death, my friend :hug: 

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23 hours ago, Parker Owens said:

In Why?  the second stanza grabbed my attention. Stray too far from who you are your insides become hollow. That is deeply true, and it is important to hear, frequently. As you say in a later stanza, we are apt to be cut and sliced by life. The hard part, as you so eloquently put it, is to pull the pieces back together again. Your elegy to June, 1969 is quite stirring. Forty eight years later, and it is not to be forgotten. But it is Price which echoes most loudly in my hollow soul. Words have made us pay, over and over again. This is a wonderful expression of the mind and heart of the poet. Thank you.

We truly are beings with many parts, aren't we? We all have our own histories, and much of us is defined by that. It's a struggle to be happy with who we are... for me it took a long, long time, and I will fight with everything I have to protect the achievement. I don't like feeling hollow. Stonewall was the beginning... yeah... lest we forget... I still carry the fears of our rampant persecution. 

I'm pleased A Price spoke to you... I'm not surprised you understood it. You have that same mind and heart, Parker. Thank you for your wonderful comments, and your support, my friend :hug: 

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23 hours ago, mogwhy said:

these remind me that life is a dance. sometimes forward, sometimes back. keep dancing, gary, keep dancing

Yes, it is. Thanks, moggy. There are so many steps to learn, and the rhythm often changes, but I will try... I will try :hug: 

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23 hours ago, dughlas said:

:heart:

Thank you, dugh. I can feel your heart, and it strengthens mine :hug: 

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21 hours ago, Albert1434 said:

I just love your poems Great Stuff:great:

Thank you, buddy. You are as constant as the stars, and when you shine your light, I am warmed :hug: 

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1 minute ago, Headstall said:

Yes, it is. Thanks, moggy. There are so many steps to learn, and the rhythm often changes, but I will try... I will try :hug: 

 

yoda might not think so, but trying is the thing you can. if you step back toady, don't fret it, you'll try again tomorrow:hug:

 

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19 hours ago, Bucket1 said:

An interesting set of poems. Yes about pain but also and more importantly about survival and the choice we make to be who we are. 

 

The life of a creative can be a tough one. You make something and release it to the big bad world. It can be a moment of joy, a moment of heartbreak or both. 

It can take a lifetime to learn ourselves. You are so right... there is much that is inputted, but ultimately, we choose the kind of person we are... and if we like that person, we must stay true. It's so easy to get lost.

It is the unexpected that can crucify is... creativity always carries that risk, and that risk is doubled by the makeup that goes hand in hand with it. Memories are relived, and hurts are magnified. I'm not lamenting... I will gladly pay the price, because poetry also gives me peace and joy. We poets may torture themselves, but we have an outlet to ease the aches. I should add, I don't presume to speak for all poets... just myself.

You are, as always, a man who sees to the heart of things... as a poet, I love that, and I believe I see your soul... thank you, dear friend :hug: 

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14 hours ago, hohochan657 said:

A price

 

Let us, your readers, also share with paying the price; you do not have to do it alone ...

 

:hug:

Thanks, hoho. I wouldn't feel a poet if no one read my poems... it connects us, and I thank you for the sharing... making this comment tells me I'm not alone... your support props me up, my friend :hug: 

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20 minutes ago, mogwhy said:

 

yoda might not think so, but trying is the thing you can. if you step back toady, don't fret it, you'll try again tomorrow:hug:

 

Thanks, moggy... I'm dancing as fast as I can :) 

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2 minutes ago, Headstall said:

Thanks, moggy... I'm dancing as fast as I can :) 

aww honey, you don't have to dance fast. a waltz is beautiful too

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7 minutes ago, mogwhy said:

aww honey, you don't have to dance fast. a waltz is beautiful too

Yes, it is. I was actually paying homage to a book by Barbara Gordon, called "I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can"... it's about a life kind of gone of the rails... it was a movie too... Jill Clayburgh... really good. I'm really only fast on my bike :) 

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I was eleven years old in June of '69...say four or five years to have participated in the Revolution, but affected by it nevertheless.  Even in my small town, I guess the older kids were taking part, but they loved girls and not boys...so all I could do was dream.  The songs and goals of the Summer of Love were fulfilling and wonderful things, but in my head, with thoughts of boys, I knew it wasn't for me even without asking.

Those kids were older, coming from bigger towns...and in their late teens, were verging on becoming adults.  To me adults were 'Them', the controllers of our lives...you could tell from the news every night that our dreams didn't count for much when stacked against riots in cities and campuses, fire-fights in Viet-Nam and evac helicopters carrying bloody bodies off some jumgle battlefield.  No, dreams of love and harmony would be crushed by those with the Power, or if they did linger, would be overshadowed by the realities of work and life.

Timothy Leary, the leader of the Revolution, I learned a year or so back, was just another homophobe...like all good things, they are only for the 'Right People'...those of us who are apart are left to scrabble for what the others leave or allow us.

Continue to sing your songs for us, my dearest friend...don't let us forget both the pains and joys of being ourselves!

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It's funny how the gay liberation was entwined with the time of 'free love' ... Vietnam galvanized a lot of action... yet our fight was very separate. We were alone. Yes, there was a new air of openness, but that didn't go very deep. And yes, I learned that too about Timothy Leary... he was a fraud. Self indulgent. To this day, I don't trust in what we've accomplished... it feels precarious to me... like it could be snatched away so easily... it is happening all over the world. Hate still has its place of power. I will keep on singing, my friend, and I will not forget... xoxoxoxoxo G-man

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