In San Francisco, it’s the summer of love,
Long haired hippies, peace signs, and doves.
In Vietnam, the soldiers are dying,
Back home their families are crying,
And Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play.
Jim wants to “Light My Fire,”
While Grace’s rabbit only flies higher.
The evening news shows the war isn’t cool,
This week I started high school,
And “All You Need Is Love” is what The Beatles say.
Written by Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Schertz, Texas, August 1967
The photos are of Grace Slick. She is an alumna of Finch College where she majored in art. She is an accomplished artist. The artwork is hers.
Note: This is the oldest poem I have written by me. It was in notebooks and papers my mother gave me a few months before she passed away in 2014. Aren’t parents great about keeping things and then later in life returning them?
I wrotethispoem as a freshman at Samuel Clemens High School in Schertz, Texas. Samuel Clemens High School was two miles outside the main gate at Randolph Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
Impressing my English teacherwaschallenging. Theassignmentwas to write a paper on “What I did on my summervacation.” Instead, I wrote about whatwashappening in popularculture. Instead of prose, I wrote a poem. I failed to follow the rules. Shecalled me a “beatnik hippy poetweirdo.” I viewed her insult as a compliment! I gave in, complied with her orders and wrote five pages of drivelavoiding a grade of “F” on the assignment. I wrote about hitchhiking to the west coast.
I wrote the below poem a decade ago after listening to my parents and their friends discussing their dreams, what they hoped to do “someday.” All the men and women were in their late 70s to early 90s in age as they discussed their bucket lists and the future. All are now deceased. I know not one who accomplished their “someday” dreams. It is so sad.
If you have dreams, go for them. Don’t delay. You never know when the time will run out.
We Never Lived In the Now
Your face shows your age,
Though your countenance is still glowing,
Your age says grown-up,
But you’ve never decided where you’re going.
You’ve grown older.
Yes, I’m older too.
The rest of our lives is before us,
Oh, what’ll we do?
What were the dreams
You had so long ago?
What was your vision?
Where did it go?
You traveled your way.
I went mine.
A history so different,
The gray now shows in our locks,
Showing how much we cared.
Your grin still lights my life,
My smile brightens yours when shared.
You lived for then.
I lived for when.
We never lived in the moment.
No, we never lived in the now.
Jean – “Jimmie! Beautifully written and all too true. I like the way you ended as you began. Thank you so much for this engaging poem.”
Annmarie – “Jimmie Kepler writes a love poem to a rock star.”
Brittany- “I love his story poems. He writes wonderful narrative poetry. They frequently remind me of the lyrics of a folk song.”
Marissa – “I heard Jimmie do a reading of ‘Forever Still’ in Plano, Texas a few years ago. His poetry has the passion of the Beat Poets, the tenderness of the hippie poets, and the intellect of the renaissance man. His southern gentleman manners and charm as well as his soft, soothing, Bill Clinton like voice and pacing makes a woman dream he’s reading his magical words to just her.”
What if there were no “C’s” to say with our A’s and B’s? What if all the C’s went out on strike? Tired of being seen by you and me as just average unlike the letters A and B. Now here is how your life might be if out on strike went the letter C.
You begin your day with a ‘up of hot ‘offee while in your lap is your ‘urled up ‘at. Then later you ‘ould take your dog for a walk While wearing your favorite ball ‘ap to keep the sun out of your eyes Unless of ‘ourse, dark stormy ‘louds filled the sky.
On to the park where the ‘hildren and ‘anines go to play Where you li’k an i’e ‘ream ‘one bought from a man pushing a ‘art. While sitting in the park table’s ‘hair you ‘arefully observe the ‘ars Driving down the street wondering about the driver’s worries or ‘ares.
A gust of wind makes you need to retrieve your ‘ap that just blew off your head. Your hair now a mess needs ‘ombed but instead of ‘ombing it the ‘ap you wear The favorite team’s ‘ap does its job of hiding your unkempt hair. And you let your dog lead you ba’k to the house.
Ba’k inside your ‘ondominium a box of ‘andy ‘alls your name. The temptation is too hard to resist so you pi’k a ‘ho’olate that’s ‘herry filled Get a ‘up of hot ‘appu’’ino and sit on the ‘ou’h. Then into your lap jumps the ‘at and she quickly ‘urls up.
Finally, resting in his home he re’alls his manners, And remembers to remove his ‘ap, and loves on his ‘urled up ‘at. Now you know how it would be if there were no “C’s” to say with our A’s and B’s Because you’ve seen how your life might be if out on strike went the letter C.
Jimmie Aaron Kepler Written for my granddaughter Aurora Written during November – December 2017
Note: I have had a number of people ask me to share the No C’s poem I wrote a few months back again. So, as you requested, he is “What If There Were No C’s?”
The setting was an old wood framed church house.
Built on the crest of a gently sloping tree-covered hill.
Its wood siding all faded and weather-worn.
The brass church bell for years had been still.
He walked up the hill to the church house.
With each step, old long-past years reappeared.
Soon in his mind, he could hear the congregation singing.
Then down his cheeks streamed the warm, wet tears.
Once again, the old song leader was his grandpa.
His young Mama on a pump organ played.
Packed on the third pew were his mischievous boy cousins.
Standing by the back door to the music his dear daddy swayed.
And old remembrances flooded his being.
A grand family reunion was well underway.
Hearing again the stories of King Jesus,
He couldn’t hold the tears at bay.
Then he moved from the little wooden church house.
Walked down the hill on the path just ahead.
The music and memories slowly fading in the distance.
He arrived at a cemetery with the graves of his family long dead.
There will be a great reunion in heaven in the future,
They’ll all be reunited one wonderful day.
They were all Believers in Jesus,
He’s the Light, the Truth, and the Way.
The frigid nights fall earlier On these chilly winter days And the moon-man mounts the sky Veiled in Metropolis haze The mornings all break later So slow the new day’s dawn The bitter blanket lingers For the winter nights are so long Stars spangle the satin sky As the moon-man dips down low Twinkling winks from a million worlds And here we are, do they know? Oh I wish the night would never end Yes, I wish the night would never end February 2017