Janet Rattay

SONG OF YESTERDAY

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: Juy 18, 2005
Awarded: Juy 18, 2005
It was the song of yesterday
Dinner’s done and
it’s time for the news
Turn it up loud we say
My brother sits
staring at the television
praying the announcer would
just cut to the chase
The numbers… oh, yes
life be told by the numbers
This time it’s not for him
we all relax
do the dishes.

It’s 7:00 p.m.
The lottery now helps
to aid senior citizens
Buy a ticket
Win a million.

It was the song of yesterday
People dancing in the streets
the smell of incense, patchouli,
surrounding the orange clad
Hare Krishna
Burn the bra, make love not war
and for some one big party
Rebel against everyone, everything
Be a part of the in-crowd
If you’re rich go to college
Otherwise flee your home

People now don’t dance in the streets
Instead they’re killing one another
The homeless live there now
in their rag torn clothes and lean-tos.
Brother can you spare some change
a dime won’t do
I need something to eat
Will work for food
Passersby hurry along
Get a job like everyone else
What makes it worse
he’s a homeless vet.

It was the song of yesterday
Sing along as we all know the words
to the Beatles, Stones, Dylan
Pick your favorites
Hum the tunes
Drink some wine
Smoke some grass
Everything is going to be all right
for lingering moments.

Miles away
We Got to Get Out of This Place
Help Me Make It Through the Night
I’m California Dreamin’
and Homeward Bound
Dreams of tomorrow
Stained by yesterdays’ deeds.

What are the words to the
new hip hop
What meanings do
your songs portray
We speak of violence
and hatred in a most
peculiar way.

It was the song of yesterday
Parade to start at 11:00
People have lined up since
the wee hours of the morning
The media is here
Yellow ribbons everywhere
Tears flowing along with
welcome hugs and kisses.

This is my country
Where Have All the Flowers Gone
Where are my people
Where is my parade
My ‘welcome home’
Years go by
Why did you forsake me
It is so hard to forgive
and so easy never to forget
the song of yesterday.