Caught out of Time
(A Portrait in Words)

A diverse collection of poets and writers, some
with talent, and those whose talent is to listen.
They both reach for idealistic heights of artistry.
1960’s too-cool daddies and way-too-cool momma’s
with floppy leather hats, like Dylan wore, returns
for another encore.  Except now, its dread-locks being
sported by hot young men, only sure of one thing,
the girl hanging out next to them.
Our hopes and dreams of flower-power, peace and love,
though faded out, echoes and glints on young faces,
still trapped in cocoons of naiveté.
The smell of fear, its strong and wet, and it
lurks at the back of their minds.  The fear of
self-loss suffocates, they keep their eyes tightly
shut against the daylight of reality.  They long for
more of those experiences not yet lived.  Hunger.
Defiant symbols sewn on leather jackets,
the yin and the yang, worn like a charm against evil.
As if it will straighten out the crazy upside down
times that we live in today.  Recollections of peace
signs that we thought would save the world.
Like the next generation of Woody Guthries,
they sing about the down-and-out, the lost and
forgotten.  Maybe they'll find their way, if
they can just sing them home.
A chess game being played at the next table.
The man’s long, thin braid courses down the side
of his face.  He calculates his next move.
He checks out his mate.
Philosophical heart beats of writers who dare
to express thoughts that only their pen has seen.
Poets with profound statements.
Smoke hangs thick; inhalation of oxygen limited
to shallow breaths, at the coffee-house
Caught Out of Time.
The crowd thins out, bound for other places.
Searching for the next stop, Daddy,
Where they can just be cool.

Janice J. Robinson