Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

In the City of Change

Just thinking where I was 50 years ago. Lois and I lived in University City in Philadelphia then. She worked at the University of Pennsylvania in the Chemistry Department and for a while I was just a free lance writer, before going to work at a publishing company. We spent a lot of nights in the coffee houses prevalent then or hanging about Rittenhouse Square into the wee hours with a group of friends, all aspiring to the arts as writers, poets, songwriters, actors and artists. We wore clothes we bought in Hippie Stores and
hung about with the street people. I began writing regularly for a local arts paper and for a publisher of horror stories. I wrote this poem in 2004 and it was quickly published. I am just looking back now at that time and it is hard to believe it was 50 years ago. But everything changes...

by Larry Eugene Meredith

Literature of life was learned on trains.
Poetry to the beat of the rail seam,
In the trickle of rain,
The rising steam rhythms from summer heat;
Crackles of ice off long cold station gutters under strains
From winter snow piled deep upon the roof.
These teaching me all the beauty and pain nature sows
From which reap pleasure and vice.

In my life of change
in a time of change,
The streets were colorful as flowers bloomed.

Posters swirled and glowed while 
New music boomed with meaning,
with cause.

Cool, yet laced with care;
Accepting all the people in full rage
Against the bloody pool of war and hate.

And I struggled to paint upon the page
each hero 
And each fool
I met while there.

In the park in the dark
passing shadows change
with each changing hour and all seasons.

In Salvation Army store dress,
With Stocking runs;
Bell-bottom denim and
Pea Jacket dour. 
Came men who love men;
Druggies on their prowls;
Hippie girls with flowers in their tresses.

Poets and writers and actors;
All pals adding to the bowers
where my words grew.

Changes came into the city of change.
The nightlife shifted streets.
Head shops went dark.
Psychedelic posters dimmed to new art.

As Hippies came from Beats, they went to Goths.

Rittenhouse square is where now old men range.
They occupy the seats and sing no songs.
So though I trod old walks and find them strange,
Memory’s Glow entreats their tales like moths

That I attempt to change back to butterflies.

 (All photographs by the author)

 Prints: Celebrating 20 Years of Continuous Poetry in Wilmington, Delaware

Edited by e. jean lanyon (Poet Laureate Emeritus of Delaware 1979-2001)
Beverly Andrus
Steven Leech
and Joe Allen
2nd Saturday Poets
University of Delaware Press
Wilmington, Delaware

June 2004

Urban Undulations
Poetry by Larry Eugene Meredith
Wilmington, Delaware

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