Gordon Nightingale

A long, long time ago, in the dim distance past,
When we were so young and vigorous
And the future ahead looked so grand and vast,
Life looked so permanent; forever to last.
We played in the sunshine and laughed into rain,
Doing what young people do to drive our parents insane.

I’d drive girlfriend to the dance in the unregistered old car.
Too young for a license, but that didn’t seem to matter.
I’d take all the back roads, avoiding conflict with the law,
And take a different way home to be doubly sure.

Stove-pipe pants came in fashion, flared jeans following next.
Pin-striped suits were all the rage, then paisley shirts or checks.
One day we sang folk songs, replaced soon by trad jazz.
Rock and Roll hit the scene with its power and pizzazz.

There were protests in the streets against the Vietnam war.
“Burn the Bra!” cries all over; Women’s Lib had come to the fore.
While hippies smoked joints and took hard drugs for kicks,
Passions flowed in the streets adding fire to the mix.

Then married with children, while some did it in sin,
Borrow to buy houses, try to advance the careers we’re in.
Kids off to school in the summer, responsibilities growing.
While wondering out loud, “Just where is thing going?”

We watch the kids departing to go their own lives way.
Though we knew it was coming, we didn’t expect it this day.
Then it came as a terrible shock! A revolutionary realisation!
The young people we were so long ago, now the senior cits of the nation.


Gordon Nightingale is a local author and poet and the Convenor of the Daylesford U3A Writers’ Circle.