Guest Artist Sylvia Iris
An Ode to the Silent Generation
The Last Song
Coming of age in the 21st century is like.
Nothing I can describe to you.
My childhood spanned generations
My adolescence was scarred by powers uncontrolled.
We were the children of bohemians, raised unknowingly as child soldiers.
We marched to city hall.
Because we could not take the pain.
Of going to school, afraid.
I wept to your music in the hall,
Choruses of triumph I could never understand
How could it be so much better as you say,
And yet so bad.
You were my home when I couldn’t understand the world.
You gave me answers where I never asked.
You told me stories of a time gone by,
And I lived them.
History may say you were silent, but I know better.
You were quiet.
You were still.
You traveled the world and left no mark behind,
You tread the earth with feathered footsteps.
And you left a revolution in your wake.
You raised a movement.
You tenderly held reactionary children as we wept.
You were the mother of the new millenia.
You were the father of upending pain.
You pushed a bohemian on the swings while rubber bullets ravaged your cities.
And you tucked us into bed with the stories of our birth.
How we were born into a new world,
A world left open for our rage.
I cried the tears that grew these trees I now give to you.
I yelled and screamed till my voice was hoarse,
Now I give these melodies to you.
Your dear history will say you were silent. But I know better.
You whispered eons in my ears as I ran through the playground.
You foretold futures for me to build every time I scraped my knee.
When I won a game of chess, or pick-up-sticks with your instruction
You promised me wonder untold.
You are the voice of a generation.
You made me.
I will make the world
The crescendo of crazy crept up, first quietly, then more insistent and now putting us in on high alert. Its duration has shaped a generation born at the turn of the century. As I shape my own response to the current times (pandemic, political coup, violent racism, gun proliferation, climate emergency, out of control conspiracy theories, etc., etc., etc) my millennial daughter has given me permission to share her response.