Sunday, April 12, 2015


Teenage angst. Anger. Searching for identity. All the while leaning dangerously to the left. :)

digital image by dsnake1, done with pencilmadness


i got my pendant
at the Thieves' Market.
you can get almost anything
there, if you just asked,
porn, nunchakus, weed
the weasel who sold it
swore it was gunmetal but
i probably knew better.
anyway i wore
that piece of steel
like an amulet
the whole summer,
my rebellion,
my revolution.
i kept my hair long
my temper short,
vitriol rolled off my tongue
like well-oiled bullets,
i was the poet that
wanted to change the world
but i could not.
Che was a god
who had been killed
in Bolivia,
but gods don't die
and i was confused,
i did not understand
and all i could do was
sweat out the summer,
dripping with rage
while the days ran hot
and the rain trees bled
dead brown leaves,
the air hung thick
with bitter ash
and i wore that
peace symbol
the whole damn summer
waiting for the army
to come for me.

written : various dates from 70's to present.
revised : 21/03/2015 (UNESCO World Poetry Day)

"Things really ain't that tough
As long as I'm still able, to turn the t.v. off"

-- Daryl Hall & John Oates, 70's Scenario

Shared on Poetry Pantry #247 at Poets United. Finally, a completed work from little scraps of writings over the years. :)

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2015

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Blogger Nataša Dolenc said...

so much meaning behind the signs.. and an interesting memory.

13 April, 2015 02:56  
Blogger Björn Rudberg said...

Rage is such an important thing of being a teenager.. I was a little bit to young, and no drafting were I lived.. but the stories and the images yet touched me...

13 April, 2015 03:02  
Blogger Mary said...

Hair long and and temper short & that peace symbol -- really how your poem symbolized the times. And, hey, as a poet you can still aim to change the world. Never too late for that.

13 April, 2015 04:18  
Blogger Gabriella said...

As students we had our rebellious days, didn't we? "i kept my hair long / my temper short," - a lot of young men had long hair when I was a student. Quite a few were angry but I believe part of this anger was directed at the unfairness they/we saw. I have the feeling today's students are less angry but also less concerned.

13 April, 2015 06:28  
Anonymous Donna@LivingFromHappiness said...

That teenage time was one of great if the world were just me that everyone saw and how would I ever live through nailed it with these words and emotions.

13 April, 2015 07:35  
Blogger Ravenblack said...

I like the 70s feel in this one, the era it hints to points to a time of confusion for many as well. The wearing of the peace symbol, the state of world and how many young people in many places are called to serve. In our local context, the army does indeed come for all our young men, I think the feeling expressed at the end of this poem is something all young men here can relate to.

As usual, dsnake, so much captured and expressed in your poem. This is great.

13 April, 2015 07:52  
Blogger C.C. said...

"i kept my hair long
my temper short,
vitriol rolled off my tongue
like well-oiled bullets,"

--This is fantastic---the contrast, the imagery...all of it. Really great!

13 April, 2015 08:57  
Anonymous Thotpurge said...

Good stuff!

13 April, 2015 11:16  
Blogger magiceye said...


Remember those days!! :)

13 April, 2015 20:54  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


yeah, and i had to rely on little scraps of writings to relive the memories. :)


rage is indeed a thing of a teenager. it became more so as i was waiting to be enlisted.


never too late to change the world! :)
that peace symbol was one of the most iconic items of the 70's.


today's students are more concerned about good grades and their electronic devices. long hair then was associated with rebelliousness and the drug culture.


yes, you said it so neatly :"as if the world was just me that everyone saw."
it was me against the world. :D


so glad to see you writing again!
The 70's was a remarkable era. for us who lived then, politics, culture, economics, even the livelihood itself, was in flux. it could turn any which way. at that time, i was pretty confused and angry. it was a growing up phase that had so many uncertainties thrown in.
this poem was assembled from little scraps of writings over the years. a lot were just plain rants. :)


thank you! i liked "well-oiled bullets" too, in keeping with the theme of "peace". :)


thanks for the visit! :)


ah, you too? pretty chaotic, but fun at times too. :)

13 April, 2015 21:20  
Blogger Sumana Roy said...

oh...those flaming days of the 70' my part of the world too...those long hair, belle bottom, & of course the bullets ...scary days...

13 April, 2015 22:17  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

scary days indeed, Sumana. :)

13 April, 2015 23:27  
Blogger Torie said...

Teenage years are filled with so much emotion! I like the imagery of the 'well- oiled bullets' and 'the rain trees bled dead brown leaves'. Sounds like you were writing about the time when the draft was around. Now we have volunteers. Time changes so many things.

14 April, 2015 02:10  
Blogger totomai said...

i remember having lots of stuff with the peacr sign. i also saw the movie "motorcycle diaries" , i got to know Che Guevarra more.

i liked the part of your poem when you realize that Che was also human after all.

14 April, 2015 06:53  
Blogger R.K. Garon said...

Yup! we were quite the generation of hope and change.
Well written, my friend.

PS: I still have a poster of Che somewhere.

14 April, 2015 08:26  
Blogger G L Meisner said...

Well expressed sentiments from those days you lived.

14 April, 2015 20:30  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


thanks for your insightful comment. but i think we are talking about different countries here, though the time i was writing about, the draft is around in your country and they are sending young men to a war.
for us, it was just compulsory service when able-bodied men who reached the age of 18 are enlisted in the military or police to serve two years or more. it's still around.


i do not understand why, at that time, i look up to a guerrilla fighter more than half a world away. just a phase of growing up, i think. :)


oh yes, a generation of hope, and mostly change.
and you have a poster of Che somewhere?
i painted a poster of him once, and sold it for some pocket money. :)

G L,

thanks, man!

14 April, 2015 23:26  
Blogger Mary said...

Greetings! You might want to take a look at Totomai's post at Poetry Pantry today (April 19), as she shared photos of Singapore. Seems like he is going there again in May. Perhaps it would be interesting to connect with him when he comes?

20 April, 2015 05:59  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Mary!
yes, i have just returned from totomai's blog, and it's good to see some very familiar sights. :D

yes, it will be interesting to connect with him. :)

20 April, 2015 20:12  

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