The Times They Have Changed

Come gather ’round people wherever you roam And admit that the waters around you have grown Accept it soon, you’ll be drenched to the bone…”The Times They Are A-Changin’” by Bob Dylan

oh, the road is impassable
and there’s no light ahead
bleakness has grown
and leadened our eyes

deserts have spread
over this land
water is scarce
and common sense too

we’re back where we
started so very long ago…
misogyny is alive and sickening
bigotry has become pathological

no one blinks at wars and unrest
the worst is the killing of our spirits
but no one notices as they slowly
slip away, replaced by rampant indifference

the good and merciful
are no longer valued
they’re seen as weak,
coddling freaks

nature was where
we once could worship
but our greedy ways
diminished it to nothing

a sterile world
is what we have left
because small-minded
people thought they knew best

Bjorn is our host for Meeting the Bar at dVerse Poets. Head over there to read his presentation on our prompt for the day. Bob Dylan is in the spotlight for winning the Nobel Prize for Literature 2016.

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21 Comments

  1. This is so sad, but sometimes I feel we are led to believe that all is so terrible, that things is actually going well… and that bigotry is really going away…

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  2. This is a powerful, sad despairing poem. Well done. I could feel the weight of it all.

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  3. This is so sad a truth.. the closing stanza is especially powerful! ❤️

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  4. Very bleak and I think it is a difficult time for hopefulness. I feel a bit despairing too but I think it is about the good voices rising up above the ‘locker room’. One of our famous politicians and historians said something like’ each generation has to learn how to fight the battles that have been fought before’ And I think we have moved on but i suppose it seems like it all the good can so easily be unhinged. Your poem is very real in expressing that and sharing it.

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  5. This is good, but I started to laugh. Not at your poem, but I was reading the opening stanzas to the rhythm of his song, and then it expanded!!!! LOLL! I guess it was the line: bigotry has become pathological…. Not that I disagree with you at all….but it jerked me out of his cadence and I lost the song! LOL! But I agree, I agree! with your social observations.

    It doesn’t look like be have progressed very far. Perhaps like the Russian:”One Step Forward, Two Back”.

    Jane

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  6. It seems that we have gone backwards in our ways & diminishing nature along the way ~ Love this part Gayle:

    water is scarce
    and common sense too

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  7. Unfortunately so true. May times change for the better, and the betterment of all!

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  8. Powerful and true. We have changed but not for the best. In spite of the angst and breast beating, we have gone backwards instead of forward. Excellent wfite.

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  9. The thing is, with timely, CONSCIOUS inspiring leaders, our hearts would leap up in hope, as mine did when Obama was elected. He did not disappoint. His hands were tied by an opposing party who wouldn’t work with him, but he still got a whole lot done. This election is sucking hope right out of me.

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    • I agree 100%, Sherry, and I had that same hopeful feeling when Obama came into office. He was blocked from carrying out much of the good works that he wanted to accomplish. The hope is sucked out of me too, thus my despairing poem!

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  10. Like Jane, I got into the pace and rhythm of the poem, so like the original, and then was reined in by those lines:
    ‘misogyny is alive and sickening
    bigotry has become pathological’
    and
    ‘slip away, replaced by rampant indifference’
    You created a false sense of security in this poem and then sucker-punched us!

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  11. I think, if Dylan read your words, he’d say, “I wish I’d written that!” Too much truth in your words.

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  12. Angry folk – music screams – soon a changin’ time, again, nothing new here. I ‘like’ your poem, I like the anger and the frustration. I understand despair too.

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  13. Killer words on how these times have evolved and where we are. Last stanza is such an indictment. I feel pain and hopelessness in this…It is palpable.

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  14. a dire Dylanesque dish you served up here from those opening impassable lines – “coddling freaks” is a great phrase

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  15. This reality pains me–but you have nailed it, Gayle. There are times when I am glad I’m the age I am. I don’t like where I see things going. Doesn’t this sound way too pessimistic?

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  16. Deep and profound and full of truth.

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  17. Powerful work incorporating current events and states of (un)consciousness into your Dylan inspired poem. Really poignant and evocative. x

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  18. Glenn Buttkus

     /  October 14, 2016

    Damn fine word smithing, Gayle, catching us on the downbeat. One of the great things about being a poet, is that we can write about where our soul, our heart is at that moment, and at another time dance on the ceiling, or samba on the clouds. I fear sometimes that my poetry is too angry, sarcastic, even dystopian–but then dVerse hosts have us doing limericks or nonsense verse. You’re so right, that our inspirations from the same song occupied different spaces on the poetic spectrum; very cool actually.

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  19. there’s so much sad truth to this. so much like the original, but with a fresh new modern-day take.

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  20. …You be feelin’ it…
    BUT, remember the times are a changin’…
    now what are we supposed to do?
    As Dylan suggested,– change reshapes change. “For The times Are Changing…”
    🙂

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