Hippies On Malibu Beach
Oh, to have been in California in Summer 1967!
Hippies escaping reality were in Seventh Heaven.
The place is sunny Malibu Beach,
a place where all the hippies try to reach.
Hippies are sunbathing on the beach,
eighteen to twenty-eight are the ages admitted to by each.
They work off and on at the local surfing school,
so that they earn just enough to spend their time,
swimming in either the ocean or the pool.
They spend the rest of their time playing music,
smoking, drinking, and having sex,
and are not too concerned about what comes next.
Flowers, colourful clothes, long hair, folk and rock music,
new philosophies and religions were all part of the scene,
making this way of life looking very serene.
This is the Summer of Love,
when universal symbols by young people,
were peace signs and the white dove.
I am watching a movie of yesteryear,
since nobody lives on the beach now out of fear.
The ocean is now crawling with sharks,
making it now safer to swim in state parks.
Being a beach swimmer used to be easy,
now the water pollution would make a person queasy.
Hippies are a symbol of times of innocence,
but life in California is now full of decadence.
To surf at Malibu Beach everyone was keen,
but many an aged hippie is now,
a bygone surfing king or queen.
California life was said to be idyllic,
and the perfect place for hippies,
who liked everything psychedelic.
Beach life has been replaced by drugs and gangs.
For a more innocent time, everyone has memory pangs.
For two years later in 1969,
Everything in American was not so fine,
Race riots, the Vietnam War, political murders,
poverty, and social inequality ruled the day.
For hippies and non-hippies alike, Malibu Beach,
was a place to escape and get away.
Summer 1967. Love was in the air and flower children were flocking to Toronto’s Yorkville and San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury. Folk and rock music festivals were happening in Malibu Beach. In an article for the summer edition of Zoomer Magazine, writer Marni Jackson reminisced about her experiences in Yorkville. In Canada the significance of the Summer of Love was that Canadian writing of all kinds had its debut in Yorkville. Young Canadian writers like Margaret Atwood and musicians like Joni Mitchell read and performed. This article and many of the magazines now out on the Beatles in 1967 inspired me to write this poem.