The Price Paid (No refunds)

To each a precious life given
To live as one wishes
Although conformity awaits you,
The first obstacle to self-actualization
They will try to mould you
Brainwash and cleanse your mind
Listen to that inner spirit of resistance
Trying to break free,
Not knowing exactly why, but
In your heart it says run!
Don’t lose that opportunity
To step out on the wild side
To experience the open sea or road
Life’s adventure of non-conformity
Find like minded sojourners
Matters not what time period
It has always been there
Live life raw, love passionately
It is true, some never come back alive!
But, at least they lived life on their terms
What then of lives lost by conformity?
Fighting unjust wars to protect lies
Told to you as a child, now knowing,
Something is wrong here, it doesn’t feel right,
Killing children, women, civilians,
Now suicide becomes an option, or
Sitting on rocking chairs wishing…
What if, if only I did, I was going too?
Too late now comrades, that ship sailed
You were hood winked, tricked, lied to,
What good is that pension when you are
Dying of a broken heart of missed opportunities
That big adventure! A slave to neo-liberal wishes!
You wanted to be a poet, a road scholar, a lover,
Dancer, singer, writer, a bohemian or peace-nik, instead:
Sentenced to a life of boredom
Regretting missed chances life offered
For secure ones of conformity, duty, God and country,
Haunting thoughts, death on the installment plan,
While rocking at the linger longer lodge,
Perhaps dementia will spare you the pain
And you can wait quietly for death to arrive.
The good nurse puts a shawl around you.
He regrets being shocked and awed…

Charles has been a social activist for 35 years. He can be reached at : aroha@shaw.ca. Read other articles by Charles.