HomeNewsHippie Digest: Searching the Seventies-Bring back the hippies – Hippie Commune – ‘Ours’ is yours
Two girls smoking pot during an outing in Cedar Woods near Leakey, Texas. (Taken with permission.) One of nine pictures near San Antonio. Leakey, Texas, May 1973.

National Archives: Searching for the Seventies
“Searching for the Seventies” takes a new look at the 1970s using remarkable color photographs taken for a Federal photography project called Project DOCUMERICA (1971-1977). Created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), DOCUMERICA was born out of the decade’s environmental awakening, producing striking photographs of many of that era’s environmental problems and achievements. Drawing its inspiration from the depression era Farm Security Administration photography project, project photographers created a portrait of America in the early-and-mid-1970s. They documented small Midwestern towns, barrios in the Southwest, and coal mining communities in Appalachia. Their assignments were as varied as African American life in Chicago, urban renewal in Kansas City, commuters in Washington, DC, and migrant farm workers in Colorado. The exhibit, featuring 90 images from the project opens March 8, 2013 at the National Archives in Washington D.C. It runs through September 8, 2013. What follows is a small sampling of the collection digitized by the National Archives. — Paula Nelson (NOTE: Captions were provided.)( 30 photos total) – See more at: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2013/03/national_archives_searching_fo.html

DownloadedFileBring back the hippies!
The Vietnam War was undoubtedly one of the deadliest wars fought in the 20th century. The 1960s were a time when the war was at it’s peak. The period of the war was also a time when television had made it’s entry into the houses of people. The influx of television in the lives of people and the birth of war coverage and photojournalism had slowly started influencing people against the war. The blood and gore that people saw in their homes along with the reports of the loss of millions of lives from the war started an anti-Vietnam War protest in the United States. People came out on the streets in thousands and pressurized the American government to withdraw troops from Vietnam and stop the violence.
This was a time when a cult of youngsters following a subculture had begun to form. These youngsters started moving out of the cities to live on their own. They were a cult that rebelled against society. They rebelled against societal restrictions, to ‘find new meaning in life’. This cult rebelled against consumerism. This cult rebelled against war. They rebelled against mainstream organized religion. While many of them discarded the idea of religion and continued their search for spirituality, some embraced Eastern religions.

An hour or so outside of Phoenix, Arizona, lies the town of Arcosanti. According to the sign on the way in, Arcosanti is an “urban laboratory,” which sounds like a church-run program to trick inner-city kids into becoming Christians, so I’m not sure why they called it that. It’s actually more a partially completed, retro-futuristic, hippie(ish) commune. I recently went on a tour of the complex.

It’s hard to get enough of the commune on a quick day trip, so the Laboratory conveniently has rooms for rent. And since the most expensive one was a whopping $100, I decided to treat myself. I wasn’t expecting much, but when I got there, it looked like THIS. Which was pretty great. More Images…


Poets live and die
putting words to bones and stones
in poems that can run and fly
without the lightness of legs or wings
true poems framed in biased pictures
taken with made up candid cameras
peepholes pretending to be windows
as I practice with or without poetic license
a poet composing like a blind man telling
what he sees with his own eyes
in a poem in the wild written
wounded winded and wandering
within a whisker of this willing madness
whispering a whimper of whoopee
for a chewed up poem all bubble no gum
when poets pout stanzas stagnate
in a messed up attempt at a Pollock painting
of words dipped then dripped in splats and streaks
of poetry transforming plain paper
into a heron pond reflecting mirror
picking the lines, piercing the lives,
punching the time, parsing the words,
parading in poetry…a poetry
secondary to the relationship it fosters
among the comic crowd a poet
sitting sober stands alone
reciting the verse readers coddle and collect
cue balls careening from very deep pockets to velvety borders
for a poor poet bird singing for a feather fan rhyme
of lacy dances where poetry prances
as knights and lances twirl maidens into trances
while poets blow and fill balloons
with oyster shells and pauper’s pearls
poetry lifting my head so high
banging my skull against the sky
busting a hole in my brain
from whence the poetry came
as I poked a thumb in my eye
then plucked out this poem
and said what a sly guy am I
heralding the dubious news
of my pen expecting an infant poem
conceived in the poet mother’s dream
about a vagrant verse vanished
behind a glorious goofiness
a modern masking of madrigal poetry
where low flying poems soar over my head
a poet embracing any cloud the sky shuns
as solitude becomes the poet’s rain
over poetry’s anxiety gently exploding
on a poem a la mode
of timing and taste in the grinding grace
of all poems which end unfinished
poets tell beautiful lies.

July 2011


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