September 20th Poem for the Young. No More Same Old.

There be whales out there. Vittoria our marine biologist guide

I enjoyed reading Lillian’s experiences and video of the whales off Cape Cod’ with her grandson. It reminded me of my first experience of seeing a whale, 20 years ago, in San Francisco Bay. It was also my first trip to the USA. I wrote a poem for Dverse on this 3 years ago with the prompt of ‘ a first ever experience. After that the next whale watching was in the middle of the Atlantic off the Azores.

Today is the 20th September 2019 and young people have asked adults to join them on demonstrations and strikes for climate action. There will be a UN summit and all the different nations have been asked to bring solutions. All I can offer today is a poem as if I were 20 today.

Same Old: Born in 1999

I am 20 years old, or older today.
So please don’t give me more of your
Same Old.

You tell me you first saw your first whale
20 years ago from today,
In San Francisco Bay.

You tell me you partied with
An 80 year old,
Californian dreamer.

You tell me you cried over
A library full of books and blood.
20 years ago
Before you were mine.

So don’t give me
The Same Old
Weapons are MAD
But we must defend our dreams,
Whales are factory processed meat,
But all must be free to eat
Whatever they want.
We need the wood not the trees.

Because we DON’T.

I want to grow old with
Whales in the waves,
Wolves in wild woods,
Birds flying safe and free
Above children with a future
And Elephants in Africa.

I do not want to grow old
In a world worn out by
Broken promises.
20 years ago
You saw a grey whale
In San Francisco.
20 years before that
You sung of the flowers.
Where have they all gone?

I do not want to dream
When I am old,
Of a past world where
Whales breached the waves
Wolves wandered in woods
Diverse birds flew in great flocks,
Elephants roamed in Africa.
Children unsafe without a future.

How long do you need,
To solve the suffering
You caused,
While dreaming,
Working yourself to the bone,
To give me
The Same Old
Future you said I deserved.

Take my hand
Before we both grow too weary.
Let’s bite the bullets.
Finish with the fumes.
Grow the forest.

So I can grow old
And watch with wonder,
My children’s children,
Wonder at whales in the waves,
Wolves in wild woods,
Birds flying safe across borders,
Elephants in Africa,
Children with a future.



For open link night, Dverse Poets

41 thoughts on “September 20th Poem for the Young. No More Same Old.”

  1. Let me be the first.
    I suppose I was 20 in 1966, working (in laboratories, factories and at Fords.) six years before I went back to college.
    Don’t remember much.
    I think it’s the same old me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic you saw a whale in San Francisco Bay!! I lived there almost 40 years and never saw one in the Bay! Do remember stories of a humpback – nicknamed Humphrey – who eventually (with lots of help) found his way out of the Bay and back to sea. Also missed them in Azores but it was not the right time of year. Here in the Overberg South Africa they are everywhere – Southern Rights, Humpbacks, and Bryde’s – as we are in the height of whale season!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was amazing, just waiting for us by the bridge. And then when out at sea we saw nothing! A rather rough journey! Glad you are seeing so many different whales near you and hope we can keep them protected.


  3. These lines most especially resonate with me:

    “I do not want to grow old
    In a world worn out by
    Broken promises.”

    I keep reading of this regulation and that regulation that the occupant in our office of president rescinds….affecting wetlands, drinking water, car emissions, Alaskan wilderness, climate change… agreements he keeps withdrawing from… trying to strip the right of California to regulate emissions within its own state boundaries while at the same time using state’s rights for support of stricter laws on abortion and looser laws on gun control. Yes — those lines of your post resonate with me. And I worry for my grandchildren and what we will be leaving them with.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lillian, yes I have often thought at present it is American environmental protections that are so jeopardised but how much more could be done if there wasn’t this denial in such a powerful place. Am glad some lines resonated.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What struck me is how sad it is that we even have to write poems about the sorry mess that we’ve gotten ourselves into! In such a short time our senseless selfishness has created a monstrous challenge to remedy. I too, like Lill, think of my granddaughters and what kind of future will they be up against. Powerful, Georgina. I guess we need to hit the streets again like in the 60s to get anyone’s attention to bring the change we most desperately need.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. A great poem Georgina, that is full of passion for what we could save but also the pessimism that we knew this and haven’t done it yet. I was 20 in 1991 and from my young teens I wanted to save the world and end animal suffering – it doesn’t seem as though much has changed since then.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Georgina — Hi poet!. Wanted to let you know I am “temporarily” sightless in my right eye from a retinal disease. It is a struggle fir me to write, but I will still wrote my pieces, going very slowly. Reading at any length is extremely difficult, and causes painful headache — so wanted to say thanks for contributing to OLN. But I won’t be able to read what you wrote, yet I wanted to visit. I spent a little time writing this best I could with one eye, i copied it, and I am pasting it in here to say hi. Got an operation coming up in about a week when the infection is down. Hopefully things will get back to normal.thanks, Rob

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a beautiful poem. I love the repetition of the “Same Old.” It’s so appropriate, and moving, in this day and age. I just read a report that many countries in South Asia will be underwater by 2100, and half of Vietnam and other countries will be flooded by 2050. It’s a sad state of affairs, and your poem captures a yearning for change, a dream for a brighter future.

    Liked by 1 person

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