As my lap top dies a slow, lingering death, I thump out my response, a “thunk” piece, for mlm’s menagerie music challenge on November 1, 2019.

When I think of Bob Dylan and the word “young,” the phrase, “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now” wraps around me.

For too many reasons to recount, “my back pages” resonates as much now as when I asked for, and received, Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits,Volume II, for my birthday 48 long Novembers ago.  (Vinyl version, of course! Grooves worn ragged; memories worn thin)

So in honour of my November birthday (and those friends and family (present and gone) also born this month; 10+ and counting) I wish:

May  [we] build ladder[s] to the stars
And climb on every rung
May [we] stay forever young . . .

May [we] always know the truth
And see the light surrounding [us]
May [we] always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong . . .

May [we] have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift

May y[our] heart[s] always be joyful
May y[our] song[s] always be sung
And may [we] stay forever young
May [we stay] forever young

 ( from the October 16, 1992 30th anniversary concert)

my back pages

Crimson flames tied through my ears
Rollin’ high and mighty traps
Pounced with fire on flaming roads
Using ideas as my maps
“We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said I
Proud ‘neath heated brow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now
Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth
“Rip down all hate,” I screamed
Lies that life is black and white
Spoke from my skull. I dreamed
Romantic facts of musketeers
Foundationed deep, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now.
Girls’ faces formed the forward path
From phony jealousy
To memorizing politics
Of ancient history
Flung down by corpse evangelists
Unthought of, though, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now
A self-ordained professor’s tongue
Too serious to fool
Spouted out that liberty
Is just equality in school
“Equality,” I spoke the word
As if a wedding vow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now
In a soldier’s stance, I aimed my hand
At the mongrel dogs who teach
Fearing not that I’d become my enemy
In the instant that I preach
My pathway led by confusion boats
Mutiny from stern to bow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now
Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats
Too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking
I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now