Sit-in Roadshow Stops in Tucson

Scorching hot mid-May morning
UA campus, Tucson
Just a week following Kent State
In psychedelic-colored secondhand school buses
faded tie-dyed VW vans
and even a few in slick ‘57 Chevies, they arrived

Pouring into the Park Avenue neighborhood
the unexpected California sit-in roadshow
clogs the western campus entrance
Throngs of half-naked, long-haired people
Some say, 20,000 strong
My guess, at least a couple thousand
beaded, bearded, barefooted, stoned Hippie freaks
descending, like outer space aliens
overpowering campus and city police
National guardsmen arrive, dressed to kill
Even they couldn’t disperse the sit-in
lasting two long timeless days

Joints burning well into the night
That familiar sticky sweet smell hovering
like a thick smoky cloud over campus
Enough for a contact high
just walking through the motley crowd
The dope was one thing, but for me
the music and dancing took the cake
Upon reflection…
maybe even better than Woodstock

Then, without warning
on the morning of the third day
they left, as quickly as they came
Taking nothing, leaving only
thousands of MJ roaches, empty wine bottles
and their handmade Make Love, Not War signs
Next stop? Santa Fe

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This entry was posted in 1970s Poetry, College Days Poems, Free Verse Poetry, Tucson Poetry by Don Iannone. Bookmark the permalink.

About Don Iannone

Don Iannone is a poet, writer, teacher and photographer who lives in the Greater Cleveland area. He has worked in the economic development field for over 35 years. Don is the author of three poetry books and five photography books. He is working on a short book of photographs and poems about human trafficking. This work was exhibited at six venues in Ohio. Don holds an M.A. degree in Art and Consciousness Studies from the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles, where he teaches writing. His educational background also includes studies in Anthropology, Photography, Organizational Behavior, and Economic Development. Don’s website: http://www.donaldiannone.com Wisdom Work Press: https://wisdomworkpress.wordpress.com

12 thoughts on “Sit-in Roadshow Stops in Tucson

  1. Kai: Glad to hear you’re doing well. Thanks for the comment.

    Aurora: Thanks. Good question. While clearly they played some role in social change and political action, I am inclined to think they had a greater personal growth impact. Lots of young people working out who they are. And your thoughts?

  2. I followed your link from gotpoetry that you put in a comment this morn. What a wonderful site, Don! I’ll be coming back to it, for sure.

  3. Thanks so much Dan, Andrew, and Jill.

    Andrew: Hope you enjoyed Tucson.

    Dan: Yessir. You got it.

    Jill: Glad you found your way over here. Stop back.

  4. You’ve captured so well something of the spirit of that time of sit-ins, etc. What a strange time it was. Do you think that spirit is gone? I don’t think I see it today like we did then. I see a lot of cynicism and frustration with the way things are sometimes, but its not being handled the way it was in the 70s.

  5. Aurora: Well, I guess we’ll have to write yet another poem about all this. I don’t know either, but it did change me.

    Kent: Yeah, I hear you. I am much more worried about what I see today…so many more people are dying at the hands of others. Everything has become so much more extreme. So much more violence. This was not what I saw in the 60s and 70s. Well, aside from Kent State.

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