Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature: over 400,000 monthly users

Jose Padua: Reflections on a Lesson that Would Soon Be Made More Clear to Me by Gil Scott-Heron

In 1971 I’m
thirteen years old
watching a big
Vietnam war protest
on television when
the bearded guy
speaking to the
crowd starts chanting
Fuck Richard Nixon!
Fuck Richard Nixon!
and the instant
the TV station
cuts the sound
is when I
realize that if
I want to
witness the revolution
I will eventually
have to turn
the TV off.

Copyright 2016 Jose Padua


Photograph by Jose Padua

6 comments on “Jose Padua: Reflections on a Lesson that Would Soon Be Made More Clear to Me by Gil Scott-Heron

  1. Christian Ruderisch
    June 13, 2020

    Somewhere about 1970 or ’71 at Kent State Clark Hall, I heard Gil Scott-Heron blasting from the dorm room next door, where two young Black Panthers from Cleveland resided. It was a new music in a language that I didn’t fully comprehend, but I could sense the power, anger, outrage. Those few times I saw their dorm door opening, a haze of smoke filled the hall and we politely said “hello.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Barbara Huntington
    June 13, 2020

    We are fortunate to have the internet. I can’t remember how we got our information when I went to Mississippi. Thank you for your poem. It took me back.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Leo
    June 13, 2020

    My memory is fading in many respects, mostly names, events, but I still recall my anger and, I think, screaming at the TV while watching the 68 Democratic convention and Mayor Daily(I remember his name!) being called out for the treatment of the protestors.Then Kent State…and my own personal protest. Fifty odd years later and things are eerily the same.

    TV, again, incites me almost daily, but I’m a caregiver now( lovingly I like to think) . I can’t go to protest now but I want to think I would if circumstance were different. I write a poem occasionally….for myself. Poetry is a selfish pursuit!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Jose Alcantara
    June 13, 2020

    Gil Scott-Heron was a treasure, as are your poems. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to follow Vox Populi and receive new posts by email.

Join 10,858 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 4,546,797 hits


%d bloggers like this: