Thursday, August 29, 2013

Toads In Tandem ~ It's a Love Thing!

What happens when a Sharp Little Pencil is asked to sketch in Black and Gray
You get some serious collaborative genius.

For our last combined poem written by Real Toad members in celebration of our second year of communal blogging, Amy and LaTonya give their interpretation of "free love".

by Amy Barlow Liberatore and LaTonya Baldwin © 2013

We were children of the 70s,
afros and long hair, psychedelic
colors and velveteen prints.

Love supreme

Uncle John and Uncle Tony
never had girlfriends.
Mom said they loved each other.
“Same love is called gay,” she said.
I just called them Uncle.
At five, love didn't need a label.

We are family

Brenda and Kathleen lived together
with her six children. I never asked why.
To me they were Brendaandkathleen.

Love supreme

Our aunts, uncles and friends loved us.
They hosted baby showers and gave us cars.
Dropped us a rope when we fell
down the rabbit hole.

We are family

Love the member, reject the hate.
Your dad called the people you loved, faggots.
My dad called my friends, sissies.
The bigotry stung. Still we learned to love.
Reject the hate.

Love supreme

We mourn loved ones lost to disease and violence.
We campaign for education, access and truth.
We fight for love and marriage and happiness.

We are family

We are the children of the 70s, afros and long hair.
We are psychedelic babies high on life.

It's time for love, people.
We love disco balls and rainbow parades.
One love, people.

Love supreme


Marcoantonio Arellano (Nene) said...

Great reflection. I also saw those times, the psychedelics, the other issues I still see present (sad).

Love will reign!!!!

Gracias for sharing

Karen said...


Margaret said...

Some of the lovin' of the 70's was an excuse to have no parameters, which is not a good thing in many cases, BUT many rules and social norms were being rebelled against, for a good reason, and that often takes extremism. So, are we better off today for the 70's "free love"? In some cases, yes, as I can't imagine going back to much of the ideology and racism that existed prior to the 70's.

Thank you for an awesome collaboration.

Hannah said...

Excellent collaboration you two!! Barriers dissolved by love and equality...great viewpoints given in this and I like the shape it took as well...very nice visually and audibly. :)

humbird said...

Love is Power! Thanks for bold post! Wonderful collaboration!

Kerry O'Connor said...

Hopefully, if we have learnt anything as citizens of the world over the last 40 years it is not to judge others based on lifestyles, choices, ethnicity and, above all, for falling in love.

Many thanks to both Amy and LaTonya for putting together a poem we, at RT, can be really proud of.

The Artful Diva said...

I love everything about this post!

Maude Lynn said...

Preach, sisters!

Anonymous said...

LOVE this!

ScottlB said...

Love it, reading this was like a walk in the past.

Anonymous said...

Such a great collaboration. Sometimes, a child's point of view/perspective sums up life so well"At five, love didn't need a label"--leaving one to wonder why labels are "needed" at 25, 75 or 95. :)

Herotomost said...

I soooooo love this...what a great write. A really fab collab with as human of appoint as you can get on it. Thanks.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wowzers! Best collaboration ever. You KNOW how much I eagerly drank down every word. "Reject the hate." I especially love "psychedelic babies high on life." Loved.This.Toad-ally.

Susan said...

I am so ready for this poem! I sported the button below, though I knew little to nothing about gay/lesbian love until the Vietnam War ended. Awareness grew with disco, for sure, and with relatives. "Reject the Hate" is still too relevant, as is learning love from children before hate infects them.

Kay L. Davies said...

I was a child in the 50s, grew up in the 60s, and knew plenty of different people in the 70s.
Fortunately, my parents were of the "all people are equal" school of thought, so they had friends who were gay, friends who were straight, friends who were hippies...prejudice and discrimination were the crimes according to our parents, but even then they believed as you...hate the behavior, perhaps, but love the person.
I love what you've written here, both of you (and of course we might never know who wrote which).

Helen said...

Tell it like it was, is, should be. Let the sun shine in ...

This is the perfect pairing of two talented poets!

Anonymous said...

There's absolutely everything to love about this, and I do love it.

Susie Clevenger said...

A great collaboration. Love shouldn't have conditions. Thanks for creating such a wonderful piece.

hedgewitch said...

True words, and never should we stop saying them. Love is love, and should always flow as free as this poem.

Fireblossom said...

This is nothing but awesome. To say I enjoyed this just doesn't say enough. Great job, gals!

Ella said...

Bravo! Life as it should be :D

Wonderful to read-you blurred your voices into one glorious rainbow!

Scarlet said...

Loving the vibes, message and the love ~ Hugs to both of you for a job well done ~

Anonymous said...

anthem, call to action, observance, solidarity - and not 'at the end of the day' - at the beginning, middle, before, after, and all during, too. ~ M

LaTonya Baldwin said...

Thank you all for so much love. Amy and I learned we had so much in common that at first, we struggled for a theme. Love though is the foundation and so we went with it.

Many of you know, my life is weird at the moment. Changes at home and work. Still I'm loved and I'm finding my way. Love makes me strong.

Can't say how much your support here moves me.


Marian said...

nice collaboration! sending good thoughts your way, LaTonya (and Amy too) xo

Other Mary said...

Yay children of the 70's!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all who sent LaTonya and I some real poetic appreciation and love when we both need it most. My life exploded (imploded?) this week, and this has buoyed us both considerably.

I read this again and realized, I'm not sure where LaTonya ends and I begin, but extra props to LaTonya for doing the final edit. She wove it together so the seams don't show.

"Free Love." Those words were not in our poem, but in the commentary above. We could get all maudlin and philosophical about what the phrase means, but I support it in the philos sense. Love, unconditional and pure. Peace, and thanks again to Kerry for pairing us up, Amy