When I read Totally Optional Prompts‘ request for summer poems, a line from Richard Fariña‘s The Children of Darkness immediately came to my mind – hence this somber summer ballad with its grim design in place of something from my own pen.
A song that might apply to the Iraq war just as much as it did to Vietnam when it was composed…
Children of darkness
Now is the time for your loving, dear,
And the time for your company
Now when the light of reason fails
And fires burn on the sea
Now in this age of confusion
I have need for your company.
It’s once I was free to go roaming in
The wind of the springtime mind
It’s once the clouds I sailed upon
Were sweet as lilac wine
So why are the breezes of summer, dear
Enlaced with a grim design?
And where was the will of my father when
We raised our swords on high?
And where was my mother’s wailing when
Our flags were justified?
And where will we take our pleasures when
Our bodies have been denied?
For I am a wild and a lonely child
And the son of an angry land
Now with the high wars raging
I would offer you my hand
For we are the children of darkness
And the prey of a foul command.
– Richard Fariña
(from Reflections in a Crystal Wind, released in 1965)
This song was also recorded by Fariña’s famous sister-in-law Joan Baez.
In the following video, it is performed by Janette Michaels, Gib Sosman and Deborah Pine at the 1984 Climax Festival.