Amaranth Fall - 1972

                        The Skin 

How wondrously thin is the thick of the skin,
That holdeth the bones and the juices therein,
That bendeth and flexeth and all without creaks,
That sealeth itself so it seldomly leaks.
How wondrously thick is the thin of the skin,
That holdeth the id and the ego therein,
While they hideth and glideth and slideth about.
Wouldn’t it be wild if they ever fell out?
                            by C.B. Campbell

                   Counter Cultural Convert

        The youth sat pensively under the tree. It's shade produced
a comfortable area for him to ponder his dilemma. The past few
months had been, perhaps, the most troublesome in his life.  Like
many other teenagers, he was in the midst of an identity crisis.
In the shade of the tree he was trying to decide whether his
recent bout of self-examination had been the cause or the result of
the events he had been through. Leaning back, he thought.
             *                             *                             *

        His mother stared at hm from across the breakfast table.
He knew what she was about to say, she's often given him that stare.
     " Son, I know we've talked about this before.  . ."" The youth's
gaze cut her off in the middle of the sentence.  He rose, spun
around, and began to walk calmly towards the door.
    "I'm talking to you," she said, half-rising from her chair.
    "No you're not," he retorted. "you're getting ready to lecture
me and I'm not in the mood."
    "Well, then you'll just sit and listen anyway."
    "Why? So I can get irritated and start yelling? No thanks,
I'll leave while I've still got control of myself."

        The mother lowered herself into the chair and hung her head
feigning rejection.  The youth was never able to walk away from
her when she did that.  Although he hated himself, for it, he returned
to his seat at the breakfast table.

       "Oh mom, I'm sorry. I just don't want to yell at you. You
know how easy I lose my temper. C'mon, we'll talk." He felt cheap
and hypocritical, but as much as he despised what he mother was
trying to do to him, he couldn't hurt her.

       The mother looked up at the ceiling.  "My only son," she
moaned.  "Why does my only child hate me? Hate both of his parents?
Do you know what hardships your father went through to . . ."  Of
course he knew.  She had told him at least a thousand times.  Why
couldn't she leave him alone?  She continued to talk, and the youth
stared at her attentively, but heard no more.  Why was it such a
crisis when he decided he didn't want to enter a profession?  That
he'd rather be a woodworker?  He was sure he'd be very happy with
just his life, his work, and his friends.  If only his mother would leave
him alone. Why was she so insatiable?  Damn.
             *                             *                             *

       He didn't know how he had gotten into that argument, but he
wanted to get out.  He didn't feel like yelling at an old man.
    "The law of the land is the law, and you yhoung people have
to follow it just as I did when I was your age.  Sure nothing's
perfect, but. . ."  The youth turned him off the same way he had shut
out his mother.  He had been called a freak before, and he knew
most people considered him and his ideas to be radical, but  he
could only see them as being purely humanitarian.  He didn't
want to destroy the society, as much as he did disagree with it.
He just wanted a change in priorities, a halt to war, and end to
the arms race, and more of a focus on the spiritual side of man.
He found the futility of changing society frustrating, but less
so that living in society as it was.   Why was society so unsociable?
             *                             *                             *

    The youth rose from under the tree.  He had made his decision.
Playing the son and the iconoclast would have to wait.  Right now
he needed to straighten his head, and, yes more or less escape
for awhile.  A friend had told him of a communal group living in
the hills and surrounding woodlands. .  .
             *                             *                             *

    That night the Essenes welcomed a carpenter as their newest member.
                                        by Jay Berman

The beauty of song
is not in the melody,
nor in the quality of voice,
But in the fact
that someone is singing
             by Eric Minick