Beyond the Valley
The green days sprung ahead, and the lavender sprayed in the lilacs. The song of spring sped through my mind as I sped down the street. It became a garden, and I spread my sack of compost over it. The garden grew songs to sing. They were from the sixties, psychedelic and grand, the best. They threaded through my mind, chambers filled with ruby shards unearthed under the soil.
I did my best to assemble the shards. It was hard, with the glass, so I melted them, and blew another bottle. The poisonous fumes from my breath sped down the street like the song and like my feet.
The genie came out of the bottle, like she did 44 years ago, in 1969, like the flower children said she never would again. We were the new flower children, the youth of the day, and we were sowing a new garden with love.
This was beyond the valley where I fell in the shallow water, and the stream revived me, and I climbed the mountain. Jimi Hendrix with his Band of Gypsies, like a seed, sprouted on the slope, and I heard a whole new concert by myself, there, as I was climbing. This was just the beginning.
First, the daunting ascent of the face and slope, as I looked with dread upon the rock sheet in front of me, with the premonition I would slip and stumble, bashing up knee and head a few times, which I did, but I got to the grass, and it was as if I were leading a flock of sheep.
The sheep were recently shorn, by a friendly shepherd, who gave me a handful of grass to eat myself, and a nice sweater, a soft, muted red with a broad, thick stitch, braids going down the front.
I would need it in the cold of the coming days, as I ascended with no sleep, and little nutriment. But I recorded the sights and my insights, and this kept me stimulated. I even had some sexy goddesses to give me pleasure when I reclined on the soft surface; they kept me still, so I wouldn’t roll down the slope.
I made it to the pinnacle, and then a plateau, with relics of an Indian civilization. This was the new city, and the friends I had made in the valley came up the path I had blazed and built the new dwellings and shrines for communion with the goddesses, into the Indian ruins, like the medieval structures above the ancient ones in Rome.
The sun was very close to us, and we were warm in its red vermillion rays. It inspired us to make music, which we shared, dotted and laced with the poems I had written of the journey to the valley and up the steep mountain.
There was the darkness of the underground, arising like flames of fire in the night, like black wind vapor. It inspired visions, sometimes scary and bleak, but blossoming into light and flower in the morning.
I rested in the petals of a flower with a girl, and this lasted six weeks. We made love without end, and we still do.
Flowers blossomed from my belly. The pollen sifted onto my chest, and was blown by the morning vapor up to my face. I saw what the future would bring, a new world of days, cumulus clouds with smiles, and faces androgynous, raining tears of ichor onto our hair shimmering in the afternoon light.
The darkness was a messenger, with cryptic missiles I translated into poetry. The poetry sent its verbs of wild activity into the violins and clarinets the children would play, and the lines became something else as the sound poured like elated voices out of the bells.
This was a world of dance, which began as soon as someone lifted a hand to open a door to a stranger coming to listen to the music. It was effortless, no steps needed to be learned, just the choice of the sex and heart to enter into communion with the air and light and water, and the people there.
Our thighs moved like air, diaphanous and dreamy. Sleep came back, and refreshed the coming days. Sleep entered our shut lids like a gold tinged mist, moistening the eyes, which could see into the fibers of the brain now, reflecting back the dreams of others, concentrated into one sweet rhubarb stem, which we chewed on as it rose in the garden soil.
We sowed more seeds, sometimes just the saliva dripping from our mouths as we played our instruments. Peach trees grew from this liquid, with bristly fuzz covering a skin as pink and orange as an evening sky on the eve of a sun filled morning.
Michelle was the shaman, subsuming her grandfather’s spirit from the soil. She had visions. She could put her hand on my belly and bring the fountain of desire out of my brain, and there they were, spread out over the landscape up to the horizon. My sexual visions became a naked woman lying on the landscape, her own belly felt again by Michelle, bringing out the desire of the land, spewing up like a whale breaching on the sea, visible in the misty distance from the citadel on the plateau. The whale had her own desires, and they guided us, giving our land the vast blue clarity of the sea, as pure and as crystal and as salty, and the earth moved beneath us like another whale, balancing us on her spout.
Lucy took care of the sheep. She danced around them, in a gauze gown, and it kept them safe. They saw with her eyes, the things that humans see; they heard the music, and appreciated it, and bleated in unison. Lucy would pick up a lamb, and rub his belly. When she did this, I could feel my belly being rubbed, and I felt like I had a coat of fleece.
She made arrases and tapestries out of the wool, which she hung on the walls of the shrines. They made us feel warm, even on cool nights. But still the cool came through, and it was like diving into a mountain pool.
So we swam in the mountain pool, in the nude, enjoying each other’s body. We were each our own physical island, surrounded by a buffer of light, and our intimacy was transmitted like soft electrical currents to one another. As islands, two of us would become one, or three of us. Sometimes we evolved into an archipelago, with new flora and fauna developing wings and scales on our skins, and roots and bark.
We were able to live on the grass; it tasted like English double cream. The English sky was gray but merry, stimulating romantic visions of rolling, tumbling clouds transformed into balls of smoke traveling across the sky. Lucy cobbled these together, into sculptures of sheep that came to life, and she sheared their fleece and turned it back into clouds, which traveled to new pastures in the sky.
Foam from the sea washed up the mountaintop, which turned into clouds like the sheep, which in turn turned into Foam, the shepherd. He guided the clouds to new realms in the sky, where we lived in the late afternoon, after English tea. They tasted like tea. He led our tongues like the sheep, and we bleated new songs.
Foam was made of foam, a pure consistency of ebullience and light emotion. I was his sheep dog, barking at the wolves, the fierce, beautiful creatures with sharp fangs that were good if they dove into demons instead of human flesh, which they did, with the fear I inspired in them, and Foam’s continuous vigil. The wolves became our friends. Lucy painted watercolors of them, exhibiting them in open air. The watercolors came to life, ghost versions of the wolves. They drifted like the morning haze across the grass, dew collecting in their transparent fur.
I collected the dew, and distilled it into poems on the silver mist, and the poems became the silver mist itself, wetting the people’s tongues, which spouted poems of their own, rolling like dew onto the grass, giving the earth a language, which it spoke into our psyches with a dark, husky voice, imbuing our brains with dark brown syrup. We could taste it as we dreamed our waking dreams, and it sweetened our energy as we rose in the morning to greet the day.
The energy was a melded wolf and sheep, and we drifted on the foam that Foam became, like a surf on the Hawaiian pacific, now dogfish and barracudas, melding again to become a nascent, evolved human species, with Foam as ideal, his effortless grace and kindness making us kind.
The great hurricane came, the disembodied spirit of Hurricane, our lord. He roasted us with fire, giving us a charcoal crust and a golden texture. We ate each other’s flesh. And then the hurricane, blowing us to sleep as we rested after our meals, dislocating the trees and tumbling them down the slope into the river to be washed into the sea.
Hurricane showered branches against our heads, inoculating us with shock, jolting us into a new awareness of our environment. He drove us like slaves, making us labor to build the new civilization, of which we would become masters. We were the masters, building our pyramids, with the relics of our prior lives ensconced in their tiered chambers.
The hurricane blew over this desert on the rocky face of the mountain, where I had labored so long ago to discover the new realm, my shed blood the mortar to put together the gold bullions of the pyramids dotting the mountain face like studs on a belt wrapped round the rising promontory, keeping it safe and consolidated within the atmosphere of thin mountain air, which Hurricane breathed in for us to purify and breathe back into our mouths, a sweet cocktail of oxygen and ambrosia, and we became gods like him, dreaming into the night amber dreams that would become the rivers and mountains and seas of new ages.
The demons circulated the soil like stingrays. Sometimes, they upset our sleep and our veins stung inside as if chemicals had been poured through them. But the demons gave verve to the medicinal herb we cultivated, giving it fire and potency. And when the smoke rang through their veins, it was a red alarm, bringing to consciousness the structure and contours of our soul.
Other things grew in the soil; the peach trees, the rhubarb, strawberries. We fertilized it with the excrement of wolves, high in nitrogen, and the action of the demons subsided, like the tide as the full moon wanes. Our tears and mucus fell into the soil, giving it a human smell, salty and close and musty; and a viscous consistency, so it was pleasant to tread upon. We walked barefoot across it, subsuming the rich sprit into our feet, and up to our lips and fingers. It invigorated us. Lucy made more art, which inspired more music, and the music’s vibrations reverberated downward, balancing the soil of the earth, and bringing it into communion with the air and sky.
Angels slept in the fibers inside us. They made the liver drive at high speed, processing the meals we took in, and the heavy residue of the tangible conversations we gave and shared, and this passed into the soil, which was rich, and gave us energy as we shared our excrescences. It gave luster to our fingernails, made our skin a deep peach, or cream or ivory, or tan or deep brown. This reflected its tones, which also reproduced themselves in the pigments of Lucy’s paintings, for she went out in the early morning, at dawn, to extract the disintegrated tree barks, the sediment of decaying leaves, the minerals; some common as iron, but with flecks of gold, which she collected in an aluminum basin, and ground it to dust even finer, which she would spray on our skin with her lips.
We were fine draftsmen, with a knack for drawing fantastical palaces. One of us would trace an image of such a structure in the soil and within minutes the demons would rise, laying low hardwood timber from the trees, which angels would lift into the ether, collecting fine velvets and silks to dress and adorn the edifice, and we dwelled within it for an evening and its following night and morning, the elements drawn back into their respective places in the heavens and underworld by the next noon, and oaks and would be lined up in paths around streams and pools, giving us a place for an afternoon stroll. The soil retained the memory of the palaces, developing within it a mind of its own, which enriched our minds. Our minds grew to be like the soil, fertile grounds for fecund cogitation, and each of us would become a pure thinker, each a sovereign Socrates.
We became teachers without classroom, voices issuing long philosophical discussion in the heat of afternoon. Our knowledge increased with this sharing. The wisdom of Greece poured from voice, and back through another pair of lips. The sound strafed the air with crosscurrents, and surreal passages of language mutated into strange new landscapes, with levitated tree and bush and flower, growing in sinuous, undulating shape. The soil was enriched with these things of nature decayed into muck and seed, and the legend of the earth changed, new hills and hollows and glens forming among the gardens and forests.
A theater developed spontaneously from the potency of the charged air. We saw ourselves transformed into palpable images communicating with one another. Our speech morphed into a kind of new music, and we listened to and watched these changed selves in self-created cinema, new dramas unfolding that influenced us in our daily motions.
At times the whole earth disappeared in the face of the cinema, and we ourselves disappeared, subsumed into our images. We became these images, cleansed in a new birth. It was thus we achieved new incarnations of ourselves, without passing through death. Our old bodies decayed into dust scattered as crematory ashes around the soil, giving it a topsoil for the creation of saplings and flowering bush, and incorporeal image and nature would cross each other, sharing body and spirit in a swirling new cocktail of reality.
Soon the activity became so intense, so sustained, it became a new kind of stasis, a monadic element of new atomic composition. The whole of the civilization was brought to a cosmic point zero. We forgot ourselves. We became the disembodied conscious of the place, its genius loci, rejuvenating the climate and setting the stage for a primordial theater for which we were the stage set, becoming new beings as if our whole life force had passed into our children.
We became new people, passing from one to another, combining, splitting; a new status quo, minds continuously altered, bodies shared, new people walking their earth with a new lightness of stride, new breath and motion and voice.
Poetry and experience became one, the things we drew and assembled and sculpted, even the music we played, sharing in a new reality.