Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stream of Thought/ Take the Mountain With You You When You Go


The sun will warm the mountain and melt the pure white snow                                                 A stream will form and tumble to the world below                                                                  
Take the mountain with you when you go stone by stone                                                        And bless you on your journey into the Great Unknown                                                          A flock of cranes in chevron flight above the whole creation                                                   Become a moving image of a mountain in formation 

Water falls with such a force the stream carves out a groove
The sweeter song is near the source where stones begin to move
Take the mountain with you when you go stone by stone…

In the stillness of the river — reflected in the deep                                                                    Beyond those distant peaks — the place is yours to keep

Your tears and mine will will join as the streams congregate                                                     Like a lake warmed to heaven our tears evaporate 
Take the mountain with you when you go stone by stone…                                                      

Standing on a sandbar where the river shapes the shore                                                        The mountains seem much lighter from where they were before

Father’s love
Is a mount
ain waterfall
Rushing down
To the lowest place
On its way to the sea
Tears stream down
The mountains face
Through the lonely years
Mountain waterfall
Shedding blood sweat and tears
Father’s love
Is a mountain waterfall
Rushing down
To the lowest place
On its way to the sea
Tears stream down
The mountains face
Through the lonely years
Mountain waterfall
Shedding blood sweat and tears
Notes From My Journal:
We went to McDonald's and Tony told us that we need to create heartistic unity among ourselves, and my tear dropped onto my Big Mac. I wrote in my journal: "Being at the workshop is like having you're own personal mountain in the middle of a desert. The mountain is so high that it is covered with pure white snow. We all know where the snow comes from, and bring people from the desert to see it. We walk around the foothills where many streams flow with white raging water. As we walk around the base we come across different streams that emanate from the same source. Everyone wants to know about the snow-capped mountain, but I'm walking around the foothills exploring the different streams. The many streams at the base of the mountain are the wise men who pour out their hearts to the people of the desert. Everyone is looking for gold at the top of the mountain, but I'm finding nuggets at the bottom. If it wasn't for the white waters that tumble from above the gold would be much harder to find."
There is a young boy on the ice bundled warm and fumbling to knock the puck past the padded ghost of a goalie, but if he scores, out here on the pond, there's no red light to flash. A young girl skates into the game and out of the game doing figure eights, with the eyes of eternity sparkling. The boy puts her name inside a Heart of Snow...
Truth is like the snow, when it's up in the air it impairs our vision, but when it hits the earth it blankets everything indiscriminately. Snow blends the meadows into the streams, and the rivers become invisible seams. Trust, like the roots of trees beneath a river of ice is something you don't always see, and the figure skater is suspended like flakes in a snow dome...
There is a window in every drop of rain, in every salty tear. Some one is staring out the window through lace, day dreaming of some other avenue that could have altered their life. Like the star at the end of the telescope.
That night I was walking along Mary Street, with the sparkling snow crunching, to the Crest Hardware to look into the periscope of a toy submarine... At the Goodyear Christmas party Kim and I received toy machine guns which caused the Tiny, the Jones' dog to bark incessantly. Another year we got toy tanks made of durable plastic that shot bright red bullets...
And waiting for Kim, when the flashing lights of a passing plane made the temporary asterism of a pistol floating through the sky. When ma took Kim and I to Kindergarten we were both wearing our blue and red cowboy sweaters that grandma knit us, and Kim and I fought over a cap gun... Now when Kim drives to the station to chauffeur me to Milton in his Lincoln Continental he does incessant donuts. Kim and Cindy picked me up on Christmas Eve, with baby Dylan, and I asked, "Remember the time Ken Jones had that gas powered balsa plane and he smashed it right into the checkerboard sign."
"And that was the sign you were sitting on when I poked you with a stick and you broke your arm, and the day after that I tried to smash it with a hammer."
"Ya, you always had a charming way with hammers." Kim laughed, "Are you gonna write that in your book?"
"Maybe, but don't forget, Ken Jones grew up and had his own airplane and took me for a look at Niagara Falls. He took me over Crystal Beach, so there.
You know I talked to Danny the other day and asked him what he remembers and he said 'We used to go to the other side of the tracks to smoke and whenever someone came by I'd say hide your smoke.' I asked him if there was anything else and he said; 'Ya Crystal Beach...'"

Now the memories have shattered themselves like that windshield of Volkswagen into a million beads, the time I was in Munich, hitching a ride in a car with a window about to crack. It caved in when the door slammed but we rode around with our elation going further into the night than our heads out the window space... Touching off a Stream of Thought...
The photograph of Kim with the huge black eye, with the frazzled edges of his woolly sweater sleeves dangling, with eyes like egg whites, playing his frenetic version of the Hungarian Rhapsody on accordion... The accordionist in the ferry cafeteria on route to Prince Rupert Sound with a crowd singing softly to the words of old hit songs, printed on powder blue sing along sheets as we passed Indian rock paintings. The wake behind the boat was phosphorescent green in the night. A few killer whales on the port side gleaming on the coruscated surface. Some Texans saying We had asked for a room with those little round windows, portholes...
Seeing the kids in Flowers Cove, Newfoundland, just before sunset when the tides had left pools of water among the scattered houses reflecting untold serenity. And me, with my guitar protruding from my trapper Nelson backpack like a dinosaur, or the prow perhaps of a Viking ship above my head. And I guessed every kids age, exactly to the half year, on a lucky streak... I had traveled to the Viking ruins that summer of '72 and wrote Lady of Labrador. And looking out from the ruins, to the calm sea, I could have been back there in history, for the shores were untouched...
That summer of '72 I skipped going to the Mariposa Folk Festival, and heard that Bob Dylan was there walking among the people. But I walked in and out of the fog at end of the road, where it ended in someone's backyard... The boy with the coke bottle bottom glasses and the smile button where they took me in for tea. The docks beside the end of the road with silver fish heads on the bottom and everyone following us from window to window as we walked around. Like goldfish. Many invited us in, and they all had portraits of JFK on the walls ...We got stuck in the woods of Labrador, and John Franklin, a fellow traveler and I camped out in an abandoned logger cabin, to escape the millions of mosquitoes...

At the forest fire fighting camp in Golden BC and buying Wintergreen breath mints to sparkle in the darkness, and riding fifteen or so of us in and on a Volkswagen bug, with me on the hood. Converting our government tent into a Tee-Pee and sparkling Certs and going for firewood and the ground looked like snakes...
The Catalog People At Sauble Falls...
The Catalog People At Sauble Falls... With dirty brown swirling curly hair beading like a river when wet, Steve the house painter was a liquid impressionist. It was on my first day traveling that we met. "I will teach you to make your visions river." We were at the campsite at Sauble Falls. When my vision overflowed we went wading in the small falls like steps. Boulders themselves raged with fossils that seemed fresh and alive. A tree gnarled with a million smiling trolls peeped from bark boroughs, on the smooth gray. Sat on a limb just dangling over the water black like molten glass. Wading in the water it tugged at our imagination. Passing a puddle on the grassy dirt road Steve said: "Look Out!" This magnified in my mind to mean a rattlesnake. But it was just a puddle, and I tromped boldly through it. In a pine forest the geometrical designs, the golden grass back lit by the sun showed every blade and needle praising the sky. We picked up pine cones and threw them at each other. Traces of artifacts whizzed past my ducked head. Again we went to the water. Now the gold setting on the faces of tourist in new traveling clothes looked like models out of a catalog with faces fresh peaches in the sun. Even the fisherman was fashionably attired. Tourist heads spun ever so slowly as we waded by in our raggedy clothes. I was thinking to paint the river, with us flowing in the current, and the people just cutouts from a catalog when Steve moved from behind me and stepped into my visions field of peregrinations.. .
The train ride from Budapest to Trieste with Christopher the dustman, who wore a dirty pair of white overalls a black jacket and a tiny backpack with a bicycle horn. We fell asleep on the train, missed our stop, and had to walk to the nest track, past the red star on the black locomotive, actually on a walkway above the train in the drizzle with a line of passengers all in black trench coats and umbrellas ...
Then on through the snowy area, riding in a train writing Winter Wedding, with the evergreens snow laden just an arms length away looking like a million porpoises looking to the surface. And in the morning the puffs of locomotive smoke that hung in the air around the train, seeming unmoving to the passengers still with sleep in their eyes, swirling among the embers as sparks whirled through everything making steam as they landed in the snow...
Too many long walks to cafes with the streetcars dark at distant intersections—looking like time release capsules—and people being let out now and then. Passing the incessant blinking of a construction sign I recall standing with hands on hips as 'the little harmonica boy,' supervising construction work and playing the odd tune on my harp. The time I took water to the man on the bulldozer working beside our house in an iridescent green tin tumbler and he said, "It tastes like Kool Aid..."
And now, and now the sound of cicadas breaks my stream of consciousness... The wind shivers the green ruffles of leaves as a squirrel polliwogs its way along the telephone wires... And what was that word Van Gogh used to describe the flowers when they went crazy in their growth... The ants upon the peonies with just a little breeze to make the stems dandle. It's with the anticipation of angels that we wait for summer with its air about the swollen foliage cut into a puzzle by the bees and the sound of a distant train. And Kim and I still recall when we moved into Milton, standing on the sidewalk eating crackers. We still have that indelible memory of the train going by at the end of our block... The train going by at the end.
Note: That I wrote Winter Wedding in Yugoslavia is a premeditated myth. I wrote it while working at the Fan Factory in Oakville, while saving up for my tour of Europe. At the time I recall taking the Go Train from Toronto to Bronte and saw my dasturdly brother Kim in a '57 Chevy stopped at a railway crossing waiting for my train to pass... There had recently been a winter storm where the rain had frozen on the trees... The song I wrote on the train in Yugoslavia was called Don't Fish Too Many Creeks at Once ...

Pure white snow on a mountain peak
Untouched by the atmosphere
The sun will send you on your way
With a love that’s crystal clear

There’s something in your tears it seems
Flowing endlessly
I did know I was a muddy stream
Till love came to purify me

The train was in the station
As the Bohemian Ambassador
Said “My name’s Eternity
Nothing less ‘n nothing more
Let me read your fortune”
Train jerked I nodded “yes”
With a red star on the engine
Black stars upon her dress

On the other side of the curtain
I was awakened from a dream
Between the dogs and wolves
— In the twilight of steam

The first card had a full moon
With a dog and wolf below
“Your heading soon
            will change”
I  responded “Is that so”
Vague notions like smoke
Drifted along with the train
“It will happen very soon
You’ll be left out in the rain”

On the other side of the curtain...

The Conductor started shouting
“You went beyond your stop
You better pay the difference
Or I’ll have to call the cops”
I joined a line of passengers
All dressed in glistening black
As we crossed the overpass
To the other side of the track

On the other side of the curtain...

In the warmth of the waiting car
I was feeling quite relieved
Until another ambassador
Drew something
            from her sleeve
And it was with an eerie flourish
That this lady had the urge
To play upon her harmonica

   A most melancholy dirge

No comments: