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Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Shaving The Dream

published 'Drift' 1998

I dreamed of dropping into sleep whence it was impossible to wake. However, a boy, whom for a split second I recognised, demonstrated the path back through the wood, but not without warning me about the sheep that nibbled grass in the clearing at the wood’s heart. Their coats of wool were morling-, not shorling-, shaved.

I took my ancient life upon my shoulders and, after shaking hands with the stranger who had sought to assist me, I entered upon the various darknesses that embraced the trees. When I awoke, I was just as disappointed as relieved.

Once I must have been a boy, I suppose, being a young man now, but the boy I had been I never really knew as myself. So, I was delighted, several benighted dreams later, to become the same old man from the previous dream who then met a boy halfway into that same wood. I recognised him from my waking album of dream photographs, those images decked in sepia memory. He squatted in the crook of a Bend-Over.

“Hi!” he said as if he had been waiting more than one generation for this meeting. I approached and pinched his arm to see if he was real. “Ouch!” he squawled.

“Are you really me as I once was?” I asked.

“I don’t know about that, old man, but I sure know I’m the tender of baa-lambs round this neck of the woods.”

I awoke before the dream was complete. This time I tried to force myself back to sleep, eager for its ending. But daytime worries interposed, as they often did, along with the new array of mounted memories.

In the future, probably sooner than I then thought, I shall be an old man in real life, being a young one now. So, when I paid my last visit to that dream (or vice versa, it to me), I began to feel no longer a protagonist within such dream...

The old man has become quite autonomous of myself and accompanies the shepherd boy in the heartwood, both counting the number of times a white ball of wool is thrown back and forth, without either of them dropping it. The boy’s so intent on the game, I wonder what can have happened to his bo-peepery.

Middle-aged eyes squint from behind some Sting-Backs, intrigued to see which of them falters first. Indeed, there’s no way to pull the wool over my eyes nor tug my optic fuse from its bed of sinew, although the curve of sight is skewed by the filtering lens of dream, as well as by the tangled morling¬wool on the nettly Sting-Backs’ stickiness.

Beyond waking’s shore, I eternally count asleep sheep, until the old man drops the ball.

Posted by augusthog at 3:49 AM EDT
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