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This Side Of The Morning

Our dreaming unity fragments as dawn
   blows out the separated stars
      and recreates space and time.
Out of the cold-hearth chrysalis of the night comes the realization
that everything resumes, renews,
      with or without our consent,
forming our side, your side, my side
   of this side among many sides
      of the morning.

Awake? Well, okay, let's arise and face the day,
letting it go its own way if we have something else in mind.
Like compass needles at a warm, shifted, drifted pole,
we're spinning aimlessly, our first fixed point tied
   to the other side
      of tomorrow morning.

Sleeping under the bus when a storm threatens
is a good way to find oil leaks.
Matted, black, geek hair could be a fashion statement.
But it still stinks
   and it makes your scalp itch.
Looking out across the shadows of a clean, new dawn,
from the safety of our side of the morning,
potential offering us its insolent challenge.
   Are we up for it? You bet!

Hot, black, bitter; coffee wakes the senses, cuts the smoke,
rounds out the first toke of the new day.
We pause at this threshold and watch shredding vapour trails
echo our own smoke plumes
as they take messages across to the far horizon.
In the distance, far out of sight,
we hear a silky rush - a train on night-contracted rails
taking people to places we may never see
   on their side of the morning.

Even here, out here in sun-warming, rocky isolation,
a pursuing police car siren wails,
a uniformed avenger stalks society's enemies -
and sets a heavy conscience fluttering.
"Lose that stash, man!"
   "Hey, we're none of their business."
"Not unless they lose that other guy
   and they need a quick collar!"
Crooks are everywhere on the other side
   of this side of the morning.

At peace, immobilized by well-being
   at evens with the universe,
      we are content to let things slide.
And yet, we tell ourselves, knowing it to be true,
   "I could leave all this behind."

Time to eat.
Toaster, microwaved eggs in punctured shells,
more coffee drips.
Smokey the Bear hates fires, loves technophiles.
We thrive on battery power, survive on contained electrons.
To give life to our plug-ins, we drive miles and miles;
   and yet:
last night's tyre tracks, once approaching in the restless dust,
are now scoured out by desert winds.
No trash, no burnt sticks in blackened stone circles.
   We're invisible.
      Except to spy satellites.

Someone asks, "Shall I put the radio on?"
He wants to let the news comes back encoded,
We say, "No. Leave it locked in a bright, shiny box
with a key we need never turn."

Where are we now?
Someone says, "Is this still Texas? Or did we cross into Mexico?"
No one knows.
Someone says, "Let's head on down to Mexico
and score some grass."

Sun-browned skin, black hair, white teeth
beaming smile as the dago rips off the anglo.
Each trading Nature's bounty.
Each making a profit.
We have time for that
   on our side, on our play side of the morning.

Out here, no one knows our names.
You ask: Do we reserve our precious identities?
You ask: Do the people we meet never ask who we are?
We reply: There is no one else out here to ask questions.
Later, we ask ourselves if we should be out here wasting time
and the answer comes back - "Why not?"

Sitting in the shade of the tour bus,
neither belonging nor involved,
adrift but not quite drifting,
we can see clear through to the other side
   of this side of the morning.

We hit crunch point numero uno. Go or stay?
   There's coffee left.
      Someone wants a second smoke.
And gives a good goddam about hurrying?
We have until tomorrow to enjoy
   our side of the morning.

I once heard someone say the dry, semi-desert air
can't change the tuning of a metal guitar string.
But we hear its bright signature sing out
as we mould tomorrow's verse to our refrain.
"Where the hell is Boford's Plain anyway? In Texas?"
Yes, but not on our side
   of the morning.

Out here, we can feel too isolated,
   too secure.
Thinking back to times when I have been one part-second,
one half-step from death by vehicle in the city,
on the borderland of two breeds of nothing:
   between nothing more ever, ever again
      and nothing happened,
I realize all that belongs in another world.
Out here, I feel no pressing need to be aware of danger,
   alert, on my guard,
      wary of each passing stranger.
"Was that a rattlesnake behind that rock?"
   Hell, no one's safe anywhere these days!

No more excuses, no more delays.
"Get your asses into gear, guys!"
Packed in our travelling cocoon,
we head out into what this day will bring.
Wheels turning closer to another gig on our endless tour.
Four ageless, unshaven young men
   seeing America in their own way,
      living out the young man's dream,
         working in a rock 'n' roll band.

We stop, we drive, we sleep,
we thrive on this impossible way of life,
looking for its end.
"One more gig?"
   "Okay, why not?"
Waiting for fate to send us a message,
Telling us we've been everywhere, seen everything,
done nothing but have a good time.

Cactus PicSomeday, for a moment,
we may look back and remember this...
and be content
on our side
   of this side
      of the morning.

© 1978 All rights reserved by Free Fall.

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 No trees were consumed by Farrago & Farrago and Henry T. Smith Productions, 10/12 SK6 4EG, UK in creating this material for Jon A. Gored. Sole © Jon A. Gored, 2001.
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