daevid allen, 2014
Here comes the Doctor's team
chattering of marvels
a clattering of high heels
and Chelsea Boots on marble.
for the quick and the living
the occasional error is quickly forgiven
the surgeons privilege
becomes a safe haven
immune from the knowledge of nurses.
"Sorry daevid!" say they
as they tear off the hyperfix
putting positive spins on the prescripted crucifix.
Meds for the pain levels, staples need sedatives,
saline for donor sites, truckloads of laxatives,
cream for the suture lines... as you would
yes the skin graft looks good.
He addresses me loudly
in case I can't hear
it's painful as hell in my dissected ear
DAVE, I'M YOUR SURGEON
YOU'RE A LUCKY OLD HOUND.
A CANCER THE SIZE OF AN ORANGE WE FOUND!
YOU'VE LOST A FEW LYMPH NODES, ONE JUGULAR VEIN
A WHOLE BUNCH OF NERVES AND A WHOLE LOAD OF BRAINS.
HA HA HA!!!
TWAS ALONG OPERATION, NINE HOURS AT LEAST
THE CLOCK HANDS WERE WAVING GOODBYE TO YOUR BEAST
WE WERE GLAD TO BE SEEING YOU OPEN YOUR EYES
IT WAS QUITE A SURPRISE.
I said: Doc, If I'd died
might you think that maybe...
I'd see my-self as one more
from a world full of suffering
that prizes the living
and capitalizes on surgery saving
the lives of the artists
so they may continue
their mischief and skiving...
DON'T BE SILLY
he shouted redoubling his volume
in case I'd had Targin & Endone & Valium
I PUT YEARS ON YOUR LIFE PLUS A FEW EXTRA DAYS
I'VE SAVED YR MAIN TENDON SO YOU CAN STILL PLAY
NOW YOU'VE GOTTA NEW IMAGE WITH LANDING STRIP HAIR
SO GET YOUR ARM SORTED
AND GET BACK OUT THERE!
THE BAND THEY EXPECT IT! THE FANS WANT YOU BACK!
YOUR FUTURE IS ROSY SO DON'T PAINT IT BLACK!
Thank you dear doctor I murmured and sank
deep into the sump of my memory bank.
I found myself sitting inside my skull chamber
with nails being driven through skull walls by hammers
appearing like spikes forced through plywood or tin
then i noticed the roof had a
where gigantic spiders crept in...
...eyes fixed on me.
Then I sank through the substratas under the land
as if i were drowning in ancient red sand
and I took one last breath
and the voice in my head
said Death I am ready
to sleep in your bed
and I sank deep in nothingness and...
darkness and void
i an isolate entity
separate and sinking
further and further from the friends
I had known
jailed in my mud penitentiary
locked in a stone
of no memory.
This was not right.
Where was the light?
Where was the love?
Dimly I struggled back.
Gradually found enough
strength to remember a fullness.
The light and the sound,
not lonely - but whole
in a new kind of stillness.
Connected with love to my
heart tribe and soul
in the wilderness.
For a while then
I thought I'd become a great mountain
in the red heart of central Australia.
Being strip mined by a race of mad miners
practicing sacred land
And this open cut mine
was my open cut neck was my
open cut mind...
And my surgeons designs in my deep ancient flesh
stretched for miles through the mist,
though the dust,
through the luminous sunsets
and hieroglyph signs.
My deep red flesh stinging & flinging
one long silent scream
at the grinding of surgical graders,
clay scalpels, earth movers.
Rock fracking torture machines
built like Darth Vader dreams,
invading, imploding, impacting, extracting and
digging for metals and the songline's gold seams,
deep in the flesh of what I'd always been.
Such surgeons are not what they seem.
For a while then I soared high up
over the trauma
a hovering soul I surveyed the whole drama
& with me a wise one
to soothe and give meaning
as we flew the whole length of this open cut wounding.
The wise one then took me to the hills all around
which were forested and lived in by folks of my kind
Communities were everywhere and deep in one valley
a fire surrounded by circles of people
and the heart drums spread unity
and the chants were connected
so we flew down to join them
and we all were protected.
Then again we soared over my surgical site
and my friend spoke to me
see that deep metal click track implanted in you?
It's a rack of fresh song lines
they harvest from you,
now its yours.
You can end with a dance track but start with a didgeridoo.
Meanwhile we have found you.
Your friends will surround you.
Rest now and know you'll pull through.
I was back in the ward
needing help from the sister
my body was just hanging in
But the night nurses button
was too far away from my skin.
From the ceiling the trapdoor was lowering again
the spiders emerging were watching me spin
Outside the door a mechanical bird
gave a loud honking call
with its great gaping beak
was collecting the freshly dead
out of their wards
and dropping them on to a slide
near my door
so they rolled down and dropped in the dead body bin
with a bone crunching crash
while the nurses smoked hash with the doctors and wardens
cracking bottles of vodka and
laughing like chorus girls
oblivious to bell calls
not knowing the state we were in...
O nursie dear nursie
have mercy on me
i can't quite reach up to the bell
on your tree
I'm callin & callin by
but you don't know I'm callin
i am dave in bed 3
i guess you'll remember me
sooner or later
at the edge of the crater
where I'm slipping and falling
where demons and dark creatures scheme and contrive
to suck me from a place where i am barely alive
O nursie dear nursie I'm callin from hell
and I'm just out of reach of the
So this was death, i thought.
Not quite what I had sought.
I breathed a tiny breath
and up through density fought my way
with deepening intensity.
Reversing my surrender then
a warrior now full hearted
snatching breaths of difficult air,
and for what seemed an eternity
I battled to get out of there.
I surfaced after an endless war
with asphyxiating fears,
till at last i came to a landscape
where my wild breath stopped in wonder.
A temple spun with blinding light
erased the darkness
way over and deep under
I remembered stories from ancient times
when shining cities ruled by
sent me signs and signals
inviting me in
& now it began again
light i could breathe
light i could smell
light i could feed upon
deep down below as above.
A temple of stars
the brilliance of life
as it is
as deep is the ocean
where whales carry us home
to the the ocean of love...
the ocean of love...
shining in the distance
calling out my name
Then I opened my eyes to find
maggie & ynys & turiya
willie, orlando & emma & russell & evan,
vasudha & jemba & howie
ricardo & toby & tali
beka & frank,
vanya & vera,
mikey cosmik & sarah
how do you feel?
All I could say was:
Thank you for helping me heal!!