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Twelve Swallows, Seven Hundred Daughters

dreamed 1972/10/14 by Wayan

Sepia sketch of a dream image by Wayan: a huge grimoire of spells
The grimoire's spell for flight begins
"Kill ten swallows..." No! Instead
in the deep wood, I lure twelve in,
weave and merge them, living--
and I'm the thirteenth thread!

We fuse into a swallow-winged
black-eyed bird-cloak,
iridescent violet-green.
We fly the wood together to
a glade: court of the Queen.

Some human fool abducts her!
I battle him "Prince Valiant" style--
Swords clash and bell until
The villain hoofs it for the sloop.
I trail, a whirl of wings!

That night as we doze in camp, a thief
takes apart our Volkswagen's wheels
and axles--every bolt!
Screwing the car at dawn, we find
he tore it all to gain a single part--

a small brass screw-cap, one of four.
"Why'd you do it?" He answers, sad:
"For my seven hundred daughters."
Whoa. That must be hard.
I swallow-soar to an icefield,

and snowshoe-skate (surreal!) across.
Whoops! The Enemy's after us!
So we dive in a tropic sea, and pass
(with our wide wings) for a manta ray,
fooling enemy sonar and the cynic sharks.

We meet the Princess of the Reef,
and Judy, and Lydia. As I wake,
I wonder who they were.
But then, who was I?
A deeply distractable fool!

But I know what I loved: becoming bird.
Sweet fusion! How we feathersoared.
Oh--and the warning to reject
the Old Authoritative Text:
Deep magic isn't cruel.

Digital sketch of a dream image by Wayan: me after I fuse with a flock of swallows: wrapped in a dozen green-violet wings


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