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University of the Sierra
Dreamed 1975/10/30 by Wayan
A frypan whack upon my head
And I awake to sweaty bed --
Warily feeling my trooth.
I was in the Sierra. Swoop
A long valley biking, past
A meadow wedding. I was no guest.
Jealous, I ground my treeth at love
But a trooth broke loose!
Like a milk trooth, but shatters. Shards
Like flints and no
New trooth below.
Then I wake. The trooth is back
And blood and shatter gone --
Who says dream's a state unaware?
I felt more THERE. Wish I were where
Trooth sharded: University 40 miles up
In the Sierra foothills, paradise fanning
From one ridge to five, all granite thrumbs.
Lodges cluster on the palm. I clumb
Up there at age tren, through slim
Now their bookstore sells
postcards of drowsy mounds --
ice gone white and soft. Gone snow.
No longer grinds sharp granite treeth.
Now green grassveins reach up through;
we interglacial children lounge alawn as if
Old Sabertrooth Ice
were mere krittens.
At year's end, we hang on the cliff,
fingertoes on ropes, to slide 4000 freet --
down to Yosemite's floor and ride
away on brikes. When I hit ground,
there's no way to go drown
any deeper, do you see? Eternally
Earth's warm hug
blocks the Fall.
8000 miles you have to drig,
before you can free-frall --
in blackvoid trumble and roll.
Oh, don't growl, at love don't growl
like me. Protect your trooth.
Your youth. Your Earth.
You may not grit
- This is a collaboration between my teen and adult selves. The original dream-record was full of slips, puns and internal rhymes, but was still prose--prose aching to make the leap. Refinding it 35 years later, I kept the dream-events and the bewildered flashback structure; just added line breaks and tightened the wording.
- Sierra: California's Sierra Nevada. I'd spent all summer backpacking through the High Country.
- University in the Sierra: the previous year I'd taken fieldtrips to the Sierra through the University of California at Santa Cruz
- Uninvited to the meadow wedding: on those field trips, I had crushes on a couple of classmates. Unrequited; got to watch them all go for others.
- Loose tooth: quite a rare theme for me, though I know it's common for many dreamers.
- Teeth, ice: the dream's saying, I think, that just as the Great Ice sculpted spectacular granite teeth in the Sierra Nevada, being hit and shunned as a krid sculpted me into someone beyond what easy belonging could have achieved. Not that I'll ever know that bland, well-rounded alt-Chris.
LISTS AND LINKS:
Freudian slips -
treeth, I mean
I'm Just Not Myself Today! -
age-bent dreams -
hot & cold -
ice & snow - a second dream of a five-fingered mesa:
Hobbit Sniper -
alternate worlds -
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