When the soldier's tale was finally
All the company, both young and old,
Praised it for its fine
And held it fit to keep in memory --
All but the baker,
who said the New Age crap
Would drive him to a Heineken on
Except he had a counter-tale to tell
And needed a clear head to
tell it well.
on!" said our host. "Remember that
We all drew lots -- it's not your
turn at bat."
"It's my turn," said the guru, "but I swear,
to know the man's objections there.
A counter-tale would seem a better
Than one that had no argument in it.
So let him tell away --
I'll take his turn --
And let us see what wisdom we can
"You'll get no wisdom here!" the baker said.
laugh or two to take to bed.
For I shall tell a tale straight from
About a New Age guru and his wife,
And how a clever student had
With both. For now I have no more to say
But straight to my
bold narrative will go,
Rated 'R' -- just so you will
Said the host, "There are no children here,
there may be present who'd not care
To hear your bit of soft
Nor think so humorous adultery."
"God forbid," the
baker said, "That I
Should ever advocate sex on the sly.
But just as
soldiers well may write of those
Who think each hostile thought
disturbs the flows
Of mystic consciousness through mental
And so aborts the unity love yields,
So I, a baker married
May tell of those who transgress lustily.
"I'm not an
advocate for sin, but for
The freedom tales give to be far more
just one soul immersed in just one life.
So may one in tales seduce the
And joy in what one never would enjoy,
As one with all the
grace of life may toy,
Laughing, weeping, with no consequence
pleasure in the play of words and sense.
But enough of this! Let's to
Our host will judge if it succeed or
There was a guru once who taught
Was ecstasy, and ecstasy was love.
Angels' love of God was
And so ought love on Earth unfettered be,
For one ought
never own another's heart
Nor be owned by another, lest love
To curdle, just like milk too long unused,
Or children who too
long have been abused.
Love, like water, has to flow, or it
stagnate, and before long be unfit
To savor, or to bring one
Which is the full-fledged meaning of "to be."
and anger, crime and sin,
Arise from dammed-up energy within.
taught this guru, also known as Fats,
Who wished we were as free as
dogs or cats,
Or horses, pigeons, elephants, or geese.
these thoughts and used them well to fleece
Rich followers, who wanted
To have young girls and not call it abuse,
they said, for ecstasy,
Then throwing them away
Fats also had his fill for many years
old, he somehow stripped his gears
And fell in love with one whom he
A sixteen-year-old runaway named Carrie,
tired of the fat old man,
For young girls find their pleasure where
Now Fats, to his surprise, became obsessed
young wife, the first that he possessed,
And jealous of each look or
word or glance
That might so much as hint of a romance.
longed for every morsel of her body,
And with his passion nearly drove
Kissing her and touching her all day
And night. He almost
never was away
From her for more than half an hour's time,
as though suspecting some great crime,
Subjected her to an
That ended in a desperate fornication.
of her in bed with other men
Drove him near to homicide, but then
thought of it again, and yet again,
As though the highest form of love
In that same complex in New Mexico
There lived a
student just one floor below,
A Hopi Indian, who studied well
ancient arts of which the elders tell:
Of visions wrought by pain and
And spirits summoned by deft divination;
words in languages unknown,
And other secrets only years could
This Billy Sundown liked his women white,
So soon as he
discovered Carrie's plight,
He began to plot with her how they
from the old tormentor get away
For long enough to share some mutual
As comes quite naturally to girl and boy.
Soon he had a plan
he thought might work
To get rid of the old, fat guru jerk.
upstairs to share philosophy
And mystical accounts of
Meditation, mind control, and more
That soon had Fats
looking on with awe
At this authentic scion of the ages,
apparent of the tribal sages,
Unspoiled by civilization, the genuine
Who might new product lines to Fatso bring.
Since he now
the jealous husband played,
He needed a new gimmick for his
Some Native-American rite might do the trick,
Which he could
put together nice and slick
Into a weekend workshop, after which
followups might soon make Fatso rich.
So he listened with intense
As Billy Sundown trotted out the trite
New Age versions of
the age-old ways
His ancestors had polished all their
There was, he said, an ancient ritual
That let one join
the master flow at will,
Involving a short stay within a womb.
womb?" Fats asked. "Did you say a womb?"
"A painted wood-and-reed one,"
"Hung up from the ceiling by a chain.
I'll make one
for you, if you like, today,
And write down all the words that you must
So that tonight you can try out the thing,
And tap into the root
"Yes, please," Fats said, delighted. "But what of
I can't leave her alone, you know. We're married,
to sleep together every night."
"Have no fear," said Bill. "We'll tie
Within her own womb, as I'll be in mine,
Three hung from
the ceiling in a line,
A wire along which energy may flow
spirits into worlds below.
You'll be much closer to her than
After tonight, I swear she'll love you more."
settled it, and Billy went to get
Three wombs from those his tribe too
long had let
Moulder in the house of spirits gone.
crates in a barn,
Gussied up with glue and fingerpaint,
wicker chairs, and just a faint
Trace of charcoal drawing on the
Ancient symbols drawn from long-lost tribes.)
And then three
copies of some gobbledygook,
Nonsense syllables typed out to
Like verses, ancient prayers that would invite
Great spirits to
unveil the primal light.
All this did Billy bring into the
Where he would have his bliss with Carrie soon.
He hung the
wombs from hooks with laundry rope
In hopes of hoodwinking the fat old
Furnishing each womb with straw-filled sheets,
A pillow, and a
bag of store-bought treats
To offer to the spirits, that they
The primal source of secrets give away
Unto the conjurer. Also
A flashlight so that one might read the prayer
While shut up
in the darkened womb. And last,
But certainly not least, to each tied
A rope ladder hanging off the side.
Now all was ready for
Fats to make his ride
Back into the future. Ancient lore
buttress all the tricks he had in store
For those who dabbled in the
truth of being,
Believing without actually seeing.
questioned Bill minutely of what he
Would need to do to feel the
Of all the universe surge through his heart.
Billy told him
first of all to start
By offering the treats as sacrifice
whose providence he would entice.
Let the choicest lie upon his
While he was free to nibble on the rest.
Then the prayer
in its entirety
Must be chanted twelve times silently
concentrating hard on every sound.
The meaning, although lost, was
Billy said. The spirits understood,
And hearing once
again those lost words would
Reawaken, then come down to see
who was asking for their energy.
"But if you lose your
You'll have to read the entire prayer
Billy warned, "as many times as you
Do not with your whole
heart pay homage due."
Once the prayer was chanted properly,
could only lie awake and see
Whether the ecstasy of being
Through one's heart, as though one were a road
the universe might move through time,
Each thought, each heartbeat,
each sweet breath sublime.
"Let's go!" Fats said
"Come on! Get in!" And up the ladder he
climb, then stopped, as though just now
Aware that in his womb he would
Carrie to be free for much the night,
When he would never let
her out of sight.
"Ladies first!" he said, and climbed back
Motioning to Carrie with a frown,
Suddenly unsure of the whole
But Carrie sprang as though upon a spring
And was in seconds
safe within her womb,
Swaying like a chicken in a tomb.
Fats ascended, Billy tucked him in,
Put on the cover -- Let the games
Carrie, of course, descended lickity-split,
And she and Billy
dove right into it,
Careful not to lift a leg or head
As Fats swayed
gently just above the bed.
After sacrificing the choice
And downing all the rest for bedtime eats,
Fats took out the
flashlight and the prayer,
And began to chant the nonsense
Silently twelve times with concentration,
Knowing all too well
his mute oration
Would not do, and so again, again,
He chanted in
the cavern of his brain
Until the soundless sound became like
Long memorized, and he would never lose it,
But know it till
he died, its simple beauty.
And when he thought he'd finally done
Fats waited for the flow of energy
That would at last
bring him the ecstasy
He had so long sought at the heart of
With neither sense nor thought, unseeing seeing,
knowing, all that is and ever
Would be flowing through him like a river
And there it was! Rising from below,
An energy of love no
love could know,
Ecstasy just pouring through his heart,
where two lovers played their part,
A universal loveliness that
Of all the grace that simply being brings.
And then --
nothing. It was over. Fats,
Exhausted, fell asleep, and that was
In his womb, suspended from his hook,
While underneath him two
young lovers took
Themselves with whispers out of Fatso's bed
out into the silent darkness fled,
Vanished into ordinary lives
ordinary husbands and their wives,
Their ecstasy, too, vanished in the
Of energy that moves the world we know.
When the following
morning Fats awoke,
He banged his head so hard he thought it
"Where am I?" first he wondered. "Am I dead
And buried?" But
the sharp pain in his head
Told him he was still alive. And
Just as his womb/tomb swung back again,
It all came flooding
in. "Help! Help!" he cried.
"Help me out of here! I'm stuck
But no one came, of course, so Fatso squirmed
twisted in the swinging crate, and wormed
His way up sideways, lifting
with his shoulder
The cover of the crate. Then he looked over
other womb/tombs hanging near,
And said to the one next to him, "My
Sweet Carrie, did you feel the ecstasy?"
But, of course, no
answer came, so he
Then shouted, "Time to wake up, everyone!"
the crates hung motionless as stone.
"How do I get out of here?" he
He jiggled and he juggled and propelled
Himself halfway and
then completely 'round.
But from the other crates there was no
And then he understood the game at last,
Just as the knot
that held his womb/tomb fast
Gave way, and Fats came crashing to the
Smashing once again his aching head.
"Aieeee!"he screamed. And,
"Oh!" But Carrie and Bill
Were gone. Their crates just hung there, mute
Fats felt like the fool he was, and vowed,
a dozen times out loud,
That he would let the universe just be
live with ordinary ecstasy,
Like other folk who totter to and
And are content to know what they don't know.
And so my story
ends as best it can,
The one-time guru now an honest