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Down Under

Dreamed c.1976 by Kenneth John Atchity

'Cycling into Sydney
passed the grizzly
bears,

stopped to buy bananas
for one eyeing
me

earnestly standing high.
Prim zookeeper
checked

condition of bear's teeth
directing me
down-

town to the Inspector--
who wasn't in.
Though

the bear was patient I
was in a rush
so

pedaled round the block &
discreetly dropped
one

banana on the street
as he lumbered
good-

naturedly in my wake.
When I circled
back

only the peel remained.
Our communion
made

I bade him step aboard.
His gooey
paws

around my shoulders, we
headed out to
sea,

two bizarre banditos
terrifying
law.

--Kenneth John
Atchity

EDITOR'S NOTE

The full dream account that this poem distills is long and drifty; he got distracted, the bear vanished and Atchity ended up at a car wash. The poem, he says, though it pares away a lot of detail, brings out the overall mood: a bit loopy, but joyful.

By the way, 'cycling here isn't bicycling but tricycling. Atchity says he had on-the-road tricycle dreams for years. And why not?

--Chris Wayan

SOURCE: Dreamworks: an Interdisciplinary Quarterly (v.1, no.2, summer 1980) p.146; raw dream & commentary pp. 144-5)



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