Near... and far

I had a dream that I was on a remote bluff in North Dakota.
The only sounds were pebbles popping below my feet
and the light winds, which, to me, were more my own sounds
than any effects around me.
I stood high up under a white sun and moved and heard how I sounded.
It was helpful
because I'd been in a city for nearly two years without leaving,
and this dream was how my soul told me a prophecy of myself,
a self-fulfilling prophecy that had the novelty
of still being a prophecy.
And for that sake, later, I got out of town,
rode with some friends to the north hill country,
wrote songs,
witnessed stars,
felt silence.
So this was a good part of the dream,
but it went on.
After hearing what sounded like someone nailing up a picture to my right,
I looked up from my own feet,
up from the pebbles and cowlicks of grass,
lost track of my bluff.

Some miles away, there was a long parade crossing the plain.
It was long as the horizon,
bigger than wagon trains here in a past century.
In fact, there was a wagon train out there amongst other things.
I heard the distant clinking of their metal implements.

There was a long railroad too.
The track was a straight black latitude line across the vibrating grass.

Buffalo Bill Cody was a Chippewa dressed as Buffalo Bill Cody,
lounging with his entourage at the large open window of a passenger car in the train,
his long-range rifle trained on some boatmen of the Nile.

Sumerian women threw down wheat seed.
The wheat quickly hit its height just as it went under the chugging combines.
The combines had tinted windows and looked anonymous.

A menagerie of slaves assisted in loading the grain sacks into the train,
brought tea to the carriage fleet.
Played soccer with the chimney sweeps and the taxi drivers.

A long time later, I picked out a company of horse-riding knights,
armored, wearing red crosses on white tunics.
They stabbed Aztecs through the parchment star charts in their hands,
as if the cross of the equinoxes quartering the zodiac circle was a target.
I found myself watching muppets, who scampered throughout the chaos like scavengers.

Sherman tanks were also a community of bison.
They were both the dust they created.
Rock stars shrieked through their guitars
as their limos ran red traffic lights and flattened nameless patriots,
and the traffic lights were also telegraph poles
staked to the earth back in a time when all else here turned to the sky.

I saw this parade going past.
From my high place on the bluff, I could tell which way it was moving.
I saw the tail and the head, like a caterpillar on a leaf,
and discerned its heading from my hunter gifts.

And it was west, west, toward the continental divide,
powered uphill by the whir, hiss, grunt, scream, fusion boom

of a pantheon of devised engines
and the upheaval of all the necessary traction

until a new river roaring east came over the horizon,
washed over them, and left me soggy grass.

The land was again the print of a great glacier.

I woke then from the chill in my nose.