I have promises to keep
These lines presented themselves to Gordon as he lay in bed, his body and mind already submerging in the pre-dream substance of alpha-theta stage consciousness.
He cursed himself, mildly, the next day for not being strong enough to rouse himself from near sleep and write them down; for they were lost, at that time, in the far fields of sleep and quite unattainable, no matter how he strained his memory, as anything but the vague impression of an incomplete fragment of verse. Much later, he would recall the words perfectly and, in finally writing them down, unlock a door that was a metaphor, yes, but also an actual opening from one place to another.
But now he drifted away from language, deeper and deeper into a sleep transcendent of memory where, among other things too strange to recount in this space, he became a turtle among turtles moving en masse beneath a moon-bright sky, something like a song or a prayer filling the air:
we stretched our necks
and legs and feet
the creek fell
from our shells like sleet
patiently up the stone sharp bank
we climbed in silver moonshine
to sing our joy and thank
the one who gave us to the world
she who is more than any other
in prophecy furled
frozen in time and stone
in honor of the ancient pact
to keep the moon from being alone
And whether or not this was actually transmitted through the medium of language or some finer and more subtle means of communication, Gordon (man or turtle) was unable to say. Not the least because the entire incident ( as the lines which had popped into his head at the start of the nights dreaming) was lost beyond the wall of sleep, severed from conscious recollection – to Gordon’s immense annoyance – by the staccato beep of the alarm clock, waking him effectively and quite inexplicably for work at 6:15 Saturday morning.