dancing Shiva

dancing shiva acid
sixteen years old
Stonehenge
surrounded by bikers
hippies and punks
I was fresh from Catholic school
and more than a little
out of my depth

paranoia came like a wave
elemental and overpowering
I locked myself in a car
and whimpered in fright
it peeked and plateaud
as I watched the freaks pass by

a girl held her arm all stiff
as she talked to her companion
that was anxiety
the same that I could feel
and suddenly I realised
we were all in the same boat
we all of us felt fear
a universal tension
brought on by how time
always removes
all the illusions of certainty

my trembling turned to compassion
a vast empathy with the broken
I left the car and floated
possessed by a deity

at some point near the dawn
I changed a baby’s nappy
the mum was out cold
and the poor thing was crying
I had never done it before

the sun came up and burned me
my skin is deep sea white
I got naked and covered myself in mud
something I saw in a film
seeing how everyone’s minds
where filled with self-concern
I saw how redundant it was
to be self-conscious

and thus at last
I broke out of the suburban dream
primordially in touch
with Mother Earth
and Father Sun

the whole experience marked me
and set my life’s course
around that time
I had my ear pierced
and thus the rings remind me
of that ecstatic rite
a journey of tribal allegiance
to what I later learned to call
the Way of the Bodhisattva

Ananda's cave