The COSMIC BANANA BOAT arriving at Earth:

by Gary G. Ford

A new constellation - "The Cosmic Banana Boat" - now
shimmering in the night sky has just parked myself.
Marimba music and sounds of The Limbo filter down to
Earth. R.EDER asks if any Tarantulas have fallen off
"The Boat". I am watching but can see none. Bleary-
eyed insomniacs are gathering out of doors to curse
the Celestial Laughter, while disruption of the Earth's
Magneto-Tail has showering Aurora's on 3 of the Four
Cardinal-Direction Horizons. It's 5:00 AM and a boy
is suddenly ushered into the backseat of the Family
Dodge - It is me! - my sister follows. Woozily, I
look at the Dancing Shadow-Lights in the sky, some
music mumbles on the car radio, the warming car engine
and hissing heater keeping time, then - I am old and
remembering, and out-of-body I am near the right back
of the bitter sad old man in the rocking chair - Is he
me?! Why does he not react?! Does he feel the cold
rush of me, himself as a youth, at his ear?! - The
car door slams, and I sleepily recognize my mother
carrying a lunch basket, another blanket. "Did you
get all four suitcases?" she asks. "Yes. I'll check
the front door..." The voyage to Oregon is about to
begin. I will imagine that I am a mathematician and
struggle with integrating trigonometric functions,
then puke next morning some rotten sausages and pancakes
in competition with sister Vicki. Eventually we shall
cross the Bridge of the Gods over the Columbia, after
passing Northern California Wineries, Coastal SawMill
Towns, stop for a Voyage of the Dark Spirit at Oregon
Caves, Skirt Portland and drive eastward.... - It is
mid-day Saturday and My Dad, R. Eder and I pull into a
Gas station before embarking on the Freeway. I'm older
and bigger, but terror strikes me as I plead with my
father to check the wheel lug bolts. Irritated, he pulls
off the front right hubcap , finding only three of five
nuts on... Robert says that my "premonition has saved
of lives"... - I sense and dream but do not understand.
Some dogs bark in the distance as we leave Jerilynn Drive.
I am ten years old again, and very sleepy. - Now I write
at age 50 but in it all I am there - the Cosmic Banana
Boat calls, but I do not yet know what it is, and will
not board, till old age calls up down, the Up! I FLY!!!
Where are all my past friends?! My teachers?! My family?
Pet turtles, dogs, cats, even fleas, snails I never wanted
to step on... The night is cold. The stars hard. I am
rising in a silent hiss of fresh personal triumph - but
ever so alone, and deeply sad at the life which did not
go as I would have had it... The stars are hard and bright
I am moving to them!! Their colors! Their colors!! Are
they speaking thoughts to me?! I am not alone then...
Look! A shimmering boat in the Stars! And I board...
Ghostly figures greet me with Dignity for Once in my Life?
The Boat makes only s shushing sound against the thin water
of Space... I guess I'm finally on "The Boat" - wonder
what happened to R. Eder?! Partly his concoction, this
image, you know... I will sleep with Bliss in the Cold//

Gary G. Ford