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Hippie Heaven by Jessica A. Eaton

It was on a New Year’s Eve many moons ago
I was driving to a party when I got stuck in the snow
the temperature was dipping and I was chilled to the very bone
I didn’t have any food or drink and no bars on my Obama phone

Turned the heat up in my car to keep my butt from freezing
found fermented grape juice ’neath my seat, dated from last season
so I grabbed that homemade vino and gave the bottle a gentle tug
it only took three little sips before I felt like a Kafka bug

The aroma was vintage locker room and the taste was tart at first
but it made me feel quite relaxed and it magically quenched my thirst
Watching the winter wonderland slowly descending down upon the street
I suddenly began to feel dizzy from my noggin down to my feet

While admiring the falling flakes I saw a reflection in the window of the door
twas a big ass twisted cigarette laying near the gas peddle down on the floor
I picked it up and noticed that it wasn’t a Newport  or a Marlboro Red
and I sensed before the night was over I would be chilling with the dead

Well I lit up that humongous doobie and took a couple of very healthy drags
and in the moonlight sky the clouds looked like a bunch of fluffy Doritos bags
Soon that wacky weed worked its magic – had me Jonesing for a snack
but there was nothing in the glove compartment, so I turned and looked in the back

There upon my grandson’s Batman booster seat what did my eyes behold
but a couple left over slices of Dominoes pizza, looking like solid bricks of gold
just when I thought the Munchie God couldn’t have presented a better scenario
I spotted a pack of Twinkies and a half eaten peanut butter Oreo

I turned on the radio and the Strawberry Alarm Clock was belting out a jam
as I took a bite and tasted olives, onions and what might have once been ham
the pepperoni looked gray, diseased and wrinkled like the liver of Keith Moon
and my taste buds started to revolt when I bit into a rubbery mushroom

I was drifting in & out of half consciousness as if as Rip Van Winkle on Qualudes
As Mott the Hoople started singing a ripping tune about a couple of young dudes
I then stepped out of my car, through a righteous cloud of Sinsemilla smoke
and all around the winter wonderland looked hallucinogenic and baroque

I was lucky to thumb a ride on a passing psychedelic bus
that ran on mystic peyote buttons and Columbian cannabis
On board were merry pranksters who made me feel right at home
using a tennis racket as a guitar and a hair brush for a microphone

So we jammed to Grand Funk Railroad and a tune by Iron Butterfly
watching the Byrds fly 8 miles high while a purple haze kissed the sky
I was clearly out of my mind, but not sure whose mind I was in
felt like I was floating beneath a crystal blue celestial aquarium

I saw neon colors swirl in shapes as they mixed and danced and floated
and I helped myself to a handful of bennies that tasted sugar coated
I saw Elvis trying to shake his pelvis, but his britches were too tight
when he ripped the seat of his pants there were 2 moons out that night

We were getting famished so we thought we’d stop for a bite
though the driver of the bus refused to move too far over to the right
Soon we spotted a pulsating  sign ahead touting Alice’s Restaurant
advertising we could get wavy gravy over anything we want

Walking through the diner door, the atmosphere was smoky and surreal
I spotted Julius Hoffman on a bench next to a duct taped Bobby Seale
a disco ball that Ted Nugent had shot up was on the floor  obliterated
and it had everyone cheering madly, feeling  groovy and liberated

I saw a suave Warren Beatty in a beret he borrowed from Che Gueverra
as he cavorted past Carly Simon winking with one eye in a mirror
every song on the Whirlitzer  was a billboard chart topping hit
and we found an empty table open up when the Beatles had to split

The busboy looked sharp like a conductor on the Marakesh express
the waitress was attired with love beads and a tie-dyed mini dress
the decor of the restaurant looked like the inside of Jerzy Kozinski’s mind
with booths  adorned with custom bongs and table cloths Peter Max designed

So I looked around, t’is what I found
Captain Beefheart and Major Lance
Admiral Halsey in khaki pants
Sargent Pepper and Major Tom
Colonel Parker and Cheech and Chong
stuck in the middle between Steeler’s wheel
sat Donovan smoking a banana peel
Poor Gilbert O’Sullivan was sitting alone
waiting for Jim Croce to hang up the phone
in a corner sat the Allman brothers
rambling with  Dick and Tommy Smothers
Charles Whitman and William Calley,
Murph the Surf and Mustang Sally
I saw Charlie Manson and a beach boy drummer
with a bitching tan from surfing all summer


I turned my attention back to the folded menu in my hand
every entree was a product grown on some commune organic land
there was tofu salad and hamburgers made strictly out of soy
and the dishes were adorned with ivy shipped in from Illinois

I heard Harry Chapin in the doorway asking who had called for a cab
When I spotted Mrs Robinson at the register squaring away her tab
using the plastic that Benjamin had been advised to bring along
as he stood obediently beside her wondering where Joe Dimaggio had gone

Mrs Parks implored that everyone return to their assigned bus seat
so in piled all the musicians with Small Faces and Little Feat
Soon we were back on the road heading south on 95
to a farm in upstate New York where some bands were playing live

When we arrived I couldn’t believe the size of the crowd
there was peace and love everywhere and the music was really loud
some women skinny dipping had daisies in their flowing locks of gold
and judging from some naked fellas, the water was getting cold

We all decide to camp out underneath the stars that night
tuning in, turning on and dropping outta sight
and we marveled at the full and distant moon as we fell asleep
where only a month earlier Neil Armstrong had taken a giant leap

After some transcendental meditation and a tab of purple micro-dot
we found in our altered imaginations,  the Utopia that we sought
In the wee hours of the morning Country Joe led a spirited chant
I would tell you what he spelled out but my upbringing dictates I can’t

But I can tell ya what I did see
I saw Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Carlos Santana and Woody Guthrie’s son
Richie Havens and Jefferson Airplane
Ten Years After singing in the rain
While Melanie strummed a groovy tune
John Sebastian vowed he’d be home soon
Afterward Sly and his Family Stone
played a jam that rattled my occipital bone
Joe Cocker belted out a Fab Four song
with a little help from his friends who sang along
on the stage came anthems of harmony and peace
there was no need for National Guard or riot  police
there was no mistaking who’s generation
was rejoicing in the spirit of this celebration

After three days we figured it was time for us to hit the road
agreeing we desperately needed to find a shower and commode
feeling euphoric although we were all smelling somewhat ripe
which was probably the main reason we constantly sparked up a pipe

In a day or so we found ourselves camped out in Washington DC
to listen to a man of peace thank god almighty for finally being free
along that narrow reflective pond stood the children of Mother Earth
who had come together to validate that everybody’s  life has a worth

I met some every day people who were not much different than  myself
some came from impoverished backgrounds, while others came from wealth
but everyone shared a mutual respect, despite the differences of our skin
and for a few fleeting magic moments, we really all felt like kin

Gassing up the bus we split, saying goodbye to our new found friends
we headed to the southern states, where there were freedoms to defend
Word had spread about a march down in  Selma and Birmingham
regarding lunch counters, water fountains and the equality of every man

So we lent a hand and took a stand and did what we could do
and walked along and sang a song to make the dream come true
We saw Jim Crow fly away, as they promised changes to the law
so we split toward Louisiana to join in the debauchery  of Mardi Gras
 
We stopped at a party in some house down in New Orleans
where we spotted Captain America and Billy ride in on their machines
they had some lawyer in a football helmet hanging onto his seat
who waved to John Fogerty  standing on a corner at the end of Bourbon street

There was impromptu dancing, by ecstatic people wearing beads
congregating in taverns, clubs and bars, satisfying all their pent up needs
we soaked in the orange sunshine above this abstract scene
listening to some blues by B.B. King and a Mississippi Queen

Soon we were out on Route 66 following  the setting sun to the west
along the way, upon a hill stood an aging Indian in a deer skinned vest
he looked sad and disillusioned as a teardrop rolled down upon his face
as he stood silently reminiscing about a once proud and sacred place

We stopped to stretch our legs at some desolate roadside stand
east of the Painted Desert where  Gram Parsons was burnt in sand  
and while the proprietor was busy strumming a Buffalo Springfield tune
I bought  vanilla fudge, a chocolate watchband and an electric prune

Someone suggested that we stop at a church along the way
to say a prayer or two for some sexual healing of Marvin Gaye
but we couldn’t find a house of worship that welcomed every soul
so we made our own religion and we called it rock and roll

When we finally made it out to that sunny California shore
the Pacific winds blew our freak flag higher than it ever flew before
In Hollywood we hit the Whiskey a Go-Go down on the Sunset Strip
where we  took a moonlight drive on Mr Mojo’s Crystal Ship

Someone suggested that we should drive farther up the state
and hang out around Haight Ashbury and see the Golden Gate
On the way a stranger joined us just south of Monterrey
who inquired if we all were heading up  San Francisco way

Going by the name of  Scott  he wore a flower in his hair
and said that we would meet some really gentle people there
So up the Pacific Coast Highway ,we toted, laughed and sang
determined to end our road trip not with a whimper, but a bang


As we got closer  we heard some music from the Altamont speedway
where Mick and his fellow band mates were performing that autumn day
and though we were stoned immaculate, we decided to roll on by
to find a place to get mug of moby grape and a slice of  humble pie

We saw some smoke on the water across the Frisco bay,
it looked like a giant balls of fire coming in from Berkeley way
we could smell the burning of draft cards in the rebel breeze
along with some smoldering playtex bras, a few were double Ds

We took in a couple sights and a concert at the Fillmore West
where they gave away  an apple and a poster to every guest
Down on Powell Street in a Corvair, Ralph Nader slowly drove on by
and Vote Pat Paulsen for President was written across the sky
                                                                                       
The Diggers were handing out free sandwiches to some hungry souls
who lounged on dirty blankets; dressed in worn out shoes with holes
some were living, some seemed dead and some you just couldn’t tell
beneath a sign proclaiming, “Maybe this world is another planet's hell."

This really harshed my mellow and I quickly started to loss my high
and knew it was just about time for me to finally bid goodbye
so I gathered up my senses that I had developed along the drive
and I promised Zager and Evans  I’d return in the year 2-5-2-5
                                                                                       
But before I left I reflected about my trip
There was  Eldridge Cleaver and  Malcolm X
Marc Bolen and tyrannosaurus-rex
I saw Ratso Rizzo walking there
by a midnight cowboy with Jon Voight hair
Nancy Sinatra in her walking boots
hung out with Mods in Italian suits
Bob Dylan finished  with a cryptic sigh
a song longer than the Treaty of Versailles
Ken Kessey flew over our rolling cuckoo’s nest
on his way to take an electric Kool Aid acid test
In Romper Room was Captain Kangaroo
teaching soup can art to Twiggy and Nico too
we listened to Allen Ginsberg in a coffee shop
and saw Lenny Bruce getting hassled by a cop

When I awoke I found myself in someone else’s clothes
speaking in hippie jargon and  polyphonic prose
wearing a Nehru jacket and Jesus sandals on my feet
I noticed that the snow had melted all along the street

I decided to skip the party;  drove back home instead
figured I’d take a shower and get warm and cozy in my bed
when I jumped out of the shower and was drying off my ass
I noticed fresh ink promoting  “Hippie Heaven; Lifetime Pass”

And on the other cheek, much to my chagrin
was another tattoo that read, “We hope you come again”
after I shook my head, I really couldn’t help but laugh
I guess I’ll always follow down that old happy hippie path

 

*Disclaimer: This Hippie was not stoned during the writing of this poem.
All similarities to people past or present was, of course, intentional.  :) -  Jessica A. Eaton

 

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