Feel The Magick 2

Art by Norman E. Masters

Peter Pan, Dying...

I heard from a friend
that Peter Pan was alive
but not doing well
at Clinton Valley.
Wondering where wonder had fled
in this world of the mad
I sought him out to hear
his last wheezing words.

"I don't understand...
 it is with wrinkled hands
 I hold these scraps of paper &
 plastic-- credit cards, money,
 social security, bankbook, a plot
 paid off at Woodlawn -- their
 promises that cost my youth
                   & health
                                      & life...
"How could I ever
 have traded forever
                        for this?
"I don't  understand
 the wrinkles in these hands...
 they were never here before...

"When I was young
 I lived forever
 in neverneverland...

"Now my hands are cold
 & my memory withers, old...

"They said I would never taste
 the full riches of living
 in neverneverland;
 never, never, they said.
 They beckoned me to savor
 all of life's flavors,
 tempting me here.

"I came
 thinking it might be fun
 a little while,
 for I was still young.

"I was never going to grow up
 for I would carry
 neverneverland in my heart
 to give away
 to them
 in play.

"I wanted to share it with them.

"But I stayed too long
 thinking I was missing
 some unknown wonder
 some unheard song.
 I grew old, never sure,
 & forgot how to return.

"I tried
 to make their hearts young again
 -- these care-worn men --
 & grew old in the trying...

"I should have known
 not to stay
 for all they do is trade
 their freedom for security
 & in their security
 they die
 no longer free
 & afraid to fly.

"They stole
 my will to wish,
 destroyed the fairy dust
 that would whisper my lips
 from this fatal reality
 they have created.

"They buried Tinkerbell's wings
 with the dusts of their dead dreams.
"They did me no favor
 wishing me here...

"For a while they played me important.
                 I crowed.
 They wrote their paper books
 & paper plays & paper poems
 upon paper hearts -- & all
 about me.  But for them
 it was only make-believe.
 They never knew
 it was true;
 & they would never try
 to fly
 (nor can I
 any longer).

"I wonder why
 they did this to me?
 I wonder why
 they wished me here
 to die,
 giving nothing but paper
 & an indestructible MasterCharge card
 for the pain,
 calling it gain.

"Their concrete dreams
 do not breath the sky!
 I wonder why
 they do this to themselves
 & every childe with wondering eyes?

"Will they never realize -- freedom?"

With that last whispered sigh
Peter Pan died;
& something died from the lips of the world
like joy from a young child's eyes
like a wistful goodbye
like love's wings torn from a butterfly
like a fatal gagging deep in eternity's throat
sounding something like time swallowing hope
& choking on it.

But in the stillness after
that last gasping wheeze
I heard a tittle of laughter
teetering on the breeze...

I remembered, then,
that more than anything else
Peter does love to pretend...
              ~~by Norman E. Masters

Flowering Suns Intense - Art by Norman E. Masters


Peter Pan, Dying... was written circa 1975 -- considerably before the movie, HOOK, came out -- dealing with a similar theme (& most excellently, i felt, contrary to the blindness of the professional reviewers thereof). It was initially published in The Tulsa City Truker Review #1, 1978 and was reprinted in DAWN WINGS, pp. 4 - 9, Dawn Vision Press 1981.

"Clinton Valley" was the county's renaming of "Pontiac State Mental Hospital", at that time. My then-wife & i had a couple refugees from Clinton Valley (her uncle & a lady friend) living with us for a year nearabouts then... Eventually *both* of them ended up *back* there -- & she ended up suiciding out...

Peter Pan, Dying... was inspired by & written in response to a poem by Charles Pearson:

Peter Pan Isn't Hiding

Peter Pan isn't hiding
He retired and is
Collecting Social Security
In a small suburb of Miami
He sold his franchise on youthfulness
To Madison Avenue
In return for a pension
With a cost-of-living escalator
And an unlisted bank account

                -- Charles Pearson

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