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A New Year

The new year began, as the world fell into a state of unprecedented calm. And the farmer dropped his sickle and froze, witnessing a spectacle overwhelming in its common majesty. The sky was the brightest of blues, unblemished by cloud, the fields stretching before him were as the purest gold and without shadow. The wheat was plentiful and the hive ran with a honey rivaling the gold of the fields. Beyond, the streams were bright and clear as if poured from a crystals infinite center.

The children ceased their play and stood in baffled silence as a host of luminous balloons, wider than great ships, hovered, dipped as if in greeting, then ascended deep into that same blue.

Bowls of bread and fish and fruit materialized in the hands of the hungry. The sun drew the water from raging flood, relieving the saturated earth. The rain satiated drought and the desert flourished. Rivers teamed with fish, pink and plentiful. And the lame ran, the blind spun in a new radiance, and the sick rose refreshed.

The healing worm rose from the clay of creation and the tongue of every living thing brought forth understanding. And laughter rang out and the grieving were comforted. Bells of silver chimed and all bowed their heads, giving thanks. And rainbows circled the earth like the rings of Saturn, and all dipped their fingers into its formlessness and knew that it was good.

Patti is a great fan of Bob's songwriting, and vice versa. Patti's poem "Dylan's Dog" is about a dream Patti had of Dylan and his dog. Patti listened to Dylan's World Gone Wrong over and over while writing songs after her husband Fred's death. She covers Dylan's "Wicked Messenger" on Gone Again, and several critics have pointed to Dylan's influence on other songs on the album.

Patti writes:

"In the Spring of 1971, upon awakening, me and Sam Shepard discovered that we had both dreamed of Bob Dylan. Mine was so unusual that Sam suggested that I write about it. I wrote a kind of nursery song which I have performed through the years. Each time I am transported to that very morning, when the winger dog of Bob Dylan flew into my dreams."

dylans dog 

have you seen
dylans dog
it got wings
it can fly
if you speak
of it to him
its the only
time dylan
cant look you in the eye

have you held
dylans snake
it rattles like a toy
it sleeps in the grass
it coils in his hand
it hums and it strikes out
when dylan cries out
when dylan cries out

have you pressed
to your face
dylans bird
dylans bird
it lies on dylans hip
trembles inside of him
it drops upon the ground
it rolls with dylan round
its the only one
who comes
when dylan comes

have you seen
dylans dog
it got wings
it can fly
when it lands
like a clown
hes the only
thing allowed
to look dylan in the eye

Patti Smith, 1971

Bob Dylan & Patti Smith - Dark Eyes (1995) Live N.Y.