Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Steve the dream painting penguin

There once was a penguin
Who had a nice face
He kept it attached to his head
Because it was cleaner than the vase

He didn’t go out much
So he had no use for mace.

The penguin was named Steve
He lived in a little house inside a tree
In a cozy room with windows made of wishes
It was the happiest place a penguin could be

Except of course the Antarctic
Where penguins were thick
But he didn’t live there because work pulled him away
With such a busy job there’s no time for play.

Steve was a professional dream painter
He worked nights most of the time
He painted the backdrop of children’s dreams
Making things wondrous or covered in slime

Out of his bed every night he would climb
And into the dream world he’d slide
While he wished for a partner in crime
Across the night his paintbrush would glide

He painted robots and hilltops and waterfalls and peas
Teachers and uncles and other nightmarish things
The night was Steve’s sailboat
Disbelief was the wind that kept him afloat
The dreams were his seas

He created worlds of wonder
And places of fantasy
Where thoughts could blunder
And wishes could be

He slid in and out of imaginations
But felt disconnected from his own
Feeling the joy of everyone’s love
But his distance from everything had grown

Steve couldn’t fit in with the other animals he met
Not a kitten or a puppy or another pet
Trying to talk to a seagull put him in a sweat
Even though he listened to “How to make friends and influence people” on cassette.

And the dream creatures made him feel lost
So unreal in their reality
When he tried to interact they needed to defrost
Steve was a creature not of the real nor dream world
So alone in his tree he curled
Not knowing where to belong in actuality.

Then one day as he climbed into dream world
A wizard met him there
With eyes that looked like everything
And nothingness that looked like hair.

He said “Steve I’ve been watching you,
You’re a great artist but you seem so sad
What can I do to help you
To make your workdays less bad?”

Steve said, “Mr. Wizard, I need a friend,
Someone to share my emptiness
And laughter
And help me survive this mess.”

Then the wizard gave him some magic pencils
with which he could draw a brand new friend
A companion for fun times to be had
So that the loneliness could end.

And so the penguin drew a giant bunny
to be his friend and laugh at things that were funny
And wipe his nose when it got runny
From crying with joy because life was too sunny.

With a squirt of a rainbow
And the laugh of an imp
The bunny was alive
More real than Steve could know

The bunny loved scaring kids
Taking over their nightmares and dreams
His terror and anger were off the grids
He scared them so much he could eat their screams.

And Steve realized he had created something evil
And he found the wizard sitting on a hill
He asked “How do I make this go away?
So dream land can be free another day?”

And the wizard told Steve of a cave by the ocean side
Where monsters and creatures of darkness reside
Where dwelled a monster with whom he should be allied
Who owned an eraser
Created anxiously by a pacer
which the fate of the world would decide

So across the dreams Steve sailed
Rain pouring down like the sky had cried
His destination the nighttime had veiled
But he found the cave with imagination as his guide.

He passed by monsters and hideous creatures galore
He shivered and shuddered and trembled some more
Until he found the monster sitting alone
Who had the eraser and sat on a thrown.

“Will you help me?” Asked Steve
“I’ve created a monst- a problem
I need to erase
Or else the terrified children of dream land
I could never face.”

“Yes I’ll help you,” said the monster.
“My name is Ben.
I have a magic eraser for a reason
So let’s get to saving the world then.”

Together they sailed into the night
Steve eyed the eraser with fear and delight
Wondering what would happen if he erased himself
Disappearing into nothingness behind existence’s shelf

Everything that had happened had been his fault
And this chaos he really needed to halt
If he erased himself would the darkness go away?
Would dream land no longer be plagued by the fey?

“I really enjoy your art,” said Ben to Steve,
“It’s unique and it keeps the world of unreality aglow,
I think you have a rare talent if you can believe
I used to be a dream painter myself, you know.”

Steve’s heart beat quickly as they got to the land
Where the bunny raged against children’s minds
And Steve erased him with one single flipper hand
Releasing the dreamers from these terror binds.

Back to the way things were they started to go
Lack of reality was reestablished high and low
Steve had saved the day so that dreamers could play
Everything went back to normal and everyone went on their way.

Almost everything went back to normal.

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