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Byron W Scott
PO Box 626
Mt Enterprise, TX 75681 903-822-3881 Hm
936-564-8348 Wk
26,617 words



by Byron W Scott Forward


And editor once asked me about the title of this book. “The Songs part is self evident,”


she said, “but what exactly is meant by ‘Long Road?’”


The American Indians had a term for this existence of ours. They called it the Road of


Life. I find it to be an apt analogy, for along that road we find unimpeded straight-aways,


twists and turns, bumps, detours, and dead-ends. The term applies not only to the life of


the individual, but to generation after generation. From the dawn of human history, it has


indeed been a Long Road. Of course, there is more to it than that.


Mesoamerica stretches from northern Honduras and El Salvador up through Guatemala,


Belize and Mexico and into the four corners area of the United States. Each Indian tribe


will insist that it has developed its own unique culture, but there are certain myths,


legends and beliefs that seemed to span the entire region. One of those myths is the pre


Columbian belief that a bearded white man once lived with the Indians and then left them


and headed for the East. According to the legend, he would one day return to reunite the


two great peoples; the red man and the white. The Maya called this man Kukulcan; the


Aztecs and Toltecs called him Quetzalcoatl, the “feathered serpent.” The prophesied date


for his return in the Aztec calendar was Ce Acatl, which corresponds to the Christian year


1519, the year that Hernan Cortes appeared off the coast of Mexico. The Spaniards


destroyed nearly everything during the Conquest, and so very little remains of those


legends from the “high cultures”. But thanks to Frank Waters, who wrote The Book of


the Hopi, we have a compelling and comprehensive version of their legend—the Hopi




The prophesied date of Pahana’s return was the same as Quetzalcoatl’s. According to the


myth, if he did not return on that date, it would be hundreds of years before his arrival.


And that makes a very long road to walk. The Songs from Long Road is an attempt to incorporate this legend into the historical






If you happen to meet a mahu along your Road, you should stop and visit for a while.


There’s no telling what you might learn. Part 1


Hey guys,


It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally finished the Songs from Long Road. I’ve


divided the text into three parts because there are three CD’s. There are also three main


categories to the songs: history, American Indian mythology, and personal subjectivity.


There’s probably a little bit too much of the latter category, but I’ll let you decide about


that. The best place to start in any book about history is in the present. Why? Because that’s


where the readers are, of course.


I hope you enjoy the lyrics.


Something Good


I’ve been leafing through some books of history


There have been some sad events in our history


Recall the Trail of Tears of the Cherokee


Or down in Selma, Alabama before Martin Luther King


There have been some sad, sad moments in our history


Too many broken treaties, too many lies


Too much aggression to rationalize


Too many broken treaties, too many lies Too much racism to ever justify


But hey!


Got something good to say about the USA


Hey! There’s plenty good to say about the USA


I’ve got the freedom to learn


Got the freedom to turn my own page


I’ve got the freedom to fall in love and raise a family


Or to follow my heart, wherever that may lead


And hey! That’s always good to say about the USA


Hey! There’s plenty good to say about the USA


I’ve got the freedom to roam


Got the freedom to be my own man


I’ve got the freedom to launch myself upon this journey


It’s a varied landscape filled with mysteries


The people are friendly if you follow their laws


And take their attitudes with a grain of salt


You’ll find many good people who are going your way


There might be clouds in the sky, but it’s a sunny day


And hey! That’s mighty good to say about the USA


U S A Western expansion played a major role in the early history of the United States. Circa


1865, Horace Greeley advised “Go West, young man!” And that statement reverberated


throughout this country for almost a hundred and fifty years. Gold had already been


discovered in California, and also in the Black Hills of North Dakota. For westward


expansion, there would be no holding back. No gold would ever be discovered in the


Ozark Mountains, but who knew at the time.


Buffalo River 1886


Ozark Mountains called to me I heard it in the wind back in Tennessee


I found a job in the mines here in 1880


Knew there’d be a pot of gold waiting on me


Ozark Mountains, haunting me


It’s been years since they chased out the Cherokee


Now I’ve got a home in the glade and a family


And that pot of gold is still waiting on me


And I’m going up to Boxley when the dogwoods bloom


The river will be rising, going to float my canoe


Some folks think me loco, some think me brave


Past Ponca and Pruitt, going to ride those white waves


Buffalo River calls to me


Got a date in the morning with my family


Take my boy for a swim at the mouth of Rush Creek


Explore the limestone bluffs with the cedar trees


Buffalo River, haunting me


From deep in the mines I hear it call to me


The only pot of gold I’ll ever see


Is my love for these hills and my family And I’m going up to Boxley when the dogwoods bloom


The river will be raging, going to float my canoe


Past Hemmed-In-Hollow and Indian Creek


Floating that whitewater is a challenge to me


Going up to Boxley when the dogwoods bloom


The river will be dancing, going to float my canoe


Past Big Bear Cave, through Longbottom Hole


I’ll be rounding Toney Bend, down Clabber Creek shoal


Going up to Boxley when the dogwoods bloom


The river will be rising, going to float my canoe


Past Cow House Eddy, past Leatherwood Creek


Floating that clear water is a pleasure to me During the winter of 1874, General Ranald McKenzie and the US Cavalry caught the


Comanche and Kiowa Indians napping in Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas Panhandle. The


ensuing slaughter was not pretty. Needless to say, not everybody on the American


continent was thrilled with the westward expansion of the white man.


Comanche 1874


Whiteface are done fighting each other


Now the bluecoats come in force They’ve killed our horses, burned our winter stores


We should have foreseen these acts of war


These northern gales blow fierce and cold


They paralyze these high plains


My people are scattered, hungry and bare


I curse the white demons who put us here


We’ve learned we can never trust their word


They speak with two hearts, truth unheard


This prairie will never be the same


Its’ life is fading, it’s starting to change


They’re killing all the buffalo on the plains


And now they want to move us far away


To Oklahoma and the reservation


But the Clearfork and caprock are my home


Brother coyote speaks to me


He tells me of the death of my family


Eagle spirit mourns with me


I need the plains and the sky And I need to roam free


The pueblos and people west on the mesas


Wouldn’t want us there at all


Although they look to be the same as us


They never did come across from the North


They still await Pahana, their white friend


He’s awfully late; he must have lost his way


He left ages ago, will he ever return?


Is there a lesson here that we must learn?


Whiteface are strange in their beliefs


They kill and steal, lie and cheat


They don’t take their Lord very seriously


They don’t believe they’ll have to answer for their deeds


But their medicine is strong, I believe they’ll win


Don’t believe one of them could ever be my friend


These high plains winds come whispering


Oklahoma sounds like death to me Bother coyote speaks to me


He tells me of the death of my family


Eagle spirit soars with me


I need the plains and the sky


And I need to roam free Today we’ll keep sliding back in time. This song takes place just before the Conquest.


Strange things are happening in Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital. Moctezuma, the Aztec


Emperor, is becoming worried. The year of Ce Acatl is approaching.


I can’t take full credit for this song. Most of the sentences came from two sources; Great


River and Conquistadors, both written by Paul Horgan. This man could make absolute


poetry out of history. I merely did a little paraphrasing, rearranged a few words and put


them to a melody.


Portents 1517 Lake Texcoco unexpectedly


Rose up one day and flooded the city


A comet fell to Earth in the middle of the day


It divided into three, spread from west to east


Omens and portents keep happening


They fuel seeds of doubt


They startle the city


Here at Tenochtitlan


Does it augur the end?


A fiery tongue in the night time sky


Would vanish at dawn, but for a year it went on


A fire broke out in the Temple of War


Burned it to the ground, we could not put it out


Serpent Woman roaming the streets at night


An Earth Goddess moaning, I hear her cries of fright


Wailing, “We are about to go, oh my sons


Whither can I lead you, my beloved ones?


Our fate is approaching, we’re about to go And I can’t find the door, can’t see to lead you!”


Ambassadors bring me news of white men


“Gods or men?” they can’t answer my question


There are people dying out in the Yucatan


A mysterious disease, they say it spoils the skin


Omens and portents keep happening


They fuel seeds of doubt


They startle the city


Wait for Ce Acatl


Look for Quetzalcoatl


An ash gray crane, a mirror in its head


Was brought before me in my royal palace


Peering into it I saw warriors on “deer”


A prophesy of doom, it heightened my fear


Serpent Woman roaming the streets at night


An Earth Goddess moaning, I hear her cries of fright


Wailing, “We are about to go, oh my sons


Whither can I lead you, my beloved ones? Our fate is approaching, we’re about to go


And I can’t find the door, can’t see to lead you!” As we go further back in history, we enter the realm of American Indian mythology. You


may have noticed a couple of names in the last two songs; Quetzalcoatl, from Portents,


and Pahana, from Comanche. The myth that a bearded white man would some day return


to set things right and reunite two great peoples was widespread throughout


Mesoamerica. As I have already pointed out, the most dynamic of these myths belong to


the Hopi Indians of NE Arizona. The Hopi possess four stone tablets that they’ve had for


hundreds of years; their Creation Tablets. According to the legend, the corner of one of


those tablets was broken off and given to Pahana, their white friend, so that when he


returned, there would be no mistaking his identity; Pahana will bring this stone piece with


him and the tablet will be made whole. The next few songs depict Pahana beginning his


journey. Time To Go 1388 BC


Brothers, fare you well


I love you dearly, with


This land and all it is


We’ve journeyed far south


From tropical climes


Climbed mountains of snow, gazed on northern lights


But this desert is fine; we’re all of one mind


And so we’ll gather back here in another time


Brothers, fare you well


I wish you all the best and more


Now you go west while I head east


But I’ll be gone before you reach that shore


Keep good thoughts, bring the rain


Grow your corn, harvest your game


Creator tells me it’s time to go


Old man nods, I think he knows I’ve been taking my time, been going too slow


Old man tells me he don’t know why


But if I rest more than twice


Things won’t go right


He says not to linger, to leave today


Say my good-byes and be on my way


Life fire planted like a seed


It grew into us, and now we see


That it’s a wonderful world


You gave us much more than we need


Lord you made it all so beautiful


Will we be able to keep our spirit true?


You gave us color and depth and solidity


I’m going to be hard pressed


To keep from pleasing only me


Brothers, fare you well


Creator tells me it’s time to go


He gives me this stone, sends me alone


And says when I return to this land


To grasp that hand, welcome home


Old man smiles and pats me on my back He says he’ll remember me when I come back


I know I’ll remember him when I come back Legacy 1387 BC


I came to the purple light, it beckoned me


Back to the Fourth World on awakening


The day is dawning, it’s refreshing me


The Sun is rising, He’s telling me


That there’s one more mountain range


Before the plains


I’m feeling good, I’m on my way again


I’m going to leave this desert far behind


My load’s been lightened Should be making good time


Been two days gone from that great river I crossed


The people I’ve met have been


Scattered and lost


Creator said that it would be best


If I stopped a second time to take my rest


Through sand He led me to these hills


I found a spotted earthen jar where I could quench my thirst


Then deep in the canyon I placed my stone


Leaving it there burns deep in my bones


One day one with insight will carry it home


And together with the Keepers make the tablet whole


This world is boundless, broad and deep


But the essence of this life isn’t hidden from me


If I keep my door open


I can see the mysteries


Snatch the magic from both sides


Affect reality


I’ve passed through the purple light, it beckoned me Back to the Fourth World on awakening


The day is dawning, it’s refreshing me


The Sun is rising, He’s telling me


That there’s one more mountain range


Before the plains


I’m feeling good, I’m on my way again


Going to leave this desert far behind


My load’s been lightened


Should be making good time Sun Father


Father sun your light shines on me


And this good Earth sings and grows


The clear brook laughs and glows


Will the land and sky always


Carry your message to me?


Father Sun your flame leaps in me


You are the sparkle in my eyes


The Spirit that makes me alive With this gift that you give me


I travel this road of life


Father Sun will I remember


To keep my door open to you?


To voice my thanks to you?


May this eagles feather


Carry my love to you Circa 1365 BC Amenhotep IV became Pharoah of Egypt. Right off the bat he took 1500


years of Egyptian religious beliefs and threw them out the window. He changed his name


to Akenaten, moved the capital from Memphis to a new city he built in the desert at


Amarna, and instituted worship of the sun. By doing so he totally insulted his priests and


everybody else in the Kingdom. He made foreign dignitaries stand in the hot sun until


they collapsed. Why? What would make a man do such a thing?


Oh, that’s right. Our hero, Pahana, was heading that way.


Halfway To Karnak 1365 BC Floating up from Memphis on the River Nile


Halfway to Karnack, had to stop for a while


Had the boatmen pull over and dock in the reeds


Held the Guard and went on shore with Nefertiti


Walked half a mile, then turned back towards the West


Saw a lion, a falcon, a golden sun disc


Saw a temple to Aten rise up from the dust


Then was startled by a voice that spoke behind us


Turned straight away and saw a ragged old man


Nefertiti felt weak and collapsed in the sand


We helped her to her feet, to the nearest shade tree


He apologized profusely as he bowed to me


Confusion in my head, could not collect my thoughts


He grabbed my arm and we began to walk


Said it was his nature, he was lagging behind


But we were fated to meet; now he must speak his mind


He said he crossed a great ocean that lies to the West


Over mountain and desert he’d been drawn by his quest


Although his path had altered he kept to his task To hear the words of the Creator and to do what He asks


“Amen and Ra and your myriad gods


Are confusing your beliefs, keeping you in a fog


You have it in your powers but change is a risk


Your Father’s in your visions, He’s the golden sun disc”


Floating up to Thebes on the River Nile


Almost to Karnack, we’ll be there in a while


Nefertiti feels ill, she is causing a scene


But my thoughts run heavy; I must speak to my priests


Giza kept calling him, said he had to go


All the lines were converging there, an energy source


He asked me if I knew what the Pyramids were for


I answered they were tombs for my predecessors


“No tombs of death!” he told me with a grin


“But a boost to your life if you’ve kept the knowledge


You have it in your powers; your life is at risk


The answer’s in your visions, it’s the golden sun disc”


Walked half a mile then turned back toward the West


Saw a lion, a falcon, a golden sun disc


Saw a temple to Aten rise up from the dust Then was startled by a voice that spoke behind us


“Amen and Ra and your myriad gods


Are confusing your beliefs, keeping you in a fog


You have it in your power but change is a risk


Your Father’s in your visions, He’s the golden sun disc” There’s a whole lot of time that elapses between this song and the last. That’s because


there are a lot of songs that never got written. I was going to do one on Moses, in order to


include the religion of Judaism, and of course one on the coming of Christ. I think I’ll


wait for divine intervention to do that one.


Milvian Bridge 312 AD


Mama, hope you’re doing well


Got good news, I’ll be coming home soon


I’m going to build another boat We’ll hire some help


Fish the coast down the straits


Through the Dardanelles


Mama, I’ve got a story to tell


I was there with Constantine at the Milvian Bridge


We were gathered up in arms against Maxentius


When there appeared a flaming cross etched in the sky


It was during the day, mama, you know I don’t lie


It was an omen from God


Blazing there in the sky


Mama, I’ve got some more to tell


That night outside the tent of Constantine


I was gazing at the stars, I could not sleep


When there came a shining or a presence


I’ll just say what I mean


There was an Angel talking to Constantine


We carried a cross into battle next day


It was a glorious fight


The tide swept our way


Mama, I’ll be leaving Rome soon I’m getting tired of toting this sword around


And Constantine will soon be in Byzantium


Greece will be great again, the Lord’s on our side


Mama, the Lord is beside us


We’re going to be all right


Mama, hope you’re doing well


Got good news, I’ll be coming home soon


I’m going to build another boat


We’ll hire some help


Fish the coast down the straits


Through the Dardanelles Between 610 AD and 632 AD Mohammed established the religion of Islam. Within the


next 100 years it had spread across North Africa and into Spain, as well as to other


directions; to Turkey, Persia, and into Pakistan, which was pretty incredible for that span


of time. Although their march northward was stopped at Tours in France in 732, over the


next several hundred years the Muslims established top universities and contributed much


to world culture.


Ali Raki-haji 750 AD There is no god but God


And His prophet is Mohammed


Allah’s given me the grace


A way to die for my faith


The sun is sitting low with Viking ships in silhouette


My scimitar is ready, every challenge will be met


Allah is presenting me the road to paradise


Barbaric infidels who come down from the ice


There is no god but God


And Jesus is His prophet


Allah’s given me the grace


A way to fight for my faith


My name is Ali Raki-haji, scribe of history


Events in Damascus are disturbing me


Sunni and Shiite, it’s political


So I’ve joined this merchant fleet sailing back to Seville


There is no god but God


And Moses is His prophet


Allah’s given me the grace A way to die for my faith


The Byzantines and Charles Martel at Tours


Their Christian minds are twisted, but they look to God’s words


Mohammed spoke with Allah through Gabriel


He said they’re People of the Book, they deserve our good will


There is no god but God


And His prophet is Abraham


Allah’s given me the grace


A way to fight for my faith


Viking ships are closing in; I can see them eye to eye


They are giving me a glimpse of Paradise


There is terror in their hearts; you can see their fear set in


Yet they keep on coming, I hear the fight begin


There is no god but God


And His prophet is Mohammed


Allah’s given me the grace


A way to die for my faith Troubadour 1100 AD


I’ve been a lover and a soldier and a fool of the court


Presently you see me I’m a troubadour


I come lately from the Holy Land; the journey’s been long


Oh, drop me a coin and I’ll sing you my song


Constantinople is where this song begins


Playing strings for the Queen at a private audience


Knew there might be trouble when my tights came to the floor


Though I satisfied her thrice, she kept on wanting more Hate to admit it but she soon enough was bored


I was tossed outside the gates, given to a motley horde


They had raped and pillaged all through the Balkan states


They said they’d guarantee me passage ‘cross the Bosporus Straits


Hey down ditty, I’m off on crusade


Going to save the Holy Land from that wicked Muslim race


Hey down ditty, I’m off on crusade


Get your blessings from the Pope, Jerusalem we’ll save


We invaded Asia Minor, fought the Seljuk Turks


We got cut to ribbons, stomped in the dirt


I escaped the massacre by dropping in a well


And now I’m here today as far as you can tell


Constantinople is where I longed to be


Drinking wine with the women in easy luxury


Stealthily I made my way back to the Bosporus Straits


Where I ran into the Franks, I was back on crusade


Strong knights and nobles made up this company And we conquered Nicaea, won it for the Byzantines


We marched on Edessa with pomp and pageantry


Soundly ravaged the city, won the spoils of victory


Hey down ditty, we’re off on crusade


We’re mighty grateful to the Pope, there’s a fortune to be made


Hey down ditty, we’re off on crusade


Heed the call of the Pope, Jerusalem we’ll save


When we crossed the Euphrates I noticed a change


Purpose and motive had been rearranged


We cursed the Byzantines; they stabbed us in the back


They made a Latin Christian state of Greek Antioch


That Bishop from Rome, just a motivating ruse


What we gain through malice we always tend to lose


For people of the cross, they sure showed a lot of hate


Seljuk Turks or bloody Franks, they seemed all the same


I stole a camel to make my way back home


But the dumb beast turned south and I crossed the Lebanon


Terrified of Muslims, I quivered to the bone But the Arabs took me in; they made me feel at home


Hey down ditty, I’m through with crusade


I don’t believe God would want us all fighting that way


Hey down ditty, I am through with crusade


Just a pilgrim in Jerusalem enjoying my stay


Now I had the time to talk with both Muslims and Jews


And there is something that they said that altered my views


These religions with their schisms, man it had me confused


It’s the same God Christians, Jews and Muslims pray to


Hard to determine the cause of this conflict


Truly inspired by God or religious politics?


Holy Sepulcher, I’m praying to you


Give me the strength and faith I need to see this through


Unholy crusaders were soon outside the gates


And again I found myself in narrow, dire straits


But God answered my prayers; I can’t tell you no lies


It was a miracle of Jesus that I came out alive Hey down ditty, I was through with crusade


I saw the bloody Franks come storming through the gates


Hey down ditty, I was through with crusade


By the grace of God I made my escape


Now it’s true that I’m a pauper, I’m just dust in your eyes


But those Holy Crusaders weren’t civilized


They slaughtered the Muslims, they sliced up the Jews


There was blood up to a horse’s knee, I’m telling you


Bad dreams I’m screaming, that’s all I cared to see


So I got me a mule and headed back toward Galilee


Outside Damascus I joined a caravan


And started singing my songs all across the land


Constantinople, a glimmer ‘cross the sea


You are the prettiest sight that I have ever seen


Constantinople, you’re where I’ve longed to be


Singing songs for the ladies in perfect harmony


Hey down ditty, I’m through with crusade We saved the Holy Land for a dirty, wicked race


Hey down ditty, I’m through with crusade


We won the Holy Land for the bloody Franks Part 2


OK. You knew this was coming. I’ll give you a little break from all this history. Instead,


it’s time to subject you to some personal subjectivity. The thing about history is that one


can look back and see how we got here from there, but everybody seems to see it from a


different perspective so it’s still kind of hard to get agreement on anything.


Some of you may have seen on the late night TV infomercials a particular joker trying to


sell his health books. He talks about the pharmaceutical companies not wanting to make a


product that will cure any of us. After all, if they cure us of our illnesses then we won’t be eating their pills anymore and then they won’t get rich off of us. Drug companies love




History is the same way. World leaders won’t lead us to the Promised Land because if we


arrived there then we wouldn’t need leaders anymore and they wouldn’t be able to get


rich off all of us. So basically, we’ve got 5000 years of the same stuff happening over and


over again.


Tyrants is from my angry days. In a lot of ways, Western man has never gotten over his


crusader mentality.




with You Don’t Get Rid


and Overkill


I don’t see major differences in ideologies


But there are lots of global leaders talking down at me


Using so many words with so many meanings


Mostly politics, semantics and deniability We have capitalism, consumerism


Communism, socialism, monarchy


We have despotism, feudalism


Nazism, fascism, and democracy


There are so many isms I can’t keep them straight


And schisms of those isms, now give me a break


We have nationalism, colonialism


We’ve even had Manifest Destiny


We have imperialism, militarism


And now we’ve got economic hegemony


Yes, the names may change


But the tune’s still the same


They grow a little more subtle


When you see through their game


Those political clowns in their tailored suits


They’ve got the drive to dominate


They think they’re better than you


They’ve found a lot of clever ways


So they can subjugate you


They think they’ve got the right To take your rights from you


We’ve got Catholicism, Protestantism


Voo-dooism, animism, atheism


We’ve got Buddhism, Hinduism


Islamism, Zionism


God there ain’t no end


We’ve got monetarism


There are so many isms I can’t keep them straight


And schisms of those isms, now give me a break


Because the words may change


But the tune’s still the same


They become a little more clever


When you see through their game


Those religious jokers in their ritual suits


They’ve got the power of persuasion


They manipulate you


They think they’ve got the gift


They can decipher for you


They think they’re chosen from the rest


And they can preach to you But you don’t get rid of slavery


by killing all the Africans


And you don’t get rid of drugs


by shitting on the Mexicans


You don’t get rid of racists


by sucking on dem soda crackers


Don’t get rid of terror


by wasting all the Israelites


You don’t get rid of morons


by burning all these written words


You don’t get rid of war


by nuking all the commies


And you don’t get rid


of Palestinians


No, you don’t get rid


of AmerIndians


Killed the Indian, the buffalo, the bald eagle


Dammed up the rivers, moved the face of the earth


Drained the swamp, fenced the prairie, killed the estuary


The Colorado River don’t drain to the sea Got ozone loss and acid rain and toxic waste


Ecological unbalance all over the place


Got deforestation and desertification


Got overwhelming numbers of the human race


And if everyone was selfish like North Americans


There’d be a drain on resources


This good planet couldn’t stand


Imagine every Chinese family with two automobiles


You couldn’t breathe the air nor ‘ford your fossil fuel


And those industrial jokers in their tailored suits


They think they own the world and they can buy and sell you


And they’re ageing their mother to raise their profits


Tearing up Mother Earth to line their pockets


Yes, the words may change


But the tune’s still the same


And they get madder than Hell


When you see through their game


They’re Russian, European and North American


They’ve got the means to destroy you Got the button at hand


Yeah, they’ve got us by the balls


They’ve got the button at hand


And there are so many isms I can’t keep them straight


And schisms of those isms, now give me a break


They stick their ism up their ass and they call it belief


But when that ism schisms we’ll get nuclear relief


And it won’t take a minute to nuke us out of time


Won’t take but an instant to leave the world behind


No, it won’t take a second to leave the Age behind I don’t think it really matters which political system we live under or what our religious


beliefs are, there are things we can do to make ourselves a better person. We kind of get


hung up in the pursuit of wealth and fame and forget that there are other goals to achieve.


Very simply put, the more we change ourselves, the more our perspective of the world


changes. There is still magic out there. We can find it and we can utilize it.




Now it’s true we don’t always


Do what is right


We do what we think we’ve got the might to do Survival of the fittest, the strongest will win


But that is not the road to freedom


That is not how to live


No one can take your freedom away


When you do a damn good job


Of making yourself a slave


Caught up in realpolitik


Habits lock you in


That takes away your choice


On how you should live


But you can rise above your poverty


Or you can break the pull of material greed


You can overcome your drug dependencies


You can eliminate your selfish needs


But if you choose freedom


Don’t take no silly chances


Don’t be no fool


Examine your own circumstances Everybody wants you to be like them


They are scared of the man who seeks his


Total freedom


They lose control of the man


Who gains his total freedom


But you can put a stop to your spiteful attitudes


You can relieve us of your hateful moods


You can reduce your obnoxious interludes


You can diversify your self-centered views


And you can curb your lazy tendencies


You can grab hold of responsibility


You can break the bonds of your slavery


You can find the road that will set you free


But if you choose freedom


Don’t take no silly chances


Don’t be no fool


Be fluid in your circumstances


Everybody wants you to be like them They are scared of the man who seeks his


Total freedom


They lose control of the man


Who gains his total freedom


Yes, you can redirect all your nasty energy


You can grow aware of your possibilities


You can be the master of new abilities


If you walk the road that will set you free


And no one can take your freedom away


When you do a damn good job


Of making yourself a slave


Caught up in everyday life


Habits lock you in


They take away the magic


In how you live Most of the world’s major civilizations started three to four thousand years before Christ


in major river valleys; the Yellow River in China, the Indus in India, the Tigris/Euphrates


in Iraq (Mesopotamia), and the Nile. There was fresh water, a ready food supply and


transportation. The exception, of course, was in the Americas.


There were two main obstacles to overcome for the Americans. There were no pack


animals, no oxen or horses or mules or water buffalo to be beasts of burden. The animals


in America looked at the Indians and said, “Piss on you. Do your own work.” It really


didn’t matter because the second obstacle was that there was no convenient source of


grain. No wheat, barley, oats or rice. There was nothing to feed a growing mass of


people. The coastal people of Peru overcame these obstacles and were building monumental


public architecture by 3000 BC. They had a huge source of protein just off the beach.


Anchovies. Billions of them. They’d jump into your mouth if you held your jaw just


right. This was a pre-ceramic society, which made it hard to cook food, but they were


master weavers. They could weave baskets that would hold water. Some pretty incredible




The people on the rest of the American continents kind of just languished. Everyday they


tried to scrape together enough food for a meal.


And then one of those incredible miracles happened around 1500 BC: The coming of




Teosinte was the predecessor of corn. It was a grass that would give off two or three


kernels. You’d have to plant a field the size of Texas to feed your family for a week. But


then something happened. God, nature, or a very skilled geneticist developed a plant that


would yield ears of corn. But there was still a major problem. The human body cannot


metabolize the protein found in corn. You could eat and poop to your hearts content and


still die of malnutrition. But mix in lime (from limestone, not the fruit), and corn becomes


a nutritional source of food. A Corn Mother. A staple to feed the masses.


Tortillas are earth, water, and corn. There is something very profound about that


relationship. Maize originated in Mexico, and within two hundred years had spread the length of North


and South America. Civilizations began to appear and to prosper.


This is the Mayan version of the coming of corn. In the Mayan language, corn and jade


are the same word, discernible only through context. A milpa is the little plot of land they


burn out of the jungle every spring in order to plant their crops. Enjoy.


P.S. Got a wedding anniversary this week-end. Look for Blue Flute on Monday or




Have a good week-end.


Maize 1500 BC


Down in the thicket, it’s hard to spot my food


I listened to the jungle, one sound caught my mood


So I followed that quetzal to a mountaintop


My stomach growled loudly, I came to a stop


I watched a line of ants emerge from a crack


They carried a white kernel of maize on their backs I asked them for a taste and to my surprise


It was milk of the Earth the way they satisfied


Milpa grow green, give us jade


Milky white seed, our mother maize


Magic water jar, moisten our fields


Milpa grow green, life to yield


Contrary ants wouldn’t bring me more maize


Anger rose within me, I squeezed them ‘round the waist


Then petitioned the four Mams to come to my aide


I had to find a way to recover that “jade”


Mams are the Masters of the wind and sky


Masters of the thunder and great flashes of light


Three times they tried, they issued forth their best


And each time that mountaintop withstood the test


Fourth Mam pondered


And then worked it out


Called on the woodpecker


To be His scout


To search the mountaintop


And find the deepest crack Then to fly off in a hurry


And never look back


The wind arose abruptly, a fierce thunderstorm


A lightning bolt struck and burned straight to the core


Rock flying everywhere, woodpecker got hit


And tumbled to the ground in a bloody fit


Then flew off in a rage, a blood-stained head


Forever after that woodpeckers wore red


White corn was scorched, yellow, black and red


A gift from the Mams to keep my people fed


Milpa grow green, give us jade


Multi-colored seed, our mother maize


Magic water jar, moisten our fields


Milpa grow green, life to yield


Milpa grow green, life to yield Circa 1200 BC a cataclysmic event shook the Mediterranean Sea. Seismic activity and a


stupendous volcanic eruption destroyed the Minoan civilization and rocked the Aegean


Islands. The sea level around the world may have risen by several feet. It’s a stretch, but


this Hopi myth sort of fits that event.


According to the Hopi, in order for them to be able to claim a place on this Earth, each


clan had to make a migration to the four pasos of the American continents; to the east and


west coasts, the tip of South American, and the Bering Sea surrounding the North Pole.


This song finds some of the clans at the northern paso.


Blue Flute 1280 BC Listen to the blue flute


The mahu plays the blue flute


Feel the effects of his warm melody


See the notes float by


Filled with tropical heat


Watch the snow melt


Note the rise of the creek


Hear our sweet melody


The cold and ice impede us


The Spider Woman leads us


Implores us to summon


All our power for heat


To reach the northern paso


We must melt the ice sheet


She’s brought the clans together


For a warm harmony


Hear our sweet melody


The Sun Clan has the blessing of clear blue skies They bring the Sun so close that we must shade our eyes


The Fire Clan focuses their prayers in a chant


The molten fires in the depths are at their command


Snake Clan sends vibrations throughout the ground


Starts the Earth to shaking, rocks come tumbling down


The mountain’s spitting fire, the mahu prances ‘round


Wild on his blue flute, the valleys fill with sound


Listen to the blue flute


The mahu plays his blue flute


Feel the effects of a warm melody


See the notes float by


Filled with tropical heat


Watch the snow melt


Note the flood of the creek


Note the rise of the sea


Now our powers vanish


Spider Woman has been banished


Creator decrees we meet our punishment


We’ve opened up the back door


To this sacred continent


We’ve upset the balance Of the elements


Do you note the silence? All right, so tell me, what’s a mahu?


The Indians of the American Southwest have done an excellent job of marketing


Kokopelli, the humpbacked flute player. He’s got a snappy name that has a good ring to


it. And he’s a cute little figure to boot. I’ve got a Kokopelli key ring and I drink coffee


from a Kokopelli mug. There’s a Kokopelli plaque on our wall.


Actually, there were two flute players; one grey, one blue, leaders of the Grey and Blue


Flute Clans. I can’t remember who is who, but evidently the other one never got famous


because no one can pronounce his name. His parents are probably still laughing about


that. I’ve got something different this week for my favorite readers. Instead of a song from


Long Road you get a chapter from one of my novels, Flipside, Part Two. We meet the


flute player on the plains of Peru. Yes, I agree, it’s an outlandish scenario. No, I don’t


believe it for a moment. But within the novel it’s all a dream, so take it with a grain of


salt and a shot or two of Mescal.




Chapter 4


The transition felt easy and natural as he slipped from one state of awareness into


another. And yet, at the very moment that he crossed the threshold, his previous world


faded into mystery, a slate wiped clean, a dream that he could no longer remember. It


made him question whether or not it had even occurred.


He didn’t have the slightest inclination about where he had arrived. He was standing on a


gently rolling plain that stretched to fairly distant, stark brown, eroded mountains. They


in turn were followed by higher, mist filled ranges, violet in hue. The air was cool and




The plain immediately surrounding him was covered with shards of brown rock in a


consistently thin, even layer. Nearby, a shallow, dry arroyo snaked lazily into the broad expanses. It had not seen water in months, perhaps years. There wasn’t the first sign of


vegetation anywhere along its course. The whole area was nothing but a desolate,


forsaken environment.


As he scanned the mountain flanks for a canyon that might contain water, he spied a


group of people not three hundred yards away. Their actions intrigued him, for they


appeared to be working the earth.


Surely they didn’t intend to farm this arid plateau, he asserted to himself. He was


absolutely certain that nothing would grow there.


Intent on resolving the mystery, he began to make his way toward them, but instead he


became sidetracked by the sound of an alluringly beautiful melody. To his surprise and


enchantment, he found the source to be a humpbacked flute player; a creature that stood


three feet tall on thin, spindly legs and resembled a giant, blue grasshopper. He had a


human face with long antennae protruding from his forehead. He was obviously a master


of the flute. The wanderer listened trance-like, captivated by the brilliance.


“That was beautiful,” he complimented at the conclusion of the song. “What sort of


creature are you?”


“I am a mahu!” the flute player exclaimed with a bubbling smile. His face appeared old


and wrinkled, but his voice was a surprisingly youthful falsetto. “The music from my flute warms this cool mountain air. In my hump I carry seeds; those of maize, beans,


melons, and flowers.”


“Is that why those people are clearing rocks from the ground? To plant seeds?” the


wanderer asked in disbelief. “Nothing will grow here,” he added.


The mahu disregarded the skepticism.


“With the magic from my flute we can grow crops in any environment. But that is not our


sole purpose. We do not live here, but follow a star. These people are leaving their


signature on the ground as proof of their passage. I dare say the markings should last for


quite some time in this desert.” He flashed a broad grin before continuing. “As you can


see, other clans have already preceded us to this place.” He held out his arm in a broad


sweep across the dead, dusty plain.


The wanderer half-heartedly scanned the featureless grounds before replying. “I see


nothing out of the ordinary.”


“Perhaps there is nothing to be seen because of where you stand,” the mahu suggested.


“You of all people should know that. You shine brightly with the gift of the Sunfather. If


you are not grounded, why limit your perspective?” The grasshopper put his flute to his lips and the music poured swiftly but gently from the


instrument. The wanderer saw the notes as large, rainbow-hued bubbles that streamed


into the sky. When he reached out to touch one, he was lifted firmly from the ground and


swept into the air. A ticklish sensation in his stomach caused him to wrap himself around


the bubble and hold on tightly.


The note rotated slowly until he found himself staring straight into the bright blue sky.


Apprehension gripped him when he realized that he was rapidly approaching a group of


intensely brilliant stars or lights. Or something. He wasn’t exactly sure what it was that


he was seeing.


And then an amazing transformation took place in his perception, and he realized that the


lights were actually people. Other people were walking the sky with him! Intuitively, he


understood that they were the same people who were clearing the rocks from the ground




The magic note that he clung to rotated once again and his vision became focused on the




His mouth dropped open.


The plain was covered with markings! A multitude of lines ran straight and parallel for


miles or criss-crossed in random patterns. There were geometric figures and animal figures, stylized birds and a whale. The figure presently being formed was that of a flute.


He realized that he was on the pampas of Peru. The Plain of Nazca was below him.


The flute playing ceased and the bubble that he was clinging to could no longer


regenerate itself. However, when it burst he did not fall. He analyzed the markings a


while longer before floating back to the ground.


Myriad questions numbed his mind as he gazed back into the sky. Again he saw the


people as lights. While some of them remained perfectly still, others made varying


motions; floating haphazardly, or in broad circles, or swinging as if on a pendulum.


He watched in admiration. “They shine so very brightly. Like stars in the daytime.”


A proud glint and a tear of joy lit up the eyes of the grasshopper. “Yes. They use the gift


from the Fathersun so very well.”


The wanderer understood the allusion well. By separating their awareness from their


bodies, these people could utilize their dual nature; the Earth Mother and Sun Father.


They needed no fancy gadgets or calculations to create the figures on the plain. They


simply directed their actions on the ground with the perspective from above.


“The figures on the ground I understand, no doubt being signatures of the migrating


clans. But tell me about the lines. What do they represent?” “The lines represent many things,” the mahu answered. “Some mark the time of our


passage, while others time the passage of previous clans. But most of the lines are a


tribute to the Grandmother Spider. It is her web that surrounds the Earth to keep it from


separating. Where you find a great many lines intersecting on the plain, that is where the


power of the Spider Woman is greatest, for that is where the web touches the Earth”.


The concept of the web intrigued the wanderer, but before he could formulate another


question, they were interrupted by a deep, flapping noise accompanied by a gust of wind.


A large, green parrot touched down beside them.


He was huge! He was every bit the size of the grasshopper, but exceedingly more


massive and threatening. While the mahu seemed unfazed, the wanderer stared stupidly at


the bird.


“I figured we would meet again, white boy!” the parrot cackled. “Yes, it’s me. Mochni!


Mochni, the parrot. Don’t look so surprised. You look stupid enough without your mouth


hanging wide open.


“I look much better with a touch of yellow, don’t you agree? It makes me feel so much


more zestful!” Mochni nodded his head from side to side and did a little dance. His eyes


sparkled. The wanderer didn’t give a shit about the yellow feathers. It was the outrageous size of


the bird that concerned him. He remembered Mochni as being a larger than normal


parrot, but not three feet tall!


“How come you’re so much bigger than before?” he finally managed to ask.


“Because I’m younger!” the bird shouted, exceedingly pleased with himself. “I see that


you haven’t changed at all. You’re still as stupid as ever. Have you remembered your


name yet?”


“I am a wanderer. I am here to learn.”


“Can’t remember, huh? Well tell me, mister man of wisdom, from what time period do


you hail? How will you ever find your home in order to make use of all this knowledge


that you accumulate?”


The wanderer disregarded the questions.


“Why does being younger make you bigger?” he asked instead.


“Hasn’t that blue bug taught you anything? I haven’t changed! The conditions have. Ask


him. Time’s been shrinking his appearance for over four thousand years!” The wanderer was stunned. While he had certainly wondered about the mahu’s age, four


thousand years seemed like a preposterous assertion. He looked at the old grasshopper.


“Are you actually as old as he says?” he asked meekly.


The mahu had been standing by impassively, apparently uninterested in Mochni, but a


smile broke out when he heard the wanderer’s question. “I’m not quite as old as he


claims,” he snickered. “But close! I am not a man, remember, but a grasshopper with a


magical flute.” The mahu erupted into full-fledged laughter.


“I apologize for laughing,” he said after regaining his composure. “But you look so


serious. Mochni and I become smaller as the Age passes. That is the way with ones such


as us. We are relics from the Third Age. Our purpose here is to guide.


“Of more immediate concern is why you speak to this foul creature. Especially since you


two have already met. My people will not listen to him. Surely…”


“That little band of wanderers!?” Mochni interrupted. “Hah! I spit on them! Most of your


urchins have already left you anyway. That’s why civilizations arise!”


The mahu ignored the protests of the parrot and looked at the wanderer. “Much like


myself, Mochni is a spreader of seeds. Only his are the seeds of doubt and confusion, for


he is the Deceiver.” “I can’t believe you listen to this…this locust!” Mochni screamed, infuriated.


The flute player began to protest, but the parrot cut him off.


“Tell me, locust, do you know where I first met this time walker? It was in the future at


Tenochtitlan! That’s right. He was admiring the way Cortes deals with the native people.


While you and your puny little clans claim this land by walking the breadth of the


continents, north to south and east to west, your friend here knows that it is only wasted


effort. It will all come to naught! Absolutely nothing! The white ‘gods’ will claim


ownership of the land by simply planting a flag, and will then proceed to trample the


Earth asunder. Only when there is nothing left will they allow your people their freedom


of choice—to either live as white man lives or die!”


He cackled derisively as he turned towards the wanderer. “If you came here to spy on


these stupid natives, white man, you would do much better to spend your time at


Tiwanaku. There, at least, you can learn what they are capable of accomplishing. You


will learn nothing whatsoever by staying with these pathetic rag—a—muffins, these…”


“They are Hopi,” the wanderer interjected sternly. “Why don’t you just leave?”


“Hopi! That is a good name,” the mahu concurred with a thoughtful smile. “’People of


peace.’ That is a fine title for those who heed the word of the Creator. We really must talk


further, my friend.” “We could if this parrot would quit squawking in our ear,” the wanderer replied.


Without further ado, the mahu purposefully raised the flute to his lips. Sparkling, opaque


notes soon gathered thickly and furiously around the parrot.


Mochni’s eyes shone with terror. “I blame you for this, time walker! I’ll get you for this!”


he shouted. “That bug won’t always be around to protect you.” He was then lifted


forcefully from the ground and whisked away by the notes. Within seconds he had


receded from sight.


“Well, that’s certainly one good way to get rid of the jackass,” the wanderer applauded.


“He is rather appalling, isn’t he? There simply is no debating that devil, for his words are


tainted with poison.”


The wanderer dropped to the ground, suddenly subdued and exhausted.


“I’m sorry,” he moaned. “But that parrot drains me. He leaves me twisted and frustrated.


He attacks my identity, calls me white man, and makes me feel worthless.”


“Mochni is like that. He brings out the worst in you. He plays upon your aspirations, your


fears and your insecurities, and tries to plant you with the seeds of confusion. But I really must say, your race is a silly thing to worry about. All men are the same. They have life


to live, decisions to make. It is not always an easy path.


“About your identity, I cannot help you. Is it true that you are lost in time?”


“I don’t know who I am or where I belong,” the wanderer admitted solemnly. “Perhaps


I’ve always been wandering. I remember certain historical events, so I must come from


the future, but I have no personal memories.”


“None at all?” the flute player inquired.


“No; only my previous meeting with Mochni and a visit to Oraibi, where your people end


their migrations.” And in a petty pathetic state, too, he added to himself. The thought did


nothing to improve his mood.


“Well, you are welcome to stay with us for as long as you’d like. You look tired. Perhaps


you’d care to rest?”


“Perhaps it would do me some good.”


“I will play my flute.” The mahu sat down on the ground and proceeded to play a soft, enchanting lullaby that


induced heavy drowsiness in the wanderer. He slumped back to find a more comfortable


position as a purple mist billowed up around him. In an instant he was gone.


The mahu continued to play his flute. Hey guys,


I meant to send this last Saturday but my typist pooped out on me. All she had to do was


weed eat, mow the lawn and bush hog the front forty, clean out the barn, tune up the car


and change the oil in the tractor, prepare three meals and put on her make-up. And of


course, bring me my beers. I tell you. Women these days. Mom would have had things




Be careful. Sam read this introduction before I could send it off, and now she’s going to


try and make it sound like I’m totally useless around here. She’s probably going to try to


make you believe that I don’t even refill the soap in the shower when it gets low. You all


know me. I wouldn’t do anything like that. I’m just not that devious. When that bar of


soap turns into a sliver, I always replace it with a new one. It just goes to show that the woman doesn’t have enough to do around here to keep


herself occupied. I’ll probably have to start drinking more beer to help keep her busy.


Where did you first read about the purple light (mist)? That’s right—Legacy.


Where did you first read about the converging lines? Halfway To Karnak! Boy, ya’ll are




Keep paying attention. There’s bound to be a test when this is all over.




Chapter 6


“Look! The mist!”


“I see him!”


“He’s opaque.” “He’s returning!”




“He’s coming back to us!”


The mist dissipated the moment he opened his eyes. He saw that the excited voices


belonged to a throng of people that had gathered around him. The mahu sat directly


across from him, a weak smile upon his face. His flute rested across his lap.


“It’s sprinkling,” the wanderer stammered.




“Does it rain here very often?”


“It’s highly unusual,” the grasshopper assured with a smile.


The wanderer rubbed his eyes. “It’s a wonder I came back here and not to another time




“I continued to play my song, even after you summoned the purple mist,” the flute player


explained. “I watched as it took you away. I surmised that if you had a beacon to focus upon, you might have a chance to return. And it worked! My magic notes followed you,


and you followed them back to the pampas.”


The wanderer maintained his silence.


“Do you remember where you went?” the mahu asked.


“I’m not sure.”


Although memories were beginning to crystallize, it was still a struggle to keep his


thoughts from drifting. The crowd leaned forward, eagerly awaiting his word. Hesitantly,


he began to relate the few details that he could recall easily.


He described a vast, absolutely flat, smooth plain, cream colored under a steel gray sky.


Three colossal pyramids hovered stationary above the landscape. His desire had been to


move closer in order to learn the reason why they remained suspended in the air, but he


had been unable to traverse the huge crevice in the plain, an enticing, black chasm that


soaked up all light. He had the oddest sensation that he had been within that crevice, yet


he could not recall any details of that experience.


Eventually, he had lost interest in the pyramids as he became intrigued by the translucent


bubbles that came out of nowhere and yet seemed to be everywhere. The bubbles were


massive enough that he had considered using them to transport his body across the chasm, but he was afraid that they wouldn’t be able to support his weight. He finally


came to associate the bubbles with the incessant music that he heard. Only then did he


sense that there was a two way stream from a mother source. He latched on and ended up


returning to the pampas.


“It was all so real. Was it all in my imagination?” he asked quietly.


“Was the chasm black or blue?” the mahu inquired.


“Now that you mention it, it was a deeply rich blue, very enticing in some respects,


horrifying in others.”


“Now I understand why you have trouble recalling where you belong, why you have that


gap in your memory. You have described perfectly the Plains of Metamor. Within that


crevice there awaits a personal journey, unique to each individual. In most cases, it takes


years of preparation before one feels capable of challenging the chasm. It can be a very


dangerous journey, and you were gone a long time. I hope you know what you are




Inwardly, the wanderer admitted to himself that he didn’t have the slightest clue as to


what he was doing, but he also had a feeling that he was on the verge of remembering


something extremely important. “The purple mist is the gateway to the seven worlds,” the flute player pronounced.


Of course! The purple mist!


“Of the seven worlds, the Third and the Fifth are much like this Fourth World, and are


easy to maintain and relate to. The other four become increasingly alien. All of them are


unique. Metamor is the last world, and as its name implies, it is a transition. A


metamorphosis. Or perhaps the end.”


The wanderer continued to draw a blank.


“The tendency for most men is to hover in the purple mist, only briefly touching on the


other worlds in their dreams,” the mahu continued. “Needless to say, you enter the Blue


World. But upon leaving there, something makes you trip, and you end up catching only


the fringes of the white light. You end up dancing through time with no control.”


Memories suddenly inundated the time walker. Of course! It was all so simple! When he


was in the purple mist, the Earth was the white light. If he would enter the very center,


the most intense portion of the glow, he would find his own time period. He would find


his home!


He felt that he was about to experience further revelations when the spell was broken by


the mahu’s voice. “I know that you are probably eager to test the mist again, but since you are here now,


won’t you please spend the day with us? I, for one, would be delighted.” His enormous


grin was accented by the flowing wrinkles upon his face.


The wanderer was touched. The mahu had helped him immeasurably. He had offered his


friendship and had shown him the way to return home. Of course he would stay the day.


“You’ve got yourself a deal,” he said as he grasped the flute player’s hand. Whatever the


mahu was, he was surely a fine old soul.


The wanderer stood and stretched. Several people in the crowd, up until then attentive


and polite, suddenly closed in on him, attempting to touch him. He felt a moment of




“They want to feel your clothes,” the grasshopper explained. “What can I say? They are


like that. They know that you come from the future and they are curious.”


Blue jeans and a sweat shirt, he reflected. Big deal. But he was also certain that no one


intended him any harm, and he felt silly about his nervous reaction.


The mahu chuckled. “You really need to lighten up, you know? I haven’t seen you truly


smile since you’ve been here.” He gave a friendly wink. “Think about it. Here you are talking with a grasshopper, an unusually tall one at that, and you’re all frowns. And a


couple of days ago there was a mammoth parrot. You know?” The flute player nudged


him good-naturedly on the knee. “Smile! Laugh! You put too much pressure on




“I try to take things in stride,” the time walker moped. A couple of days ago? Had he


spent that much time in the Blue World? What in the world did he do while he was there?


The mahu smiled at him with fatherly admiration. “Do you still wish to visit Tiwanaku?”


A broad smile crossed the time walker’s face. Ancient even to the Incas, Tiwanaku was a


mystical lure that he could not refuse. His excitement began to mount.


“Of course,” he managed to stutter. “I’d love to go there.”


But he immediately reverted to form and began to fret. He knew that the city was several


hundred miles from the Plain of Nazca, high up in the Andes Mountains near Lake


Titicaca. Exceedingly rough terrain separated them, and his enthusiasm began to dull as


he anticipated several weeks journey.


The mahu noticed his dismay and merely grinned.


“Ready?” he asked as he raised his flute to his lips. Before he could respond, the time walker was engulfed by the music and carried away,


swiftly but light as the breeze. The next moment he found himself in a narrow alleyway


in a residential section of Tiwanaku. He was following the mahu towards a wider, sunlit


avenue that led through a busy marketplace.


They passed by stalls of ducks and geese and booths full of fresh vegetables. The


wanderer noticed that they were beginning to attract considerable attention, not to


mention a ripple of confusion. While some of the people were respectful and reverent of


the mahu, and understandably curious about himself, he couldn’t shake the impression


that most of the Tiwanakans couldn’t see either one of them.


Even so, they had gathered quite a following by the time they reached the outskirts of the


ceremonial center. The mahu paused there to let the magnitude of the city sink in. And


the wanderer took it in ravenously.


Across the moat the center was filled with massive platforms that were topped with


elaborate buildings and temples. Some of the structures utilized fifty ton blocks of stone


in a precise and vital architectural style. Inside one open temple stood a carved stone


monolith of a priest or deity, one of the two structures that he recognized. The other was


the Gate of the Sun, part of a larger temple complex that stood behind them. Although


smaller than the city of Tenochtitlan, Tiwanaku was on a grander, more dynamic scale. “The temple complex within the moat and the one behind us are ancient,” the mahu


announced. “They are already centuries old. Compare them to the more recent temples at


the far end of the court and you can see that the civilization is in decline.”


“And why is that?”


“The beginning stages of any civilization bring fresh, diverse ideas, and for a time great


deeds can be accomplished. But the survival and prosperity of society requires


specialization; food production, masonry, crafts, government. Laws are enacted and the


rules are expected to be obeyed. Children are taught to conform. As society becomes


more structured, laws become more inclusive. And when individual perception and


perspective are tuned to a narrow band to fit the rules, creativity begins to erode and


abilities decline.


“The early leadership of Tiwanaku learned that ritual could focus attention, and for a time


they were able to maintain momentum. The masses were misled into believing that they


kept the true faith, when in reality their thoughts were tuned to the building of the city


and maintenance of the culture. Instead of the Creator, they worship a monument to




“What about a democratic society?”


“A what?” “A free society.”


“No rules and regulations?”




“It is a contradicition in terms. One can be responsible to society, or one can be


responsible to freedom, but you can’t have it both ways.


“The Creator has given each one of us the gift of unlimited perspective. True freedom. It


is up to us to balance and maintain the entire gift by utilizing each side of awareness, the


Sunfather as well as the Earthmother. Many people here cannot see us now because they


have not polished their link to the Sunfather, and that is sad. What is sadder is that they


have forgotten that there is even a link to keep open.”


“But the monolith in the temple depicts a priest holding pahos, male and female. Surely


they keep open their door to the Creator,” the wanderer protested.


“If they walked with the Creator, there would be no need for idols, no need for


pretensions. Listen to me!” the mahu exclaimed suddenly. “I’m beginning to sound like


you. So serious! “But I believe that I have answered the questions that Mochni raised. Your concern the


other day was not so much about being a white man as it was about being a traitor and


breaking from your cultural roots.”


“How do you know that I have broken from my culture?”


“You would not be here otherwise. Let’s say that it is a prerequisite for what you do,


although it intrigues me that you choose to visit the high cultures. Be careful that you do


not escape the clutches of one civilization, only to be trapped by another. Remember,


only freedom can lead you to the mysteries that you need to uncover.


“Come now,” he prodded jovially. “I will show you my favorite place in this city.”


They made their way across the moat and into the tangled web of the temple complex.


The soldiers and priests at the gates let them pass unmolested, as if they feared or were in


awe of the mahu, but they kept the following masses out. Many of the walls that they


passed were covered in murals, but the wanderer caught only a casual glimpse of the


imagery because he was afraid of losing sight of the fast moving grasshopper.


They finally came to rest inside the sunken court, another part of Tiwanaku that would


survive the years. The forty by fifty foot court was eight foot deep, comprised of blocks


of stone that weighed from five to fifty tons each. At least sixty human faces carved out


of stone protruded from the walls. Painted in natural pigments, they were completely lifelike and represented people from around the globe, from Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia,


and America. The craftsmanship was superb, and with very little effort, the wanderer


could imagine the faces imbued with the life force, staring thoughtfully and serenely back


at him.


“Every continent on the face of the Earth is represented here,” the wanderer mumbled in


amazement, echoing an age old riddle. “How is that possible?”


“During the beginning stages of the city, the people had not yet strayed so far from the


Sunfather. There were still many who possessed the ability to see the lines of the


Grandmother Spider. A few of those people knew how to grasp those lines. The strands


carried them across the sea or to wherever they wished to go. When they returned, they


carved the likeness of those they met on their journeys. The murals on the walls we


passed depict some of their stories. There haven’t been any new faces now for several


hundred years because the present people can no longer isolate the lines of the Spider.”


The mahu stared at the wanderer with admiration.


“You, on the other hand, give me hope for the future, for you utilize your dual aspects.


You are able to see my people as they truly are, spirit fire from the Sun, as well as their


Earthly, bodily aspect. You walk the sky and have the ability to see Mochni and myself.


It is people like you who give us stature. The fewer people there are who are capable of


seeing us, the smaller we become. We are truly in the eye of the beholder.” “Back on the pampas I saw your people as stars…”


“Which they truly are. The spirit fire.”


“…but I didn’t see the lines of the web.”


“For the same reason that many Tiwanakans don’t see us now; your attention was turned


elsewhere. The lines are there.”


“Do they touch the Earth anywhere near here? Can you show them to me?”


The mahu suppressed a sigh. “Follow me.”


They departed the city and then followed a lightly worn footpath across the rust colored


hills of the Altiplano, and for the first time the wanderer became aware of the extreme


altitude. He was having difficulty catching his breath in the cold, thin air and it was


beginning to make him feel weak and sluggish. He stumbled along as if he was drunk,


while the mahu skipped effortlessly along in front of him, which made his mood even


more ill-mannered.


“Is this the place?” he asked irritably when they finally came to a halt. “This is it! We are in the center of the intersecting lines.”


Although the wanderer could discern no difference in that spot from the rest of the vast


plain, he had to admit that he no longer felt sluggish. In fact, he felt just the opposite;


energetic and powerful.


“I want to convey my good wishes, for I believe this is the moment of our parting,” the


mahu announced solemnly as he held out his hand. “I am happy to have met a man from


the future. You have done my heart much good.”


The wanderer was shocked and confused by the pronouncement and was reluctant to take


the flute players hand. He had grown very fond of the hunchbacked grasshopper; had


come to think of him as being a friend and mentor, and he had no intention of leaving


him now.


“I know your curiosity. You will grab hold of one of the lines and then you’ll be gone.


You would not otherwise be satisfied,” the mahu explained. “And once you leave, you


will not return.”


“I’ll be back! The other people returned to carve the faces. I’ll return.”


The mahu shook his head sadly. “No. You will get lost. You will not return.” “You can play your flute and I’ll follow your music back,” the wanderer persisted. Why


not? It had worked before.


“I’m sorry, but in this instance I’m afraid my song will be needed for other purposes.”


Other purposes? In a bad mood to begin with, the wanderer became extremely


exasperated. He sat down on the ground in a snit. Hell, he didn’t see any damn lines to


begin with!


“My music will be needed to show you the lines,” the grasshopper explained, obviously


amused by the time walkers stubbornness. He sat down on the ground and readied his




“It has certainly been a pleasure. If ever you find yourself in a quandary, facing


impossible odds, think of me. Perhaps it will help you gain a new perspective. I wish you


well on your quest, time walker, whether that quest is for knowledge or for your home.”


He started to put the flute to his mouth, but then reconsidered.


“Uh, one more thing,” he said. “Lighten up, huh?”


And then he grinned that huge, wrinkled grin before becoming one with his magical


instrument. As the melody gathered in volume and richness the wanderer witnessed the world begin


to change. The physical features of the land and air dissolved, becoming a translucent


superimposition over the true source, the life force, the fire from the Sun.


The wanderer saw that he was surrounded by energy and it overwhelmed him. Everything


glowed. Every rock, every shrub, every particle of dirt was alive with energy. No single


part of the Earth was dead! Everything pulsed with the life force and was connected to


everything else by filaments of light that resembled strings. It was true! He marveled.


The web of life was no metaphor.


He looked up and saw hundreds of fine, gossamer lines of a different texture criss


crossing the sky. Many of them converged above him and dropped to the ground on the


very spot where he was sitting. Reaching out his hand, he grasped a particularly


appealing strand and was immediately pulled from the ground and whisked away! The


anticipated ticklish sensation was short-lived, quickly replaced by an oppressive,


inescapable feeling of enormous pressure. Unnatural and stifling as it was, he


nevertheless knew that it corresponded to his traveling the lines at a fantastic rate of


speed, and it was up to him to persevere.


At the precise moment that the pressure became unbearable, he found himself bodily on


the ground once again. No longer was he in the Andes, but instead was standing in amber sand on the top edge of a desert plateau. A broad river flowed below in the near distance,


its flood plain green and lush and cut with canals. The air was hot and heavy.


When he glanced around, he was shocked and confused by what he saw. On the horizon


stood three giant pyramids, and he wondered if the lines had taken him to the Blue






He realized right away. Nestled unmistakably between the pyramids sat the Sphinx. He


was in Egypt!


Overwhelming exhilaration led to a flustered, disoriented feeling. His knees became


weak. He yearned for water. He yearned for the purple mist.


Before he could slump to the ground in exhaustion, the mist came and snatched him


away. Every major archaeological ruin across Mexico and Guatemala has one thing in common;


the ball court. Some ceremonial centers have clusters of ball courts around them. This


game was played amongst the Mesoamerican Indians for over 1500 years running, with


probably very little change in the rules. Today we don’t know how this game was played.


The idea that competitive teams were sent to different cities to play the ball game is my


own construct. Maybe it happened, maybe it didn’t. The problem with trying to do


history in the America’s is that there isn’t any history until Columbus and Cortes arrived


to wreck havoc on the civilizations. Only in the past twenty years has the Mayan code


been broken so that we can read their language. Names and events are starting to come


into the record. Of course, as with any government, there are a lot of tall tales being told,


so one still has to read between the lines. One thing is fairly certain; Teotihuacan, outside Mexico City, was the dominant power of


its time (200 BC-600 AD). It influenced city-states from the Gulf coast to Guatemala.


While the ball courts stand out at El Tajin, Monte Alban, Xochicalco, Chichen Itza,


Copan, Tula, Tikal, and so forth, it is hard to find the courts at Teotihuacan. Go figure.


Ball Game 148 AD


Going to the ball game


Getting ready for the ball game


We’re all in top condition


We’ll meet the competition


We’re ready for the ball game today


Going to the ball game


We’re all ready for the ball game


It’s an exercise in will


A testing of our skill


We’re getting ready for the season of trade It’s a festive atmosphere at Teotihuacan


We’re soon to take the mountain road to Monte Alban


With the seers and dancers and the mural painters


But we’re the number one attraction


We’re the ball game players


All the winners here at Teotihuacan


Get to play the Zapotecs at Monte Alban


It’s an honor to represent Teotihuacan


Walk the Valley of Oaxaca down to Monte Alban


Play the number one court down at Monte Alban


We’ve been to El Tajin


Played the Huastecs at El Tajin


It’s a heated rivalry


But our spirit reigned supreme


Now we’re ready for the challenge today


Going to play the ball game


We’re all ready for the ball game


I will look for you at courtside Encouragement is so nice


Hope to see you at the ball game today


I’ll look for you at the ball game today


Looking forward to the ball game today OK. So we’re back to the Conquest. At one time Long Road had twelve songs, but there


were too many holes in the story. And then the outline grew to sixty. I have actually


written 34, so there are still a lot of holes. That’s why I have included some chapters from




I keep hearing little voices in my head. They say, “I know this flakey character, this


Wayne. He has no musical ability whatsoever. He can’t sing, doesn’t play an instrument


of any kind, and there are too many words for these things to really be songs. He’s


delusional. He’s nuts. He really can’t even tap his fingers. He’s got to be full of kaka


poopoo.” Go ahead. Believe what you want. Stand outside our shower. Hell, I’ve even


put the chapters of Flipside to music! Flipside is actually an opera!


Yeah, right. Once again, many thanks to my lovely assistant. Putting these chapters into the computer


is time consuming, and it probably wouldn’t get done without Sam, my wife and partner


(not typist).


Have a good day.




Chapter 2


It felt good to stretch his limbs.


Even though his thoughts were as thick and cumbersome as the swirling gray fog that


surrounded him, he felt physically stronger. He knew his rest had been beneficial.


He breathed deep the crisp, pine scented air and then began to make his way slowly down


the steep, wooded slope. When he stepped from the forest into a golden brown meadow,


the stifling mist thinned and a spectacular panorama opened up before his eyes. It was a stunningly beautiful valley, fifty miles or more across at its widest point. The


North side was open, and veed away in a broad plain a mile or so below him, broken here


and there by a low, lonely mountain. The converging end of the vee consisted of tall,


rugged ranges. The highest peaks were snow covered. The one nearest him was actively


volcanic and spouted ominous spurts of smoke.


But the most compelling feature of the valley lay at the foot of the opposite range; a sky


blue lake that flashed and sparkled in the sunlight. Near one end was a large island that


was linked to the mainland by three long causeways. They reached out like spokes to the


North, South, and West.


Where in the blazes am I? He wondered. How did I get here?


As if in answer to his unspoken question came a strange, grating voice. “Welcome to the


Conquest! Before you is the Valley of Mexico, the island/city of Tenochtitlan, the jewel


of the New World!”


He turned quickly and to his surprise discovered an unusually large parrot eyeing him


from a perch. It was a strikingly beautiful bird, resplendent in its rich, green plume.


“My name is Mochni. Mochni the parrot. And yours?”


His name? What exactly WAS his name? Did he even have one? He could not think clearly. There


was a disconcerting gap in his continuity that he simply could not access. He could


remember nothing before his initial appearance on the mountainside!


“Never mind. It’s not important,” the bird consoled. “After all, what’s in a name? You


are you! Right?”


“I am a wanderer,” he replied hastily, wary of the birds patronizing manner.


“You are a man of wisdom!” Mochni corrected gleefully. “And you have arrived at the


most opportune moment! We are about to witness the fall of Tenochtitlan and the


beginning of a new epoch in the history of the world!”


The wanderer felt a tug of apprehension as he attempted to fit himself into the time




“Is that truly the Aztec capital in the valley below?” he asked weakly. Why could he


remember some history when he couldn’t remember his name? He was well versed in the


lore of the Aztecs. Could he have actually traveled into the past?


“The Conquest is taking place at this very moment,” the parrot wheezed. “You should


take advantage of your good fortune and project yourself over the city.” Noting the pitiful look of despair on the wanderers face, Mochni prodded him. “Go


ahead. I know you can do it. Walk the sky! I will be your guide. Give you history from a


bird’s eye point of view, so to speak. You can trust me.”


Stricken by those last words, the wanderer wavered. Could he truly trust the parrot?


Mochni’s eyes betrayed keen intelligence, but they also cast a sinister glint. And the


grating, mocking tone of voice had put him on edge from the very beginning. Still, he


couldn’t deny that he harbored a compelling desire to see Tenochtitlan up close.


The wanderer’s indecisiveness ceased to matter when he discovered that he had already


begun to walk the sky. Even though he was standing in the meadow, he was also flying


with the parrot. Even though he was a man, and not a bird, still he was soaring through


the air, gleefully riding the wind currents down the side of the mountain.


When they reached the valley floor and neared the shoreline of the lake, a giant clamor


caught his attention. The water surrounding the city was literally teeming with canoes.


There were thousands of them filled with warriors battling one another. From six or


seven larger, more cumbersome boats came the flash of fire and roar of cannon. A full