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Ripped Van Winkle

Ripped Van Winkle strolling through the hills 
Known for herb the local pub distills 
Decided he would just step in and hoist a glass 
With some conscious members of the peasant class

The barkeep was Peter Van Dam
Recently returned from Vietnam
With seven special seeds in his garrison cap
From plants growin on a ridge that was not on any map

The conversation turned to war and peace
“Who made us the world’s police?”
That was the two of them’s one-and-only line
And then they exchanged that old two-fingered sign

And by the time he made it out the door
The stars were overhead he wasn’t sure
Where the trail would lead down to that scolding wife 
Whom he’d see no more of in this life

Ripped Van Winkle lay down for a rest
In his Hudson’s Bay down-filled vest
Pine needles soft underneath his bones 
Grolsch-Book-of-World-Records-level stoned

This happened the last night of sixty nine
He was reported missing at the time
The wife died, the kids grew up and had
kids of their own who’d never known old granddad

Ripped Van Winkle felt the morning sun
Got up, stretched and thought of what he’d done 
The night before or was it just a dream 
Involving some Catskills bowling team?

The cleared trail was nowhere to be found
He pegged it on that potion he had downed 
Cannabis some alchemist most gifted had boiled 
a super concentrate as thick as oil

The underbrush was wet and twice he slipped 
And though he didn’t feel all that ripped
Van Winkle thought, man, something was amiss
My beard was never long as this

Down he hiked, feeling kind of stiff 
A man who did not fear the fiscal cliff 
A man whose very concept of today 
Was four point two decades away

The woods let him out on Stillman Lane
The scent of ozone hit him then the rain
A vehicle came round the bend and stopped
A man with short hair said where you headin’ pop?

The vehicle looked science-fiction new 
(A Ford Bronco built in eighty-two) 
Oldies station playin’ Jackson Brown 
Ripped said north of Tarrytown

The man said something ‘bout the Knicks 
Ripped was too awed to try and mix
He soon tumbled out with a grateful nod 
To see what had been wrought By God

That war in Vietnam created fog
And Ripped might just be a shaggy dog
But I’m gonna go straight now, right to the point 
While you, my friend, fire up another joint

Ripped Van Winkle is my self-mistake
Who tried to give reality a break
And stuck in the ‘60s just like they say
keeps seein’ everything from waaay far away

When anti-war soldiers gave them doubt
When money wasn’t all it’s all about
When retrograde messages almost prevailed 
Before they had two point two million of us jailed

And divided in a thousand separate groups 
Jumping through a thousand separate hoops 
Funded by enlightened billionaires 
Executive-directed by five-cornered squares

No, you don’t have to be Ripped to see
no threat to inequality
We can go ahead and legalize the herb
if the rich/poor system we do not disturb

No, you don’t have to be ripped to see 
the sacred as commodity.

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