Lizzard King
©2019, 2020 by Raymond Cannefax

Being addicted to music is considerably different than an addiction to heroin, opioids, sex or booze, but it’s still an addiction.  I am hopelessly addicted to music. 

Driving toward Hovenweep, my subconscious suggested The Doors – the group fronted by the late Jim Morrison; music I’ve not listened to in years. I consented, and The Doors provided my auditory entertainment and a distraction from that wonderful endless white lines I was rolling down; the lines on that black snake that slithers on forever.  Between Montezuma Creek and Hovenweep the speakers in my pickup generated enough sound to let me imagine being in the front row in any concert hall; loud, hard-pounding and stimulating. The biggest difference?  I was the only person at this concert.

In a song recorded at the Hollywood Bowl, Jim belts out, “I am the Lizard King, I can do anything.” Memory tells me that Morrison himself, as well as the media in the day, often referred to him as the Lizard King. The media picked up on Morrison's alter ego and DJ’s pumped the Lizard King persona to the masses. Radio had given a spiritual value to a singer whose lyrics filled the consciousness of those tuned to the airwaves that delivered the music of the Lizard King and his co-conspirators, The Doors.

Listening to the lyrics that comprise 'Celebration of the Lizard King' reminded me of working at understanding lyrics that Jim Morrison, aka Lizard King, delivered to the minds of my generation; minds altered at times, but working diligently on comprehending the message. I smiled as I continued rolling down the traffic-free two-lane back road. Hovenweep was close, but the signage poor. Maybe the signage was good, and my attention to the signage, poor. 

Hovenweep, off the beaten track, is a series of relatively well-preserved ruins of ancient Americans. Hovenweep's Villages were abandoned by an ancient civilization that once inhabited the area known as the Four Corners region..  Many of the buildings remain unrestored, yet remain.  Some buildings and perhaps villages still undiscovered. The Ancients built wonderful structures of natural stone on the rims of small canyons and inside such canyons of the Colorado Plateau. These unique depressions were created  by water seepage, eventually becoming canyons or grandiose depressions on the high and flat plateau. The plains of the Colorado Plateau  have no mountains, yet there exist canyons such as at Hovenweep.  Hovenweep is a Hopi word meaning "Deserted Valley"..  

It is known ancient beings inhabited this region. They left stuff behind; pottery, stone tools, bowls woven from grasses when they vanished. Written records are etched into rock walls. Beautifully decorated clay pots were abundant in and near the ruins. It is speculated that an advanced ancient civilization was present at Hovenweep for 300 to 800 years, circa 500 AD to 1,300 AD. No one has a clear answer to from where they came. There is speculation as to why they left and why their departure seemed so abrupt, and opinions of where they went. Truth is, no one knows.

There are mysteries associated with the Ancients. Some speculate they became the Hopi, Utes, Pueblo, and possibly other Native American tribes. Still, why the abrupt abandonment of the solid, sound and wonderful stone structures they build, and their personal belongings. Archaeologists claim human inhabitants in this area existed up to 10,000 years ago, but archaeologist can only speculate on remains they fine, and none have answers regarding  Hovenweep's inhabitants abrupt departure. There is speculation, but no one knows. 

There are mysteries tied to this region. For me, personally, there is an eerie sense of something in the air other than oxygen, butterflies and birds. It is as though a spiritual mantel cloaks the region. Though not a very spiritual person, I seem to enter a state of greater awareness, relaxation and calm, accompanied by increased inquisitiveness and focus when at Hovenweep, as well as several other sites of the Ancients. Perhaps the Ancients vaporized into spiritual beings that remain, watching over their former villages. No one knows. 

The National Park Services' Hovenweep website states: Hovenweep units are isolated, and GPS unit readings may lead you astray. Why would GPS at Hovenweep not work as it does in other parts of the world, in other parts of the Colorado Plateau?  No one knows.

Upon arriving at Hovenweep, I chatted briefly with a ranger to get his weather projections, learn of new finds, etc., small talk.  Then I did something I do not do, ever. Rather than my claiming a spot in the campground ritual, I left my truck in the visitor center parking lot, grabbed my camera, a bottle of water and headed immediately for the near-by ruins. The thought of securing a camping place didn't enter my mind until I was a considerable distance down the trail, almost to the Twin Towers ruin.  it’s not busy, I thought as I hiked; the risk of not getting a camping place is low.

Hovenweep trails are well marked and small wildlife abounds. The ranger warned of rattlesnakes. Lizards seemed excessively prevalent, but as soon as they saw or heard me coming, they scampered into the brush or under rocks or down into the canyon. Most were small to medium, but I did see a couple of big guys with multi-colored bodies, yellowish heads obvious as their bodies faded to green, ending in brown tails. The big guys usually sized up the situation before blasting into brush, giving me a chance to get a momentary glance at their beauty. Lizards scurrying everywhere.

Overhead, thousands of feet above the trail on which I hiked, huge vultures soared on the updrafts looking for dead or dying creatures to feast upon.  

After finishing my hike around the ruins without violating the 'don't go off-trail rule', I managed to get a few acceptable photos, There was a sense that the Universe was in order. No reason why things should be out of order. But the prevalent afternoon winds accompanied by puffy, white, cotton-ball clouds had not made their appearance yet and the afternoon was waning; that did seem odd, out of order.  

As during earlier visits, what these early ancient inhabitants created continues to amaze me.  Almost unbelievable what the Ancients, built so many centuries ago without machinery or knowledge of metallurgy to fashion metal tools. It was all done by hand.  True craftsmen. Stone by stone selected and moved to the site of each building, then shaped, with wood and rock, to fit atop or beside the stones already in place and cemented in place as they continued the construction of the wall. One stone after another, and another, and another until the wall was completed. One of the many interesting element of the Hovenweep structures is that most are double-wall buildings; twice the work necessary for the buildings they inhabited. It is now common knowledge that an air pocket between an outside wall and an inside wall provides insulation, preventing heat of the outside stones radiating into the interior of a structure. Today we  use fiberglass insulation to achieve what the Ancients achieved by building that second wall. How did they know about the insulating qualities of dead space between outside and inside walls? Though their tools were rudimentary, their knowledge of structures seems considerably advanced. Where did they gain that knowledge? Another unanswered question. No one knows.

Granted, in Europe during that period of history, civilization and technology had advance to where great cathedrals and castles were built.  European civilizations had metallurgy and machinery to facilitate the construction of massive structures. Romans built lengthy stone aqueducts in Spain, England and Italy, bridging canyons over one-hundred feet high, with massive archways to support the canals that allow water to flow from inland cisterns, miles away, to town, but;Titus and Hadrian were part of their teams. Today, two- to three-thousand years later, many of these aqueducts still stand and we marvel at their beauty and continued functionality. 

In Europe water was plentiful. In the south-west deserts of north America, water was a precious resource because it was then, and continues to remains a scarce and precious commodity. South-west Utah is a arid desert.  it is believed to have been as arid when the Ancients were present as it is today.

Aside the size of the structures, some up to four stories high and the placement of stones in the buildings the Ancients constructed at Hovenweep, their construction of these structures was nearly as precise as what was being constructed in Europe – tight joints, curved walls, door and window openings with massive wood or stone lintels. There are similarities, but the rudimentary fashion of the structures of the Ancients sets their buildings apart from the architecturally refined European buildings of that time. 

Concrete was commonly used in Europe during that period. In America, the floors were dirt or stone and the paths linking the structures were stone. The most likely reason for concrete in Europe was the abundance of water available to European builders. Concrete requires considerable amounts of water. The lack of water in the desert regions of north America didn’t allow concrete, even if  knowledge of concrete existed. The Ancients did make mortar. There appears to have been sufficient water to make the mortar which the Ancients employed in the construction of the numerous structures that comprise Hovenweep. In this desert region of the Ancients, water was one of the most valuable commodities and to this date, remains such.  The Ancients and other tribes gather around sources of drinkable water seeping out of the canyon walls, like the springs at Hovenweep..

As I mentally reviewed and analyzed the ruins I’d studies and photographed that afternoon, thoughts of what the Ancients endured to create this place roamed through my head.  Summer temperatures generally exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Surface water evaporates quickly.  There are periods in winter where the temperatures are below freezing.

I had managed to get photos with the soft light provided by the afternoon sun.  In the morning I would  utilize morning light to photograph the other side of what I’d photographed that afternoon.  No snakes; just birds feeding on insects, bees gathering pollen, and lizards; lizards everywhere.  Since vultures did not descent, no dead or dying creatures nearby.

Thanks to the cooling winds that finally materialized, the evening was pleasant. Without electrical power at my camp site, I used the electric plugs in the community restroom to charge my phone and camera batteries. 

Because of my addiction, the music continued, but moved from The Doors to the soothing and more calming tunes of Crosby, Stills & Nash – Neil Young may have been with them on the cuts I listened to.  With my addiction, the music rarely stops.  

During the early evening my thoughts remained entrenched in how these ancient desert canyon dwellers were capable of the precision reflected by the ruins that remain. To divert my focus and calm the mind I pulled out Edward Abbey’s book about his experiences in this part of America some fifty years ago, Desert Solitaire. The sky slowly turned from the afternoon’s pale blue to a deep purple as the day wound down.  The summer solstice had taken place two days earlier and the waning moon rose brightly over the mountains to the east, The light show put on by the stars is beyond explanation. No need for acid down here.   

The light show  put on by the billions of stars in the sky was more soothing and mind expanding than any man-made substance could deliver; sparkling, most white, some bright amber, one a shade of red, and others with a bluish hue to them, most, billions of light years from my little spot on planet Earth. The more time passed, the more stars joined the light show in the skies above. They danced about, avoided being hit by a shooting star, passed in front of, or behind one another and helped activate my serotonin. Falling asleep early is not unusual when camping but the entertainment provided by the heavens prolonged my slipping into slumber. Considering the light show above me, I decided to sleep in the bed of my pickup truck, rather than in my tent, allowing the dancing stars in the skies lull me to sleep.

When you fall asleep early, you wake early. Before dawn, with Venus to the south-west and a few other stars still visible, I prepared for the day. The songs of the birds, swallows and wrens, and an occasional blackbird screech; no vultures visible yet.  As the azure sky gradually gained a lighter hue of blue, it stole the remaining stars and the dark of night.

My phone was recharged. The Hovenweep's visitor center offered very limited cellular service.  It wasn't phone service that mattered. What mattered was the fact that my phone is my music source. With earbuds in, I assembled my stuff for the hike to capture the buildings bathed by the early morning light. 

Is everyone in? Is everybody in? Is everybody in? The ceremony is about to begin….”, Morrison’s soft cry as he began singing Backdoor Man which flows directly into Five to One – “five to one, one to five, nobody here gets out alive…”. There was something unique, perhaps mysterious, of how the Lizard King put lyrics together and mesmerized his followers. I can’t describe what it was that Morrison did to pull us in.  I don't believe anyone can. He may have simply given so many of us a reason to escape the norm of that time.  Many speculate.  No one knows.  

Daylight, a gulp of OJ to get my vitamins down. Half a precooked cold Bratwurst for breakfast. Two bottles of water for what would be a longer tour of the ruins than the previous day.  I was timing my trek to assure I would have the light as close to perfect as possible when I reached the square tower ruin in thirty to forty minutes. I was ready to attack the ruins once again. Instead of weapons of destruction, I'd attack with camera and lenses to capture that millisecond of light required to transport the image to the camera’s memory card.  Like warriors of old captured enemies, photographers capture light and imprison it in devices with digital memory.

It wasn't many years ago that light sensitive chemicals on celluloid film captured the light which  would then be developed and transformed into photos. Today, light is captured and held within a flat plastic electronic memory device that, when plugged into a computer, transfers the digital data, and like magic, the photos appear on a monitor. The silver oxide on celluloid film and photo printing paper continues to remain superior in quality to electronic printed images, particularly for black and white photos, but that is no longer the norm and dark rooms are difficult to find.

For the first times in years, instead of the small backpack  I usually use to carry my camera, I decide to use only my camera strap on this hike. A small water bottle carrier that straps around my waist caused water rationing; it only accommodates one bottle. Because I intentionally intended to stray off the path on which visitors are asked to stay, I wore my hiking boots instead of Nike's. The campground trail merges with the Ruins Trail that leads to numerous structures built around the perimeter of the canyon.  The canyon head is where the water originates and is the most westerly part of this gash in the vast plateau that spreads endlessly in all directions from Hovenweep, covered in sagebrush, cactus of different varieties and other vegetation common to the arid desert region. Memory from prior visits remind me of where to break the rules and descend into the canyon from the shallower east end. The small springs at the head of the canyon which attracted the Ancients continues to seep. The springs continue to be the force of nature that carved this canyon out of the Colorado Plateau; for hundreds of centuries their water slowly eroded the plateau’s surface.

Lizards run rampant in the desert's cool mornings, eating insects that vanish when the sun's heat raises the ground temperature over 80 degrees. The higher the sun, the hotter the ground and ambient temperatures, hence morning activity. Without forest of mountains to provide shade, Hovenweep was, most likely, hot back during their presence in this part of the south-west. This brings to question, what were the Ancients doing in such an intolerable place? Was it as harsh then as this desert it is now? What or who brought them to this part of the world? What caused the abandonment of their prior communities, to inhabit and survive in what today is such an inhospitable environment? What were the reasons why they build the beautiful and massive structures, many of which continue to stand after the many centuries that have passed since the Ancients vanished? No one knows. 

What we do know is that the abandonment of Hovenweep took place circa 1,200 to 1,300 AD. Archaeologists declare settlements were established around 700 AD, but they are also aware that ancient man was present in the area as long as 1,000 BC.  Speculation is that a massive drought hit and crop cultivation, farming, was eliminated.  Of interest is that several hundred miles to the north, in Nine Mile Canyon, the ancient inhabitants of that area also abandoned their homes during the same period of time 1,200 to 1,300 AD.  The big difference is that Nine Mile Canyon is fed by a constant water source that has never been known to stop flowing and the fields they farmed then are still farmed today, today's water source being the same as it was during the time the Ancients vanished, Nine Mile Creek.  Why did they leave? No one knows.  

As I walked along the trail, lizards scampered in all directions. I watch for rattlesnakes, but after all my time in the desert, I have only ever encountered one: In New Mexico's Organ Mountains, a startled rattler struck the foot peg of my dirt-bike on a remote trail. Snakes feel the vibrations of our steps long before we near them. Ninety-nine percent of the time they slither off long before we get to them. 

The trail I am on falls and rises through slight depressions of this almost completely flat landscape. About a quarter mile I arrive at a three-foot rise with a large boulder to my left.Laying upon the boulder, near the top of that boulder was a beautiful lizard, prone and relaxed, colorful yellowish head with its colors darkening toward the tip of its tail. Rather than scamper off, it watches me approach. I’d wanted to photograph one of these lizards since I’d begun my trip. There it sat, posing, providing me an exceptional opportunity to take its picture. Why it didn't scamper off? No one, except perhaps the lizard, knows.    

I grasped my camera, removed the lens cap, focused on the lizard and pushed the shutter release button. Nothing happened. Not the usual shutter click. I pushed it again. Nothing. Once more.  Nothing.  Through the viewfinder I continue to see the lizard. I checked to see if the camera is turned on. Affirmative. Because there was no shutter opening to capture the light that would become photos, my next thought was that perhaps I’d inserted the fully-recharged battery incorrectly. Opening the lid to the battery compartment, I was astonished to discover that there was no battery. Damn it, I’d forgotten to put the battery into the camera after charging i; something I'd never, ever done. I’d left it either the picnic table or on the seat of my truck.  Because time was of the essence to capture the morning light, I was angry with myself. Though my phone takes pictures, iPhone photo quality is undesirable for a photo of such a beautiful creature, and definitely unimaginable to be used to photograph the ruins. 

Shit,” was the only utterance I was capable of. I’d wanted the photo of that lizard, the only one that had given me the opportunity to take it's picture and I couldn’t take it.  I began the trek back to the campground to find the battery in order to accomplish my original objective of photographing the ruins in the early morning light. I was losing time. That meant I was losing the lighting I felt necessary for my  morning photos.  There would come another time when I'd have a lizard prepared to pose for me.

Backtracking to the campground, I realized that if it hadn't been for that lizard, I’d have hiked another mile-and-a-half to the first ruin before realizing I didn't have a battery in my camera. I regretted not being able to photograph the lizard.  Rather than  angry I was thankful for the encounter with the lizard.  That gorgeous little guy saved me from an extensive hike before being able to take the first photo of the ruins. Four-and-a-half miles equates to a little more than an hour, at a brisk pace.  The morning light necessary for my photos would have passed because the sun would be more than an hour or more higher in the sky.

Reaching camp, I spotted the battery on the picnic table.  The colors of of the two were similar. Justification for such an idiotic and careless mistake was not acceptable.  I had screwed up and was thankful for that wonderful lizard basking in the morning sun's rays, on top of that boulder.

Trailer people were up, and the smell fresh coffee permeated the campground air.  I fought the urge to knock on a trailer door and explain my plight of the visitor center not having coffee for visitors. Time was the pressing matter that had me skip my morning cup.

Battery in place and assuring all was in order with a test photo, I returned to the trail. The probability of that lizard still on that boulder was next to impossible, I thought, as I watched lizards scampering off.  Knowing that a lizard helped me avoid a four-and-one-half mile hike, and losing the soft morning light was sufficient consolation to put a smile on my face.  I took a moment to switched the music to the mellower and cowboy themed Sagebrush Symphony CD recorded by Michael Murphy; more appropriate for the desert environment.

Approaching the dip in the trail where I'd encountered that lizard on the boulder, I initially thought my vision was playing tricks on me. The lizard had remained precisely where it was when I walked back to camp, sitting  exactly where it was when I returned to camp to retrieve my battery.  Because I knew it would scamper as soon as I neared it, I left the camera strap on my shoulder, knowing the earlier photo-op was gone. The lizard didn’t move. It continued to look at me with its large dark eyes, perhaps studying me as I studied it. Maybe? I got the camera ready; turned it on’, removed the lens cap, raised it to my eye and prepared to begin photographing the little guy on the big rock. 

 “Stay put, okay? I just want a couple of shots,” I pleaded softly of the lizard whose eyes remained focused on me. The lizard didn’t move. Softly I continued talking to it as I got closer and closer, and it stayed put. With the lizard a desired image in my viewfinder, I focused and took the first photo. We maintained our focus on each other, it moved a little, but stayed put. I moved closer and took more photos from different angles. To my amazement, the lizard stayed on the boulder, moving slightly on occasion, as if posing for me. I squeezed off nine or sixteen shots, and it stayed on top of the boulder, watching me.

Thank you,” I said as I stepped back, replaced the lens cap and gazed at the lizard which had raised its head off the rock, still staring at me. Had it been a big lizard, like an iguana or a Gila Monster, I think I might have worried about being attacked. “Thanks, man,” I said again, softly. “That was so nice of you.”  Being alone in the desert for days at a time, sometimes brings out odd behavior, like talking to lizards.  I don't think I'll worry about that unless they start talking back.

Aside from providing me the photo opportunity that had escaped me throughout this trip, that lizard saved me from hiking all the way to the first ruin, by causing me to realize I’d forgotten the camera's battery early into that hike. Aside from helping me out, it also seemed to sense my desire to photograph it and waited for my return. Perhaps this lizard was as anxious to be photographed as I was to photograph it – symbiotic. I acknowledged I was done and verbally extended my thanks several times.  With my last offering of thanks, the lizard bobbed its head up and down, did a few four legged push-ups, and slowly moved toward the edge of the rock, stopping once more before dropping off into the bushes, and turned its head toward me as if to say good-by.  As our eyes locked, there appeared a clear connection. Then it ambled off, into the brush. I stood there momentarily in amazement of what had transpired.      

There is a lot to process in respect to what transpired  between me and that lizard. Continuing my hike to the ruins I gave considerable thought to what taken place. My thoughts returned to the music I’d listened to while driving to Hovenweep the day before – The Doors.   

Crazy as it may sound, maybe there is something beyond our comprehension tied to the spiritual side of our existence in the Universe? Could it be remotely possible that the spirit of a long-gone individual, Jim Morrison, could exists in the ethereal realm and perhaps be with the Ancients, here at Hovenweep?  Jim was known to have enjoyed considerable time with Native Americans.  Jim believed a dying Pueblo Indian's soul slid into his soul when he was four years old.  Is it possible that the spirits of these Ancients, who no one knows when or why they vanished, and other spirits are still with us, at Hovenweep and other places such as this, once inhabited by earlier civilizations?   No one knows. 

As I initially sensed, upon reaching Hovenweep, there seemed to be something special, something unique, something beyond my comprehension in the air in this place where GPS goes wacky.  There seemed to be something beyond or greater than known to the scientists and archaeologists associate with this wonderful and mysterious place left for us to study and try to understand; something other worldly. Why such a mystery?  No one knows.

Later that day as I drove toward Hatch Trading Post on a barely paved road, the words of Jim Morrison continue to ring in my head and I pulled him back up on my sound system. Listening to the lyrics I gave consideration to the spiritual component I’ve never bothered to explore: “Is everybody in? The ceremony is about to begin. I am the Lizard King. I can do anything.” 

Throughout his life, Morrison stated his belief that the spirit of a dying Pueblo had slipped into his soul when his family stopped at an horrific traffic accident inside Arizona's Pueblo reservation.  Jim was only four years old at that time.  Could such a thing happen?  No one knows. 

 Do spirits of those passing from this world to the next world occasionally enter the souls of those still in this world to guide them?  No one knows. 

Clearly the lizard incident provoked considerable thought and imagining things that may or may not be real. Is it possible, as insane as it may sound, that I could have encountered the spirit of Jim Morrison, the Lizard King, among the ruins and spirits of the Ancients?  What reasons could there be for the lizard helping me recognize I'd forgotten my battery, and then waiting for me to photograph it, as though it knew that it was all part of my day's mission?  What prompted me to dial up The Doors outside of Montezuma Creek? I hadn't listened to The Doors in ages.  What could be responsible for all these things?  No one knows

I was in the high-plains desert of a West where much wild still remains and ancient mystery exists. Why not Willy or Emmilou or John Prine or Pink Floyd?  Why not  music I enjoy regularly, music by Cohen, CSN, Young, Dylan? Why The Doors? Perhaps the best answer to these questions and the questions I’ve not stumbled upon yet is quite simple: No one knows.

I am addicted to music. That I do know.

#####


Post Script: 

In my research for this essay I learned material about Jim Morrison I’d not learned or heard of in the past.  I also know that the correct spelling of Lizzard is with one 'z'.  

At the age of four,  in the family car outside of Albuquerque, Jim's father stopped at an horrific automobile accident involving a truck that had been occupied by nine Pueblo Indians. His father arranged for another passing car to send help and, along with Jim, remained on the scene until help arrived. Some of the Pueblo in the accident were alive, some were dead, and others were dying. Morrison’s mother is claimed to have said that Jim screamed, "I want to help, I want to help! They're dying, they're dying!

While his mother held Jim in her arms, his father told him that it was a dream, and what he was seeing really had not happen. Morrison later described the event as "the most important moment of my life." He believed the, and continued to firmly believe that as his father's car pulled away, an Indian died and that Indian’s soul passed into Jim's body. Could it be possible that the soul in the Pueblo who died had been previously occupied by a soul of an Ancient? No one knows.

It is interesting to read the lyrics to Celebration of the Lizard King. The songs seem filled with numerous messages about things other than what we normally encounter in life.

Jim was known to have spent considerable time with Indians, with native Americans, Pueblo and Navajo, who reside in, or near southern California.  He was also known to have spent considerable time in the Joshua Tree National Forest,.

In one of The Doors albums, “Waiting for the Sun”, Jim had wanted “Celebration of the Lizard” to take up most of the second side. Valuable studio time was spent on doing that on the initial recording of side two. While the lyrics were printed on the inner sleeve, very little of the initial studio recording of side two made it to the album.

 “Celebration of the Lizard” is where the well-known Jim Morrison quote “I am the lizard king, I can do anything” comes from.  Below are the lyrics to that series of songs: 

                                                                                                                     Celebration of the Lizard King.

Lions in the street roaming
Dogs in heart rabid, foaming
A beast caged in the heart of a city
The body of his mother
Rotting in the summer ground
He fled town
He went down South and crossed the border
Left chaos and disorder
Back there over his shoulder.

One morning he awoke in a green hotel
With a strange creature groaning beside him
Sweat oozed from its shining skin
Is everybody in?
The ceremony is about to begin

Wake up!
You can't remember where it was
Had this dream stopped?

The snake was pale gold
Glazed and shrunken
We were afraid to touch it
The sheets were hot dead prisons
And she was beside me
Old, she's now, young
Her dark red hair
The white soft skin

Now, run to the mirror in the bathroom
Look!
She’s coming in here
I can't live through each slow century of her moving
I let my cheek slide down
Oh the cool smooth tile
Feel the good cold stinging blood
The smooth hissing snakes of rain

Once I had, a little game
I liked to crawl, back in my brain
I think you know, the game I mean
I mean the game, called 'go insane'

No, you should try, this little game
Just close your eyes, forget your name
Forget the world, forget the people
And we'll erect, a different steeple

This little game, is fun to do
Just close your eyes, no way to lose
And I'm right here, I'm going too
Release control, we're breaking through

Way back deep into the brain
Way back past the realm of pain
Back where there’s never any rain
And the rain falls gently on the town
And over the heads of all of us
And in the labyrinth of streams beneath
the quiet unearthly presence of
nervous hill dwellers, in the gentle hills around
Reptiles abounding
Fossils, caves, cool air heights

Each house repeats a mold
Windows rolled
A beast car locked in against morning
All now sleeping
Rugs silent, mirrors vacant
Dust flying under the beds of lawful couples
Wound in sheets
And daughters,
smug with semen eyes in their nipples

Wait - There's been a slaughter here

(Don't stop to speak or look around
Your gloves and fan are on the ground
We're getting out of town
We're going on the run
And you're the one I want to come.

Not to touch the earth
Not to see the sun
Nothing left to do, but
Run, run, run
Let's run
Let’s run

House upon the hill
Moon is lying still
Shadows of the trees
Witnessing the wild breeze
C'mon baby run with me
Let's run

Run with me
Run with me
Run with me
Let's run

The mansion is warm, at the top of the hill
Rich are the rooms and the comforts there
Red are the arms of luxuriant chairs
And you won't know a thing till you get inside

Dead president’s corpse in the driver’s car 
The engine runs on glue and tar
C'mon along, we're not going very far
To the East to meet the Czar

Run with me
Run with me
Run with me
Let's run

Some outlaws lived by the side of the lake
The minister's daughter's in love with the snake
Who lives in a well by the side of the road
Wake up, girl! We're almost home

We should see the gates by mornin'
We should be inside by evening

Sun sun sun
Burn burn burn
MOON, MOON, MOON
I will get you
Soon soon soon
I am the Lizard King.
I can do anything.

We came down
The rivers and highways
We came down from
Forests and falls

We came down from
Carson and Springfield
We came down from
Phoenix enthralled
And I can tell you
The names of the Kingdom
I can tell you
The things that you know
Listening for a fistful of silence
Climbing valleys into the shade

For seven years, I dwelt
In the loose palace of exile
Playing strange games with the girls of the island
Now, I have come again
To the land of the fair, and the strong, and the wise
Brothers and sisters of the pale forest
Children of night
Who among you will run with the hunt?
Now night arrives with her purple legion
Retire now to your tents and to your dreams
Tomorrow we enter the town of my birth
I want to be ready.’