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[page 35] A Fellowship of the Thing a discordant note on the San Francisco seen and herd @heard@ "And whither then? I cannot say." Bilbo Baggins. I have spent a half decade following university directions. One directive concerned the reading of U.R.R. Tolkien's @J.R.R Tolkien's@ _The Hobbit_, so that I might better understand "a further application of Anglo-Saxon folklore in present day fantastical literary tracts." I have spent countless milleniums as a part (though not an especially integral one) of the San Francisco scene and heard. Here, Tolkien's _Ring_ Trilogy is worn about one's _mental_ finger, its meaning enshrined in the cathedra of the cerebrum. And THE RING means many things in the open I of the Beholder. ...for the moment, my eyes at rest...for they see much... as Humanoid _Recorder_, I share The Mighty Thor's Asgardian ken..."we are in the presence of _Ego_, the _Living Planet_..." Look ...I need only open my I's to reveal that which I am beholding...: California highways are Bilbo-boarded, Alerting pedestrians of the impending reign; The Black Riders' piercing sirens Pockmark the potentially verdant landscape; Gandalf, in league with Doctor Strange, Opens doors Aldous Huxley helped design; Beyond these portals, Galadriel holds up her mirror To the light of day which pales by comparison; The Citizens Council for the Improvement of Mordor Brandish placards which read, _Lothlorien, the biggest little city in the West_; J.R.R. Tolkien's majestic breed of _wight_ men [page 36] Battle the omnipresent powers of darkness That long to gain a stronghold in the South; Treebeard musters his uprooted forces: Macbeth, beholden to his bewitched advisers, Laughs off the threat of Birnam wood; A respected psychiatrist warns a mother of two About the psychological traumas that might ensue Were her offspring to read Tolkien's trilogy; Without her sanction, he offers The proverbial trinity's fantasy in its place; Charlie Parker's spook sits down to afternoon tea With the unbonded spectre of Lenny Bruce Richard Farina, who officiates the affair, Suggests a way to make the weak ends meet: JOURNEY TO THE INSIDE OF A PAINTING WITH MUSIC; A reasonable facsimile of Sam Gamgee Asks Goldberry to bob and wheel; _Big Brother and the Holding Company_ Strum in a chord dance-- I'll close my I's now...to protect them from the dark...not the light...Sauron Lives! Gandalf Lives! Halflings...where do you live...? --Michael Laton