A Poem by Peter Dale Scott

To Maylie

Climbing to 37,000 feet
above yosemite
and the ABC Sportsflight

shows the first free climb
of the Lost Arrow Spire
directly beneath me

so steep above the window
of the Ahwahnee Restaurant
we had to twist our necks
of the watery canyon
not as high as mine
the eggs and sausage arriving

above the thunderclouds
as the lead climber falls
the length of his belay

enough to bite his tongue
blood over his hand
and I as suddenly

am close to a cold sweat
once on Mont Saint Hilaire
above the white wood crosses

fully extended on a similar
rockface I had to drop
hoping to catch the ledge

saved by a chance handhold
for a sedate career And yet
my trip to the Archives

to finish this manuscript book
about Mengele and the US
in Latin America

years after the cold ,
breakfast in the drizzle
with the Canadian film-maker

outside the gates at Auschwitz
is in its way a first
crack at an unsealed pitch

no summit visible
learning to climb free
You must be half way

To Tassajara
our daughter sleeping
on the madrone hillside

above Suzuki Roshi’s grave
as I add you to this margin
of my manuscript notebook

he reaches the flat top
and spreads his arms
laughing in my headset

from needless relief
in this country
we make our own risks

even beside this window
I am in my quiet way
engaged with power

my phone line tapped again
as during Vietnam
the stewardess laughing
as she pours me coffee
from the tapestry blue
mountains of Guatemala
and Sandoval’s death squads
trained by ex-Nazis
where in my last chapter
we murder the Indians
whose embroidered serapes
are older than Columbus

high high above
a storm in the Wasatch
I remember the driving

rain and hail across
the top of the Pyrenees
where the map had promised shelter

but the hostel as we struggled
wearily towards it
had been totally bombed out

from what I learned by chance
searching Catalan journals
more than fifteen years later

for Romanesque art and verse
was a raid on the refugees
fleeing into France

in the last air attack
of the Spanish Civil War
in innocence mindful

only of life's weather
not the buried corpses
my idle left hand

switches the announcer
into leaping strings

the friendly schmaltz
composed here in Iowa
of Dvorak's imagined

New World

O'Reilly, Colbert to trade

O'Reilly, Colbert to trade appearances tonight
“it is possible to fool all the people all the time—when government and press cooperate.” George Seldes - "legendary investigative reporter"