Pinax of Persephone opening the "Liknon Mystikon". Found in the
holy shrine of Persephone at Locri via wikimedia commons

Peter Dale Scott
a selection from his new book of poems Walking on Darkness
Another Road

A troubled dream
that the road we are traveling
is temporarily blocked 

because – they are saying –
of the bad traffic up ahead
and it is true        we can see 

the traffic equally stalled
in front as well as behind the barrier
but look! to the left 

of the familiar highway
through the French-speaking village
past the church with its battle-scarred façade 

a garden forest
with another road – clean black asphalt – through it
no cars at all 

Would I dare take it      I wonder
having no clear idea
where the new route will take us 

What if we had to leave our car
amid other cars all like it
heavy with so much needless baggage 

though the beginning looks like a park
might there not be rattlesnakes
perhaps even grizzlies? 

and what about the risk
that there is no road there at all
only an illusion 

of the type that appears in deserts
despite the abundant testimony
of so many poets who have seen it

            *  *  *                     

Kung and Eleusis
Tao and Aristotle
my father after his life 

of constitutional law
attacked by a tyger
at the foot of his bed 

and after years of sleeping out
from Wales to Styria
a treaty conference in the Vienna Hofburg 

to consolidate a diplomatic fabric
that now for a half century
has seemed to be falling apart 

to Jerry Rubin and myself
at the Vietnam Day Committee
I arguing that the truth 

would persuade Congress
to end this crazy war
while Rubin made the case 

for rock bands and psychedelics
to reach a mass audience
the year our faculty journal 

to speak truth to power
was engulfed by the Berkeley Barb
financed by porn ads 

with its photos of naked women
and now I see clearly
that Jerry was right 

and I was probably wrong


            *  *  *


And now Chris Hedges
censured by the New York Times
for having warned against the folly 

of the Iraq War[1]
who once believed
The fantasy of popular revolts

breaking the hegemony of the corporate state
is just that, a fantasy.
then unlike myself 

made the spiritual decision
quoting Tillich
Institutions are always 

inherently demonic,
including the Church.
to camp out in Zuccotti Park 

even though as you admitted
numerous street people
with mental impairment and addictions

tore apart the community
as you must have predicted
No matter! You saw this 

as the trajectory of all movements
a kind of dress rehearsal.
even though you saw nothing 

that indicates we're preparing
to make that change..[2]


[1] Chris Hedges, “A Father's Gift,” The Dallas Morning News, June 17, 2006.

[2] Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company, Interview with Chris Hedges, July 24, 2012

from Peter Dale Scott's forthcoming book Walking on Darkness:
     Peter Dale Scott
Walking on Darkness

Sheep Meadow Press
Publication date: September 6, 2016
$16.95 Paperback
ISBN: 9781937679644