and you took a pride in / never being the kind of passer-through / who carves their name on anything
Think of me as a long level
liquid ear gliding slowly by.
I heard the world’s words,
the pleas of peoples born
where my ships once sailed,
Blue-eyed, white-souled; blameless in word and deed! —
How fortunate a thing it is to leave
This life in such a way that none may grieve,
How hard it is to think upon this shoal
Of Inanition that the world’s ablaze.
Base Camp. Horizontal sleet. Two small boys
have raised the steel flag of the 20 terminus:
me and Ross Mudie are going up the Hilltown
for the first time ever on our own.
Thou’s welcome, Wean! Mishanter fa’ me,
If thoughts o’ thee, or yet thy Mamie.
Built like a gorilla but less timid,
thick-fleshed, steak-coloured, with two
hieroglyphs in his face that mean
This morning I watched from here
a helicopter skirting like a damaged insect
the Empire State Building,
Who wakes every morning
/ in a brilliant mood as auburn bursts
/ cast filigree nets over foreheads
/ and swingparks and paint themselves
/ on pavements.
Here’s freedom to them that wad read,
Here’s freedom to them that wad write!
There’s nane ever fear’d that the truth should be heard,
But they whom the truth would indite.