POEM - That day in Torres Del Paine

The molasses quiet of the highlands pressing

Heavy against my ears. Priorities redressing.

While an early searing sun smarts my eyes

I savour my mud, and my body sighs.

My meadow bed is velvet warm

And before long, invigorated, I swarm.

I see the snap and crack of fire bright,

A beacon to mingle, to have a bite.

The Gothic divinity of the condors span

Darkens the sky, death, her master plan.

At this time, we make our speech

And to our guides we do preach,

‘My friends, today can we climb

A snow-capped monster, in Torres Del Paine.

We must stay spritely and brave,

Lest the mount become our grave.

If rain should fall and cloud come in

Pull together and we will win.’

And so it was, the beauty of the beast

Today would be our thrilling feast.

Leaving our camp, trooping up scree,

We’re halted by a striking plea,

Puffed and teetering on skeletal twig

The Great Horned Owl dances her jig.

I could not move or turn my eye,

Until she swoops and passes by.

I am so infinitely small, this boundlessness

Unfathomable essence, never shows discountenance

The wild is where true awe is found

Where romance, joy and love abound.

Although the sun shines with all its glory,

The west wind blows a different story.

Before I step three more paces

The rain was spitting in our faces.

As I look towards the heavens

I see clouds, at sixes and at sevens.

Nirvana darkens, the world is churning,

Top to bottom, my plan is turning.

But the peak remains our goal,

So on I go, trepidation filling my soul.

Atop ravine, we teeter above a fearful fall

On cold wet stones steep and tall.

Now Nature commits a heinous crime,

Ice does plummet, we lose all time.

No way down now, the clouds have closed

And my friend slips a step, down she goes,

I watch her slide, time does stop.

We follow after, as her back hits rock.

By her side, fearing the worst

Our joyous bubble entirely burst.


A brave face greets us there

As life’s fragility is laid bare

But no harm has our team beset

Luck is with us, and so is threat!

‘Are we destined for this grave?

Or could we manage all to save?’

Now we shake and hug each other,

The cold and fear, a life will smother,

Those silent ones with whom to fret;

Them, the deathly creeping chill could get.

Now the snow is settling in,

Blood is freezing in the limb.

So choc and oats we do eat

Death is someone not to meet.

My desperate urge is to cry

But from that, I must shy.

From deep down I muster strength.

We rally and fight. And at length

Our team does reach the forests edge,

A collective step taken from the ledge.


Although our hardship is not done,

The peaks torment is on the run.

The flame inside burns once again,

That spirit does not succumb to pain.

A frigid joy it does bring,

On reaching path we do sing,

And as we warm beside our fire

From laughing we will never tire.

But no one breaths, not one breath

About our recent brush with death.