A Climber’s Farewell

27 June 2005

Satellites really knock me out,
the way they join the dots,
the way a carpet-trader deep

in the Soud calls his uncle Faisal
at the Moore Park Supa Centa,
the way a called-up beleaguered

Little League coach calls in an air-strike
from the carriers, louche and polished
in the Gulf. And at the end of every call,

what I'm left with is a belief
in the possibilities of language
to truthfully and energetically

communicate experience, thought and feeling,
co-ordinates and intensity,
quality and quantity, fully landed cost

and now my final cheerios to dad and mum ?±
from this lofty New Zealand mountaintop
where I lie broken-legged, hypothermic and elated.

Night is falling and I'm stiffening here
in my alpine-rated bag and I'll call everyone
I know till my batteries run low, till the satellite

Says goodnight.

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