Posted in Death


For three days the weather refused to co-operate
veiling the mountain in grey density
it could have been sympathy
or spite
terrain had gone one up
in their competition for intruders.
The helicopter took a rain check
returning to its city home
waiting to be called from the bench
back to the arena and starring role.

We knew it was a woman
referred to as “she” or “her”
the others in the party
interviewed by visiting policemen – the town too small to have its own.
Did they remain in the village on vigil
until she was brought back down to earth?
Or get the hell out of this place
where hell had come to them.

Muffled. Softened. Hushed.
until the helicopter returns
with requiem chatter.
Tarpaulin wrapped stilled life
rotor wake spun
in one last dance.

It was easy
before she had a name
“ 28-year-old female climber ”
anonymity a space station airlock
separating two worlds : living and dead.
it was so much more tragic.



Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.