The monthly meeting and a guest lecture
Patagonia clothing, beards and reputations
like Wimbledon everybody knows the seedings
higher ranking brings greater deference – and less talk.
A small unobtrusive man stands with the well-known president
tonight’s speaker he seems a dim light
amongst the halogen lamps of the audience.
He is introduced and begins.
A reflective nostalgic talk quiet and well mannered
each image on the screen produces soft memory
and generous comment about those framed within
a gentle production suitable for mature viewing and family audiences.
At the conclusion hard edged questions which are not
but mountaineering’s thrusting frontier of self acclamation.
Slight awe and praise beam from the speaker.
he looks exactly what he is, a kindly
middle aged medical practitioner from the provinces.
A generation distanced from the fearless ambition
that saw him and two deceased companions push
climbing standards out two decades in three years
he feels no need to show off.