The Tenderness of Mountains
In the tenderness of mountains,
I ply the course you let me sail -
You are the wind;
Soft in the purity of compassion,
What is yet to be revealed to me,
Yet I still feel your gentleness
In the murmur of cherry blossom,
The music of a fountain,
And poetry of a passing bird.
I feel your burden now -
Lightened by the Love you chose to be.
Now you are cold, too distant for embrace,
I feel you still
Warm as the Summer sun
As, effortless, you scale the Matterhorn
Where, one day, I will skim the stars
Soft, in the tenderness of mountains…
My father admired the early mountaineers
Here you see a book my father would have enjoyed reading. He was a regular visitor at the local branch library filling in search forms for all sorts of mountaineering books, some dating back to Victorian times. He was convinced that Mallory and Irvine were in fact the first climbers to reach the summit of Everest; he loved that the early alpine club members used little more than ice picks, ropes and boots and he disapproved of all the high tech "cheats" that are used these days to get amateur climbers to summits they wouldn't otherwise reach. He loved people who respect the mountains and their spirits.
When I was writing poems in his memory the mountains came to mind and I imagined him exploiting mountains of his own after he had passed away.
This is a book my father would have loved. He was convinced that Mallory and Irvine made it to the summit and he would study every obscure mountaineering history book the library could get.
The Tenderness of Mountains is my latest poetry book and one I had to think very long about. I wanted everything to be just right. This is a book that deals with loss and grieving but in a positive way. The longer we live, the more likely it is that we will lose somebody we love - and the more people we lose too. Those first small losses in childhood, the death of a hamster, a rabbit, a guinea pig, a cat or a dog prepare us for the sad reality of bereavement. Losing friends when they leave the area or they decide not to be friends any more leads in time to the loss of a first love, the death of a grandparent or a best friend. However centred we feel we are, nothing prepares you for the death of a parent or even worse, the death of a child.
In this book I put my thoughts into poetry. It is not all about loss of course. There is no loss without love. Even the feeling of loss surrounding the death of a favourite movie star (Robin Williams come to mind this week) comes from a feeling of love and closeness. The closer we feel to those we love, the deeper the loss, but you know even when that loss is at its most painful there is always great love. It is that great love that we have to learn to hold on to because it is the love that matters more than the pain. What more can I say?
My father passed on early in 2012 and we still feel the loss acutely. He encouraged me to write music and poetry and in putting this book together he was at the forefront of my thoughts. I wanted to produce something that would have pleased him had he been able to look over my shoulder and share my words. (As he did with A Whisper of the Romantic in the Eye of God and my CD Flying to Meet the Sunrise). He was a beautiful man, strong, caring, supportive and deeply sensitive. He also loved mountains and spent many happy hours reading about the early Alpine mountaineers once he became to infirm to climb in reality. This book is dedicated with love to a wonderful man.
Poems about Love and Loss
When you are young, loss can be very much an unknown quantity but by the time you reach maturity the loss of grandparents, friends and those you love becomes more and more real. Without great love there can be little appreciation of loss but in time the love and the memories become more real than the sadness.
This is my own recording and I composed and sang the music too. I had the CD of this song played at my Father's funeral. It was a song he loved but I was too sad to sing that day.