Wednesday, November 23, 2011


'Into The Light' is an autobiographical poem from one of my forthcoming books that condenses four early chapbooks - 'We Are Islanders - Selected early poems'. I was Winter mountain-walking in the English Lake District (over 20 years ago now) when I slipped and fractured my rt. tibia and fibula and was put in a bit of a life-threatening situation. However, one step at a time, I managed to limp off over a few hours using my ice-axe as a double-handed crutch. I wrote an article that was published in 'The Great Outdoors' magazine titled 'The Yorkshireman'. The Yorkshire man I met on the day will have to wait for another day's story, I#m afraid. I hope you enjoy the poem

Into The Light

And he walked
the high ridges
on the snowy roof of the world
dissolving in
and out of spindrift
when Winter storms ripped
sky opening doors to the Otherworld.

And I
walked with him -
a tightrope between
life and death
as we trod the high
whiteout places where
land and sky and air are one.

And when he left
I fell from the rope
crossed over to a place
of no shadows
a broken doll lay
watching the shining
lakes down valleys,
felt that I might drift
to sleep forever.

And the Otherworld snow-walker hid,
I felt him
hiding in his half-reality
felt him treading
the light-blazed heights
half-in, half-out of existence
escaping ever upwards
into the Light.

Until I turned back in my pursuit
travelled miles over snowy peaks
back from the edge
the rim of the world
the door's slam blasting me back
back to Blencathra's storm-fast heights,
lay with fractures in Winter sunlight.

Until the whole of existence
became darkness and pain again.

Copyright Mark F Chaddock 2003

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