Thursday, 29 October 2009

MULTIPLY Creative Challenge #76: An Ode to the Eiger, Bernese Overland, Switzerland

How often have I admired the Swiss Mountain Eiger, especially its North Wall shown on this photo. One of the most difficult slopes to climb, and one that has been the cause of the deaths of many mountaineers. If you follow the link you know what I mean.

We used to spend our Summer holidays in the Bernese Overland, taking many walks, but the Eiger was always watching. The cemetery in Grindelwald shows the graves of many mountaineers that did not succeed to overcome its heights. I think I have read every book that has been written on its history, so here is my own little attempt to honour this mountain.

The photo is my own, taken in the days before digital cameras existed. I scanned it and worked on it with a photo programme.


I stand here and watch over valleys and meadows
Distances vast beyond measure
Mankind has wanted to tame me
But I too am vast beyond measure
My heights have been conquered
Not without sacrifice of life and limb
My surface has been scarred with irons
hammers beating in pins to fix ropes
And still I am the master of fate
My inside has been emptied, gouged like a pumpkin
Not for halloween, for progress they say
A train rumbles through carrying visitors
Wanting to savour the sights from above
Do not forget, I still have the power
to cast you aside, forbid your ascent
How many have been left on my flanks
A false step on the ice field sheet
Hanging in ropes, waiting for the final rescue
Sometimes I give free the victims of earlier days
Suddenly standing frozen on a ledge
Thrown up from my bowels
Now dead, but their last sight was my body
Progress, you call it progress
Achieving my summit, thinking how clever
Clever is no-one that attempts to overpower my strength
To walk in a straight line instead of following my ways
Little do you know you climbers and explorers
You think your have won
But I in my vastness beyond measure always have the last word.

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