Poems of Adventure

Poems written during the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2014

Poems written during the Ireland Challenge Yacht Race April 2006

The Mountains

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Past chickens roosting in the avocado tree,
Landslip and meticulous stone,
Shaded coffee bush and guinea pig,
High pass and chasm tumult,
Fern, canna and begonia,
Mist, cloud and birdsong
We came.
And through the orchid swathed
Forest tangle saw
The far-off terraces, the citadel
Cradled between the new and the old mountain.

Within a population of towering cones,
Sheer cliff and gorge,
Mist shrouded precipices
The city lies
Bonded to the mother rock.

Bus fleets disgorge ten thousand feet,
Each seeking solitude
At dawn they come, pressing Incan stone,
Hoping to connect with past or present,
Soul or self, in faithless pilgrimage.
Snap, shoot and pose.
The camera usurps the spiritual urge
To document the event:
‘That’s me in front of…!’
Then seek another view.
Crowds thicken, sprinkling the ancient stones
With plastic pinks, blues and greens.

We wander in confusion, awe and jealousy
Of what, and how and why.
Touch the stone and feel
Only stone -
                     And perplexity
At what was had and lost.
A sight ticked off.
But always, for us, the journey.