Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Climber (Patrick Edlinger 1960-2012)

In days when only money mattered
They say you lived in a camper van
On a diet of water and sandwiches
When yuppies across the world
Played with stocks and shares
You slid over rocks like a graceful lizard
Hanging high above, gripping tightly
With only two or three fingers

You conquered each peak
With the body of a ballet dancer
And the golden hair of an ancient god
Illuminated by admiring shafts of sunlight
Swarming up limestone crags
With no rope and sometimes no shoes
“When I do this I feel an inner peace”
You told a spellbound admirer

One terrible fall ended it
And although your life was spared
It was never the same
Depression and alcoholism
Replacing the rocky dangers
The toughest challenges yet
But you fought to overcome them
Like those impossible solo climbs

Now at fifty two you are gone
Somewhere in the French Alps
Your handsome sinewy limbs
Displayed once again
Across the obituary columns
Of Sunday newspapers
Taken above far beyond our gaze
To continue the greatest ascent of all
Into eternity.

© David Subacchi

Climber, Patrick Edlinger dies

David Subacchi’s first English language collection ‘First Cut’ was published by Cestrian Press earlier this year.