The north face of the Eiger, Berner Oberland, Switzerland

           Knocker Of Giants

                 for Sir Edmund Hillary


             Clouds part above the bastard

             to welcome you on high,

             clouds so stately

             you could have never conquered

             for all your human valor.

             While you ascend

             to those ultimate giants

             the little men below so dear to you

             are raising prayers

             to timeless gods of rock and ice.


             noble Sir Percival,

             the Grail you won to us,

             as formidable and austere as ever,

             greets its humble master.

             We salute you,

             knocker of giants,

             mindful of how small we are,

             how greater than we thought your feat,

             how grand your soul.




               First published in New Zealand Alpine Journal (New Zealand)