A Poem
Paddy Moran (2011)

here's to... by Paddy Moran

here's to Nothofagus
to Autumn and Eastern peaks,
to Phipps, Oates, and
Misery above the clouds.

here's to Cladia, moist and brittle.
To Cyteria gunii,
and symbiosis.
To Dracophyllum, daisies, and fell fields
To fault scarps and gendarmes, crevices,
and blue ice.

Here's to the cold that freezes the breath in your beard,
To the arrest that leaves blood on your axe,
to the 3am start,
the 10pm finish,
and the glorious moments between.

Here's to the KEA, their curiosity, humour
and lack of inhibition
Here's to feeling insignificant
on the most exposed faces,
to holding down the shakes,
to clinging on for all your worth,
and pushing on when your scared shitless.

Here's to the alpine flora
and their inhospitable home in relentless conditions
To swimming through impenetrable shrub-lands
To hoar frost, heat waves, and delirium.
To the Nor'wester
To Gaultheria, Greywacke, and Gorse
To the insect bites on your ankles,
The burn on your face,
And blood drawn by the lawyer of the bush.

Here's to braided rivers,
broken ridges,
and the spears of the Spaniard.
I tip my hat to Matagouri,
to it's grey and green,
to it's determination and defence.

Here's to the hottest valley and the coldest peak.

the heavy, the light,
and the horizontal
To the rainbow and the smile it brings
Here's to being hungry, blistered, and broken in the face of it all
and coming home ruined.
And here's to wanting more