Michael Walker

Gold Star - 29,099 Points (cv48488)

Waikumete/ Mt. Erebus. - Poem by Michael Walker

(' I am not up there beyond the sky, /but here') . Don Blanding. (1894-1957) .

How vastly separated in space, yet linked by fate,
these two places are, I reflect, on a winter's day
at Waikumete, reading Don Blanding's elegy,
'They Speak of God' on the grey stone memorial,
which has just forty-three names inscribed on it.
'Copy our names from the list, 'they seem to say,
'before you return from the mountain top to the plains'.
I remember the morning of 28 November,1979, when
Flight 901 left Auckland for Antarctica, a one-way flight,
a relic left on the lower slopes of Mt. Erebus.
Erebus-the Son of Chaos, the name of underworld caverns
on the way to hell.I seem to be on the dry ice contours of
Ross Island, where the sun never sets: I hear the Preacher say:
'He is present with us and what may seem like foolishness
to us is God's wisdom: We may not understand with our minds,
but we ask for faith that we may accept what has been done.'

-15 November,2015.

Topic(s) of this poem: travel

Form: Elegy


Poet's Notes about The Poem

I went to this cemetery to see the Erebus Memorial and read the excerpt from the elegy.Two-hundred- and-fifty-nine lost their lives in the crash, of whom twenty-four were Japanese. There is a Japanese cherry tree planted in their memory.
I watched the video 'Impact Erebus', on which an American minister preached memorably near the crash site.I read the excellent book 'Daughters of Erebus', by Paul Holmes.
The name 'Erebus' is from Greek mythology.

Comments about Waikumete/ Mt. Erebus. by Michael Walker

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (11/23/2015 1:40:00 PM)


    Very amazing and wisely composed poem shared here. Nice and smooth flow makes this entirely thought provoking...10 (Report) Reply

    (3/22/2017 7:59:00 PM)

    Thanks for that opinion. I like to think that I write in a smooth style-not always easy to do. I played the video 'Impact Erebus' and recorded what the American Minister preached. It would be hard to accept that this disaster could be part of God's wisdom, though. Not from what you see on the screen.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, November 13, 2015

Poem Edited: Wednesday, February 10, 2016


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