Dear Climber

A.H. Starlingsson
2 min readNov 23, 2021

You see, what most of us don’t

Is that it is not the conquering

That conquers

It is not at the top where the peak is to be found

The pleasure is not on the hard, rough, vertical rock

With the chasm, the great void to fall into below


So you reach into each crack, tear and flaw with nimble fingers

To inch yourself upwards that little bit more

Knowing your craft lies in the mind, not the hand

And its will to step where those have not stepped before

You have long surmised, no matter how sore, how many injuries you have

What every climber knows

Ready to die on the rock face or from the cold, lonely blizzard as you are

That it is in the return to fight another day that the thrill is to be found

To find the words still left unsaid

Oh, I say! I must apologise

You see, I slipped, nearly fell

My hand grabbed the wrong word

And in the title to this climb, the word should have been




Dear Poet

There, I fixed it

And you can return again to face your face

Written for dverse … a poem with a painting —using the wonderful paintings of Faye Colins, many of the Lake District in North West England... I chose the dramatic:

“First Light Near Watendlath"

for mine.



A.H. Starlingsson

—dispatches from Ukraine🌲currently writing "Distant Taps The Woodpecker," contact: starlingsson@gmail.com_