Tonight I would like to share a poem. It’s one I found scrawled in a logbook on the Overland Track.
While walking the track we spent many evenings huddled around coal-burning pot-bellied stoves, steaming our socks dry and reading logbooks by the light of a head torch.
Some entries had us rocking with laughter, like the ditty about the pesky rat infestation set to the tune of ‘Old Macdonald had a farm’. And the fearful rantings about one particular rat dubbed ‘Poo-lips’ who lives in the drop toilet and comes into the hut at night to nibble on the food of unsuspecting walkers.
Other entries engaged us and we found ourselves tracking some walkers’ journeys along the whole trail. Like the entries from two teenage girls from Hobart attempting to complete the track in 24 hours to raise money for charity (which they managed, and props to them).
Others still engendered a peaceful, reflective silence. Somehow, with their language and cadence they created a stillness. A space in which the wonder and grace of the wilderness could rest, wholly perceived for a simple, single moment.
To the Thawing Wind
by Robert Frost
Come with rain, O loud Southwester!
Bring the singer, bring the nester;
Give the buried flower a dream;
Make the settled snow-bank steam;
Find the brown beneath the white;
But whate’er you do to-night,
Bathe my window, make it flow,
Melt it as the ice will go;
Melt the glass and leave the sticks
Like a hermit’s crucifix;
Burst into my narrow stall;
Swing the picture on the wall;
Run the rattling pages o’er;
Scatter poems on the floor;
Turn the poet out of door.