We’re so glad to hear from Tom Liney with his new poem 50/50. Inspired by ‘glacier stalking’ in Patagonia over the Christmas holidays, 50/50 touches upon chance and the game of life. If you have been inspired by any experiences you have had lately and want to write about it, please send your work to creativewriting@thetribeonline.com. 

 

50/50

‘How heavy it is- this brokenness
which couldn’t be helped.’ (Esther Morgan, ‘Muntjac’)

My ears tune to the roar of toothpaste ice
Booming between reluctant jaws as it surrenders to nature’s play.
My eyes squint as winks of sunlight dance on its wrinkled surface-
Blinding flares that go unnoticed.
My hands grip the boat rail. I stand unmoved.
Waiting for the show. Waiting for it all to unfold.

I watch the ice shelf plunge even faster than he fell-
Wondering, what if I had been there just a minute before?
Screams of awe break out and cameras jostle for position
To reduce it all to a digital mime – the sight of nature’s play; captured.

And now staring at this gigantic mesh of ice,
I feel like I’m staring straight at him.
I look up from where he jumped and watch,
Maybe I was looking for his other self, you know-
The one that promised me I’d be safe.
But I suppose the truth is- it could have happened to anyone.

You know as well as I do that there are graphs and equations
To prove this and that, but somehow
I can’t accept that it all comes down to follied fate.

A wasteland of secrets, a burial site for sanity-
Life’s script is as cruel as stealing a dying man’s last word.
So, unable to predict and unable to understand
You move to where that other wasteland lies.
Far removed, yet so close it blurs into nothingness-
Emptied of stoic chance but filled with understood goodbyes.
You play god to this wasteland. No more 50/50.

 

 

Tom Liney