Concerning the Ascent

( - )

Tracks in the snow
like a small child's and yet
unlike, nor were they any known
beast's, we searched all day all through
the night with torches, lost
two men in the steep ravines, dragged
another along with ropes and still nothing
to show for it, till the fir trees
gave out and only the mountain
rose above, the snow suddenly trackless with
no signs of blood or struggle.
We waited for daybreak eating
raisins and drinking all the brandy, till
one another's faces in the daylight
frightened us, we set off
flares, they came with helicopters from
below, lifted us off, the snow all round
trackless and with no sign
of blood or struggle.


Μιχάλης Γκανάς, από τα Μαύρα Λιθάρια (1981)

John Stathatos (translator)
Original Author 
Michalis Ganas
January 2005