"In January of 1992 I was sharing a flat in London with Stephen Kelsey, Graham Wittaker and his girlfriend Carolyn. On the wall of our room I found a poem that struck a chord with me, and I made a copy which I have kept ever since. It was a poem written by Mike Thexton for his brother Pete, a British climber killed while attempting Broad Peak in Pakistan."
Mountaineer Cathy O'Dowd
Mike Thexton was returning home after taking part in a memorial expedition in honour of his brother Pete when the hijacking took place.
I see you still, in dreams and strangers’ faces,
In some expressions of my morning mirror;
But cannot reach you in your solitude,
Nor breathe the same thin air that laid you down.
You grow not old, as I, being left, grow old.
I age, wane weary, am condemned by years;
You, thirty still, become my younger brother,
Lie frozen in the beauty of your strength.
I never will again hold back on love:
Love’s object may not stay to share tomorrow –
Life, like a welcome guest, too soon departing.
I would give all my world to have you back,
Remember you not in a photograph
But in your smiling eyes and wild ideal.
And yet, I would not pay a price too high:
I would not think of asking you to change.
And though your rope is cut, and worlds have fallen,
And though the pain will grip me through the years,
If you were with me now, I still would help,
Encourage you to reach for mountain tops –
Would watch you strive for where you should not go.
And you would go again, and die again,
And I would cry; but cry how much the more
If you should ever cease to be yourself.