Treasure Island

Diane Hine

(25 July 1956)

BASE jumper (a rondel)


Poised at the BASE jump exit point
(Building, Antenna, Span or Earth)
he's scanned by thermal-riding birds
unruffled, nonchalantly buoyed

with quizzical eyes: Void? What void?
and in his mind he's well-rehearsed
poised at the BASE jump exit point.
Building, antenna, span or earth;

he's outgrown all his boyhood toys
scattered like down around his berth.
A breeze unties his mooring nerves,
his head's athump with bloody noise
poised at the BASE jump exit point.

Submitted: Saturday, August 09, 2014

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Topic(s): sport

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

'Earth' usually refers to a cliff.
The exit point is the exact place from which a BASE jumper leaves the object.
BASE jumpers usually only carry one parachute, as there's not enough time to deploy a reserve.

Comments about this poem (BASE jumper (a rondel) by Diane Hine )

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  • Valsa George (8/22/2014 1:56:00 AM)

    A breeze unties his mooring nerves,
    his head's athump with bloody noise
    poised at the BASE jump exit point.

    What a tense moment for an average person! But this plunge for the well rehearsed mind is an exciting thrill! Beautifully captured! (Report) Reply

  • Dinesh Nair (8/19/2014 8:47:00 AM)

    It is the first time I hear about such a sport and Diane, you have given a sketch of it in usual style. A good write.. (Report) Reply

  • Daniel Brick (8/18/2014 8:09:00 AM)

    Yeats wrote a poem THE FASCINATION OF WHAT'S DIFFICULT in which he praises people who take on the challenging tasks. These jumpers you're writing about have a FASCINATION WITH WHAT'S DANGEROUS and it scares me. That's me, but they can confront the danger and embrace it. VOID? WHAT VOID? they dismiss what would paralyze me. Having OUTGROWN ALL HIS BOYHOOD TOYS he has to seek new thrills. You handle this rondel skillfully; the poem is tightly controlled like their nerves. It's convincing. (Report) Reply

  • Sally Plumb Plumb (8/11/2014 2:17:00 AM)

    I heard about this base junping `sport` on the radio. A frightening thing to do.I can well understand the head thumping nerves you write about. Thanks. (Report) Reply

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