Kinabalu Poem by John Roberts

I received an email from one of our readers who was here in Sabah, Borneo during WWII. Mr Tony Catherall shared with us his experience and photos from the past on Tamparuli here. He now shared his friend’s poem for us.

Good afternoon from England

I hope you are all well in Sabah.
I have a good friend John Roberts who was in the Army with me. He like me, was at Kota Belud in the early sixties and fell in love with your lovely country. As a hobby he writes poetry. His latest work is a poem about Mount Kinabalu, and I have attached it for you to keep.
As you both have very close associations with the mountain both living there, I hope you like it.
I intend to visit Sabah again and hope to see you both when I’m there.
Take care in all you do.
My warmest wishes always


I walk the cool high peaceful trail
As night surrenders to emerging day
Highlighting distant peak and chasm
In lines of stark contrasting mood

Embryonic shadow slow unveiling
Deep ravine and craggy spire
Revealing mysterious misty valley
That conceals the cruelty of night

Life and death on display
Bones beside the clouded leopard
Serpent coils and sinews tightened
Orang Utan mothers cry

Faint aroma from distant fire
Humans welcome a dawning day
Far below in dappled vale
Beauty hides a tragic resonance

Wispy smoke and clangs emitting
Scenes and sounds of life abound
Confidence again restored
As sunbeams play with children

I have been blessed to witness
Nature’s cycle direct and true
Such a wondrous revelation
On the slopes of Kinabalu

John Roberts 2015

The guides and porters playing volleyball at Laban Rata

The guides and porters playing volleyball at Laban Rata

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About drizad

A self employed General Practitioner who lives with his lovely family in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. He dedicates his spare time serving people with precious information on climbing the Majestic Mountain of the Borneo, Mt Kinabalu. Reachable at drizad(at)

2 thoughts on “Kinabalu Poem by John Roberts

  1. Kah Yean

    I would like to ask can i use this poem for my final year project animation as the subtitle? I will mention your name in the credits of my animation.

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