Paul's "post your poetry" Post


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Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 20, 2010 - 04:44am PT
OK. I am up too much, too late. I got compliments on another post for my poetry.

I'll show you mine. You show me your's. **Please post only your own stuff.
Here one to start things off...

...So let us embrace
each other, all of Us.
Let our arms intertwine
as beautiful serpents.
For we are not so diferent
as it is often supposed.
We can put more than
our heads together.
And love is not
confined between our legs.
LOVE is not confined at all.
We walk through it every moment,
Breath it in with every breath.
These forms we preen,
fuss over and cover
are less solid than lace.
Not such a barrior
after all.
So let our serpent arms entangle
and the wind blow in
through lace curtains...
The Sun is coming up.

-Paul Humphrey

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Aug 20, 2010 - 10:58am PT
public displays of consternation,
turn love inside-out and over it's soft thigh,
slides the coward's underpants.

comb out and iron straight the dreadlocked civil embrace.
stand alone as a tribe, gapped and crooked like involuntary teeth.

the emotional breezes travelling between us will whistle merry sorrowful tunes and erode our pitted edge, venturi-like and as our periphery smoothens, the gale's velocity will increase, and the resulting low pressure will beg of embrace once again.

the journey to straight is wildly wandering.

Kennewick wa
Aug 20, 2010 - 11:08am PT
I did it for me

just ask the photographers

I did it for me
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 20, 2010 - 11:33am PT
I like the short but sarcastic approach of that last one. It's almost a "screw You" haiku (SP?)

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Aug 20, 2010 - 11:41am PT
Begged, borrowed, stolen, swiped, directly from our very own!

//my emotions waltz with the physical world.
i stroll perilous paths of hardship and wreckage,
for these ways ignite within a creative response.

my expiration date hinges upon my ability to manage
the tempo of this tragic dance.

for, though the sharp edge of a reality slices thru the emotional fat,
it also threatens to cut my umbilical cord to this plane.

my fears are voluntary and invited.
without them, i would not understand.

and when you break up under-stand, and you lie down.//

Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Aug 20, 2010 - 11:54am PT

paul, been writing poetry all my adult life. can't get anyone to publish it except myself. i sell it in my own hand-made hardcover book (pictured below) which goes for $50. to fellow indigents, i offer a softcover "chapbook" (cheap book, once quite an industry) for $18.

sales over the past 10 years have amounted to around $200, including one which actually went on consignment in a real bookstore. i treasure the receipt.

life is hard, buddy, and people don't understand that poets probably have it the hardest. it forces us to write, we have no choice, it's what we are.

sorry about the commercial, but here's three free samples. "hard as diamonds" would make a great christmas gift for that esoteric idiot in your life.


from "heartnook" (wherein the book's namesake):

i would such treasures filled my life
by they come, hard as diamonds to a poor man,
enough to awaken a heartnook
and keep it sore.


Stars--same old impossible things.
You winked a year ago on my folly,
Now you see my comeuppance.
We dream and die and you burn on.

Light travels millions, billions of years,
Does it fly on forever? Flies it now
In nowheres, piercing darkness?
If there were only darkness
There might be no thing,
But light, the messenger we cannot kill,
Says some thing is.


when things really get hard (like in philosophy class with the jesuits), poets occasionally glimpse the divine comedy:

"The System Machine"

Philosóphers wait in line
With the systems they once taught,
Come from out the mouth of time
To risk a judgement on their thought.

Great Univac, it was agreed,
Would judge in each the false and truth,
With cold, mathématical speed
H' would damn the hack and laud the couth.

This the contest had been laid,
And thus the learnéd line surveyed:

First came Papa Plato, prating,
"Know ye, matter is all evil
"Essence is the only truthness,
"Pass the wine please, what the devil."

Poor Im Kant could hardly move,
Stuck as he was with his maxim
"Imperative, categorically, all times, all places ..."
Really taxed 'im.

Sartre, the Paris prophet, spoke,
Existentially at ease:
"Don't ask me what I think of time,
"I'm busy counting royalties."

Last and least came flowered Tim,
Speaking from his sage's tunic:
"Bring a date on your next 'trip'
"And you'll be glad you're not a eunuch."

Information set on punchcards
Fed into the faultless judge
All in silence wait the answer,
Who to glee and who to grudge:


This be misfits' nightmare garbage,
Turgid, doom-filled reveries,
Catatonic crumpet carpage,
Chatters of identities,
Philosóphy long on loafy,
Nothing real or right or wrong,
Shut your lips and burn your pencils,
Then get out, you've stayed too long.

(yea, i know, the univac reference really dates this.)


Trad climber
Placerville, California
Aug 20, 2010 - 12:08pm PT
you can't hurt a poet's feeling.
for it is guilded by ten-thousand years
of inpenatrable dreams.

Old Pueblo, AZ
Aug 20, 2010 - 06:40pm PT
Just found this one written on a napkin from a cafe on the Monterey Penninsula.

So alone
in the face of wealth
this solitary reef
of lost souls
and dreams of Tiger Woods
where the sand squeaked
my arrival
and clouds hang low
for novelty
rich in sensations
and oppulence starves
behind the gates
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 21, 2010 - 10:54am PT
Whenever I plummit,
I bounce back quick,
even stronger than before.
No just laying there
like a Splat on the floor.
I am a rebound,
a trajectory traveled
at high speed.
I am the Seed
of my own future.

-Paul Humphrey

Keep posting poems. And Climb On.
Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Aug 21, 2010 - 11:01am PT
there are many styles of poetry and sometimes it's hard to tell what they might have in common that would make them poems, as opposed to other agglomerations of words.

an observation by a guidance counselor i had, who also wrote poetry, has stuck with me:

a poem takes its reader on a walk down a street--and it always makes him turn a corner.

Aug 21, 2010 - 11:28am PT
Made my own book while I was laid up with a bum knee in Chicago a few years back. Had some stuff in it I thought was decent anyway. It was a lot of fun to make.

A Time Before

Ignore all the words this is of a time before, when they did not exist. Come close to me, I can feel your feelings.
That is why they are feelings not because they effect you but because they effect me.
You are happy, you do not need to tell me, the words do not exist.
I feel your happiness and return mine, together we share emotions.
Time passes and we learn how to use the muscles in our face.
A smile shows happiness and the connection slowly begins to fade.
But the smile can be deceiving.
Vocals begin to form.
A grunt shows anger and grows into the word hate.
Hello replaces the smile and the feeling of emotions is felt less.
Words start creating distances and the feelings cannot be felt.
When they become strong enough feelings to overwhelm the person, they are expressed out of the body and are felt by others.
Vibes are what we would say.
In reality we are returning back to the beginning, we are going back in time before all other forms of communication existed.
As you get close to someone you break down your barrier and began to feel each other stronger.
Love is a feeling created by a weakened barrier which allows the real emotions to flow through.
Love is the feeling of trust, devotion, caring, happiness, and sorrow.
They enter the room and they are happy, you feel this and convey your emotions back.
You are sad, they ask how you are doing and you say “okay”.
Words can be deceiving.
Open yourself back to the original.
Feel as it was felt before time allowed us to create distance.
Put your hand on my chest, do not look at me, do not listen to me, break that silly personal bubble I have created.
Go back to the beginning and we shall share in feelings rarely felt but always there.


Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Aug 21, 2010 - 02:05pm PT
That is so Tami!

Kennewick wa
Aug 21, 2010 - 02:23pm PT
a silver moonscape

sharp pockets bite gnarled hands

gobi is master

Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Aug 21, 2010 - 03:11pm PT
The Doctor's Office

Climbers’ office, our cool playground
in the desert.
I miss the claustrophobic feel
of narrow slot canyon
in the heat of summer,
laugh echoing off steep walls -
respite from the sun.

Hot, hiking up
in the blistering heat
of Oak Creek Canyon

Crossing the creek passing
tourists, families
some watch our heavy packs
as we disappear
into the dust above them

Sounds fade, dust remains
hiking steep drainage,
labored breath and buzz of heat
sweat stinging eyes, then the Tree:
the place where coolness
from the slot canyon above
sweeps upon us
cooling the brow.

The walls steepen to hundreds of feet above,
and narrow sharply
casting permanent shade
and further freshment.

The effect is such
that eighty-five degrees
in Sedona is the minimum temperature
or it is too cold
in The Doctor’s Office.

At the foot of the canyon
lies a micro-environment
all mosses and sword ferns
in this desert world -
air almost cold now.

Also at this oasis
inscriptions from the past
chiseled into sandstone:


Much can be gleaned
from this simple statement:
The man was a doctor
either from Rugby North Dakota
or played Rugby for Notre Dame -
wondering which.
The stylized lettering
from hammer and chisel
indicates a skilled hand.

We scrub the moss
out of the letters
trying to know
B Frankson.

Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Aug 21, 2010 - 03:20pm PT
Driving in a Storm

Rain cast against us
in head-on storm -
rain castinets

on roof and hood
pounding steel drum beat.

Studded tires keep frenetic pace
as backbeat wipers
cool the savage tempo

For days
and days

we rage to the beat.
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 23, 2010 - 01:19am PT
Who cares.
It's a stupid
question after all.

There is no Why.
It was never needed,
save to those
who could not understand.

And those who
could not comprehend
failed to only because
they failed to Try.

and there is no WHY;
only doing and being
and giant sh#t faced smiles
in the midst of pain.

And those who need ask
need not apply.
For they have
already shrunk back
without ever
touching the Walls...
Or breaking through them.

I was meant to expand,
to grow into the land.
And I sink in
like water through sand.

Why is a Barrior,
which simply isn't there.

-Paul Humphrey
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 28, 2010 - 08:35am PT
How long will it take
until our smiles are permanent?
Will laugh lines ever
outweigh wrinkled brows?

I want to roll
on the lawn
with my cat
in the Sun...
Be alive,
have fun,
be free,
be ME.

I want the warm light
to fill me up
and have the soft wind
blow in my ear
like a lover...

But my moods
come like the tides,
high and low.
And tears,
like salt spray,
lie mingled
in my eyes.

How long will it take
Until our smiles
are permanent?

-Paul Humphrey
Captain...or Skully

Big Wall climber
Transporter Room 2
Aug 28, 2010 - 08:41am PT
I like your stuff, Paul.

hanging from a crimp and crying for my mama.
Aug 28, 2010 - 09:38am PT

I love what you say

yet do you dare
to give more
be more
than pretty words

I most admire
those who fill up the room
when it is silent

Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 29, 2010 - 02:03am PT
I really liked that last one.

Thanks for the compliments.

trying to write something now. I got (MORE) bad news about my health / lifespan today.

Planning a road trip soon:
-Humboldt Limestone, Smith Rock, City of Rocks, Indian Creek, Red Rocks, J-Tree, etc...

If the carcass can keep up with my soul.


Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 29, 2010 - 02:14pm PT
"Why" is asked,
by those who seek control.
Better to ask,
"What else?"
"What's next?"
"What if?"
Wade Icey

Trad climber
Aug 29, 2010 - 02:17pm PT
i will
i can't
and then
I won't
i don't
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 29, 2010 - 02:33pm PT
It's nothing new, just a scribble from a spoken word free flow thing I did back when:

we all have a dark side.
You just don't want to free it,
but believe it,
you got one too.
All you ask for is the bright side.
The way I see it
you just neglect
to push on through.

I like to play
in the dark
after a trying day.
But remember?
You asked me
to stay.
Infatuation is
a wonderful drug.
But it fades away.

You said you needed me
to read expansive praises,
words and phrases
that framed the part of Me
you loved to see.

Today, as I watched
you walk away
I realized...
All you wanted
was the Poetry.

-Paul David Humphrey

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 29, 2010 - 02:36pm PT
you can rack,
or you can stack,
hit the crack,

Kennewick wa
Aug 29, 2010 - 02:51pm PT
rising from madness

moon illuminates granite

welcome home captain

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 29, 2010 - 03:12pm PT
I wrote this one when I was in college. What a dweeb.

Running and Dancing

Inches every moment
Falling forward
Moments of eternity
Running back
Eternity seeds reality
Trying to reach
Reality pervades perception
Clinging to fragments
Perception mutates consciousness
Eyes grow wings
Consciousness brings pain
Roots envisage uncertainty
Pain surrounds truth
Slave of time
Truth awaits inevitability
Bound to forms
Inevitability beckons the absolute
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 29, 2010 - 05:44pm PT

OOOH-K, Angst seems truly universal in the poetry field of screams. Here's for when the words don't work.

Paul D. Humphrey

Fill in the Blanks w/ Thoughts.
For Thoughts are all there are.
No Words to use,
no Signs to see,
just the thoughts of
We the Mind.

Simple Vowels or rows of Runes
amount to naught, indeed.
The Deed is fruitless.
The Meaning is lost.
Somewhere within my mind
a Rebellion has gone off.

No rebellion is wrong,
the wrong word to use.

Ah, that’s the gist: WORDS!
They fly like Birds, away
from what I want to Say.
Perhaps I Cannot,
though I Ought.

I cannot Express.

And that is what I mean.
(So it would seem.)

How about poems to give someone who hates poetry? (Not to get them to hate it more!)
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 1, 2010 - 05:50pm PT
Happy poems, anyone? I need to perk up.
Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Sep 1, 2010 - 06:06pm PT
based on a true life adventure before the invention of the poop pouch. not a happy ending for poor fairmont, but you might have a laugh.

Much Ado

(A passage in doggerel)

O Central Park has its muggers,
And Bunyan Park has its logs,
Old Bughouse Square has its buggers,
But Cedar Park has its dogs.

O Cedar, the forest primeval
Where pheasant and raccoon and deer
Once haunted the green vegetation
But no longer dare venture near.

For now the great forest is empty,
Looks like a yard where the hogs
Have rooted and muddied the soil:
O Cedar has gone to the dogs!

No golf course has hazards so dang'rous,
No minefield is such no-man's-land
Where stepping can be so disast'rous
As when doggies have passed on the strand.

See Junior — he girds for the battle!
To play in the park like a boy
Six sets of new tennies he carries,
Braving poodle, chihuahua and toy.

O Junior, he ventures so manly
(One slip of the foot and he's through)
To travel the wilderness cannily
'Twixt canyons of piled doggie-do.

The fathers of fair Fairmont city
Had weathered the plague far too long,
A great public clamor raised pity
For shoes, pants and shirts dogs had wronged.

So rising in duty to action
They ordered that dogs foul no more,
And stalwart, unswaying to faction:
"Sic 'em, dogcatcher, padlock the door."

The ord'nance brought great jubilation,
The people cheered, danced in the street,
Their steps now lacked all trepidation,
No more did they fear for their feet.

The council sent word from its chambers,
The dogs, they were round up and tied,
No more would park walking be dangerous
Or we'll tan all the canines' old hides.

Oh, oh, the relief it was heartfelt
And Fairmont at ease was at last,
The park was for people: no part smelt —
But the story's not through, not so fast ...

The next time the fathers did gather,
The night, it was eerily still,
A howlin' full moon had arisen,
The air, it had kind of a chill.

The meeting was over much faster,
The councilmen set to go home,
When they met at the door great disaster,
A terrible sight, met their doom:

The poor city hall was surrounded
By spitz, St. Bernard, collie, chow,
And yorkies and fierce English shepherds
Had blocked up the exit somehow.

The fathers were trapped and no rescue
Could save them, alas none could budge,
For who in his right mind would venture
Through undainty, goshawful sludge?

The council was lost — ah, the fortune!
So cruel, how we shall miss them all!
No ghoul could devise death by torture
Like live burial in city hall!

Now travelers across our wide country
Have many a strange sight to see,
But none like that heap by the freeway
Where fair Fairmont once used to be.

(c) F. A. Bird

hanging from a crimp and crying for my mama.
Sep 1, 2010 - 06:33pm PT
Well, I just wrote this just for you.

they are the hands that pulls you up
even when you want to stay and crawl

they are the finger that points at what needs to be remade
they bring you the truth when you stand in denial
they are the voice that won't always agree

they are the people that believe
to them you are one of the best
a person better than your mistakes

they are the people who will help you along
while seeing the humor behind it all
when all has failed they will make it work
they will make you smile when it hurts

they are both strangers and kin
they are your best friends


Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Sep 4, 2010 - 08:09pm PT
Call of the Wild

Call of the wild
echoes down canyon walls
a moon holding water
pulls yearning from us all.

Call of the wild:
heed the call
feed the call
screaming cat-call of the wild.

Wild is as wild does
circle returns us
to the time that was.

Beating wings, fleeting wings
sacred dance of all living things.

Predator or prey
who's to say
to soil we all
return someday.

Call your totems, find your creatures
in wildness we find
all the great teachers.

Animals in the woods,
thugs in the 'hood
wild, man - really wild.

Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Sep 4, 2010 - 08:15pm PT
58 Degrees

The Taku winds are blowing
ripping down the streets
winter blues are showing
sure are hard to beat.

At the back of the north wind,
southern winds blow cold.
In darkness, luminescence,
seeking Alaskan gold.

Northland of the heart
giant within us all,
a different breed of folks
hear the northern call.

Sun will come back some day
warm the dark and freezing
wintertime, so sublime
for many the hardest season.

The Taku winds are blowing
ripping down the streets,
northern light are glowing,
sure is hard to beat.

Fifty-eight degrees
take me home, if you please.

Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Sep 4, 2010 - 08:19pm PT
Ode to William Bukowski

Willie B
shot his girl
one night when he was drunk.
Believed in nothing
but his cats, friends with a
gun-toting monk.

Horse meditations,
Buddha iconoclast.
Locked in a basement room,
a life of burying the past.
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 10, 2010 - 02:47pm PT
Ok, it's not ALL poetry, but perhaps you'll like. this was published in the now defunct mag MountainFreak a number of years ago.


Free To Be
Paul D. Humphrey

A friend recently told me of an amazing rock climb he had completed. “Perfect rock” he exclaimed, his arms and hands drawing maps in the air. Just where he needed them, ideal hand-holds had appeared, edges and pockets, coaxing him on until the final climactic crux just below the anchors. Sounded fantastic. A perfect route for sure. But perfect rock? I don’t think so.

Climbers are often a dedicated bunch. Many spend their whole careers seeking out “perfect stone”. They rate their routes on solidity as well as difficulty, and seem ill at ease on less than solid stone, or “choss”. Others lurk at the other extreme where the worse the rock and the more meager the protection opportunities the better. These folks focus on the barely attainable, coaxing both aid and free routes out of the most improbable stone. Neither of these groups, though, have ever climbed Perfect Rock...

Not if you think like a Taoist.

I was first introduced to Taoist philosophy in college. At first I read it to act intellectual. But I was too busy thinking about being brainy to understand much of it. Now I read through those books and simply enjoy them. Every once in a while I learn something too.

Chang-Tzu, a semi-mythical Chinese philosopher, wrote down many stories with Taoist themes. One of my favorites is the story of a giant gnarled tree. I will paraphrase:

There once was a huge tree who’s limbs were so twisted and gnarled that it could not be used for lumber. Its bark emitted a pungent sap that would not dry enough to use the tree for firewood. A woodcutter spoke with Chang-Tzu about it. “This is the ugliest tree I have ever seen! It is worthless for any purpose.”
Chang-Tzu agreed. “The virtue of this tree is in is worthlessness. By being unusable for any human purpose it is free to be a tree.”


Climbers can only exist on the rock because of its imperfections. We climb its fissures and holes. Our rock may be beautiful, but it is not perfect. Perfect stone is beyond our use. Our skill can not overcome it. It can be so rotten it cannot be hooked or pitoned, or so monolithic our hands find no purchase. It excepts no welcoming protection. It is what it is, perfectly worthless.

Two of my favorite cliffs have sections of perfect rock. One is a sea cliff with a hundred foot headwall so loose it crumbles if you sneeze on it. It revels in its ragged decay. A single hole in its center is the only weakness, and it is occupied by a nesting Cormorant. She could not have chose a safer home.

The other wall is small, perhaps fifty feet by forty, and is flanked on both sides by climbable stone. Perched high on a forested ridge, it looks west towards the sea. Its limestone is smooth as cream, and it flows in a hold-free curtain of blue and yellow stripes. You could frame it and sell it as art. But you couldn’t cling to it, I bet. It’s Free To Be.

I was at this second wall, climbing exceptional rock around the corner from Perfection, when all these meandering thoughts fused together in me. It was a nice moment. The heat came on strong that afternoon. The raptors spiraled high on the thermals. Sluggish and fatigued, I scrambled up a gully to a small cave. It was nearly cylindrical, a twisting tube four feet across. I lay down just inside its mouth and let its cool breath lull me to sleep as I remembered something I had written years before...

Follow me up
through bent and folded layers,
up into the Sunshine
of a hundred-thousand years ago.

I have been sitting here since then,
thinking crystallized thoughts,
Pondering 36 million sunsets.
Here under the sky again.

Trace my folds
and bands of crystals,
formed by a heat
greater than passion,
forged together and
set far below.

I was once like you,
walking in the Sunlight
for a few score
of fog-lit mornings,
before the borders failed,
and I disintegrated.

You will soon enough be like me,
solid and stoic,
warming and cooling
with the summer Sun
and the winter snows;
thinking crystal thoughts,
for another
hundred-thousand years.

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Sep 10, 2010 - 11:45pm PT

But then
Also love
Senses touching stone
In the space between sky and earth
Living the moment between now and eternity
Awareness expanding to embrace all consciousness
From mountain rock to mosquito
Grasping the oneness
Of it all
The love
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 20, 2010 - 03:37am PT
Is poetry dead?

Or is it just nice outside?

Trad climber
s. ca.
Sep 20, 2010 - 11:40am PT
Ahhh,a woman lying on the beach / as sun diamonds on the water her beauty dazzles my eyes closed / her sweet scent fills me full as hot sand runs between my fingers / a sailboat on starboard tack its taught sail quivers / she rolls over / the boat changes course / a gull spirals down to alight with a splash upon the sea / I reach out and rub oil on her smooth tan back / ahhh

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Sep 20, 2010 - 11:09pm PT
There are some gems in here. Let's see if I can rise to the occasion:

Many times I've fallen down,
many times I've gotten up
I will keep on doing both,
until my time is up

Well, it rhymes at least. Part of it at least. If you count using the same word a rhyme. But hey, poetry doesn't have to rhyme, right?

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Sep 20, 2010 - 11:18pm PT
I guess when you're with 'em,
it's all in the rhythm,
that surely will get 'em
as much as the
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 20, 2010 - 11:19pm PT
Bravo Nutjob on the rise and fall poem.

Tomorrow I will Rise 4 pitches.

Good motivation.
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 20, 2010 - 11:22pm PT
Tami, I must admit, when single the three P's worked for me:
Pot, Puppies, and Poetry. The trifecta is undefeatable.

By the way do you remember meeting me at OR years ago? we talked in the airport too. I told you I named a boulder problem "I had Tammi Knight's love child".
Ya said that makes no sense.
I said "Exactly."


Big Wall climber
total Disarray
Sep 20, 2010 - 11:23pm PT
Pure genius!
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 20, 2010 - 11:30pm PT
Oh well.

Who the hell are you anyway???
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 21, 2010 - 01:03am PT
Back to poetry!


The sea has lapped at it
Three months now,
Rushing in – then out,
Empty handed.
For IT is yet
Too large to move,
Still, grounded to the sand
& reluctant to be reclaimed.
The eyes are gone,
( early summer
raven meals )
& the skin is
laid back half-way
from the bone beneath.
It is here remaining,
( blubber unconsumed,
partially mummified
by the tide )
still staring out
through fly-covered sockets.
How is it
( I wonder aloud )
that you came here?
And why do you still persist?
You’re time here is done
And the waves
Call you back
To the waiting arms
Of the Mother,
The Baker.
No answer comes,
Only empty holes
With a hint
Of lingering fire.
Only teeth bared
Beyond repair,
Smiling at the Punch-Line
Of a joke that
Sailed over my head...
& is three months gone.

-Paul Humphrey

Sep 21, 2010 - 01:21am PT
I know this great site: bad haiku

Big Wall climber
total Disarray
Sep 21, 2010 - 01:27am PT
That's pretty good. Thank you, Wonder. (Wow, I really say that a lot. Not to Wonder{the concept})
WooHoo Hoo Woo WooHoo Hoo Woo. Sorry, It was the song.

Kennewick wa
Sep 21, 2010 - 01:28am PT

O! SQUIRREL brother,
Your tail, my hair. We are one.
Yet I must eat you.

In honor of Leonard Skinner RIP

Lynyrd Skynyrd don't
win no spelling bees. Who cares?
They rock the trailer

Disclaimer: I didn't write either one. I am not that "gifted".

Social climber
Polynesian Paralysis
Sep 21, 2010 - 04:59am PT
Alani, Native of the Wet Forest

With slender trunk,
standing straight,
she is not the tallest tree in the forest.
Yet surely one of the loveliest.
And sweetest smelling.
Sunlight filters down on her skin
and through her leaves,
giving light to all around her.
Native birds, apapane, elepai’o,
visit her flowers,
play along her strong branches and
sing their songs to her,
bringing music to the entire forest.

Rain falls gently or heavily
on her leaves and branches,
bringing life to her and all of the trees.
She smiles in the rain and in the sun,
smiles at all of life, not caring
what others may think
or not think about her.
Or even if they notice her
or don’t notice her
or know her.

Sitting next to her,
breathing in her lovely fragrance,
listening to the rain
and to the gentle breeze that makes her leaves dance,
Touching her smooth, soft leaves,
Watching her, so at home in the forest,
My senses come alive to all of Life within me.
I smile in my heart.
And want to know her better.
Two Pack Jack

The hills
Sep 22, 2010 - 12:47am PT
'night nurse'

LEDs softly lite
a crescent half face
while she
cerebrally indulges

in the decadence
of circular trivialities,
after a twilight night
stuffed of
a thanksgiving turkey.

Dora the Explorer
and Kashi® cereal.
A hush of rain
settles on the grass outside
like the gentle
of a grandmother.

Her clock
is watching her sleep,
cocooned in
heavy sheets
in July.

You're warmth
lays next to me
in the mornings
in a crinkled
bedsheet oval.
Sometimes we spoon
waiting for the sunrise,
but only when you're gone.

You are a sweet
honeysuckle eclipse,
a secret buried
in a cryptic geometric

Missing you is the only
thing I do well
drip sand castles.
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 22, 2010 - 11:45am PT
Wow. I give that last one an A.
Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Sep 22, 2010 - 12:16pm PT
Is poetry dead?

perhaps it ought to be. i think poetics is alive and well. you see it dozens of times a day, mostly in advertising. people love the sound and play of words. they'd rather have poetic words than prosaic. it's a taste which comes when a mind is attached to an ear.

poetry, unfortunately, degenerates easily into therapy. nobody is listening to you except yourself and the paid therapist, whose meter is running. a poet's circle becomes a little truce: i'll pretend i'm listening to you if you pretend you're listening to me.

but real poetry, which is rare, is one of the most powerful things out there:

"... how dreadful to be somebody,
"how public, like a frog,
"to tell its name the livelong june
"to an admiring bog."

"had we but world enough, and time,
"this coyness, lady, were no crime ..."

"... i'm not willing to lay down and die
"because i am an innocent man."

"beauty is truth and truth beauty
"that's all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

"i'll play ball with the underdog
"and sit with the child who's wrong
"be still when the earth is silent
"and sing when my strength is gone."

"... and like a thunderbolt, he falls."

"... but i have promises to keep
"and miles to go before i sleep
"and miles to go before i sleep."
Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 22, 2010 - 12:20pm PT

Wise words. Exelent quotes. Your brain is firmly attatched.

I love the shared narsacism (SP?)idea. So true. If only everyone knew my thoughts and words were the ones they really need. HA, HA.

Disaster Master

Sport climber
Arcata / Santa Rosa, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 22, 2010 - 12:25pm PT
Rough day yesterday. My girlfriend wrote this for me after I went to sleep.

I like it!

Reply To Paul's Poems

So you think you're the only one

Life is here now, what are you waiting for?

Do over?

More time

A better body

So you think you're the only one

With wet dreams?

Who was first

Or last

So you think you're the only one

Who's alive?

Or dying

Painfuly reminishing

So you think you're the only one

Who's laughing?

Grin to grin

Smile, erase the face

So you think you are the only one

To become?

Yes, become

Become what?

The only one? Yes.

 by Ruth RIffe
Two Pack Jack

The hills
Sep 23, 2010 - 01:01am PT
I dig that last poem. it provokes earthy and real images.

This is a poem about how I see reincarnation as the eternal flow of consciousness through language and action into physical and metaphysical media. That media holds that grain of consciousness in time, until it is let out once again into a sentient mind.

'The Bee'

A bee collects
from a quiet sunny
in a sea of buttercups.

He buzzes back
heavy hearted to his hive,
on the grounds of an
insight interminable:
hell no longer be alive.

She shyly swims
along the air and
whispers to her friend
the secret of the shoal.

Have no fear
he bee she bee,

now you will never die.


Jim Henson's Basement
Sep 29, 2010 - 09:55pm PT
I just found this Shel Siverstien rip off I wrote when I was cleaning out my files.

Ickle Me, Pickle Me Tickle Me too
Went to boulder a slopey V2 .
"What fun!"
"Where are my shoes?"
Said Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Ickle was spotter, Pickle had a tattoo,
And Tickle brought ganja and Mountain Dew
Climb higher
And higher
And higher
And higher they do,
Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too,
Over the crimps and the crux they flew.
"Hold On"
"And send!"
"I hope we do!"
Cried Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too
Never returned to the proj. they slew,
And nobody
Knows what
Happened to
Dear Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.
Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 28, 2010 - 05:13pm PT
In a scan frenzy. Found this one, "Making Landscapes" in an old Wild Humboldt magazine. Click on photo to enlarge.
-Paul Humphrey
Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 28, 2010 - 07:03pm PT
Another from a past publication, Wild Humboldt.
Click on pic, zoom to enlarge.

Trad climber
hard sayin' not knowin'
Nov 28, 2010 - 09:13pm PT
After the trip to see you

I washed the clothes that smelled like you
opened the door,
added the soap,
and threw them in.

I unpacked the things that smelled like you
with the hands that smelled like you.
I put them on shelves
to wait.

I hung up the pack
walked past the things and down the stairs
to fold the clothes
that still
smelled like you
with the hands
that still
smelled like you.
Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Nov 29, 2010 - 12:41pm PT
bump for shel silverstein fans.

shel left an amazing body of work. i think the best interpreter of his songs was his good friend, bob gibson. shel is usually clever as hell, but occasionally he's quite thoughtful, as in "me and jimmy rodgers" and "hey, nelly, nelly".

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Nov 29, 2010 - 06:35pm PT
we gotta upset the physiological paradigms.

it's just a mere evolutionary hiccup.
here, i'll start. and, you'll see.

when you live, lie down.
when you die, stand up and walk to beyond.
Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 10, 2011 - 01:53pm PT
-PD Humphrey
Back on the scene,
Feeling lean.
Not a flutter of
A worry in my head.

Just a short while back
I was half near dead,
Hooked on her form
And every word she said.

How wonderful we were…
In my mind.
Come to find
Shadows were deeper
Than I supposed.
Expectations were steeper
Than first proposed.

Up and out of Bewilderness.
Seekin’ personal bliss
Through conversation
Or a kiss,
Shoot off enough bullets
And you’re sure not to miss.

You may well enjoy
The boomerang effect
So stick out your neck,
What the heck.
Just go boy,
Play that sh#t like
your favorite toy.
Pick up the mike
And Bellow.

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe
Jan 10, 2011 - 02:28pm PT
Haven't written since early college, but here ya go...


I. He stood at the edge of the desert
Feet trembling at the torment that lay ahead
A vast ocean of burnt sand and faded life
Wastes away in the memory of distant worlds
And far off friendships that lost their meaning over the desolate years

He watched the blood trickle from his wounds
Before embarking on his journey into wastelands
Clouds covered the horizon with their soft touch of gentle mist
His eyes touched mine
I felt his pain

The sky began to fade into the dusk
Leaving only a silhouette of the face I once called

I left my world in desolation
Feelings left untold and untamed
A sky left cold and gray
A desert left uncrossed and unknown

II. So many worlds to discover
Names without faces
Faces without eyes
Eyes without vision
Vision without love
So many perspectives to observe

I stood before the desert plains
Heart in one hand, mind in the other
Waiting for my questions to be answered

Knowledge passes from soul to soul
From being to being
From heart to heart

And as I watched my son turn his back
I knew I had failed to give him knowledge
To give him guidance
To give him love

My only mistake was in trusting myself

III. The desert stood before us
Preventing our passage into desolation
Unresponsive to a blatant voice of reason
Tearing me away from the hatred in my veins

I know the world as it knows me
Just a passer-by
On his way into the desert valley
To find knowledge, and guidance, and love

The answers to questions I never found at home

IV. Desolation awaits my doubts and desires
Feeds off my anger
Grows with my fear

Alone in a world to big for an infant
Too small for a giant
Too afraid for a hero
Too bold for man

I’ll cross the desert in later years
Find the knowledge I never found
Heal the pain I never felt
Find the fears I never lost

Only here, in my desolate mind
Is my world complete
No faces or names
No eyes to watch me
No love to tear me away

Beyond the desert
Restoration holds the key to a broken world
But only here do the birds cry
Only here the sky stays gray
Only here, our love is life
And life lives on in desolation

-Eric Friedlander


Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 10, 2011 - 03:22pm PT

letterpressed in 1983 with hand-set type. printed on a Vandercook SP-15 proof press.

ah, youth.
Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 10, 2011 - 09:40pm PT
Written on the Pacific Crest Trail.

My every movement is a prayer.
My every breath an expression of joy.
These creaking bones,
curses & moans
are shouts of glory.
My every effort is a drive to praise.
My sweat through travail is Holy made.
Oh, wonderful marvelous effort
which sustains as it drains
every ounce and hint of worries away,
scattering them into the wholesome wind.
This same breeze embraces me,
cradling my kenetic worship
& I breath & move effortlessly;
for neither I,
nor the universe,
nor the devine is static.
We are movement, all of us.
We ebb & flow.
My every movement is a prayer.

-Paul David Humphrey

scott baxter

Gym climber
sedona, arizona
Jan 11, 2011 - 12:41pm PT

In the rock shop

I carry on over the tigereyes, turquoise
and carnelian the way I once saw a bag-
woman mother egg-
plants and apples in the supermarket.

Say it loud enough or softly once too often,
the most highly polished are the saddest,
and they’ll want to intern you too.

The label crazy is the price of admission
into the clan of the bloody stoned.

An Apache tear says, I fell from
a frightened orphan’s eye in 1886,
wear me around your neck.

And from an old box of fist-sized rocks
in the corner, abandon your bleeding heart
for the internal workings of a geode.

Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 11, 2011 - 01:36pm PT

I've been a sinner
and a missionary,
A minister
and a criminal.
An in-law
and an out-law,
A climber
and a coward.
I've been brave,
I've run away.
Yet I always wake up
the next day...

Who will I be
the next moment,
or life.
Full of peace?
Filled with strife?

Yes, no.
Stop, go,
Who knows?

All I'm sure of
is that fertilizer
is manure.
Good and bad
are required
who Grows?

All I know is
that I don't know...
About the
next moment
or the dawn.

Off to greet it, though.
Off to see it through.
Until the sh#t
hits the fan again,
and I scrape it off,
lay it down,
and plant the next
version of my soul.

-Paul Humphrey
scott baxter

Gym climber
sedona, arizona
Jan 13, 2011 - 12:13am PT


Clad in the sparest garment
I want to wander with flute in hand
deep into the desert,
there to practice and practice
till I can match the canyon
rock and cactus wrens

to practice more
till mastered the dry piping
of wind through sere shafts
of century plants long-
emptied of seed;

to then feed the flute
to a lyre snake,
hang my leaf in a smoke tree,
and plumb deeper still
stark naked
the mute holy heart of the desert.

Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 13, 2011 - 11:38am PT

I really liked that one.

Sport climber
El Presidio, Tucson
Jan 13, 2011 - 11:50am PT
That is a wonderful poem, Mister Baxter... Thank you for sharing...
Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 18, 2011 - 03:22pm PT
I posted this on another thread, but here it is here too...

I am in a lot of pain. I took more drugs than ever for it today. Fell into a sleep. Dreamed and woke up. Wrote it down. Here it is.

Dark seas, swirling,
seem to cry
againt death's unfurling.
The surf is high
and I look down
yet defiant.

Tall trees, greening,
grow where I
dream of leaning;
seated way up nigh
in the crook
of the arm
of a Giant.

Large stones, warming
like eggs, lie
with swallows swarming;
nestled in the sky
near the apex
of slopes
velvet and verdant.

-Paul Humphrey


Jan 20, 2011 - 11:35pm PT
For Paul
by Vicky Hollenbeck August 22, 2010

Good times, way back when.
Leader of the outdoors,
You had fire in your eyes then.
Climbing, laughing, smoking,
Indigo Girls and Steel Pulse,
And poetry.
It's all still there.

Find a river or peak,
A cause, Yellow Dragon, salamander wonder,
A warm gathering of friends.
You had words to speak.
It's all still there.

The river is winding,
You're at the peak's crux.
Push on, climb on, summit my friend!

You still have words to speak.
I still have ears to hear.
And we will still be there.

Jan 20, 2011 - 11:44pm PT
For my old friend Paul
13 January, 2011

I watch you, from a distance.
So close, virtually touching.

Wonder, who are we?
With our many lives,
Transient and permanent.
Where we've gone
How we've weaved,
Like silk on the loom.

It washes over me
Like the riptide
Too powerful to imagine
Yet slow, calming, cool...

Like an old friend.

Social climber
down south
Jan 21, 2011 - 01:33am PT
I know I've hurt you so bad.
I didn't realize the damage I could do.
It makes me so sad.
When I consider my love for you.
How we held each other down.
Yet, our hearts open bare.
Like children on a playground.
My Love, take care.

hanging from a crimp and crying for my mama.
Jan 21, 2011 - 02:27am PT

I remember the blood in my left shoe
where flying glass
somehow worked it's way in
leaving a scar to show
how far I've gone

when the room is silence
I remember too much

so loudly
with nervous chatter I deny
to fill me into here
Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 9, 2011 - 12:21pm PT
I was thinking this morning that I hum 3 or 4 songs that I wrote to myself all the time. I don't know why, but they are stuck in my head. I wish I could remember how to write down the music that goes with them.

Why did I not write them down before? Perhaps because they are all unfinished, I can never find the right 3rd verse, it seems...

I will post them up as I jot them down. (The music is pretty good, too.)

Song #1:


Where've you gone to,
my far off friend?

I never thought
that our togetherness
would ever
see an end.

Yet here we are...
Or rather I,
and You are There,

Why couldn't you stay?
Did I forget
the right words
to say
to you?

Well, I don't
think about you

when I smell that
pink bubblegum
in the isle at the store.
Mmmm yeah.

I remember
smacking your lips,
slapping your lips
& that sweet juisyfruit,
juicyfruit, juicyfruit.
Your were my
Juicyfruit Baby.

I remember...
blowing your bubbles
back into you.
I remember
blowing softly
into you...
That's what I
used to do.
That's what I
used to do...

I thought I saw you
on the horizon's edge.

But it was only
mixed with
my tears.

So many memories
over so many years.
painful Remembrance.
Just when the comfort
of forgetting came
I remembered her name...

Well, I don't
think about you

when I smell that
pink bubblegum
in the isle at the store.
Mmmm yeah.

I remember
smacking your lips,
slapping your lips
& that sweet juicyfruit,
juicyfruit, juicyfruit.
Your were my
Juicyfruit Baby.

I wish I could...
blow your bubbles
back into you.
I want to blow
back softly
into you...
That's what I
wish I could do.
That's what I
Would do...

(I never worked out verse 3....)

-Paul Humphrey

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Mar 9, 2011 - 12:47pm PT
I don't write poetry, but I write songs, here are a couple...

Shelter For the Dead

I'm lookin through the jumbled streets of fun
to places where the hungry seek and run
where nights wind down with nothing gained or won
and empty people shuffle off with none

I'm travelin and I'm leavin far behind
all the things it took so long to find
and while I'm gone I'll keep it on my mind
the comforts that will draw the soul to bind

and I'm leavin here this morning
confusion in my head
this isn't where I do belong
a strange and lonely bed
my heart sinks slowly down
and eyes are filled with red
an empty bed is not a home
just shelter for the dead

a few may come and you will look ahead
and for a while the pain is gone and led
you to a place with pastimes gone unsaid
but flannel memories take their place instead

and I'm leavin here this morning
confusion in my head
this isn't where I do belong
a strange and lonely bed
my heart sinks slowly down
and eyes are filled with red
an empty bed is not a home
just shelter for the dead
for the dead
just shelter for the dead

I'm lookin through the jumbled streets of fun
to places where the hungry seek and run
where nights wind down with nothin gained or won
and empty people shuffle off with none

Cold Ground Runnin

I hit the cold ground runnin when 40 hit my face
it hit me fast and hard and left all kind of trace
I helped it on along my life at such a pace
I stand with open arm and one held in embrace

and I know
and I know
yes I know
I've been graced

I hit the cold ground runnin lookin straight ahead
I could not see behind for what was in my head
you keep it looking forward steering clear of dread
and find your Oz is there all finely dressed in red

and I know
and I know
yes I know
I've been graced


Trad climber
Mar 9, 2011 - 01:16pm PT

Cast out of fingertips
on a dull keyboard,
one kind word
thrown to the bobbing air,
and i fall over,
staid world shaken
by a virtual stranger.
What a pushover,
touched all the same,
captured a moment,
not wanting free,
as if fingertips grazed the very nerve of me,
blindsided, quick-ignited,
spun sweet as honey,
soothed as by a soul singer’s humming

hanging from an ice pic and missing my mama.
Mar 9, 2011 - 02:36pm PT

this is the dawn
full of memories of the past
twisted into the locks of my hair
all the stories I'll never tell

I am in shadow
grasping for the first light
my loneliness reaching
to touch your hand for a chance
the possibilities

you grasp back

Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 9, 2011 - 02:44pm PT
Here's another I wrote long ago for a friend:


















El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Jul 31, 2011 - 01:50am PT

Rest in peace Paul.

Tuesday has come and gone
and I have made more coffee
than i can drink alone
it has rained plants have grown
the animals wander the yard
fewer lights turned on
the sheets less wrinkled
half full glass of water lays in wait
on that side
of the table
at night I sing sad songs
and wonder if those headlights
are hers
when I wake I make more coffee
than I can drink alone.




Trad climber
Jul 31, 2011 - 02:28am PT
Rest in peace dude. You really earned it this time.
Look at all the words and thoughts and righteous sentiments you drew from the folk here.
That in itself is something to be proud of; though a mere reflection of life at ground zero.
But also a beautiful echo of the spirit, minus the gory details. . .
But also a song or two to inspire someone on the other end of those inter tubes.
You shared your songs, even the unfinished ones, and enCouraged others to do the same.
You had time and you didn't miss the chance to live it in all of it's potential.
All the pain, everything.
Fukk man. .
Now just rest easy. You earned it.
Just rest
Wade Icey

Trad climber
Jul 31, 2011 - 11:58am PT
I don't know you at all
we've never met
I wouldn't recognize you
in passing yet
I've read what you've written
assigned a face
to a voice animated
by what you've said
and that face
that voice
has become familiar
despite never meeting
I know you well
we're from the same place

Aug 3, 2011 - 08:56pm PT
Since I heard the news, can't get Jackson Browne's 'For A Dancer' out of my head. Thanks for making a joyful sound, Paul...

"Keep a fire burning in your eye
Pay attention to the open sky
You never know what will be coming down
I don’t remember losing track of you
You were always dancing in and out of view
I must have thought you’d always be around
Always keeping things real by playing the clown
Now you’re nowhere to be found

I don’t know what happens when people die
Can’t seem to grasp it as hard as I try
It’s like a song I can hear playing right in my ear
That I can’t sing
I can’t help listening
And I can’t help feeling stupid standing ’round
Crying as they ease you down
’cause I know that you’d rather we were dancing
Dancing our sorrow away
(right on dancing)
No matter what fate chooses to play
(there’s nothing you can do about it anyway)

Just do the steps that you’ve been shown
By everyone you’ve ever known
Until the dance becomes your very own
No matter how close to yours
Another’s steps have grown
In the end there is one dance you’ll do alone

Keep a fire for the human race
Let your prayers go drifting into space
You never know what will be coming down
Perhaps a better world is drawing near
And just as easily it could all disappear
Along with whatever meaning you might have found
Don’t let the uncertainty turn you around
(the world keeps turning around and around)
Go on and make a joyful sound

Into a dancer you have grown
From a seed somebody else has thrown
Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own
And somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive
But you’ll never know"

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 4, 2011 - 12:15am PT
Dusk tucks in
gunmetal pillows
and apricot sheets
the ice cream truck played
My Darling Clementine
moved forward
by my legs
over the speed bumps
in Barrio Blue Moon.


A long way from where I started
Aug 4, 2011 - 12:28am PT
The days, like leaves...

hanging from an ice pick and missing my mama.
Aug 4, 2011 - 12:54am PT
the cairns guide me farther
where mountain flowers bloom
not far from where the water swirls
foaming white, flowing backwards

here you are never alone
with an ant crawling on my pants
as something buzzes past my ear
moving deeper into the woods
I hear a voice in the wind

is it an echo of mine or is it you?
or can it be something greater

for here is a greater world
full of secrets beneath each rock
hidden behind the trees
so much I don't know

with dedicated loyalty
I fallow the cairns
feeling a great need to stay on the path


it is never wise to wander
too far from what little one knows


Gym climber
Aug 4, 2011 - 01:08am PT
Touching Things

Sounds of light running
through my mind.
I wait for the sunrise.

The smell of colors.

Waves of time break over
my conscious
evolving slow change.

I know I am I am here
Then remember it's only the image
my eyes wish to see.

Love is deep and on the inside.

Drink in the sound of air
touching things.

Gym climber
Aug 4, 2011 - 01:47am PT
The Dog

They said it would never stop, then they said it would.
Gary, Kenny, Scott and Mary.
Cut glass, bleeding. It's etched on the outside.
The wheels squeal. You always get the one with the horked coaster.
Florescent lights, they look green. So old, so old.
I hate it when they flicker like that.

Outside the pavement is hot, but we don't touch it.
Saturday, a loud noise on the road. Must be recycle day.

I get in the car, lift my leg. The knee bends, it hurts.
A smile, Mary smiles. Oh what a laugh.
"Drive on, girl, drive on!"

We turn, out of the lot. Onto the expressway, it's swarming.
Funny men driving with hats. Crazy fast Princess. She has
A Place To Go.

We pull into the drive, bowl over the shrub. Crack.
The wheel comes back onto the driveway. I think it made a mark.
Glen takes over, we leave.
Damn, the dog. It sh#t the house. So damn funny.

Social climber
Orange, CA
Aug 4, 2011 - 01:57am PT
I found this when I was cleaning out boxes of Paul's belongings...

Sometimes there are no answers,
only Hope.

Thankfully, Hope is a hot flame indeed,
shedding flickering light
on an only partly grasped need
for insight in the hard moments
wich foster a personal night.

The dizzy-wavering way
"reality" appears today
will calm again,

It will indeed grow richer
in depth and breadth,
reminded, time to time,
that you were privileged
to aid the too quick pilgrimage
of a soul
which needed you're love
to move on.

P.D. Humphrey

RIP Big brother!
xoxo Your lil' sis.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 4, 2011 - 02:06am PT

We will keep this thread going in Paul's honor.

Dig your stuff kman.

Poetry is an amazing thing.

Social climber
Orange, CA
Aug 5, 2011 - 01:03am PT
I would love to see this to keep going in Paul's memory.

I have another poem that I came across and thought was appropriate for this time. So, in honor of his passing here is another poem of Paul's.

My weight will be transcended
mended and rendered
molded and shattered.
Flowing together again

Though the cloak envelops me I will
peer through the weave.

My weight will be
Rendered and mended.

Heaviness leaves me with
my exhaled breath.
The future is an inhalation
my weight will be transcended.

P.D. Humphrey

Gym climber
Aug 5, 2011 - 12:56pm PT
yllw, that was a sweet one from Paul.
Thanks for sharing it.

And thanks Jefe for looking at my stuff. The first (touching things) I wrote many years ago. But I still like it, kind of a reaffirmation for me of what is this life here, and being present in it. The other thing, I wrote the other night. Interesting mood this thread put into me.

Social climber
Orange, CA
Aug 5, 2011 - 02:26pm PT
Cragman I liked that one a lot. Thank you for sharing.

K-man you are welcome. I thought others would enjoy that one.

I think I will post more of Paul's poems as I find ones I think would be good to share. I am compiling a stack of poems and saying from him together on the computer and then I'm going to have to decide what to do with them. For myself I would like to create a little book out of it and maybe pass it on to my family. My brother was very talented with words and I want to preserve what he has written. I am toying with the idea of creating a blog where all his poetry is kept for people to read.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 10, 2011 - 04:05pm PT
sometimes it feels
like I could wheelie
the whole puddle.
and sometimes
it feels like
a headwind
when there isn't one.
keep riding.


Trad climber
Placerville, California
Aug 10, 2011 - 04:13pm PT

foward abides not
upon chronology.

progress transpires
according to its own design.

Trad climber
The great white north, eh?
Aug 10, 2011 - 04:38pm PT
Just upthread Iclimb5.1 posted up the lyrics to "For A Dancer". I just got back from a lunch hour that I spent listening to Jackson Browne. Just returned and hopped on this thread...and suddenly realized that Paul is gone. I'm not sure how I missed that...
And so I find myself sitting in my cube, half-listening to a confernce call, with tears streaming down my cheeks. Tears for a friend and brother that I had never met, but will be greatly missed just the same. I have so little to say right now, perhaps later.
Off belay, Paul. You are safe. It is time for a well-earned rest. Rest in peace, my Brother. You are home.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 13, 2011 - 03:09pm PT
that along the way
she can empty her pack
of the heavy rocks
hidden in there
years ago to make things
heavier than they
should be
and the summit breeze
will free us
remind us
of our own


The Granite State.
Aug 13, 2011 - 03:16pm PT
Coffee, then climbing
I start my day
Sending is fun
But friends mean more

You're no longer here
But we miss you.


Trad climber
Placerville, California
Aug 13, 2011 - 04:19pm PT
sin is easy.
sin is free.
sin is the dance between you and me.

sin is the wringing between my ears; my halo hovering above.

sin is essential.
sin is fun.
sin makes sense when from god we run.

it’s the game between angels, on their days off,
god had the devil, in heaven’s loft.

sin is the sun
shining through a righteous fog.
sin is me humping the leg of a dog.

sin is rites between accountable hearts;
a record of my soul’s passing.

father sun beget mrs. moon while her resident man watched,
and out of wedlock was borne the earth,
the big bang announcing her coming.


El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 16, 2011 - 08:59pm PT
I still see
windswept places
back porches
I want to go

Q- Ball

Mountain climber
where the wind always blows
Aug 16, 2011 - 10:04pm PT
A wise and worthy old trout,
painted with colors red, blue and green,
snatching at flies on the surface,
all but the one on my line

hanging from an ice pick and missing my mama.
Aug 16, 2011 - 10:10pm PT

Good friends are greatly missed
leaving an emptiness to every room
all gatherings incomplete

yet somewhere in time
their laugh remains



Trad climber
Placerville, California
Aug 17, 2011 - 11:53am PT
im terrified to be,
so instead i dream.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 17, 2011 - 12:49pm PT
dig deep
the rich topsoil
and attractive cover
the roots may have a
structure hard
to understand
dig deep
without a spade
your hands
will do
just fine.


El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 19, 2011 - 03:37am PT the night.


Trad climber
Placerville, California
Aug 19, 2011 - 05:32am PT
four cups of tea,
why stop at three?

-an american ode to excess.

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Aug 19, 2011 - 06:12am PT
when a butterfly collides with my car,
i sense the mass of the insect.
through my being.

and my soul hyper-blooms.

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Aug 19, 2011 - 06:22am PT
i am living comfortably,
i am living agreeably,
and most importantly,
i am living cheaply.


hanging from an ice pick and missing my mama.
Aug 19, 2011 - 07:36am PT
...and there is still music after I am gone
listen for I am near


Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Aug 19, 2011 - 09:13am PT
in the dark quiet hours
when others sleep and cold seeps to my bones
I am free

but I mourn the cost of freedom,
free to be but not with thee
until wavering walls fall shimmering
like the first rays of morning sun

my soul is clothed in your embrace
and I am happy.


Aug 19, 2011 - 02:34pm PT
The Art of Disappearing.

When they say Don't I know you? say no.
When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
before answering.
Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.
If they say we should get together.
say why? It's not that you don't love them any more.
You're trying to remember something
too important to forget.
The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished. When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven't seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don't start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.
Walk around feeling like a leaf. Know you could tumble any second. Then decide what to do with your time.


Aug 19, 2011 - 03:21pm PT
Life flows limb to limb, hands growing outstretched to accept the energy
of the sun.
A conscience grows unknowing of its purpose, a purpose which does not
need to be known to have meaning.
Energy is accepted from all things, the soul feeds it as the water
quenches its thirst.
Years have no meaning and time is the crux in the discovery of purpose.
The legs twist and bend as they become the ground.
A relationship is born between two beings, stability is the reward.
As the earth once fed the tree now the tree will feed the earth.
The tree flows back into the soil and breathes its soul into the air.
A brief moment in time allowed the two to coexist in constant change.
Fate is not a word of sorrow but gives meaning to the purpose.
The purpose is the ultimate reason for being.
It existed so that others could exist.


hanging from an ice pick and missing my mama.
Aug 19, 2011 - 03:24pm PT
the hardest thing that one must accept
is that some things can never be changed

and to recognize one's failures
yet never accept defeat

I contemplate solutions
as I waste this precious time to act

this choice that must be made
is weighting me, bending my back
for I am walking blindly
this twisted path of emotions

here I crouch like an old man
opening my hands
all I can give is truth
sharp and unforgiving
hurting us both

yet in the sharing
if we both claim our faults
maybe the best will be left

love is for the brave


El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 20, 2011 - 04:30pm PT
scalloped sand
hardening with sun
the flood is gone
left only waste
and a story.


Sport climber
Aug 23, 2011 - 04:08pm PT
"To wash and rinse our souls of their age-old sorrows,
We drained a hundred jugs of wine.
A splendid night it was . . . .
In the clear moonlight we were loath to go to bed.
But at last drunkenness overcame us;
And we laid ourselves down on the empty mountain,
The earth for pillow, and the great heaven for coverlet."

Not my poetry

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 23, 2011 - 04:17pm PT
Thanks for sharing the poetry folks.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 24, 2011 - 01:22am PT
This poetry is good for many things; the contributor, the reader, and yes, keeping Paul's memory, and writing, up top.

I've only shared my own recent writing.
Here's one I read in the New Yorker that affected me.


Say you hoped to
tame something
wild and stayed
calm and inched up
day by day. Or even
not tame it but
meet it halfway.
Things went along.
You made progress,
it would be a
lengthy process,
sensing changes
in your hair and
nails. So it's
strange when it
attacks: you thought
you had a deal.

-Kay Ryan

Sport climber
Aug 24, 2011 - 11:01am PT
"The wolf watched me with her yellow eyes and in them was no despair but only that same reckonless deep of loneliness that cored the world to its heart."

Not my own poetry

Gym climber
Aug 24, 2011 - 12:23pm PT
Very nice, thanks for the posts.

I like this one a lot:

the hardest thing that one must accept
is that some things can never be changed


El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 24, 2011 - 09:15pm PT
So many different styles..and talent.
Poetry's cool like that...

In the creative writing and poetry courses I've taken, "workshopping" your stuff was essential.
So any input- praise or criticism is welcomed by me.
Don't know how others feel so for now I'll keep my thoughts on other's writing to myself.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 25, 2011 - 09:41am PT
beneath our twisted
and waiting
the lucky old sun
and the monsoon need
to decide
who will own
a conversation
heard in the colors
of sunrise.

Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Aug 25, 2011 - 09:47am PT
memories of families forgotten

sorry, oxymoronic. please don't do that to us.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 25, 2011 - 10:03am PT
Well Tony, I guess that's a start.
Got anything you've written?

Sport climber
Aug 25, 2011 - 03:43pm PT
'You want to catch this wolf, the old man said. Maybe you want the skin so you can get some money. Maybe you can buy some boots or something like that. You can do that. But where is the wolf? The wolf is like the copo de nieve.
'Snowflake. You catch the snowflake but when you look in your hand you dont have it no more. Maybe you see this dechado. But before you can see it it is gone. If you want to see it you have to see it on its own ground. If you catch it you lose it. And where it goes there is no coming back from. Not even God can bring it back.'

Not my own poetry.

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Aug 25, 2011 - 04:27pm PT
sorry, oxymoronic. please don't do that to us.

I find that apparent contradictions are often the gateway to deeper reflection. They test our perceptions and conceptions. Maybe there is something more for us to understand, maybe not. In any case, our attention is drawn to something we might have passed without contemplation.

From my perspective, Poetry doesn't have rules, in terms of grammar or punctuation or rhyming, etc. I think of this as the main unifying characteristic for this class of writing. We can impose whatever rules or intentions we want to make a subset of poetry, but in general we have a blank slate.

Sport climber
Aug 25, 2011 - 04:31pm PT
"We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes - something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise."

Not my own poetry

Sport climber
Aug 25, 2011 - 04:32pm PT
"He squatted over the wolf and touched her fur. He touched the cold and perfect teeth. The eye turned to the fire gave back no light and he closed it with his thumb and sat by her and put his hand upon her bloodied forehead and closed his own eyes that he could see her running in the mountains, running in the starlight where the grass was wet and the sun's coming as yet had not undone the rich matrix of creatures passed in the night before her. Deer and hare and dove and groundvole all richly empaneled on the air for her delight, allnations of the possible world ordained by God of which she was one among and not separate from. Where she ran the cries of the coyotes clapped shut as if a door had closed upon them and all was fear and marvel. He took up her stiff head out of the leaves and held it or he reached to hold what cannot be held, what already ran among the mountains at once terrible and of a great beauty, like flowers that feed on flesh. What blood and bone are made of but can themselves not make on any altar nor by any wound of war. What we may well believe has power to cut and shape and hollow out the dark form of the world surely if wind can, if rain can. But which cannot be held never be held and is no flower but is swift and a huntress and the wind itself is in terror of it and the world cannot lose it."

Not my own poetry

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Aug 25, 2011 - 04:36pm PT
my blank state
cannot un-blank my slate.

my thoughts are untidy.
my woes are driving.

there is no summary
for this moment.

i'll leave it slightly altered.
slightly alone.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 25, 2011 - 09:17pm PT
Well said nutjob.
Poetry is.

the crazed man
hissed and
I changed gears
while the freighter
rumbled and called
anvils grew in
the east
dogs ran their length
of chain
Blue Moon
and the Yaqui
can you make me
miss our tree
make me pedal faster?
Home, to the


Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Aug 26, 2011 - 07:00pm PT

Sun on squirrel on redwood burl
seashore rocks on my porch curl
bright and glittery like a pearl
prayer flags flutter and unfurl

wood and metal wind chimes twirl
small pink sandals of my girl
such peace its hard to be a churl
no need to spit or insults hurl

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 26, 2011 - 11:40pm PT
Well hot damn!
We got a rhymer!!!

I'll have to dig up some of my cowboy poetry.
J. Werlin

Social climber
Cedaredge, CO
Aug 27, 2011 - 03:19pm PT
Drljefe--nice stuff, man!

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 27, 2011 - 04:38pm PT
Thanks Jwerlin.

Posting all my recent poetry has been a much needed release during some painful, challenging times.

I appreciate the opportunity to just
"Get it out there".

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 29, 2011 - 03:45am PT
tangled bosque
where is our tree?
thought it distinct
catclaw clinging and
twisted arms
there it is!
I knew it.


hanging from an ice pick and missing my mama.
Aug 29, 2011 - 05:02am PT
twisted thoughts
twisting paths

if I can only untangle mine
that is spun around your finger
from all that is you
somehow depart away
from what is always pointing at a good direction

I'll be a very lonely fool

Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Aug 29, 2011 - 10:26am PT
i've already posted on this thread several times, jefe. i hate to wear out my welcome, and i haven't had any orders for my little book. as i've commented, poets rarely read each other. i can rhyme with the best of them, but i defer to norsky as the real prince here.

and it won't hurt to say "here's to paul"--the best poetry is how you live your life.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 29, 2011 - 10:52am PT
Sorry, wasn't trying to call you out Tony. I'll go back and look for your posts.

Yes, here's to Paul.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Aug 30, 2011 - 10:06am PT
Miracle Mile
and the Blue Moon
between the expanse
and comfort of shade
the tracks
and the overpass
the speed bumps
the house that smells
of incense
I can wheelie
the whole puddle!
do Ruben and Jesus know?
the Yaqui or the ice cream man?
when will the tumble weeds
finally tumble or the arroyo
run and when
will I go this way
with a new cadence
that wasn't a head wind
you were just going
so fast.

Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Aug 30, 2011 - 10:52am PT
yea, jefe, you could be a poet. maybe this will help.

we used to have a dandy little poetry journal in los angeles called poetry l.a. which published for a few years in the late 80s, early 90s, the labor of love of one helen friedland, who gave it up when her husband took ill. you'd find the likes of charles bukowski and kate braverman in there, with works hot off their powerful pens. but here are two of my favorites, which i hereby copy unto thee, i hope protected by "fair use" (who would read them otherwise?).

i'm not sure what you're talking about in your poem, jefe. a nice little trip, but it seems terribly private, as most poetry is these days. it's okay to be private. who knows, you might be great and someday whole armies of scholars will go over your life with a fine-toothed comb and publish theses, dissertations and articles in notes and queries. but probably not.

i love these poems because they are patent. shakespeare is too.


by Eliot Fried

I want to fiddle with a pipe and look profound
plucking a mote of dust from my tweed sleeve
as i gaze into space, thinking thoughts so heavy
they sink into the ground. I want to have
a stern dog with pale silky hair that needs tending.
I want a frail consumptive woman, just a bit deranged,
waiting patiently in a dark room as I come home
after a hard day, flinging Guggenheim and Ford Foundation
grants onto the vacuumed shag. I want to write quatrains
for the sensitive. I want the thin crustless sandwiches
served by old ladies on polished silver trays ...
I want the oolong tea. I want to suffer exquisitely
as I write of comely things: a cow upon a puffy hill,
the hazy gauze of sunset, a gull drifting in the misty air.
Most of all, Richard Wilbur, I want you to die
quickly though not necessarily painlessly, impaled, perhaps,
upon a rose bush or clipped by a Mack truck the color
of autumn smoke, or choked by a crustless sandwich. Get the idea?


by Ron Koertge

It is a pleasant town on a lake. Mail arrives every day, delivered by postmen and women paid handsomely for their charm and beauty. Even the stamps here are lovely and in the summer high school girls put them on their bodies in lieu of clothes.

There is religion. It consists of a priest--usually a well-adjusted gay man in extraordinary robes--who blesses everything: the statues in the square, boats, meals and snacks, every sneeze and thought.

The only doctor is available twenty-four hours a day but is rarely needed. His prescription is always the same anyway--champagne and longer naps with someone who loves you.

School is fun and though there is no failure, those who feel less successful go immediately to the faculty lounge and are embraced.

There is horse racing every day at twilight. The track announcer is a woman and her sweet calls are so moving everyone weeps openly on his way to the cashier's window. The cheapest horses are cared for by loyal veterinarians and all night a man with a lovely accent walks among them whispering, "There are no animals like you anywhere in God's universe."

There is death. Funerals are held before noon and always in a light rain. Everyone grieves and no child is ever lied to about the gift of oblivion. Then at noon the bars open, flower beds are uncovered, bright birds uncaged. The sun rushes to the mid-point of the sky and it is time for a swim and a tan, a tan with no ultra-violet rays, a tan that makes the skin younger.

Koertgeville is impossible to find and immediately accessible. As its mayor, I welcome you with open arms.


that's good poetry. who knows if it's great or not? if i hadn't posted it here, you'd never have read it. it's mustering on shelves somewhere, who knows if it'll ever get off there.

Sport climber
Aug 30, 2011 - 12:27pm PT
"In every Now Being starts
Around every Here the globe of There is rolling
The Middle is everywhere
Bowed is the path of eternity"

Not my own poetry

Sport climber
Aug 30, 2011 - 12:29pm PT
"Wanderer, who are you? I see you go your way without scorn, without love, with unfathomable eyes; moist and sad as a sounding-lead that has returned to the light unsated from every deep -- what was it looking for down there? -- with a breast that does not sigh, with a lip that hides in disgust, with a hand which now reaches out slowly: who are you? what have you done? Repose here: this place is hospitable to everyone -- refresh yourself! And whoever you may be: what would you like now? What will refresh you? You have only to name it: whatever I have I offer you! Refreshment? Refreshment? O inquisitive man what are you saying! But please give me What? What? Say it! One more mask! A second mask..."

Not my own poetry

Sport climber
Aug 30, 2011 - 12:32pm PT
"Your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible. Finally, you fear blood more and more. Blood and time."

Not my own poetry

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Sep 1, 2011 - 12:12am PT
I like that one Donald.
Some nice imagery, and I always appreciate place names in poetry for some reason.

Tony, thanks for posting those poems, and your opinion/perspective.

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Sep 1, 2011 - 02:54am PT
Well I'm no poet, but I enjoy reading everyone's great stuff here!
And sometimes I enjoy playing with words, deep in the night.

Funny when I'm there
the mind wanders
to things unrelated
to the place.
My eye wanders
and the mind wonders.

Quiet evening shadow
under the ancient stone,
a twisted old piece
of barbwire
pierces the sand
and whistles a tune.

Tired voices
of bygone times
filter near the ground.

in the back of my mind
sounds of the city.
An old chevy rumbles
and the sounds of
Los Lobos
echo on the breeze
I want to be back
in the Ojito.

Sport climber
Sep 4, 2011 - 02:05pm PT
"Screech owls moan in the yellowing
Mulberry trees. Field mice scurry,
Preparing their holes for winter.
Midnight,we cross an old battlefield.
The moonlight shines cold on white bones."

Not my own poetry

Trad climber
Sep 4, 2011 - 02:58pm PT
I wrote this for my wife years ago, after a trip that included an ascent of the Triple Direct on El Cap, and several alpine routes on the way back home.

In those peaceful times
When adventure is past
And reflection becomes possible
My thoughts drift
Across the miles
Or across the room
To where you are

And I struggle to understand
What it is that draws me to
Desolate, high places
Of wind and stone and stars

That compels me
To suffer, to strain
To subject myself
To the extreme conditions
That belong to adventure

When all the while
It keeps me away
From the comforts and joys
That life with you brings

I try to weigh the value
Of the elusive rewards of adventure
To compare them with
The very real treasures
I possess in you

And I conclude
That days in your company
Are worth far more
Than anything I might discover
In the wild

So I return home
With my bruised and lacerated body
And my torn and calloused hands
Promising myself with each twinge and ache
That I will never again wander
From you presence
Holding firmly to the passion
That weaves our lives together

Slowly I begin to tumble
Through the pattern of our days
The edges chiseled by a harsher
Way of life
Becoming more and more gentle
My character increasingly refined
And reshaped by our time together

Time ebbs and flows
Around us, over us, through us
And on a peaceful afternoon
When reflection becomes possible
A restless spirit stirs within me
Responding with increasing urgency
To the siren call of adventure
And I know that I must go

For one of the rewards
That I find
Amid ice and stone
And the broad expanse of the sky
Is you

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Sep 4, 2011 - 03:24pm PT
I sometimes feel a rush of air
on my back when I wear this shirt
and low light on the adobe plays with the
soft songs from last May or the May before.
And visited again with the smell of spanish rice
with the kitchen dark and oven being cold.
Card stock notes with a slant to the writing used
as bookmarks in a dusty novel that fall
out when I arrange the shelves just so.
Evening gravel arrival in the driveway, then
heels and the happiness of a wagging tail, the energy moves from the outside in and
she is here again, only in the way
a ghost moves without effort from room to room,
barely defined.
The frames hang just slightly crooked now, after I made sure they were straight,
she has been here again, maybe
just in that rush of air.



Sport climber
Sep 4, 2011 - 03:32pm PT
HuecoRat and drljefe. Very nice.

You can compare yourself to the author of this any day:

"In a dream, silently, she had come to him, her wasted body within its loose graveclothes giving off an odour of wax and rosewood, her breath, bent over him with mute secret words, a faint odour of wetted ashes.
Her glazing eyes, staring out of death, to shake and bend my soul. On me alone. The ghostcandle to light her agony. Ghostly light on the tortured face. Her hoarse loud breath rattling in horror, while all prayed on their knees. Her eyes on me to strike me down."

Sport climber
Downtown, Tucson
Sep 5, 2011 - 12:48pm PT
Beautiful and haunting, Jefe ...

One for you
that you're familiar with
from the first May
when we met:

"Your Feet", by Pablo Neruda

When I can not look at your face
I look at your feet.

Your feet of arched bone,
your hard little feet.

I know that they support you,
and that your gentle weight
rises upon them.

Your waist and your breasts,
the double purple
of your nipples,
the sockets of your eyes
that have just flown away,
your wide fruit mouth,
your red tresses,
my little tower.

But I love your feet
only because they walked
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters,
until they found me.

Sport climber
Downtown, Tucson
Sep 5, 2011 - 12:59pm PT
And now
that I have Neruda
on the brain
The first I'd read
of his
that touched me
and got me
back to writing
and hopefully
sharing with strangers ...

"Poetry", by Pablo Neruda

And it was at that age ... Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don't know how or when,
no they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.

I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
with names,
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
that fire,
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
and open,
palpitating plantations,
shadow perforated,
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.

And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind.


Sport climber
Downtown, Tucson
Sep 5, 2011 - 01:12pm PT
Okay, sharing with strangers ... the first step.

A poem I wrote back in 2001
with Darcy on my mind
as she battled addiction
and I watched her
lose her way ...

Another Line, by LM

My pursuit of destruction
rises early on Friday
as I stir from
Klonopin induced sleep.

My head's lethargic
as scattered thoughts
weave cloudy trails
like cobwebs
in the corners of my house.

It's 7am
as I count money in my head
Planning, scheming
Planning, plotting
on getting that sh#t
that shoots me high and straight
to a stranger's bed
his nasty sheets and soiled walls
like the No-Tell-Motel
on a Tuesday night.

I'll draw the line
then do another
I'll forfeit self respect
then do another
I'll sacrifice true friends
then do another
I'll isolate
with ten of my closest friends
who lack dignity, respect, and self-worth
then do another
to delude myself
for yet another day...
I'll cross the line
then do another.

~I have no idea what happened to Darcy ... but I hope she found peace in the end.


Trad climber
Placerville, California
Sep 5, 2011 - 02:07pm PT
the peace that i know and author
squints this way and that,
in repsonse to
the blinding rays of real life.

peace is not limited to:
sitting cross legged, naked, nekid, nekid;
no expression across the lips,
eyes content with one vision,
and one vision alone.

peace also entails:
screaming dis-ease.
frantic blinks of surrender and panic.
lonliness and fear.
pain and suffering.

these things are also,
part of peace.

peace is lovely,
and sometimes, peace is pissed-off.

some addicts are drug through peace.
some addicts dance to, upon and away from peace.

peace is not enjoyed,
not arrived at.
peace, like everything,
is endured.

regret no one their's journey, no matter how ill it appears.
their peace is theirs,
your peace is yours,

and my peace weaves in and out of it's own disaster.

Sport climber
Sep 5, 2011 - 02:07pm PT

That is a very good start, go on and polish the poem and work at the ending. Here are some words you can use or not:

My hands are nailed
as I enter the cross
staring into the eyes
of the angel of death
Do you want me now?

Sport climber
Downtown, Tucson
Sep 6, 2011 - 12:03am PT
^^ Marlow, thank you for the input ... That was 10 years ago, and I hope i've "improved" since then.

Seems, since then, i've put my poetry to music, and made them into songs...

More to share in the future...

~peace, LM

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Sep 6, 2011 - 01:29am PT
Thanks for the Neruda, leggs, my lobster.
Your poem too. You HAVE improved and your music is incredible.

Trad climber
Sep 10, 2011 - 06:56pm PT
Sometimes I turn to show
or to share
or to tell
and I am surprised
to find myself alone
I forget that
you're gone

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Sep 10, 2011 - 07:32pm PT
poetry don't float.
it sinks with the soal
that's heavy as coul.

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Sep 10, 2011 - 07:36pm PT
...and the heavens applaud with claps of thunder...

Sport climber
Sep 11, 2011 - 10:09am PT
"With heart at rest I climbed the citadel's steep height
Looked down upon the city as from a tower
Hospital, brothel, prison and such hells
Where evil comes up softly like a flower."

Sport climber
Sep 11, 2011 - 10:09am PT
"Whore and monk, we sleep
under one roof together,
moon in a field of clover"

Gym climber
Sep 13, 2011 - 02:00am PT
A poem to B.B.

I cup your head
_ in the cradle of my hands.
The edge of your face, as if a mask
_ balances on my palm.
The curls of your blonde hair
_ wrap around my arms.
Like those of a bronze Zeus, your eyes
_ draw me close.
A fresh kiss, our lips come together
_ touch.
I am just a dreamer, standing on
_ a stone in the river.
And you are just a dream.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Sep 20, 2011 - 03:41am PT
two stones.

the gentle rise
of the desert floor
where it
came to a stop
after rolling
to cleave
making two
it is perfect
that spot
and together
they will watch
every sunset



Sep 20, 2011 - 04:15am PT
Been home a few days
I don't remember them well
I'll be gone many more
Collecting stories to tell
To anyone that'll listen
Anybody who cares
But whenever I'm home
I'd much rather be there
Gym Birdwall

Gym climber
Sep 21, 2011 - 04:33pm PT
A poem from Paul found today
His words still fill my heart with joy.

I hear laughter
in a grain of sand,
a small chuckle
spun off from
the massif
in an act
of perpetual hilarity

For the mainland shakes,
from time to time;
sometimes rolling
sometimes with a jolt
but always quivering.

Quaking, simmering;
rolling down in
perpetual giggles
to the waiting,
dancing arms
of the Sea
the lover
the maker.

She suckles framented laughter,
kneads the utterances
together into
a dense mass of hilarity
until new humor
is formed and thrust up
with a gasp.

I hear you hear it?

Paul D Humphrey


Sport climber
Sep 21, 2011 - 05:20pm PT
"The moon shimmers in green water.
White herons fly through the moonlight.

The young man hears a girl gathering water-chestnuts:
into the night, singing, they paddle home together."

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Sep 22, 2011 - 11:16am PT
I hear it too.

if just for the chance
that moment that flickers
so fast but burns
so long
I would do anything
for my mate calls like a fire
in the dark and cold
and there I find warmth
stare at the flame
breathe the scent so familiar
try to get closer
see the sculpted forms
in firelight and drift away to sleep
the time could be anytime
the place anywhere past
or unknown
the fire beckons me still and I find it there


Sport climber
Downtown, Tucson
Sep 23, 2011 - 11:15am PT
^^ Nice, Jefe

Gym climber
Sep 23, 2011 - 11:30am PT
^^ Yes, nice jefe.

And what a beaut from Paul.
How hard to you have to listen to hear it?

Here's a love poem. Up to Paul:

Marching Little Men

Damaged I am, thinking of you.
I whip my thoughts up into a froth.
Why aren't you here, where are you?
I am frenzied, I run about the house.
It was a farm, no--a road.
Stretched over the hill to a green pasture,
there are cows--no, dogs. They look like little men.
Marching little men.
Oh, where *are* you?
I get back into bed, pull down the covers.
Your slender back, my hand glazes down your small spine.
Look at my hands, they are holding you,
your waste fits onto mine.
Just then, your eyes turn to meet me.
For a second it stops.
It wasn't planned, we blink at the same time.
And we're there, at 4:30 in the morning.

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Sep 23, 2011 - 01:22pm PT
dont look
the university is on its back.
and its panties have rotted
to the anthem of punk rock.

don't look
the universe is on its knees
and, um, it is three different genders.

horrible and wrought
can only describe all life forms
escaping The Womb
though vows of damanation remain in limbo.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Sep 23, 2011 - 04:07pm PT
in the mist of Bridalveil
the falling water draped like lace
over the curves of her back
and the bronze boulders
where I see her mother
in her eyes
myself in her tears
tiny reflections
droplets on her hand
on the ring
the expanse before us
the knowing
and the unknown
the mist I know
I want for the first time
with me forever.


Sport climber
Downtown, Tucson
Sep 24, 2011 - 11:09am PT
two stones.

the gentle rise
of the desert floor
where it
came to a stop
after rolling
to cleave
making two
it is perfect
that spot
and together
they will watch
every sunset


Love it, Jefe... Our boulder

And, the Falls... love it... I remember that day SO vividly..thank you.

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Oct 6, 2011 - 12:48pm PT
i can no longer contribute
to your thread, jefe.

for i practice not poetry.
i practice insanity.
in its legible, though not tangible form.

insanity is not an illness,
its an understanding, or maybe a misunderstanding

of the copulation between perception an reality,
for all these little ideas are borne;

1000 over there, chattering in tiny voices.
1 over there tapping a heavy boot,
so many above me blowing sweet phrases past my ears,
2 within, that are trying to rise,
in pursuit of jesus by my cap is screwed, up, tight.

my words are still shots,
of my perception's money shot upon reality which
hides, anyway, behind the moon.

Social climber
Orange, CA
Oct 29, 2011 - 12:57am PT
Thanks for sharing, everyone, and keeping this thread alive in honor of my brother's memory. here is another poem by Paul.

Alas, My love,
My mind has tired
Of dreaming of true love.
Alas, my love,
Of pondering things above.

Alas, My love,
My body has tired
Of pumping life through me,
Alas, my love
My being has tired.
My love, show what will be.

-P.D. Humphrey

Sport climber
Nov 6, 2011 - 03:58pm PT
Hurt Hawks


The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,
The wing trails like a banner in defeat,

No more to use the sky forever but live with famine
And pain a few days: cat nor coyote
Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.

He stands under the oak-bush and waits
The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom
And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it.

He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse.
The curs of the day come and torment him
At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head,

The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.

You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him;
Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;
Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.


I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk;
but the great redtail
Had nothing left but unable misery
From the bone too shattered for mending, the wing that trailed under his talons when he moved.

We had fed him six weeks, I gave him freedom,
He wandered over the foreland hill and returned in the evening, asking for death,
Not like a beggar, still eyed with the old
Implacable arrogance.

I gave him the lead gift in the twilight.
What fell was relaxed, Owl-downy, soft feminine feathers; but what
Soared: the fierce rush: the night-herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising
Before it was quite unsheathed from reality.

Robinson Jeffers

Sport climber
Nov 6, 2011 - 04:41pm PT

There is a hawk that is picking the birds out of our sky,
She killed the pigeons of peace and security,
She has taken honesty and confidence from nations and men,
She is hunting the lonely heron of liberty.
She loads the arts with nonsense, she is very cunning
Science with dreams and the state with powers to catch them at last.
Nothing will escape her at last, flying nor running.
This is the hawk that picks out the star's eyes.
This is the only hunter that will ever catch the wild swan;
The prey she will take last is the wild white swan of the beauty of things.
Then she will be alone, pure destruction, achieved and supreme,
Empty darkness under the death-tent wings.
She will build a nest of the swan's bones and hatch a new brood,
Hang new heavens with new birds, all be renewed.

Robinson Jeffers

Sport climber
Nov 6, 2011 - 04:43pm PT
From "Love The Wild Swan"

Unlucky hunter, Oh bullets of wax,
The lion beauty, the wild-swan wings, the storm of the wings.
--This wild swan of a world is no hunter's game.
Better bullets than yours would miss the white breast
Better mirrors than yours would crack in the flame.
Does it matter whether you hate your . . . self?
At least Love your eyes that can see, your mind that can
Hear the music, the thunder of the wings. Love the wild swan.

Robinson Jeffers

Sport climber
Downtown, Tucson
Nov 8, 2011 - 12:44am PT
don't change colors
on desert trees
they simply
fall off

lantana, hibiscus,
and bougainvillea
will wear
capes of cotton
as tall cactus
tip caps
of styrofoam cups
like gentlemen
in saloons

We'll all adjust
to new seasons
and bed time routines
while chasing sunsets
off boulders
in our
Fall dreams...

LMR 11/7/11

Sport climber
Nov 9, 2011 - 03:49pm PT
chase sunsets
off boulders
in my
Fall dreams...

I'll do that

chase sunsets
off boulders
in my fall dreams

dreams falling

And The Tor Poet

I am easily that boy
letting go
wanting back
watching the hawk

Suddenly I remember my grandfather

Very well written.

My prosaic answer: Seen from the register of telephones there are around 150 persons in Norway who has Thompson as part of their name. Some of them surely has children, so I guess there are around 200 Thompsons in Norway too.

Sport climber
Nov 20, 2011 - 08:44am PT
Heidegger's Black Forest - To those impatient: listen from 4.30.

Sport climber
Nov 25, 2011 - 03:39pm PT
Throne of Blood (Kurosawa 1957) - montage video -

Sport climber
Nov 30, 2011 - 01:28pm PT

by: W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)

URNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Sport climber
Nov 30, 2011 - 04:40pm PT
Rumi: Say I Am You -

Sport climber
Dec 2, 2011 - 03:22pm PT
The World?
Moonlit water drops
from the crane's bill.


Sport climber
Dec 2, 2011 - 03:31pm PT
Our appreciation of the crane grows with the slow unraveling of earthly history. His tribe, we now know, stems out of the remote Eocene. The other members of the fauna in which he originated are long since entombed within the hills ... And so they live and have their being - the cranes - not in the constricted present but in the wider reaches of evolutionary time. Their annual return is the clicking of the geologic clock. The sadness discernible in some crane marshes arises, perhaps, from their once having harbored cranes. Now they stand humbled, adrift in history.

Aldo Leopold, "Marshland Elegy" 1937

Sport climber
Dec 2, 2011 - 03:37pm PT
The crane cries in the Nine Marshes
its voice carrying to Heaven.
By the islet the fish lies, or plunges into the deep.

The Book of Odes

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Dec 2, 2011 - 08:20pm PT
i'm a secret
so i'll roll up the cuff
and ride
smelling other's dinner
looking into their lives
counting breaths
i'll help catch bad guys
hang a picture or two
i'll be a blur


Trad climber
Placerville, California
Dec 2, 2011 - 09:03pm PT
a good word dance there,

thank you.

Social climber
Truckee, CA
Dec 10, 2011 - 09:08pm PT
Not mine, but a great example of how kooky English pronunciation is:

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

English Pronunciation by G. Nolst Trenité

Sport climber
Home Sweet Home, Tucson AZ
Jan 2, 2012 - 12:20am PT
Bricks fall into place
Laced with cement
By an experienced
With experienced hands
Rough and callous
From layers built
Over the years

By one
The wall
Builds to a height
I will not
Be able
To overlook
Or see through.

Regulation height
For safety
Approved of
By a committee
Of one.

Sport climber
Jan 9, 2012 - 04:10pm PT
"He got his blankets and spread them in the hay and he was sitting eating sardines out of a tin and watching the rain when a yellow dog rounded the side of the building and entered through the open door and stopped. It looked first at the horse. Then it swung its head and looked at him. It was an old dog gone gray about the muzzle and it was horribly crippled in its hindquarters and its head was askew someway on its body and it moved grotesquely. An arthritic and illjoined thing that crabbed sideways and sniffed at the floor to pick up the man’s scent and then raised its head and nudged the air with its nose and tried to sort him from the shadows with its milky half blind eyes.
Billy set the sardines carefully beside him. He could smell the thing in the damp. It stood there inside the door with the rain falling in the weeds and gravel behind it and it was wet and wretched and so scarred and broken that it might have been patched up out of parts of dogs by demented vivisectionists. It stood and then it shook itself in its grotesque fashion and hobbled moaning to the far corner of the room where it looked back and then turned three times and lay down.
He wiped the blade of the knife on his breeches leg and laid the knife across the tin and looked about. He pried a loose clod of mud from the wall and threw it. The dog made a strange moaning sound but it did not move.
Git, he shouted.
The dog moaned, it lay as before.
He swore softly and rose to his feet and cast about for a weapon. The horse looked at him and it looked at the dog. He crossed the room and went out in the rain and walked around the side of the building. When he came back he had in his fist a threefoot length of waterpipe and with it he advanced upon the dog. Go on, he shouted. Git.
The dog rose moaning and slouched away down the wall and limped out into the yard. When he turned to go back to his blankets it slank past him into the building again. He turned and ran at it with the pipe and it scrabbled away.
He followed it. Outside it had stopped at the edge of the road and it stood in the rain looking back. It had perhaps once been a hunting dog, perhaps left for dead in the mountains or by some highwayside. Repository of ten thousand indignities and the harbringer of God knew what. He bent and clawed up a handful of smallrocks from the gravel apron and slung them. The dog raised its misshapen head and howled weirdly. He advanced upon it and it set off up the road. He ran after it and threw more rocks and shouted at it and he slung the length of pipe. It went clanging and skittering up the road behind the dog and the dog howled again and began to run, hobbling brokenly on its twisted legs with the strange head agoggle on its neck. As it went it raised its mouth sideways and howled again with a terrible sound. Something not of this earth. As if some awful composite of grief had broke through from the preterite world. It tottered away up the road in the rain on its stricken legs and as it went it howled again and again in its heart’s despair until it was gone from sight and all sound in the night’s onset.

He woke in the white light of the desert noon and sat up in the ranksmelling blankets. The shadow of the bare wood windowsash stenciled onto the opposite wall began to pale and fade as he watched. As if a cloud were passing over the sun. He kicked out of the blankets and pulled on his boots and his hat and rose and walked out. The road was a pale gray in the light and the light was drawing away along the edges of the world. Small birds had wakened in the roadside desert bracken and begun to chitter and to flit about and out on the blacktop bands of tarantulas that had been crossing the road in the dark like landcrabs stood frozen at their articulations, arch as marionettes, testing with their measured octave tread the sudden jointed shadows of themselves beneath them.
He looked out down the road and he looked toward the fading light. Darkening shapes of cloud all along the northern rim. It had ceased raining in the night and a broken rainbow or watergall stood out on the desert in a dim neon bow and he looked again at the road which lay as before yet more dark and darkening still where it ran on to the east and where there was no sun and there was no dawn and when he looked again toward the north the light was drawing away faster and that noon in which he’d woke was now become an alien dusk and now an alien dark and the birds that flew had lighted and all had hushed once again in the bracken by the road.
He walked out. A cold wind was coming down off the mountains. It was shearing off the western slopes of the continent where the summer snow lay above the timberline and it was crossing through the high fir forests and among the poles of the aspens and it was sweeping over the desert plain below. It had ceased raining in the night and he walked out on the road and called for the dog. He called and called. Standing in that inexplicable darkness. Where there was no sound anywhere save only the wind. After a while he sat in the road. He took off his hat and placed it on the tarmac before him and he bowed his head and held his face in his hands and wept. He sat there for a long time and after a while the east did gray and after a while the right and godmade sun did rise, once again, for all and without distinction."


Trad climber
Placerville, California
Jan 9, 2012 - 04:16pm PT
chaos of words is
the only way
amongst this structured discipline.

otherwise it blends,
unrecognizably among the

turds on the lawn.

Sport climber
Feb 3, 2012 - 02:45pm PT
"They trudged sullenly the alien ground and the round earth rolled beneath them silently milling the greater void wherein they were contained. In the neuter austerity of that terrain all phenomena were bequeathed a strange equality and no one thing nor spider nor stone nor blade of grass could put forth claim to precedence. The very clarity of these articles belied their familiarity, for the eye predicates the whole on some feature or part and here was nothing more luminous than another and nothing more enshadowed and in the optical democracy of such landscapes all preference is made whimsical and a man and a rock become endowed with unguessed kinships."

Sport climber
Feb 3, 2012 - 02:45pm PT
"Because women so delicate so mysterious Father said. Delicate equilibrium of periodical filth between two moons balanced. Moons he said full and yellow as harvest moons her hips thighs. Outside outside of them always but. Yellow. Feet soles with walking like. Then know that some man that all those mysterious and imperious concealed. With all that inside of them shapes an outward suavity waiting for a touch to. Liquid putrefaction like drowned things floating like pale rubber flabbily filled getting the odor of honeysuckle all mixed up."

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Feb 29, 2012 - 03:57pm PT
jebus you treading on wine.
chang'n it to water.

mining the mind for
veins of swerve,

by the way how do

Sport climber
Mar 14, 2012 - 12:56pm PT
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Sport climber
Mar 16, 2012 - 04:26pm PT
"So, there he lies at the last
The deathbed convent
The pious debauchee
Could not dance half a measure, could I

Give me wine, I'd drain the dregs and toss the empty bottle at the world

Show me our Lord Jesus in agony
and I mount the cross and steal his nails for my own palms

There I go, shuffling from the world, my dribble fresh upon a Bible.

I look upon a pinhead ... and I see angels dancing.


Do you like me ... now?"

Sport climber
Jul 24, 2012 - 01:28pm PT
"No, said Tobin. The gifts of the Almighty are weighed and parceled out in a scale peculiar to himself. It’s no fair accountin and I dont doubt but what he’d be the first to admit it and you put the query to him boldface.


The Almighty, the Almighty. The expriest shook his head. He glanced across the fire toward the judge. That great hairless thing. You wouldnt think to look at him that he could outdance the devil himself now would ye? God the man is a dancer, you’ll not take that away from him. And fiddle. He’s the greatest fiddler I ever heard and that’s an end on it. The greatest. He can cut a trail, shoot a rifle, ride a horse, track a deer. He’s been all over the world. Him and the governor they sat up till breakfast and it was Paris this and London that in five languages, you’d have give something to of heard them. The governor’s a learned man himself he is, but the judge . . .

The expriest shook his head. Oh it may be the Lord’s way of showin how little store he sets by the learned. Whatever could it mean to one who knows all? He’s an uncommon love for the common man and godly wisdom resides in the least of things so that it may well be that the voice of the Almighty speaks most profoundly in such beings as lives in silence themselves.

He watched the kid.

For let it go how it will, he said, God speaks in the least of creatures.

The kid thought him to mean birds or things that crawl but the expriest, watching, his head slightly cocked, said: No man is give leave of that voice.

The kid spat into the fire and bent to his work.

I aint heard no voice, he said.

When it stops, said Tobin, you’ll know you’ve heard it all your life.

Is that right?


The kid turned the leather in his lap. The expriest watched him.

At night, said Tobin, when the horses are grazing and the company is asleep, who hears them grazing?

Dont nobody hear them if they’re asleep.

Aye. And if they cease their grazing who is it that wakes?

Every man.

Aye, said the expriest. Every man.

The kid looked up. And the judge? Does the voice speak to him?

The judge, said Tobin. He didn’t answer."

Sport climber
Jul 29, 2012 - 05:17pm PT
"Already you could see through the dust on the ponies’ hides the painted chevrons and the hands and rising suns and birds and fish of every device like the shade of old work through sizing on a canvas and now too you could hear above the pounding of unshod hooves the piping of the quena, flutes made from human bones, and some among the company had begun to saw back on their mounts and some to mill in confusion when up from the offside of those ponies there rose a fabled horde of mounted lancers and archers bearing shields bedight with bits of broken mirrorglass that cast a thousand unpieced suns against the eyes of their enemies. A legion of horribles, hundreds in number, half naked or clad in costumes attic or biblical or wardrobed out of a fevered dream with the skins of animals and silk finery and pieces of uniform still tracked with the blood of prior owners, coats of slain dragoons, frogged and braided cavalery jackets, one in a stovepipe hat and one with an umbrella and one in white stockings and a bloodstained weddingveil and some in headgear of cranefeathers or rawhide helmets that bore the horns of bull or buffalo and one in a pigeontailed coat worn backwards and otherwise and one in the armor of a Spanish conquistador, the breastplate and pauldrons deeply dented with old blows of mace or sabre done in another country by men whose very bones were dust and many with their braids spliced up with the hair of other beasts until they trailed upon the ground and their horses’ ears and tails worked with bits of brightly colored cloth and one whose horse’s whole head was painted crimsom red and all the horsemen’s faces gaudy and grotesque with daubings like a company og mounted clowns, death hilarious, all howling in a barbarous tongue and riding down upon them like a horde from a hell more horrible yet than the brimstone land of Christian reckoning, screeching and yammering and clothed in smoke like those vaporous beings in regions beyond right knowing where the eye wanders and the lip jerks and drools."

Sport climber
Sep 9, 2012 - 04:21am PT
"They took to riding by night, silent jornadas save for the trundling of the wagons and the wheeze of the animals. Under the moonlight a strange party of elders with the white dust thick on their moustaches and their eyebrows. They moved on and the stars jostled and arced across the firmament and died beyond the inkblack mountains. They came to know the nightskies well. Western eyes that read more geometric constructions than those names given by the ancients. Tethered to the polestar they rode the Dipper round while Orion rose in the southwest like a great electric kite. The sand lay blue in the moonlight and the iron tires of the wagons rolled among the shapes of the riders in gleaming hoops that veered and wheeled woundedly and vaguely navigational like slender astrolabes and the polished shoes of the horses kept hasping up like a myriad of eyes winking across the desert floor. They watched storms out there so distant they could not be heard, the silent lightning flaring sheetwise and the thin black spine of the mountain chain fluttering and sucked away again in the dark. They saw wild horses racing on the plain, pounding their shadows down the night and leaving in the moonlight a vaporous dust like the palest stain of their passing."

Sport climber
Nov 26, 2012 - 10:53am PT

I asked a gypsy pal
To imitate an old image
And speak old wisdom.
She drew in her chin,
Made her neck and head
The top piece of a Nile obelisk
and said:
Snatch off the gag from thy mouth, child,
And be free to keep silence.
Tell no man anything for no man listens,
Yet hold thy lips ready to speak.

Carl Sandburg

Sport climber
Nov 28, 2012 - 04:05pm PT

Inferno, Song XXVI

Rejoice, Florence, as you are so great
That you beat your wings over sea and land,
And through Hell itself your name spreads far and wide!

Among the thieves, I found five such
Citizens of yours, making me ashamed.
And you do not ascend to great honor.

But if we dream the truth near morning,
You shall soon feel
What Prato, not to mention others, wishes for you.

And if it had already happened, it would not be too soon.
So let it happen, since it must!
For it will weigh upon me as I grow older.

We left the place, and by the stairway
Made by the jutting rocks by which we descended before,
My Leader again climbed up and pulled me after him.

And, proceeding along the lonely way
Between the ridge’s crags and rocks,
The foot did not move forward without the hand.

I grieved then, and now I grieve again
When I turn my mind to what I saw,
And I bridle my talent more than I am accustomed.

This is so I do not let it run where virtue does not guide it.
So if a gracious star or something better
Has given me this gift, I do not begrudge it to myself.

As many fireflies as the peasant, resting himself upon
the hillside sees below throughout
The valley—perhaps there where he harvests grapes and tills

The land—at the time when the one who lights
The world keeps his face least hidden
To us, at that time when the fly gives way to the mosquito,

In this way all was resplendent with the many flames in
The eighth pit, which I perceived as
Soon as I made it to the place where the bottom was visible.

And like the one avenged by bears
Saw the chariot of Elijah departing
When the horses reared and climbed to heaven,

And who could not follow it with his eyes
Beyond seeing anything but the flame alone—
It was like a small cloud climbing upward—

So each moves through the mouth
Of the ditch. For none shows its theft,
And every flame steals a sinner.

I was standing on the bridge to see from above.
As it was, if I had not held fast to a jutting rock,
I would have fallen below without being pushed.

And my Leader, who saw me so intent,
Said, “The spirits are inside the flames;
Each is bound in that which burns him.”

“My Master,” I replied, “Hearing your words
Makes me more certain, but I already thought
That was so, and I still want to ask you:

Who is in the flame that becomes so split
At the top that it seems to rise from the pyre
Where Eteocles was laid with his brother?”

He responded, “Tormented inside there are
Odysseus and Diomedes, and so together
They submit to vengeance as they once did to wrath.

And inside their flame they lament
The ruse of the horse that created the door
Through which the noble seed of the Romans came.

Inside it they mourn the guile that causes, even in death,
Deidamia to still grieve for Achilles.
And it is the way they are punished for the Palladium.”

“If, from within those flames, they are able
To speak,” I said, “Master, I so pray to you,
And pray again that my prayer becomes a thousand,

That you forbid my waiting
Until the horned flame comes here.
You see how my yearning draws me towards it!”

And he replied, “Your prayer is deserving
Of much praise, and therefore I accede to it.
But hold your tongue.

Leave speaking to me, for I understand
What you want. Since they were Greeks,
They might be put off by your saying it.”

When the flame had come to
Where it appeared to my leader the proper time and place,
I heard him speak with these words:

“O you who are two within one flame,
If I was worthy of you while I lived,
If I was worthy of you a great deal or a little

When in the world I wrote my high verses,
Do not move along. Rather, let one of you say
Where he, being lost, went to die.”

The greater horn of the ancient flame
Began to shake and murmur—
Just like it was being set upon by the wind.

Then, moving the tip back and forth
Like a tongue speaking,
It sent forth a voice and said, “When

I parted from Circe, who detained
Me more than a year there near Gaeta
Before Aeneas named the place that,

Not fondness for my son, not duty
To my elderly father, not the love I owed
Penelope to make her content,

Could conquer within me the passion
I had to gain knowledge of the world
And the vices and value of humanity.

But I set out on the high, open sea
With only one ship and that small
Crew who had not deserted me.

I saw one shore after another all the way to Spain,
As far as Morocco, including the island of Sardinia
And the others the sea bathed all around.

My crew and I were old and slow
When we came to that narrow strait
Where Hercules set up his landmarks

Indicating where men should not venture beyond.
On my right hand I left Seville behind,
And on the other I had already left Ceuta.

‘O brothers,’ I said, ‘who through a hundred thousand
Perils have reached the West,
To this so brief vigil

Of our remaining senses.
Do not wish to deny experience
Behind the sun, in the world without people.

Consider your heritage.
You were not born to live like brutes,
But to pursue virtue and knowledge.’

I made my crew so eager
For the journey with this little speech
That I hardly could have restrained them.

We then turned our stern toward the dawn,
Making wings of our oars in this mad flight,
Always gaining on the left-hand side.

All the stars of the other pole were now
Seen by the night, and our own was so low
That it did not rise from the ocean floor.

Five times rekindled and as often put out
Had the light been beneath the moon
Since we had entered the great passage,

When a mountain appeared before us, dark
In the distance, and it seemed so tall—
Higher than I had ever seen before.

We cheered, and soon turned to tears.
For a storm rose from the newfound land
And struck the front of the ship.

Three times it whirled us around with all the waters.
The fourth time it raised the stern upward,
And moved the prow below, as it pleased the Other,

Until the sea again closed over us.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Nov 28, 2012 - 08:37pm PT
Pullups, bleachers
Pullups, bleachers
What is
This strange creature?

(a journal entry the evening of a mid 70s workout in Boise, Idaho)

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Nov 28, 2012 - 08:55pm PT
“What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death, In years that bring the philosophic mind.”

Wordsworth, not my poetry Paul, but every day when I think of you, and how you guided me through my illness, while you suffered so, I am stronger than I ever could be if you hadn't been there. If I can give back even a fraction of what you gave me, I will have shined a light for some suffering soul...

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 29, 2012 - 04:16pm PT
Recuerdos de la Universidad del Pacifico

Does she still play?

No way, I say, with my wooden-handed, slabby-sided fingers.

And I remember she could play faster than this typewriter can on a good day on Starbucks Bold.

Or text.

Give me a brake. Just f*#kin‘ stop.

Next? The Organ Symphony by St. Saens.

Then the real climbing will begin.

Just fugue it, I'm not as free as that. Bratuitous, fame-dropping little word-slinging little, chees-smoking little versifier and sometimes liar.


Sport climber
Nov 29, 2012 - 07:00pm PT
Filmatic poetry
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So is this
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Sport climber
Dec 20, 2012 - 03:49pm PT
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Woody the Beaver

Trad climber
Soldier, Idaho
Dec 20, 2012 - 04:08pm PT
Nude Ascending King's Peak

Hot, even in the winter above 13,000'. Still air, bright
Sun, big pack, big boots, loose snow. The blownclean
North Ridge would have been a stroll, but oh no, had to
Think about it, figured right up the East Face, save an hour.
So now, plowing powder, 500' to go.

Glasses fogged, and sweat burns eyes.
Below zero, but hot. Something has to go.
Shirt first: drop and prop the pack in snow, and peel.
Up again. The air licks hair on moving arms,
Icetoasts up nippletips. Wooo.

Another 100', and a flattop boulder, snow-free.
Red quartzite: a dry lichen-frosted
Place to sit, puff, whackfree the ice-stopped bottle.
Frozen gaiters off. Boots off. Hairy wool pants off.
Pants into pack – boots and gaiters on again.

Up again, snowscrapes over gaitertops.
Raw perfect brightness presses up busy
On hams, rump and crack like hot hands
Up and up, smooth air a perfect fit. In bright sun
Above the Uinta River cirque, a blue moon.

Up to the blowfreed ridge, boulders and the cairn.
Shuck the goddamned pack, stumble down and west
Over clacking rocks to look out over all the Yellowstone.
Peaks: tent-topped Wilson, Powell, and
That pointy one. Lovenia, Red Castle over to the right.

Bare. Freeze pinches skinthick over heated
Squeeze of blood. Skin burns pinchbite
Hot! Hot! – rough and soft, boned and dangle – and
Tautbloods to the bite. Standing: raw in light from a fargone
Star, bloodhot in the evercold between the suns.

Sport climber
Dec 30, 2012 - 04:45pm PT
Manuscript found in a book of Joseph Conrad

In the shimmering countries that exude the summer,
the day is blanched in white light. The day
is a harsh slit across the window shutter,
dazzle along the coast, and on the plain, fever.

But the ancient night is bottomless, like a jar
of brimming water. The water reveals limitless wakes,
and in the drifting canoes, face inclined to the stars,
a man marks the limp time with a cigar.

The smoke blurs grey across the constellations
afar. The present sheds past, name, and plan.
The world is a few vague tepid observations.
The river is the original river. The man, the first man.

Jorge Luis Borges

Sport climber
Dec 30, 2012 - 04:53pm PT

Here too. Here as at the other edge
Of the hemisphere, an endless plain
Where a man's cry dies a lonely death.
Here too the indian, the lasso, the wild horse.
here too the bird that never shows itself,
That sings for the memory of one evening
Over the rumblings of history;
Here too the mystic alphabet of stars
leading my pen over the pages to names
Not swept aside in the continual
Labyrinth of days: San Jacinto
And that other Thermopylae, the Alamo.
Here too the neverunderstood,
Anxious and brief affair that is life.

Jorge Luis Borges

Sport climber
Dec 31, 2012 - 09:49am PT
Year's End

Neither the symbolic detail
of a three instead of two,
nor the rough metaphor
that hails one term dying and another emerging
nor the fulfillment of an astronomical process
muddle and undermine
the high plateau of this night
making us wait
for the twelve irreparable strokes of the bell.
The real cause
is our merky pervasive suspicion
of the enigma of Time,
it is our awe at the miracle
that, though the chances are infinite
and though we are
drops in Heraclitus' river,
allows something in us to endure,
never moving.

Jorge Luis Borges
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Dec 31, 2012 - 02:33pm PT
From A Biologist's Boreal Bestiary, a collection of
biological doggerel by WM.

The Misguided Shrew
(Sorex erronius)

Once upon a morning dreary,
While I yawned with eyes all bleary,
Pecking at the keyboard of my
Ancient Commodore,

Suddenly I heard a scurry,
Something tiny, fast and furry
Zipped across the planking of my
Little cabin floor.

Ere I had a chance to spot it,
Its acceleration shot it
Up the pantleg of my jammies and
I roared a frantic roar!

On my quadriceps I bashed it,
Beat it frantically and smashed it,
Shook it dead from out my pantleg –
‘Twas a wee insectivore!

I suspect it meant no malice
Racing up toward my phallus,
But for damn sure, it will try that sly
Maneuver... nevermore!

Loose Rocks

Trad climber
Santa Rosa, CA
Dec 31, 2012 - 02:51pm PT
Holding on too tight
I feel the pump burn from fright
Anchor not in sight

Dec 31, 2012 - 11:07pm PT
Out of the warmth of the house I go,
To set my feet on the newly fallen snow,
To look in the mailbox on the way,
just to realize it is a holiday.

Into the warmth of the house I go,
To get my feet out of the newly fallen snow,
To look in the refrigerator as I pass its way,
Shut the door and walk away,
my check didn't come the mail doesn't run on holiday.


Sport climber
Jan 8, 2013 - 01:35pm PT
Matsuo Basho
[Click to View YouTube Video]
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Sport climber
Jan 20, 2013 - 04:52am PT

New Year's day

year after year
the monkey wearing
a monkey mask

slowly spring
is making an appearance
moon and plum

glass noodles
the winning vendor today
has young greens

Opening the mouth at the house of Shirya

opening a tea jar
I long for the garden
of Sakai

salted sea bream
its gums are also cold
in a fish shop

memorial service
five gallons of saké
like oil

moon and flowers
the stupidity pricked by a needle
entering the coldest season

sweeping the garden
the snow forgotten
by the broom

banked fire
on the wall a shadow
of the guest

Sport climber
Jan 20, 2013 - 05:00am PT
a lone crow
sits on a dead branch
this autumn eve

old pond
a frog leaps into
the sound of water

Sport climber
Jan 23, 2013 - 03:47pm PT
A Whitered Tree

Not a twig or a leaf on the old tree,
Wind and frost harm it no more.
A man could pass through the hole in it's belly,
Ants crawl searching under its peeling bark.
Its only lodger, the toadstool which dies in the morning,
The birds no longer visit in the twilight.
But its wood can still spark tinder.
It does not care yet to be only the void at its heart.

Han Yu

PS: The "void at its heart" is both the hollow inside of the tree and the Buddhist ideal of the mind freed from the illusion of the material body.

Sport climber
Jan 23, 2013 - 04:12pm PT
You're as good a poet as any of the best poets I have ever read, DT, and I have read a few. Your poem draws me in. I'm in that poem...


Social climber
Colorado Plateau
Feb 6, 2014 - 02:43am PT
I do not resemble your other lovers, my lady
should another give you a cloud
I give you rain
Should he give you a lantern, I
will give you the moon
Should he give you a branch
I will give you the trees
And if another gives you a ship
I shall give you the journey.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 6, 2014 - 03:34am PT

Brimming with intent a book unfolds its secrets:
I’m searching for something
It’s in here in the words.

Flipping to the contents page I see a little mark:
P. 4, WAR JOURNAL, SECRETS, it reads, in tiny caps
That remind me of how Dad wrote.

Closing the book, laying it down, I reach into my desk drawer:
Here is my father’s journal
And he was a lieutenant, not a colonel.

His words are all square and capitalization abounds:
His wit and his worries, there with no flurries,
Just the daily grind of trying to die for your country.

Why can I not cry more for the dead who went on living
After the men he befriended went down?
The survivors suffered the loss, not the dead.

It’s what my Dad said
In fountain pen
Way back when.

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