Paul's "post your poetry" Post


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Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Nov 29, 2012 - 04:06pm PT

On the Link

No rider on this metrolink train
seems out of place
not even the young white guy
kissing his red-banged girl.

Or the Latino woman
old, nervous and alone
clutching her black webbed basket
spun from Michoachan soil.

She is bringing gifted bits of clothes
to little Mijo down the line
in an apartment that smells of chorizo
soft leather, and homemade tortillas

I imagine the conductor
bored with the endless bypass
of street to script to street
nearly falling asleep.

His voice still thick with the slumber
of union meetings and echoing speeches
rallied somewhere in a lazy mind
"Claremont Station"

And the impossibly sexy young lady
who boards in a bustle of cell phones
each one geared to a diamond ear
cooing in voluptuous frames and distant boyfriends

Her body cannot be contained
by the gleaming lotion that smells of sugar daddies
too drunk to drive her home
way out in Cucamonga.

They each and everyone
belong to the link
like passengers on the Titanic
so near to tragedy,so far from home.

So far from home
the man with the telltale patches
wearily swinging his backpack
from side to side

He looks like the Canadian wilderness
lost in Chola land
a moneyed vagrant
warmed by portable butane stoves.


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.


Mountain climber
San Diego
Nov 29, 2012 - 04:22pm PT
A Great Silence in the East[side of the Sierra]

a ragged crew of noobs and skanks

We wait

not one single sorry soul possesses worth
to hold an oval from your rack in fragile hand
nor clip a bolt laid forth from rap-ped line
or warm up on your warmupclimb

We wait.

A body, small and cold.
(A body, tired and old?)
Of the sea, of the ship, of the Top Gun ego trip.
Return, return from distant top-rope set
Forsake that yonder crag
Return to us, from gently sloping slopes (rope up!)

Give us your words. Smite our eyes and ears with your words.
Garble them with plastic sticky sticking keys
press keyboard down and birth your rambling rambles

You OWE us THIS!

you owe us this....

We wait.

Sport climber
Nov 29, 2012 - 07:00pm PT
Filmatic poetry

So is this


Sport climber
Dec 20, 2012 - 03:49pm PT
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


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.
Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Jan 23, 2013 - 04:07pm PT
On the Link
Track 2 East

When the hot yellow sun wore
a colorless hole in the eastern sky
I made my way
again to the station
where teams of waiting journeyman
plugged the ticket machine
with nicotine stained forefingers.

On track number two
the 341 will roll out of the mist
to a sun-baked asphalt yard
tagged with plundered refuse
on board its unwelcoming platform
like a tarantula to a desert boulder
numbed motionless by that identical sun

On track number two
the intersection bell rings
a tune of returning gadgets
like a big bass drum
squared to the vibraphone
of slender coiled and heated tracks
two by two, out to eternity.

Suddenly I am a son of the link
I am strangely at home
Me, the scion of this hour
configuring awkward words to fit
the glazed and deafening contours
of high car to straight line
and straight line to back car.

Yes, the straight line
all the way to San Bernardino
where the earlier sun with godless effort
topped the impossible world
revealing a Euclidean rupture
where this train now ventures
a doppler shift in the ruddy smog.


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...

Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Jan 23, 2013 - 04:17pm PT
I am deeply honored Marlow. Thank you.

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.
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