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Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Topic Author's Original Post - May 31, 2008 - 04:48pm PT
Ah to be alive
on a mid-September morn
fording a stream
barefoot, pants rolled up,
holding boots, pack on,
sunshine, ice in the shallows,
northern rockies.

Rustle and shimmer of icy creek waters
stones turn underfoot, small and hard as toes
cold nose dripping
singing inside
creek music, heart music,
smell of sun on gravel.

I pledge allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the soil
of Turtle Island,
and to the beings who thereon dwell
one ecosystem
in diversity
under the sun
With joyful interpenetration for all.

"For All" by Gary Snyder from the Gary Snyder Reader. © Counterpoint.

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Topic Author's Reply - May 31, 2008 - 05:31pm PT
SS, what happened to your other poem? Did you write these, they are wonderful.
Standing Strong

Trad climber
the secret life of T*R
May 31, 2008 - 06:13pm PT
i deleted it cuz i thot it 2 much 2 share

yes i wrote them

May 31, 2008 - 07:06pm PT

Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 31, 2008 - 07:08pm PT
T*R artfully avoids awkward questions about her job interview...

ps Note use of alliteration.

Trad climber
The hear and now, currently Pasadena, CA
Jun 1, 2008 - 03:05am PT
That is a beautiful poem, Mtmmun. I've just recently discovered Gary Snyder (how did I miss him?) and am looking forward to finding more.


Trad climber
electric lady land
Jun 1, 2008 - 07:00am PT
my favorite d.h. lawrence poem.

How beastly the bourgeois is

especially the male of the species--

Presentable, eminently presentable--

shall I make you a present of him?

Isn't he handsome? Isn't he healthy? Isn't he a fine specimen?

Doesn't he look the fresh clean Englishman, outside?

Isn't it God's own image? tramping his thirty miles a day

after partridges, or a little rubber ball?

wouldn't you like to be like that, well off, and quite the


Oh, but wait!

Let him meet a new emotion, let him be faced with another

man's need,

let him come home to a bit of moral difficulty, let life

face him with a new demand on his understanding

and then watch him go soggy, like a wet meringue.

Watch him turn into a mess, either a fool or a bully.

Just watch the display of him, confronted with a new

demand on his intelligence,

a new life-demand.

How beastly the bourgeois is

especially the male of the species--

Nicely groomed, like a mushroom

standing there so sleek and erect and eyeable--

and like a fungus, living on the remains of a bygone life

sucking his life out of the dead leaves of greater life

than his own.

And even so, he's stale, he's been there too long.

Touch him, and you'll find he's all gone inside

just like an old mushroom, all wormy inside, and hollow

under a smooth skin and an upright appearance.

Full of seething, wormy, hollow feelings

rather nasty--

How beastly the bourgeois is!

Standing in their thousands, these appearances, in damp


what a pity they can't all be kicked over

like sickening toadstools, and left to melt back, swiftly

into the soil of England.
Fish Finder

Social climber
Jun 1, 2008 - 09:44am PT
kayaking in malibu 1996 after a long day on the ocean.

"Today I chased the Sun until it fell into the Sea

and when I turned to chase the Moon it was already chasing Me."

A place with cats...bare naked cats...
Jun 1, 2008 - 10:22am PT
On Reading Aloud My Early Poems

This ignorance upon my tongue
Was once the wisdom of the young.

John Williams

Hey Kath! How's the traveling?

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 11, 2008 - 10:23am PT
Rye Whisky
by Anonymous

I'll eat when I'm hungry, I'll drink when I'm dry;
If the hard times don't kill me. I'll live till I die.

I'll tune up my fiddle, and I'll rosin my bow,
And make myself welcome wherever I go.

Beefsteak when I'm hungry, red liquor when I'm dry,
Greenbacks when I'm hard up, and religion when I die.

They say I drink whisky; my money's my own,
All them that don't like me can leave me alone.

Jack o' diamonds, jack o' diamonds, I know you of old,
You've robbed my poor pockets of silver and gold.

Oh whisky, you villain, you've been my downfall;
You've kicked me, you've cuffed me, but I love you for all.

I'll buy my own whisky, I'll make my own stew;
If I get drunk, madam, it's nothing to you.

My foot in the stirrup, my bridle in my hand,
A-courting fair Mollie, to marry if I can.

I've no wife to quarrel, no babies to bawl;
The best way of living is no wife at all.

You may boast of your knowledge, and brag of your sense,
'Twill be all forgotten a hundred years hence.

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
May 11, 2012 - 01:21pm PT
Resurrecting this thread... Seems like a good time as any.

Here is another D.H. Lawrence poem:

Go Deeper than Love

Go deeper than love, for the soul has greater depths,
love is like the grass, but the heart is deep wild rock
molten, yet dense and permanent.
Go down to your deep old heart, and lose sight of yourself.
And lose sight of me, the me whom you turbulently loved.
Let us lose sight of ourselves, and break the mirrors.
For the fierce curve of our lives is moving again to the depths
out of sight, in the deep living heart.

~ D.H. Lawrence ~

(excerpt from Know Thyself, Know Thyself More Deeply)

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
May 12, 2012 - 06:00pm PT
Here's another from a wonderful poet (sorry to say he left us way too early):

In Praise of the Earth

Let us bless
The imagination of the Earth.
That knew early the patience
To harness the mind of time,
Waited for the seas to warm,
Ready to welcome the emergence
Of things dreaming of voyaging
Among the stillness of land.

And how light knew to nurse
The growth until the face of the Earth
Brightened beneath a vision of color.

When the ages of ice came
And sealed the Earth inside
An endless coma of cold,
The heart of the Earth held hope,
Storing fragments of memory,
Ready for the return of the sun.

Let us thank the Earth
That offers ground for home
And holds our feet firm
To walk in space open
To infinite galaxies.

Let us salute the silence
And certainty of mountains:
Their sublime stillness,
Their dream-filled hearts.

The wonder of a garden
Trusting the first warmth of spring
Until its black infinity of cells
Becomes charged with dream;
Then the silent, slow nurture
Of the seed's self, coaxing it
To trust the act of death.

The humility of the Earth
That transfigures all
That has fallen
Of outlived growth.

The kindness of the Earth,
Opening to receive
Our worn forms
Into the final stillness.

Let us ask forgiveness of the Earth
For all our sins against her:
For our violence and poisonings
Of her beauty.

Let us remember within us
The ancient clay,
Holding the memory of seasons,
The passion of the wind,
The fluency of water,
The warmth of fire,
The quiver-touch of the sun
And shadowed sureness of the moon.

That we may awaken,
To live to the full
The dream of the Earth
Who chose us to emerge
And incarnate its hidden night
In mind, spirit, and light.

~ John O'Donohue ~

(To Bless the Space Between Us)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
May 13, 2012 - 12:00am PT

So glad this thread
got re-instated.
I was beginning to wonder;
Now I'm elated.--MFM

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
May 14, 2012 - 03:33am PT
Good stuff MSM and Donald!


Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
May 16, 2012 - 11:42pm PT

(After Rilke)

Whoever you are: step out of doors tonight,
Out of the room that lets you feel secure.
Infinity is open to your sight.
Whoever you are.
With eyes that have forgotten how to see
From viewing things already too well-known,
Lift up into the dark a huge, black tree
And put it in the heavens: tall, alone.
And you have made the world and all you see.
It ripens like the words still in your mouth.
And when at last you comprehend its truth,
Then close your eyes and gently set it free.

~ Dana Gioia ~

(Interrogations at Noon)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
May 17, 2012 - 06:11pm PT
By Helen Louise Blank
Phoenix, AZ

(A True Story in Jingle Form)

I never thought to thank my feet
Who take me safely down the street
I never thought to thank my toes,
Each little one that strongly goes
To take me where I want to be,
Supporting uncomplainingly
The weight I put upon it.

But then one day I changed my ways
And to my feet I gave some praise.
I rubbed and scrubbed and talked to them.
With marble games I strengthened them.
And then, when dressed in silken hose
And wearing shoes with satin bows,
Ah, foolish me, I even said,
"For you I'll write a sonnet."

Now if a sonnet I would pen
I must go out and find a friend
Who might to me the right book lend
To show the meter and the rhyme
That's been agreed since early time
For those who write a sonnet.

And there she came, just walking by
As if by summons from the sky.
She said, "Yes. Surely I've a book.
Why don't you come and take a look?"
I did. Since reading poems grand,
Alas! I hope my feet will understand
I do not have at my command
A sonnet in my bonnet.

from Under The Great Bowl of Heaven/1989

We've heard the "blank" verse jokes, folks...

Trad climber
Placerville, California
May 17, 2012 - 08:27pm PT
enslaved as reality's bitch.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
May 21, 2012 - 02:32am PT
Frankly, Wee J, I thought it was humorous. Genteel ain't happening with you, ya perp. there is no reason for slur. We just went through that, man.

Let me tell ya I been to the place I love the best
I haven't any photos but I got some views

The Swan Slab wske-up was sweet as sin
This lovely lady oak (a blue, I think, but I'm not as smart as Muir, whose bench I slept "neath)

She spread her boughs to me and shared them with the alarm-bell jays
Welcome, brother, they said, rest a bit more

And the mind photoshopped the blue background from the ground
With the arms of the woody nymph spread with delicate green nails on her hands

Swan Slab's a good place to park, if alone, and it's dark
I probably fell asleep where Muir might have.

That is photo one of my trip report.
The shot from the ground at the bench.

After rolling my pad there was a nut dropped by some trad
And I had slept on it. No one training there claimed it.
My lucky day was well-begun.

Then I visited SAR, met two new friends.
I was building a rack, hardly out of the sack.

Coffee and bagels to a stranger returned,
Tales of speed climbs and dream climbs
And all manner of shenanigans.

So I am selling gear today, I feel I could sell cheap
While sitting on Raffi's bench reading H.L. Blank.

"Against the winter sky
Behold the elegant pecan.
Dark flowers cling
Long after summer's gone.
The winds may sing
God's praise upon the lyre
Of her arms uplifted."

automatic +1 for the Weej.

another shot or two from the Swan
then I'll move on

The profile of YPB, the Castle Cliffs, the Lost Arrow Tip, and the Upper Falls,
Hidden by the slope of Swan as it plunges into the growth at its base.
You are standing on the trail which passes through the area.

The second shot is kind of grim.
By standing at the base of Lenna's Lieback and looking up, the trees have grown so much in 41 years, they obscure the view of the upper two pitches.
I would not want to fall into those branches. I took that screamer there in '71 and those branches were nowhere the size they are now. Yuck! I wouldn't want to really press my luck.

Let's get back to Big Columbia boulder and Raffi's bench.
You know he dropped an "a" from his name and Peter Paan picked it up.

So the boy's resting his nogg on his hands lying stretched out on the marble
He's thinking of the Fires of his youth (a "relative youth" even when purchased; God had just learned to "tie His shoes, always tie His shoes") that are in the bag for sale with the iron

He thinks how he hates them they've never been nice,
What the f*#k would good old Helen have to say if I laid that on her?

Back in the darkroom of my mind I am framing the view with my head on the SAR site side of the slab of granite, it's granite, I get it. I just took it for granite it was marble earlier.

so the boulder I'm weejing on the left side, the twisty cedar grows next to it behind the bench is bringing in the right side
snap the shutter and you see mainly tree

its branches spiral. its trunk twists. its barry bates in the fiber!
bump for the tree which has mastered the lightning and the bench which lies below
and Columbia's the gem of my notion

Helen was my wife's stepfather's mother.
Why all the blank looks?

And the sun sinks west of Screamy Valley.
And the lights wink on.
And the dreams move in.
But I'm back on the bus.

(Barking Dog Good dog Good beer)

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
May 21, 2012 - 04:04am PT
Frothing forth through my insipid dilemma

Aw fuhget about it...

May 21, 2012 - 10:49am PT
I used to wonder what friendship could be.
Then I took an arrow to the knee.
tom Carter

Social climber
May 21, 2012 - 12:54pm PT
Introduction to Poetry


I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

May 21, 2012 - 01:15pm PT
To die, to sleep—
No more, and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to—'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep.
To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil
Must give us pause.

(Hamlet: 3, 1, I)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
May 21, 2012 - 01:22pm PT
The Diners' Club, or
Carter Blanche

Sitting at the laureate's table
sipping his wine.
Bending my ear to his wicked
witchy wit.
Twitchy I sit until
it's my turn to squeak.
The r's roll and the ums hum.
Speaking in tongues with a mouthful,
I said,
Looking him in the eye with a stalk of celery,
"I can't for the life of me figure out what you are saying."
Too much Sauvignon Bland.
Too much Blank verse.
It gives me paws to think I am drunk on wine and what's worse,

tom Carter

Social climber
May 22, 2012 - 01:09am PT
Very Nice BB

Here's another -

"Hard Rain,"
by Tony Hoagland

After I heard It's a Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
played softly by an accordion quartet
through the ceiling speakers at the Springdale Shopping Mall,
I understood there's nothing
we can't pluck the stinger from,

nothing we can't turn into a soft drink flavor or a t-shirt.
Even serenity can become something horrible
if you make a commercial about it
using smiling, white-haired people

quoting Thoreau to sell retirement homes
in the Everglades, where the swamp has been
drained and bulldozed into a nineteen-hole golf course
with electrified alligator barriers.

You can't keep beating yourself up, Billy
I heard the therapist say on television
to the teenage murderer,
About all those people you killed—
You just have to be the best person you can be,

one day at a time—

and everybody in the audience claps and weeps a little,
because the level of deep feeling has been touched,
and they want to believe that
the power of Forgiveness is greater
than the power of Consequence, or History.

Dear Abby:
My father is a businessman who travels.
Each time he returns from one of his trips,
his shoes and trousers
are covered with blood-
but he never forgets to bring me a nice present;
Should I say something?
Signed, America.

I used to think I was not part of this,
that I could mind my own business and get along,
but that was just another song that had been taught to me since birth—
whose words I was humming under my breath,
as I was walking through the Springdale Mall.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
May 25, 2012 - 08:39pm PT
A Simple-minded vision of a twisted fire.
Stayin' alive on Turtle Island.
The Ouch-less F*#ks or Deeper than Love.
The Bee vs. the Wasp.
Grasping at Straws.
Elbow of El Cap: Tales of Nerve.
Winding Wind River Stories.
Los An-jealous/Los Angle-ees.
Summer's Midnight Dream of "Avondale" Bard.

All titles of stuff I'd like to compose.

Too lazy.

Also, like Ed Hartouni observed regards Robson,

"I'd have to want to go through that kind of suffering...and even then it's a crap shoot."

I obviously need...Music!

Something to which I could perchance poeticize to.

A nightmare a dream a reality a fake

It's all the same asleep/awake

Rilke Mozart

Rocky Raccoon

All the same

Even though

It's all the same.


Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
May 27, 2012 - 06:23pm PT
Mysteries, Yes

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.

~ Mary Oliver ~

mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
May 28, 2012 - 09:52pm PT
The Pie Shop, Tahoe. Wedgie, I, 5.3.14159

Mary Oliver got me thinking of peace. Then I thought of the olives in my Mom's tamale pie. This nostalgia led to pies I had eaten before.

It was a transcendent moment. The circle of my thoughts came to nothing. Which is represented by a circle.

With no further circumlocution, remember happiness runs in a circular motion, according to Donovan Leitch, not in a straight line.

If inside a circle line
Hits the center and goes spine to spine
And the length's line is "d,"
The circumference will be
d times 3 point 1 4 1 5 9.

Simple Simon met a pi man
Going to the fair.
Said Simple Simon to the pi man,
"You have unusual ware.
The pies I've seen were round
But, gosh, your pi's are square."

Joni's Pi Conic Song

The Circle Game
Yesterday, a child came out to wander
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star.

Then, the child moved ten times 'round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words like, "When you're older," must appease him
And promises of someday make his dreams.

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to car wheels through the town
And they tell him, "Take your time it won't be long now
Til you drag your feet to slow the circles down."

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true
There'll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through.

And the seasons, they go 'round and 'round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return, we can only look behind
From where we came
And go 'round and 'round
In the circle game
And go 'round and 'round in the circle game.

Trad climber
Placerville, California
May 29, 2012 - 09:55am PT
more word art than poetry,
i am a mountain.
well-being and prosperity, mountainears.
up me they climb until
they find my highest.

enjoy a brief reprieve, they.
life then unleashes good storms
and my crown of respectability
comes a-avalanching down in the form
of illness and bad habits.

i just stand here, geo-like.
the fleeting life seeds
they come and they go
and i am hardly phased.

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Jun 2, 2012 - 04:03pm PT
Like the train of your thought, MfM! Need to get the schedule so I can jump on at the next stop.

Sublime, weeg.

More Mary Oliver:

Can You Imagine?

For example, what the trees do
not only in lightening storms
or the watery dark of a summer's night
or under the white nets of winter
but now, and now, and now - whenever
we're not looking. Surely you can't imagine
they don't dance, from the root up, wishing
to travel a little, not cramped so much as wanting
a better view, or more sun, or just as avidly
more shade - surely you can't imagine they just
stand there loving every
minute of it, the birds or the emptiness, the dark rings
of the years slowly and without a sound
thickening, and nothing different unless the wind,
and then only in its own mood, comes
to visit, surely you can't imagine
patience, and happiness, like that.

~ Mary Oliver ~

(Long Life)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
Jun 3, 2012 - 02:42pm PT
The tree felled the climber

Inside each tree is a circle
One flat round plane set atop another

An infant, it numbers its chances to survive as good
There are an infinite number of possiblities

It might grow fast or slow
It might grow high or low

It might grow wide or slim
It might grow up to be matchsticks

Take those matchsticks and burn the forest down
The trees will make mock and return


Gymnasiums for the quadruped tribe
Home to billions of arthropods

Lonely on Sentinel and Point Lobos
And the flag of the state of my mind

Grow where you are planted
Take nothing for granted

How can a tree be
Smarter than me?

Fletcher, it's not a train of thought so much as a bumper car ride of the imagination, non-scheduled and destined who knows where?

No mileage restrictions, though.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
Jun 3, 2012 - 03:54pm PT
Eye Can't See Underground!

The roots of the tree of which we listen are the froots.
They lie beneath the soil up in the Top Forty.
Bod Dylan's a root. The Roots are his froots.
Jimmy, please don't fall on me. Thank you, Jimmy Fallon, for Thank Yous.
This child is spoiled enough.

! can't say much good about Rod McKuen's pottery, but he seems like he was a nice guy. Just a mediocre poet.
It's why they aren't called the Rods.

But what ! meant to say,
About whom ! meant to speak,
He lies in bed awake,
To think.
Perchance to climb.
To write.
To finish where the Eagles fear to play,
Where soloes are the only way to go,
The froots of his labor devoured
By apes like !.

(thanks for the p.m., Norv. Heart of the World.)

mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
Jun 3, 2012 - 05:12pm PT
Toast a Reply

There was a time a short time back ago,
When I used to have to repeat myself to myself
To remember there is no I in me.

If that means anything to me
It is meaningless to thee
Unless thou read me again.

These are my thoughts
And now they are yours,
A gift, me to thee.

The article I saw in Dot's Me magazine?
That the last thing I would have thought of.

Who ate my Post Toasties
And left me none?
Guess I'll have some Texas Flakes and listen to Janis sing.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
Jun 3, 2012 - 05:23pm PT
Just saying,
If a video is posted, let it be a ballad, a poem set to music.

I guess that's a ballad. Here's a good example, even if she was a Texan.

The Rose of Port Arthur.

[Click to View YouTube Video]

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Jun 29, 2012 - 10:29am PT
A Rescue

Today I wrote some words that will see print.
Maybe they will last "forever," in that
someone will read them, their ink making
a light scratch on his mind, or hers.
I think back with greater satisfaction
upon a yellow bird--a goldfinch?--
that had flown into the garden shed
and could not get out,
battering its wings on the deceptive light
of the dusty, warped-shut window.

Without much reflection, for once, I stepped
to where its panicked heart
was making commotion, the flared wings drumming,
and with clumsy soft hands
pinned it against a pane,
held loosely cupped
this agitated essence of the air,
and through the open door released it,
like a self-flung ball,
to all that lovely perishing outdoors.

~ John Updike ~

(Americana, 2001)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
Jun 30, 2012 - 06:16pm PT
"Blue Bowls and Hoses"

Been gone two weeks
But it seems like yesterday
They left me and took my heart away
While my bowl gently leaks.

They'll be back soon
Can't be soon enough for me
Cause I'm just lying here in misery
Just four days left in June

Geraniums, compadres to the roses,
We both love the leaky hoses;
Don't we, polemoniums?

Bring back, bring back,
Oh bring back the family to me.


mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
Jun 30, 2012 - 06:22pm PT
"The Dog Nanny"

The dame I'm watching is a Shepherd.
She in turn is watching a bug crawl by her nose.
Such a vast difference in size!

As I watch them, I wonder
Who might be watching me?

I can believe in gods, or "a God,"
In beings being greater than I can see
In reality or in my mind's eyes.

I would like to believe in a female Shepherd,
Benevolent, watchful, and unworried
That I might eventually figure out Her game
And thus spoil the surprise.

I lean silently down as she sniffs her new-found pet
And I gently whisper in her big old ear,
"Boo, Dawg!"
She rolls over on her back and wags her tale.

I hope that I am able to do the same
When some mythtical Dame
Leans down and gently whispers my name.


Social climber
Portland, Oregon
Jun 30, 2012 - 06:32pm PT
One Train May Hide Another - Kenneth Koch

In a poem, one line may hide another line,
As at a crossing, one train may hide another train.
That is, if you are waiting to cross
The tracks, wait to do it for one moment at
Least after the first train is gone. And so when you read
Wait until you have read the next line--
Then it is safe to go on reading.
In a family one sister may conceal another,
So, when you are courting, it's best to have them all in view
Otherwise in coming to find one you may love another.
One father or one brother may hide the man,
If you are a woman, whom you have been waiting to love.
So always standing in front of something the other
As words stand in front of objects, feelings, and ideas.
One wish may hide another. And one person's reputation may hide
The reputation of another. One dog may conceal another
On a lawn, so if you escape the first one you're not necessarily safe;
One lilac may hide another and then a lot of lilacs and on the Appia Antica one tomb
May hide a number of other tombs. In love, one reproach may hide another,
One small complaint may hide a great one.
One injustice may hide another--one colonial may hide another,
One blaring red uniform another, and another, a whole column. One bath may hide another bath
As when, after bathing, one walks out into the rain.
One idea may hide another: Life is simple
Hide Life is incredibly complex, as in the prose of Gertrude Stein
One sentence hides another and is another as well. And in the laboratory
One invention may hide another invention,
One evening may hide another, one shadow, a nest of shadows.
One dark red, or one blue, or one purple--this is a painting
By someone after Matisse. One waits at the tracks until they pass,
These hidden doubles or, sometimes, likenesses. One identical twin
May hide the other. And there may be even more in there! The obstetrician
Gazes at the Valley of the Var. We used to live there, my wife and I, but
One life hid another life. And now she is gone and I am here.
A vivacious mother hides a gawky daughter. The daughter hides
Her own vivacious daughter in turn. They are in
A railway station and the daughter is holding a bag
Bigger than her mother's bag and successfully hides it.
In offering to pick up the daughter's bag one finds oneself confronted by the mother's
And has to carry that one, too. So one hitchhiker
May deliberately hide another and one cup of coffee
Another, too, until one is over-excited. One love may hide another love or the same love
As when "I love you" suddenly rings false and one discovers
The better love lingering behind, as when "I'm full of doubts"
Hides "I'm certain about something and it is that"
And one dream may hide another as is well known, always, too. In the Garden of Eden
Adam and Eve may hide the real Adam and Eve.
Jerusalem may hide another Jerusalem.
When you come to something, stop to let it pass
So you can see what else is there. At home, no matter where,
Internal tracks pose dangers, too: one memory
Certainly hides another, that being what memory is all about,
The eternal reverse succession of contemplated entities. Reading A Sentimental Journey look around
When you have finished, for Tristram Shandy, to see
If it is standing there, it should be, stronger
And more profound and theretofore hidden as Santa Maria Maggiore
May be hidden by similar churches inside Rome. One sidewalk
May hide another, as when you're asleep there, and
One song hide another song; a pounding upstairs
Hide the beating of drums. One friend may hide another, you sit at the foot of a tree
With one and when you get up to leave there is another
Whom you'd have preferred to talk to all along. One teacher,
One doctor, one ecstasy, one illness, one woman, one man
May hide another. Pause to let the first one pass.
You think, Now it is safe to cross and you are hit by the next one. It can be important
To have waited at least a moment to see what was already there.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
Jun 30, 2012 - 09:05pm PT
"It's One Deja Vu After Another"

We have all heard it all before:

Bottom of the ninth, one man on third, two outs.
Yogi is managing, and says, "I'd seen this situation so many times I lost count. I just said tell me what happens this time."

"Rizzuto: "So that makes four times, right?"

"Bartlett's Only MVP"

Shakespeare shaped the language,
Some say he invented it.
Wilde and Shaw spun expressions of unrelenting wit.
Whitman taught the mother tongue
How to sing for us;
Yeats scaled the beauty of her lonely peaks.
Joyce uncovered something new,
And so did Eliot.

But unlike Yogi,
None of them could hit.

from The Yogi Poems, Raphael Badagliacca

"they say Yogi Berra is funny. Well, he has a lovely wife and family, a beautiful home, money in the bank, and he plays golf with millionaires. What's funny about that?"--Casey Stengel


Trad climber
Placerville, California
Jun 30, 2012 - 09:15pm PT
the human brain pulses and
thrashes about it's containment sell,

it has been imprisoned within biological circumstance,
though it is mature beyond it's prescribed purpose

and thus we get something outta life that is beyond common,
though common is the thread pulled behind the needle that sews
the horoin ninandoutta arms,

and we unravel against societal will
and the cops try to corral the wonder,

thru and through the paridigms that strangle
our's understanding shift and slip and leap and
rip wide open the female politician's underwear,
and lobby consumation entrails
new realities borne of wreckless infidelities
now became policy.

"and the rainbow ends
and my sails are fillin'
and the wind is willin'
that im good as gone again."
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
Jul 2, 2012 - 03:54pm PT
Let Down Thy Hair

Imprisoned bitch,
The fickle muse.
Try to please,
She'll just refuse.

Make a rhyme,
It's just no use.
Face it, man,
The god must choose.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
Jul 2, 2012 - 07:52pm PT
The Cataract of Lodore

"How does the water
Come down at Lodore?"

Since I'm not about to duplicate effort, click here to find out how.
And notice the shape of the entire poem. Sort of a bridal veil. Weird?
Or art with words.---eekummings
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
Jul 3, 2012 - 02:29pm PT
This one's for when the "Wind Is from the South" and the climate suits your clothes, but the climbing just isn't helping you out of your mood. I been there.

Bert's Blues on the Rocks
a Donovan rip-off

Been a-lookin' for a good climb, but it's taking time
A-Been a lookin' for a good line
A-one to please my mind as well as my time

I've been singing in the evening
Flying through the night
But I hurt my good hand
I hope I make out right
Flying through the night

I've been picking up the sunshine
I've been drinking down the rain, girl
I've been picking up the sunshine
A-Makes me think on when I'll climb here again

You know time could bring a change, now
It ain't for me to say
A-You'll soon be out of range, now
A-This could only be the way it's meant to be

Fairy castle stark and black in the moonlight
The jungle jangle jester rides his stallion
Seagull flies across my eyes forever
Sadly goes the wind on its way to Hades

Would I, should I, could I be a stranger?
I shall walk right by and sigh goodbye
Lucifer calls his legions from the hillside
Sadly goes the wind on its way to Hades

thanks to zBrown for that one
and Norwegian for the 'inspirazione alla Dante' (wind)

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Jul 4, 2012 - 11:05am PT
Psalm for the 4th

Psalm 122

I rejoiced when I heard them announce,
“The time of warfare is past.
No more will brother hate brother
or violence have its way.
No more will they drown out God’s silence
and shut their hearts to his song.”

Pray for peace in the cities
and harmony among the races.
May peace come to live on our streets
and justice within our walls.
With all my heart I will pray
that peace comes to live among us.
For the sake of all earth’s people,
I will do my utmost for peace.

(The Psalms, trans. by Stephen Mitchell)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
Aug 22, 2012 - 02:00am PT

Hoppy's Favorite

Chocolate martinis.

Buttermilk schnapps.

The Grack arrack attack.

I'm too schnockered.

Let's go a rappello!

Great idea!

Find us battered and bruised like an olive.

For we went pub-crawling on the Apron.

We will never do it again, winos literally on and among the rocks.

See the blood pooling in my socks.

We heard but had not listened.

Splashed on the rubble, our blood glistened.

Echoes of an epic rock fall surround my phantom.

It's curious that the dying trees can hear me, but you cannot.

[Drinking is dangerous. Drink and climb at your own risk.]

mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
Aug 25, 2012 - 01:26am PT
//Ewe, Eye, Yew, We, Us

Stimulus hummus hump us humorous generous ludicrous succubus homuculus impetuous.
You bet you us, you infectious Austalopithecus.
Omnibus obvious zealous contemptuous religious impecunious pernicious precious fatuous languorous platypus/octopus eucalyptus from Uranus.
St. Lous suicide issue Sue sous le mousse souffle shuffle.

Extemporaneous thus plus the must of crust in the dust.
Discuss the dangerous rhinocerus,
Lustrous in the cirrus above us.
Will you still love me when I'm super-annuous, cantakerous, a dependent in pendulous Depends?
Ridiculous and infamous, anything but both fast and bulbous.

Dean Rusk, autonomous, but not anonymous;
St. Nicholas, mysterious, luminous, despite his love for chimneys;
Marcus Aurelius, glorious, sagacious;
Los Angeles, rebellious, obvious.
Dude says: Great plan, Walter. That's f*#king ingenious.

Dennace the Menis, amorous emeritus;
Ambrus Americus, golden opportunist, or so it would seem to us;
Ponderous Ludovidicus and gracious Amadeus, each vicious and vivacious;
Jebus Bombz and zBrown, bogus zavior y zilly le Bruce, voulez-vous du Mateus?
Jesus and Beelzebus, ambitious and ambidexterous:
They all got together, did the dishes, and send best wishes.
So why fuss the discus, Justus? It's useluss, and less than unless. It's obstreperous and aduterous and nauseous and gaseous. I'm delirious. I'm serious. Aren't you curious?

Imerious furious bilious scandalous horribilis.
Germanicus and Britannicus and Arabicus cum Africanus.
Justice must bust in early August.
Amicus Mus mus is friends with us.
Captain Caribou, Leviticus' mucous blunderbuss, Meniscus, assures us,
t*r is a courageous narcissus.
(u*r no daisy, u*r a daffodil.)

Like. (Stop liking this.)

The Dreaded Credits:
Word architecture and meticulous punctuation inspired by Weej.
Lewd thoughts of Melissa Theuriau and a look at her thesaurus are mentioned here, gratuitous.

Reading group:
Use thesauri in a sentence. The sorry son of a bitch...
Suggest an -ous, -us, -uss, word of your own, climbing-related or not, spelt right, if you pleeze.


Trad climber
reno, nv
Aug 25, 2012 - 09:39am PT
I once thought I'd go be a climber
Bought all the gear, and did try some
But my partners were lame
They all put me to shame
Now I'm just a pathetic old whiner.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 25, 2012 - 02:19pm PT

Denied, deplored, but yet besought & beckoned,

Death will look like the last & least of accidents.

Who would ask such an unwelcome guest to stay

When its persistence must be reckoned by the second?

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 9, 2012 - 01:28am PT
ed, you posited that last poem on the 25th. I just now read it and Mr. Hine is way up there, isn't he?
He reminds me of Bucky Fuller on a lot of really strong coffee.

The food for thought I removed to my plate is contained in this sentence.

The past cannot matter except as an abstraction,
A flattering cariacature of happy lands
Wherein is many a grand imaginary castle
In fact turns out to be a tourist trap,
A vast palace that adrastic phantoms inhabit.

I'm candid in saying that "adrastic" does not appear in the standard online dictionaries and I have no clue, except its an apposite of drastic.
This is my food for thought.

The line speaks for itself and needs no interpretation, but I wish someone else who cares about poetic expression who reads it might say something. After all, it's a discussion forum.

What's writtten in the past stays not in the past, but goes on into the future sooner or later.--High-brow Yogi-ism
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 9, 2012 - 01:42am PT
One granite ridge
A tree would be enough
Or even a rock, a small creek.
A bark shred in a pool.
Hill beyond hill, folded and twisted
Tough trees crammed
In thin stone fractures
A huge moon on it all, is too much.
The mind wanders. A million
Summers, night air still and the rocks
Warm. Sky over endless mountains.
All the junk that goes with being human
Drops away, hard rock wavers
Even the heavy present seems to fail
This bubble of a heart.
Words and books
Like a small creek off a high ledge
Gone in the dry air.

A clear, attentive mind
Has no meaning but that
Which sees it truly seen.
No one loves rock, yet we are here.
Night chills. A flick
In the moonlight
Slips into juniper shadow.
Back there unseen
Cold proud eyes
Of Cougar or Coyote
Watch me rise and go.

Piute Creek by Gary Snyder
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 17, 2012 - 05:30am PT
Barcarolle pour mi bemol peigne et du papier
(modestomente mais jivey)

Play your hearts out as I spout
And meanwhile I will fish for trout
And tell you of a night that started with a nightmare
In my dream of going to the Valley,
When my dark imagination led me astray
And I had to listen hard on my way.
Suite Myra Breckenridge!
Is that Vidal lying on his own bier,
It's sure to bring to my eye a tear.
They cried for Mozart in Salzburg, too.
But what's a dirtbagger going to do?
...if the musik dies.
Wipe the tears, dry the eyes.
They're at a Generous Donors for American Musik Sociey
All Comers Giving Appreciation Night bash
Lying side by side midst all that cash,
Grinning at each other,
The maestro and his ardent admyra.
Not that I can handle much of this classical "musik,"
But I'm bummed isn't here. it makes me sick.
Well, Chuck, you Farley. It's free, too, man.
It's no skin off my nose.
And the Toole Royale is stuck in Traffic
On Highway 4, Frosty in the back seat
Striking a pose, prolly thinking of the Nose,
Sleeping like a lullaby gone night-night.
A smile on his lips as always...
That was four days ago, dream-time.
On the fourth day they turned around,
Drove home to shower and came back within the hour
Only to find the road empty.
Suffering like on Watkins,
CM blandly reaches for the Cobar cooler,
Hauls out a frosty one,
Conserving musik for generations to come.
Reveling in his reserved private box,
With overtones of Doom and Conspicuous Consumption,
He is consumed with gobbling Peanuts
While never gaining a pound from all that brew,
Only more glory.
He's the lone audience other than creepy lurking mice.
He turns to me and says,
You must share the musik. Be the musik.
Love the musik as much as the musk.
It's audible love, the way I hear it.
Take my word and just listen to this:

[Click to View YouTube Video] Son, musik, if I learned anything from climbing and drinking and conserving and writing, sought to be shared like beer at a Camp 4 keg party. Except late at night when people are crashing. Use your Buds, your buds, your ear-buds wisely and you will be a happy man. A loving man. Go and honor Amadeus.
Then Royale and Frost and a musical mouse are back on the Mozart again,
Kerouac on the brain, hearing Tchaikovsly in the rain,
Fahey and Kottke and Rawls are over by the Falls...
Altamont II, read the signs, singing, pointy little markers looking like baby angles,
The Ironmonger's children.
But they're keeping out the dirtbags from this one,
Only yuppies and wetbacks and sport climbers can attend.
Charlie, Mick, and Keith have all sold their souls to one another.
This is the real stuff of nightmares, then.
All the Tubers respond: Wouldn't you, tu?
Tourons pile in through the day, hoping for their lottery tickets to do them some good,
For this concert is just like the Revolution,
It will not be televised.
But in ever-increasing numbers
And in ever-multiplying rates,
The Tourons and the Morons are pouring through the gates.
And then the Crescent Arch crescendos
And thunder rocks my brain
And lightning strikes my eyes
And I'm howling out in pain.

Then I'm driving through Modesto,
Immoderately. Shotgun goes to Farfel
Looking farly in the side mirror
And he smells Chawklitty Goodness
Orff to the side of the road.
We must stop for a pit.
We're not in that large a charge
To get with the gods. Not yet.
O, melters-in-my-mouth in the gorp mix,
I think you have some competition for my favor.
You'd better ratchet up your flavor.
I can only signal for a left and say,
"Hot Dog Chocolate Mutt, mmmmmm-mm."

Sneeze! A-choo!
Vee had a hund,
Heidi vass her name,
Unt a golden-red cat.
Tigger vass his own downfall.
He had to go for biting Mamma.
So away he went that awful Lent.
Raus-mitten, kitten. Marche!
No fickle friend of mine, Tigger liked me best.
And it was his tail Ma trod,
What would Henri the Nihilist do?
Blame it on the white fool?
Mike, come shoot this fiddle-dee-dee cat,
Mamma's deathly sentence said.
A Latin mass, I said,
Aiming to please the Father-Almighty-of-All-Cats-and-Mice.
And good Heidi wept.
I bet the cows were looking at the moon that night,
Nostalgia in their cuds.
So I grabbed old Farfel's shotgun and blew my mind.
You ran over it the last time you drove to the Vale of Yo.
And I didn't even know you then.
Such a brief, strange friendship on Highway 132.
But you renewed it on the way back to da City,
Trying to get there by dawn
And you drove right through my center mass.
You prolly don't know Latin, so it's cool.
And the dead sheriff swags up and confronts me.
Fine opera, you sing to yourself, mouse.
Who else is gonna listen? Haw!
Do you call that "musik?"
"Meow, miaow, miow" and
"PS I love you."
"Gay Paree," unt zo on, roll out of my mouth.
I do. And I love these songs.
And the more orffen and the harder I listen the better, Pigboy Six.

And then I awakes
Just as she awakes
And spreads her arms
And The Music blends your mind with hers.
How wonderful to she he's now
Orfferin Bach to her my orphan's cry, Mamma!
"I love you, Annie. Read between the lines as all good poets intend.
Know I love you by listening to The Music hard. And without end."

//"Sauvarde a tu, mon pursuivant. Mon cher pursuivant.
Oui can. Oui can. Oui can. Nous allons faire de la musique, musik, ou music. Es-tu le maestro, cher souris?" //

So much to say. I think she thinks she's French today. Encore. So for a time we play "Tag."
She is '"it,' but it is as she wishes.
She is my it, your it, their it, if only they knew it.
She is The Music in my soul.
And then I am still up for "it." TAG. You're conducting.
TAG. I'm conducting. TAG. I'm conducting. But I want my skin flute solo, s'il tu plait.

We are a team: We pronounce our love amid the very best sexy little adjectives, but mostly she is My Object and I am her Odd Verb.

"Merci bien, Annie. Would you like a cup of coffee? We can start a game of Scrabble while it's brewing."
"Bien. Y at-il du cacao? Ya know, I really am craving hot chocolate."
Mais oui. The right and only possile answer.

From the work She Understands French, Right? by Anne Sowego, soprano and reat friend of Fenbach, noted devotee of the French styleDedicated to Gore Vidal and my late wife, Elizabeth Ann.I loved writing this.  I hope you enjoy it.All props to the icons mentioned.  I am sorry for the typos.  they are beyond by control, even if I am the maestro.
This was Liz's only real musical talent, kept under wraps:
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Peigne et papier.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 17, 2012 - 03:43pm PT
Heh. Now you're all bloated and stunned by my freaky dream...

I hadn't ever read this goodie. Swere too Bhuddha.

This baby was worded on 9/17/2012.
I foondly deadicate it to Norweejuju, president of all the woods' genii.
The while I am cooopying I belisten to "Deadicated" songs--below--of Jerry covered by Manny Zgood et Al Arrestides. Born to be Kerouac, settling for Cassady or Cassidy. Real tough choice? I still can't decide which to be. What would my speel-schrekker spray, Hoppy?

Angered in Spite of his/her spell-chukkar
(His account)

Otto-enhanced, it taunts.
Go ahead, fake my day.
Use your spelf-chukkar,
But mine just makes me feel plane stoopid.
Like it is.

I named him/Otto-nomic.

So goe ahead and connect yourself sand
Collect the same. A name like Otto.
A Palin drone.
Or give it the fingus
To I.B. Em and Mike Rowsoft, Dingus.
Itell make you feel bettor.

We sent your letter
Before you wanted, sir.
But the punctoe is perecto,
Just not quite "reflecto" enuff for us.

And the positioning of periods
In a History Poem
Takes more tie 'em to learn
Than the tables of the turning of
The Moon and Tied.

I am bebounded by the differences
Twixt Thee and The
Midst Between and Betwixt
Among Mine and Thine
Amidst Plenty and Want.
I want plenty.
I get both and am left right behind.

Techno and pills do not mix.
Both contributed to this campaign.
And you'd continued
You'd thinked they'd leaved you alone.

So just put me to 'sleep.'
Off belie.
At least we agree on the spleelingo bivvy.
In your dreams or in mine!

Spell it how you'd want to be spelt.
Wheat the freak.
Sinistra don't care,
He's made it everywhar.
A sinistar, like Fred Astar.
A poet, a popper, upon and aching.
And I know this thing.
I can spell 'the shit' out of 't#*s: the.'

(Her Reply to His Assertions and Insertions
Or Express to Seattle)

Hitch-hiking with two thumbs is toff enoff
Let alone with just the right one
The docks by the bay left me.
Thank for leaving me my Poor Peter, Dr. lloyd "Pricey" Bever.
Your partner Dr. Earl the Eager
And myself commended you for restraint.

Beciding to visit Larry Scuzz Hodad Jokes up in C Attle
In Novembery-short daytime,
I was deliverately deliberated at the door.
42 hours ago I quit Merced.
Beat that, Kerouac!
(Add mission: Stay updated or fade away.)

I left my Airstream in the driveway of my mind.
Garage door wide open, dick hanging out,
I stand and twiddle me dee with my free hand minus one.
Wherever it has gone, I know it looks like me.

What the devil, what the heck.
I'll just spend the rest of my sentences in jail.
Friends not letting friends go when they pass
Is kind of hogging the road.
Let them bye.

"Olympia!" I cried.
It was like I was playing some quiet jazz to myself.
Alone in the Chico Chill of tule fog.
Being myself, by myself,
Selfishly begging the darkness for a lift.

The now-famous on-ramp where I caught a ride
Is lost in the fogetfulness of flowing time.
Time lost is not regained
In the song I heard refrained.

The Dire Warning that morning
Was just Timmy calling out in a nightmare.
I bolted awake when someone actually stoppered.
Another hexcentric Dood in a don't-give-a-f*#k pick-up truck
And we're off to the road.
Yippie-I-O! Yippie-I-A!
I'm gonna get to Seattle today!

Back in sixty-ate
Or forward on Five,
Either way my thumb kept me alive.

Five points
I go.
Through to Scuz
The friend that was
My over-the-back-fence buddy and fellow Flame.

He tutored me in the blues
Brought me my first stash
Took one in the nuts for me
And kept smiling.
The blues'll do that to ya.
They are friends like Hodad,
True blue.
And the blues NEVER lie!

I got where I was going
I'm sure that you will too.
It's a little east of Hatteras
Just north of Mugu.

You can see Seattle for less
Or Yosemite for more.
Just don't overstay your official welcome
If bagging in Camp 4.

Help! I'm stuck in Sixty-four.
I'm lost outside of Stockton
On State Route number Four.

"Oh, honey, that's ridiculous.
I have a map right here."

If your checker is a lady
It errs in favor of
The words that forever bind you
With silly words of luv.
Just follow the sines.

(See Instruction Manual.)

In an effort to stay current, updates have been made which may or may not reflect Ultimate Reality.

"Sound track"

[Click to View YouTube Video] Cassady/Suzanne Vega and Cassidy/1981 GD concert

[Click to View YouTube Video]

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 21, 2012 - 11:01pm PT
I seem to be monopolizing this thread.
See here?
Friday Night Facepuke Ghosting While Drunk

If I like anything other than getting high
If I like anything other than praising 'I'
If I like anything that is 'flyy'
Then I'm not telling it like it is.

Like if I say I'm cool with that
It doesn't mean that it;s all that
But if you like,
Why a vis-a-vis?

We need to chat?
What's up with that?
You got a cat,
Go seek his 'Gee, Whiz.'

I am a Seven-Up fan,
In a bottle or a can.
It's part of their plan
To be liked. It is.

The bubbles fade,
The drinkers jade,
And I have made...

I like wine.
I hate whine.
One more line.
There it is.


It's Friday, thank God I like Her.
Check out Her profile on Facepuke.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 2, 2012 - 11:56pm PT
The Mouse

What I imagine a mouse to be
is a small, furry brown creature
that constantly poops itself
in every and any situation.

"I found a piece of bread!" it exclaims,
and defecates all over itself and its treasure.
It runs and it poops, it sniffs and it poops,
it stops and poops and the mouse is elated;
it cannot get enough of it.

"And to what do I owe this pleasure?"
it says to its poop, a neat pile left behind.
And there is just so much of it,
a mountain of it, warm and steamy,
the mouse imagines it animates
and cannot contain itself when it speaks.

"There is not enough of me! Work harder!
You filthy animal! I am unhhappy!"
And the mouse works harder.
It runs faster, it eats copiously,
it scurries and poops so much until
it shrivels and dies in the corner,
exhausted from the day's work.

Wesley Golangco
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 3, 2012 - 01:01am PT
"Many Facelift is an old Indian with whom I spoke and smoked with one night in the forest at the mystically-numbered ninth gathering of the trash. Yellow Pine, he muttered,

to believe, with me, that there are many mysteries contained in poetry which of purpose were written darkly, lest by profane wits it should be abused

MFM (he's MiWok, so...) quoted Phil Sidney from the sixteenth century. I recognized it soon as I saw no caps, only punks. He seems knowlegeable about the English poets; not so much American, surprisingly. I've talked with him before. So have others. He is rumored to have lived in the Darker Taller Forest in what's now called Calaveras, but this is all beside the point."

End the fantasy, begin the real poetry thingie.

Just today I ran into this intro to a friend's first effort at an anthology of local poetry. It is called Tree and is free. She, Melissa Eisner, is the owner of Coffee Bandits in the arcade of the Merced Theater downtown. She is a very nice, interesting, all-that, gaily-adorned and somewhat whimsically coiffed poetry addict, as will be apparent even to the casual reader of her essay. In short, she's my type of person. She's yet another redhead, as well.

n.b.: OK, Melissa calls it An Apology for Posey. Sic. I sees it as not that, but An Apology for Poesy. Such. Typo? Am I wrong? Is she? I'm just taking a break from typing the essay...

I'm the type of cowardly writer who always requires a quote to explain before I can say anything of substance myself. And in this case, I chose a particularly expressive quote, to delay my own opinion as long as possible. Sir Phillip Sidney, the guy who said above quote, was a dandy courtier in the beginning of the renaissance in Europe. And even though (let's be honest) An Apology is filled with bigotry and too-purple prose, its aim meets its mark. It speaks to the heart of why poetry happens, and why poetry will always happen.

Poetry night in Merced happens, and has been happening monthly for almost a year now, because people in Merced write poetry. Phil Sidney was just the type of fancy-pants to lay it out for us: there are mysteries exposed in poetry that not everyone gets. And I don't mean that in the sick and twisted bourgeois perspective 'oh you just weren't EDUCATED enough dahling you never had a chance to get it' or the equally nauseating hippie 'my movement is more obscure than your movement' viewpoints. I mean broadly. We bring our own meaning to abstraction; this is at the root of the human condition, for Chrissake! When I hear a poem, I hear something "written darkly," that I share with the poet. And it isn't the same thing Richie Rich or Cheech 'n' Chong or Ben Franklin or Bob Marley would hear. It's the entirety of my own experience, echoed back to me momentarily through the concave medium of someone else's words. And that's really cool, and trippy.

And if you don't get that, the WTF.:/

Melissa Eisner
Owner, Coffee Bandits

Edit: I don't know if you're serious, furious or what, but you can express your thoughts, dahling, somewhat better. just don't do it here thanks

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Oct 3, 2012 - 01:05am PT
Oh, fer cryin' out loud, let it go.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 3, 2012 - 02:15am PT
Far from defusing I find it amusing.
Get on with some "muse"-ing, Thalia from Visalia.

Muse America

Purple MMMMMMMMM mountains of majesty.
Above, the chemtrailed planes.
Look into the long San Joaquin horizon
Or down into the abyss on which we stand
It will f*#k you as stupid as you have f*#ked it.
It's National Park Service land.

And it's wild; it will kill you.
Like Jesse James. Like Vito Corleone.
Or the rest of the posse,
Tommy Jeffergun
George Washingun
Ronald Raygun
Old Betsy Ross
George W-shaped Ambush
Richard Six-gun

The Russian River is at flood stage, head guy.
What must we do?
Call out the cavalry?
Call out to calvary?
Whatever it is, vary the ca-den soh caaaare ful-ly,
and then do an about-face crossing the span

On reaching Bridal Veil Creek.
Halt. And have a good cry at Lizzie's bridge
For her sake and yours and the kids;
And recall that the creek weeps not,
It is the land weeping for itself;
And you must do so, as well.Thanks, Ken!


Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Oct 3, 2012 - 01:09pm PT

To move
Needing to be
Nowhere else.
Wanting nothing
From any store.
To lift something
You already had
And set it down in
A new place.
Awakened eye
Seeing freshly.
What does that do to
The old blood moving through
Its channels?

~ Naomi Shihab Nye ~

(You & Yours)

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Oct 3, 2012 - 01:14pm PT
Scanning through here way to quickly this morning.

Some bits caught my eye.

Gary Snyder, Piute Creek. Right on target (for my small corner of the world, at least).

Offenbach's Barcarolle. Definitely caught that. Twas sung at my wedding.

In gratitude,
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 4, 2012 - 12:48pm PT
Summertimer in the Yosemite Museum

The fithools ooze tar from a mis-named weed
And the wild oats reflect the Spaniard greed
Which started a long-ago fire in Califarnotoff
There in the distances
The many distances
The many smoky, foggy, long egos
In the Golden Days state
We seem to be in now

See, I have some views and so do you
And the guys over there a-stare at Thomas Hill
They are looking at their own past
Though the eyes of a great painter
Who saw the same things they saw
Yesterday before they were born
Or before she was born
To entertain the people in her own past

She can and did explain
And remember how it was
In the museum of her mind
She was to me so kind
To tell me of her people
And why they carry on
Their work and play and song
As if it were a single thread
Made of many hairs
And some string added in
From the new guys

This was Julia Parker, who I met in the Yosemite Museum yesterday. What a lady. I did meet her years ago. She was making a red string and reed basket while we talked, or rather, she talked and I listened.[Click to View YouTube Video]
I had just come from speaking with Merry B. Two wise-women in two hours is just enough, let me tell you.

Thanks, both of you precious contrubitors to our community, for opening my eyes and broadening the skies for opening my ears and bringing home the years
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 5, 2012 - 10:20pm PT

Based on Weej's latest expulsion:

New Thing Nor Northing
(Borrowed Intejections and Directions)

That question Norwegians ask when they get another year older: Huh?

That's the only interjection he needed.
Weej succeeded. I only needed to read it ten times.
Wood this been simpler?
Maybe. But not so much fun for him.
Or for you. Or me. I can tell it's a failed experiment.
Never up, never in.
You can try, but it ain't a sin.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
But not in Norwegian.

[Click to View YouTube Video]
[Click to View YouTube Video]
At least that's what I am taking away from this poem.

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Oct 7, 2012 - 01:27pm PT

Some fishermen pulled a bottle from the deep. It held a piece of paper,
with these words: "Somebody save me! I'm here. The ocean cast me on this desert island.
I am standing on the shore waiting for help. Hurry! I'm here!"

"There's no date. I bet it's already too late anyway.
It could have been floating for years," the first fisherman said.

"And he doesn't say where. It's not even clear which ocean," the second fisherman said.

"It's not too late, or too far. The island Here is everywhere," the third fisherman said.

They all felt awkward. No one spoke. That's how it goes with universal truths.

~ Wislawa Szymborska ~

(Poems New and Collected 1957-1997, trans. S. Baranczak and C. Cavanagh)

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Oct 7, 2012 - 02:42pm PT
Love that eKat! Economy that speaks giant volumes. TPFU!

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 7, 2012 - 04:13pm PT
Holidays Among the Rocks

Our last visitor fled two weeks ago.
Then the rocks began to fall....
Hear the larger masses journeying down.
Then that reeky storm-tissue disappears.
I'll eat Royal Arches, salted with Bachelor's Tears.
I'll choose Riverbank Meadow.
And some purple granite for me.
It was a tranquil day in Yosemite.
--Reverntly lifted off of JMuir, Winter in Yosemite, Yosemite in Winter

"That giant speaks volumes," retorted MFM.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 7, 2012 - 04:45pm PT
Love that eKat!
Economy speaks
Giant Volumes.
T P F U.--Fletcher

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Oct 7, 2012 - 06:13pm PT
You guys are making my beautiful warm afternoon even better.

Warm days and cool nights here in the San Gabriels... the wheel is turning (did it ever stop?).

Bring on that Muir guy... I think we may have shared a tree back in another life.


Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Oct 8, 2012 - 01:46am PT
Cross posted from Neebee's "THE ROBIN SHED..." thread...

The Messenger:

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird-equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is that we live forever.

~ Mary Oliver ~

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Oct 8, 2012 - 04:06pm PT
eKat of the North

Mouse plumbing the depths of mind

Both please the Fletcher
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 8, 2012 - 06:42pm PT
Ah to be alive
On a mid-September morn...
Barefoot, pants rolled up.--Mtnmun

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 8, 2012 - 08:01pm PT
Thanks for the Julia Parker Vidio MFM. I do not believe I wrote that poem above, but here is a painting I did of Julia Parker after she touched my heart a few years back.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 8, 2012 - 08:13pm PT
Begin video first...

The Meat Eater Diaries

I have never heard it said that we are getting to the vegetable course of a discussion
Nor never has someone ever said to me, "Ah, here's the Conversation Starter Soup."

We may scream for ice cream, but we all lean towards nice fatty, crisp bacon.
Even on our baked potatoes. Especially in our BLTs. What's a BLT without Bacos? Still a BLT.

I should start thinking about the meat of this discussion.
Should we begin with Lamb? Beef? Pork? Rattlesnake? Turkey?

Rodger's steer? Baloney Butt? I can't thank you enough.
I will thank Rodger and God, for it is mete, always and everywhere to give shanks for the glory that is marbled with fat.

I can't help it but I like big butts. Pork butts. Archery butts.
Fletcher, the target of many, the butt of the joke, but one of the funniest guys you'd ever want to meet.

Let there be potatoes as well. And the wine of your choosing.
Vintage photos. Really old. Like days of yessteryore. Jerked thoughts on paper.

And just to be shore,
A small salad of haiku
Served up on a wish.

A non-rhyming oddball
A vegetarian answer
For those who like fish.

It's not just the meat
In the ocean. It's the meat
That's the ocean's motion.

I move for more meat.
I move when my bowels say.
Drink Adam's ale today.

Haiku is much harder
Than you might think. It is not
Just count, then the ink.

But not all that hard.
At least it demands not rhyme.
At best a little time.

Getting to the heart of the matter I sense I have come to a fence.

I'd better jump over
And land in some clover.
I feel I have put in two cents.

How Wild Buffalo Got Wings

Father killed buffalo for the hides and meat to support himself and family. I have seen the hillsides, slopes, and flats black with herds of buffalo for days at a time. When the buffalo hunters would shoot at the herds you would hear a roaring noise like a big storm coming. The earth would almost quiver like an earthquake from their running. I saw Father shoot, before breakfast, as many as he could skin all day. We could see the smoke of his gun from the house every time he would shoot.

In the early days when we first moved there, the buffalo were quite numerous. We could see them every day--big bunches of them going by. they were our mainstay.

[Click to View YouTube Video]

We didn't eat only the choice part of the buffalo, what we called the hump. They call it loin steak now, I believe, if it's cut from a beef. It was quite a large steak which lay along the side of the high hump on the buffalo's back. . . . When we needed meat and Father was out killing buffalo, he'd bring in some of the hump.

Father used to take the buffalo tongues when he was killing them for the hides. Mother would pickle a fifty gollon barrel of buffalo tongues every fall; so we enjoyed buffalo tongues during the winter. They were black, blacker really than a Jersey cow's tongue, but they surely were good eating.

In pickling buffalo tongues, Mother always boiled them in water and then made a preparation of vinegar and salt and other things and poured it over them until they were all covered. When we wanted to use them, we'd take them out of the barrel and wash them thoroughly. then you could warm them or eat them cold...

In the summertime, when we couldn't keep steak very long, we'd eat jerky. They'd cut the steak in strips and hang it up in the attic of our log house, salt it well, and let it dry. That's what we ate for lunch lots of times, we kids especially.

[My grandfather preferred to jerk the neck meat of bears he shot; peppered heavily, it is like the biscotti of the meat world. Others prefer to jerk chicken necks, and various recipes are found. It seems to take women a lot of experimentation, but men seem to have a more instinctual grasp of how to properly jerk chicken neck. Buffalo Wild Wings, anyone?]

[Everyone wore home-made buvvalo Adidas.]

In still-hunting of buffalo, they had lots of running to do because they hunted on foot altogether. They'd see a group of buffalo coming and they had to be pretty speedy to get in the lead of them and lie down in a buffalo wallow or in a hole somewhere to be in shooting distance of them when they came along. With those black-powder guns they couldn't kill one more than about a hundred or a hundred fifty yards away.

Few people ever ran buffalo on horses and that was Bill Cody and a few others, but in horse-hunting they drifted them around so much, they'd run them off the hunting grounds and the hunters would have to move. If they hunted them on foot, they would't stampede so many of them, so they would leave the range.

[Everyone had light-weight camping equipment.]

In 1874, when Mother was making some bedclothes after she was able to get some other goods, she wanted some filling for a quilt because she could get no cotton or wool. Father used to take the long hair off the buffalo and bring it in. Mother padded the quilts with it. She would wash it thouroughly, get it all clean and nice and straighten it out with the cards as she used to card the wool, and get it into shape together just like a pad of cotton for a quilt. She'd put it in the quilt and then quilt it (sew it through back and forth) to hold the padding in place.

When I left the plains country to come to California, I had an old quilt in my camp bed that I'd carried for years and years. It had been re-covered and re-covered. It was padded with buffalo hair. I told my wife I wasn't going to leave that buffalo hair, so I took the covering off and put the hair in a sack. I had a burlap sack alomost full of it. It was just as nice and soft at that time as it was when it was taken off the animal. I brought it to California and kept it until our house burned down out west of Modesto about three miles away.

[Our first climbing rope was plaited buffalo hide strips.]

Being a plains rat, I knew nothing of the Rocky Mountains except they each had a summit. There were also rumored to be as many as the buffalo. I decided to see for myself. I knew only that I might need a rope and warm hat and the quilt padded with buffalo hair. I never thought about what I would do with the rope. There was nobody to hold it for me, nobody to tie it to, and mainly there were no mountains yet. I still had to get there. I wasn't going to leave that buffalo hair, so I took the thing along stuffed in a sack over my shoulder, put some fresh bananas in with it, and set off down the road. I got to the Rocky Mountains, but the bananas had gotten squashed the first afternoon when I sat on the sack I was lugging.

I was picked up by a gentle soul named Beckey, driving a dilapidated Studebaker wagon. I showed him my rope when he told me he was heading west toward the desert towers of the Carson Sink which he'd heard tell were numerous, virgin, and easy. Who could resist?

[More installments at a much later date.]


Ah, young grasshopper,
you are the author Haiku.
Done by you. It's true.

See ya to da O.P., eh?


Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Oct 9, 2012 - 01:23am PT
You guys got me going now... more baby steps came to me at one kid's football (that's soccer for you 'mericans) practice this evening:

Lying on the earth
Flat on back upwards to sky
Both grounded, far-flung

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 9, 2012 - 11:08am PT
For All We Sing of Snow
Jack Rosenblum

For All I Know I Blow

For all I know I blow. Beep-boop-boop-beep-beep
So I'll just jam with this dude, slow. Plinky plink, plinky plink

Where I'm at since you've been gone.
Typos all over the place.
Double space in your face.
Backspace backspace backspace
period period epic period GF's pregnant.

Plinky plink, plinky plink

Verbs and nouns in my hand,
A big old smile on my face.
And when we come to read it
A lone spark breaks through.

Plinky plink, plinky plink
--A Beefheart acolyte, apparently

Telephoto Mountain Messages

It's all about the hills,
Ecstasy in vertical.
Nothing finity.

Dancing on the peaks
Of the summits of the top
Of the world. Early. Often.

In ranks they fall away
Foreground, middle distance, far
Himalayan peaks

The years too drop away
Layers and layers of age
Ledges like ledgers

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 9, 2012 - 11:24am PT
Telly marking snow--
Snow better thing I know--
Always makes my day
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 9, 2012 - 11:26am PT
panny cakes syrup
butter scrambled eggs coffee
and a ton of snow
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 9, 2012 - 11:29am PT
wishes were horses
ghosts roamed my pockets
you remained as my friend

Jack Rosenblum's pretty cathartic listening.
He's a weird Dylanesque 'snew-age don't wannabe...but he is, fortunately.

"I can't decide what to shoot at.
Or choke. Is this some kind of joke.
I feel like a house detective who has lost his shopping bag.
I look like one too."

Jokers and thieves hang
Together, talking tacos
E-veh-ry dang day.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 9, 2012 - 12:12pm PT
Soccer makes dads cry.
In spite, the kids laugh harder.
Don't you just love it?

Social climber
joshua tree
Oct 9, 2012 - 12:19pm PT

Oct 8, 2012 - 03:51pm PT
My Reality.

My reality is willy-nilly.
Having resonance with my creator.
I am in tune with the waves of control.
Feeling the rock is solid as my tooth.
My body is contoured to be a sacrifice for gain.
My mind is a flutter with the prescribed pain.
My spirit rockets on the hopes of the proposal of fame.
But my ambitions could be quenched by the verdict of shame.
Whilst my heart is playing another game.
My soul warns me that we are all the same.
I give thanks to the Lord, on a job well done.
And ask for strength, to keep hang'in on.
As he wraps his arms, around me and sez
I Love U Son

Jus Ryhm'in


Social climber
Oct 10, 2012 - 10:59pm PT
hey there say, flecher... say i saw the poem there, :)

love that robin! possibly, besides her and her mate, there just mayyy be another lone one that shows up later, not sure where her mate must be, though :O

i enjoyed the poem, in both spots, as, it made me think of my mom...

she loves the greatoutdoors too, and worked in it... doing her
gardening things... is harder now, she is older--
like the old
clothes in this poem...
(and her sis, 79, that died fallling through the ice of her pond one year--well: her boots and clothes were old too--she worked hard in the greatoutdoors by walking through it, as she tended to it, and she loved these very things--she also had worked indoors, as oneof the main folks at the cleveland museum of natural history, since when it first started)...

thanks for sharing...
our true work IS to enjoy and to pass it onward...
money,though we DO need it, and must provide for our home of kids, after all, will NOT endure forever--but--love does, as we share it gleaning from our experiences and passing that love of life, onward...

gives a firm foundation of self esteem, for when the money times seems to
fail for a season...


*oh--got the dreamcatcher email i just could not get the mail to work this eve, :( it DID work earlier, but i have to get off line now, so jjuust threw this in fast, :)

Social climber
Oct 10, 2012 - 11:01pm PT
hey there say, ekat! i can picture you there, :)
as to your quote:

Montana big sky

Streaming in my log cabin

Fall is glorious

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 11, 2012 - 12:43am PT
Point of Punctuation

? :) = 2 (syllables)*?

Symbols, icons, ideas.

Scannning the literature there are two accepted symbols for the building blocks of poetry, the syllables. A poem is a sentence, therefore, I is a poem because I is a poem.

It's a different concept than I am a poem or I am poem.

My motive herein is to show the breakage of the word ":)" into two short syllables, ":" and ")".

This yields the possibility that neebee's statement is a devilishly-conceived poetical conceit that could only arise from the fertile ground of Texas. Or it may simply be my imagination.

I admit, the word ":))," which neebee frequently uses, seemingly at whim, (but one never knows) but always to great effect, [ (> ] might have convinced me it wasn't so.

I am just a hopeless romantic, I guess. Boy, howdy!

[Did I say that right?]

I, poet.

* There are no "breve" marks nor "macron" marks on this keyboard, hence "syllables" is a substitution, which is the best I could do...But there is no substitute for neebee, I must say.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 11, 2012 - 12:58am PT
Fletcher! Ha ha ha... "Mouse plumbing" Ha ha ha... I'm a sewer rat, a lawyer, but no plumber.
The Watergrate break-in, though, that was partly my idea.

Haiku, TX

Hey there say, eKat!
i can picture you there, :
) as to your quote


Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Oct 11, 2012 - 02:16am PT
A poem arrives like a hand in the dark. - Yahia Lababidi

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 11, 2012 - 02:51am PT

The Athletics win
The Tigers roar like caged Lions
Tomorrow will tell


Lincecum, my man
This time, out of the bullpen
Just doing his job

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Oct 11, 2012 - 11:12am PT
For all us type B's out there (you know, the one's that DON'T have heart attacks):

For Yaedi

Looking out the window at the trees
and counting the leaves,
listening to a voice within
that tells me nothing is perfect
so why bother to try, I am thief
of my own time. When I die
I want it to be said that I wasted
hours in feeling absolutely useless
and enjoyed it, sensing my life
more strongly than when I worked at it.
Now I know myself from a stone
or a sledgehammer.

~ David Ignatow ~

(New and Collected Poems, 1970-1985)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 11, 2012 - 07:30pm PT
Old School Boy Blue

I have the old school blues
I've had 'em since the break of day


But I had 'em way before that, I had 'em back in the day

I know how to suffer
Been doin' it the whole damn way


Ever since the Good Lord took my baby, back in the day

When if I come here broke
You gotta send me away


Cuz I never repaid anyone anything, Lord, way way back in the day.

My friendless life is nothing
Safe to say it's never even been


Unfinished until then, way way way way way back in the day.

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Oct 12, 2012 - 03:11am PT
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 planations,
shadow perforated,
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.

And I, infinitesmal being,
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
I felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke free on the open sky.

Pablo Neruda
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 12, 2012 - 10:38am PT
A succinct tale tale of unsought success success, Eric Eric.

How cruel the shoes shoes of the poet poet who tries to create and is hardly ever satisfied with his output output.

The man man who is just sauntering through life life has a thought thought, a good idea idea. He writes it down. Each thought thought and idea idea he gets is not in his journal journal, but at least one thought thought or idea idea is in there from each and every day day of his life life.

When he retires he is pleased to sit down and write himself a poem poem each day day of his life life for the rest of his life life based on the thunk thoughts and ideal ideas he has in his journal journal.

That's one approach approach. I just wish that I had bothered to journalize. It's always something something or other other. So I just force myself to go with the flow flow and trust in The Mouse Mode Mouse Mode.

Mouse Mode Mouse Mode is hard to describe to a straight straight ora a mundane mundane. The key key is to not listen to other people people but to muse. A mouse mouse knows how to muse. It is instinct. People people can muse but it seems to take longer to get results results. I just put them down and reject them, the ideal ideas and the thunk thoughts.

It really doesn't matter if no one one reads them or not. I am pleased and this is my main goal goal. I know that not everyone everyone has time time to read these drivel drivels. Nor the time time to try to understand the convoluted convolutions.

But this is the real end reason reason. If they read and understand, by gosh, maybe they will improve their live lives and love their wifely wives just a bit and the world world will be a better place place to live.

I mean, it's pretty cool the way it is, but it could be better.


That's called "double-noun." There are stict rules. Read, observe, you shall see them. I invented it just now. I hope it will make my fortune and that of my heirs, but I am a poet now. If it doesn't work I try again. And if that doesn't work, I try again.


"Mousie tried" should be on my stone but I don't plan on a stone. I plan on being dumped on the beach at the base of Mt. Clark's western face. Don't forget the tube of SP 50+ because it's hot up there.

Now is the time when we all casually observe. It's casual-observation and sit-around-looking-bored time, Karl Heinz. You look bored already, my dear. Just relax.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 12, 2012 - 12:21pm PT
Massive Creative Epic V
Written by THE MANY MICE
Sponsored by Kalliope, "the beautiful-voiced" and Best Little Law Firm, in Brooklyn, NY, owned by "the melodious lady" Bevin, who suggests singing it to the tune of Lucy in the Sky-y With Stem Cells

Edicated to John Lennon

Hooking glass headwalls in yellow and green
Towering over our heads
Using special glass tubes and genetic threads
Our lab is incredibly clean

Seeking a method to make up some mice
A presumptuous thing they all say
But we ignore them saying just let them pray
Our goal is incredibly nice

This world needed more mice it was so plain to see
But we need better climbers far more
And our new "Lynne's" Version Four
And by next month we'll have "Alex Three"

Imagine: Using just stem cell sperms and beautiful stem cell eggs could change the world. Then everyone can have a swimming pool. Zappa, the visionary genius foresaw it in 1965. And Lennon challenges us with his song.

A note on my creative process: this is the closest I have come to imagining a line and getting it down on paper and finished before my fourth cup of coffee. It kind of represents what I've been trying to do and have been too undisciplined and lazy to do. The ditty above is far from epic, so it is fair to say it is only sponsored by Kalliope, not inspired by her. No, it was inspired by my old friend, the demi-goddess Thalia. She pestered Kalliope into sponsoring me. And my daughter Bevin is my devoted daughter, so...That Thalia's a real pistol. She's flighty as hell and hardly ever sticks around to see the finished product. But you must love her.

A quote from Mark Rodell: "Dig on writing, it is a good and tough lover."

The same can be said for climbing.

Hey, I'm a poet and don't feel like a fruitcake. Must be doing something right.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 12, 2012 - 10:52pm PT
I had an interesting conversation with my dad, Boomer.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 12, 2012 - 10:53pm PT
Oh yeah? What did you talk about?
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 12, 2012 - 10:54pm PT
Poetry and verse and the distinction between the two. He asked me what I had been doing and I told him destroying a man's ego and writing poetry. He asked me to read him one of my poems, not a good idea, but I obliged.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 12, 2012 - 10:56pm PT
What did you read to him? Did he like it? Did he criticize it? Did he venture and opinion?
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 12, 2012 - 11:27pm PT
I read to him Summertimer in the Yosemite Museum. He got lost. He didn't like. He said it didn't rhyme and he couldn't make out what I was saying about a woman after I'd been talking about some hill.

His opinion is that poetry should rhyme and he never cared for that which did not.

I explained that to him as the difference between poetry, which is not just rhymed, but is metered. Verse is a much broader realm and I asked him if he'd ever read any of the Eddas. He said he lacked the eddacation I had and that he hated Norwegians on principle because he tried lutefisk and his mother was scared by a Norwegian bachelor logger.

I often thought there was something weird about my verse, and it was because I thought it was poetry. Now I have reason to live.

And if you think I learned all this at some fancy-schmancy poet mill like old I.V. Leeg, the answer's no. I have The Complete Rhyming Dictionary by Clement Wood, and it is indeed complete. It's very first section, The Poet's Craft Book, begins with a chapter on Poetry and Versification.

It's rewarding reading.

Dad favored me with a poem he remembered and considered it his idea of what poetry should aspire to be. It is published yearly in all Hearst newspapers.

The Song of the River

The snow melts on the mountain
And the water runs down to the spring,
And the spring in a turbulent fountain,
With a song of youth to sing,
Runs down to the riotous river,
And the river flows to the sea,
And the water again
Goes back in rain
To the hills where it used to be.
And I wonder if life's deep mystery
Isn't much like the rain and the snow
Returning through all eternity
To the places it used to know.
For life was born on the lofty heights
And flows in a laughing stream,
To the river below
Whose onward flow
Ends in a peaceful dream.
And so at last,
When our life had passed
And the river has run its course,
It again goes back,
O'er the selfsame track,
To the mountain which was its source.
So why prize life
Or why fear death,
Or dread what is to be?
The river ran
Its alotted span
Till it reached the silent sea.
Then the water harked back
To the mountain-top
To begin its course once more.
So we shall run
The course begun
Till we reach the silent shore.
Then revisit earth
In a pure rebirth
From the heart of the virgin snow.
So don't ask why
We live or die,
Or whither, or when we go,
Or wonder about the mysteries
That only God may know.
--Wm. Randolph Hearst, d. 1951

Not bad for an entitled, shacking-up, yellow-journaling, walking-on-water ur-ego like his to even think in such terms.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 12, 2012 - 11:29pm PT
If you say so it must be true. Did you explain to him why you write poetry?
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 12, 2012 - 11:36pm PT
It would be like explaining why I climb. It's fruitless because I don't know why. I know how, and it's hard or it's easy. Depends. I'm not very good at it but will be. Look at Wilma McDaniel, the Okie Poet. she never had it handed to her. She wrote beautiful verse.

Dad heard me muttering over the phone when I set it down to pull up the poetry on the computer. He asked me did I talk to myself? I said of course, otherwise I'd go crazy.

We hung up friends, both knowing we were right. And the other wasn't full of sh#t, but could reason with each other and come away satisfied. It's all you can hope for.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 13, 2012 - 05:05am PT

A Lighter Side of Papa Hemingway

Papa, may I please have a light?
Asked Hemingway's eldest one night.
Lucky Strike.

Jack, no light tonight. You're too much "me"
For you to smoke. It really shouldn't be.
But it is.

You're far too young to take that road
That makes you sick before you're old.
Don't do it.

It's not for me to tell you "no"
Except that I would see you grow.
Answer's still no.

Besides, you'll kill yourself with vice.
Old man's advice? Please don't think twice.
Quit right now.

I'm having a Swisher Sweet no filter, best on the market. For the price.

89 cents. It makes me feel all Eastwood-y.

Not Far Off Faron (Have a Seat, Walls)

Hey there, Chair, say something, please? I'm getting toxic
talking to myself. Gee, Shelf, do you want to talk?
And I just bet you dread to spend another night with me. One more time.
Hello, TV, (hello, hello) I see that you're still not very clear.
Don't tell me that it's the rain that's given me this f*#ked-up pain inside.
I can't seem to hide the shame and guilt and pride I felt when I hurt her.
And I've got a bad feeling that she'll be gone a long long time. This time.
Hello, Clock. I need a hand to hold, a friendly face to shine on me.
There is no place I'd really rather be, I guess, than Up In My Room.
Gloom. Doom. Loom. Boom. Sue'm. Screw'm.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 13, 2012 - 09:36pm PT
Did somebody say Okie?

Picking Grapes 1937

Magic seventeen
and new in California

working in bursting
sweet vineyards

hot sand on soul
one strap held by a
safety pin

a girl could be whatever
she desired

the first breath of
Eve in Paradise
--Wilma Elizabeth McDaniels
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 17, 2012 - 11:19pm PT
Did somebody out there say S.Clay Wison? The Checkered Demon?

Here's a friend of Clay's you might like to hear from, Charley Plymell.

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Oct 18, 2012 - 01:21am PT
So grateful this thread exists.

Liking the conversations of late.

Music and poety... Interesting mouse. I once was trying to write something that needed to be somewhat brief since I'd be reading it in front of a crowd (my wedding party). But old verbosity was having a hard time figuring out how to do that. So much to say, how to get at the essence?

Then it came to me... I was listening to a song, something that moved me from U2. Bono. I thought about the vastness that song inspired in me. And then it hit me: there were about 10 unique words in that song.

I then knew my screed had to be like a song. Terse, but speaking volumes. It worked.


Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Oct 18, 2012 - 01:22am PT
Do not depend much on guides. It is better for you to prepare yourself and remain awake. ~ Swami Rama

Double meaning in this forum!

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 18, 2012 - 07:46pm PT
Cereal Dream

They're strange, the gifts that come in the night,
Or in the lobby of the place you live.

Some nights it's thoughts that turn to verse
Like chocolate-covered Cheerios.

I never expected them, yet there they are, free;
A-waiting for passionate milk's embrace and perhaps a piece of fruit.

Cheerios, the breakfast of mice and men:
But such a difference the chocolate makes!

Take your thoughts and spread them out
And lay them in a pattern on the table of your soul.

Play with them until the mother of consciousness
Comes and tells you it's time for bed again.

Then write them into the diary of your memory,
Turn off the light and say goodnight.

If you find Twinkies filled with butterscotch in the morning,
Please share them with the rest of us.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 19, 2012 - 04:09pm PT

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 19, 2012 - 09:35pm PT
Dave MacCleod, poetry in about 70 or so moves. [Click to View YouTube Video]
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Oct 19, 2012 - 11:27pm PT
Write a book, Mouse. Or have you?

Social climber
joshua tree
Oct 20, 2012 - 01:50am PT
Man... Or, Mouse;

That is one of the most,

finest displays,

of creativity,


by matter.

Of factt..



mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 20, 2012 - 01:57am PT
Thank you for the shot of assurance, Wayne. I never wrote for pudlication. Only private stuff, generally.

'Do not Depends prepare guides?'--Heanas Screed

'Friends do not drive guides to drink, they take a taxi.'--Braverly Samson

Big Bill Bierkhan tells this one:
'Two guides walk into a bar. The bartender adks 'What'll ya have?'
The first guide says, 'I'll have a Mountain Dew, on the rocks.'
The second says, 'I'll have what he's having, but use ice in mine.'--Offa Deszneid.


/and BB, from BB, TY.
Calls for a celebration of blind mice chased by Women. Love is "Blind." Dig the rhythm. Now, you got your rhythm and you got euythmitic you got them mice all around the house, tired of hearing good ol' Mouse, he's so screwed up screwed up screwed up.[Click to View YouTube Video]
[Click to View YouTube Video][Click to View YouTube Video][Click to View YouTube Video]
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 24, 2012 - 06:39pm PT
The Nouns of Time.

Not knowing much is better than knowing much of nothing.
Nothing is much more exciting than what I am doing right

Now then, having said that, it’s time to get drunk.
It’s Friday night but the booze won’t flow

The message is that the message is in the bottle,
But I am just not getting it at the present

I must put it off until later on when I have some dinero
And it is in my pocket waiting to get spent in a great flourish over

Because I have no money to allow booze to flow
I am saving something of my dignity, I suppose, by not getting drunk
Right away.

But I’ll see about
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 24, 2012 - 06:52pm PT
Amor de Verdad or True Love Waits Down the Insinkerator
Words by Hubby Dolley

[Very saccharine. Real country sappy. A tad schmaltzy.]
I will bury thee
Or you will bury me,
For I can’t love another
Just only you.

And no matter
What’s the deal
Our fears will have seemed so unreal.
We’ll laugh at them and kneel for each other’s forgiveness.

And so trust me or go away
But please listen to what I must say.

Silence speaks volumes
When no one is talking
But I trust you to steer me straight
When I go off walking
Where I shouldn’t have gone.

No, darling, no one else.
Only you.

Finely spun
Are my thoughts of you,
Held together
And woven through
For all time
By my feelings true.

We will come to the end of our days

Corny verbs and silly words
Cannot express my absurd wishes
I'd really love to wash your dishes!

[Real good musical stuff guaranteed to burn your ears off and penetrate your soul. No less.]
It’s only suds down the drain,
I’m probably wishing in vain
And I wish you no pain;
To be the goal of your wishes
Would be oh so delicious.
So don’t be suspicious,
Please, just let me wash your dishes.

[Wild-ass finish suspended by tepid, dish-watery muzak? I leave it to the musical director.]

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 3, 2012 - 08:21am PT
just fvcking haiku
no rhyme scheme and seventeen
such an odd number

Dante went to hell
finding thirteen circles be
divine poetry

Alighieri was
his own elegy since he
was terzarima

his cool divine wind
blows down the dry hillside
hell's heat now abated

yeah it seems to me
the haiku really does suck
it's very pointless

I am un-danteed
let us be friends signore
let's shake hands sonnet

5.13, let's get the hell out of here!

I know a coffee shop...

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 3, 2012 - 09:03am PT
Be Seven o'clock
Thirty five in the desert
Coffee to imbibe

Sip spro in the dark
Gollum way jacked my rig
Car shop opens at eight

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Nov 4, 2012 - 01:11am PT
"Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower" by Rainer Maria Rilke
translation by Joanna Macy + Anita Barrows

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.

Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Nov 5, 2012 - 02:29am PT
Pueblo Blessing

Hold on

To what is good
Even if it is a handful of earth.

Hold on

To what you believe
Even if it is a tree
Which stands by itself.

Hold on

To what you must do
Even if it is a long way from here.

Hold on

To life
Even when it is easier
Letting go.

Hold on

To my hand
Even when I have gone
Away from you.

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Nov 5, 2012 - 02:32am PT
Nice Jaybro!

The last two I posted go out to those who are hurtin' at this campfire. At least it seems there is a lot of hurtin' lately. Or maybe they are just squeaky wheels. Still, that's ok by me.

Nonetheless, those poems were delivered to me out of the blue; they spoke to me; and I thought of ya'll. Maybe they'll find their way to those in need and maybe even help a bit.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 13, 2012 - 06:19am PT
"The reader of modern literature, Piette asserts, distrusts poetic prose, sensing it to be an indulgence on the part of the writer unless justified by exigencies of the narrative itself. Piette's system allows for a writer's shift into poetic prose to be aesthetically justified -- or found to be unwarranted -- by exploring the mimetic relation between the fugitive music of rhyme and memory."
--review by Graham Fraser of: Adam Piette. Remembering and the Sound of Words: Mallarmé, Proust, Joyce, Beckett. Oxford: Clarendon P, 1996. 285pp.

Prose or poetry? Poetry or prose? How to sound like you know what you're talking about is half the battle, but you judge the article for yourselves.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 16, 2012 - 02:38pm PT
Guns Kill Bullets Blame

I blame Twinkies and the Hostess Co.
I blame the Norwegian for making me blame the Twinks.

I blame Oakley and Cody.
But it's OK because eventually there will be no one to blame and no one who doesn't share the blame.

Better we get hit over the head with a rolled-up copy of Argy-sod magazine real hard twenty times right now than to have to admit we are wrong about our "need" for guns.
We'll all have killed each other off before we settle this.

Ma Deuce sounds sooo sexy.
But what's so "special" about Saturday night?

By the logic of the hunter, weapons of mass destruction seem good.
That may seem extreme, but the Rev sez my logic is to change the subject.

The Rev never lies, for the sake of argument or otherwise.
When he an his dad got into archery, they settled the bug duck question with their scores, not by pricking stags with those long flying things the deer knew nothing about.

Hinting that hunting with arrows is just as unfair as hunting with guns might get me in deep doodoo; some may even mention my duck size, but at my age, that's laughable.
Is there much difference in "conquering" a route with aid, leaving our sh#t on walls that are utterly (except for falling stones) defenseless?

My mind is spinning like a high-speed bullet.
There goes another couple of innocent bystanders.

When God takes away our guns and leaves us with stones to throw and just our fingers to grip the throat, at least we will not have this argument to plague us.
Then she will have given us true freedom.

Here's a "sport" which may appeal.
Put up firing benches on the South Rim and charge tourons for taking potshots at aid climbers on El Cap: out-of-state permits twice the fee for Californians, but the revenue-sharing would be between the Feds and the STate.

In an ideal world, Guns and Ammo would be Buns and Amour.
There's a full-page ad for Twinkies in there, and a half-page ad for the Traverse Winery, owned and operated by me!

Hold on
To what you believe
Even if it is a tree
Which stands by itself.^^^

The sentiment is a good one. We believe what we believe, we feel how we do. It's right to stand up for them and it's the purpose of a forum. I brought my thoughts here rather than try to turn them into arguments. I dislike arguing. It's puerile, and for all I know, even "ternary." :0)


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 16, 2012 - 04:07pm PT
A poem by Willie Nelson on his 75th birthday:

"I have outlived my pecker."

A Poem--by Willie Nelson

My nookie days are over,
My pilot light is out.
What used to be my pride and joy,
Is now my water spout.
Time was when, on its own accord,
From my trousers it would spring.
But now I've got a full time job,
To find the f***in' thing.
It used to be embarrassing,
The way it would behave.
For every single morning,
It would stand and watch me shave.
Now as old age approaches,
It sure gives me the blues.
To see it hang its little head,
And watch me tie my shoes!

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 16, 2012 - 09:51pm PT

Liberty Cap by Joe Fitschen, from Going Up

The rest of the morning was marked mostly by ferocious thirst, the bete noir of Yosemite climbers.

Our saliva glands went on strike, our toungues felt like resin bags, our lips like slugs.

At cramped belay stances our muscles cramped for want of water, while below us Nevada Fall still fell, and amid the unceasing roar we heard the cry of that ancient mariner So there was suffering.

But during those seemingly interminable waits at a belay stance, while I willed my body into quasi-hibernation--lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, mimimal muscle tension--my mind, not keen on suffering, cast about for something of interest.

Here a satisfying piee of astract art composed of facets of granite, there the peregrinations of a minuscule red spider, and, several feet away, a single-bloomed flower atop a green stem, thrust from a hairline crack and waving to and fro in the wafting air.

Yosemite walls are rife with Zen gardens that, if you were a nautral theologian, would make God a Buddhist wich, if you know something about Buddhism, is odd.

This represents a passage that has remarkable mimetics and wonderful imagery. There's an exuberance. There is a short bridge to cross between Joe's prose and what could be a really great poem with a little shearing here, some faint padding there. Royal would have been proud to have written this, I think. For that matter, I would.

So poetry's not hard if you are already competent at prose. It just requires a little time at the feet of the one's that the muses have already favored and some mimetic ability. Imagination's on you.

Trad climber
Nov 17, 2012 - 12:42am PT
“Crow” by Ted Hughes

When God, disgusted with man,
Turned towards heaven,
And man, disgusted with God,
Turned towards Eve,
Things looked like falling apart.

But Crow Crow
Crow nailed them together,
Nailing heaven and earth together-

So man cried, but with God’s voice.
And God bled, but with man’s blood.

Then heaven and earth creaked at the joint
Which became gangrenous and stank-
A horror beyond redemption.

The agony did not diminish.

Man could not be man nor God God.

The agony




Crying: “This is my Creation,”

Flying the black flag of himself.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 17, 2012 - 08:47am PT
Here's one for the Fossil Climber, in retaliation for your mouse-poem, and in thanks for the recognition and the (ghostly) recommendation to North Face, so long ago.


Having written lots of words
He has not completed a book
Nor even begun to compile his droppings

Having left a pile of words
He defines them as his little turds
Like sundaes with gross chocklit topping

He's fond of cheese and all the nuts
Ropes and rice and other stuff
His bad habits send climbers shopping

Old hands know and hate his guts
They can't afford to feed him much
They get so mad they're often hopping

If you would save your things from he
Then string them up in yonder tree
Keep fixing rope they all need chomping
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 17, 2012 - 09:11am PT
Here's Timid Tightrope's fine untitled poetry, his attempt at emulating the weej.

Mr. T., I hope you don't mind my lifting it gently for repose where it really shines!

The coward's tail's 'tween me legs
it's in the very name i named
but joy 'tis aint the game i play
just lost the flaming flume

it speaks or tweaks of bracken' hearteds
past the flames of dear departeds
wish i had the fire retarted,
restart my old game

in comfort combustfamulating
break a sound that sets to grating
turn a page of hister splaying
spray aginst the wind

icy winds that sinned her wounds
broke the cymbal of thine tombs
the magic harper fuccks the tune
and slowly plucks within

keeper of the sea sick sawing
saw bucks of my past belonging
longing for the thing that lacks
and laps at death-test doors

ner was i to come a scriber
all along just duck and diver
diving for divininations
like a paltry sum

sum of zero was summation
left it parked no jubilation
left the what? in what up zillions
'till i reach the silvery shore

but a new tune comes erasing
setting sun the sky still blazing
recriminations of my hazing
still paps the smear of navel gazing

pecker pecks upon my eaves
flicker quickly knows my deeds
sower of the deadened seeds
and slips before me done me screed

all is lost dear supertoper
not one to enunciate this dope no sir
silence on the killing floor
erections come elections go

lift the beam and raise the bong
won't you sing the siren's song?
may be two too stanza's long
knock on heaven's lawn

butthurt scribblers go a-walin'
comfort them no need explaining
rage aghast machines and bodies
'till we breathe no more.

the coward's tail's 'tween me legs
it's in the very name i named
comfort those that need the same
timidly i walk the plank
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 17, 2012 - 05:26pm PT
Boogie woogie was a deer.
Boogie woogie had no "ear."
Boogie couldn't boogie.
Now really, how could he?


A man throws ten thousand shovels of gravel at a window screen
propped upside a wheelbarrow so only the powder
passes into the wheelbarow and the gray rocks fall to the ground.
You musta died once to live like this.
Yeah he says I died once and I had lost my ear
so I was looking for it in a field and the stars were like a seiner's net
and then they were like a system of nerves
and then they were like a seive I came through
that right back into this country and got a job and married
the woman the first two things
she said to me in that fiery field holding in her hands
my ear were how this country now is full
only of pilgrims and residue and her name is Beatriz ending
like light ends with a z.

--Joshua Clover
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 17, 2012 - 05:35pm PT
This was the eulogy I was not fated to deliver at my dad's memorial. It's a long story, involves anger. Rather not say now.

My dad and mom BOTH loved golf, but only after Mom decided she actually enjoyed it and had an interest did she doff her Golfing Widow Weeds. Once you get them on the course, they are hooked, sliced, and sunk, she would say..

A Man Who Loved Golf:
Boomer and Bobbye
(par four/300 words)

On behalf of my family, thank all of you for coming today.

It is tempting to memorialize my father with golfing metaphor, yet this is an inappropriate moment.

Even so--

I am human, like Boomer, and will resist the temptation to be completely decorous during this obsequy.

But I will make my attempt short and sweet, like a hole-in-one.

I may “ace” this address if I may say simply that the act of marrying Bobbye was like a “hole-in-one” for Dad: it was his stroke of luck and his stroke of genius, if you will, but he would ascribe his fortune as a gift from God, as is proper in a Christian.

His high school sweetheart was perfection to him, in spite of her peculiar breaks and swings: his swing might be off or his yardage miscalculated on occasion; and he might have missed the sweet spot any number of times; but the net score was perfection. They were a evenly matched, in my opinion.

No talk of handicapping, they played for keeps and kept it honest.

I don’t mean to sound flippant or irreverent at this solemn moment, but it is in fact not a solemn moment, but a joyous one. It doesn’t call for a mild golf clap. It requires mirth, but not frivolity.

Our honoree has reached his destiny as his partner has reached hers. They are content if anyone is content. Let’s be happy for that, among other important things.

I loved both my parents equally and love the prospect of playing the rest of my life’s round with a pleasant and well-loved foursome made up of my family, Mike, Lenna, and Tim.

Rest in peace, Dad and Mom.

Your loving number two son, Brian


Nov 25, 2012 - 01:04pm PT
I Ask You
By Billy Collins

What scene would I want to be enveloped in
more than this one,
an ordinary night at the kitchen table,
floral wallpaper pressing in,
white cabinets full of glass,
the telephone silent,
a pen tilted back in my hand?

It gives me time to think
about all that is going on outside--
leaves gathering in corners,
lichen greening the high grey rocks,
while over the dunes the world sails on,
huge, ocean-going, history bubbling in its wake.

But beyond this table
there is nothing that I need,
not even a job that would allow me to row to work,
or a coffee-colored Aston Martin DB4
with cracked green leather seats.

No, it's all here,
the clear ovals of a glass of water,
a small crate of oranges, a book on Stalin,
not to mention the odd snarling fish
in a frame on the wall,
and the way these three candles--
each a different height--
are singing in perfect harmony.

So forgive me
if I lower my head now and listen
to the short bass candle as he takes a solo
while my heart
thrums under my shirt--
frog at the edge of a pond--
and my thoughts fly off to a province
made of one enormous sky
and about a million empty branches.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 25, 2012 - 01:29pm PT
Evocative and nuanced
Is what I want to be
In my writing

The germs of my soul


Nov 25, 2012 - 01:55pm PT

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I'm not going
to let anybody see
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
in there.

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
you want to blow my book sales in
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody's asleep.
I say, I know that you're there,
so don't be
then I put him back,
but he's singing a little
in there, I haven't quite let him
and we sleep together like
with our
secret pact
and it's nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don't
weep, do

Charles Bukowski
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 26, 2012 - 11:53am PT
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.--Roy Tor Wrong Lee, chinese intellectual, on cloning the Devil

What the Fvck, it's Charles Buk.
Bluebirds fly and real men cry:
Those Euros flowing in and all that urine flowing out.
He's still a poet, though dead and commercialized
And even given as Christmas presents.
That's the spirit, consumers.
But Chuck Buck isn't Chuck Berry.
Some of his visions are way too scary
Let's just wait till/for rock 'n roll to really die.
In a Patrick Sawyer internal-view
Which I am watching, he is asked:
Who's likeliest to read you?
Who's likliest to heed what they read?
Who's Next, do you like that album?
It turns out that Chuck's checkbook
Is loaded with signatures of those who read him.
Marlow, for one, a Euro; Lolli, for two, disgusted;
And Mouse, who just had to check him out.
Like follows like like drink follows drink.

I thought I was Swedish, but I was just borracho, Dios mio!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 26, 2012 - 12:43pm PT
Downward Monday Spiral

Poor damned Monday
Wants it still to be Sunday.
Not too happy in its own calendric skin
Wants like hell to be free of all out sin.

Long holidays are OK, for Monday can then still come out and play.

Monday isn't guilty of a thing except having to follow a sanctimonious day like Sunday.
In a parralel universe it might be Sinday,
But why be such a bitch?
It might you get voted off the team, like poor Grenday,
Named for that one, yep,
Whom was shown the door by Bolt-Tosser for making light of the Dark.
But we heard that story second-hand and read it in AP English, freshman year.
Well, history didn't really exist back then,
When ever back then took place back, back, back in the Day-Daze,
When in spite of our modern outlook,
Days didn't mean much and Truth and Whimsy consorted more equally.
Time was asleep at the wheel.
We had eight days here on Earth.
Now there are just seven and we may have it right.
Only Time will tell, but he's over at Starbucks with ChuckBucks.
Sobering us up is Monday's job.
Monday is the Salvation Army of the span we call the Week.
In fact, the muses suggest, the eight-day version was called the Weak,
Signifying Earth's relative place in the Cosmos.
Pretty heavy stuff for a Monday,
But I haven't much time myself,
So I just play like I know these things
And hope like the Prodigal Son
That you laugh and think
"Monday, Monday, such a tragedy."
Yep, Monday used to be another kind of day of the Weak.
Now it's the worst for many.
Unlike Black Friday.
Now that's something to think about, shoppers.
Think about returning the Charles Buk book,
And order one of neebee's Jake's Ranch series.*
You'll thank Grendel/Grindl, Greenday,
And A Confederate General from Big Sur.

Have a peachy day, Americans, in the Amazon jungle.

* The story of Jake and his twin sister's love, will touch your heart forever...
* *

Blatant commercialism? Not in the least. It's the least I can dofor our beloved nature-praising, God-fearing lady of charm.
What else can I say to thank her for us?
Hey there say a prayer or draw a cartoon
For the little lady of the haiku moon.


Social climber
Nov 26, 2012 - 02:41pm PT
hey there say, mouse...

well, my my...
what did i spy, with my little eye...

as the kids' games goes...
well, now you 'knows'...

i spied a mention of my book...
well--after YOUR mention, to take a look...


say, all, the one link though, i had to sadly let go...
it was doubled in the pay, up to 25.00 for the year, i think it did a show...

but the '' is still good...
and this one, (soon to be below) is for you to see which
books, you may want, or order-should:

(go to the STOREFRONT link, on that page...
and see the 'lastest rage'...

we, as to neebee books, that is...
in your spirit, they really will a'fizz...


see if this works, as a storefront link...
i say and hope, with a wink...
(if not, just hit STOREFRONT on the main deal_

Sport climber
Nov 26, 2012 - 03:34pm PT
To Mouse himself

No poetry here:

Be kind to Mouse
Don't judge too harshly

Know it or not?
It's there.

Thrives outside the center?

There's many ways...only...

Be kind to Mouse
make his day...
his way...

The legislator

Yeah, shucked simile is just one of the strengths of the text and fitting it's subject quite well.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 26, 2012 - 05:11pm PT
The legislator's rule of thumb! ha-ha! heehee!

A 'haha' is a fence set in a ditch (Scrabble dictionary).

And they don't make no mo Ho-Hos.

Part of the Hole Mouse Story:

He made his way into the Ditch, down the south bank, then under the NPS haha made of withies, vines and sticks. It was laughable how easy it was. "Ha-ha," he laught to his left mouse, while his inner mouse was most hopeful. Heeding his instincts now, he followed the Ditch for some ways before he climbed out the north bank near Turtle Dome. He would find that left thunb in Thuolumbne Meadows eventually. Or one like it. Tome thumb things are just not too important, except it had to be a left. Color, length, strength, none of those mattered to him. He just wanted to play his guitar like a normal guy. Gladly, badly, radly, it didn't matter. As long as he could bar the frets!

Not to worry, this story is never-ending, too.

Pottery in prose is the next subject. Shards of shreds of shucked simile lend distinct grace to your text, a must-see for musetry lovers.


Trad climber
The rock doesn't care what I think
Dec 15, 2012 - 02:00pm PT
Wish I didn't feel inspired to post this today. But it needs to be out there.


Dirge without Music

Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, --- but the best is lost.

The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Dec 15, 2012 - 06:52pm PT
On a much lighter note
I dance my fool head off to entertain people and to educate people, most of whom can barely bring themselves to notice

Who live in the cross-hairs, always on the brink, addicted to both the bottom line and the summit

Can't go a day without chasing power, humbling or being humbled.

Why do I dance for them?

What choice do I have?

You either dance for them

Or become one of them.

--Jules Feiffer, 1999

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Dec 16, 2012 - 04:17pm PT

Having lived long in time,
he lives now in timelessness
without sorrow, made perfect
by our never finished love,
by our compassion and forgiveness,
and by his happiness in receiving
these gifts we give. Here in time
we are added to one another forever.

--Wendell Berry

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jan 2, 2013 - 08:55pm PT
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection:
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is lead forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action —
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

~ Rabindranath Tagore ~

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jan 2, 2013 - 08:56pm PT
Fire Maples and Epitaph... very good Mouse and DT!


Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jan 3, 2013 - 09:02pm PT
For Presence

Awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.

Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.

Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to
follow its path.

Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.

May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.

May anxiety never linger about you.

May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of

Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek
no attention.

Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven
around the heart of wonder.

~ John O'Donohue ~

(To Bless the Space Between Us)
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Jan 3, 2013 - 09:42pm PT
Does doggerel qualify? I rather enjoy Ogden Nash.

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jan 6, 2013 - 07:31pm PT
Not quite poetry, but.... ahhhhh all Rumi is poetry. What was I thinking?

“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.”

Should be the official taco motto!


Jan 6, 2013 - 07:58pm PT

wash his sheets
and wipe him clean
and in his misery
I reach for the better
to nurse and to heal

I'll take it all
through the sleepless nights
the rough days
into a better tomorrow

tomorrow you will feel better
my sick and weary child
tomorrow will be your day

today let us heal
for all the tomorrows

when you won't need me
when you will rarely see me
I'll gladly take them
for all the good tomorrows
that will be there
for you my child
for you

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 6, 2013 - 08:27pm PT
Anstasia, how mellow a mom you are. I think "yer in" to something good.
Today's the feast of the Epiphany, BTW.

Epiphany - acrostic
by Grey Mouser

Energy cascades within synapses of thoughts
Pure and shining whispers of unclear attention
Instances of measured words that disappear
Purpose riddled spectacles of transition
Hemorrhaging conceptual perceptions
Avalanche of meaning brilliantly surmised
Noesis clear to sparkling realization
Yellow has become the color of love

Author notes
Noesis - the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 11, 2013 - 10:16am PT

Leonard Cohen
God Is Alive, Magic Is Afoot lyrics

Lyrics: Cohen/Recorded By Buffy Sainte-Marie

God is alive, magic is afoot
God is alive, magic is afoot
God is alive, magic is afoot
God is afoot, magic is alive
Alive is afoot, magic never died
God never sickened
Many poor men lied
Many sick men lied
Magic never weakened
Magic never hid
Magic always ruled
God is afoot, God never died
God was ruler
Though his funeral lengthened
Though his mourners thickened
Magic never fled
Though his shrouds were hoisted
The naked God did live
Though his words were twisted
The naked magic thrived
Though his death was published
Round and round the world
The heart did not believe

Many hurt men wondered
Many struck men bled
Magic never faltered
Magic always lead
Many stones were rolled
But God would not lie down
Many wild men lied
Many fat men listened
Though they offered stones
Magic still was fed
Though they locked their coffers
God was always served
Magic is afoot, God is alive
Alive is afoot

Alive is in command
Many weak men hungered
Many strong men thrived
Though they boast of solitude
God was at their side
Nor the dreamer in his cell
Nor the captain on the hill
Magic is alive
Though his death was pardoned
Round and round the world
The heart would not believe

Though laws were carved in marble
They could not shelter men
Though altars built in parliaments
They could not order men
Police arrested magic and magic went with them
Mmmmm.... for magic loves the hungry
But magic would not tarry
It moves from arm to arm
It would not stay with them
Magic is afoot
It cannot come to harm
It rests in an empty palm
It spawns in an empty mind
But magic is no instrument
Magic is the end
Many men drove magic
But magic stayed behind
Many strong men lied
They only passed through magic
And out the other side
Many weak men lied
They came to God in secret
And though they left Him nourished
They would not tell who healed
Though mountains danced before them
They said that God was dead
Though his shrouds were hoisted
The naked God did live
This I mean to whisper to my mind
This I mean to laugh within my mind
This I mean my mind to serve
Til' service is but magic
Moving through the world
And mind itself is magic
Coursing through the flesh
And flesh itself is magic
Dancing on a clock
And time itself
The magic length of God.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 14, 2013 - 03:32am PT

Climb an Enigma
Join the mice on the Stigma
Take a trip up Void.

Klesmer square-dancin'
No harder than polka-dottin'
Of that I'm certain.

Does living water
Die when it freezes? Just what
Does it do when dead?

All glaciers must die.
All glaciers just lie
In troughs of their own.

I may never know--
If bowls of Jello freeze
Will the stuff still shake?

I sit here writing.
You sit there reading my write.
Are we connecting?

I'll likely never know.
Is that the point or have you read
The one thing not said?

To all the brave f*#king ice climbing heros. It's f*#king water, I've never understood the compulsion, but it's a thing of beauty to watch. This one's for Mr. Lowe.

Jan 14, 2013 - 04:28am PT
I miss Mtmun...

Yeah, here here to Mr. Lowe.
I like him very much too.
That is a great poem!
Fantastic Mr. Mouse.
Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Jan 14, 2013 - 07:39am PT
wow--stasi was up til 1:30. what will she cook up next?

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jan 14, 2013 - 11:50am PT
Anastasia has a baby. All bets are off for sleep for at a least a year or so... if she's really lucky! :-)

With 3, 6 and 9 year olds, you never know when the call is going to come in. Was up at 4:20 am putting covers back on 3 year old who'd thown them off (on a night where it got down to 32 here in Socal!

And hear, hear for Mr. Lowe!

OK, back to poetry:

No postmortems, please.
The world is immortal.
The world renews itself.

What about poems and songs --
Do they perish?
Maybe they only
Vanish awhile.
Maybe they go underground
To gather some other
Knowledge and come back
In another form:

New words, a new melody,
Yet somehow
The same beloved,
Singing the same song.

~ Gregory Orr ~

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jan 14, 2013 - 11:56am PT
100 Butterflies (excerpt

Where you are going
and the place you stay
come to the same thing.
What you long for
and what you've left behind
are as useless as your name.
Just one time, walk out
into the field and look
at that towering oak --
an acorn still beating at its heart.

~ Peter Levitt ~

(100 Butterflies)

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 14, 2013 - 11:58am PT
The media wrestles the ire of one so appalled
School kids are singing the praises of President Obama.
“Kill your TV, end the media mind control BS”, says I.
"Get a life", I am told
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 14, 2013 - 12:14pm PT
Ice melts winter begins
Miracles happen in cold
The Mtnmun returns.

Welcome back,
Your dreams were your ticket out.

Welcome back,
To that same old place that you laughed about.

Well the names have all changed since you hung around,
But those dreams have remained and they're turned around.

Who'd have thought they'd lead ya (Who'd have thought they'd lead ya)
Here where we need ya (Here where we need ya)

Yeah we tease him a lot cause we've got him on the spot, welcome back,
Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.

lyrics by John Sebastian, a useful poet
Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Jan 14, 2013 - 12:21pm PT
breastfeeding, huh? explains a lot.

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 14, 2013 - 12:21pm PT
Thank you Mouse and Anastasia. Lovely works coming from this entire crew.

Cold breath of winter, erupting ice crystal
Crisp pine scent wafting through the dormant forest
Warm hugs in the morning keep summer alive

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 14, 2013 - 12:34pm PT
Say I Hear Ya Here

Is it "Hear Hear" Eric?

"Here Here" Sta?

There there Mouse

Say hey there and chill Won't kill

Ya to not worry.

Or infinitive

Split like ya just now did

It's all better kid


They've gone haikuku

Seventeen syllables of

Stream of consciousness

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jan 14, 2013 - 04:38pm PT
Wikipedia to the rescue:,_hear

In this case, it would be "Hear her, hear her for Mr. Lowe!"


Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jan 16, 2013 - 01:59pm PT
The Sonnets to Orpheus, Part Two, XII

Want the change. Be inspired by the flame
where everything shines as it disappears.
The artist, when sketching, loves nothing so much
as the curve of the body as it turns away.

What locks itself in sameness has congealed.
Is it safer to be gray and numb?
What turns hard becomes rigid
and is easily shattered.

Pour yourself out like a fountain.
Flow into the knowledge that what you are seeking
finishes often at the start, and, with ending, begins.

Every happiness is the child of a separation
it did not think it could survive. And Daphne, becoming a laurel,
dares you to become the wind.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~

(In Praise of Mortality, translated and edited by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 17, 2013 - 08:45am PT
Darkness, Darkness
lyrics/Jesse Colin Young

Darkness darkness, be my pillow
Take my head and let me sleep
In the coolness of your shadow
In the silence of your dream

Darness darkness, hide my yearning
For the things that cannot be
Keep my mind from constant turning
Towards the things I cannot see now
Towards the things I cannot see now
The things I cannot see now

Darkness darkness, long and lonesome
Is the day brings me here
I have found the edge of sadneess
I have known the depths of fear

Darkness darkness, be my blanket
Cover my head with the endless night
Take away away the pain of knowing
Fill the emptiness of right now
The emptiness of right now
Fill the emptiness of right now

Darkness darkness, be my pillow
Take my head and let me sleep
In the coolness of my shadow
In the silence of my dream

Darkness darkness, be my blanket
Cover my with the endlesss night
Take away away the pain of knowing
Fill the emptiness of right now
In the emptiness of right now
In the emptiness of right now

Just waiting for the sun.

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jan 20, 2013 - 02:36am PT
Beautiful Mouse, beautiful.


Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jan 20, 2013 - 02:36am PT
This one is right down my alley:

Shoveling Snow With Buddha

In the usual iconography of the temple or the local Wok
you would never see him doing such a thing,
tossing the dry snow over a mountain
of his bare, round shoulder,
his hair tied in a knot,
a model of concentration.

Sitting is more his speed, if that is the word
for what he does, or does not do.

Even the season is wrong for him.
In all his manifestations, is it not warm or slightly humid?
Is this not implied by his serene expression,
that smile so wide it wraps itself around the waist of the universe?

But here we are, working our way down the driveway,
one shovelful at a time.
We toss the light powder into the clear air.
We feel the cold mist on our faces.
And with every heave we disappear
and become lost to each other
in these sudden clouds of our own making,
these fountain-bursts of snow.

This is so much better than a sermon in church,
I say out loud, but Buddha keeps on shoveling.
This is the true religion, the religion of snow,
and sunlight and winter geese barking in the sky,
I say, but he is too busy to hear me.

He has thrown himself into shoveling snow
as if it were the purpose of existence,
as if the sign of a perfect life were a clear driveway
you could back the car down easily
and drive off into the vanities of the world
with a broken heater fan and a song on the radio.

All morning long we work side by side,
me with my commentary
and he inside his generous pocket of silence,
until the hour is nearly noon
and the snow is piled high all around us;
then, I hear him speak.

After this, he asks,
can we go inside and play cards?

Certainly, I reply, and I will heat some milk
and bring cups of hot chocolate to the table
while you shuffle the deck.
and our boots stand dripping by the door.

Aaah, says the Buddha, lifting his eyes
and leaning for a moment on his shovel
before he drives the thin blade again
deep into the glittering white snow.

~ Billy Collins ~

(Picnic, Lightning)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 20, 2013 - 04:03am PT
The Preceding Twenty-Four Hours

Any time you went into the warm bright sun from the gloom
Whenever you found an extra five dollars in your wallet that you had forgoten you stashed
When you found the chocolate chips were white chocolate and not just plain toll house morsels
That time you thought a message was wiped out only to find it again on your computer
Especially the last time you made it to the gas pump on fumes
The time some dork from the UC offered to buy you a drink and you found he's really just as decent as you and only slightly better educated and that's all in computers and carpentry, heck

Did it make your day?

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jan 21, 2013 - 02:56pm PT
Staring in the the abyss today...

Enriching the Earth

To enrich the earth I have sowed clover and grass
to grow and die. I have plowed in the seeds
of winter grains and various legumes,
their growth to be plowed in to enrich the earth.
I have stirred into the ground the offal
and the decay of the growth of past seasons
and so mended the earth and made its yield increase.
All this serves the dark. Against the shadow
of veiled possibility my workdays stand
in a most asking light. I am slowly falling
into the fund of things. And yet to serve the earth,
not knowing what I serve, gives a wideness
and a delight to the air, and my days
do not wholly pass. It is the mind's service,
for when the will fails so do the hands
and one lives at the expense of life.
After death, willing or not, the body serves,
entering the earth. And so what was heaviest
and most mute is at last raised up into song.

~ Wendell Berry ~

(Collected Poems 1957 - 1982)

Sport climber
Jan 21, 2013 - 03:11pm PT
To the Stone-cutters

Stone-cutters fighting time with marble, you foredefeated
Challengers of oblivion
Eat cynical earnings, knowing rock splits, records fall down,
The square-limbed Roman letters
Scale in the thaws, wear in the rain. The poet as well
Builds his monument mockingly;
For man will be blotted out, the blithe earth die, the brave sun
Die blind and blacken to the heart:
Yet stone have stood for a thousand years, and pained thoughts found
The honey of peace in old poems.

Robinson Jeffers

Sport climber
Jan 21, 2013 - 03:26pm PT

The fierce musical cries of a couple of sparrowhawks hunting on the
Hovering and darting, their heads northwestward,
Prick like silver arrows shot through a curtain the noise of the ocean
Trampling its granite; their red backs gleam
Under my window around the stone corners; nothing gracefuller, nothing
Nimbler in the wind. Westward the wave-gleaners,
The old gray sea-going gulls are gathered together, the northwest wind
Their wings to the wild spirals of the wind-dance.
Fresh as the air, salt as the foam, play birds in the bright wind, fly falcons
Forgetting the oak and the pinewood, come gulls
From the Carmel sands and the sands at the river-mouth, from Lobos and
out of the limitless
Power of the mass of the sea, for a poem
Needs a multitude, multitudes of thoughts, all fierce, all fresh-eaters,
musically clamorous
Bright hawks that hover and dart headlong, and ungainly
Gray hungers fledged with desire of transgression, salt slimed beaks, from
the sharp
Rock-shores of the world and the secret waters.

Robinson Jeffers

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jan 21, 2013 - 07:25pm PT
The highest good is like water.
Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive.
It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao.

In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ruling, be just.
In business, be competent.
In action, watch the timing.

~ Tao Te Ching ~

(Translation by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jan 23, 2013 - 02:22am PT
“How to Be a Poet”
(to remind myself)

Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.


Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.


Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.

© Wendell Berry. This poem is excerpted from “The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry”

Boulder climber
Jan 23, 2013 - 03:22pm PT
The ox pulls the plow
The earth breaks open
It is raining

Sport climber
Jan 23, 2013 - 03:31pm PT
Wanderer's Song

The thread in the hand of a kind mother
Is the coat on the wanderer's back.
Before he left she stiched it close
In secret fear that he would be slow to return.
Who will say that the inch of grass in his heart
Is gratitude enough for all the sunshine of spring?

Meng Chiao

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jan 24, 2013 - 03:08pm PT
Seek patience
and passion
in equal amounts.

Patience alone
will not build the temple.

Passion alone
will destroy its walls.

~ Maya Angelou ~

(Life Mosaic)

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 24, 2013 - 04:20pm PT
Good one Donald!

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jan 24, 2013 - 10:25pm PT
An old favorite:


My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

~ Mary Oliver ~

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 25, 2013 - 12:11am PT
the inch of grass

God sent His only begotten son to mow the lawn and sweep the driveway but He went climbing with His friends instead.

Super-Cross meets Taco Sauce.

See what happens eventually?

There is no controlling them when they have become Crosstians.

They are out to convert the world.

Holy Mother Mary pray for us.

Mother Frank, come back. If you can't, it was nice meeting you when you were one foot tall.

Hello, Suzy, it's been years since you've been here.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 25, 2013 - 12:21am PT
Curious about the Taco Sauce, lemme know when you get a chance.--Fletcher email to MFM

And so am I,

And so am I.--Frank Zappa

Who could imagine Life with NO SAUCE!

Certainly no Aborigine, Dreamy as he is, could not. NO WAY IN DREAMTIME.

And peyote chewers have no clue.

Strange Brew, kill what's inside of you, too.

Expresso doesn't express much, and three tenors means too much expression...

Which leaves us with the balancing act in the icefall, a nightmare.

Calling all dreamcatchers!

See the crevasse of surprises widen before your eyeses.

And run away! Run away!

Jan 25, 2013 - 01:26am PT
a model poises
her body twist toward the camera
the image of the perfect curves
unmarked skin
her gentle knowing smile

should she be ashamed of selling her image

or is it a great failure
to honor beauty as is

without our ego
demanding shame
or ownership

when in the end
it's just youth passing
even beauty fades
like our words


mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 25, 2013 - 08:56am PT
"Meaninglessness Without Pictures" Says It All

He lifts his own breasts in comparison.
His sister has recently gone down the hairy road to puberty and now he's twelve he thinks it's his turn.

But where are his boobs?

He was totally expecting them, kind of relieved now--
he wasn't looking forward to having to wear a bra like she said he would have to do.
She's going to have to answer to this one, he thinks. She mustn't tease him so much. She'll be sorry...
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 28, 2013 - 02:36am PT
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 28, 2013 - 03:36am PT
"Don't Interrupt."--Teacher

[Click to View YouTube Video]

It's just knice to now Flutcher's still buzzing around hear.


So, like, Poetrick, Oh!

--if I may be so bold as he, what need of poetry except to tell of "We" or us collectively?

Hey's one of There Gang here, I'd say.

Their more than, say, six hundred.

But hey,who's counting?

Half a Dome gone. Word.

Into the Valley of Dearth

Rode the dirtbaggers.

Talus to the left of them,

Meadows to the right of them,

Onward and downward they rode,

Full of the dreams and the stories

Of the old school and they're revered old hoaries

Who's names clogged the journals with glories

In the un-punctuated, missle-spelled equilibrium

Of the evolutionary process

"Believe it or not" says more sometimes than anything

--Sometimes you just gotta say WTF.

And they did and we did and the guys before them guys did

All the way back to and beyond the back side of Muir/Clark/Clyde.

We are a totem-pole-arrangement,

Stacked like black and white demi-gods

In black convexes this time

Arrayed in silly string glory

Winching along and cumming from camming

Damming the fact it's not free.

Nothing is for free, yet we all wish it were so.

And both it and I will be free. You know it. Your kids know it.

Tom, Yvon, Royal know it.

And, above all, Chuck knows more than we will ever know now.

But he knows.

I just trust.

--Lord Finnyshin.

"Hoot to Be a Poet"



Jan 28, 2013 - 04:34am PT
as a poet should I have the skill to string my words together
and rhyme them with blue
should I be able to give them rhythm like a well played guitar
strumming my vowels of thought to a beat
with meanings that grasp you by the guts
twist you down onto your knees

and then is it still a poem
or is it a prayer
of a soul needing to be saved
from the devils of the world
of the mind
and the devil that is made up of "I"

I am not very good at rhyming with blue
and I can't hold a rhythm beyond the basic rocking of a child
and instead of you being brought to your knees
it is I clenching my guts with my words losing meaning
and yes, I am full of devils and ghost
random thoughts I'm not able to string together

am I still a poet
when I can't even write down my name

for here the waters call to Virginia Woolf
and to Ingrid Jonker
as Sylvia Plath forgets to bake a cake...

do I really want to know what drove them
as it vibrates beneath my hands
into the shadows of my thoughts
to feel so much

I really honestly should learn to be still
and replace my thinking with well worn passages that are safe
written by folks that have reached old age

anything but the passions of the lost

I don't have to write
stay up all night
yet here I am

does this make me a poet?

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 28, 2013 - 11:05am PT
Boy, howdy!

Jan 30, 2013 - 12:25am PT
you guys check it out
i just took the biggest dump
where's my camera?
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 30, 2013 - 01:05am PT
pretty much did it, too, right?
You should write a book.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 30, 2013 - 01:44am PT
THE TANTRUM! by Jules Feiffer, 1979.
Chapter 1--"Metamorphosis."
Try to deal without the pictures--this is only an experiment.

Leo Quog and Mrs. Carol Quog, dialog thus
Kids, a girl and a boy, dialog thus
(DR) Thus...

No give. No give. No give.

Leo, will you please come in from the window? You know how that scares me.

I'm in perfect control.

I'm bored nearly frantic by your depression, Leo. If you won't talk to me, how can I know what you want?

No danger. No mystery.

Remember, this weekend we're going out to grandman and grandpa's.

Not this weekend!
For Christ's sake! I've made plans!

You are a decent, thoughtful, responsive man and I love you. I don't know what you want out of our marriage, Leo.

I want--__MOMMY! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!

For God's sake, Leo, what are you doing? We hear you! This is insanity! I'm reasoning with you, Leo; you are a forty-two year-old adult!

I'm NOT forty-two! I'm NOT! I'm NOT! I'm four! I'm three! I'm TWO!

I'm back!


Terrific, huh, Carol?

Leo, if this is your sick idea of a joke...This is obscene!

Wow! Won't the kids be surprised...Phil! Ruthie! Come look at you old man!

(on phone) Is it an emergency? It's an ASSAULT! Hurry! Hurry!

(DR) Is this someone's idea of a joke? This is a perfectly normal two-year old.

He's not! He's not! He's my husband!

Daddy! I need my father! I need my father!
I want my father back! I want to die! I want to vomit!

(DR) I've got four strep throats and a marrow cancer waiting. You people should be shot!

Let's play! Ruthie, want to carry Daddy piggy back? Do me a favor, Carol, powder and diaper me.

Leo, you are having too good a time at your family's expense.

I'm going to jump out the window!

Phil, Ruthie, I have had quite enough of this! It's time you children faced the real world, unblinking. I your father, have reverted to two. That happens to be my private and personal choice. I will love and suppport you every bit as strongly as when I was middle-aged. That's all that matters as far as you're concerned. My age is MY business, not yours. NOW CARRY ME PIGGY BACK!

--End of Chapter 1 by Jules Feiffer


Jan 30, 2013 - 01:52am PT
mountains rose from the earth the size of constellations
angry fathers looming over the land's inhabitants
and the land itself in stern observance with unseeable
unseeing eyes miles high
that guarded against beasts lurking beyond them
which you sensed only right before they were upon you
serrations bared like rotten teeth
trying to chew a hole into Heaven
yawning so wide and terrible
that all the stars might come tumbling out
to decorate their rocky flanks with astral broken glass
as if to disguise with glitter their dreadful intentions
black teeth screaming, invading a faceless mouth
and the gentle dawning sky, soft and pink as a newborn
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 30, 2013 - 02:13am PT
Oh, why do you not run on, why do you not?
Blather and blah and weet not weet.
I, me, cannot punctuate or dot an i in the weet is what.
We have got to quit weeting like that.
You and I, weezy way too much bad grammar now

What happened to my letter which followeth the letter "r"?
It appeareth to have taken off with no replacement. Even the CAPITAL hat fled...
Now I'm plurally challenged as well as mentally challenged.
What to do? Go back to kindergarten and be five again!
Or head over to the Coffee Chop and a bit of pretend five ten

Dot an i for me

Twenty-four! Number twenty-four! Have you number twenty-four, any of you gentlemen

More experimentation. What letter can you do without? How do you get around the problem and still make sense? One hath a clue. No matter the problem, man can overcome it. We can think. We can do. Anything.

Kith my ath, Mithithipee.


Jan 30, 2013 - 02:33am PT
i love bad grammer
no dots or dashes for me
teachers are too smart

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jan 31, 2013 - 11:50am PT
AFS: gratitude for those two gems above. You added something to the world that matters!


Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jan 31, 2013 - 11:51am PT
Nice take on another Greek who made a huge impact:


As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

~ C.P. Cavafy ~

(Collected Poems, Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard)
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Feb 1, 2013 - 12:31am PT
When you poets are caught in the flow of creation
All too often you yield to the siren temptation
Of structureless symbolic representation.

And though you’re avoiding versification
We’d be grateful if there were no need for translation.
We would love it if you could eschew obfuscation.


Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:18pm PT
Love it Fossil!

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:18pm PT
Apparently, owls are not vegan!

White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field

Coming down out of the freezing sky
with its depths of light,
like an angel, or a Buddha with wings,
it was beautiful, and accurate,
striking the snow and whatever was there
with a force that left the imprint
of the tips of its wings — five feet apart —
and the grabbing thrust of its feet,
and the indentation of what had been running
through the white valleys of the snow —
and then it rose, gracefully,
and flew back to the frozen marshes
to lurk there, like a little lighthouse,
in the blue shadows —
so I thought:
maybe death isn't darkness, after all,
but so much light wrapping itself around us —

as soft as feathers —
that we are instantly weary of looking, and looking,
and shut our eyes, not without amazement,
and let ourselves be carried,
as through the translucence of mica,
to the river that is without the least dapple or shadow,
that is nothing but light — scalding, aortal light —
in which we are washed and washed
out of our bones.

~ Mary Oliver ~

(House of Light)

Mountain climber
Bay Area , California
Feb 6, 2013 - 02:29pm PT
From Sohrab Sepehri , a Persian poet

Life is an apple, you bite it with skin

you must search for friend under rain

you found love under rain

You have to see all people under rain

I went to end of love.......saw things
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 6, 2013 - 02:50pm PT

Take a swan dive off the Diving Board and clarity comes quickly.
Take a look at the poor remains and you may feel sickly.


Trad climber
Pollock Pines, California
Feb 6, 2013 - 02:53pm PT
no one reads this shite,
only the author admires
the stroke of his own pen,

it's absurd,
and our ridiculous is
massive enough
to require a two to one
approach to move it thru,
two deaths for every eerie life.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 6, 2013 - 03:04pm PT
And no one smells this shite, either.

Pen-pushers, ink-daubers, & thought-mongers all smell alike when they are dead. Period.

Never/always question longevity.
Never/always believe in eternity.

Always/never tie your shoes.
Always/never wear slippers.

Always look at Lovers' Leap.
Never go by without a peep.

It's one of your many gifts.
It's one of your many curses.
Like your unconvincing scorn
for all these silly verses.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 8, 2013 - 03:55pm PT
First pages of Wanderings from the Line of Duty by Chester F. Mattson.
He was a naval officer in charge of a battalion, beginning with its training during WWII and ordered the poems in a narrative manner, from the earliest days of the group to the last ones.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 8, 2013 - 05:23pm PT
The Sickness Unto Death

God went out of me
as if the sea dried up like sandpaper,
as if the sun became a latrine.
God went out of my fingers.
They became stone.
My body became a side of mutton
and despair roamed the slaughterhouse.

Someone brought me oranges in my despair
but I could not eat a one
for God was in that orange.
I could not touch what did not belong to me.
The priest came,
he said God was even in Hitler.
I did not believe him
for if God were in Hitler
then God would be in me.
I did not hear the bird sounds.
they had left.
I did not see the speechless clouds,
I saw only the little white dish of my faith
breaking in the crater.
I kept sayng:
I've got to have something to hold on to.
People gave me Bibles, crucifixes,
a yellow daisy,
but I could not touch them,
I who was a house full of bowel movement,
I who was a defaced altar,
I who wanted to crawl toward God
could not move nor eat bread.

So I ate myself,
bite by bite, and the tears washed me,
wave after cowardly wave,
swallowing canker after canker
and Jesus stood over me looking down
and He laughed to find me gone,
and put His mouth to mine
and gave me His air.

My kindred, my brother, I said
and gave the yellow daisy
to the crazy woman in the next bed.
--Anne Sexton/The Awful Rowing Toward God
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 10, 2013 - 02:13am PT
Working on the New Railroad


A story, a story!
(Let it go. Let it come.)
I was stamped out like a Plymouth fender
into this world.
First came the crib
with its glacial bars.
Then dolls
and the devotion to their plastic mouths.
Then there was school,
the little straight rows of chairs,
blotting my name over and over,
but undersea all the time,
a stranger whose elbows wouldn’t work.
Then there was life
with its cruel houses
and people who seldom touched--
though touch is all--
but I grew,
like a pig in a trenchcoat I grew,
and then there were many strange apparitions,
the nagging rain, the sun turning into poison
and all of that, saws working through my heart, but I grew, I grew,
and God was there like an island I had not rowed to,
still ignorant of Him, my arms and my legs worked,
and I grew, I grew,
I wore rubies and bought tomatoes
and now, in my middle age,
about nineteen in the head I’d say,
I am rowing, I am rowing
though the oarlocks stick and are rusty
and the sea blinks and rolls
like a worried eyeball,
but I am rowing, I am rowing,
though the wind pushes me back
and I know that the island will not be perfect,
it will have the flaws of life,
the absurdities of the dinner table,
but there will be a door
and I will open it
and I will get rid of the rat inside of me,
the gnawing pestilential rat.
God will take it with his two hands
and embrace it.

As the African says:
This is my tale which I have told,
if it be sweet, if it be not sweet,
take somewhere else and let some return to me.
This story ends with me still rowing.


I’m mooring my rowboat
at the dock of the island called God.
This dock is made in the shape of a fish
and there are many boats moored
at many different docks.
“It’s okay,” I say to myself,
with blisters that broke and healed
and broke and healed--
saving themselves over and over.
And salt sticking to my face and arms like
a glue-skin pocked with grains of tapioca.
I empty myself from my wooden boat
and onto the flesh of The Island.

“On with it!” He says and thus
we squat on the rocks by the sea
and play—can it be true--
a game of poker.
He calls me.
I win because I hold a royal straight flush.
He wins because He holds five aces.
A wild card had been announced
but I had not heard it
being in such a state of awe
when He took out the cards and dealt.
As He plunks down His five aces
and I sit grinning at my royal flush,
He starts to laugh,
the laughter rolling like a hoop out of His mouth
and into mine,
and such laughter that He doubles right over me
laughing a Rejoice-Chorus at our two triumphs.
Then I laugh, the fishy dock laughs
the sea laughs. The Island laughs.
The Absurd laughs.

Dearest dealer,
I with my royal straight flush,
love you so for your wild card,
that untamable, eternal, gut-driven ha-ha
and lucky love.
--Anne Sexton

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 10, 2013 - 02:39am PT
this goes with the poem at the top o' this page


Nature is full of teeth
that come in one by one, then
decay, fall out.
In nature nothing is stable,
all is change, bears, dogs, peas, the willow,
all disappear. Only to be reborn.
rocks crumble, make new forms,
ocians move the continents,
mountains rise up and down like ghosts
yet all is natural, all is change.

As I write this sentence
about one hundred and four generations
since Christ, nothing has changed
except knowledge, the test tube.
Man still falls into the dirt
and is covered.
As I write this sentence one thousand are going
and one thousand are coming.
It is like the well that never dries up.
It is like the sea which is the ditchen of God.

We are all earthworms,
digging into our wrinkles.
We live beneath the ground a
and if Christ should come in the form of a plow
and dig a furrow and push us up into the day
we earthworms would be blinded by the sudden light
and writhe in our distress.
As I write this sentence I too writhe.

For all you who are going,
and there are many who are climbing their pain,
many who will be painted out with a black ink
suddenly and before it is time,
for those many I say,
awkwardly, clumsily,
take off your life like trousers,
your shoes, your underwear,
then take off your flesh,
unpick the lock of you bones.
In other workd,take off the wall
that separates you from God.
--Anne Sexton
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 15, 2013 - 12:23am PT

Heart of Stone
Jagger & richards

There've been so many girls that I've known,
I've made so many cry and still I wonder why
Here comes the little girl,
I see her walking down the street.
She's all by herself,
Trying so hard to please, but
She'll never break, nerver break, never break, never break
This heart of stone. Oh, no, no, this heart of stone.

What's different about her?
I don't really know. No matter how I try
I just can't maker her cry.
But she'll never break, never break, never break, never break
This heart of stone. Oh, no, no, no, this heart of stone.

Don't keep on looking that some old way.
If you try acting sad, you'll only make me glad.
Better listen little girl,
You go on walking down the street,
I ain't got no love, I ain't the kind to meet.
But you'll never break, never break, never break, never break
This heart of stone. Oh, no, no, this heart of stone,
You'll never break this heart of stone.


Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Feb 15, 2013 - 02:35am PT
Girl from the North Country
By some guy named Dylan [Rosanne Cash's cover is particularly beautiful]

If you're traveling in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Remember me to one who lives there
For she was once a true love of mine.

Well, if you go when the snowflakes storm
When the rivers freeze and summer ends
Please see for me if she's wearing a coat so warm
To keep her from the howlin' winds.

Please see from me if her hair hanging down
If it curls and flows all down her breast
Please see from me if her hair hanging down
That's the way I remember her best.

Well, if you're traveling in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Please say hello to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine.

If you're travelin' in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine.

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Feb 15, 2013 - 02:35am PT
Ann Sexton... Also the Aweful Rowing Towards God.

There goes my pal Odysseus again!

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 15, 2013 - 04:52pm PT
Jason: Here now! What's the row?

Odysseus: Oh wow! Then is now!

Jason: And how! Take a bow!


Feb 15, 2013 - 05:08pm PT
wow, mouse i've never read that anne sexton poem. wierd how the first stanza is so similar. i was reading a lot of cormac mcarthy when i wrote that purple prose at the top of the last page, hence the run on n on sentences.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 15, 2013 - 09:21pm PT
How do you like my "Serrations," huh? It's a good rhyme for constellations.

I'm just trying to suggest that Wayne could be right, about rhyming and understanding the message. I'm not saying restructure. The ability to create is countered by the ability to control how and what you create. Daubs can't really paint. Poetasters can't rhyme and inspire at the same time. But it's easier to accomplish a poetic "do-over" than an artistic one.

It's a big challenge to use your noggin, sometimes. And noboby's got you on the clock.

Think of how Locker is challenged with that big head? He must have to go miles to get a memory, bring it back to central, and so on....

And the echoes in there must be horrbly distracting.

Feb 16, 2013 - 01:55am PT
i think i'm pickin up what yer settin down, mouse.

i like serrations, they make nice traverses.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 16, 2013 - 02:12am PT
In order to make a nice traverse
You should be able to climb.
In order to make a nice-sounding verse
Doesn't require sublime.
All it requires is time.

And recursions.

But first I should seek an incursion
It's not a real nasty perversion.
It's just something I'm immersed in.
And on and on an on an on an on like a long long Journey song

Or a hike down the Muir Trail.


Feb 16, 2013 - 02:38am PT
I hear the creak of my bones
with my desire to touch my toes
and at the distance I'm reaching
it's turning into a bad idea

but I am here
I've joined a gym!
to wheeze away to the music
as another middle ager
lost in battle

yet still an anomaly
I am not fantasizing about another life
I'm remembering

and as I giggle from the memories
I touch my toes
feeling them wiggle

just a little sign
that this remains interesting
here we go

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 22, 2013 - 08:30pm PT
I forget the name of this work. It had "Poetry" in the title as well as in the image.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 5, 2013 - 11:05am PT
The Beautiful Poem
by Richard Brautigan

I go to bed in Los Angeles thinking
about you.
Pissing a few monents ago
I looked down at my penis
Knowing it has been inside
you twice today makes me
feel beautiful.

3 A.M.
January 15, 1967

The Beautiful Poem 2018
by Jim Donini

I go to bed in Wawona thinking
about you.

Pissing for a half hour a few minutes ago
I looked down at my climbing rack
with great affection.

Knowing it has been inside
you twice today makes me
feel oh so beautiful.

Climb the gates of hell.
You fell. If yer gonna die
Do it in the sky.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 5, 2013 - 01:19pm PT
The Pill versus the Springhill Mine Disaster

When you take your pill
it´s like a mine disaster.
I think of all the people
lost inside you

French Free versus the Hateful Mime Disaster

When you pull on your pro
it's like the Springhill Mime Disaster.
Words cannot express how I feel
about my sense of shame-on-you.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 9, 2013 - 01:06am PT

The Old Climbing Poet’s Shoes

Old guys In disguise
Ode guys In da skies
Eau de guys In dees guys

Oh, guys...

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Mar 13, 2013 - 10:57am PT

It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

~ Mary Oliver ~


Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Mar 14, 2013 - 12:26pm PT
Har har, eKat!!! Love puns, the worse the better for some reason!

A string walks into a bar and asks for a drink. The bartender says, "You'll have to leave, we don't serve string here."

The string goes outside and twists himself around and gets all tangled and frayed. He goes back into the bar and asks for another drink.

The bartender says, "Aren't you the string I just kicked out of here?"

The string says, "I'm afraid not."


Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Mar 14, 2013 - 12:27pm PT
seeker of truth

follow no path
all paths lead where

truth is here

~ e. e. cummings ~
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 14, 2013 - 12:57pm PT
You can lead that hen to water but just try to spread her eggs.
--one disgruntled c*#k to another, somewhere in the headwaters of a wild river, maybe in Alaska

Okay, it was f*#king George Carlin said it.

Okay, " the headwaters of a f*#king clean wild river, maybe in Arizona."

Okay, "male salmon."

Trad climber
the tip of god's middle finger
Mar 14, 2013 - 02:05pm PT
words are ammunition
in the war on silence.

but like all wars,
this war is unwarranted.

silence is intimidating in it's ultimate stillness.
thus we have deemed it our enemy,
and with our diction,
we assault the passive squatter.

a blank sheet is intimidating in it's ultimate clarity.
thus we have deemed it our enemy,
and with our prose,
we assault the poetic void,
forcing ourselves upon it.

raping it until it unwillingly
bears our future.

Mar 14, 2013 - 02:25pm PT
A white robe to set you free
with no one above but that of your faith
what is hidden in your mind
the jewels of love, or is it the dirt of pride
for humility can hide a man who feels superior
in this world...
how many wrongs do the righteous yield
here we the masses wait by the side of the road
with our beggar's cups
we wait for you...
Will you come to serve
or do you wait for us to serve you
that is my biggest question


Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Mar 15, 2013 - 02:32pm PT
Very good eKat, Norwegian, Anastasia, all in quite different ways, but ways necessary to our sustenance!


Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Mar 15, 2013 - 02:33pm PT
Dedicated to the Taconians emerging from deep hibernation and cabin fever:

What the Day Gives

Suddenly, sun. Over my shoulder
in the middle of gray November
what I hoped to do comes back,

Across the street the fiery trees
hold onto their leaves,
red and gold in the final months
of this unfinished year,
they offer blazing riddles..

In the frozen fields of my life
there are no shortcuts to spring,
but stories of great birds in migration
carrying small ones on their backs,
predators flying next to warblers
they would, in a different season, eat.

Stunned by the astonishing mix in this uneasy world
that plunges in a single day from despair
to hope and back again, I commend my life
to Ruskin's difficult duty of delight,
and to that most beautiful form of courage,
to be happy.

~ Jeanne Lohmann ~

(The Light of Invisible Bodies)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 15, 2013 - 04:33pm PT
mighty n sight full, u b n i c e

Howl, dance, give, learn.
Dance, howl, learn to give.
To do all these you need to live.
Karma is the thing you earn.
-the bacwords poet

Irish Poets’ Society

Lord Tennyson
Couldn’t be one.
We’re sorry, mun,
You’re out. We’re done.

C B Low
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 16, 2013 - 02:44am PT

A small fold of skin
Hangs beneath my chin

Some folks call it a turkey wattle
My girl calls it a chicken waffle

Cuz when her daddy climbs
He climbs so awful!

Pee U!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 19, 2013 - 04:41pm PT
Honoring Deaf, Dumb, and Dumber Than You Can Conceive (but try) people who find it difficult to communicate, and I don't mean Luke Jackson.


Thank you, neebee geebee!!!

So Messed Up Thou Cannot Speaketh

A degree of sensitivity
Result of brain activity
Words can’t tell me
What thee can see
The words won’t come out easily
And if they come out at all from thee
They’re garbled.

How it must feel to agree or disagree
Is an irrelevancy
Whether you agree or disagree is even mooter
But I’m by your side, I’m your rooter
No one could see this better than you
But we are deprived of your point of view
And it’s the world’s loss.

Thou could be Remembrandt in there for all they care.

Alas, sometimes time is not our own to use
To ourselves is left the course to choose.
Awareness is as awareness does
If in the future it is your cuz
Sitting helpless to convey
What it is he'd like to say
You may the better to prepare
By trying to become aware
And thus share
What silence means to those who suffer in it.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 19, 2013 - 07:00pm PT
I Know Why the Dead Skulls Smile

I know why the dead skulls smile
though their humor's out of style.
I know why they bare their dentures,
Laughing at the living's ventures.

Is it odd the dead are laughing
at the world's choreographing?
Chicken-like we run our races,
never slowing breakneck paces.

We all die; it's life's common goal.
It's people's fate pole to pole.
I know that the skulls laugh at us
who can't accept death without fuss.
--Megin Bevis

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 20, 2013 - 09:19am PT
It's a cold world
blinding light, ceaseless challenge
so saith RR

Once heard some joker
tell me the punch line of an old
Sherry Anderson

Sheridan's nature
was ineffably funny*
whatever that means

He didn't need one
If he just drew he'd manage
to get us the point

It's not that dang hard
to make people laugh when they
see themselves fly fish

or rock climb or ski
go surfing, juggle, slackline
or hop on one leg

We are simply boys
having fun with our new toys
Sometimes we make noise

On belay Berg heil
He's the man who all the while
sardonical with guile

made us laugh so hard
we forgot for the moment

we're all gonna die

*so saith Tami
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 22, 2013 - 04:13am PT
The Great Phil Sentinel.The other day they waited
The sky was dark and faded
Solemnly they stated
He has to die
You know he has to die

And all the children learning
From books that they were burning
Every leaf was turning
To watch him die
You know he has to die

The summer sun looked down on him
His mother could but frown on him
And all the others sound on him
But it doesn't seem to matter

And when the day had ended
With rainbow colours blended
His mind remained unbended
He had to die
You know he had to die
You know he had to die

But they lost their arrows so he lived to climb another day.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 24, 2013 - 02:28pm PT
He had to die, so post a reply.
Rick-ity tick-ity peel...

Sport climber
Home away from Home
Mar 28, 2013 - 11:40pm PT
A cherished friend shared this with me last night...

The Highwayman
By Alfred Noyes


The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

He’d a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin.
They fitted with never a wrinkle. His boots were up to the thigh.
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard.
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred.
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim the ostler listened. His face was white and peaked.
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord’s daughter,
The landlord’s red-lipped daughter.
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—

“One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I’m after a prize to-night,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way.”

He rose upright in the stirrups. He scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair in the casement. His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,
(O, sweet black waves in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his rein in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.


He did not come in the dawning. He did not come at noon;
And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,
When the road was a gypsy’s ribbon, looping the purple moor,
A red-coat troop came marching—
King George’s men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord. They drank his ale instead.
But they gagged his daughter, and bound her, to the foot of her narrow bed.
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets at their side!
There was death at every window;
And hell at one dark window;
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest.
They had bound a musket beside her, with the muzzle beneath her breast!
“Now, keep good watch!” and they kissed her. She heard the doomed man say—
Look for me by moonlight;
Watch for me by moonlight;
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!

She twisted her hands behind her; but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years
Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold, on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it. She strove no more for the rest.
Up, she stood up to attention, with the muzzle beneath her breast.
She would not risk their hearing; she would not strive again;
For the road lay bare in the moonlight;
Blank and bare in the moonlight;
And the blood of her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love’s refrain.

Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horsehoofs ringing clear;
Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding—
The red coats looked to their priming! She stood up, straight and still.

Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer. Her face was like a light.
Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight,
Her musket shattered the moonlight,
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him—with her death.

He turned. He spurred to the west; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o’er the musket, drenched with her own blood!
Not till the dawn he heard it, and his face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
The landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shouting a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high.
Blood red were his spurs in the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat;
When they shot him down on the highway,
Down like a dog on the highway,
And he lay in his blood on the highway, with a bunch of lace at his throat.

. . .

And still of a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
A highwayman comes riding—
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard.
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred.
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Heartbreaking and beautiful... all at the same time.

*thanks, CXR*

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 28, 2013 - 11:45pm PT

Lawrence Ferlinghetti still getting after it at 92.
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Mar 31, 2013 - 08:16pm PT
On Biological Terminology

Nomenclature, regardless of whether applied to organisms
vegetable, avian or mammalian,
Often involves Greek or Latin terms which are obscure,
arcane and sesquipedalian.
I find it possible to remember and even blithely to pronounce
The mellifluous and euphonious name of a bat called Myotis,
But I become dyslexic, dyspeptic and apoplectic
trying to recall and pronounce
The prickly polysyllabics of the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus.
And as for biologic processes, why, the terminology borders on apocrypha!
For example, the strobilation of the scyphistoma
of the Cestoda and Coelenterata,
Which, by division of the larvae into segments,
produces multiple sons and daughta.

There must easier terms to use – or anyhow, there oughta.



Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Apr 1, 2013 - 02:42am PT
The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.

~ Mary Oliver ~
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 1, 2013 - 03:51am PT
I'll call your Mary Oliver with one Anne Sexton


Up from oysters
and the confused weeds,
out from the tears of God,
the wounding tides, he came.
He became a hunter of roots
and breathed like a man.
He ruffled through the grasses
and became known to the sky.
I stood close and watched it all.
Beg pardon, he said
but you have skin divers,
you have hooks and nets,
so why shouldn’t I
enter your element for a moment?
Though it is curious here,
unusually awkward to walk.
It is without grace.
There is no rhythm
in this country of dirt.

And I said to him:
From some country
that I have misplaced
I can recall a few things...
but the light of the kitchen
gets in the way.
Yet there was a dance
when I kneaded the bread
there was a song my mother
used to sing...
And the salt of God’s belly
where I floated in a cup of darkness.
I long for your country, fish.

The fish replied:
You must be a poet,
a lady of evil luck
desiring to be what you are not,
longing to be
what you can only visit.
--Anne Sexton

and raise you one more Anne Sexton, Fletcher.
It's not a macho contest, just a speechy figure.


As the fireman said:
Don’t book a room over the fifth floor
in any hotel in New York.
They have ladders that will reach further
but no one will climb them.
As the New York Times said:
The elevator always seeks out
the floor of the fire
and automatically opens
and won’t shut.
These are the warnings
that you must forget
if you’re climbing out of yourself.
If you’re going to smash into the sky.

Many times I’ve gone past
the fifth floor,
cranking upward,
but only once have I gone all the way up.
Sixtieth floor: small plants and swans bending
into their grave.
Floor two hundred:
mountains with the patience of a cat,
silence wearing its sneakers.
Floor five hundred:
messages and letters centuries old,
birds to drink,
a kitchen of clouds.
Floor six thousand: the stars,
skeletons on fire,
their arms singing.
And a key,
a very large key,
that opens something--
some useful door--
up there.
--Anne Sexton

Leggs' selection is one of my all-time favorites from Childcraft volume #2.

I found the old illustrations, but there's not a direct link.

Yahoo search:
The Highwayman in childcraft encyclopedia

Click on the item:
The Highwayman - Plasma Dynamics Lab
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 4, 2013 - 11:52am PT
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Ah...Aprile shoures soote!

Glad I ain't in Minnesota.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 8, 2013 - 04:18am PT
Not the Ultimate Haikus

Vision was a climb ascending the entire slab: inexpensive.

Toes experienced pressure that turns coal into gems. It hurt plenty.

Five, seven, and five.
Please, you should take it from here.
I can't count that high.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 10, 2013 - 10:07am PT

In the Wild Rice

In the wild rice fields two rivers meet:
one from the north bears soil so fertile that the dead
in their graves;
the other carries the cleaned bones
and empty skins
of animals that once lived
inside the mountain snows. When the sun goes,
these old friends stay outside
and exchange
stories of the past and the silent days
when being a river
was something to be proud of.
For warmth, they drink up their own gifts.
Now because they are drunk and tired
of the journey,
they lie down in their beds.
Friendship falls through the heavy water of sleep
like a stone.
--Gary Thompson
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 12, 2013 - 01:29am PT
An Astonished Listener Hears the Radio Announcer Bat Out the Long Balls of Verbs, Nouns and Adjectives.

Swing on the cripple and hit the dying quail.

The roundhouse curve, the swell wrinkle, and the
Big dead fish all fail if the slugger
Rammycackles a liner over the advertising sign.

At the break of seven spasms take some of that
Good beer, for the Little Professor’s* at bat.

The sprayhitters are breaking out with
five o’clock lightning and the Old Casey the Cagey
Calls in a new repair man. It’s Cautious Joe!**
He’s deep down in the barrel and has to
Swim out of it, but boy he’s swimming!

Watch those fielders put on the chain,
Skid, gobble and throw. They know it’s
Hang tough and root hog or die and they want the
Poke ball hit in the well.

You never know in baseball
In the last gasp or never inning the veterans can
Wield the willow and play some beautiful tunes
On ancient fiddles.

Then the cripple and the
Dying quail and the big dead fish are all
Stashed in the deep freeze.
--James Schevill, old school poet, formerly a ‘Modern Poet”

*Dom Dimaggio
**Maybe, Joe Page, “The Gay Reliever.”
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 13, 2013 - 09:38am PT
I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

I see a line of cars and they're all painted black
With flowers and my love, both never to come back
I see people turn their heads and quickly look away
Like a newborn baby it just happens ev'ryday

I look inside myself and see my heart is black
I see my red door and it has been painted black
Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts
It's not easy facing up when your whole world is black

No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not forsee this thing happening to you
If I look hard enough into the setting sun
My love will laugh with me before the morning comes

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

Hmm, hmm, hmm...

Maybe I'll go up and see Ray.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 13, 2013 - 09:53am PT
Colloquy in Black Rock
by Robert Lowell

Here the jack-hammer jabs into the ocean;
My heart, you race and stagger and demand
More blood-gangs for your nigger-brass percussions,
Till I, the stunned machine of your devotion,
Clanging upon this cymbal of a hand,
Am rattled screw and footloose. All discussions

End in the mud-flat detritus of death.
My heart, beat faster, faster. In Black Mud
Hungarian workmen give their blood
For the martyrs Stephen who was stoned to death.

Black Myd, a name to conjure with: O mud
For watermelons gutted to the crust,
Mud for the mole-tide harbor, mud for mouse,
Mud for teh armored Diesel fishing tubs that thud
A year and a day to wind and tide; the dust
Is on this skipping heart that shakes my house,

House of our Savior who was hanged till death.
My heart, beat faster, faster. In Black Mud
Stephen the martyre was broken down to blood:
Our ransom is the rubble of his death.

Christ walks on the black water. In Black Mud
Darts the kingfisher. On Corpus Christi, heart,
Over the drum-beat of St. Stephen's choir
I hear him, Stupor Mundi, and the mud
Flies from his hunching wings and beak--my heart,
he blue kingfisher dives on you in fire.


I wonder what the heck Gary's up to today?

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 13, 2013 - 10:04am PT

by Josephine Miles

Then have mercy upon me.
Let one who has no care,
Sees not me there,
Likes not if he sees
And would not had he care,
Have mercy upon me.

He is my black mercury
Against the world's glass
By which all figures come and pass
Fair as the are in their own loving sight.
He is the black night
That brings myself to the face of the glass.

In my indelibiity
Have mercy upon me, quick neutral who does me forget.
Stand not
Fast at the sheer glass of my life
To make my life myself.

B'lieve I'll go back home and find Stevie and call Ray, have him come over, too.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 19, 2013 - 12:46am PT
Way Above Camp 4

In the talus forest
The oaks repeat the wind’s words
Over and over

Across the valley
Sentinel’s water falls down
In deep recesses

Sentinel itself
Is screened by whispering oaks
Who speak of Half Dome

It’s icy up there
Now no trees grow on its head
They’ve mostly been burned

It wasn’t lightning
Sheltering man has done this
Please take a lesson
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 20, 2013 - 10:37am PT

Myth busters,
Cam busters,
Dam busters:
It’s all Grey Poupon.
To me.

Attitude adjuster,
Blues by Duster:
Just sing The Beat Goes On.
For me.

La di dah di di,
Lad died dealing meth,
He asked for early death:
Inhaled from his dying breath, it's gone
In me.

Blonde climbers have more fun;
Only pansies climb five one;
It’s five seven now we’re done:
Let’s find a coffee shop.
On me.
--A. Crumbinallo

Sport climber
Apr 20, 2013 - 11:48am PT
Benny Andersen in translation. Mouse from Merced will not like the poem The Time at 04:05 or Spirit at 24:50.
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Sport climber
Apr 20, 2013 - 11:55am PT
Sailing To Byzantium

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
---Those dying generations---at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unaging intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God's holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

W B Yeats
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 21, 2013 - 09:38pm PT

I loved that little Sony-mine
and the sounds it had on offer.

It nearly died one day at T.I. in May 1968:
A near-fatal discharge under dishonorable conditions following a ground-fall.

Twelve feet to the ground left no doubt—that was all, it was gonna die.
I hope it didn’t suffer.

We were listening to some Zappa
when it got zapped.

It hung around, a one-antenna amputee,
mostly mute and seldom heard,
that later got lost in Yosemite.


If a radio signal dies in the forest and no one hears it, how does this affect the universe?
Heck of a question.

edit a Marlow: As a psa, the time is now officially gone. It was just a baby, too. This was reported in The Times. The time was when an obituary had more people who had time to read it. There is dead air on radio, which is the same as dead time.

I got no dime but I got some time to hear his story.--The Dead, one more time

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Apr 24, 2013 - 11:50am PT
Well, it's that time of the year:

Sumer is icumen in,
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweþ sed and bloweþ med
And springþ þe wde nu,
Sing cuccu!
Awe bleteþ after lomb,
Lhouþ after calue cu.
Bulluc sterteþ, bucke uerteþ,
Murie sing cuccu!
Cuccu, cuccu, wel singes þu cuccu;
Ne swik þu nauer nu.
Sing cuccu nu. Sing cuccu.
Sing cuccu. Sing cuccu nu!

And for those of you not fluent in Middle English (where's a Hobbit when you need one?):

Summer has come in,
Loudly sing, Cuckoo!
The seed grows and the meadow
And the wood springs anew,
Sing, Cuckoo!
The ewe bleats after the lamb
The cow lows after the calf.
The bullock stirs, the stag farts,
Merrily sing, Cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo, well you sing,
Don't ever you stop now,
Sing cuckoo now. Sing, Cuckoo.
Sing Cuckoo. Sing cuckoo now!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 25, 2013 - 08:15pm PT
i feel i o u

ALL u people

THANK u people

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Apr 25, 2013 - 08:50pm PT
More Brautigan for Mouse:

Death is a beautiful car parked only
to be stolen on a street lined with trees
whose branches are like the intestines
of an emerald.
You hotwire death, get in, and drive away
like a flag made from a thousand burning
funeral parlors.

You have stolen death because you're bored.
There's nothing good playing at the movies
in San Francisco.

You joyride around for a while listening
to the radio, and then abandon death, walk
away, and leave death for the police
to find.

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Apr 25, 2013 - 11:58pm PT
The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.

~ Mary Oliver ~

(Dream Work)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 26, 2013 - 03:09am PT
a tattoo haiku
tells you dot dot's the dotter
your daughter has wed

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 26, 2013 - 03:31am PT
Dead Car Found on Park Place

On a bench in Park Place
It sat
It radiated love
It had been joy-ridden
The trunk was full of old comedy reels
Laurel and Hardwood
The Tree Stooges
The Light Comedy in the Forest
and so on through Hollywood

The cops stood around
Was there a moving violation
Or was it a parking violation
They felt it was moving
So they took out their tools
And they fixed that crate good
It never ever moved again
They hauled it away with a logging chain

It was put to rest in a pine box
And inlaid with emeralds
In oddly hexcentric shapes
And Bob Dylan sang
The car song
By Woody
Would he approve
The hearse was a woodie
Why certainly
Cried the baldest cypress stooge

The king of braut again has died
Long live the king
Auto the Magnificent

[Click to View YouTube Video] Thanks, Gary!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 26, 2013 - 03:48am PT
He Wants to Tap a Keg at the Leap
I mean, He Wants to Leap on a Keg and Tap Dance on Dikes

why not go all the way
why not take all of me
why not a bunch of mes
why not hike your pants up
why not you satisfied
why not utter sweet nothings
why not fool around with me no more
why not u like me no more

I'm sorry if this offends.

I just up-chucked it.

The mouse-muse is full of moonshine tonight of all nights.

Chuck's twice the man

i am

after all

i am

just a mouse

hangin' nine

surfin' the rhyme

next time

i am


mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 26, 2013 - 07:06am PT
Nose In A Day Dream

Donini’s nostril
lost bell
liberty bell
go to hell
goat boy smell
Lafayette Bunnel
clam shell
wishing well
oh, do tell
William tell
no tell motel
‘ink well’
show ‘n tell
holding cell
farmer in the dell
and he finally fell
and on cloud nine they dwell
Little Nell
je m’apelle
set a spell
have a nail
eat a snail
cut up the handrail
belay them last three, varmint!
they all smell
just as well
couldn’t tell
better sell
Colgate gel
Cornell yell
more cowbell
Samuel Zell
all is well
sing Noel
Maroon Bell
run pell-mell
kiss n’ tell
Disney cel
“Life in the Salton Sea!?”
This here ain’t no Disney nature flick, ya varmint!!
Git back ta bizness, blast ya!
No more to tell, etc.

Dette er ikke en Disney film om natur, kjeltring, irriterende person eller dyr, forsomme.--Benny Anders Marlofsen

I may have butchered that, py yiminey.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 26, 2013 - 03:59pm PT
Hard Core Spondee

Dusting away on the dark side they hung
Not a hair out of place, nor even a tongue, among

White founts falling in the courts of the sun
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run

Sport climber
Apr 28, 2013 - 01:04pm PT
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Your guide...

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Apr 30, 2013 - 03:38am PT
"Poetry meets deep, essential, unremembered hungers. It is food and drink for the soul - memory of the soul."—Krista Tippett

Now I remember for whence here I came...
For lunch, natch!

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 30, 2013 - 11:00am PT
Nachos for lunch...

Sure It Could Always Be Verse

They say things should rhyme
But I haven’t the time
To babysit pronouns all day

If they want it so
I want them to know
We consider myself to be they

So f. them and the lamas
(And especially them commas)
They all rode in on today

Beck to verk, Fledger! Vite!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 1, 2013 - 04:29pm PT
Brilliant, rr!

And historically accurate, too!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 2, 2013 - 05:23am PT
Insert photo RR,pensive pose back cover shot from My Life.

Me-did-tations Midst Rubble

Before I worked in Yosemite as a houseman I fried hamburgers and made chicken for a franchise in the Bay Area. The hamburger we sold was "The Big Barney." Fred Flintstone, Barney Rubble, OK?

I yearned for the mountains, back then, though I knew not what could possibly happen up there.

I found that in the mountains, Time passes slowly, hand-to-hand, until it is no longer legible.

It's then used for TP.

What I am resting on is the detritus of monoliths.
They are like the piles of dead skin cells which accumulated underneath my mattress.
If Sentinel sheds skin, this is it, and they have been laying here for, like, quien sabe?
It is a poor conceit for what has happened here in the side-hill oak forest.

I never notice skin flakes falling off me or the noise they must make if they do.
Let’s set that myth on its heels.
Everything makes noise but we all are not equipped or NEED to hear
the crash and boom (or their tiny-world equivalents--maybe whiff and poof?)
of dandruff or hairs hitting the deck.

Maybe the dust mites can detect the sound.

You’ll hear an oak leaf as it falls among its brothers.
You’ll hear the pine cones run away from their mothers.
You cannot hear the acorn when it is sprouting.
You sure can hear the mountain when it is shouting!

Why am I formalizing this rambling mental dialog?
Why ever not?
Have I not
spent many hours wishing that I were
here and not
somewhere that is more stressful
and far less enjoyable
like down there?

I am in danger from having too much fun, thinking about what possibly could go wrong on OK. It sounds New Agey and corny but it is rather descriptive.
I am trying to find Sentinel Creek so tha I might have a unique view of a seldom-seen scene, Sentinel Falls.
It is a legitimate quest. Call me Sir Beansalot. And If I am not satisfied that I have completed the quest, I can always return, at least I can always want that.

Face it. It is what I want, to die up there.

I could back off a boulder trying to increase the depth or width of a shot.

I could put out another freaking eye if I do not wear glasses.

I could put out another freaking eye if I do wear glasses.

The fact is I have better coordination when I wear nothing on my nose.

This also eliminates sweat problems, not that I am moving so fast that I acutally break a sweat.

St. Galen sweated plenty for our sins--patron saint of talus runners andphotgraphers, y'know.

I have been comfortable all day in a T-shirt and a light sweat top.

My feet have room and it is because I removed the inner soles and left them at home. The peds tend to swell now, quien sabe? Take yer peds-meds and hush.

There is a huge difference in sound between the forest and the creekside.

Notorious as a waterless trail, the four mile only crossed one that I recall from my only other passage (downhill), but I have a whole half-gallon in my pack, a precautionary measure should I be so stupid as to get hurt in the Raucous.
my attentive audience

I also have a headlamp.

I recall lessons learned last fall near Dewey Point, a low point.

I believe I have redeemed myself in my eyes, which are the only ones which need to see this and the only ones really fit to judge, according to some.

But I'm generous, they tell me. It is nice of them to say.
Let them who refuse to ask for help get on their knees and pray.
I pray when I walk.
I worship when I shoot.
I listen to its talk.
It has shown me how to walk.
How could I not be a seeker?
How could I not be on a quest?
I have seen myself become meeker.
I think it seeks for me the best.

"Sun-lit meadows"
"forested slopes"
"cataracts plunging"
"topographical sculpture"
"another hit of fresh air"
All seem canned phrases describing my wish-life.
[Insert inane crudity about tuna and spouse if you dare...I don't care.]

5.1! Siesta time.


Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
May 2, 2013 - 09:53am PT

my sweet old etcetera
aunt lucy during the recent

war could and what
is more did tell you just
what everybody was fighting

my sister

isabel created hundreds
hundreds) of socks not to
mention shirts fleaproof earwarmers

etcetera wristers etcetera, my

mother hoped that

i would die etcetera
bravely of course my father used
to become hoarse talking about how it was
a privilege and if only he
could meanwhile my

self etcetera lay quietly
in the deep mud et

cetera, of
Your smile
eyes knees and of your Etcetera)

e.e. cummings
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
May 2, 2013 - 11:12am PT
By: Rose Milligan

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 4, 2013 - 08:32am PT
To Ogmian Hercules

Your labours are performed, your bye-work, too.
Your perfect ashes float on Oeta’s peak;
Here is escape then, Hercules, from empire.

Little Hebe, youngest of all Goddesses,
Who circles, leaping, on the Moon’s broad floor
Harbours no jealousy for Megara,
Auge, Hippolyte, Deineira
But sighs for their distress: you broke all hearts,
Burning too Sun-like for a mortal bride.

Rest your proud shaggy head on Hebe’s lap;
What wars you started let your sons conclude;
Meditate the new Alphabet, heal wounds,
Draw poets to you with long golden chains--
But still go armed with club and lion’s pelt.
--Robert Graves
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 4, 2013 - 01:11pm PT

Excerpted from The Grave Robber by Don Gray
"Life, its way, the way God made it, can't help but be
morally shabby. Consider grim nature's law...
hardship, mental anguish, fatigue of body, dirt;
cruelty, disease, duress; necessity, pain, death;
equivalents of man's lust for money, evil,
expedient deceit, scoundrel hypocrisy.
Religion, man's wholesome, feeble, corrupt attempt,
to seek, reach out for, counter, God's reality,
desirous, rejected, ambivalent, still-born
in futility, contradiction, helplessness....

Ruled by hubris, enshrined in feral transience,
we cavil and splutter through life, believe we are gods,
omniscient, with blinkered wisdom from the playpen
of our petty thrones."

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 6, 2013 - 11:11am PT
Somewhere In My Palm He Lies

A lack of wit and charm and grace and style
Is all I have to overcome: With guile
And lies, misdirection, innuendo,
Factoid, pretense, I make some sense though
To those who choose not to hear but to show
Agreement with my utterance.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 6, 2013 - 12:19pm PT
Life as it is is just not good enough for us anymore without electricity.

“Better living through electricity.”--old timey G.E. commercial slogan, and it's true (the LSD part)

Kindle Kitty

Google Glasses on her head
Tiny ear buds in her ears
Small green vibe between her thighs
Just confirmed my worst fears:
She’d be just as happy being a robot.

May 6, 2013 - 11:30pm PT

deep is the heart
and yet what blooms
needs strong hands to reach
to share, to pick the fruit

what is given freely
don't hesitate to grasp
for if you let the fruit fall and hits the ground
it is spoiled and is lost to us both

and as I watched you
so strong and quick
not lifting a finger as I fell
I hit the ground hard

...and this is what's left
words sound hollow now
all the meaning lost in the wind
that sweeps between us

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 7, 2013 - 07:18pm PT
Out from Under

Greatly gifted
She's uplifted
From under piles of dust

They have drifted
Her tone has shifted
To one of pure disgust

And old dirt clods
By any odds
Are simply hardened dust
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 7, 2013 - 07:19pm PT

Old school:

Modern version:
File footage.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 8, 2013 - 02:51pm PT

First he was born.
And then he was warned.
And then he was taught to swim.
And then he was married.
And the he was buried.
And that's all that happened to him.
--Shel Silverstein

--Shelver Silstein, bookseller extraordinaire

Trad climber
the tip of god's middle finger
May 8, 2013 - 03:16pm PT
when im beneath a foreign fluid,
i execute an explosion of heart
gesture that writes my mis-alignment
with your universe.

Sport climber
May 8, 2013 - 03:20pm PT
Poetry: Acts of the raven

“Blood has leaked and darkened the cheeks and masked the little lamb, which now stands calling and helpless in Ianto’s face, its senses in this world of plunged pain and darkness leading it towards the nearest large living thing. Nothing it can see and nothing it can feel but for the sky-brought fire in its face…..

“……The lamb cries and cries again, the dark and bubbling holes in its face expanding into howling voids which begin to draw little Ianto in and he reaches out young fingered and desperate to fill those awful weeping gaps with his plaything pebbles. To put something where there is nothing, to bring substance upon emptiness. The stones sink softly into place and for a moment the lamb stands stone-eyed, ……..”

Science: Sheep and sight

"Sheep depend heavily upon their vision. Behavior scientists speculate that the placement and structure of the sheep's eyes are due to nature's designation of sheep as a prey animal. Sheep have a very large pupil that is somewhat rectangular in shape. The eyeball is placed more to the side of the head, which gives sheep a much wider field of vision. With only slight head movement, sheep are able to scan their surroundings. Their field of vision ranges from 191 to 306 degrees, depending upon the amount of wool on their face.

On the other hand, sheep have poor depth perception (three dimensional vision), especially if they are moving with their heads up. This is why they will often stop to examine something more closely. Sheep have difficulty picking out small details, such as an open space created by a partially opened gate. They tend to avoid shadows and sharp contrasts between light and dark. They are reluctant to go where they can't see.

For many years, it was believed that sheep and other livestock could not perceive color. But, it has since been proven that livestock possess the cones necessary for color vision. Research has shown that livestock can differentiate between colors, though their color perception is not equal to humans."

Names: Ianto

"Ianto (pronounced Yan-toh) is the pet form of the name Ifan, one of the Welsh forms of John. Therefore, Ianto shares John's meaning of "Yahweh is gracious". Ianto is usually a masculine name."
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 8, 2013 - 03:46pm PT
Dear Puck, A Duck:
My five chicks have green tails. Does this mean they will be roosters, not hens?
It’s what my auntie tells me. So is she just screwy? I guess that all depends

Dear Pluck, A Duck
argh... My two black EE chicks both have green tail feathers coming in.
Dad is black and tailed Arcauna. Mom is black EE with white undertones, not gold.
One acts and looks so roo-ish with a high tail, the other is muffed and has a low hen-like tail and is more submissive.
But they both have those green tail feathers!

Dear Puck, A Duck
thanks for the replies. I didnt need to post a pic after all- it started crowing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Pluck, A Duck
Well, you know it's a rooster now, but see this RIR hen I used to have? Green sheening all over her black tailfeathers.--Speckledhen

And CarpeDeHen weighs in:
Green tail feathers is not always a sign of roo, as Speckledhen has shown.
Dark hens tend to get green feathers too, like some others I have owned.
Also crowing is not a definitive sign of a roo.
Hens can crow too. Vagina doodle-doo!

Behold the duck
It does not cluck.
A cluck it lacks.
It quacks.
It is specially fond.
Of a puddle or pond.
When it dines or sups,
It bottoms ups.
--Dogden Dash

Sport climber
May 9, 2013 - 03:06am PT
"Not I" (Samuel Beckett) - Billie Whitelaw
[Click to View YouTube Video]
"Not I" starting 21 May, London:

Billie Whitelaw from Happy Days
[Click to View YouTube Video]
... after all... so far...
well done
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 9, 2013 - 06:29am PT
Marlow, "this other thought" he was exhausted but the mouth gave it some appeal. Haven't figured the meaning out and don't intend to, frankly.

It wasn't his voice, Beckett's. But it was his work and words. And that wa'n't her normal speakin' voice, naoh, it weren't, och aye. And where d'ye git 'appy 'round 'ere, I'd like ta knaow.

Sport climber
May 9, 2013 - 01:37pm PT
Mouse: Hehe... I'll do my best to jump over the fence this time.. after all... isn't this the poetry thread... as you like it... should this be the appy thread... appy inside Happy Days?
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 9, 2013 - 02:15pm PT
Hey, do your thing:

It is a thread to which EVERY POET AND LIKER OF RHYME might 'appily apply.

The talented head
May see this thread
And feel invited to try.
--Moe Cowbell.


Over the fence—
Over the fence—
I could climb—if I tried, I know—
Berries are nice!

But—if I stained my Apron—
God would certainly scold!
Oh, dear,—I guess if He were a Boy—
He'd—climb—if He could!
--Emily D.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 9, 2013 - 02:39pm PT
The word tumulus is Latin for 'mound' or 'small hill', from the PIE root *teuh2- with extended zero grade *tum-, 'to bulge, swell' also found in tumor, thumb, thigh and thousand.


The sun comes up and the birds clear the air
Signaling me that the weather is fair.
But the fact is this: I’m going nowhere.
Do you see that mound? I’m buried in there.

I was covered by stones the size of a house.
I was shooting one day, for I was the Mouse.
I went out alone, no friends nor a spouse
Knew where I was headed when I saw a grouse!

It flew in my face and I tumbled back
Down the way I had come, detached from my pack.
I came to in a daze with a stupid wisecrack,
If I had any brains things would not look so black.

I died and my soul flew away in the sky
And the time since has passed in the blink of an eye.
Don’t do what I did for you surely could die
In the rocks if you fall and break your damned thigh!

Sport climber
Is this a trick question?
May 9, 2013 - 07:59pm PT
Off the Cuff ...

It's breezy here
so cool and light
wind chimes singing in the night

I put on your shirt
Climb More
Epic Less

Which I do often
when you're not looking.


Ice climber
Soon 2B Arizona
May 9, 2013 - 10:19pm PT
I know the darkness of the roads
endless into the glowy path before me
lit by the moon high above and the heat rising from my truck’s engine.
The humming from tires whisper mile after mile
endless alongside roadside of fields shadowy from glow.

I know the darkness of the roads
It swims through my veins
dark like my skin
and silenced like a battered wife.
I know the darkness of the roads
It floods my liver
pollutes my breath
yet I still witness the white dawning.
-Esther Belin
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 10, 2013 - 01:10pm PT

JL'll appreciate grapeness when he sees this
Ever-lovin' shot of a squishy Fresno miss.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 14, 2013 - 02:49am PT
The Rocks Are

In a time of glitz and glitter
Giants have become merely litter.
That shouldn't make one very bitter:
It's just Ma Nature, there's nothing fitter.

Smaller This Year

Small rocks from big rocks,
Small stalks and big stalks,
Small mind always knocks:
Guess some folks have mental blocks.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 14, 2013 - 03:40am PT

All along the bent and angling coast
seaweed strands in sunken coves
groping with long bleached arms
from wave to wave

I always chase after them
their darkened strewn and floating forms
rolling like dead bodies
from wave to wave

What seaweed does not hide
its own sorties in unknown depths
submarine worlds where time itself
conceals its broken piece

Under every rubbery leaf
striped in running and ribbed bands
like veins on my father's arm
long long ago

A strand marks the sea's closing line
where I now stand
feet in the blue blackness
hand against the sandy bulb

A strand marks the seaweed
in roped and stringed fragments
at the place their soft crests fall
sharp against the stone



Sport climber
Is this a trick question?
May 14, 2013 - 03:49am PT
^^ sweet. ^^
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 15, 2013 - 01:43pm PT
Q & Q & No A

Why is it not "spice" for spouses
if we must say mice not "mouses"?

Why is it the blues not "the blue"
And why is it not "yous" but you?
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 18, 2013 - 02:54am PT
A Little Ways North of Mill Creek

A little ways north of Mill Creek
the beach runs round
in a single wide arcing swath

There the tide stems in segments
fast against the open mouth
of sea and sand and barnacle

There is also a cliff near the stone rising
above the under-base of a million waves
throttling a darkened face

Somewhere out of sight
from prying eyes
the salt water still churns

And churns for a million years
oblivious to the carnage
inflicted on the crumbling mass

It's as if the big bass drum
of agonies from time immemorial
plays its one note dirge

And summons the shelving mist
to curtail the pitiful death
from the eyes of a dumbfounded poet

Who loiters in the wet hiss
like a reporter in search of tragedy
and finding none, returns to home



May 18, 2013 - 03:25am PT
learning to walk
you need to risk standing up
you need to struggle to move
and take that fall
you must get up and lift that clumsy leg
fall again
until you figure it out
let go
and ungracefully move
it's your first step to the greatest freedom

and everyday each of us must do this in all it's forms
we must dare ourselves
be willing to get up
and ungracefully go beyond our greatest limits
to be successful
one must dare to stand up
into the truest form of freedom
one must always know first how to fall


Trad climber
The great state of advaita
May 18, 2013 - 12:34pm PT
Well done, Anastasia!

Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 20, 2013 - 03:09am PT
The Mountains of My Dreams

The highland Santa Lucia
breaches the bench of earth and sky
with ancient crests framed in
scrub outlines
and open slopes.

It was from that world above
atop the grand and open vistas
where once dreams were fetched
from dark profiles
and deep slumbers

I must have dreamt the unmoving
mist as it gathered near
an unnamed summit
drawing to itself the lighter fragments
of motion and light

It was a mist concealing
a spirit once speaking not in words
but in unfathomable contours ,giving way
to even deeper contours downslope
beyond the oaken ridge.

Was this a language of my
childhood mind as I sought to
wrangle a meaning from this alien
landscape ,so as to make it
my own?

If so, where did I sleep?
how did I enter that magical terrain
how did I know its depth
like I know the
flat of my open hand?

These are the mountains of my dreams
rising in one solitary tone
in consort with a thousand unheard voices
voices that out - sing
even the sea.

Donny... the OHHH!- Riginal

Sport climber
May 20, 2013 - 12:38pm PT
Oh stone Arch o' mine you were raped by Potter

...though Dean, not Colonel.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 21, 2013 - 04:08am PT
Elephant Wreck/1970

I thought I saw an elephent
I could tell you where he went
I'k like to tell you where he died
But then you'd tell me I have lied

That's the truth and I should know
Look for him beneath the flow
Merced River hides his tail
His trunk's still there and that's my tale
--L.E. Naibisco-Phanto
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 21, 2013 - 04:21am PT
When You Can't Stand the Eyes

Have you ever looked at yurself?
Then you have eyes, I'm assuming, and recognize humanity.

How much bible have you tried on?
If normal, then you ought to be able to hear my little voice booming.

When God said "Thou Shalt Not Kill," how do you take Him to mean that?
Did some educational teacher inform you that it is right not to kill animals, like the kid and the lamb?

That isn't what God meant, you know, about not killing for meat.
Eating meat is no sin where I come from, nor where I am going. It tastes better dead and won't run away.

I was not born in a desert seeing wolves and lions slinking away with my charges in their mouths: my flock, my family's sustenance being taxed by others for their own use. A few, inevitable, and a way of giving back to the Creator, OK, it would be my thanks for continued being; but if I were so foolish as to ignore the food the Creator has given us, I have always wondered, "What would He say?" .

"Fool, so I made thee.
Fool, I shall not smite thee,
For thou art my own foolish pride."


I'm no vegetarian; there is a lot else which I am not.
A fool into the bargain with God is one of them.

He lettuce eat meat.
--L. Zapitan

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 21, 2013 - 04:39am PT
Faux Jewel

The moon is a huge baroque pearl
Dripping nacreous swirl
It's really rococo
In fact many say so
Selene, you make my hair curl

For tonight you are no ghostly galleon
But for my delight you are sallying
Forth over a third
Of what you once were
Back when you were full and were dallying

Many a mule packer has watched you
And this old climber on old Bugaboo
You gave us all a fair share
Of your beauty so rare
And I thank you tonight, yes, I do!

If Selene and Mousie got married
Their life would be oh so harried
I'd be out looking for oats
You'd be shining on boats
All our days and our nights till I'm buried

May 21, 2013 - 04:39am PT
The wind blew and took my hat away
I could live without my hat
and without a care or a thought
I stepped into my house
then the silence came and it broke like a lie
and the wind blew and blew
as the windows broke
the wind howling like a train
beating and breaking down walls
I found myself crawling through a collapsing world
reaching the door to get beneath the ground
as if I was already dead
curling up in fear at the bottom of my cellar
and when the silence came again
when I stepped out into the world
my car was gone
my house was gone
I didn't know how to feel
and then I thought of the school
where was my child?
I couldn't live without my child
and in the wind I called her name
my voice howling
and there was a deafening silence
as the wind died
clasping against me
not even the slightest breeze stirred
and there sat my hat
a few feet away

tear streaming down my face
I cared
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 21, 2013 - 05:47am PT

Here's the best advice for fights and being in a windstorm, too.
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Free the poor homeless OK cowboys & cowgirls from their awful disaster, out there where the living is "easier."

I prefer San Jose-type disasters, like the quakes.
Cuz they give me the shakes.
Open artificial lakes.
Chase out all the snakes.
Wake up all the flakes.
All the cars put on their brakes.
End to end to end to end on the bridge intakes.
It's a temporary end to what man "makes."

May 25, 2013 - 02:59am PT
Now that's poetry!

Sport climber
May 26, 2013 - 05:47pm PT

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night (Dylan Thomas)

read by Philip Madoc
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Sport climber
May 28, 2013 - 03:53pm PT
Eli Jenkins' Prayer Dylan Thomas Under Milk Wood
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jun 3, 2013 - 03:03am PT
Nothing Twice

Nothing can ever happen twice.
In consequence, the sorry fact is
that we arrive here improvised
and leave without the chance to practice.

Even if there is no one dumber,
if you're the planet's biggest dunce,
you can't repeat the class in summer:
this course is only offered once.

No day copies yesterday,
no two nights will teach what bliss is
in precisely the same way,
with precisely the same kisses.

One day, perhaps some idle tongue
mentions your name by accident:
I feel as if a rose were flung
into the room, all hue and scent.

The next day, though you're here with me,
I can't help looking at the clock:
A rose? A rose? What could that be?
Is that a flower of a rock?

Why do we treat the fleeting day
with so much needless fear and sorrow?
It's in its nature not to say
Today is always gone tomorrow

With smiles and kisses, we prefer
to seek accord beneath our star,
although we're different (we concur)
just as two drops of water are.

~ Wislawa Szymborska ~

(Poems New and Collected 1957-1997
Translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jun 5, 2013 - 08:12am PT
After Vacation
By George Sterling

Below her now the storming city rolls
The tireless thunder of a sadder sea
Than that between the planet's frozen poles
And she is captive who awhile was free.

Far out across the dusty roofs her gaze
Beholds the turbid vapors jetting forth,
And tow'r and spire unhidden by the haze
Tell where the hungered city reaches north.

So little time ago it was she stood
Where the unhurried sea-wind offered her
The clean, wild fragrance of the cedar wood,
And made the little grasses dip and stir.

But here the sea-wind tells not of the wave,
Smearing the smoke-plumes on the tainted sky;
And lost the blossoms that the summer gave—
The nameless meadow-flowers, aloof and shy.

It is another fairness she must seek,
Here where the cold and stately dungeons soar—
Some hint of what the chiseled granites speak,
Some iron beauty at the world's deep core.

But grant her time a little longer. She
Has yet of memory a vanished day;
Her dreams are of the spaces of the sea,
And snowlike sands about a turquoise bay.

George STerling was a friend of Jack London's and Northern California native. One of our state's best poets, too.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jun 6, 2013 - 02:47pm PT
For Royal and Liz.

Who are approaching a fiftieth anniversary on November 17th, the same date as mine and my own lovely Lizzie's.

Hard Men and Hard Rain

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
And where have you been my darling young one?
I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways
I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.--Bob Dylan

Oh, where are you going, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where will you be, my daring young one?
I’m going to Fin Dome to climb with the Rainbows
I’m looking for something that will satisfy a hunger
I’m seeking a power within me that will blow me away
I may not find it till I have been proven worthy
But find it I must and find it I will
If I have to climb every forested hill
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
It’s a hard man’s a coming home.

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
And where have you been my darling young one?
I’ve been out to Tahquitz where the snow still resides
I’ve been out to the desert where there’s no shade to find
I’ve been to the Valley where glory is waiting
I’ve been to Fort Bliss and done my military duty
I’ve seen the old elephant now I want to climb one
I’ve been skiing and racing and winning some trophies
But it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
It’s a hard way for to live.

Oh, who have you seen, my blue-eyed gun?
Who have you met, my darling old one?
There are Fitschen and Pratt and Frost and Chouinard
There are Royal, Don, Roy, Ray, and good old Frank Hoover
There are Mendenhalls, Sherricks, Wiltses, and Gallwases
There was Mark Powell, Warren Harding, and sweet Liz Burkner
There are countless others which I can’t now remember
And it’s a joy, it’s a joy, it’s a joy,
And it’s a joy, to have led a life and climbs like my own.


Jun 6, 2013 - 04:07pm PT

the days are long
the nights are longer
to be away from one's love
one yearns
restlessly turning

then there is bliss
a sweet perfect moment

and the sun rises so slowly
as a little hand touches my face
to set time flying as they grow

oh child that rules me
have mercy on my soul

for now all my love
is forever you

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jun 7, 2013 - 03:07am PT
Heading to Redding

The hub city where I was born in

Lies way north of Corning

Where the olives grow

And there's sometimes snow

And lots of heat

And an ice plant across the street

With a perfect cone of ice chips

That resembles Mount Shasta

It doesn't hafta be Shasta

My sly sister said

It's passin' for Mount Lassen

But it will just melt away to a Mount Tonuthin.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jun 15, 2013 - 10:38am PT

Our lives are cobbles
creating eddies in which
our souls effervesce;

metaphoric rocks
amid streaming dreams of our
future as sand grains.

old craghag

Sport climber
Jun 16, 2013 - 04:14pm PT
I used to be hot but, now I'm not
I used to be bold but, now I'm old
I used to climb hard but now, I work in the yard
I'm glad I had fun when I was still young
A lot of my friends are already dead
Wish it was me instead

Sport climber
Jun 16, 2013 - 04:28pm PT
Gweddi Dros Gymru
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Sibelius - Finlandia op. 26
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Jun 16, 2013 - 04:29pm PT
I yearn and mourn
for the laughter and the tears
all the times you stood near
how you didn't ask but demanded
all the best in me

in my twenties I was a fully grown gal
yet you still could lift me up one handed
when I finished college
you still outsmarted me
and even though I didn't always agree
I always respected
the man that made me

I miss you


Sport climber
Jun 16, 2013 - 04:47pm PT
The sepulturero said that it was "the nature of his profession that his experience with death should be greater than for most and he said that while it was true that time heals bereavement it does so only at the cost of the slow extinction of those loved ones from the heart’s memory which is the sole place of their abode then and now. Faces fade, voices dim. Seize them back, whispered the sepulturero. Speak with them. Call their names. Do this and do not let sorrow die for it is the sweetening of every gift."

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jun 21, 2013 - 04:02pm PT
Wonderful, Anastasia.

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jun 21, 2013 - 04:03pm PT
For the solstice, our anniversary, and for my father-in-law who always celebrated and noted it with my wife:

One Hundred White-sided Dolphins on a Summer Day


black, slick,
galloping in the pitch
of the waves, in the pearly

fields of the sea,
they leap toward us,
they rise, sparkling, and vanish, and rise sparkling,
they breathe little clouds of mist, they lift perpetual smile,

they slap their tails on the waves, grandmothers and grandfathers
enjoying the old jokes,
they circle around us,
they swim with us -


a hundred white-sided dolphins
on a summer day,
each one, as God himself
could not appear more acceptable

a hundred times,
in a body blue and black threading through
the sea foam,
and lifting himself up from the opened

tents of the waves on his fishtail,
to look
with the moon of his eye
into my heart,


and find there
pure, sudden, steep, sharp, painful
that falls -

I don't know - either
unbearable tons
or the pale, bearable hand
of salvation

on my neck,
lifting me
from the boat's plain plank seat
into the world's


unspeakable kindness.
It is my sixty-third summer on earth
and, for a moment, I have almost vanished
into the body of the dolphin,

into the moon-eye of God,
into the white fan that lies at the bottom of the sea
with everything
that ever was, or ever will be,

supple, wild, rising on flank or fishtail -
singing or whistling or breathing damply through blowhole
at top of head. Then, in our little boat, the dolphins suddenly gone,
we sailed on through the brisk, cheerful day.

~ Mary Oliver ~

(What Do We Know?)

Sport climber
Jun 21, 2013 - 04:32pm PT
"Going to Sleep"

Now that I am wearied of the day,
I will let the friendly, starry night
greet all my ardent desires
like a sleepy child.
Hands, stop all your work.
Brow, forget all your thinking.
All my senses now
yearn to sink into slumber.
And my unfettered soul
wishes to soar up freely
into night's magic sphere
to live there deeply and thousandfold.

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf - Vier Letzte Lieder - Beim Schlafengehen (Richard Strauss)
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Sport climber
Jun 23, 2013 - 04:56pm PT
Through the Woods One Summer Night...
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Rolf Wikström - Får Jag Lämna Några Blommor -
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jun 25, 2013 - 03:01am PT

Why pretend?
My heart is no longer on fire.
My passion, which once provided a serviceable fire to heat your cockles, has dwindled to embers.

A pressing cold now squeezes me.
I feel condensed, like ice gone awry.
I am at times a peninsula, surrounded by warm seas and watered by the monsoon of your concern, if not love.
Other times I am a glacier, connected to nothing, emanating from nothing, a gravitational freak.
I am oh-so-heavy, slick-as-snot, ultimately connected to nothing at all, just lying here, pressing my coldness against you.
I am rain and snow and ultimately, again, sublimely myself.
And next time the fire.
And again with more cold.
And temper me with more flame.
Then freeze my thoughts.
Then warm my passion.
Then make lemonade with the bits of my soul.
A non-stop cycle of fire and water.
Weight and watch.
Un-weight and feel.

So it’s not emotion I’m trying to describe, but cold hard facts in reaction to your stimulus.
Or is this all to scientific?
Then I’ll just say, “I don’t love you now.”
It’s not a theory, dearie.
It’s just the facts and I’m weary.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jun 28, 2013 - 12:42pm PT
I'm thinking of Fletcher and his gang. I can't help myself.

Pancakes for Breakfast Redux

We had pancakes yesterday
We have pancakes every day
Dad just don’t care what I say
I gotta have it his way

Sourdough this and buckwheat that
I just feed mine to the cat

I just fear something awful
Will he try to make a waffle?

Don’t think I’m little dope
I’d just like some cantaloupe


(apologies to Tommy DePaola)

Sport climber
Jun 28, 2013 - 12:56pm PT
Sofia Karlsson & Odd Nordstoga - Jag väntar... (I'm waiting...). Music/poetry from 1:51.
[Click to View YouTube Video]
The poet: Dan Andersson from Finnskogen.

Sport climber
Jun 28, 2013 - 02:25pm PT
Strange Fruit
[Click to View YouTube Video]
[Click to View YouTube Video]
"I had always assumed that Billie Holiday composed the music and lyrics to "Strange Fruit". She did not. The song began life as a poem written by Abel Meeropol, a schoolteacher who was living in the Bronx and teaching English at the De Witt Clinton High School. Meeropol was motivated to write the poem after seeing a photograph of two black teenagers, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, who had been lynched in Marion, Indiana on August 7 1930. Their bodies were hanging limply from a tree. The image greatly disturbed him, and his poem opens with the following lines:

Southern trees bear a strange fruit

Blood on the leaves and blood at the root

Black body swinging in the Southern breeze

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Hoping to reach a wider audience, Meeropol set his poem to music, and the song "Strange Fruit" was first performed at a New York City Teachers Union meeting. It created an immediate stir.

According to figures kept by Alabama's Tuskegee Institute, between 1889 and 1940, 3,833 people were lynched in the US - the overwhelming majority of the victims being in the southern states, and black. The brutality of this mob "justice" invariably went unpunished, and when Meeropol was asked, in 1971, why he wrote the song, he replied: "Because I hate lynching and I hate injustice and I hate the people who perpetuate it." Those who heard "Strange Fruit" in the late 30s were shocked, for the true barbarity of southern violence was generally only discussed in black newspapers. To be introduced to such realities by a song was unprecedented, and was considered by many, including leftwing supporters of Meeropol, to be in poor taste.

At this time, 24-year-old Billie Holiday was headlining at a recently opened Greenwich Village nightclub called Cafe Society. It was the only integrated nightclub in New York City, and a place that advertised itself as "the wrong place for the Right people". The manager of the club, Barney Josephson, introduced Billie Holiday to Meeropol and his new song, which had an immediate impact on her. She decided to sing it at Cafe Society, where it was received with perfect, haunting silence. Soon she was closing her shows with the song. It was understood that only when the waiters had stopped serving, and the lights dimmed to a single spotlight, would she begin singing, with her eyes closed. Once she had finished, she would walk off stage and never return to take a bow.

The song was revolutionary - not only because of the explicit nature of the lyrics, but because it effectively reversed the black singer's relationship with a white audience. Traditionally, singers such as Billie Holiday were expected to entertain and to "serve" their audiences. With this song, however, Holiday found a means by which she could demand that the audience stop and listen to her, and she was able to force them to take on board something with which they were not comfortable. She often used the song as a hammer with which to beat what she perceived to be ignorant audiences, and her insistence on singing the song with such gravitas meant that she was not always safe while performing "Strange Fruit". Some members of her audience did not fully appreciate her treating them to this particular song when they had stepped out for the evening to hear "Fine and Mellow" and other cocktail-lounge ditties.

Holiday was keen to record "Strange Fruit" on her label, Columbia, but her producer, John Hammond, was concerned that the song was too political and he refused to allow her to go into the studio with it. But the singer would not back down. In April 1939, she recorded "Strange Fruit" for a specialty label, Commodore Records."
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jul 2, 2013 - 11:39pm PT
I look out my window watch her as she passes by
I say to myself I'm such a lucky guy
To have a girl like her is a dream come true
And of all the girls in New York she loves me true

It was just my imagination, once again
Running away with me
It was just my imagination
Running away with me

Soon we'll be married and raise a family
Two boys for you, what about two girls for me
I tell you I am just a fellow with a one track mind
Whatever it is I want baby I seek and I shall find

I'll tell ya
It was just my imagination, once again
Running away with me
It was just my imagination
Running away with me

Every night I hope and pray
"Dear lord, hear my plea
Don't ever let another take her love from me
Or I will surely die"

Her love is ecstasy
When her arms enfold me
I hear her tender rhapsody
But in reality, she doesn't even know... me
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jul 10, 2013 - 04:39pm PT
Old Friend

What he did for me I’ll never forget
What I did for him was simply a debt

His words rang true way back in the day
His guidance and care helped clear my way

That hard-to-tie knot that he taught me so well
Has saved me and others from going to hell

When I stepped on his rope he chewed me real good
Then he taught me to coil it just like I should

On rappel he looked up cuz he barely looked down
Nor on anyone---ranger, misfit or clown

Our friends were so cool and I was sorry to flee
The Camp 4 I knew back in seventy-three

His mellowness hardened and he soon grew so stern
Finished with climbing, it was carpentry’s turn

He lives in the hills not very far away
I’d stay up there gladly if he said OK

But the days we had then are different by far
We can’t have them back by wishing a star

So I’m happy to have the memories I do
For soon there’ll be one where there used to be two

It's better to pay tribute to a live person anyday! We think too much of death. It doesn't think about us at all. Death has few friends, but it's not MY enemy. Fear is my friend, too.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jul 10, 2013 - 09:04pm PT

If poems were written subjunctively...


If a clown came out of the woods,

a standard-looking clown with oversized

polka-dot clothes, floppy shoes,

a red, bulbous nose, and you saw him

on the edge of your property,

there’d be nothing funny about that,

would there? A bear might be preferable,

especially if black and berry-driven.

And if this clown began waving his hands

with those big white gloves

that clowns wear, and you realized

he wanted your attention, had something

apparently urgent to tell you,

would you pivot and run from him,

or stay put, as my friend did, who seemed

to understand here was a clown

who didn’t know where he was,

a clown without a context?

What could be sadder, my friend thought,

than a clown in need of a context?

If then the clown said to you

that he was on his way to a kid’s

birthday party, his car had broken down,

and he needed a ride, would you give

him one? Or would the connection

between the comic and the appalling,

as it pertained to clowns, be suddenly so clear

that you’d be paralyzed by it?

And if you were the clown, and my friend

hesitated, as he did, would you make

a sad face, and with an enormous finger

wipe away an imaginary tear? How far

would you trust your art? I can tell you

it worked. Most of the guests had gone

when my friend and the clown drove up,

and the family was angry. But the clown

twisted a balloon into the shape of a bird

and gave it to the kid, who smiled,

let it rise to the ceiling. If you were the kid,

the birthday boy, what from then on

would be your relationship with disappointment?

With joy? Whom would you blame or extoll?

--Stephen A. Dunn in New Yorker
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jul 14, 2013 - 07:55am PT
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

© Max Ehrmann 1927

Have a fine week, seekers!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jul 22, 2013 - 01:05am PT
Little rock.
Big rock.
Both Earthbound,
their many parts been underground.
Now is the time
for each to shine.
They only live so long.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Aug 4, 2013 - 11:04am PT
Let us sink then, you and I, when evening is spread out against the sky.--Jim Donini

Posted in March, 2010, by OUR LEADER.

Take me to your leader please
I'm kneeling on my kneeling knees

I need to have his blessing for
This little project, it's 5.4

May I place a big-ass bolt
No long fall, no sudden jolt

Just raise your hand, I'll do my best
Once I have been Donini blessed

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Aug 27, 2013 - 03:48am PT

Old yip-yipping coyote is saying to me how happy he is to be here

The smelly old tar weed sends me a message telling me I am home

The cobble-rocks rolling under my feet are each surprised by my tread

They will cover my body, perfume my grave, and serenade me later

Much later, I hope

I’ve not done with these up and down cone-shaped wonders

They are unique to themselves in their shapes

While sharing the same angle of repose

I shall repose among them myself when the time comes

Pushing up tumbleweed

Queen Selene will be in the sky half the time

I won’t be able to see her nor delight in her light

But the coyote will let me know she is passing in review

And greeting her cousin cobble-rocks with her silvery kiss

As they cover my worm chamber

The Lisa

Trad climber
Da Bronx, NY
Aug 30, 2013 - 10:48am PT
It is a sad loss for Ireland, and the world of poetry.
I love his translation of Beowulf.

Sport climber
Aug 30, 2013 - 01:08pm PT

A glass to an old friend

"Everyone wants a piece of Ireland's first Nobel-winning poet since Yeats. When we arrive at our destination, an oyster bar overlooking St Stephen's Green, the ebb and flow of Irish pride in Seamus, as he is universally known, surges up in a succession of spontaneous greetings. Everyone recognises Heaney's professorial spectacles and silvery mop.

A frisson passes through the restaurant. This woman wants to tell him about her daughter, recovering from leukaemia, and to ask for an autograph. Two punters, checking the starting prices on a laptop, volunteer a tip about the 2.30 at Leopardstown. Another old chap wants to be remembered. And the maître d' is beside himself with getting the best table ready.

I wonder how Heaney can stand it.

No need to worry. The object of this attention seems to move in a serene bubble of modesty and unconcern: he likes the attention, and it does not really trouble him. He's had it, in different ways, all his life, and he knows that, for an Irish poet, it comes with the territory.

There are many ways to be a famous writer in Dublin. You can be mad and grand, like Yeats; or mysterious, like Beckett; or drunk, like Flann O'Brien; or absent, like Joyce; or what? A long time ago, Clive James nailed Heaney with "Seamus Famous", but that's a gag, at best half true, spun off Heaney's brilliant self-presentation. There is rather more to the poet than his fame, dazzling though that can be.

For someone who has been so remorselessly scrutinised, Heaney is still something of an enigma. He works hard to make "famous" seem normal. Unfailingly courteous and attentive, he can also be grave, remote and occasionally stern, always watching himself, like the king of a vulnerable monarchy.

In keeping with that vigilance, and a well-defended uncertainty, Heaney is always asking himself the essential questions articulated in Preoccupations, his collected essays. "How should a poet properly live and write? What is his relationship to be to his own voice, his own place, his literary heritage and his contemporary world?"

I've known Seamus Heaney for about half of his writing life. The key to our friendship was always a third party: the mischievous, antic figure of the folk-singer, broadcaster and lord of misrule, David Hammond, from Belfast. Last summer, after a long illness, Hammond died. I was in America at the time, and unable to go to the funeral.

As part of my farewell to "Davey", I knew I had to see Seamus, pay my respects to the dead, and share the recollection of old times. Quite apart from my deep affection for Hammond, I'm conscious that Heaney is keen on the proper obsequies (he loves funerals) and will be only too glad to raise a glass to our old friend."

A glass to Seamus Heaney!

Sport climber
Sep 5, 2013 - 01:51pm PT
Tae a Moose
[Click to View YouTube Video]
"The lassie has great theatrical delivery but she could dae wi a few lessons in the mither tonge"

A Man's a Man for A' That
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Sport climber
Sep 5, 2013 - 01:57pm PT
Seamus Heaney: my travels with the great poet

Seamus Heaney was a great poet and friend, says Andrew O'Hagan, as he relives their travels in Scotland, Ireland and Wales – tucking into chowder and contemplating the afterlife"

"Memory was everything to Seamus. The memory of his father digging in the yard. The memory of peeling potatoes with his mother, or once noticing the glad eye of the coalman. He had a mind to Ireland's memory, the seasonal return of faith and possibility, the falling away and the coming back of things. He cared for this the way other people care about politics. He wanted to offer value to a notion of existence beyond the bounds of sense, and that is where his language led him, to the power of wonder and miracles in daily life. Great is the friend whose one small shove can put you on the upswing. Being with him, I always felt able to give everything its due. His was a steadiness that befriended the person you wanted to be."
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 5, 2013 - 05:34pm PT

The above link addresses non-poetic prose and what to do with the bastard child, as I have in the past here-2/4.

As in

Sergeant Carter, I think ya oughter give us a cadence count. On account of three of four of us ain't up to speed yet.

Private Pyle, you better smile when you tell me that next time.

And try and make it rhyme!

Gimme twenny-nine! Hut!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 5, 2013 - 05:57pm PT

Mice ‘n’ I

by eek-eek hummings-strollski

four years it’s been just me

now it’s me and mouse

mimicking mice

and playing the ice house blues

it is frozen in memory

the clear blue of the water flowing underground is not visible

underground there is no light

ask a blind mouse

there are three in this house

me mice and I

two of them and one of me

it’s not Mycenae

that’s history

but mice ‘n’ I

we will get by

all four one

and not one of them there


Sport climber
Sep 8, 2013 - 04:23pm PT

"Here in the twilight the translucent hands
Of the Jew polishing the crystal glass.
The dying afternoon is cold with bands
Of fear. Each day the afternoons pass
The same. The hands and space of hyacinth
Paling in the confines of the ghetto walls
barely exists for the quiet man who stalls
There, dreaming up a brilliant labyrinth.
Fame doesn't trouble him (that reflection of
Dreams in the dream of another mirror), nor love,
The timid love women. Gone the bars,
He's free, from metaphor and myth, to sit
Polishing a stubborn lens: the infinite
Map of the One who now is all His stars."
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 10, 2013 - 10:08am PT
I predict the sun will rise today
In a spectacular blaze of glory.
It will pop up in the age old way
That’s all. It’s the end of this story.
--M.F. "It wouldn't be any better even if you paid me" Merced

"But he knows so little of Spinozan th-theory, nor th-those of Leibnitz, neither..."--the C-//County Watchdog N-News, 10/14/13 (another prediction)

Spinoza's Joke about the bell-ringer of Notre Dame goes into the books as one of the most brilliant of his funniest jokes. He and Leibnitz invented "patter" and zBown and myself are merely followers of their routine. That should be under "Obvious" in Funk and Wagnall's.

In that bell-ringer joke, the brother? When he comes to apply for the job in the second half of the joke? Now THAT'S just the cat's meow!

"He's a dead ringer for his brother!" Cheese! Yer slayin' me!

I'm just a simple Gemini, searching for a twin.
I might just find me one, if I looked within.
If I only had a brain.--song

Meanwhile, in the other (which one was I on just now?) side of my brain, I might like to go to Spain: It's the place from where they broadcast the game show, Sephardy! hosted by Miguel "the Cat" Gato y Gato.

Who is Benito? Is he a Flame, a county, or a fictional mission near an actual town?

Just ask the Baptist John. He'll set ya straight, won't put you on.

Then, "San Juan Bautista is sure to become one of your most favored excursions."--the San Benito Blurb-Blog

Drivel, dravel, druzzle, Drone. Time for Whitey to come home.

You are expecting a real poem.

THE CAVE o La Cava

This cave smells of earthy shepherds and animal-breath
and there is a lingering scent of meadow-flowers
from the hay where a baby is laid.
Large and low, an unusually bright star peers down
from an angle of the cave-mouth
where the camel-hair drape hangs loose and Listen!
There is inexplicable singing from the hilltops!

Time, the scientist tells us, is a device
confined within a certain cosmological radius
upon which to hang our brief lives tick by tick.
The mind can tilt time back to sketch in
the inconsequential details of Luke's account.-
Shepherds in their sheepskins,
animals snuffling the newness of the baby.
Joseph pitting his glimmering oil lamp against the liquid starlight
and Mary bending over the child
who opens briefly the pansy-dark eyes
of the newly-born to search her amazed young face.

And still down the dusky centuries you and I and half the world
savour the raw simplicity of this makeshift ménage
like salt on the morning tongue.
It is all here within the finger's touch,
and the small circle of the eye's reflection.

Yet it's significance lies well beyond the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh
which will be received with exquisite courtesy,
far, far beyond the inexorable tick of our lives
and the immeasurable span of space.
This is a place to rest before we step once more into the time-held night.

--Patricia Bolton rsm
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 10, 2013 - 10:51am PT
Stalking Poetry by Brad Yoder
Written June 2009

saw a girl on a train in a country I was leaving,
and she may have smiled at me, or that might be wishful thinking,

anyway, I won’t see her again,
and you can’t call a stranger a friend

on a street, in a town where I speak the language well enough to know
that I’m not home, and laugh at half the jokes, so I can tell

that I’ve lived here before,
but that country’s not here anymore..

I was trying to be free, trying to be kind,
I’m just trying to be me, so I hope that you don’t mind
if I sing here on your street, in a language you don’t speak,
I’m stalking poetry again, again..

and every gray apartment building’s just a giant concrete filing cabinet
for childhoods and family stories of people I don’t know at all,
and at any given moment surely someone must be feeling
every kind of human feeling somewhere in between those walls..

there’s a church on the square that they finally rebuilt
after the war, using stones that they sorted from the rubble,

now the old stone is black from the smoke,
while the new stone is yellow as gold,

underneath they’re both the same, pieced together, old and new,
in a town after the war everyone can see your wounds,
so I sing here on your street, in a language you don’t speak,
I’m stalking poetry again, again.. (repeat CH:1)

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 10, 2013 - 11:08am PT
The Himalayan legend says there are beautiful white birds that live completely in flight.
They are born in the air, must learn to fly before falling and die also in their flying.
Maybe you have been born into such a life with the bottom dropping out.

from "In Flight" by Jennifer K. Sweeney

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

from "Ode to a Nightingale" by John Keats

Let us fly in the Cathedral of the Air, Mr. Lindy.--Mrs. Lindy

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 13, 2013 - 09:14am PT

[Click to View YouTube Video]

Sport climber
Sep 17, 2013 - 04:12pm PT
The Early Purges

"I was six when I first saw kittens drown.
Dan Taggart pitched them, 'the scraggy wee shits',
Into a bucket; a frail metal sound,

Soft paws scraping like mad. But their tiny din
Was soon soused. They were slung on the snout
Of the pump and the water pumped in.

'Sure, isn't it better for them now?' Dan said.
Like wet gloves they bobbed and shone till he sluiced
Them out on the dunghill, glossy and dead.

Suddenly frightened, for days I sadly hung
Round the yard, watching the three sogged remains
Turn mealy and crisp as old summer dung

Until I forgot them. But the fear came back
When Dan trapped big rats, snared rabbits, shot crows
Or, with a sickening tug, pulled old hens' necks.

Still, living displaces false sentiments
And now, when shrill pups are prodded to drown
I just shrug, 'Bloody pups'. It makes sense:

'Prevention of cruelty' talk cuts ice in town
Where they consider death unnatural
But on well-run farms pests have to be kept down."
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 17, 2013 - 04:29pm PT
Fastidious Drivel

You say no one's gonna like me
‘Cause I don't act like you
But I'm good at being myself
So what about you?
I got a fist full of dreams
And a pocket full of fists
Not gonna put up with your
Silly immature bull-sh*t

I get dropped off face first
In front of the bus
While you fake your way
To the Top of the Pops
I would rather be alone
Than be your friend
Make your move but I'll stay true
To the bitter end

I get shot down ‘cause
I have my own opinion
Guess there's no room for difference
In this wireless nation
Told what I think is wrong
Well even if I end up last
I'll be wrong my whole life
While you have fun kissing a**


Just because I don't hear
Doesn't mean I can't feel
And just because you have a voice
Doesn't mean you're real
You got far too much lash
And not enough eye

--Christopher's Dead

Sport climber
Sep 17, 2013 - 04:37pm PT
"In the inky forest,
In its maziest,

Murkiest scribble
Of words

And wordless cries,
I went for a glimpse

Of the blossomlike
White erasure

Over a huge,
Furiously crossed-out something."

Sport climber
Sep 17, 2013 - 04:38pm PT
"Roads not yet glistening, rain slight,
Broken clouds darken after thinning away.
Where they drift, purple cliffs blacken.
And beyond -- white birds blaze in flight.

Sounds of cold-river rain grown familiar,
Autumn sun casts moist shadows. Below
Our brushwood gate, out to dry at the village
Mill: hulled rice, half-wet and fragrant"

Sep 17, 2013 - 05:56pm PT
The wind blew
The water pulled
claiming the earth, the rocks and you
as I poured your ashes into the sea
in the deafening roar of restless waves

this is where you use to fish as a kid
a place of memory

now forever in my mind
a part of me always with you

Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Sep 17, 2013 - 06:20pm PT
All along the bent and angling coast
seaweed strands in sunken coves
groping beached shadows
from wave to wave

I always chase after them
their darkened strewn and floating forms
rolling like dead bodies
from wave to wave

What seaweed does not hide
its own short story of unknown depths
submarine worlds where time itself
folds its broken shell

Under each rubbery leaf
striped in faint running bands
like the blue veins on my father's arm
long long ago

A strand marks the sea's closing line
in underwater straits where I now stand
feet in the shallow blackness
hand against the sandy bulb

A frothing strand marks all the seaweed
in roped and stringed patterns
their soft crests fall soundless
sharp against the gathering stone

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 20, 2013 - 07:16am PT
The Crescent Arch March
--for Pat Ament

In a Dream of White Courage
I tried my best to discourage
A new trend that I saw.

Now I lay my chalk away
And to the Lord Belay I say:
Take this now and for all days.
This is what old Mousie says:
If with chalk you must play,
Just use plain old white or gray.

In a whirlwind of white dust
We climb the climbs we must.
Don't forget your quick-draw.

Mouse from Merced is a tard climber from Merced.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 23, 2013 - 07:29pm PT
Lament for a Dead Cow

Beautiful was Wetu as a blue shadow
That nests on the grey rocks
About a sunbaked hilltop;Her coat was black and shiny
Like an isipingo-berry;
Her horns were as sharp as the horns of the new moon
That tosses aloft the evening star;Her round eyes were as clear and soft
As a mountain pool,
Where shadows dive from the high rocks.
--Francis Carey Slater

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Sep 24, 2013 - 02:15pm PT
Not a poem, but prose about storytelling and poetry is often (if not always?) about telling some kind of story:

“When you are in the middle of a story it isn’t a story at all, but only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood; like a house in a whirlwind, or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard powerless to stop it. It’s only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all. When you are telling it, to yourself or to someone else.”

― Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace

Apropos with this crowd, because she is basically describing the genesis of any good climbing story.


Sport climber
Sep 24, 2013 - 02:20pm PT
"You told me once you believed in God.

The old man waved his hand. Maybe, he said...Oh I'd like to see him if I could.

What would you say to him?

Well,...And then I'm goin to ast him: What did you have me in that crapgame down there for anyway? I couldn't put any part of it together.

Suttree smiled. What do you think he'll say?

The ragpicker spat and wiped his mouth. I don't believe he can answer it, he said. I don't believe there is an answer."


Sport climber
Sep 24, 2013 - 02:22pm PT
"We were the leopards, the lions.

Those who replace us will be the jackals, the hyenas.

And all of us, leopards, lions, jackals and sheep will continue to think we're the salt of the earth."

Il Gattopardo
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 24, 2013 - 04:45pm PT
Well Grounded

Every time I turn around
Another climber’s in the ground.
If I fall and die today
Please don’t let them hear you say:
“He died doing what he loved.”
Because I hate falling!


Sport climber
Oct 3, 2013 - 02:52pm PT
"The Lake Isle of Innisfree " by W.B. Yeats (read by Tom O'Bedlam)
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Oct 3, 2013 - 03:26pm PT
An Ode to Nighthawks

I blindly and bravely accept
my inglorious, heroic fate
forcibly tethered to this marine layer morning
of American flapjacks
and ancient retirees
discussing doctor visits
in the leathery booth next door.

I can hear that uncertain future
speechless as the grey undertow
of low running fog
and listless pancakes
staring back at me
with the eyes
of two over-easy eggs

I am still that American breakfast
embodied in my own corner diner
set against the shivering winds of change
wrapped within uncertain renewals
cast beneath Hooper's long-recalled shadow
the shape of an eternally hungry nighthawk
who once chanced never to sleep



mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 3, 2013 - 08:45pm PT
Hah! "never to sleep"

Thanks, Chongo, for the update, at speed of light or any rate.
See, I met him in the dinner line. He and I, we got along fine.

= Egotistic

So polite, nothing caustic

Just a cosmic joke

And a rolled-up smoke

Between new playmates

There's no ending to the universe

Just a vast stanza of a poem to be completed


Infinity happens

Alone &/or Together

Who cares who or what created it besides Chongo and you others?

"Never say whenever never again."

That's what they may say that they told him to tell you.

Don't let them sell you on that, my friend.

So he shut up and he didn't shut down

And Mum's the WordStill

And Bob's Your Uncle

And he's a garage mechanic

Which makes him a grease monkey.

This is getting slippery...

As if I'm trapping myself on scree

I'll be your mimimonkey's uncle for you

If you'll just wake me the hell up and

Am I even on belay?

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 6, 2013 - 06:42pm PT

The mutha of counties
Sent a battalion of mounties
To arrest a outlaw MiWok
Who just refused to work
For the evil man of the age
(No friend of ‘the savage’)
Known as Ten Hiya
Who thought to himself, as he climbed higher
See ya hiya
In the skyeah
Over to Mono
I got ta go now
See ya ‘roun’
Ya whitey clown

Takin’ a day’s rest
Peaceably avoidin’ arrest
When up pops whitey
From behind this big pine tree
“Hands in the air!”
I tried not to stare
His hands were so shakin’
I thought, “Cook my bacon”
So I carefully arose
Along came mo’ white hoes
Just howlin’ with glee
And all yellin’ at me.

I just smiled and grinned
They had me strung and skinned.

Hmph...what pork and beef does for a body
Illusions of mastery
With no visions of mystery
Can’t keep it up but it won’t go down
Why does he think I think he’s a whitey clown?
The jokes on him, I must predict
See, he believes he’s got us licked
Let him think his thoughts ‘n’ show how wrong’s his creed
In time his kids will curse him for his nasty greed.

Then the mighty circle will close up and sing
And we will dance nightly in it, just my thing.


Sport climber
Oct 7, 2013 - 01:33pm PT

It must have been a hard life, but loved by the poets:

"The islands have had an influence on world literature and arts disproportionate to their size. The unusual cultural and physical history of the islands has made them the object of visits by a variety of writers and travellers who recorded their experiences. Beginning around the late 19th Century, many Irish writers travelled to the Aran Islands; Lady Gregory, for example, came to Aran in the late nineteenth century to learn Irish. At the start of the 20th century and throughout his life one of Ireland's leading artists, Seán Keating, spent time every year on the islands translating on to canvas all the qualities that make the inhabitants of these Atlantic Islands so unusual and in many respects remarkable.

Many wrote of their experiences in a personal vein, alternately casting them as narratives about finding, or failing to find, some essential aspect of Irish culture that had been lost to the more urban regions of Ireland. A second, related kind of visitor were those who attempted to collect and catalog the stories and folklore of the island, treating it as a kind of societal "time capsule" of an earlier stage of Irish culture. Visitors of this kind differed in their desires to integrate with the island culture, and most were content to be considered observers. The culmination of this mode of interacting with the island might well be Robert J. Flaherty's 1934 classic documentary Man of Aran.

One might consider John Millington Synge's The Aran Islands as a work that straddles these first two modes, it being both a personal account and also an attempt at preserving information about the pre- (or a-) literate Aran culture in literary form. The motivations of these visitors are best exemplified by W. B. Yeats' advice to Synge: "Go to the Aran Islands, and find a life that has never been expressed in literature.""

OT: There's climbing there too (a great link):

About Inishmore:

"The island is in essence one huge limestone crag, with almost 20kms of coastline offering a wide variety of climbing styles covering all grades. The Northeast side of the island is quite low lying but does contain a number of extremely high quality crags up to 10m high nestled in between the numerous beaches and coves. The nature of these outcrops ideally suits them to bouldering, with good level landings, a predominantly overhanging style of climbing and solid top-outs.

At the other end of the spectrum is the Southwest length of the isle, which rises to heights of over 80m in sheer cliff faces and runs continuously from north to south. Until recently the majority of the climbing development on the island was undertaken by visitors from England and Wales due to the intimidating nature of the crags, with only very few routes being established by Irish climbers. 35 or so of these early, pioneering routes were included in the Burren Guidebook published in 1997 by the MCI. The grades of these routes centres mainly around the mid “E” grades with an upper limit at present of E6. These grades were not however a true reflection of the range of climbing on the island, rather more a display of the strength and ability of the climbers who took the time to pursue these new and quite bold lines rather than the more obvious and attainable lower-grade climbs. Since those early explorations of the island, development has been slow and sporadic with handfuls of lines being done in different areas, giving dense pockets of routes dispersed along the coastline. The tendency seems to be to find a previously unclimbed area that suits a personal climbing style and blitz it of it’s obvious classic lines and then move on.

The climbing itself ranges from long exposed multi pitch lines to short, sharp single pitch routes all on good limestone. Stepped Overhangs and impressive sheer walls abound, with most of the established routes taking devious lines of weakness through this improbable terrain. Protection is solid where found, although quite often sparse due to the compacted nature of the limestone. All current routes have been climbed in the traditional Adventure climbing style and only very few routes contain pegs (sometimes placed on lead and by this stage untrustworthy). Another feature of the island is a number of huge and seriously overhanging amphitheatres, which at first seem reminiscent of Muckros head, Donegal until you notice the lack of natural protection available. These will absorb a lot of time and effort (and maybe even bolts!) before they start to release lines, all of which look spectacular and at or above the upper limit of the climbing currently established in Ireland to date (but possible none the less…. What can I say, I’m an optimist!)."
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 8, 2013 - 07:00pm PT
The poetry itself ranges from long, boring passages to short, stacatto giggles, done by a soloist off-stage, which is difficulty defined since it’s a theater in the round. Two-part harmony and impressive arias abound, with most of the wingnuts assigned to the asylum’s private caged boxes. Protection from slander is sold at the ticket office, and needed. The compacted nature of the projectiles commands you wear a helmet and a thick sweater or even two.

All current routines have been unrehearsed for as long as time is old. The redpoint is honored and sacred, but topropes are cool, if you have a good anchor and don’t mind if we use it, too, while you’re rigged? Okay?

What can’t I say? I’m not just another optimist half-full of doubt.

Sport climber
Oct 9, 2013 - 02:31pm PT
Philip Glass -The Poet Acts
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Yiruma, (이루마) - River Flows In You
[Click to View YouTube Video]

California dreamin' on the farside of the world..
Oct 9, 2013 - 05:42pm PT

If I must be wrung through the paradox,
—broken into wholeness,
wring me around the moon;
pelt me with particles from the dark side.
Fling me into space;
hide me in a black hole.
Let me dance with devils on dead stars.
Let my scars leave brilliant traces,
for my highborn soul seeks its hell—
in high places.

Individuation by Avah Pevlor Johnson

Sport climber
Oct 12, 2013 - 01:33pm PT

Arvo Pärt: The Deer's Cry

[Click to View YouTube Video]
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 12, 2013 - 03:45pm PT
"I'll have a Philip Glass of iced tea, please.
Lots of ice, too, thanks."

Water You and I?

We all spring from the same well-head
We all have water in us.
It’s the stuff of life, if not the staff.
I suppose God holds the key.
He’s the conductor of this water music.
O, the water,
O, the water,
It’s given to us for free.

Except for Evian, Perrier, Glacier, and the other glass- and plastic-sellers.
They can’t really sell the H20, so they have to charge for the containers.
It's not like they can just whizz the product right to you out of the air.
Not yet, anyway.
Someday, Jack and Jill won't have to climb the hill.
The water will be right there!
O gee,
Golly gee,
No more broken crowns, Jack!

I have some water inside me right now that was born in Yosemite.
That is, it came down and landed there from its airborne journey.
And it may have run off the South Face of Half Dome.
It may have made the cruise down the Merced to the Nevada and Vernal Falls.
Then it may have been drunk by a deer or by a deer mouse.
Then, who knows? Have I acted rashly in drinking wildlife pee?
O, deer,
O, deer,
What can the water be?

Decades ago, my great-grandfather may have peed that same water.
It may have landed up on the ballast of the Southern Pacific up by Dunsmuir.
From there it may have run into the Sacramento River.
And into the body of a big trout which spawned.
And its babies may have produced roe which produced trout in the Merced.

Cycle, recycle.
Recycled water is all I am.
You may have me in you.
I hope I have you in me.
It’s a warm feeling.
Now I gotta go.
Pee ya later.

Sport climber
Oct 12, 2013 - 04:11pm PT
A river portrait - Paraselva, Norway
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Mountain river
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Change is everywhere...
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 12, 2013 - 05:02pm PT
The Moldau. My favorite in the whole wide world.


Sport climber
Oct 13, 2013 - 03:56am PT
Bedřich Smetana: Má Vlast Moldau (Vltava)
[Click to View YouTube Video]
A beauty, yes. And another day the sound is:
Smetana, Die Moldau, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, N. Harnoncourt
[Click to View YouTube Video]
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 13, 2013 - 06:41am PT
When I last worked, it was for Jim Barnett at the used book store on Main.
He has a son named James Patrick who spent a lot of time in Prague.
He's fluent in Praguian and can spik a lil Russion.
He's married to a beautiful medical student from Beylorus.
He told me of the Infant Jesus of Prague.
I'd heard of this as a Papal Catholic for years, but never learned anything about the Infant.
I looked it up on Wiki.
And so can thee, thou.

When Jesus was a baby
He was a stinking Jew.
They put Him on his cross
For He was Catholic, too.

You see, it's all about the orbis cruciger.

You can look that up on your own.

In which bishop's see do the Vlatava fish swim?
If you can answer that, I'll tell little Jim.

Sport climber
Oct 13, 2013 - 04:01pm PT
"And on the far shore a creature that raised its dripping mouth from the rimstone pool and stared into the light with eyes dead white and sightless as the eggs of spiders. It swung its head low over the water as if to take the scent of what it could not see. Crouching there pale and naked and translucent, its alabaster bones cast up in shadow on the rocks behind it. Its bowel, its beating heart. The brain that pulsed in a dull glass bell. It swung its head from side to side and then gave out a low moan and turned and lurched away and loped soundlessly into the dark."

Oct 13, 2013 - 04:10pm PT

let your breath stir the air
under a butterfly's wing

it's not much
and it is everything


Sport climber
Oct 13, 2013 - 04:10pm PT
"And that which should accompany old age,
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have, but in their stead
Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honour, breath
Which the poor heart would fain deny and dare not."
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 13, 2013 - 06:30pm PT
Lyrics to Ballad Of Jack Frost :
Jack Frost came to town
Jack Frost took my girl away
He laid her in the ground
Tipped his hat and he was on his way
He's sure to take your loved one away
He roams from town to town
He wears a smile upon his face
Although his belly is fat
He's well respected for his charm and grace
He'll only lead your loved one away
He'll only take your pleasure away
Don't let him take your loved one away

--The Triffids

[Click to View YouTube Video]

Ah, the breath of life!

Move that air, baby!

Sport climber
Oct 14, 2013 - 04:32pm PT
Arvo Pärt - Spiegel Im Spiegel
[Click to View YouTube Video]
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 16, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
That vintage reel is taken on Market Street in San Francisco, just a few days prior to the big 1906 Earthquake and Fire.

Born Under Punches
Lyrics by David Byrne

"Take a look at these hands.
Take a look at these hands.
The hand speaks. The hand of a government man.
Well I'm a tumbler. Born under punches.
I'm so thin.

All I want is to breathe. I'm too thin.
Won't you breath with me?
Find a little space, so we move in-between. In-between it.
And keep one step ahead, of yourself.

Don't you miss it, don't you miss it.
Some 'a you people just about missed it! Last time to make plans!
Well I'm a tumbler...
I'm a Government Man."

I'm a temblor. Born thru no fault of my own.
I have cracks in my skin.
Won't you shake with me?--O. Tay

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Oct 16, 2013 - 02:48pm PT
Marlow, what a contrast between the two performances of The Moldau. The City of Prague orchestra is beautiful, with rhythm and tempo while the second, European Chamber Orchestra is dreadful, slow without continuity between the instrumental lines and with a sleeping conductor. A very good example for those who wonder what is the role of a conductor in such performance...

On the topic of poetry, I read this poem night before last at a memorial for Michael Ybarra, a friend, a climber and writer whose works you may have seen from time to time about climbing and extreme sports in the wall street journal. For me this is a touching poem.

by Mary Oliver

just now
moved through my heart
like the thinnest of blades
as that red-tail pumped
once with its great wings
and flew above the gray, cracked
rock wall.
It wasn't
about the bird, it was
something about the way
stone stays
mute and put, whatever
goes flashing by.
when I sit like this, quiet,
all the dreams of my blood
and all outrageous divisions of time
seem ready to leave,
to slide out of me.
Then, I imagine, I would never move.
By now
the hawk has flown five miles
at least,
dazzling whoever else has happened
to look up.
I was dazzled. But that
wasn't the knife.
It was the sheer, dense wall
of blind stone
without a pinch of hope
or a single unfulfilled desire
sponging up and reflecting,
so brilliantly,
as it has for centuries,
the sun's fire.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Oct 16, 2013 - 03:04pm PT
Two items:
Check out this beautiful artist Christine Sun Kim:

A fitting tribute to the great writer Albert Camus:

[Click to View YouTube Video]
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 21, 2013 - 12:42am PT
I SAID, "I really like colorful sound."


I dream an inescapable dream
in which I take away from the country
the bridges and roads, the fences, the strung wires,
ourselves, all we have built and dug and hollowed out,
our flocks and herds, our droves of machines.

I restore then the wide-branching trees.
I see growing over the land and shading it
the great trunks and crowns of the first forest.
I am aware of the rattling of their branches,
the lichened channels of their bark, the saps
of the ground flowing upward to their darkness.
Like the afterimage of a light that only by not
looking can be seen. I glimpse the country as it was.
All its beings belong wholly to it. They flourish
in dying as in being born. It is the life of its deaths.

I must end, always, by replacing
our beginning there, ourselves and our blades,
the flowing in of history, putting back what I took away,
trying always with the same pain of foreknowledge
to build all that we have built, but destroy nothing.

My hands weakening, I feel on all sides blindness
growing in the land on its peering bulbous stalks.
I see that my mind is not good enough.
I see that I am eager to own the earth and to own men.
I find in my mouth a bitter taste of money,
a gaping syllable I can neither swallow nor spit out.
I see all that we have ruined in order to have, all
that was owned for a lifetime to be destroyed forever.

Where are the sleeps that escape such dreams?

--Wendell Berry


Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Oct 21, 2013 - 01:14am PT
Please oh please sweet lord, save me.
Get me off this rock, and then you'll see!
Never will I climb so high, a ropeless length to touch the sky
Never on this rock will you find me.

Now I'm on the ground, I hope dear lord
You understand that when it's flat I'm bored!
I see the steep, can't help myself, and climb that ledge to another shelf,
And then I pray again to you my lord.

-NutAgain! before bedtime on 10/20/2013

Sport climber
Oct 21, 2013 - 03:18pm PT

Rose Et Noire - Le vin des amants (Charles Baudelaire)
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Sport climber
Oct 22, 2013 - 02:42pm PT
"It grew colder and the night lay long before him. He kept moving, following in the darkness the naked chimes of rock blown bare of snow. The stars burned with a lidless fixity and they drew nearer in the night until toward dawn he was stumbling among the whinstones of the uttermost ridge to heaven, a barren range of rock so enfolded in that gaudy house that stars lay awash at his feet and migratory spalls of burning matter crossed constantly about him on their chartless reckonings. In the predawn light he made his way out upon the premontory and there received first of any creature in that country the warmth of the sun's ascending."

That's rigth, Mouse. Cormac McCarthy's BM.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 22, 2013 - 06:31pm PT
Pink and Black--Wine Lovers
par Doh! BeLayer

Today space is magnificent!
Without bridle or bit or spurs
Let us ride away on wine
To a divine, fairy-like heaven!
Like two angels who are tortured
By a relentless delirium,
Through the crystal blue of the morning!
Let us follow the far mirage
Gently balanced upon the wings
Of the intelligent whirlwind,
In a similar ecstasy,
My sister, floating side by side,
We'll flee without ever stopping
To the paradise of my dreams!

"Ahhhh, Goooo-mez!"--Morticia, in ecstasy

Marlow, that last post of yours is reminiscent of Blood Meridian by Cormac M, somehow---just trusting to memory.

Sport climber
Oct 24, 2013 - 05:24pm 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."

CMC, TC, p. 423-425
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 25, 2013 - 02:51am PT

Meanwhile, back at the crossing...

Our Father, who art in heaven, hollow be thy log and thy dog, in the Sierra Madre as it is in heaven. Give us this day our ration of meat and forget how we have to screw one another to get it. It's all on YOU, dude.

Sport climber
Oct 25, 2013 - 12:43pm 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.


In the afternoon he sat in the compound breaking ore samples with a hammer, the feldspar rich in red oxide of copper and native nuggets in whose organic lobations he purported to read news of the earth's origins, holding an extemporary lecture in geology to a small gathering who nodded and spat. A few would quote him scripture to confound his ordering up of eons out of the ancient chaos and other apostate supposings, the judge smiled.

Books lie, he said.

God dont lie.

No, said the judge. He does not. And these are his words.
He held up a chunk of rock.
He speaks in stones and trees, the bones of things.

The squatters in their rags nodded among themselves and were soon reckoning him correct, this man of learning, in all his speculations, and this the judge encoraged until they were right proselytes of the new order whereupon he laughed at them for fools.


Whatever exists, he said. Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent.

He looked about at the dark forest in which they were bivouacked. He nodded toward the specimens he’d collected. These anonymous creatures, he said, may seem little or nothing in the world. Yet the smallest crumb can devour us. Any smallest thing beneath yon rock out of men’s knowing. Only nature can enslave man and only when the existence of each last entity is routed out and made to stand naked before him will be properly suzerain of the earth.

What’s a suzerain?

A keeper. A keeper or overlord.

Why not say keeper then?

Because he is a special kind of keeper. A suzerain rules even where there are other rulers. His authority countermands local judgements.

Toadvine spat.

The judge placed his hands on the ground. He looked at his inquisitor. This is my claim, he said. And yet everywhere upon it are pockets of autonomous life. Autonomous. In order for it to be mine nothing must be permitted to occur upon it save by my dispensation."


Sport climber
Oct 25, 2013 - 07:17pm PT
Hadrian's Tomb, Roma

Sport climber
Oct 26, 2013 - 03:33am PT

Seamus Heaney's last poem In a Field

In a Field

And there I was in the middle of a field,

The furrows once called "scores' still with their gloss,

The tractor with its hoisted plough just gone

Snarling at an unexpected speed

Out on the road. Last of the jobs,

The windings had been ploughed, furrows turned

Three ply or four round each of the four sides

Of the breathing land, to mark it off

And out. Within that boundary now

Step the fleshy earth and follow

The long healed footprints of one who arrived

From nowhere, unfamiliar and de-mobbed,

In buttoned khaki and buffed army boots,

Bruising the turned-up acres of our back field

To stumble from the windings' magic ring

And take me by a hand to lead me back

Through the same old gate into the yard

Where everyone has suddenly appeared,

All standing waiting.

As the Team's Head Brass, by Edward Thomas

As the team's head-brass flashed out on the turn

The lovers disappeared into the wood.

I sat among the boughs of the fallen elm

That strewed an angle of the fallow, and

Watched the plough narrowing a yellow square

Of charlock. Every time the horses turned

Instead of treading me down, the ploughman leaned

Upon the handles to say or ask a word,

About the weather, next about the war.

Scraping the share he faced towards the wood,

And screwed along the furrow till the brass flashed

Once more.

The blizzard felled the elm whose crest

I sat in, by a woodpecker's round hole,

The ploughman said. 'When will they take it away?'

'When the war's over.' So the talk began –

One minute and an interval of ten,

A minute more and the same interval.

'Have you been out?' 'No.' 'And don't want to, perhaps?'

'If I could only come back again, I should.

I could spare an arm. I shouldn't want to lose

A leg. If I should lose my head, why, so,

I should want nothing more. . . . Have many gone

From here?' 'Yes.' 'Many lost?' 'Yes: a good few.

Only two teams work on the farm this year.

One of my mates is dead. The second day

In France they killed him. It was back in March,

The very night of the blizzard, too. Now if

He had stayed here we should have moved the tree.'

'And I should not have sat here. Everything

Would have been different. For it would have been

Another world.' 'Ay, and a better, though

If we could see all all might seem good.' Then

The lovers came out of the wood again:

The horses started and for the last time

I watched the clods crumble and topple over

After the ploughshare and the stumbling team.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 26, 2013 - 01:29pm PT
I climb the route to Cold Mountain,
The route to Cold Mountain that never ends.
The Valley is long and strewn with stones;
The stream is broad and filled with thick grass.
The slabs are slippery though no rain has fallen;
Piñons sigh but it isn't the wind.
Who can break from the snares of the world
And stand with me among the white clouds?


Sport climber
Oct 29, 2013 - 04:11pm PT

Dame Janet Baker - Strauss' Morgen
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Sport climber
Oct 29, 2013 - 04:28pm PT

Wilfred Owen - Anthem for Doomed Youth
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Sport climber
Oct 31, 2013 - 04:56pm PT
"Remember when you were young,
You shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there's a look in your eyes,
Like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire
Of childhood and stardom,
Blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter,
Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!

You reached for the secret too soon,
You cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night,
And exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome
With random precision,
Rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
Come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!"

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Oct 31, 2013 - 05:03pm PT
When I was just a young boy, I played with swords and guns, and I dreamed of the day I`d become a soldier.
I'd kill all of the enemy, my country`tis of thee, I sing this anthem sadly,won`t you hear me.
I watched the cannons blazing, on the giant silver screen, The swastikas were burning and the hero was me.
The general gave the order, gladly I obeyed.But the movie faded quickly all at once today.
And now I stand alone with the charges made, no where to run, not a place to hide.
We`re sad little children playing grown-up games.
Guess the time has come, the damage has been done.

Stray dogs that live on the highway, walk on three legs. Cause they learn too slow to get the message.

Just like the Indians in the early days, battles lost and won, yet it still goes on. It`s just another ballad for soldier.

I had no understanding `till I saw my mother cry, when they told how many babies I had killed that night.
A dozen color photographs inside of a magazine, told the morbid story like a movie screen.
But I was not the hero I thought myself to be, movies are much different than reality.
The general was convicted to get off of the hook, but the President might free me for the chance I took.
And we all stand alone when the charge is made, sad way to live, what a way to die.
We`re all little children playing grown-up games, can we burn the gun before the next time comes.

Stray dogs that live on the highway walk on three legs, they move to slow to get the message.

Give up and win, that`s all I have to say, we haven't really won till all the fightin's done, and there are no more ballads for the soldiers.
Leon Russell

Sport climber
Nov 3, 2013 - 03:00am PT
The Bog Queen - Seamus Heaney

I lay waiting
between turf-face and demesne wall,
between heathery levels
and glass-toothed stone.

My body was braille
for the creeping influences:
dawn suns groped over my head
and cooled at my feet,

through my fabrics and skins
the seeps of winter
digested me,
the illiterate roots

pondered and died
in the cavings
of stomach and socket.
I lay waiting

on the gravel bottom,
my brain darkening.
a jar of spawn
fermenting underground

dreams of Baltic amber.
Bruised berries under my nails,
the vital hoard reducing
in the crock of the pelvis.

My diadem grew carious,
gemstones dropped
in the peat floe
like the bearings of history.

My sash was a black glacier
wrinkling, dyed weaves
and Phoenician stitchwork
retted on my breasts'

soft moraines.
I knew winter cold
like the nuzzle of fjords
at my thighs––

the soaked fledge, the heavy
swaddle of hides.
My skull hibernated
in the wet nest of my hair.

Which they robbed.
I was barbered
and stripped
by a turfcutter's spade

who veiled me again
and packed coomb softly
between the stone jambs
at my head and my feet.

Till a peer's wife bribed him.
The plait of my hair
a slimy birth-cord
of bog, had been cut

and I rose from the dark,
hacked bone, skull-ware,
frayed stitches, tufts,
small gleams on the bank.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 4, 2013 - 09:00am PT

Were you are a poetic soul
And had a roll
Or two
Or three
Of Kodak imagination,
You’ll understand
When I wave my hand:

That feeling of power
As you shot that flower
Was purely Instamatic gratification
That f-stopped way short of digitization.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 6, 2013 - 06:23am PT
Song of the Generator, You Son of A Peach

We Flames were on top of the world:
We looked to have our hair curled.
Generator Crack demanded no rack,
So I said, “Hey, there, slack,” and I began my attack.
My nine-mil Eddy kept going up steady.
I knew I’d been ready ever since good old Freddy
Said we must try to learn to rely
On a belayer’s sharp eye:
It could help bye and bye.
There’s no reason why
You ever have to have died
Before you're ready for wide.
Except for this, that and some other things.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 17, 2013 - 02:14pm PT

I look out on the upper
of a knowing old tree
and realize that I could step
out this window
and walk on top of the
but I prefer flat farmland
and the dry and tedious
for my brief stay

Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel

This one is for Amyjo, a fan of Wilma Elizabeth.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 18, 2013 - 07:26pm PT


In the quiet morning twilight
(next to highway 99)
Before dawn and after night
(I tried to shoot the sunrise)
A wing of birds is taking flight
(and the moon set just then, too)
A mundane but extraordinary sight
(I forgot to reset the manual focus again)

Mine eyes beheld the skies
(on the way home on frontage road)
A-flood with Lady Dark’s goodbyes
(a long line of birds appeared)
And here this avian marvel flies
(they were heading southerly)
A balm unto my sleep-filled eyes
(it meant shooting into the sun)

And so I snapped the flying birds
(thinking I had struck gold)
I saw no use supplying words
(when the truth was revealed)
Then I thought those stupid turds
(I had indeed taken gold from the sky)
Might think we’re sitting ducks ?!?!
(I can’t rhyme “turds” in other words)

This poor poetry, if it please, is for the Merry Fossil, Wayne, the naturalest guy I know, the Fossil Climber of ST.

Just paying you back for the inspiration, ya coot.

You're not seeing double, either.

What kinda birds are these, folks?
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 19, 2013 - 02:56am PT
based on a cold winter spent working alone in the orchards

Often the quiet distance
tells me come
check me out

Often while piling wood
I tell myself
listen to nature

Often as not
I can’t hear a thing
except logs neatly piled

And the blues on the radio
in the car
or PHC on NPR

Like those crows on wires
the wood produces
visual notes

I can’t hear
any of these sights
except in my mind’s ear

My own work song
has become light blue
as the sun sets

The truck is full
and the moon
is full, too

A minor musty poet
Says “Good night, all,”
To you and you and you

But not to the owl
on that branch over there
beyond the flames.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 26, 2013 - 01:45pm PT
Happy Holidaze, boys, girls, rocks and trees.
Here's an exciting tale, with golf balls and tees.

Hannukah, the Festival of Lights, begins on Thursday, the 28th.

Let the shopping commence, let's go crash the fence
At Target, at Costco, Walmart if you have sense.

A Golfer's Nigh Before Christmas

‘Twas the nigh before Christmas,
with things running fine.
Old Santa decided t
 play a quick nine.

He packed up his sleigh,
His clubs well within reach;
then flew to a good public course
near the beach.

On the back nine, a threesome
called out, “Come and play.
there’s no one behind us.
We’re last here today.”

Santa smile, then teed up,
set his shoulder blades square,
and took a deep breath
from the grass-scented air.

But he swung much too hard
and in spite of himself,
the took up a divot
the size of an elf.

If that pitiful drive
wasn’t lousy enough,
his fairway shot found
a deep spot in the rough.

Muttered he, “Oh, perhaps,
it’s the wrong eve to play.
I’ve more meanigful deeds
to accomplish today.”

“Oh, no!” they protested.
“That isn’t the thing.
You just, ever so slightly,
must alter your swing.”

The first man stepped up.
“Change your grip. Look alive.
Swing fast but softer.
Now drive, old man, drive!”

Santa swung at the ball
with an air-splitting THWACK!
But it popped up and gave him
a smack on the back.

The woman said, “Santa,
now here’s what you do—
stand this way, squint hard,
then scream and swing through.”

Spoke the first guy, ”That tactic
went out with the Edsels.
You’ve got him all twisted
like soft, salted pretzels.”

Santa swung, noetheless;
then he cried out in pain.
“My back,” he lamented,
“has gone out again!”

Then a grizzled, old gent
who’d a wisdon like Snead did
gave Santa, too late,
the advice he had needed.
“You’re out here for fun,
and as you grow calmer,
“you’ll find yourself hitting
like young Arnold Palmer.”

But I can’t even move now.”
The thought made him shiver.
“I have all these presents
I have to deliver.”

“Please help me save Christmas.
Please give out these toys.”
Soon the fousome took off
to the good girls and boys.

It was Santa who now
gave out tips to his crew,
as up in the air
past the rooftops they flew.

At each home, the golfers
found just the right packs
and with magic Yule dust
scooted down chimney stacks.

They twisted and stretched
and got scorched by Yule logs,
ate cookies and milk
and got nipped by some dogs.

But they said as they passed
the last fireplace screen,
“This is almost as rousing
as playing eighteen!”

Santa said, “You’ve done well,
and reward you, I shall.
We’ll start at St. Andrews,
Augusta, Doral...

We’ll do lunch in Scottsdale,
try Pebble Beach, then,
Riviera, Sawgrass.
You just tell me when.”

“Then eleven more holes--
what a dream round we’ll play!”
Then he took the three home,
and he soon flew away.

Soon they heard him exclaim
from a sky dark as slate,
“Merry Christmas to all!
May your drives all fly straight!”

--Jody Feldman



Sport climber
Dec 1, 2013 - 12:42pm PT

Pan's Labyrinth OST & Last Scene
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Dec 5, 2013 - 08:43am PT
a poetry story in the land of non-fiction:

i was recently in Santa Cruz, downtown.
there, lots of street art occurs at the inspiration of
homeless folks and professional fools alike.

i was enjoying a stroll with my family,
and one fella is sitting, while driving
a typewriter. his sign says:

"poetry. donations accepted."

so i step and greet.
he asks me if i'd like a poem.
i say that i've got no money,
which is the absolute truth,
and then ask if he'd trade a poem for a poem.

"sure," he gleams.

so he writes me one, not knowing me from
the deepest man-man hole in the world (a gold mine in africa.)

to be honest i don't remember the specifics of his poem,
and shamefully i utilized it to start our
hobo-beach-fire that evening, but it read
something to the affect of:

.."he who shines brightest
is blinded by his own inflections..."

or something like that.

so i improvise a return:

"since i'll never be a new direction on the compass,
i wanna be the sharp end of cupid's arrow.
or perhaps a new color in the rainbow."

we both conclude that
poetry is stupid and a waste of intellect.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Dec 5, 2013 - 10:09am PT
sez he
who spits on his gift
and pisses on his mind
and cries lame unto others
in readiculous ways
which unconform like synchlines
on the topo's graphy goodness
don't read my lines
read behind them

and in the end
he's his only friend
a door of missed perception
mist-placed angst
but nothing is ever missed
because it is nothing
so nothing is amiss

it's none of my business
i know
but it's a hobby
and this is mutteruttiness
utter musiness
(were i truly christian
--if sixes were 9 times infinity--
Fletcher might forgive me for that one)
mutinous mice
making not nice
in norwegian
with the man himself
in the mirror
he's never died
and he never will admit it if he does
he has no words for that
so he celebrates his shitty life
and sharpens his ego-paring knife
and cuts the roots of his soul
away from his corporeal being
and becomes less than nothing

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Dec 7, 2013 - 11:47am PT
Who are we?

She says drama.
I say drama.
She calls her gramma.
I call her momma.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Dec 9, 2013 - 09:27pm PT


O CAPTAIN! Our Captain! your Citrus Trip is mean;
We two have carried heavy racks, the prize we sought went clean.
The brow is near, the crows we hear, no peeps are likely hanging
To welcome us with bong and stash and porters there next morning?...

O Captain! Our Captain! we climbed you in such style
You'd think there'd be a crowd of dudes stretched out a country mile:
This means no cans and ciggy butts--for you both sh#t and glitter--
I'm glad that it's just you and us cuz Smokey wants no litter...

Our Captain does not dye his hair; his rocks are potent still;
Her wide cracks eat my biggest cams, like Lover's never will.
The pig is anchor'd safe and sound, its contents used and spent.
And this old rock, it's mighty good, but, by God, we've sent...

Ellipses by Victor Shipp