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Sport climber
May 28, 2013 - 12:53pm PT
Eli Jenkins' Prayer Dylan Thomas Under Milk Wood

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jun 3, 2013 - 12:03am 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 - 05:12am 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 gaveó
The nameless meadow-flowers, aloof and shy.

It is another fairness she must seek,
Here where the cold and stately dungeons soaró
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.

George Sterling and an artist's depictions of him.
George Sterling and an artist's depictions of him.
Credit: mouse from merced
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jun 6, 2013 - 11:47am 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?
Iím going to Fin Dome to climb with the Rainbows
Iím looking for something that will satisfy a hunger
Iím 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 itís a hard, itís a hard, itís a hard, and itís a hard
Itís a hard manís a coming home.

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
And where have you been my darling young one?
Iíve been out to Tahquitz where the snow still resides
Iíve been out to the desert where thereís no shade to find
Iíve been to the Valley where glory is waiting
Iíve been to Fort Bliss and done my military duty
Iíve seen the old elephant now I want to climb one
Iíve been skiing and racing and winning some trophies
But itís a hard, itís a hard, itís a hard, and itís a hard
Itís 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 canít now remember
And itís a joy, itís a joy, itís a joy,
And itís a joy, to have led a life and climbs like my own.

1954, Stoney Point.
1954, Stoney Point.
Credit: "Frank Hoo?"

Jun 6, 2013 - 01:07pm 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 - 12:07am 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 - 07:38am PT
Credit: mouse from merced

Our lives are cobbles
creating eddies in which
our souls effervesce;

metaphoric rocks
amid streaming dreams of our
future as sand grains.

Credit: mouse from merced
old craghag

Sport climber
Jun 16, 2013 - 01:14pm 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 - 01:28pm PT
Gweddi Dros Gymru

Sibelius - Finlandia op. 26

Jun 16, 2013 - 01:29pm 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 - 01:47pm 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 heartís 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
Jun 16, 2013 - 01:55pm PT

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jun 21, 2013 - 01:02pm PT
Wonderful, Anastasia.

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jun 21, 2013 - 01:03pm 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 - 01:32pm 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)

Trad climber
Jun 21, 2013 - 01:44pm PT
So shall all the couples three
Ever true in loving be;
With this field-dew consecrate,
Every fairy take his gait;
And each several chamber bless,
Through this palace, with sweet peace;
And the owner of it blest
Ever shall in safety rest.
Trip away; make no stay;
Meet me all by break of day.

Midsummer Night's Dream
Credit: sullly
Saw pictured production of the play a week ago. Log Lady from Twin Peaks plays a Beatnik director as a load of Catholic school kids and staff escape to the forest in 1963.

Sport climber
Jun 23, 2013 - 01:56pm PT
Through the Woods One Summer Night...

Rolf WikstrŲm - FŚr Jag Lšmna NŚgra Blommor -
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jun 25, 2013 - 12:01am 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 itís not emotion Iím trying to describe, but cold hard facts in reaction to your stimulus.
Or is this all to scientific?
Then Iíll just say, ďI donít love you now.Ē
Itís not a theory, dearie.
Itís just the facts and Iím weary.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jun 28, 2013 - 09:42am 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 donít 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?

Donít think Iím little dope
Iíd just like some cantaloupe


(apologies to Tommy DePaola)

Sport climber
Jun 28, 2013 - 09:56am PT
Sofia Karlsson & Odd Nordstoga - Jag všntar... (I'm waiting...). Music/poetry from 1:51.

The poet: Dan Andersson from Finnskogen.
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