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mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 10, 2013 - 08:08am PT
There's that bird again!
There's that bird again!
Credit: mouse from merced
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

Credit: mouse from merced

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

Ryan's dream fulfilled.
Ryan's dream fulfilled.

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 - 06:14am PT


Sport climber
Sep 17, 2013 - 01:12pm 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 - 01:29pm 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 - 01:37pm 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 - 01:38pm 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 - 02:56pm 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 - 03:20pm 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 - 04:16am 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 - 04:29pm PT
Lament for a Dead Cow

Beautiful was Wetu as a blue shadow
That nests on the grey rocks
About a sunbaked hilltop;
Credit: mouse from merced
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;
Credit: mouse from merced
Her round eyes were as clear and soft
As a mountain pool,
Where shadows dive from the high rocks.
Old McDonald's-on-the-Prairie.  Millions served.
Old McDonald's-on-the-Prairie. Millions served.
Credit: mouse from merced

--Francis Carey Slater

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Sep 24, 2013 - 11:15am 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 - 11:20am 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 - 11:22am 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 - 01:45pm 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 - 11:52am PT
"The Lake Isle of Innisfree " by W.B. Yeats (read by Tom O'Bedlam)
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Oct 3, 2013 - 12:26pm 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



Credit: Ward Trotter

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 3, 2013 - 05:45pm 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 - 03:42pm PT
Telling and showing.
Telling and showing.
Credit: mouse from merced

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.

We miss Virginia.  Julia and Lucy Parker.
We miss Virginia. Julia and Lucy Parker.
Credit: mouse from merced

Trad climber
Oct 6, 2013 - 05:12pm PT
Marlow, nice selection. I stayed on that island and saw the cottage in which Yeats wrote. What struck me about the island was hearing Gaeltacht, only six inches of topsoil, and a sad separate cemetery full of unbaptized babies.

Sport climber
Oct 7, 2013 - 10:33am 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!)."
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