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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)

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...

Credit: mouse from merced
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
Credit: Allen Matthews
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

Sport climber
Oct 29, 2013 - 04:28pm PT

Wilfred Owen - Anthem for Doomed Youth

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
Generator, Hwy 140.
Generator, Hwy 140.
Credit: mouse from merced
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

Near Planada.
Near Planada.
Credit: mouse from merced

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
Credit: mouse from merced


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.

Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced

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