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Archive for November, 2013

Full On

Recently I posted a reflection by my son called “Bouldering is Like Life”. Discussion of this reflection in my family prompted them to ask why I had never written a poem about climbing. The answer is “I don’t know”. I took it as a challenge; this is my first attempt. It is in no way intended to be an answer to my son’s reflection which is far more profound and in freeform. Rather it gives voice to two of the ways I like climbing- challenge and rest. It will not be of much interest to those who do not climb since the jargon will confuse and the draw of climbing will perplex, but perhaps climbers may relate.

Hang on the crimpers
Smear on the face
No place to rest
The challenge embrace

Gastones and side pulls
Muscles opposed
Fear a whipper
Relish how exposed

ArĂȘtes and corners
Barn door and stem
Build up your core
Engage every limb

Hand jams, finger locks
In off-width cracks
Knuckles may bleed
Struggle with lay backs

Overhung boulders
Then feel the burn
Heel hook, mantle
The hard moves not spurn

Balance on tiny
Friction toe hold
Body tension
Feel the flow, don’t fold

Sequence and effort
Focus so hard
Worries all gone
Against stress you guard

So I like climbing
Work body tone
Relax the mind
Challenge full on

 

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