I wanted to write: to put a piece together, and combine it with my own photos in a way that would leave readers thrilled to have taken part, excited and hopefully awed by a tale of adventure and excitement. My trouble came when I couldn't think up an angle to write about that didn't promote blatant self aggrandizement, so I had to think things through. I felt I needed to write this tale of a grand adventuresome life from another perspective: a story of a different adventurer who shares the same unbound spirit of freedom. From there it was a simple step to strike upon my subject, and after several years in the making, the bits and pieces collected on scraps of paper, e-mails, and mental memorization have finally come together in one place for all to see. Without further ado, I give you:
2. Body Surfing a Shining Sea
When someone who lived with us many long weeks,
And shared in our passions, our famines and feasts,
Is forced to depart 'ere the journey is made,
And fly to the West leaving us in the East,
Are we to be mourning adventuresome days,
And missing in sorrow our comrade in ways?
Forget it! We'll head to the south, to the beach!
Enough about Jessica, here comes a wave!
4. Cleaning Up the Cluster
We've four routes behind us, and here comes the rain,
A drizzle that forms little streams down the rock.
There's ten more to go and we'll do it in pain,
Drenched all the way to our socks.
We've put ourselves here, so we might as well 'scend,
In spite of the dripping and steaming and soak;
Just rig the belay and I'll climb the five-ten,
As soon as I've sorted the rope.
6. Looking Down From the Rooftops
I'm looking for a partner in
a venture I propose
Which will lead us to exotic lands, and
get us foreign clothes.
We'll learn to eat some different meats;
We may go hungry too,
We'll walk the roads in sandals after
we wear out our shoes.
The sea we'll see, and mountains too,
and animals, and streams,
And time will not affect us in our life
made out of dreams.
There's room for one, I'm looking now
as far as I can see;
A million people in my eyes
and all I've found is me.
8. Riding the El Train
And all around they move;
Processions of society in bustling horde surrounding me.
A booming cacophony shaking the ground of voices and cell phones and walking around,
Now add a breeze and headlight from the emptiness at left,
And the horde around me pushes to the limits of their shelf,
And the moment doors are open it's an unrepentant motion
Pushing on relentless forward with priority to self!
Then a last and final warning "doors are closing, thanks for boarding"
And a quick acceleration leads away the mass of man, and -
13. Waiting For the Soup to Boil
If I had a clock I could set it.
And then walk away and forget it.
Alarming and ringing would quickly be bringing
Me round again hungry and ready.
If I had a baker of bread,
I COULD be still in my bed,
He'd give me a call when my breakfast was all
Done and ready, and then I'd be fed.
But I'm huddled in early dawn chill,
With neither of these at my will,
It's probably queer, but I'd rather be here,
Than anywhere else in the world.
15. About to Eat It
For some of us balance is swift to obtain,
And some of us have to earn it.
Some of us rise most quickly to fame,
And some of us crash and burn it.
Some of us stand to our feet and go far,
With never a struggle that shows,
And some of us falter and hit the ice hard,
Coming up covered in snow!
16. Crawling Through A Lava Tube
When a fellow meets a fellow
In the middle of the ground,
You can hold it almost certain
That someone must turn around,
And giving way retreat until
A spacious cavern's found...
It helps prevent the awkwardness
There is in going round
Within the limitations when you're
So far down.
17. Looking Far and Wide
I wonder if you've seen it, maybe it's been here today,
I think I've seen a footprint here or there along the way.
I'll give you a description, sir, and please if you should chance
Discover its location, bring me word of it, and fast!
It's kind of big and shaped a bit like curiosity,
And carries dust from everywhere upon its happy feet.
Its eyes are sort of wandering, like hunger, or a doubt,
And colored like a discontent in streaks from pupil-out.
You'll find it eating anything it never has before,
With teeth that turn the something-new into an awful bore.
It has a twist of happiness in either limber arm,
But in its presence, luckily, you're never safe from harm.
I'm looking for it here because I saw it come this way,
When I was chasing it across the dunes the other day,
If you know where to find it I'll be sure you get your share.
I'm looking for adventure, and I think it's over there!
21. Getting Very, Very High
I can see the curve of the earth from here
And the thinness affecting the atmosphere
Is leaving me feeling a little bit queer
But certainly empty of frowns.
I'd love to stay on the summit for hours!
For now, the top of the world is ours,
But threatening yonder are thundering showers,
Which means we'd better go down.
We'll be on the road by the end of the day,
Going onward again, to somewhere away
From the summit we've left in the drizzling rain,
And somehow I like how that sounds.
22. Satisfying A Wicked Thirst
Raise up your thermos', blue-collared men,
and drink to the thirst of our work!
For the labor we've done underneath a hot sun,
and the headache and toil and hurt.
For the load that's diminished by work that we've
finished. Payday is coming, just think!
The money we seek, by the end of the week, so
raise 'em up high, and drink!
23. Standing on the Summit
The peak of a mountain is high as it goes,
Attractive and beckoning those who would know
The way to the summit up toilsome slopes,
And what do they find at the top?
It's always the same in a mountainous range,
After climbing and climbing, the summit to gain
, And reaching the peak; the vision proclaims
There's a higher one, right over there!
27. Harassing the Wildlife
I'm sorry to disturb you,
but I must investigate,
I've never seen your kind before
in such a close-up way.
Your scales and their patterns and
your movements I admire
And much respect I hold for your
I'd love to hear your trademark,
but I guess I'll have to wait.
For now, until we meet again,
goodbye, young rattlesnake.
29. At the Very Tip-Top of the World
Nature is an artist and He uses
To express His hidden mysteries
to those who look awhile.
His palette is a varied one
including all the seven;
And His canvas is extensive
reaching from the Sea to Heaven.
His pieces decorate the walls
which He Himself has made,
And carving down or building up
to Him are much the same.
The music of the birds is His, a
melody that flies,
And ripping thunderbolts as well,
a noise that shakes the skies.
He authors also, lesser known, a
certain kind of verse,
Which echoes loud in harmony to
those who read the Earth.
Ancient is His art, and sure there's
some that we can ape
But His originality we'll never imitate.
31. Losing Some Skin
Poetry is not the way to tell about an offwidth
There's nothing nice about the ways it takes your dermis off with.
Once you're started, quick descent's the only way to stop it,
A pity that a climber's pride will never let him off it.
It's rumor mills that ruin things by all the twists of gossip;
The mighty baron painting aces of a Snoopy's sopwith;
The executioner sharp'ning blades he's just about to lop with;
A nightmare job with overtime and weekends at the office;
A mile run in heels for a gasping man who's not fit;
And nail after nail being driven in a coffin.
It's - never mind I think at least you've understood my thought: it's
Simply never very fun to climb a stupid offwidth!
32. Taking Shelter From the Rain
We stop for rest along the road
There's always access there I say,
This time I'm right.
A roadway opens in the dark
So we pull in;
The clock says early morning now,
And man we're spent.
A steady rain begins to fall
As we get out
And throw our sleeping bags and things
Down on the ground.
Gazebo placement can't be chance,
And this one must
Be put here purposely by God
Himself, for us.
With rain around us in the dark
We rest ourselves
When daylight comes we'll move along
To somewhere else.
34. Making Pancakes Near the Ninth Tee
We're out of our element; this much I know.
The grass here is nowhere as tall as it grows,
And everyone round us has much better clothes,
But hey, at least they don't stare.
But one thing surprises me at the resort,
With rich people golfing and three tennis courts,
And catered amenities we can't afford,
For pancake production, there isn't a stove!
36. Poised on the Brink
It's obvious to me that I am in a special place.
For half a mile beneath my feet there's naught but empty space.
And though I'll have to leave it all too soon to suit my tastes,
I think that I'll be back.
There's something in a special place that keeps it in our mind
An awesomeness that sticks inside the soul for all of time.
It's always there within, and someday further down the line,
Yes, I know that I'll be back.
37. Under the Hing Marin (See #7)
A hundred and fifty in parts
And ninety an hour for work.
A five hour minimum,
What, does he think we're some
High dollar white collar jerks?
Just get us the filter and pump
We'll do the job right where she's parked.
Dripping in gasoline
Couldn't be half-a-grand-hard.
41. Preparing A Roadside Meal
A handful of chocolate chips and a scoop
From our giant container of mix;
A moment or two on the fire and then
A practiced flick of the wrist;
A dollop of peanuty buttery spread,
And maybe some more chocolate chips,
And breakfast is ready, the day is begun
After we've had our pancakes.
42. Falling Asleep at the 7th Pitch Belay
I know that we've been on the wall since the morning,
And certainly watching me climbing is boring;
And yes, the thermometer's reaching a hundred,
And while we were climbing we've been in the sun,
Which now is descending while we've got more climbing
Above us; and also I see that the timing
Would really be better if now we were finished,
Since all of our strength has been greatly diminished
By hunger - I do recall all we have eaten
Today is one sandwich between us - and beatings
We've taken from climbing all day without falter;
And hours have passed since we ran out of water...
But maybe, just maybe, we'll live through the day,
So please, if you would, STAY AWAKE TO BELAY!
43. Clipping Bolts
When you're crimpin' chossy pebbles in a lieback,
And the sequence is a mono to a throw
Round a corner to a dime-edge, barely half-pad
And with sketchy pro below you know will blow;
There's a chance you may renounce your traddy status
As you slot a piece and bail with a rap,
Find a sporto with a stick clip wearing prana,
And be off to work a grid bolt, minus rack.
"Crank the ringlock, flag the backstep, stick the dyno,
See the tickmark? Want the beta? That's the crux.
Yeah! You're crushing, shake it out and then pull down, bro!
Nice! Gaston to the arete and sink the jug!"
All the draws are up so you can get the onsight,
Lest the pump affect you as you're clipping in,
Grab some biners, check your eight is doubled back right,
And without a thought of decking, just send!
44. Face to Base With the Biggest Living Thing
O' thou timeless patriarch,
Mightiest of woods;
Seeded here preceding Rome,
So long you've known the world!
Watching nations come and go
As we observe the tides;
One arises, conquers all,
And then, before you, dies.
Much respect to you, my friend,
And may your rings grow on
Far into the future
After this small man is gone.
47. Spending the Night In the Hilton
It typically takes many years for a fella
To socially switch from one caste to another,
'Cause whether he starts at the bottom or top,
Becoming the other requires a lot;
But still in occasional cases one may
Be lucky enough to switch roles for a day.
(Sometimes when this happens,
the clothes stay the same!)