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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
     At riverside,
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.

33. Kicking Himself Off A Cliff

He flies above the swimming holes of several continents,
Exploring airways gracefully before he makes a dent
Into the rippled surface of hydraulic elements
And when he's done there's nothing there to show you where he went.

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!

35. Burning Cardboard Like A Bum

Pile it on, it'll keep us warm
Until we're off to sleep.
If it should die, recycle more
Of the stuff we didn't need.

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.
Mechanical surgery
     Dripping in gasoline
Couldn't be half-a-grand-hard.

38. Scaling the Walls of the Temple

If it be a wall of color
You should call another feller,
But for black or white, they say
No one betters Kelsey Gray.

39. Eating An All-American Meal

Praised with glamour nation wide;
Much embellished, hawked with pride;
Sold with fries and other sides -
Someone tell me why.

Other cultures have their foods
But generally they're something cool;
Here, I feel quite a fool...
Hot Dogs? Really? Why?!?

40. Looking Down on the South Side

I don't want to be on top,
Or have responsibility
Of keeping all of them in jobs;
That's a lot of mouths to feed.

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.

45. Learning to Juggle

We bought them for a dollar
And we taught ourselves the moves,
And ended years of wishing we
Knew how to juggle too.

What's more, we learned to free our minds
And then behind them follow,
Exploding possibilities
At cost of just a dollar.

46. Taking A Portrait of a Gopher

I have patience, little friend,
I can wait all day,
Ready with my camera
Until you show your face.

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!)

48. Hugging Trees

O' jungle, provide for me refuge in peace;
Giants, perform with your symphonic leaves;
Heavens accompany, send me a breeze;
Part of me stays in this place
     As I go.
Nothing directly compares;
     This I know.

49. Walking the Log Jam

When faced with something new,
The only thing to do
Is follow your sense of adventure and then
Go see where it takes you to.

If problems should arise -
Predicted or surprise -
Confront them directly and soon I expect
You'll be leaving them far behind.

Just take it bold and quick,
And use your muscles and wit;
With confident stride take your life for a ride,
But try not to fall in the drink!

50. Free-Solo

Do the things you think you can't:
Limits break and fall away:
You are completely free.
And as the world looking on
Wonders when they see,
Inspire, encourage, and help the souls
Bound like we used to be.

51. Wrapping Up the Day

What did you do in a year?
     When will it all disappear?
You sit and think back, oh have you lost track?
Do memories great persevere?

Where have you been in a month?
     Do you even notice the sun?
It takes away time every hour it climbs,
A progress that can't be undone.

Who did you see in a week?
     To how many friends did you speak?
Do they recognize you? Are you someone they knew?
Is the mood and the attitude bleak?

How've you lived for a while?
     Have the things that you've done made you smile?
Can you remember last season's September?
Or maybe it wasn't worthwhile.

Break! I encourage you all!
     Make your life's tales enthrall!
Don't sit and rot 'til your time you've forgot!
Let it all loose! Have a ball!

Why do you want to be down?
     What kind of good is a frown?
Put joy on your face, or it's all been a waste,
And you might as well not be around!

When are the times you'll recall?
     Make more of them! Excellent, all!
Go down in the end with a body that's spent,
Then thankfully, happily, fall.

This I implore you to do:
     To every last second imbue,
With life unsurpassed, because it's gone so fast,
It's not gonna wait up for you.

What did you do in a year?
     When will it all disappear?

52. Running it WAY Out

The far from meditative contemplation of the leader
When the pro is far below him where the climbing isn't easy
Motivates a sort of hasty drive inside him to retreat;
But that presents another sort of trouble.

Because in turning round and heading swiftly to the ground the
Climber knows he'll take a pounding in his noggin from the sounding
Of his own internal droning "Could have done it! Next time 'round!"
He'll hear it till he clears it with the send.

So when you are presented with this certain sort of tension
And the fear inside you tears your eyes with searing apprehension
And your insides work against you telling you to cease ascent;
Remember: "When in doubt: run it out!"

53. Making the Clip

Arms fatiguing, muscles flexed
Limbs are shaking; even bets
He blows it ere the rope is clipped
And logs some flying time!

54. Overcoat-Clad in A Darkened Outbuilding

A secret's a thing to be kept in the dark
In a lonely and quarantined state.
To be visited only occasionally
If it's meant that the secrecy stays.
For the more it's uncovered the shorter the life
And in no time it's gone; So hark!
If a secret you have and a secret you'd keep,
Then keep it in close to your heart.

55. Walking Up Pitches of Slab

I'm in a sea of granite, waving onward endlessly
With not a stable spot, and yet no movement I can see.
There's not a ship around, but there are anchors holding strong
And keeping me from drifting free to where I don't belong.

I'm high and dry in comfort, very seldom do I think -
Oh! Shudder at the thought - of what would happen if I sink.
The lines are taught, the rigging sound, a breeze disrupts the air,
And trunks and baggage left in far-off lands contain my cares.

It's only me and ragged teams of others like-of-mind
That drift around these empty oceans, leaving the world behind.
This life is filled with happy thrills, there's nowhere else I'd be
Than in a sea of granite, living high and flying free.

56. Pulling Down on Man-Made Holds

Sometimes the city life will keep us down
And coop us up indoors for days on end,
And people compensate by hanging round
The mall or socializing with their friends;
A climber's forced to settle, here in town,
With substituted mountainous ascents.

57. Upside-Down - Or Dangling Dangerously...?

I'll turn your world upside-down,
Just take a walk with me,
And follow me to where I go
And see the things I see.

A new perspective's good for you,
And understanding dawns
Sometimes when things are viewed anew
That used to just be "wrong".

58. Topping Out After Dark

Year after year keeps on finding us here
At the tops of so many tall routes;
Be it slowness or lateness or simply poor plans,
It is dark by the time we top out.

And the danger we faced as our altitude raised
Is compounded - or so they all say -
By the absence of light as the darkness of night
Takes the clarity out of the day.

But year after year hasn't brought us a tear
While we're finding our holds with our hands,
As the vastness below shrinks to blackness we go
All the way to the top, as we'd planned.

59. Holding His Camera Very Still

A few minutes here and it's absolute clear
Without even need to remark:
These caverns were made to be seen and surveyed
Not hidden away in the dark!

60. Walking the Very First Bridge Over the Brazos

I'm doing it wrong, you say?
I'm sorry, but this is my way.
The rest of the masses can trod formal paths
Without me, thank you. Good day!


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