You see sheer and jagged rock

by Jerome

You see sheer and jagged rock,
Overhangs and shadows, lichen
Grey and green on granite
Looming high above any comprehension
Of ascending,
With only circumnavigation possible.
You consider the majesty of the cliff
An enigma, cold and hard,
And marvel at nature’s ability
To find a place to root a tree,
A berry bush, a flower.

I see the possibilities of ascent;
The tiny imperfections in smoothness
Reveal a place for fingertips to hold steady
The climbing and attentive body,
Where feet find respite and steps
In a path to the summit
Of a manifest challenge.

The route does not reveal itself
Easily, but evolves as the line
Is approached, the subtle variations
Expose the briefest foot hold,
A crack for a finger lock,
A foot deep ledge, a refuge
For contemplation or reconnoiter
In the dynamic movement toward the top.

You see a mad man clinging
Where men or women dare not go,
Where the flirtation with terror and death
Must surely be the motivation to rise
Above the safe expanse of the well worn.
Inconceivable, incomprehensible, dangerous.

Some witness the ascent as an assault,
Calling on force and strength to overcome
The sheer madness of the venture
To defy the forces of gravity and common sense.
But it is the subtle interplay
Of cooperation between fingers and toes,
Attention and concentration,
The brevity of a fine dance, where the moment to moment
Motion unfolds in the individual present.

The challenge is unique within the climber,
And the observations of the other
To the rising from the ground,
Is of their imagining.

This entry was posted in Original Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Imagineering

  1. equiwolf says:

    You describe rock climbing as I experienced it, Jerome–awesome in the truest sense of the word.

  2. Sheila says:

    cool! I felt like I was there….no desire to ever actually be there, however. But was nice to visit in my mind while reading your words. 🙂

  3. Dreamfable says:

    I like it.
    Are we not all climbers?

  4. Angelika says:

    Thank you!

    I enjoy deeply reading your poem.


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