Arno’s Dragon by Devin Dabney (a poem)

Oct 2 • Climbing Culture • 918 Views • No Comments on Arno’s Dragon by Devin Dabney (a poem)

Long before we decide,

the path is carved for us.

Sliced through existence

to be forged for this one, and beyond.

The goals we strive for in this life,

the roles we thrive in, the roads we stride on,

all to guide us through the night

of our own inner selves,

as we run

from what hides behind us, driving us forward.

We treat our climb as the endgame,

knowing it is but a doorway

leading within.

A puzzle doomed to those who solve it,

only to scramble it again.

Ice water floods the lungs,

fire floods the hands,

the shame of forgotten friends.

The author climbing on the Holy Boulders of Illinois. Photo: Brianna Havis

Through screams we vent, while these descents

complete the trends that we begin, complete again.

Our means to ends,

so we pretend.

The cure is our curse:

when pure—at our worst—we find ourselves first

in the thousand-headed dragon.

Devin Dabney is secretly working on becoming the best rapper alive so that he can write for dope magazines like The Climbing Zine. You can find some of his work on major music platforms like Spotify, and at You can also witness more of his climbing and rap shenanigans on Instagram @deuceishiphop.

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