Freedom, where are you?
I found you briefly, growing up in the flatlands
And then, you were flattened
By growing up, taking tests
Who would have known to fail was the best?
I failed so many times I failed at failure
Wailing with the prospect that I had nothing
Freedom, I looked for you
In magic mushrooms and LSD
Smoking marijuana every chance I got
Risking getting busted and imprisonment
To escape a mental prison
Freedom, I found you in Allen Ginsberg’s America
As my tears spilled into my murderous coffee
Freedom, did I see you again at the campfire?
Did I see you when I gave up and wasn’t looking?
When I wanted to die because
I had nothing to live for?
Freedom I found you in climbing, higher and higher
Till all negativity and doubt perspired
Leaving just me
Realizing at the time all I wanted to be, was to be
Freedom, then I got addicted to you
And the addiction was just as false
As freedom being found in simply the red, white and blue
It can be, true, but what I learned most about you
I learned you are an ingredient
An essential part in the recipe of a human life
Too much and your heart and soul will ache
Not enough give, too much take
Freedom, I think I understand you more
I learned more than I ever wanted to know
(at the time)
Freedom, now I’ll compliment you in rhyme
Freedom, I’ll always be searching in climbing, above
Freedom, you are the best
When complemented with love
This poem is an excerpt from Mehall’s second book, The Great American Dirtbags. His most recent book is called American Climber.
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About us: The Climbing Zine was started in 2010 by Al Smith III and Luke Mehall. It continues to the day with the mission of representing the true essence of climbing. Our crown jewel is our printed version, but we also do the interweb thing, and Kindle.
We have also published three books: American Climber, The Great American Dirtbags and Climbing Out of Bed, written by publisher, Luke Mehall.