To all our Climbing Zine friends and family: for the last year Greg Cairns and I have been working on our follow up to our film “Last Thoughts On The Dirtbag”. The new project will be called “Just A Climber, For Bear’s Ears”.
by Luke Mehall, publisher, The Climbing Zine (photos by Greg Cairns)
We want this to be a community effort and we are looking for YOUR film footage of Indian Creek/Bears Ears to include, even cell phone video. Below is the poem I wrote for the film, for y’all to get a sense of the context. Please contact Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org or myself at email@example.com if you’ve got some footage you think we may be interested in.
Just A Climber, For Bears Ears by Luke Mehall
At 38 I always thought I’d do something with my life
I thought I would write something
Thought I would encite something
I thought I would enlighten someone, something, anything
But here I am
In Indian Creek
Bears Ears National Monument
Just a climber
Just a writer
They say you gotta pick your battles
Now I know
I finally know
My battle is Bears Ears
Because without Bears Ears
Without this here
I am nothing
Just a dot on a rock
That can’t get all my rocks off
On the dot.com
Cause, here, and only here
Here, and only here
I see the way.
I see, I see sea to shining sea
I see, this land used to be the sea
Here, I see Me.
I see a world moving along at the speed of greed
And when I’m out here I moving along at the speed of need
God, I need something to make me see
God, I need something, please.
Cause I was searching for my God
Until I realized it was she, she was here
That girl I gotta holler at because she is my favorite girl in the world
That didn’t rhyme
But I aint’ got the time
Or the timing
To make every rhyme
Drop like that on a dime
Dime, money, we got a whole lot of it
In these United States
Wait. Just for a second.
Slow it down.
Cause I gotta say this
My privledge was built upon hatred
But wait, where am I going with this?
Looking this inward
When this protection
This is the land
This land is your land
But the white man
Always says this land is my land
This land is your land
This land is my land
This land is the only way I’m thinking this way
The only reason I’m not heavily drinking today
Or in some jail cell, in some place so far away
But this is today
And millions are in a cell
And millions are addicted to their cell
But that Twitter shit
Won’t work here
So the importance
The importance of this
This omnipotent – ness
This bliss, this…shit…
I lost my train of thought
She knows, she knows
I’m writing her poetry
In my own language
Not the first that she has heard
This land is not my land
This land is our land
They call it the Antiquities Act
You know that Teddy Rosevelt
That racist land protector
That false hero
Like so many American presidents
But left a good idea behind
While society climbed
Towards better ideals
Is it better to be idealistic
That to be so specific
That all this land is to conquer
Because what if, what if
We want to prosper
What if we still want to encourage thinking
Not the drinking of this orange faced kool-aid
Drop it if you think is political.
This about the right thing.
This is moral.
I operate between two worlds
One a bitch, a mistress
And this idea.
Land for recreation.
Land for re-creation
Land to pray to
Land to be a witness to.
Land which I could never describe
Not with a million words.
But I’m not a writer
Or even a climber
Or writing this
Or climbing this
This is being moved by spirit, spiritual
So forget any accomplishments
Any first ascents, this is
My America, your America, our America
This is what is left
Again, please contact Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org or myself at email@example.com if you’ve got some footage you think we may be interested in.
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 five books: Graduating From College Me, American Climber, The Great American Dirtbags , Climbing Out of Bed, and Squeak Goes Climbing In Yosemite National Park (a climbing children’s book) .