Note: this poem is published in Volume 17, now available. Banner photo of the author bouldering in Coopers Rock State Forest, West Virginia. Photo: Jessi Haynes
is carved in a face
holding tens of thousands of years of strife.
The ages echo through its forms,
flowing down countless laughter lines
borne of violence, lost in time.
In silence, I am taught
that the greatest things we know
are often things we ignore, yet ultimately cannot escape
despite our best efforts to destroy them.
Defiance, all for naught.
The ebb and flow which I prescribe
the things I climb from death below
to highest highs would best be known
as ‘left alone’ to my advice,
and yet, I go.
The rest I slow—through breath, and flow.
Praying for rain in hell, I drain the well.
Knowing there’s hell to pay and pain to gain,
refrain from shame, maintain the spell.
A sacrifice to plains that I retain in knells
so that one day, I drain the well
and regain myself.
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 deuceishiphop.bandcamp.com. You can also witness more of his climbing and rap shenanigans on Instagram @deuceishiphop.
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 six books: The Desert, 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) .