The Well by Devin Dabney

Mar 2 • Climbing Culture • 323 Views • No Comments on The Well by Devin Dabney

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

My temple

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 You can also witness more of his climbing and rap shenanigans on Instagram @deuceishiphop.

Dig the words? Keep the dream alive by subscribing to The Climbing Zine. It’s $24.99 a year for three issues, and $39.99 for two years (six issues). 

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 MeAmerican ClimberThe Great American Dirtbags , Climbing Out of Bed, and Squeak Goes Climbing In Yosemite National Park (a climbing children’s book) .

Check out our films, Grateful Husse, Just A Climber, For Bears Ears, and Last Thoughts on The Dirtbag at our YouTube page.

Also: listen to our curated playlist: Hip Hop and Climbing Vol. 1, now on Spotify.

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