Tuesday, March 22, 2016

If These Walls Could Talk (a poem)

(note: this piece is part of a poetry collection in the works. it's been a while since I've written much poetry, but recently after meeting another climbing-poet I've been inspired.)

You could say the Joshua Trees
Planted all the seeds for the dreams
Unwilling to be the same
Unwilling to play the game

And isn’t that the way community should be?
Isn’t this the place they call the land of the free?

Just fucking close your eyes
And watch the sunrise
Just forget that this
World is full of shit

If these domes could speak
We would get a sneak peak
Of what it would have been like
To solo the walls with such balls
That a rope could be —
A forget me knot

And not just high balls
Climbing it all —
Like Michael Reardon
A light shining as bright
As his hair —
Blond and right on
Like a comet shooting through space

If these boulders could whisper
What would they deliver?
A four page letter about the better
Things in life: shared food, drink, and laughter
After all what the fuck else do you need?

Oh yeah, that too
But if these walls could talk
They’d prefer making love
Because there’s enough fucking fucking
Going on in this goddamn world

Yeah the love that has been made
That’s the shit
That’s the IT
That what make the J Trees
Get their swerve on
Leaning towards the infinite

If the Cyclops could talk
It might reminisce over you
And the thousands of others
That looked through its eye
And saw the light, the hope

If Course and Buggy could speak
It would teach
The way Peter Croft
Practiced his craft
And found the oneness
The Buddha would have been proud of

If these boulders could whisper
They would surely deliver
Stories of lovers like puzzles
Two pieces locked together
And rocked the boat
All night long
And then looked to the stars
For dessert

If Hidden Valley could rally
Back twenty years ago
To a young Dean Potter
And meet the necessity of his invention
Of his perplexing desire to fly
But of course the first man to fly, had to die
But that can’t stop the tears from my eye

Just like the first people to climb
On ropes made of twine and hemp
Ate up so much danger they either became
Full of fear or fearless
But less is more and its more likely
Their consciousness carried a touch of grey

So let’s take it there

While urban contemporaries
Write that the dirtbag is dead
On their apple computers
Made of precious metals
Here in J Tree there are ten and twenty
Women and men
Living out of bags
In the dirt
It’s that simple
The dirtbag is alive

If these walls could talk
They would tell us
No one ever complained
Back in the day
No one ever had the luxury
To hate the un-forgiveness
Of slabby granite mixed with sweat
After all it was all that existed
Before climbing went sport
Before climbing went plastic

J Tree just brings the truth to life
And some people don’t like
What they see when they look into
The reflection of direction
That a Joshua Tree points to
Some people don’t like it
That a Joshua Tree lives longer
Than they will
So that’s why we kill
But if we accept what the trees speak
We can write poetry til infinity

So who are we?
Are we hippie?
Are we hobo?
Beatnik or dirtbag?
We are in Cali
So we can be
All these
We can be
We want to be
If this is the land of the free

If these domes
Let their minds roam
They would tell us to come home
Come home

Come back to that place
In your heart that is
The hardest to get to

Come back to the desert
Come back to the skeleton
Get away from four walls
And listen to the walls 

If you'd like to support Mehall's writing you can make a contribution here

My books, The Great American Dirtbags and Climbing Out of Bed are both available online, at the Zine site, and on Amazon. 

My third book, a memoir, American Climber will be published on April 11th.  

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