A few days ago I went for a walk which included passing along the base of the crag where I was teaching climbing for all those years. It was a fine day, but I was the only one around – no one climbing, or even walking. As you do, I began idly looking at different climbs and visualising the moves I would need to climb them. It was then a few lines came to me that might constitute a poem on the subject.
I wandered around slowly, musing, jotting ideas down in my notebook.
Well, surprise, surprise. I now have several finished poems and will probably put them up here later this year as a series – perhaps once the climbing season has started again, and when I’ve decided what to illustrate them with.
But as a bit of a taster, here is the first one.
He steps one foot onto the thin ledge,
Hugging his body close to the rock face,
His fingers walking up the wall,
He thrusts a leg out into space
And the watchers gasp.
Is he falling?
They move unconsciously away
From the base of the crag.
He keeps his balance.
Now he reaches up
Just a little…
Two fingers hook over
A thin flake of rock
And he scrambles up.
‘It’s all in the technique,’ he calls down.
‘Nothing to do with strength.’