The Rock Is

The rock is

smooth and cool

to the touch; it

is just there

and will not

change though I

step up and

pull on it, jam

my hands and

feet into its

cracks, rest on

small ledges, say

I have conquered

it or at least

come to terms.


I feel my

body move in

unlikely ways over

improbable places,

hang and stretch

on the edge of

balance, but I

do not even

conquer myself or

come to terms with

my fear. Is it

the act or

the intention, the

climbing or

the conception that

moves up steep

walls on small



previously published in: “Ascent”, 1968; “The Fell and Rock Journal”, 1976; Speak to the Hills, 1985.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *