Rock climbing challenges me to be more courageous, more determined and more daring than I believe I am. It doesn’t just build muscle for me, it builds character.
At one of his recent Poet Tree events, Noah Ayala challenged me to write a poem on the theme of “cliffhanger.” I hope this gives you a little bit of insight into why I do this crazy sport.
Getting inside my body and out of my head,
my two feet are 90 ft off the deck
with my knuckles wrapped around stone,
nowhere near home but exactly in my zone.
I increase my altitude to finally feel alone.
The wind pull at my clothes
filling my ears with a white noise.
Among the fright I’m able to find poise
take a deep breath and clear my mind.
Fear is the living death, so I continue the climb.
A practice in courage and executing the delivery.
Adrenaline’s a hell of a drug, I try to control my trembling.
The challenge ahead is overhung
below me the ground is gone.
above me a cloudless sky, the sun and the stony grit
bearing witness to me getting this.
I blend fluidity, movement, balance and tension
as a rope spans the distance
between my body and
the things that make me indifferent
my grip is strong though my feet are slipping
safety has its charms but I’m on this mission.
to rise into heaven, my own personal ascension.
By Anthony Orozco