A Poem from Charles Marks

The other day I got the kind of email I just love. This complete stranger, Charles Marks, was telling me how much he enjoyed Alix Morris’s recent post, LEAD BY EXAMPLE: AN OP-ED ON WOMEN’S CLIMBING. He also shared with me a poem that he wrote, which he thought I might enjoy.

How cool, right?! I put a ton of my own writing on this blog, but more and more the goal is to provide a community resource – a noncommercial venue for climbers of all walks of life to share their stories. Each time I get to work with another author, or hear positive feedback on another artist’s work, I find my enthusiasm for this project growing exponentially.

Charles didn’t ask if he could share this poem – I asked him. Thankfully, he said yes. I think it’s message is beautiful, and I bet you will, too. Mad props to Charles for putting it out there… poetry is somewhat savage. I’ve written it for years and can rarely bring myself to share a piece. If you like this poem, please let Charles know, either in comments or in person. 

And thanks so much to his friend, Stevie Lewis, for the awesome art. The drawing is a picture of the man himself, Mr. Marks.

For all the amazing people I’ve met on the dirtbag journey so far…

Me, 24, more like 14,
Independent, empowered,
Generally extraordinary women,
Enter — for a day, a week, a month,
I fall, infatuated, amazed, in love,
With every single one,
I’m a meatbag of hormones,
They leave,
One might throw in the word unrequited,
Depends how angsty we are feeling,
And at times there’s been plenty of angst,
It is standard dirtbag shit, right?

Perhaps it is simply protective,
It would be too painful to invest myself,
To place any expectation,
On any desire,
Obviously, easier said,
But it’s a practice,
And the sensation of loss dims with every repetition.

Practice then, until, one day,
That sensation of loss,
It’s lost,
(I’m not above it, it’s just how I feel today)
And the experience of falling in love,
Loses its fall.

So time passes,
and a new practice forms,
One where there is no fear of :
being utterly inspired by,
saying goodbye,

And what is left,
is the easy (selfish) imperative,
to love everyone.

Awesome. “what is left, is the east (selfish) imperative, to love everyone.” Thanks again, Charles, and Stevie. Keep making awesome wonderful incredible lives of art. To see more of Charles’ work, check out The Sixty Foot Woman. You can see more of Stevie’s stuff at Chocosweete.

One last piece of news. All next week, Monday May 2 – Friday May 6, I will be posting articles about the public land heist. I have been researching and writing about the land heist for weeks now, and I’m finally ready to share my thoughts. The land heist is incredibly important if you like to do just about anything at all outside on Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, and Fish and Wildlife managed lands. Those lands are facing the very real risk of being sold off to the highest bidder, as we speak. Tune in to FF all week long to learn more about what is happening, and what you can do.

And yes, you can expect the writing to be very, very, fringe. Read it, share it, like it, and spread the word. 

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