The Sneaker 外岩の詩

by Nick Anthony

Damselflies flutter about
Among the green, broad leafs
Above the mountain stream,
Darting through the river rocks
That make a natural bridge
To the mountain boulder field,
Where stone goliaths lie in wait.

Halfway up The Sneaker,
My love fights to hang on
To nothing more than a pebble:
Struggling,
Legs shaking with fatigue,
Palms growing dangerously slick with sweat,
Yet not relenting to nature’s vertical challenge.

Below, with arms raised
As if in praise to Amaterasu,
We shout words of encouragement, “Ganba!”
And awe at her limber movement and physical prowess,
(Hoping it will be enough to see her safely to the top).

As she elongates her slim form,
Stretching her limbs every possible inch
From the tip of her big toe,
To the end of her little finger,
And desperately reaches out
For the final, painful hold,
My heart is racing faster—
Pounding louder—
Than it ever does on my behalf,
When I am high above the ground
In such a perilous, precarious position.


Spent a long weekend bouldering in Mie Prefecture (Japan) with close friends. The Sneaker served as our project rock for a lot of our warm ups, which meant we challenged each other to find the most difficult (and dangerous) routes up the face. Watching my girlfriend ascend, it struck me that the thought of something happening to her was more unbearable that anything happening to myself. I was so deeply moved by this that I brought it up in a serious moment in the tent. After thoroughly explaining my thoughts, I asked her, “What do you think about when I’m climbing?”

“Oh, um, usually I’m looking for how I can do it better than what you’re doing…”

True Love.

Thank you for reading. You can find more of Nick’s work HERE

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