Hike to Bird, Rattlesnake Mountain


Why do things
happen in nature
Tom asks, leaning
on his poles
climbing past
large glacial erratics
covered in moss
that delicately hang
above cold water
pooling filling
streaming down
the gut
of the ridge, rocks
caverned one
upon the other
into a mountain.
Near the lookout
on Bird
blue-winged warblers
blue-headed vireos
and kinglets lift
down to lowered
branches of pitch pine
twisted and gnarled
into rocks
at the summit
where the trail
feathers long
yellowed grasses
and the occasional
tzwee tzwee.
When the AT
climbs back above
a thousand feet
I hear him mutter
cause it works
as a palm warbler
stops at a branch
where the base
meets the trunk
and feeds, its mustard
body streaked
with wavering lines
of reddened chestnut.

palm warbler

Photo used under Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND-2.0)


About Author


David Crews is author of Wander-Thrush: Lyric Essays of the Adirondacks (Ra Press, 2018) and High Peaks (Ra Press, 2015)—a poetry collection that catalogs his hiking of the “Adirondack 46ers” in upstate New York. He serves as resident artist for the nonprofit ARTS By The People, as well as contributing writer for the Northeast Wilderness Trust.

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