Hike to Bird, Rattlesnake Mountain

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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)

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About Author

David Crews (davidcrewspoetry.com) is author of the poetry collections High Peaks (RA Press, 2015) and Circadian Rhythm (Paulinskill Poetry Project, 2014). His poems have appeared in The Southeast Review, Berkeley Poetry Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Wisconsin Review, Stone Canoe, and others. Essays can be found in Adanna Literary Journal and SPECTRUM. Crews received an MFA in Poetry from Drew University, serves as Editor for The Stillwater Review, and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He both teaches and lives in northwest New Jersey. (Follow on Twitter at @dcrewspoetry)

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