Saturday, February 22, 2020

Nature, the Other, the Big Outside (In Memory of Howard Zahniser)

Nature, the Other, the Big Outside
In Memory of Howard Zahniser

Okay, now don’t look me square in the eye
but watch my ears wiggle — you see him there,
my father, your grandfather, a wise guy
(who was also a wise-guy), taught me to stare
at nothing hard enough to make my ears move.
It’s a great skill if like me you can’t dance
but still feel the need to strut some and groove
dressed not in Nordstrum slacks but Goodwill pants.

Okay, open that window there — yes, wide.
What’s out there is everything that’s not you.
Sure, nature—the other, the big outside,
what redeems you, where you go to renew
yourself, learn to listen, maybe make vows.
Smell that? Not fire and brimstone — balsam boughs.

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.

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Edward Zahniser

Ed Zahniser retired as the senior writer and editor with the National Park Service Publications Group in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. He writes and lectures frequently about wilderness, wildlands, and conservation history topics. He is the youngest child of Alice (1918-2014) and Howard Zahniser (1906–1964). Ed’s father was the principal author and chief lobbyist for the National Wilderness Preservation System Act of 1964. Ed edited his father’s Adirondack writings in Where Wilderness Preservation Began: Adirondack Writings of Howard Zahniser, and also edited Daisy Mavis Dalaba Allen’s Ranger Bowback: An Adirondack farmer - a memoir of Hillmount Farms (Bakers Mills).


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4 Responses

  1. Suzanne says:

    That’s beautiful, Ed.

    You might like this, if you don’t already know it:

    Wallace Stevens, The Snow Man
    http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/stevens-snowman.html

    • Ed Zahniser says:

      Wow, that is nice, Suzanne. Thanks.
      I’ve often tried to imagine Stevens in
      his insurance office trying to concentrate
      on the “other-than-poetry” part of
      himself!

  2. Bob Meyer says:

    Words of truth Ed!
    As always, thanks.

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