Almanack Contributor Edward Zahniser

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).


Monday, September 21, 2020

Poetry: Adirondack Blue

Adirondack Blue

Wind-spun cirrus clouds
Heaven’s cotton batting
Sky background that blue
we call “Adirondack blue”
St. Paul’s Ephesians letter
lays peace to a Quiet Mind
See how Black-eyed Susans
stare Autumn-ward now

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.


Monday, September 7, 2020

Poetry: Eleventh Mountain

Eleventh Mountain

Yellow coffee can lids
nailed to trees through
gray duct tape squares
A worn path through ferns
vanishes in forest duff
Now and then a cut blaze
or rarely rock cairns
The way is not difficult
for those who have
no preferences

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.


Saturday, August 1, 2020

Poetry: Adirondack August

Adirondack August

Cutting wood and carrying water
Mind empty with no effort
Nearly stepped in the spring
I hum all day and no repetition
Wind soughs through fir balsams
Night silence so thick I hear it
Can’t keep things straight
Stars don’t seem to mind

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.


Saturday, July 4, 2020

Poetry: In-Tent Desire

In-Tent Desire

Cushioning softness
your warm belly
The Buddha
gave this up for
thin straw mats
on bare floors
whatever ground
of our being being
Who knows what other
folly might well indwell
that Eightfold Path?

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.


Saturday, June 27, 2020

Poetry: Summit

Summit

Wind dances atop
Crane Mountain
blowing sideways
No mosquitoes
fewer deerflies
No sweat beads
bud on face or neck
as the trail dries too
Nature balances
costs and benefits.

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.


Sunday, May 17, 2020

Poetry: Nundegao Ridge

Nundegao Ridge

On a table monolith
granite veined by quartz
like so many zippers
The children dance
in rock rain reservoirs
Nibble blueberries
Wind-protected
Hare-bells dance
on the ledge below
as hawk bursts out
below us forty feet
to rise on a thermal
Hollow hawk bones
soon “cloud-hidden
whereabouts unknown”

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.


Sunday, April 26, 2020

Poetry: Cabin Generations

Cabin Generations

Mom’s great grandkids
chatter like crickets
who sport human frames
busy-busy all day long
In the big tent now they
nap breathing deeply
as their dreams map out
who knows what trails?

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Poetry: Back at the Cabin

Back at the Cabin

Breeze soughs among
uphill poplar stands
Newborn Rachel’s clothes
hang out to Sun-dry
White-throated sparrow
drops her final note
whose loud lack haunts
consciousness all day
Expectation unfulfilled
pattern recognition lost

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Poetry: Changes

Changes

Broken by brief rain
dull heat disappears
tail between its clouds
I recall late-August
mornings as a child
dressing by the fire
Oatmeal bubbled thick
in big blackened pot
Mountains unmoved
since we went to bed
Clouds now crest them
heavily like a toddler
riding your shoulders

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.


Saturday, March 14, 2020

Poetry: Aging Vet

Aging Vet

Frayed old Army field
jacket keeps light rain
off my slim notebook
An aging vet, I’m like
a monk to desire with
only poems to show
Deerfly at 10 o’clock!
Mind pulls up to lose it
but instead the poem
veers off abruptly as
last winter’s ski crowd
beat their hasty retreat

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.


Saturday, March 7, 2020

Poetry: Not So Long Ago

 

Not So Long Ago

Half down the paved road
Husky sled dogs crackled
to chorus dinner time
Can openers slice
150 Alpo can tops
Fellow blackfly-buzzed
berserker mammals

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.


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.


Saturday, February 1, 2020

Poetry: Stars Long Dead

Stars Long Dead

How hard this now seems
to leave so few memories
Who will reckon us up
once we’ve finished here
Stars stud the sky but pay
no mind to who’s elected
Many looking bright flared
out last lights eons gone at
186,000 miles per second
as the universe’s vastness
makes them seem to shine
still to astonish us tonight

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.


Saturday, November 16, 2019

Poetry: Wind Refreshing Cabin Memories

Wind Refreshing Cabin Memories

Wind pushing uphill cannot clear
the mountain of this mist
nor quite bring on much-needed rain.
Aspen leaves quake on no ear,
their timeless tremulosa dismissed
with the white-throated sparrow’s refrain.

In the fireplace a green-cut round
of mountain ash boils out its sap
with flames pulled tall by wind
— that shouldn’t be bound
uphill. A freakish front’s mishap
let such a breach of etiquette in.

Crane Mountain lurks cloud-hidden
whereabouts unknown, memory
layered deeper than kitchen middens.
Dad recites Sandburg’s “There Is A Wolf in Me.”
until we’d pray the Lord our souls to take,
while the aura of the wolf kept us awake.

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.


Saturday, October 5, 2019

Poetry: 400 Feet Closer to Heaven

400 Feet Closer to Heaven

Maybe 400 feet closer to heaven than we were
When we started climbing we sit beside the outlet
To the sphagnum-bed spring atop Eleventh Mountain
We siblings in age-order to the youngest, me,
Being Matt Esther Karen and then our Mom Alice
The logistician of our many wilderness forays
As even now we pause to sit beside the streamlet
To lunch on gorp and our tunafish sandwiches
And stare out across the valley and then low hills
To the mountains off toward and then in Vermont
But the view can’t compete with the big surprise
Of tomatoes we watch Mom dole out until Karen
Incredulous asks “We each get a whole tomato?”
Only her inflection giving away that it’s a question.
This unheard of event in our 1950s family life
Turns out to be a plump round juicy fact indeed.

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.



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