Poetic mountain reflections
A book of poetry by a nature-inspired poet will help transport you to the Adirondack High Peaks, even if you’re feet or the weather can’t get you there in person.
David Crews, an author and teacher from New Jersey is out with his second book of nature-inspired poetry, and this effort, called simply “High Peaks,” focuses on the mountains of northern New York.
Each poem in the small volume is based on a hike the author did. From “Gothics via Orebed Brook” to “Allen, aka The Loneliest Mtn.,” Crews offers his take on what makes the Adirondacks special.
Crews’ verse brings forth images in the mind that many will relate to, while at the same time presenting insights on certain trails and High Peaks that only those who have climbed them will understand.
“It’s a trudge for miles through / nowhere and a serious climb once / at the base near Allen Brook. / The red slime’s for real — couldn’t / imagine climbing in rain — you’d slip / right off the damn mountain,” Crews writes in his ode to Allen Mountain, often seen as the longest slog in the quest to climb the 46 High Peaks.
On the other hand, one doesn’t need to be an Adirondacker or even an avid hiker in the High Peaks to find something relatable in Crews’ book. Any hiker who’s been on a trek that seems to wear on will crack a smile at his “Trail Confessions” poem:
“It’s not until you see the next false / peak that you realize there’s a next / false peak … and I’ll / take it slow since no one’s watching.”
The poem which closes out the book, called “High Peaks,” shows just what Crews himself takes from the mountains, and reflects a time that every hiker has had while looking out at the vast wilderness of the Adirondacks.
“There’s a music to this place, and I want to listen / more. I want to hear the songbirds hiding in the / balsam fir, the broadwings cry … / to find me again look under your bootsoles. / There’s a music even in the mud. Listen for it.”
Crews’ poetry is highly accessible, and unlike many poets who cloak their words in layers of meaning just for the sake of it, his brand of poetry is readable and inspiring, thoughtful and humorous. This is a book for poetry lovers, mountain lovers and, perhaps most importantly, lovers of the Adirondacks.
For more information, including a list of stores in the northeast where High Peaks can be purchased, visit www.davidcrewspoetry.com.