Adjunct Faculty Spotlight Part 2 > Daniel Willner

Daniel Willner
Daniel Willner

Dan Willner
Under Shelving Rock

There’s no wrong way to the summit

Shelving Rock is so small
other mountains sidle up
to look good by comparison

I’ve been coming here for years
alone, married, a father

wondering always
if mountains are fountains for men, why

do I get to the top
and still feel like I’m climbing?

The trail up Shelving Rock
was cut by one man
(or so the story goes)

who was so strong that he could pull
a sapling from the ground by hand
and do it fifty times a day

Jack Dacy made his life here

He built a house and farm
along the slopes of Shelving Rock
then saw them burn and built again

Great-grandson Bill says
Algonquin once hunted this forest
the Iroquois called them Adirondack

Bark Eaters

An insult to a tribe
that couldn’t otherwise survive
these long dark winters

But the winters didn’t end them

They thrived here, season on season
for uncounted generations

until they met the British and the French
and picked the wrong side (or that’s the story)

(Bill's all stories)

Bill says too

that if we dig by the mouth
of Shelving Rock Brook
we’ll find some arrowheads

so the kids and I
will look and see