Violent Scene from Yellowstone’s Valiant Wild
A young male strode down the mountainside,
crossed the road, strutted into shallow waters
of the Gallatin river. He stalked the old bull elk
on the other side.
Grazing alone in burned out woods, the herd master
ignored the gauntlet for a while, then like a rattler
striking, charged from the bank. The clash of antlers
cracked like breaking pines in an ice storm, rolling sound
upstream and down. Silently I cheered the scarred-back leader.
On land once more, the battle halted
while both tried to maneuver bony-branched horns
between the lodge poles. A minute’s rest
then back into the current.
Strong hind quarters, taunt neck muscles, bunched
like iron cables, pushed, retreated, up and down
the icy stream. The match wore on for more
than twenty minutes.
Heads low, antlers commingled like old bones
collected in a basket, until the young stud forced
his aging foe beneath the water’s surface, held him there.
The veteran of a life of valiant clashes
broke free at last, crashed and splashed
downstream bleating like a lamb who's lost his mother.
Posing for cameras on the roadside,
the victor, centered in the roaring river,
raised his head and shook his massive rack,
bugled his triumphant call to his new harem.
Mountains stretch like layers,
Payne's Grey parchment,
as they reach toward
pale cerulean sky.
The Bald pokes its head
up through a cottony mist.
Lake Chatuge wraps the mountains,
lapping love, cool in coves
tucked tightly between peaks.
Sailboats, triangles, red and yellow
wrapping paper, swiftly blow
before the wind that rustles
maples, locust trees
where songbirds rest.
My spirit soars above the scene
a seagull far from home,
But yearning to embrace
and build a nest.
Two Poems by Glenda Council Beall