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Yellowstone: The Golden Wilderness
Harry King


Teddy R was right.
We need to protect you for
all to enjoy.
Your beauty inspires me:
falls crashing down in torrents,

the reds and yellows of your canyon walls;
God painted you
these many shades of red, these yellows,
the turquoise and aqua of your geyser pools.

You offer us beauty to admire.
During harsh winters, heat from your pools
offers comfort to the animal herds that call you home.

The consistency and power of Old Faithful
demand we wait and watch.
Many complain of crowds, but how can they?
Your performance through all seasons
every day,
on time,
water pulsating skyward
like Yellowstone Falls in reverse!

You offer food,  protection and danger to your wild guests.
Your bison are the first we see,
North America’s largest land animal?

so massive, so docile, so unpredictable, so dangerous.
Herds graze in your lush meadows,
mother bison teaching, coaxing her calf
to cross the swiftly flowing river.

Will he make it? Be swept downriver?
He made it!

Your majestic bull elk, antlers so large,
clashing with the intruder,
protecting his harem, bugling the mating call,
chased by the wolf pack,
crossing the river, protected by the river.
Safe for now!


Your Grey Wolf, once almost extinct,
reintroduced to your borders.
You provide food, water, and shelter. 
They will thrive because you provide for them.
Their beauty of teamwork on the hunt
flows like a raging stream as they pursue their prey.

The mother bald eagle, magnificent bird and
national symbol,
dives in your waters and you provide her fish.
She stands on the bank, guarding her catch,
calling for her young.
“This is how you do it. Now taste.
Eat well my child. Soon
you will be on your own.”

Where do you hide him,
the ever elusive, ever dangerous grizzly?
He is the prize we all want to see.
There he is, far away (thank goodness!),
turning over stones in his search for insects.
How can an insect provide nourishment
to an animal so large,
so strong,
so fast?
You provide us thrills as you show us this awesome beast.

Will we always have you?
Underneath your beauty is a hot intensity,
an earth in turmoil, waiting to explode.
We embrace you. We receive inspiration from your beauty.
Let us enjoy you for eternity.


© 2017 by Harry King.
Poem and photographs used here with the author’s permission.

Harry King is an outdoor enthusiast and wildlife photographer. The scenery and wildlife at Yellowstone make it one of his favorite places to visit. Harry lives in Greenville, SC with his wife, June.



Post New Comment:
Who knew Harry King was a poet?!? Thanks for this great poem - from a former co-worker at LL
Posted 03/02/2017 08:35 AM
Lovely, true, thank you.
Posted 03/01/2017 03:12 PM
Stunning poetry and pictures, Harry! Thank you.
Posted 03/01/2017 10:02 AM
Lori Levy:
I especially like the line, "Underneath your beauty is a hot intensity,/and earth in turmoil, waiting to explode." Great pictures!
Posted 03/01/2017 09:51 AM
Larry Schug:
Posted 03/01/2017 07:15 AM
What a wonderful picture this gives us. I certainly hope we can enjoy it for eternity.
Posted 03/01/2017 04:39 AM

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