The King

9859aa-Sage-Grouse-130416webHe is dressed before dawn
Before spring,
Magnificently he does step and light reveals a king.

Under gold brows of sage flower bloom
Snow glitters in his eyes.
Fan of feathers, black on white, white on black,
An African’s hairdo, art of romantic voodoo,
Spunky spikes of splendid punk rock

Sage, rage oh rage!
Fight for the maidens on the lek.
Make them love you, make them forget
The trucks that shake the earth,
The oil rigs that peck and peck.

Dappled beige the hens circle,
Not twinkled gowns but dungarees,
Pale sprinkled wings like snow on leaves.
Shy in the spectacle, choosy in the taking,
Their duty is the making.

Sage king, sage king!
Rise against the land’s razing.
Strike the freckled air of mosquito stings,
Refuse the bullet’s scarlet summons
To table’s grave of plums and shining glaze.

Oh splendid sage8413aa-Sage-Grouse-Feather-130415web
Desire in the cinders of country fires,
Chest swells with nuptial bells,
Head thrust in glance and stately dance,
But look,
The bushes are thin and the women are dying.

All spring and summer he struts,
As if in a trance perfecting creation’s chance,
Blind to the brawling of near and far thieves
As the blue sun of frost turns red on golden leaves
The threads of his ballroom cloak are falling.

Oh! Rage!
The slopes are bare, dust covers your throne.
Are you impotent as king?
Tied by your green, grey, silvery soul of sage,
In the wisps of clouds in the cold morning air,
In the fading finery of the fair.

Oh King,
Timelessness has flown.
Farewell to you as you dance
Alone.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Photos; Northern Montana, Kim Mann.

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