Saturday, August 27, 2016

Old Faithful in a poem for Birthday of our National Parks

This week is the  100th anniversary of our National Parks, wonders of  nature reserved for all people to enjoy. I hope they last forever.

Zion National Park
I have had the good fortune to  visit the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. I could not get enough of looking at the vast colorful formations of rock not created by man. Barry and I visited these glorious sights in the seventies and eighties, and he made many photographs I still enjoy today. Of course the  Great Smoky Mountains National Park is right  here at my door with the most peaceful and ethereal scenes one could ever wish for.

One vacation, Gay and Stu, my sister and BIL, and Barry and I flew out to Montana and rented an apartment in a  little town near one of the gates to Yellowstone National Park. For a week we visited the park every day and had the best time ever. The bison moving like a wave across the prairie grass will be forever emblazoned into my mind. The  majestic male Elk fighting in the Galatin River, deciding who would be leader of the herd, plays over and  over in my mind. It became a poem, Scene from Yellowstone's Valiant Wild, that has been published a few times. 

We had time to drive through the Great Tetons but wish we had been able to stop and enjoy that beautiful area. It was raining and cold, not a  good day for outside. We did make this photo in front of the lake with snow covered mountains behind us. Looks cold, doesn't it?

Stu is taking this picture of Barry, me and Gay
Today I am posting this poem that was published in Your Daily Poem. It is a bit of humor during this important milestone for our National Parks.


You and Me, Elsie and Old Unfaithful
                     at Yellowstone National Park

Our hands wrapped around hot chocolate cups, 
we shared a muffin  with a resident ground squirrel. 
He ran under tables and chairs in the room where a tree
grew up through the floor as we waited
for the famous geyser to erupt on schedule.

Overcast and cold, the day not meant for
sight-seeing, but we settled in with front row seats
before a giant picture-window. We didn't know the
mature lady with years of laugh lines on her face,
until Elsie took the chair beside us.

For 90 minutes she spilled out her life in cupfuls.
Chicago-born, life-long teacher, retired
to an island in Puget Sound near her only daughter.
I saw this thing this morning and it didn't show me much.
Hope it's better this time. She pulled her sweater close.

What did she expect? Predictable doesn't mean perfect.
I smiled, remembering pictures of the scalding
water shooting skyward, high into blue Montana sky.
Remembering my anticipation of the day when
you and I would be here to see this spectacle in person.

Dusk fell, rain slanted against the pane.
Straining my eyes, I spied the first short bursts
forced from the bowels of the earth. There was
no apex against cerulean sky. The geyser disappeared,
a ghost into the mist, an apparition of my imagination.

The long awaited marvel, like a candle flickered out,
left me empty as the chocolate cups, no sweetness
for the chipmunk, still hunting for some morsel.
Elsie gathered up her coat and hat, ambled off stating
Still doesn't show me much.
                            ---Glenda Council Beall







4 comments:

Abbie Taylor said...

Glenda, this is a sweet poem. I live only five or six hours away from Yellowstone, and I remember a family trip there when I was a teen-ager. We visited Old Faithful, and I wasn't impressed. My younger brother, an aspiring photographer at the time, took picture after picture, some out the window of our hotel room overlooking the gyzer.

Glenda Beall said...

Hi Abbie,
I envy you all that beauty of Yellowstone so near, but I am sure, like we who live here in our mountains, it is easy to get on with life and pay little attention to what is around us. I'd love to go to Montana again and I would visit Yellowstone again. I think a teenager might not appreciate the wonders of Yellowstone. I was a mature adult and found it all amazing, except for Old Faithful that fizzled that day.
Thanks for stopping by Abbie.

Abbie Taylor said...

You're welcome, Glenda. If you ever visit Yellowstone again, I'm only about five or six hours east of there. It's a pretty drive over the Bighorn Mountains. I'd love to meet you sometime.

Glenda Beall said...

Abbie, If I ever get back that way again, I will definitely try to see you while there. I enjoy your blog and admire you very much.