High in the depthless blue of afternoon,
The golden sun alone for company,
You ride the rushing torrent of the wind,
A speck within the vastness of the sky.
Buoyed by your silent, spreading wings you wheel
In sweeping circles, far above the world,
Master of space. Then tired of sport, you dip
And, turning earthward, mighty pinions furled,
Begin that awesome, breathless, downward rush.
A smoky, living meteor you flash
Athwart the ice-embattled cliffs. Across
The canyon void, a thunderbolt, to dash,
It seems, against the echoing lava wall.
Then, just as it appears you must be hurled
Upon the columned cliff, you spurn the rock,
Triumphant flash aloft with wings unfurled
To scream a strident challenge to the wind
As out above the alpine meadow green
You sweep. Across the flower-painted slopes
Your shadow drifts, a silent specter seen
By tiny folk of field portent of death.
The marmot, squirrel, cony, e'en the goat
Call out their warnings, shrill as, far above,
Oh undisputed, King of Skies, you float.
Natt Dodge, Ranger-Naturalist